This article is part of our article collection, “Unlocking the Magic: A Comprehensive Guide to Safe and Responsible Psilocybin Exploration.” Find the full collection here.
Whenever considering using psychedelics and plant medicines, it’s extremely important to follow the mantra of ‘safety first’. As you embark on your entheogenic adventure, understanding dosage is a key component of harm reduction. In this article, we’ll review how to best approach magic mushroom dosing across use cases (assuming you can legally access psilocybin mushrooms).
If you’re new to magic mushrooms, it’s vital to note that different species of psilocybin-containing magic mushrooms vary in strength and effects. And there are many different ways you can dose mushrooms to produce a variety of different experiences. From non-perceptual microdoses to an ego-smashing ‘heroic dose’, there are various paths to working with the mushroom consciousness. Of course, the path you choose depends on your intention and what you’re looking to achieve.
Read about the magic of Setting Intentions for Psychedelic Journeys.
Although there are common dosage frameworks across psilocybin mushroom species, and potency varies, there are additional factors at play. The freshness of the fungi, your current set or mental state, and your body’s preparedness for the fungi all factor into your magic mushroom dosing considerations.
The Right Tools
Unless you’re buying pre-made, pre-measured psilocybin-containing products, such as magic mushroom chocolate bars, or capsules, you’ll need to get yourself a micro digital scale. This will help you accurately weigh your dose. Consider your dose seriously, whether you’re microdosing or macrodosing. And always ensure you’re ingesting the right amount of mushrooms to help generate the desired effect.
Let’s Start Small – Microdose
Microdosing involves consuming small, non-perceptual amounts of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. This means that you don’t feel or perceive any of the mind-altering effects of the mushroom. These dosing protocols typically contain 100mg to 250mg of dried magic mushrooms (5-10% of a standard dose) consumed across dosing days and days off. There are six microdosing protocols that are most common. Of these, the Stamets Protocol and Fadiman Protocol are the most prolific. Remember: if you feel any psychedelic effects, it’s not a microdose, and you should dial back your dosage.
Find out How to Store Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin Products.
Mushrooms for Mingling
Much of the media attention shined on our magical fungi friends is focused on the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin. Mushrooms are being used to help those suffering from mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. However, it’s important to note that small perceptual doses can be helpful in easing social anxiety, enabling deep relaxed states, and helping people focus.
Not much is said about what I like to call ‘social dosing’ with magic mushrooms. Current trends indicate a major movement away from alcohol. More people are exploring alternatives to that bottle of wine on a Friday night. Instead, they are looking to plant medicine as an alternative to helping them decompress, socialize, and celebrate.
If you have limited or no experience with psilocybin or psychedelics in general, it’s wise to follow the golden rule of “start low, go slow”. Using psychedelics intentionally and productively is about forming a relationship with the molecule or consciousness of the plant or fungi. The sound practice of warming up to the experience out of the gate, enables you to get used to the non-ordinary state of consciousness. It allows you to breathe into the novelty and strangeness of the experience.
Delve into The Wonderful and Diverse World of Psilocybin Mushroom Strains.
So, what does this social or low dose look like? For your run-of-the-mill cubensis strain, like Golden Teacher or Penis Envy, 0.5 grams to 1.0 grams is a good start. This will have you feeling the mushiness of the mushroom. A medium dose of 2.0-3.0 grams is known as a ‘museum dose’ where you will most likely feel psychedelic effects but still be able to walk around and maintain a sense of who you are. Start your exploration of this use case slowly, and dose on familiar ground around people with whom you’re comfortable. Or try it on your own to feel it out on a practice run before embarking out into the world and partaking in psilocybin with others in social situations.
Dosing for Lift Off
Dried mushrooms taken at doses between 2.5-5 grams will induce classic psychedelic experiences with kaleidoscope visuals when eyes are closed or open, sensory and perceptual changes, synesthesia (like hearing colors or tasting sounds), cognitive changes, and ego dissolution. A ‘heroic dose’, as coined by Terrence McKenna, describes doses over 5 grams or roughly 50 mg of psilocybin. As the name implies, this huge dose may cause a complete loss of the sense of self (known as “ego death”) and ability to think or make decisions. This level of cognitive impairment should not be taken lightly; careful preparation and supervision are necessary for safety.
Whatever dose of mushrooms you choose, know that every individual is unique and each psychedelic experience is different. The dose is only one factor in how strong the effects will feel.
Find out How to Take Shrooms Safely here.
Get the Specs of the Species
Wherever you’re getting mushrooms from, make sure it’s a trusted source and know what species you’re getting. As previously mentioned, magic mushroom potency does vary by species. Some mushroom varieties, like the Enigma strain, are known to be 1.5x to 2x stronger than other cubenses strains.
Set and Setting
Although not dose-specific, your environment and state of mind play a big role in the effects of psychedelic fungi. Choosing a comfortable, familiar, and safe setting can have a significantly positive impact on your experience.
Avoid using magic mushrooms if you are in a negative or stressful mindset. Stay away from media such as violent video games, news, pornography, and even social media for a day or more before consuming magic mushrooms.
Whatever your dose, set your intentions and thank the Universe and the Mushroom for you having access to the mushroom.
Body Weight & Metabolism
Generally speaking, it’s believed that people with higher body weight may require a slightly higher dosage to achieve the desired effects. However, there isn’t a ton of evidence to support this. Weight should not be the sole factor in determining your dose.
More importantly, personal metabolism and susceptibility to mind-altering substances play a larger role in determining dose. If you feel loopy after one alcoholic beverage or a puff of cannabis, you should dose on the light side. Remember to start low and go slow.
Repeated psilocybin use over periods of time does build tolerance. This means that over time, you may need a slightly higher dose to achieve the same effects.
Tolerance to psilocybin builds rather rapidly and diminishes quickly after use. When consuming magic mushrooms, it’s a common practice to assess your experience at the 60 to 90-minute mark. You can then determine if you’d like to consume a bit more of the fungus to produce more noticeable effects.
After this additional dose window of 60-90 minutes, your tolerance will build to any additional psilocybin introduced into your system.
Follow Best Practices
Stay hydrated and avoid alcoholic beverages and other substances that may interact negatively with psilocybin.
If you’re not experienced with psychedelics, it’s highly advisable to have a sober and trusted friend with you. A “trip sitter” such as this can help ensure your safety and comfort.
If you’re working on ways to improve your human experience and need help, a trusted therapist and licensed practitioner who has experience working with psilocybin can be incredibly productive and rewarding. You can find a therapist near you in Psychedelic Support’s Network of trusted licensed practitioners, well versed in helping people work with psilocybin.
Take some time to educate yourself about harm reduction practices. Never combine magic mushrooms with other substances without proper knowledge of potential interactions. Psychedelic Support’s free Harm Reduction course is a great place to start. It’s a wise way to begin to experience the many benefits of magic mushrooms while keeping safety top of mind.
Sign up for our FREE Harm Reduction Course.
Our reactions to magic mushrooms can vary greatly from person to person. These are even more complex with the many different strains and other variables that determine effects. It’s crucial to prioritize safety, starting with a low dose. If desired, increasing your dose can happen once the effects from the original dose become known. Keeping mental notes or even a journal of what works and what doesn’t work for you, is a part of the process of learning to work with these fantastic fungi. It’s a way of enjoying the benefits of magic mushrooms in meaningful, beautiful ways for many years to come.