Microdose starting guide

All you need to know

Microdosing truffles

Alright, let’s talk about microdosing truffles. By 2017, there were already over 60 studies on the potential of psychedelics going on around the world, showing just how interested people are in this topic. Here’s the rundown on what we know so far.

So what is microdosing?

It’s taking a tiny amount of a psychedelic drug (5-10% of a normal “recreational” dose) to feel positive psychological effects like a better mood, increased creativity, less anxiety, and better focus. These drugs trigger crazy mental experiences by mimicking the effect of serotonin, a naturally-occurring chemical that affects things like mood, learning, and memory. Some of the most well-known psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, and magic mushrooms. And unlike other drugs like opioids, psychedelics are usually not addictive.

Now, you might be thinking, “Why not just take a big dose and trip out?” While taking a lot of LSD, for example, can lead to an intense and even dangerous experience, microdosing allows you to feel the benefits without any unwanted side effects. The most popular psychedelics for microdosing are LSD and psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms and truffles).

Can I microdose anywhere I want?

Nope. Some countries allow certain psychedelics for microdosing, while others banned them. It’s different everywhere.

The Netherlands is a bit more chill with psychedelics, but other countries aren’t as cool with it.

But, the truffles that GO Microdose deals with – which contain psilocybin – aren’t restricted like mushrooms are, and are fully legal to grow, sell, and consume in the Netherlands and are legal to ship within the European Union.

The history of microdosing

Microdosing has likely existed for centuries, even though the term itself may not have. Indigenous cultures in the Americas, for instance, consumed low doses of peyote or mescaline, which would now be considered microdosing.

Research shows that traditional cultures often utilized psychedelics, like peyote, morning glory seeds, and psilocybin mushrooms, in various aspects of daily life. But why has microdosing become more mainstream only recently? Although modern microdosing has been happening for several decades, it was kept hidden due to the “war on drugs” and the subsequent criminalization of psychedelics in the late 20th century. LSD and psilocybin were labeled Class A drugs and made illegal in the US in 1970 and the UK in 1971.

However, in the 2000s, microdosing began making a comeback, with individuals in fields such as technology and innovation, who were open to trying new things, taking up the practice. The Silicon Valley is a prime example.

Fadiman and Ferriss: Pioneers of Microdosing

James Fadiman’s 2011 book “The Psychedelics Explorer Guide” is credited with bringing microdosing to the mainstream. Fadiman was preceded by the experiments and studies of Dr. Albert Hoffman, the inventor of LSD, who believed in the positive effects of low doses of psychedelics.

However, it was Fadiman’s book that sparked a wider societal discussion on microdosing. Author Tim Ferriss, known for “The 4-Hour Workweek,” has also been a driving force in advancing psychedelic medicine and funding research at institutions like Johns Hopkins.

The growing legalization of marijuana, media interest, and the rise of social media and online forums have further popularized microdosing, making it a fast-growing trend.

Why people microdose

Despite the upcoming studies on microdosing, the reason why people do it remains largely unknown. According to Dr. Fadiman, individuals have reported using microdosing for various purposes, such as relieving anxiety, feeling more relaxed in social situations, enhancing creativity, improving learning and focus, and even reducing stuttering.

One surprising benefit of microdosing is that it can help decrease addiction to harmful habits like smoking or drinking. Microdosing is considered a safer alternative, as psilocybin, a common substance used for microdosing, is not addictive. Many individuals who have struggled with alcohol dependency claim that microdosing has transformed their lives, as seen in a study by John Hopkins.

Microdosing benefits breakdown:

let’s dig deeper into the reported perks of microdosing!

Improved Mood
A recent study found that improved mood was one of the top 3 reasons for microdosing, alongside better focus and creativity. Results showed a boost in focus and productivity 2 days after dosing, and after 6 weeks, a reduction in depression and stress. Author Ayelet Waldman describes feeling “happy,” “at ease,” and “calm and content” after microdosing in her memoir “A Really Good Day.”

Improved focus
May, a 64-year-old psychotherapist in Marin County, USA, says “For me, it’s just clarity. It’s like how you would feel if you had a really good, deep rest, and then woke up and were able to focus very clearly.”

According to Fadiman’s presentation, a microdosing user took the substance to aid in concentration during classes. It’s believed that reducing anxiety through microdosing could lead to an improvement in focus as anxiety can often make focusing difficult.

Do others have similar experiences with microdosing and focus? Yes, many do. Bernard Woods writes, “At one point during my first session, I looked up and realized I’d been totally engrossed in my work with no real awareness of anything else for an hour … I found myself more deeply absorbed in that zone we all hope to be in where the doer and the deed dissolve together into the pleasure of pure work.” Karen Geier reports, “Dose two was the miracle dose for me. I took it and within an hour felt intense motivation. I spent six hours doing all the chores around the house that I had been putting off for weeks.”

Improved Creativity
A study by Luisa Prochazkova of Leiden University on the cognitive effects of microdosing psilocybin found that it improved both convergent and divergent thinking on creativity-related problem-solving tasks. Participants had more ideas and were more flexible, fluent and original in their thinking. The study, published in Psychopharmacology, showed fluid intelligence was unaffected. Prochazkova suggests that microdosing could be investigated for its therapeutic benefits for people with rigid thought patterns, like depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Improved self-efficacy
Many people who microdose report improved wellness, including more enjoyment of exercise, better eating habits, and reduced reliance on other substances or negative behaviors, such as excessive drinking.

Karen Shaw, who struggled with alcohol dependence, started microdosing psilocybin and found that she started drinking less, and didn’t enjoy getting drunk anymore. In line with James Fadiman’s recommendations, she took a sub-perceptible dose of psilocybin twice a week over six weeks.

Research is ongoing, but some studies have suggested that microdosing may also help smokers quit the habit. John Hopkins is investigating this possibility with volunteers, and a recent study published in Plus One noted that 98 participants believed microdosing could improve various aspects of their lives. There’s a perception of microdosing as a potential panacea that can enhance various aspects of an individual’s life.

Improved Energy
Graphic designer Dennis van der Meijden, a microdoser in the Netherlands, says microdosing makes him so energetic he skips coffee, adding that it’s like being “kicked in some sort of orbit for the day.” Ross Stevenson, on Medium, reports improved workouts with more energy, smarter routines in shorter time, improved muscle mass and more excitement for his sessions. Microdosing has become a physical meditation for him, calming his mind and body. A discussion on the topic is ongoing.

Improved Social Interactions
Do you struggle with social anxiety or phobia, feeling intense fear and discomfort in social situations? Whether it’s attending weddings, lunch with friends, or work meetings, even the thought of socializing can cause anxiety. Traditionally, therapy and SSRI antidepressants have been used to treat severe anxiety.

Alcohol is widely used to alleviate social anxiety, but it comes with its own risks, including addiction and the yearly loss of 3 million lives worldwide due to alcohol abuse.

However, microdosing psychedelics as a safer and less addictive alternative to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues has been a focus of psychologists like William Richards for over 50 years. He believes these substances are “not toxic, not addictive, and can be extremely helpful.

Increase serotonin
So, what’s the deal with serotonin? According to wholecelium.com, a Swiss study took participants who had microdosed psilocybin and put them in a game that involved selective participation and exclusion. The results showed that the psilocybin blocked social anxiety and increased serotonin levels in the brain. Low serotonin levels are known to cause depression or anxiety.

For decades, psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA have been used in counter-culture, but today, their impact on anxiety and depression is being studied at reputable institutions.

Period Problems Solved?
Some women have reported that after microdosing, their previously difficult periods have become normal. One woman in her twenties even wrote in to say that the month she was microdosing, her usually painful and tough periods were suddenly a breeze.

Other potential Benefits of Microdosing
Studies are examining the impact of psilocybin on cancer patients who are facing depression and anxiety. A recent trial was conducted with a double-blind, cross-over design, comparing the effects of a low dose and a higher dose. The results indicated that the higher dose resulted in a reduction of depression and anxiety, and an improvement in quality of life, meaning, optimism, and a decrease in death anxiety. Another study showed that cancer patients who received a single dose of psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy showed a reduction in emotional and existential distress for up to five years after the therapy.

GO Microdose reported a higher percentage of female customers compared to males. Possible reasons for this trend include: improved menstrual cycle, a desire for a healthier lifestyle, higher levels of empathy, and the potential for microdosing to enhance interpersonal relationships. Some women reported increased tolerance, compassion, and affection towards others. One woman reported an improvement in her emotional state over the years, becoming more empathetic, compassionate, and living with more acceptance, gratitude, and mindfulness.

What do people microdose?

With microdosing gaining popularity, let’s look at the substances used for it.

Psilocybin Truffles
These “magic” truffles are a popular choice since psilocybin mushrooms were banned in 2008 in the Netherlands. The truffles, known as sclerotia, are dense nodules that form on the mycelia of the mushrooms and contain the same psychoactive compounds as mushrooms.

However, their potency is lower compared to the stems and caps. Microdosing psilocybin truffles may result in increased senses, focus, creativity, energy, and motivation.

Psilocybin mushrooms
There are over 180 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin or its derivative psilocin, which have been used for spiritual and religious purposes by indigenous cultures for centuries. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound that was isolated by Albert Hofmann in 1958. These mushrooms resemble ordinary mushrooms with their whitish-gray stems and dark-brown caps. However, it is important to be aware that psilocybin mushrooms can be confused with toxic varieties. One type, Pholiotina rugosa, is similar in appearance but has a ring around the stem. Overconsumption of psilocybin can cause disorientation, lethargy, giddiness, and intense anxiety.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is a powerful, mind-altering psychedelic substance derived from the ergot fungus found in rye or other grains. In its pure form, it is a clear or white crystalline substance with no odor.

Commonly referred to as “acid,” LSD is usually sold in the form of tablets, capsules, or squares. The psychological effects of LSD typically start within 30 minutes and can last for up to 12 hours.

However, the experience of an LSD trip can be unpredictable and range from euphoric to nightmarish. There is a risk of developing long-lasting psychoses or depression from LSD use. Albert Hoffman synthesized LSD for the first time in 1938, but its hallucinogenic properties were not discovered until 1943.

Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga) is a rainforest shrub found in West Africa, belonging to the Apocynaceae family. It has a long history of use in traditional healing rituals and practices by the indigenous pygmies of the Central West African rainforest. Iboga is primarily used for treating addiction to highly-addictive substances like opiates.

The effects of iboga can last for several hours, producing a “waking dream” experience. When taken in microdoses, the effects are milder, leading to introspection and increased mental activity. It should be noted that the use of iboga is not prohibited in the Netherlands.

Cannabis, also known as hemp, marijuana, MJ, ganga, dagga, and hash, is a plant (Cannabis sativa) with various psychoactive preparations. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient.

Approximately 2.5% of the global population, or 147 million people, consume cannabis, making it one of the most widely used drugs in the world. It can be ingested through dried leaves, powder, tea, oil, or tincture.

Excessive cannabis use may cause anxiety, paranoia, impaired judgment, shaking, and chest pains. Synthetic cannabinoids, known as X, Spice, and Devil’s Weed, can have dangerous and unpredictable effects.

However, microdosing natural cannabis has been shown to alleviate certain types of pain, reduce anxiety, and improve focus. Medical marijuana use is legal with a prescription in the Netherlands, while recreational use is not. Despite this, enforcement of laws against recreational use is not strict in many areas. Cannabis has been used for various purposes for thousands of years and its potential continues to be explored globally.

DMT, also known as the world’s most powerful psychedelic, is a powder made from plants found in Asia and South America. It’s either inhaled or added to brews like Ayahuasca.

Using DMT can lead to hallucinations, nausea, anxiety, muscle stiffness, migraines, seizures, heart issues, unconsciousness, and in some cases, death. Rats have been tested with low doses of DMT and it improved their depression and anxiety, but since we’re humans, the effects can vary.

Matthew Korfhage says microdosing DMT gave him a mild and pleasant feeling, a happy euphoria without feeling spacey. It opened up a more beautiful world and he felt more interested and curious, the opposite of feeling depressed and apathetic.

Also known as 4-AcO-DMT, synthetic shrooms, and other names, is a semi-synthetic drug related to the compounds in magic mushrooms. It was created in the 1960s by Albert Hofmann, but disappeared until the 1990s when it became popular again.

The effects of 4-AcO-DMT are similar to magic mushrooms, like increased empathy and social skills, a better mood, more motivation and energy, and better mental clarity and focus. It’s reported that these benefits come from microdosing 4-AcO-DMT.

Microdosing protocol/courses

A course or protocol is a set of instructions that can be followed by either humans or computers. When it comes to microdosing, specific courses have been established to provide guidance on the appropriate amount  of a psychedelic to take. Adhering to a schedule is crucial as microdosing every day or continuously is not recommended. The effects of a microdose can last for a couple of days, referred to as “the afterglow,” making daily microdosing unnecessary. Additionally, overuse can result in the development of tolerance to the substance, decreasing its effectiveness. By following a schedule, it’s possible to objectively evaluate the effects of microdosing on “on” days compared to “off” days, which are the third day of the cycle before the next “on” day.

Fadiman (beginner course)
The Fadiman course, created by James Fadiman, is a widely followed approach in the microdosing community. It involves taking a microdose every three days for a month, starting with smaller doses for the first two weeks and gradually increasing the dose in the next two weeks. Fadiman recommends taking each microdose before 10 a.m., as taking it later may make it harder to fall asleep. After the month, people can continue to microdose as needed, for example, for reducing anxiety or increasing focus.

Stamets (advanced course)
The Stamets course is an approach to microdosing created by renowned mycologist Paul Stamets. It differs from the Fadiman Course and suggests taking microdoses for five days in a row followed by two days off, to avoid building up a tolerance. The course involves using a specific blend of substances including niacin, lion’s mane mushroom, and psilocybin, which Stamets refers to as “the stacking formula for epigenetic neurogenesis.”

Custom courses
Custom courses in microdosing should be flexible and based on individual needs and observations. It’s essential not to microdose too often or take too much per dose. A typical microdose ranges from 1/10 to 1/20 of a standard dose, or 10 to 20 micrograms. Always consult for dosage advice if unsure. Both Fadiman and Stamets courses can be useful guidelines, but it’s crucial to monitor your body’s reaction to microdosing and make necessary adjustments. For example, Dr. Jingshu Zhu found that Fadiman’s course wasn’t ideal for her due to her smaller body size and sensitivity, and she adjusted the frequency and dosage to fit her needs. The bottom line is to listen to your body and customize the course accordingly.

What tools & information do you need to microdose?

To microdose, the only thing you’ll need is a scale that can accurately measure small amounts of substances, both in grams and micrograms.

Gel capsules are another option, which you can find on Amazon. You could dry your truffles and grind them, you then could put the powder in a capsule and avoid the taste (for example, magic mushrooms have an earthy taste).

Here you’ll find some more useful information to start microdosing:

https://go-microdose.com/information/ Step by step course guide & how to use & dose manual

The risks of microdosing

Microdosing can be risky for individuals who are caring for children, have a pre-existing mental health condition like schizophrenia or severe anxiety, are on the autism spectrum, colorblind, have experienced trauma, or feeling generally unwell. Pregnant individuals and those who are troubled, predisposed to psychoses or other mental disorders, depressed or have used drugs, medicines, or alcohol should also avoid microdosing. The use of mind-altering products, including truffles, is only recommended for individuals aged 18 years and older.

Can microdosing lead to addiction?

Can microdosing lead to addiction? The Addiction Centre highlights that while hallucinogens do not often cause severe physical addiction, psychological addiction is possible with any drug of abuse. This means that before taking up microdosing, one should consider their risk of becoming mentally addicted.

Microdosing is not suitable for everyone and the long-term effects are not yet fully understood. A person named Erica Avey, who had been microdosing LSD for two years, writes in her article “Why I quit microdosing LSD” about how she became reliant on it for various purposes, such as to lift her mood or aid in writing. However, after taking a few final microdoses, she experienced intense anxiety and has not microdosed since.




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