Psilocybin 101: Macrodosing vs. Microdosing

Dosage levels can lead to completely different experiences with psilocybin.
Dosage levels can lead to completely different experiences with psilocybin. / Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash

Mental health experts are shifting more attention to the world of psychedelics: specifically psilocybin, a.k.a. “magic mushrooms.” 

Cultures around the world have been utilizing the spiritual fungi for centuries, and as today’s society challenges what so many have been ingrained to view as “wrong” for decades, more people are experimenting with shrooms and exploring the positive effects they seem to have on the human psyche. 

One of the most important things to know about the psilocybin experience is dosage.

Microdosing magic mushrooms involves consuming small amounts of the substance at a time. The effects are very subtle and yet microdosing is becoming increasingly popular for people who want to add some controlled creativity, balance, and enlightenment to their daily lives. 

Macrodosing, or consuming a much higher dose of shrooms, is for consumers who want to delve into their hearts and minds from a standpoint of deep healing and recovery. 

But, how do you know which approach to shroom dosage makes the most sense for you?

Microdosing Shrooms: What You Need to Know

Taking a “microdose” of magic mushrooms is defined by about 1-10% of a normal dose – a normal dose being anywhere from 1-3 grams depending on the person. 

In other words .1 to .3 grams is the recommended microdosing level.

Consumers who opt for microdosing psilocybin are usually going for the positive benefits of the fungi without the super trippy effects commonly associated with them. 

As people slowly gain more awareness around the benefits, the case is being made for small amounts of shrooms over antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, and the positive effects this alternative medicine route can have on our mental health.

While this small of an amount won’t likely cause a consumer to visually hallucinate, people who enjoy microdosing point to benefits such as: 

  • Eased anxiety and depression
  • Fueled creativity
  • Increased focus and energy
  • Overall mood boost

Most of these findings are anecdotal as there is still very little research available on psilocybin’s microdose effects thanks to its erroneous classification as a schedule I controlled substance. However, science is catching up.

Politics aside, societies have been utilizing the fungi for centuries as a means to connect spiritually and find enlightenment, and that spirit seems to live on in today’s consumers. 

Beyond its seemingly positive effect on one’s mind, research suggests that microdosing shrooms may reduce bodily inflammation, which could be revelatory for anyone who suffers from inflammatory illnesses or diseases. 

Your Idea Microdosing Schedule

For best results when microdosing psilocybin, you’ll want to avoid everyday usage. 

Alex Dorr, founder and CEO of Mushroom Revival recommends a 3-day cycle: microdose one day and then take two days off before your next microdose.

Macrodosing Shrooms: What You Need to Know

If a microdose is just the right amount of shrooms to allow you to experience its benefits without too intense of a psychological experience, macrodosing shrooms allows you to experience the full force of psilocybin – an experience which will vary widely from consumer to consumer.

Be sure to check out The Bluntness Guide on Magic Mushrooms before your next trip!

A macrodose of shrooms is defined by consuming around two grams or higher of the substance, depending on your body size, chemistry, and tolerance level. 

If you’ve consumed this level of shrooms, it’s safe to say you should opt to do so on a day where you don’t have any responsibilities to attend to, because you’re likely to visually hallucinate and have truly transcendental experience.

If you can clear your calendar for the following day as well, even better, because you will likely need some time to recharge and reflect.

Behind the Grind Host and Producer Julianne Keu is known as the famous “Microdoser” and often speaks about her experience with small doses of mushrooms. After a year of consistent microdosing, Keu participated in a macrodosing experience, consuming a shamanic dose of six grams.

While Keu claims microdosing helped her sense of presence feel enhanced and refreshed, lowering her feelings of depression and anxiety over time, macrodosing was what allowed her to really go deep in healing.

“Microdosing cannot heal the darkness in you. It can’t bring every aspect of your shadow self to the light,” Keu said in the video.

“All of that healing work from my childhood is work I ultimately got to do thanks to my experiences participating in ceremony – experiencing higher doses of psilocybin.”

Keu goes on to describe her experience, where she was visually taken to a place she knew to be a memory from her mother’s childhood. Keu was able to see what her mother experienced in the jungles of Cambodia, which allowed her to relate to her mother in a new way and ultimately understand her as a person and heal some negative emotions.

Macrodosing can look very different depending on the person, but generally, a consumer will experience powerful visuals and hallucinations, accompanied by new perspectives or patterns of thought.

Taking this level of fungi is extremely common in cultures that prioritize spirituality and oneness with nature, a sensation many claim to feel when they macrodose. Some even credit the story of Santa Claus to a powerful hallucinogenic experience. 

Consumers have reported feelings of euphoria, bodily vibrations, out of body experiences, creative epiphanies, and even what is believed to be communication with otherworldly entities

Keeping this in mind, the main concern to look out for when taking a large dose of shrooms is ego dissolution, which tends to occur with high amounts of psychedelics and intense experiences like these. 

Ego dissolution is the idea of a complete loss of self-identity, which can either be freeing and introspective or incredibly terrifying.

If you’re not in the right frame of mind to experience ego dissolution or ego “death”, you may experience intense feelings of anxiety, paranoia, or confusion, so make sure to check in with yourself before attempting to take on this dose level. 

If you want a bad trip, the most important thing is to find the right time and place for your psilocybin journey, preferably somewhere comfortable and dark, where you can lie down.

How to Determine Which Dosage is Right for You

Knowing which level of shroom dosage is for you is entirely up to the type of experience you’re going for, and what you’re hoping to get out of it.

Here are a few important things to consider when figuring out which dosage is right for you:

  • Time. How much time do you have to embark on this journey? If you have work in a few hours and want to consume some shrooms to help you feel social, inspired, and productive, a microdose is definitely a good idea. 

While a microdose of shrooms will still allow you to function and engage pretty normally, a macrodose will remove you from reality entirely, and a trip that intense can last anywhere from four to ten hours. 

  • Experience. Again, if it’s your first time trying shrooms, we really don’t recommend you start off with a mega dose. You may want to take a microdose, or even enough to experience the full spectrum of psilocybin, but a macrodose will likely be too much.
  • Intent. Why are you taking shrooms in the first place? If you’re looking for a quick mood boost, a renewed perspective, or a means for getting through a difficult day, a microdose is for you. You’ll experience the benefits of psilocybin without the intensity.

On the other hand, if you’re really setting out to heal some trauma, look inward, connect with spirituality, or find some deeper meaning, a macrodose might be exactly what you need.

Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you’re in a safe environment with people you trust. Happy dosing!

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