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Psilocybin For Beginners

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Microdosing as a practice has various iterations, with the point being to experiment a little bit personally and find what works best for your schedule, work life and benefit. Even though it is a practice that has taken the modern world by storm, it was developed with great care and experimentation by various researchers and pioneers in the field of Psychedelic research. Some of these include Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and James Fadiman. Fadiman was key in the generation following the work of the initial American psychonaut era, in tracing together a detailed methodology for the practice of Microdosing. Albert Hofmann who invented LSD said that micro-dosing was the area psychedelic studies with the most neglected research.

The Potential Benefits of Psilocybin Mushrooms Explored by James Fadiman, Ph.D.

James Fadiman, Ph.D., did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Stanford, doing research with the Harvard Group, the West Coast Research Group in Menlo Park, and Ken Kesey. He is the author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.

Why microdose at all might be a question one has, especially when still perceived as the ingestion of substances that can cause a disconnect from reality. While debunking this myth in a 2018 podcast with Tim Ferriss, Fadiman said ‘With psychedelics it is actually a low enough dose so it could be called sub-perceptual, which means you don’t necessarily see any differences in the outside world. As one person said to me, “The rocks don’t glitter even a little, and the flowers don’t turn and watch you.” The key point is that no psychedelic effects are ever felt in a microdose. A microdose will not provide any visions, incredible breakthroughs from past experiences or any grand insights. Microdosing belongs to a whole new family of effects which Ayelet Waldman in her book ‘A Really Good Day’, accurately describes as ‘working more effectively, you’re comfortable making cold calls, you’re a bit kinder to people, at the gym you do one more set of reps and in the end, you’ve forgotten that you’ve taken a microdose’.

Generally speaking, there is not much difference between microdosing LSD and Psilocybin, however according to some communities of microdosers, LSD has shown to have a little bit of an analytical sensoria and Psilocybin Mushrooms a more emotional one. These are however not clinically proven and therefore should be taken as community-based observations. The only difference is LSD is an 8-10 hour event and magic mushrooms is a 4-7 hour event in terms of acute psychoactive activity. But when you look at it as a practice of every three days, as it is in the Fadiman Schedule – This difference bears out.

How to Identify Psilocybin Mushrooms?

These mushrooms can provide unique and profound experiences, it is crucial to identify them accurately to ensure safety and avoid consuming poisonous Mushrooms. We will explore the key factors to help you identify psilocybin mushroom, understand their effects, and make informed decisions when taking magic mushrooms.

Recognizing Physical Characteristics

When identifying psilocybin mushrooms, it is important to pay attention to specific physical characteristics. Magic mushrooms typically have a distinct appearance that sets them apart from other fungi. Look for mushrooms with a conical or bell-shaped cap, a distinct color range including shades of brown, beige, or yellow, and a slender stem. Additionally, magic mushrooms often feature unique markings or remnants of a veil on the cap.

Gills and Spore Color

Examining the gills of the mushroom is another important step in identification. Psilocybin mushrooms usually have gills that are either purplish-brown or dark brown. These gills are located beneath the cap and produce spores that can vary in color. The spore color can range from dark purple to black or even brown, depending on the specific species of magic mushroom.

Habitat and Growing Conditions

Understanding the habitat and growing conditions of psilocybin mushrooms can further assist in identification. Magic mushrooms are typically found in moist environments, such as forests, fields, or grassy areas. They often grow on decaying plant matter, such as fallen leaves or decomposing wood. It is important to note that different species of magic mushrooms have varying preferences for their growing environment, so familiarity with the specific species in your region is essential.

Effects of Magic Mushrooms

Before taking magic mushrooms, it is crucial to understand their effects. Psilocybin, the active compound in these mushrooms, interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to altered perception, sensory experiences, and changes in mood and cognition. Effects can vary depending on the dosage, individual tolerance, and set and setting. Common physical effects of taking magic mushrooms include dilated pupils, changes in body temperature, increased heart rate, and mild nausea. It is important to approach these substances with respect and in a safe and supportive environment.

Cautionary Notes

While psilocybin mushrooms can offer profound experiences, it is essential to exercise caution. Mistaking poisonous mushrooms for magic mushrooms can have severe consequences. The ingestion of toxic mushrooms can cause severe illness or even be life-threatening. Therefore, it is crucial to rely on accurate identification and consult experts or reliable resources when unsure. Never consume mushrooms unless you are certain of their identification.

Identifying psilocybin mushrooms is an important step to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By familiarizing yourself with the physical characteristics, spore color, and habitat of magic mushrooms, you can increase your confidence in identifying them accurately. Remember to consider the effects of magic mushrooms and approach their consumption responsibly. Always prioritize safety and seek guidance from experienced individuals or resources to ensure a positive and informed journey with magic mushrooms.

How To Safely Take Psilocybin Mushrooms

If you are considering exploring the effects of psilocybin mushrooms, it is important to approach them with respect, caution, and awareness of their potential impact on mental health. We will provide essential information on how to take magic mushrooms safely, considering factors such as dosage, preparation, set and setting, and potential physical and mental effects.

Understanding Psilocybin Mushrooms and Their Effects

Psilocybin mushrooms contain the naturally occurring compound psilocybin, which can induce altered states of consciousness and profound psychological effects. The specific effects of magic mushrooms vary depending on factors such as dosage, individual sensitivity, mindset, and external environment. These effects may include altered perception, enhanced introspection, mood elevation, and spiritual experiences. It is important to note that magic mushrooms should be approached responsibly and with proper preparation to optimize the experience.

Dosage and Preparation

Determining the appropriate dosage is crucial when taking psilocybin mushrooms. Start with a low dose, especially if you are a beginner, to gauge your sensitivity and response. The potency of magic mushrooms can vary, so it is essential to know the species and strain you are consuming. Dried mushrooms are commonly used, and the recommended starting dose is typically between 1-2 grams. Gradually increase the dosage in subsequent sessions if desired, but always exercise caution and respect the substance.

Set and Setting

Creating the right set and setting is vital for a positive and safe psilocybin mushroom experience. Set refers to your mindset and emotional state, so it is important to approach the experience with a clear intention, a positive mindset, and a willingness to surrender to the effects. Setting refers to the physical and social environment. Choose a comfortable, familiar, and safe space where you feel secure and at ease. Consider having a trusted trip sitter present to provide support and guidance if needed.

Physical and Mental Effects

Psilocybin mushrooms can induce various physical effects. These may include pupil dilation, changes in body temperature, increased heart rate, and mild gastrointestinal discomfort. It is important to be aware of these potential effects and not be alarmed as they are typically temporary and subside as the experience progresses. However, if you experience severe physical discomfort or adverse reactions, seek medical assistance immediately.

Regarding mental health, psilocybin mushrooms have shown promising results in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Individuals with a history of psychiatric disorders or unstable mental health should exercise extra care and consider seeking professional guidance before embarking on a psilocybin journey.

Integration and Aftercare

After the psilocybin experience, take time for reflection, integration, and self-care. Journaling, discussing the experience with trusted individuals, or seeking integration therapy can help process and integrate any insights or emotions that emerged during the journey. It is important to remember that the effects of psilocybin mushroom can be profound and long-lasting, and proper aftercare can contribute to a more meaningful and beneficial experience.

Taking psilocybin mushrooms can be a transformative and insightful experience when approached responsibly. Understanding the dosage, preparation, set and setting, and potential physical and mental effects is crucial for a safe and meaningful journey. Always prioritize personal well-being, practice harm reduction strategies, and consider seeking professional guidance if needed. With proper preparation and a respectful mindset, psilocybin mushroom can offer profound opportunities for personal exploration and growth.


A microdose is also known as sub-perceptual doses, sub-doses or ‘tener’, the practice of microdosing is usually identified as consuming 0.1g – 0.4g of psilocybe cubensis which roughly translates as something between 6-12mg of Psilocybin mushrooms. Doses above this aren’t categorized as a micro dose and tend to veer more towards a mini dose or the ‘museum dose’ (with colors becoming more vivid, closed-eye visuals, distracting thought patterns etc).

The key to microdosing is, to start small and be systematic. This not only allows you to adapt your doses to what you think is best for you but also have enough time to perceive the experienced effects qualitatively and quantitatively.

The standard practice of microdosing colloquially known as ‘1 DAY ON, 2 DAYS OFF’ goes like this:

One microdose (6-14mg os Psilocybin) in the morning, followed by your normal routine.

No dosage, with a focus on any lingering effects, normal routine. Usually mentioned as the best day by a growing number of practitioners.

No dosage, continuing with your normal routine. This is intended as a return to baseline in order for the entire body to register the changes that occurred over the past 2 days and in order to move into the next. This is the practice as recommended by James Fadiman who stated that, “We wanted people, on the third day, to experience how they feel without the substance and to reflect on the differences between ‘on and off’.

On the 4th day, microdose again. Per the Fadiman method, this cycle is repeated 10 times (approximately a month), it is recommended to take a break in order to ascertain what works best for you. The important part is to find how this cycle could suit your needs best, not as some rigid structure that one must follow to get some benefit.

It is important to note that if you feel at any point that you are on the cusp of a psychedelic experience, it is not a microdose. The effects of microdosing are far more subtle and are commonly perceived as a slight increase in energy, enhanced creativity, and enhanced concentration.

There are usually no requirements for a trip sitter while you microdose, but it can be immensely enhanced by attending to schedules that ensure the productive insertion of microdosing into a day’s schedule. This can include fixing hours for work, for meditation, for eating and for some recreational activity.

It was also found that people who were involved with consumption through microdosing were far less susceptible to abuse of the substance.



According to Fadiman, “Psychedelics are very peculiar. They are anti-addictive, which means if you take it on Day 1 and you have whatever experience you have, then you take the same amount on Day 2, you may or may not have the same experience, and on Day 3, you may feel nothing.”

People were microdosing to self-medicate rather than following the trend, popularized in Silicon Valley, of consuming small amounts of psychedelics to enhance creativity according to Professor Adam Winstock, the founder and director of the Global Drug Survey. Microdosing Psilocybin has been a useful tool for people who are dealing with addiction issues that are not limited to alcohol or drug dependency, but also dependency on pharmaceuticals.


Let’s say you weigh 175 lbs. and, hypothetically, gain 75 lbs. of muscle or fat; the fact is that this has no impact on the size of your brain. According to Fadiman, for a substance that predominantly affects your brain, height and weight play no major part. One can ascertain from the aforementioned microdosing scale, which amount works best, without worrying about any intense repercussions.



Microdosing is generally one of the safest ways of consuming Psilocybin; however, there are certain situations when doing so is contraindicated. These include certain psychological/physiological conditions or the use of certain medications. The contraindications listed are sourced from years of studies involving participants with a variety of backgrounds and differing conditions. More than a list of rigid rules, they have been compiled as a journal of experiences from the participating people, or as Fadiman puts it – ‘Citizen Science’.

An extensive list of medications generally considered safe in combination with microdosing. These doses do not interfere with the effects of the medications or vice versa, although they may alleviate the symptoms or the underlying conditions for which you take this medication or supplement. The one important exception so far to this is lithium, for which we have one possible interaction report. It is not recommended that people with colorblindness, who live with diagnoses of psychotic disorders or along the autism spectrum try microdosing. People with colorblindness report lasting visual distortions from microdosing. Literature suggests people with psychotic disorders may be harmed by psychedelics. In our experience, people with diagnoses along the autism spectrum seem to require dosages that far exceed what is traditionally considered microdosing.


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Fadiman, J. (2011). The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys. Simon and Schuster.
Fadiman, J., & Korb, S. (2019). Might microdosing psychedelics be safe and beneficial? An initial exploration. Journal of psychoactive drugs51(2), 118-122.
Polito, V., & Stevenson, R. J. (2019). A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics. PloS one14(2), e0211023
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