Master image copyright: Marius Sperlich
We don’t doubt the term has probably crept up in convos with friends. Heard it on social? Maybe read something in an article? Or even in the news headlines? But we’re sure many of you are left asking: what does microdosing even mean?
So what is microdosing?
Microdosing is the process of taking a psychedelic or psychoactive substance in small doses over an extended period of time. Many anecdotal accounts along with preliminary and clinical scientific studies have reported that we can reap prolonged mental and physical benefits whilst avoiding the negative or intense side effects seen when ingesting stronger doses.
Though there’s been lots of buzz recently around the perceived benefits of microdosing (some researchers even touching on its potential to help with chronic mental health illnesses), the use of psychedelics for their social and spiritual benefits has been a practice in many communities across the globe for thousands of years.
Nowadays, microdosing can involve any substance that holds psychedelic properties, whether these are man-made or naturally occurring. The big players are psilocybin (the psychedelic component in magic mushrooms!), and LSD, with Ketamine and MDMA currently going through clinical trials for their potential to aid in depression, PTSD, anxiety, and more. Despite these trials, there is still little access to or widely available information for the public. Depending on where you are reading this, the legality of psychedelics will vary massively.
Nevertheless, many people around the world are joining a growing community seeking to experience first-hand the alleged benefits this practice can have on your everyday life. Most of the anecdotal evidence suggests improved moods, better focus, creativity, and clarity, increased positive social behavior and empathy, higher energy levels and flow states, improved quality of sleep, and an increased desire to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Additionally, research has also shown promise in decreasing the intensity and frequency of depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and addiction.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Recent evidence suggests that when on psychoactive substances, your brain begins to make connections to other parts of the brain that don’t normally interact, allowing for greater creativity and problem solving, forcing the brain into introspection: to look at problems, thoughts, and feelings from a different perspective, often resulting in a greater understanding of personal struggles and a renewed sense of self.
If your response to that was a resounding ‘Woah, sign me up!’, then we have some tips and guidance before you dive into your psychedelic journey.
When it comes to microdosing, there is a variation in the amount you might consume at a given time, depending on what your goals are with microdosing, what point of the routine you are at, and what your tolerance is to psychedelics; all these factors are very personal and will vary for everyone.
To begin your journey, make sure to put a day aside to test the waters and find your threshold – nobody wants to be hallucinating when they’re in a meeting at the office! This initial period is usually used for individuals to find their tolerance to different doses so they can know their limits and adjust them according to their goals. Start with a very low dose that gradually increases over time.
For reference, typical dosage ranges are included for each substance below.
(dried stems and caps)
Creative dose: 0.5–1g
Typical party dose: 2–3g (a full trip dose)
Creative dose: 40–50ug
Typical party dose: 100ug
Second, you want to find your protocol, meaning you want to find and stick to a structured routine that includes dose days and non-dose days, with the standard being structured around dosing every three days, offering two non-dose days in between to allow yourself to come back to a base level, where any lingering effects have trailed off completely. Your protocol should fit you and your routine, and there are many different variations that supposedly benefit different lifestyles, so it’s encouraged to experiment with on/off days to see what’s best for you!
Experts recommend that any would-be microdosers out there take a one-week break every two months, as this allows your body to reset to a natural base level and observe any differences in your experiences.
While microdosing often refers to psychedelic substances, cannabis is also a popular option for microdosing. CBD microdosing is less common but some individuals report benefits from incorporating low doses of between 1-5mg daily. THC microdosing is much more popular due to the same notion of being able to take advantage of some of its medicinal qualities without the intoxicating effects. The microdose for THC can range from 0.5mg-7.5mg depending on the person’s tolerance.Playing around with custom cannabinoid microdosing may also prove beneficial with some people reporting a wide array of benefits from creating different CBD-to-THC ratios and experimenting with other minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, etc.
Top Tip: Interested in microdosing CBD? Try one or two drops of our Rain cloud repellent for 2mg-4mg microdose.
Intentional setting: What do you want to achieve from microdosing?
Okay, so you know what microdosing is, you know the potential benefits, and you now know how to go about starting your journey, but why are you doing it?
Before embarking on your psychedelic experience, it’s super crucial you spend some time with yourself to really find out why you want to microdose in the first place:
- Do you want to be more creative or focused?
- Do you want to become more in tune with yourself or those around you?
- Are you seeking more energy and logical thinking in your daily life?
- Are you exploring spiritual and/or emotional growth?
Asking these questions is key to making the most of microdosing – by setting intentions you will establish personal goals throughout the process and it will encourage you to check in with how the experience makes you feel at different points in your daily routine. It will help you to evaluate whether these effects are like what you sought out – how microdosing might subtly change your thoughts and how you feel, make small changes to elements of your life and make the whole experience more fulfilling.
The ‘check-in’ checklist
To give you a headstart, we’ve written up a checklist to give some pointers on where you might want to start!
Mental: Focus on the thoughts going through your head. Is your mind busy, or clearer than usual? Are you having similar thoughts to how you would usually, or are you thinking about things differently? Maybe jot some thoughts down so you can look back later.
Creative: Are you finding more interest in different objects, scenes, or characters? Do you find that your mind wanders to different places and are they unfamiliar? Are you finding new solutions to old problems? Are you brimming with new ideas? (Again, make sure to write these down!)
Emotional: Do feelings and emotions feel more or less intense than usual? How quickly are you processing them and finding resolutions? Do your feelings ‘feel’ different than usual? What’s it like interacting with other people? Does sexual intimacy feel different?
Social: How are you interacting with other people? Are you expressing your thoughts and feelings differently? Do you agree or disagree with people more or less? Do you talk differently with friends, family, spouses, or co-workers? Are your facial expressions the same?
Body: Take a look at how aware (or not aware) you are of your body. Now zoom in on the body by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Slow your mind and place your full attention on any sensations in your body. Do you notice anything?
Capabilities: How capable are you at completing tasks compared to usual? Have you noticed any changes in attention span, verbal fluidity, problem-solving, physical/visual acuity, or awareness?
Outlook: Are you generally feeling more positive or negative? More optimistic or pessimistic? More fearful or excited of change and new opportunities? Take a deep dive and see if you have any increased feelings of connectedness, love, peace, oneness, and universality.
Final thoughts on microdosing
And with that, you have all the tools you need to begin your journey! Microdosing has the potential to be a long-term eye-opening experience, with prolonged benefits to personal development and daily life, with an ever-increasing portfolio of anecdotal evidence only backing this up!
So if you’re interested in trying microdosing out for yourself, just remember the guidance and if in doubt, dial it down a notch or take a break, to stay safe and get the most out of your experience.
Have a good trip!
Get in touch and let us know how your microdosing experience is working for you. Drop us a line on email@example.com and put ‘Microdosing experience’ as your email subject – we’d love to continue the conversation!