Invigorated by counterculture subreddits and Silicon Valley trends, microdosing is now rapidly finding its way into mainstream conversations of mental wellbeing. The pandemic has helped, working as a catalyst for many to self-medicate with sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychoactive substances in attempt to overcome anxiety and depression, or simply for personal optimization.
The growing body of research, news coverage, and a mounting volumes of personal anecdotes online are continuing to change the perception of these drugs and their use. A 2020 Global Drugs Survey showed that 23 percent of the respondents who had used psilocybin or magic mushrooms within the past year did so for microdosing purposes. The United States reported the second-highest set of consumers, behind South Africa, with Canada coming in third.
This newfound interest and curiosity are bound to lead many to experiment with microdosing psychedelics, sometimes on their own. Considering the stigma surrounding the substances, it can be hard for individuals to talk about their use of psychedelics for mental wellbeing with others.
Truffle Report spoke to Adam Bramlage, microdosing coach and founder of Flow State Micro, about how to safely and effectively microdose psychedelics, especially when you plan to go solo for the first time. Here’s what he has to say:
- Safety net: If you’re deciding to trip solo, which we don’t recommend, ask yourself who you can call if the trip gets too intense. Make sure you have a person nearby or on the phone you trust and would be able to share your thoughts with.
- Set yourself up for success: Take a day off from work, don’t have any business meetings or run any errands. Anything can raise your anxiety or stress because you’re still not sure how that first microdose would work for you. Don’t do it on a day you’re experiencing major stress or grief, if you’ve recently lost a loved one. Set yourself up for success with a set intention that would guide you throughout.
- Start low and go slow: It rhymes. It’s easy to remember and is the most important thing to practice in your psychedelic journey. With psychedelics, you can always take more, but you can never take less.
- Know your drugs: It’s important to remember that with psilocybin and LSD, you can get in trouble with a little bit of mess up in math, for instance, by decimals, and accidentally consume a large dose. The usage of the two substances is also different. While psilocybin is used for interpersonal work, LSD has reported increasing productivity in the extroverted environment. This is why LSD became popular in Silicon Valley.
- Set and Setting: The rule of set and setting applies to microdosing as much as it does for larger doses. Especially on your first day when you’re finding out your perfect dose, it’s important to be in a safe environment with a clear intention of why you’re doing this. Psychedelics tend to be an amplifier of emotions, with every individual having a different threshold and tolerance.
- It’s not a magic pill: When newer people come into psychedelics, they expect life-changing, breakthrough experiences like that from a large dose journey. It takes to work with microdoses. The best practice is to have set doses twice a week throughout a month and journal what you experienced during the month. Microdosing is about small changes.
- Integrate: After experiences, it’s important to self-reflect and integrate those changes. Ask yourself what changed inside you? What were some of the thoughts that you had?
Ritika is a Toronto-based reporter. She writes about drug policies and developments in psychedelics.