Obviously the term micro-dose means “little dose”. But the concept of micro-dosing is much more involved than just taking a little bit.
The idea is to take a small amount of a psychedelic, not enough to feel any type of “tripping” effect, typically a micro-dose is about a 10th to a 20th of what would be called a recreational dose.
Definition Of Micro-dosing
While multiple definitions of micro-dosing psychedelics exist, Micro-dosing Institute provides a general all encompassing definition:
Micro-dosing is the practice of semi-regularly consuming a very small amount of a psychedelic substance, usually 5–10% of a recreational dose, with the intention of improving one’s quality of life.
Micro-dosing involves taking small, sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics, typically every few days. These doses are below the threshold for inducing hallucinations but are believed to enhance creativity, focus, mood, and overall well-being. James Fadiman’s work played a pivotal role in popularizing this approach, as he provided a structured framework for documenting the experiences and benefits of micro-dosers.
Why Do People Micro-dose?
Micro-dosing has been reported to have a range of potential benefits, including heightened creativity, improved mood, increased productivity, and enhanced problem-solving abilities. Some users have described it as a way to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even migraines. The sub-perceptual nature of the dose allows individuals to experience these benefits without the full-blown psychedelic journey.
There are a number of reasons why people would want to micro-dose. We will go over a few below, but what it all comes down to is… life is hard.
- We all just want to be happy, but we also want to achieve this in a healthy and safe way.
- We don’t want to be addicted to dangerous pharmaceuticals, but we want something effective!
Life is hard! We all could use a little help sometimes.
Generally it seems like people micro-dose in order to have a happier or more fulfilled life. To be more specific there are a number of benefits to micro-dosing that can help people achieve a happier and more fulfilled life.
The most commonly cited benefits among users:
- Enhanced mood, focus and creativity.
- Improved energy, productivity, motivation and confidence.
- Improved sensory perception.
- Reduced depression, anxiety, and stress.
In the realm of psychedelics and their potential for personal growth and healing, few figures have made as profound an impact as James Fadiman. Renowned for his work in the field, Fadiman’s research, advocacy, and guidance have been instrumental in rekindling interest in psychedelics and, more notably, the groundbreaking practice of micro-dosing. In this blog, we will delve into the life and contributions of James Fadiman, and how his work has ignited a modern renaissance in the world of psychedelics.
The Psychedelic Pioneer: James Fadiman
James Fadiman is a pioneering psychologist, writer, and researcher known for his extensive work on psychedelics. He has dedicated his career to exploring the beneficial and transformative potentials of these substances. Fadiman’s contributions span over five decades, during which he conducted numerous studies, authored books, and advocated for responsible and informed psychedelic use.
The Psychedelic Renaissance: Fadiman’s Role
While Fadiman’s work covers a wide array of psychedelic substances and experiences, his most notable contribution in recent years has been the resurgence of interest in micro-dosing. In the early 21st century, he conducted a groundbreaking study on the practice, documenting the experiences of hundreds of individuals who micro-dosed with psychedelics.
One of Fadiman’s primary contributions is his emphasis on responsible and informed psychedelic use. He has consistently advocated for safe and controlled environments, guided experiences, and a deep respect for these substances. His work has been instrumental in transforming the conversation around psychedelics from sensationalism to scientific rigor.
James Fadiman’s book, “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide,” serves as an insightful and comprehensive resource for individuals interested in the responsible and intentional use of psychedelics. Published in 2011, the book combines Fadiman’s extensive knowledge as a psychologist with his passion for psychedelic research. Fadiman carefully guides readers through the fascinating realm of psychedelic experiences, emphasizing the importance of set and setting, dosage, and the overall mindset for a safe and meaningful journey. The book covers a range of psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA, offering practical advice on preparation, integration, and maximizing the therapeutic potential of these substances. Fadiman’s research suggests that micro-dosing may lead to enhanced creativity, mood regulation, and increased focus without the hallucinogenic effects associated with larger doses. He emphasizes the importance of careful self-observation and meticulous documentation to understand the subtle and cumulative effects of micro-dosing over time.
The Future of Psychedelics
As the world of psychedelics undergoes a renaissance, thanks in no small part to James Fadiman’s research and advocacy, we can expect to see further advancements in understanding the potential of these substances. Micro-dosing, in particular, offers a fascinating avenue for personal growth, creativity, and mental well-being.
James Fadiman’s contributions to the field of psychedelics and his pioneering work on micro-dosing have ignited a resurgence of interest and research in these remarkable substances. His legacy continues to shape the responsible and informed use of psychedelics, offering a path toward personal growth and healing for many seekers in our modern age.
Psychedelics Used For Micro-dosing
The most commonly used psychedelic substances for micro-dosing are “magic” mushrooms (psilocybin & amanita muscaria), LSD, and LSD analogues. Typically tryptamines are used to micro-dose, but the world of micro-dosing doesn’t start and end there. You theoretically can micro-dose on most psychedelics. Other psychedelics that are known to be effective in micro-dose quantities include mescaline, Banisteriopsis caapi (one of the ingredients in ayahuasca), ketamine, and Salvia divinorum.
It’s very important to note that the majority of these substances are illegal to possess, consume, buy or sell. Always inform yourself on the legality of the substance in your country or state, and ensure that all of the necessary safety precautions are taken before beginning to micro-dose, such as testing the substance for potency, consulting a medical professional (if you have a physical or mental health condition, or take medications), and educate yourself on the best micro-dosing practices.
For the most commonly micro-dosed substances, the dose ranges are as follows:
- LSD: 7-12 micrograms
- Psilocybin mushrooms: 0.1 – 0.4 grams of dried mushrooms
It’s relevant to note that we have reports from individuals who take as little a 1 microgram of LSD and .01 grams of cubensis mushrooms and report the same basic benefits. Typically a micro-dose is one tenth the size of a dose that causes a “trip”! However, this does vary from person to person. Some people may need more and some people may be more sensitive than others. Remember to titrate your dose.
3 Different Ways to Micro-dose
In the ever-evolving landscape of micro-dosing, seekers and researchers have carved out distinct pathways to explore the potential benefits of sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic substances. As we delve into this section, “Three Ways to Micro-dose,” we’ll unravel the intricacies of three renowned protocols: the Fadiman Protocol, the Micro-dose Institute Protocol, and the Stamets Stack. Each of these approaches offers a unique roadmap to micro-dosing, presenting varying dosing schedules, substances, and perspectives on enhancing personal well-being, creativity, and mental health. Through these diverse lenses, we’ll uncover the world of micro-dosing and the multifaceted ways in which it is being embraced by individuals seeking transformative experiences.
The “Fadiman” Protocol:
The Fadiman Protocol is a method of micro-dosing psychedelic substances that was developed by James Fadiman, a psychologist and researcher who has studied the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes. The protocol involves taking a small, sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance every three days over the course of several weeks or months, with the goal of enhancing creativity, productivity, and emotional well-being.
The protocol is designed to be safe and low-risk, with the intention of avoiding the intense, full-blown psychedelic experiences that can be associated with higher doses of these substances. Instead, micro-dosing is meant to provide a subtle but noticeable shift in mood, cognition, and perception that can lead to improvements in various areas of life.
The Fadiman Protocol typically involves the use of either psilocybin mushrooms or LSD, two of the most common psychedelics that are used for micro-dosing. The dose used in the protocol is typically between 5 and 10% of a full, recreational dose, with some variation depending on the individual’s tolerance and sensitivity to the substance.
The protocol typically involves taking a micro-dose every three days, with two days off in between each dose. This allows the body to fully metabolize the substance and avoids any potential tolerance or buildup of the substance in the body. The dose is typically taken in the morning, and the individual is encouraged to go about their day as usual, observing any changes in mood, energy, creativity, or other areas of functioning.
The Fadiman Protocol works on a very simple schedule:
DAY 1: Micro-dosing day
DAY 2: Transition day
DAY 3: Normal day / Reflection day
DAY 4: Micro-dosing day
DAY 5: Continue cycle for 1 to 2 months
RESET: 2 to 4 weeks of rest (no micro-dosing)
The Micro-dosing Institute Protocol:
Micro-dosing Institute is a global education, research, and community platform. They claim to build vital connections in society and merge ancient wisdom with modern science to ensure the safe, conscious, and effective micro-dosing of psychedelics. They claim their micro-dosing protocol is developed for people who micro-dose for “medicinal purposes”. They include everything from depression, burnout, social anxiety, ADHD, ADD, migraines and cluster headaches in their description of medicinal purposes. The Micro-Dose Institute has been recommending their method for over two years now, often with great success.
Below is what the Micro-Dosing Institute Claims their mission is on their site:
We advocate for mindful and conscious micro-dosing and aim to facilitate optimally effective micro-dosing processes. We do this by offering education, community support, group facilitation, 1:1 guidance, and by consulting on and facilitating scientific research.
In addition, through open conversations about (micro-dosing) psychedelics, we want to eliminate the surrounding stigma. This way, each insight, experience, and connection can become a building block in creating a healthy, balanced, and thriving society.
The Micro-dose Institute Protocol
It really is a simple protocol! The Micro-dose Institute recommends taking a micro-dose every other day!
The ‘Every other Day’ Protocol is a derivative of the well-known Fadiman Protocol, in which you micro-dose once every three days. James Fadiman developed this protocol specifically as a research tool. For the Fadiman Method… On the first day, you micro-dose. On the second day you are probably still experiencing some after-effects from the micro-dose, and on the third day you are back at your “baseline. That third day is important for reflecting on the effect micro-dosing has on you, in comparison to how you feel without micro-dosing.
However, for some people this third day of rest and reflection is crucial to their micro-dosing process. They are more likely to experience a dip on this third day, mostly due to their underlying psychological condition. Skipping this rest day keeps the focus on the positive effect, and on integrating this positive experience. This allows one – if this is the right protocol for them – to experience structural improvement.
This protocol is applied when it fits someone’s personal situation. It should be used in a well-considered way and based on preliminary research. In the case of depression, burn-out or PTSD, preliminary research is extra important. Our experienced micro-dosing coaches and therapists are happy to support you in this step of your micro-dosing process.
How does the Micro-dosing Institute ‘every other day’ protocol work?
- DAY 1: Micro-dosing day
- DAY 2: Transition day
- DAY 3: Micro-dosing day
- DAY 4: Transition day
- REPEAT: 4 to 8 weeks
- RESET PERIODE: 2 to 4 weeks rest
The Stamets Stack:
In the captivating realm of micro-dosing, where small amounts of psychedelic substances hold the promise of significant personal transformation, the Stamets Stack stands out as a unique and comprehensive approach. Named after the renowned mycologist and advocate for psychedelic research, Paul Stamets, this method combines the power of two natural wonders: psilocybin and lion’s mane mushrooms.
Paul Stamets: The Mycologist Behind the Stack
Before we journey deeper into the Stamets Stack, it’s essential to introduce the visionary who gave it its name. Paul Stamets is a mycologist, author, and advocate for the exploration of the fascinating world of fungi. With decades of research and expertise, Stamets has contributed significantly to our understanding of the vast and diverse kingdom of fungi, including their potential to enhance human health and consciousness.
The Foundations of the Stamets Stack
The schedule for the Stamets Stack requires that you take a “micro-dose formula” for four days in a row, then pause for 3 days. At the heart of the Stamets Stack is the synergy between three key components:
Psilocybin-Containing Mushrooms: Central to this micro-dosing regimen is the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Psilocybin is the active compound responsible for the profound psychedelic and transformative experiences associated with these fungi. Psilocybin is also central to the micro-dosing component to the Stamets Stack. The other two components are used in addition to this compound
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are revered for their potential cognitive and neurological benefits. They contain compounds that support neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, and may contribute to enhanced cognitive function.
Niacin: Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient that is required by the body for a range of functions. Here are some of the potential benefits of niacin:
- Supports cardiovascular health: Niacin has been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Boosts brain function: Niacin is involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, and appetite. Some studies have suggested that niacin supplementation may help to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Promotes healthy skin: Niacin is important for maintaining healthy skin, as it plays a role in the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin firm and elastic. It also helps to improve skin barrier function, which can help to reduce dryness, redness, and other skin irritations.
- Supports energy production: Niacin is involved in the production of ATP, a molecule that provides energy to cells. As a result, niacin supplementation may help to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue.
- Helps with arthritis: Niacinamide, a form of niacin, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with arthritis.
It’s worth noting that while niacin can provide a range of potential health benefits, taking too much niacin can cause side effects, including flushing, itching, and stomach upset. It’s important to speak to a healthcare provider before starting a niacin supplement, particularly if you are taking any medications or have any underlying health conditions.
Dosage for Stamets Stack:
- Psilocybin Mushroom Powder = 100mg – 200mg, or 0.1 to 0.3 grams of dried mushrooms.
- Lion’s Mane = 50 – 100 mg
- Niacin = 100 – 200 mg
The Schedule for the Stamets Stack:
Day 1: Take your micro-dose, Lion’s Mane and Niacin stack.
Day 2: Take your micro-dose, Lion’s Mane and Niacin stack.
Day 3: Take your micro-dose, Lion’s Mane and Niacin stack.
Day 4: Take your micro-dose, Lion’s Mane and Niacin stack.
Day 5-7: Take a break from the stack.