There's a lot to know before starting a microdosing practice, but these are the things I really wish I had known before starting.
1. The importance of eating breakfast
Microdosing first thing in the morning can lead us to skip breakfast. Eating can become an afterthought when we feel expanded and get into the creative flow. Psilocybin is an appetite suppressant, and studies are exploring how larger doses can help people with weight loss. When people microdose, some report not feeling any hunger for 3-4 hours.
After years of disordered eating patterns, I realized it took a toll on my health. I was skipping meals, not eating at the same time every day, not eating enough, and depending on carbs to fuel me. My body has been in a constant state of stress, depleting my minerals and causing health issues.
To be clear, microdosing didn’t CAUSE my disordered eating patterns, but it contributed to them.
It is crucial to have a solid, physically nourished foundation before starting to microdose.
Now, when I microdose, I take it one hour after breakfast. I also set intentions for my microdosing practice to help me build healthy habits around food and nourishment.
2. The fungi are a divine intelligence we can speak to
Did you know you can speak to mushrooms when you’re microdosing? Doing this can help you develop a deeper connection with the fungi friends and help you be more open to receiving their wisdom and guidance.
Fungi are the longest surviving species on the planet. They have survived many extinctions because they are adaptable and brilliant.
At some point in each of our lineage, our ancestors have been in relationship with fungi. Our ancestors used them for food & nourishment, medicine, and spiritual practice* around the globe, from Russia to Mexico & every continent in between. From an animist perspective, the fungi carry some profound wisdom since they figured out how to adapt and survive for this long.
You can tap into this intelligence when microdosing. It may feel weird, but introduce yourself as a friend when you start working with them. Talk to them and give thanks for their presence in your life. Ask for help with what you need. You may be surprised to find out eventually that you can hear or feel them respond.
3. Sourcing matters
Microdosing requires us to bring attention to where our medicine comes from. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to pristine, well-cared-for medicine that has been grown with love and non-chemical ingredients. We know legality makes it challenging in places like the US, and as ‘magic mushrooms’ are also a popular party drug, one could buy them from some weird IG account or a sketchy friend-of-a-friend.
While we’re not judging either of those scenarios, the point we’re making is that the energy that goes into cultivating your mushrooms continues into you as the final one ingesting them. You want to be very intentional about what you take as medicine. If they are treated with love and respect, you will often feel it energetically compared to mushrooms grown just for profit, using non-organic chemicals and thrown into a baggie to sell to the first buyer they find.
While it can take longer to find them, there are many underground producers out there putting love into their medicine, and with the right intention, we’re sure you can find them.
4. You might be able to grow your own for research
Did you know that in most states in the US, psilocybin mushroom spores are legal? Spores are like seeds for mushrooms. Psilocybin mushroom spores are legal in all states except California, Georgia, and Idaho.
Since the spores of magic mushrooms do not contain psilocybin, they are legal. However, once spores begin to germinate, they can form mycelium and mature mushrooms. Since these do contain psilocybin, they are illegal.
Amateur mycologists interested in studying Psilocybin Cubensis spores are free to do so in most of the United States, as long as you use the spores for research purposes only. Even though it’s legal to own the spores, it is not legal to grow magic mushrooms.
In the 47 states where it is legal, the sale and possession of psilocybin mushroom spores is allowed for general research purposes. If you live in an area where psilocybin mushroom spores aren’t prohibited, you’re free to buy magic mushroom spores online from a quality spore shop.
5. Microdosing is not a magic cure
Microdosing is trending right now because so many of us are struggling with our mental health. We are more distracted and suffering from information overload now more than ever!
I’ve heard that the amount of information we consume in one day is the amount of information our grandparents consumed in their entire lives. So many of us are looking for more natural cures with fewer side effects than anti-depressants to help us keep up in this fast-paced world.
Microdosing works in the serotonin pathways, so it can help us manage our stress and mood, similar to anti-depressants. But it’s not something you can take and then forget about. It doesn’t work that way. It's best to be proactive with your microdosing practice. Psilocybin and lions mane build new neural connections in your brain, and it’s up to you which habits and neural pathways you want to reinforce.
You could reinforce positive or negative habits - which will you choose?
6. Niacin isn't necessary for your microdose to be effective
One of the most popular microdosing stacks, aka microdosing recipes, is the Paul Stamets stack, which combines psilocybin with lions mane and niacin. Niacin can cause a hot flash type of response that can look like red skin, feelings of heat, and sweat.
Paul’s theory is that including the niacin with your microdose pushes the mushrooms to the edges of your neurons. When this happens, the microdose can reach the places in our brain that degrade first as we age. We have yet to find out if including niacin with a microdose is beneficial.
From the thousands of people I’ve worked with, I’ve found that you don’t need the uncomfortable flush experience for the microdose to be effective. To me, the niacin adds a masculine forcing energy. Many people report feeling like they can’t take their microdose before work because they don’t want to be bright red on a zoom call or in the office.
Niacin is a b3 vitamin that is naturally found in vegetables. When we take a niacin supplement, we take an isolated form, which means the niacin is isolated from the rest of the whole food form it comes in.
Suppose you’re looking for a boost for your microdose. In that case, I recommend adding organic cacao paste, which is a delicious, heart-opening, whole-food alternative to niacin powder.
7. Taking breaks is very important
Taking breaks is a critical part of your microdosing practice. Without breaks, we can build a tolerance to the medicine, which requires us to take more for the same effect. It’s also important to let your brain + body rest and integrate. Microdosing can be an expansive practice, and we can’t always be in a state of growth.
Lastly, some studies explore potential risks to cardiovascular health with consistent microdosing. There is nothing conclusive yet, but the recommendation to minimize the risk is to take regular breaks.
You want to make sure you have breaks built into your weekly schedules and plan more significant breaks between microdosing programs. Microdosing protocols always have weekly breaks built-in - for example: Four days on, three days off One day on, one day off One day on, two days off
Experts recommend never going more than five days without a 2-day break.
You also want to take longer breaks after 30-90 days of regular microdosing. Aim for at least two weeks, but ideally 4-8 weeks, before starting another microdosing cycle.
8. You can make your microdosing practice your own
Microdosing can help us feel more connected with our intuitive guidance system. It is helpful to follow the seven pillars of an effective microdosing practice when starting. Doing so will help you develop an impactful approach and get comfortable with the foundations. Eventually, most people I work with feel the desire to create their own protocol in a way that works for them.
While following protocols laid out by experts is helpful, no one knows you better than you!
After microdosing for a while, you may want to explore different doses for different activities or follow an intuitive schedule where you only microdose on days that you think of it. Some people decide to only microdose on weekends. Some people take different doses for their meeting days vs. their creative project days.
Once you are comfortable with the basics, you can make this practice your own. Just make sure you take regular breaks. 😊
9. Tracking helps you find your sweet spot
Have you ever microdosed and wondered if it was working?
Microdosing can be a subtle practice. Sometimes we can’t tell for sure if it’s working, because we’re so busy that we don’t take a moment to check in with ourselves throughout the day.
When you’re brand new to microdosing it can take some time to find your sweet spot. It really helps to carve out 5 minutes at the end of your day to take note of how you felt. This will help you find your ideal dosage and protocol sooner than if you’re just winging it.
Some ways you can track are:
- using an app like Houston: A Guide for Inner Space
- Jotting down notes in a dedicated journal
- Taking notes on your phone throughout the day when you have an insight and reviewing them before bed.
10. Consistency is key
Did you know that you’re supposed to microdose REGULARLY for it to actually work?
Think of it as giving your brain a tiny bit of superfood, or like herbal medicine - it works best when you do it consistently!
Many people stop microdosing after a few days because they don’t know if it’s working and honestly, they’re just missing this key piece. It works over time because you are supposed to consistently feed your brain this super vitamin that actually grows new neuron connections. With microdosing, you’re not taking enough to grow new neural connections after one dose - this takes time!
When you’re just starting out, it’s best to commit to a 30-day container and a consistent protocol like 4 days on 3 days off (stamets), or 1 day on 1 day off (microdosing institute).
11. Setting an intention is critical
So I know this may sound WOO for some of y’all BUT when microdosing it is super important to know WHY you are microdosing and to hold that intention while you are working your protocol.
If you just pop your micro like a pill without any thought to why you are taking it or how you want to direct your energy, it’s not going to be nearly as effective.
You are the captain of this ship and you NEED to direct your life.
When I microdose I ALWAYS set an intention. You can think of this as a goal, or desired feeling, too if that’s easier.
Some examples: My intention is to drop into a focused flow state for this project. I will ground into self care today. Please help me unblock my stuck emotions. My intention is to move towards clarity in my life.
You can simply speak this in your head, write it in your journal, or even communicate it out loud when taking your microdose.
12. You are entering into relationship with the fungi as an ally
Did you know that when microdosing you are entering into a relationship with the fungi friends as allies? You are inviting these beings into your cells to support you on your healing journey.
Since I’ve been microdosing, I’ve felt much less alone in the world. You can talk to them as friends, you can call on them for support, you can invite more joy into your day with the fungi by your side.
Think of it like a friendship, the more energy you give to it the more it blossoms. This doesn’t mean you need to physically ingest them to give them energy. Just thinking about them, inviting their energy into your life is enough.
13. Microdosing is a two-way street
We live in a very consumptive culture - straight up. We’re used to TAKING and BUYING and CONSUMING. The fungi have taught me how important it is to give back. When microdosing, it helps to remember the concept of reciprocity - meaning a mutual interchange of favors or energy. Basically, not taking something without giving something first.
You need to meet your microdose by being proactive with making changes in your life. You can’t pop your dose and expect that everything will suddenly be better. From what I’ve seen, microdosing can be very helpful in getting you out of a rut, which can help you take the steps you need to take in your life.
14. Microdosing isn't supposed to be forever
Most of us are used to the current pharmaceutical model that we need to take a pill to manage a health issue for the rest of our lives. Microdosing is different, and most people find that they microdose less over time. You might find that you are pretty consistent over the first 12-18 months (with proper breaks) and then you become more intuitive with your practice. You might find that you become more sensitive to the same dose over time, and you need less to feel the same effect.
Microdosing builds new neural connections in the brain and those neural connections don’t just drop off if we stop microdosing. In an ideal world we don’t want to be dependent on anything to thrive. For some of us, we may need to microdose for years. For others, it may only be one year with intuitive microdosing after. It really depends on your personal health history, the positive health & lifestyle changes you’ve made while microdosing, and your connection with your intuition.
The fungi friends are here to help, but they’re not here to be your source of life fuel 😊
15. Magnesium is a MUST while microdosing
Did you know that psilocybin can deplete our magnesium levels? A study by Dr Burton Alttura conducted in 2018 found that ingesting psilocybin resulted in cellular depletion of magnesium ions.
Magnesium is a co-factor for more than 3700 enzymes and impacts almost all of our major body systems from our nervous system, hormones, DNA regulation, tissue growth, and cardiovascular health to name a few. To put it simply, when we don’t have enough magnesium it impacts our sleep, our nervous system, and generally causes A LOT more stress.
Because of our diminishing soil health, we are not getting enough magnesium in our soil as we used to. 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium already. So if you’re microdosing, it is extra important to take magnesium. I like magnesium glycinate because it is more bioavailable.
16. Mineral imbalances can cause depression and anxiety too
Did you know that being deficient in sodium can cause high-stress levels? Or that low magnesium levels can make you feel like you want to withdraw from the world? Or that low potassium can make you feel afraid?
Microdosing can be helpful for feelings of depression or anxiety, but it may not be curing the root cause of your issues.
You might actually be drawn to microdosing because you are deficient in some key minerals like calcium, copper, or magnesium. Since you’re not getting them from your diet, you are reaching for something to make you feel better. While microdosing might help your mood in the short term, it won’t solve the underlying imbalance if it exists.
If you are wanting some more information about this, we recommend checking out the Root Cause Protocol practitioner list. You can get your mineral levels checked with a hair mineral analysis test.
17. Working with mushrooms is an indigenous practice
The beautiful thing about mushrooms is that they can be found on every continent on earth. All of us have ancestors who have worked with mushrooms in one way or another whether in cultural cuisine, for medicine or ritual.
Working with mushrooms can help us connect to our indigenous roots - for example, you may be inspired to research which fungi you can forage on your ancestral lands, or look up native recipes.
We are all indigenous (meaning originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region) to mama EARTH, and since mushrooms can be found all over this beautiful planet, it means that mushroom medicine has probably been passed down through your cells for millenia.
Last but not least, it is so important to give thanks to our fungi friends for all that they do for us. Mushrooms are the great decomposers, they eat the dead and bring on new life. They teach us how to work together with their mycelial networks. They help us to heal our brains and boost our immune systems. And they help us expand our minds, healing trauma and reconnecting us with our true nature.
Whether we know it our not, we have all been impacted by the presence of fungi on this planet and we owe the fungi kingdom a big ole hug of gratitude for all the gifts and guidance they have given to us.
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