An Introduction

Charlie uses it to ease anxiety, Alex to manage depression, and Taylor swears it is what finally shone a light at the end of a tunnel of addiction. Many have said microdosing makes them more receptive to inspiration, uninhibited in thought, energetic, focused, strategically refined, empathetic, patient, and some people say it just makes them happier. 

The practice of microdosing involves taking a sub-perceptual amount of psychedelics such as psilocybin or LSD according to a set schedule in effort to experience many of the positive benefits of mind-altering substances without altering one’s mind to a state where a daily routine could not be carried out. When considering dosing schedules, James Fadiman recommends taking a microdose once every three days, but Paul Stamets recommends dosing every day for four days and taking three days off. Based on all of the information I have covered, and personal experience, I think that these are good guidelines but it really depends on the individual and their intention for use. The only crucial detail is to take at least two rest days in between the cycle of dose days – to avoid increased tolerance and/or dependence, and return to what is described as one’s ‘base state’ by Torsten Passie, MD, and author of The Science of Microdosing Psychedelics. Take a look at The Third Wave for further information on this as they explain this part a bit more thoroughly. According to Dr. Passie combining both the acute and chronic effects can provide many of the benefits, without actually tripping out. 

Now as amazing as this all sounds (imagine a world where everyone was microdosing psychedelics instead of popping anti-depressants) there is the potential for overuse and dependency, so cycles should be closely adhered to at first, and go for three months maximum. Psilocybin is not addictive, but taking it everyday will lead to increased tolerance and a diminished experience. 

A fairly standard description of a sub-perceptual dose is one tenth, or less than, of an active or recreational dose. These doses are so small (technically anything with noticeable side effects falls into the category of minidosing) that the person taking it should feel no hallucinogenic effects, however, in my experience it can heighten other senses. 

I have also learned that in some opinions the term ‘sub-perceptual’ is in fact now defunct as although one is not supposed to feel the classic states of exaggeration on a regular basis during a microdosing schedule, but the idea is to attain the cumulative cognitive effects or change the individuals initial state, and is therefore totally perceptual. I mean we can argue semantics, but only if you insist. 

That was also intended to be a soft intro into the idea of an alteration of an overall state of being, as the ‘magic vs. science’ debate (particularly in regards to psilocybin) is a relatively hot topic. Instead I will say that my ‘base state’, as described by Torsten Passie, has definitely been altered due to this process so far. But although I do believe that there has been a gradual affect that has taken place on a physiological level, it does not fully explain things like why my memories are clearer and are triggered more easily and vividly through other senses, particularly smell. That is definitely something I will have to investigate further. 

With what I do already know I believe that we may have found what anti-depressants want to be, and I doubt anyone will argue that there is some real magic in that.

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