Tag Archive for: doses

dose dosage psychedelics

A reader recently commented on a post that they tried microdosing but it didn’t work for them. My first question was, how much did they experiment with the dose?

Finding the right personalised dose can take a lot of trial and error. We are all different and effects can vary substantially between individuals. This is true not just with microdosing but also higher doses and I think that finding the correct dose is an oft underestimated key to using psychedelics.

Consider this:

A medicine can be a poison depending on the dose.

The exact same substance, the same chemical compound, one that could heal you, could also kill you, depending on the dose.

Suffice to say that dose can completely change a drug’s effects.

Though the psychedelics psilocybin and LSD are incredibly non-toxic, meaning that a fatal overdose is basically impossible, one could still consider an experience to be ‘poisonous’ in so much that it has negative effects on a persons psyche or wellbeing.

Dosage is, I venture to say, the number one reason why people have bad trips. Set and setting has been mentioned, say, people at festivals or parties around large groups of people, loud music, a lot of stimulation. But what about if they had taken a much lower dose? Would it have been overwhelming? Mightn’t they have gotten the enhanced party experience or mind opening adventure they were after?

I have had my own too-much experience at a festival, and whilst it was big flashing lights and lack of a quiet space to lie down that could seem to be the problem, I could have had a more pleasant experience by simply being careful with the amount I was taking. Not everyone wants to have a peak mystical experience or deep inner journey, sometimes people just want to enhance their experience of something else they already enjoy. Much in the way coffee would enhance a workday, a mini or museum dose might enhance a party, concert or brainstorming session.

Dosage is More Important than Set and Setting

As has been said by the late, great Boston psychonaut Kilindi Iyi, at very very high doses of magic mushrooms, set and setting doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. So that would mean that dosage is the most important factor in a session.

Though this is on the extreme end, I think it illustrates a good point. Dose is, in my opinion, too often and too easily overlooked when it comes to taking drugs.

Consider for a moment the difference between:

  • a shot of vodka vs. bottle of vodka
  • one tiny puff of weed vs. a huge bong rip
  • a bump of ketamine vs. a big line

Very different experiences.

So how to get it right?

Here’s some practical tips when it comes to exploring substances.

Practical Tips on Dosing

Use scales

Invest in a good set of scales and use them carefully. Especially important when using potent psychedelics that are active in very small doses like 2C-B, or those with higher toxicity like MDMA. Eyeballing can be horrendously inaccurate.

Know the dose for specific route of administration

Don’t confuse the intranasal dose with the oral dose, for example. Those can be very different things.

Start out small, increase the next time

Research is good but I’d generally say that its always good to start lower than you’d like and work your way up.

“Those who received a small taster before a higher dose were observed as being even more likely to reap the benefits than those who were only given the higher dose.”

About study participants from John Hopkins’ psilocybin study – Link

The great Czech psychedelic pioneer Stanislav Grof used a step up approach in his psycholytic psychedelic therapy work. After some sessions to build trust between the therapist and patient, he would start patients on 100 micrograms of LSD, and gradually work them up on consecutive sessions until an optimum dose was reached. 

Make use of boosters

You can use a booster. This means adding a second dose on top of the first to boost the effect. The key to getting the booster right is the timing. If you add too early, before the first dose has reached its peak, you risk taking too much. If you time it too late, you miss the chance of adding to the peak of the first dose and just extending the session – or having a second peak that is similar to the first. To counter this, take note of the time when you take your dose, then consider setting an alarm as a reminder to check in with how you feel and to then make a decision on whether or not to take the booster.

Use volumetric dosing for microdosing LSD

Volumetric dosing enables you to be very accurate and precise with dosage when you have paper tabs of LSD. You can find a guide on how to here.

Keep a drug journal

Logging and tracking has become quite a thing in the self improvement field and for good reason. By tracking our behaviours we get good solid data which we can assess objectively. Using only a scale and a notebook, you can track and log your ingestions and doses and make notes on the effects, gaining precious personalised data. 

Maybe you’ve heard of a food diary to raise awareness of what you are eating. Or a smoke diary for people trying to quit. Logging and tracking raises awareness of our behaviours, feelings, triggers and patterns.

Keeping a drug diary has to have been one of the most useful things I’ve ever done in regards to learning about my relationship with different substances and what doses work for me. The data has been invaluable for deciding doses and finding my sweet spot for different applications and activities. I know my optimum kratom dose to enhance focus on a work day, my LSD minidose for a day out, and my MDMA dose for a session with friends, including booster and timing.

If you wanna know more about drug journaling, take a look at taking drugs like a nerd.

Don’t underestimate the dose. Better yet, overestimate it.

psilocybin magic truffles

One of the most important factors leading to a beneficial magic truffle session is finding a dosage that is well calibrated to your intention. I would argue that it is of equal importance to the set and setting when it comes to a positive outcome.

As magic truffles are kinda new in the psychedelic world compared to classic magic mushrooms, the doses are not well understood.

Below, I’ll share my calculations to match the doses of synthetic psilocybin used in 4 major and influential studies to the corresponding dose of magic truffles. Synthetic psilocybin is easy to measure and dose compared to raw mushrooms, and is therefore used exclusively in clinical trials. Below, I share my calculations.

psilocybin magic truffles

Doses Used In Clinical Research

1. Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience

Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors – Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, Robert Jesse, Katherine A. MacLean, Frederick S. Barrett, Mary P. Cosimano, and Maggie A. Klinedinst (2018)

Participants tripped twice, with a month between each session, with:
(1) high dose of 20 mg
(2) high dose of 30 mg
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

2. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression

Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study – Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Mark Bolstridge, James Rucker, Camilla M.J. Day, David Erritzoe, Mendel Kaelen, Michael Bloomfield, James A Rickard, Ben Forbes, Amanda Feilding, David Taylor, Steve Pilling, Valerie H. Curran, David J. Nutt (2016)

Participants tripped twice, with a week between each session:
(1) low dose of 10 mg
(2) high dose of 25 mg
Doses regardless of bodyweight.

Study paper

3. Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer

Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial – Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, Michael A. Carducci, Annie Umbricht, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, Mary P. Cosimano and Margaret A. Klinedinst (2016)

Participants tripped twice, with 5 weeks between each session:
(1) high dose of 22 or 30 mg
(2) very low (placebo-like) dose of 1 or 3 mg
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

4. Psilocybin in the Treatment of Tobacco Addiction

Pilot Study of the 5-HT2AR Agonist Psilocybin in the Treatment of Tobacco Addiction – Matthew W. Johnson, Albert Garcia-Romeu, Mary P. Cosimano, and Roland R. Griffiths (2014)

On a 15 week course participants tripped 2-3 times:
(1) moderate dose of 20mg at week 5
(2) moderate or high dose of 20 or 30 mg at week 7
(3) optional session with either 20 or 30 mg at week 13
Doses calculated per 70kg bodyweight.

Study paper

Converting to Fresh Truffle Weight

magic galindoi psilocybin truffles 15g packet

One 15 g pack of truffles

The exact psilocybin content of truffles is, as far as I can find, unknown, but going off of the calculation that 1 g of fresh truffles will contain between 0.75 and 1.75 mg of psilocybin (link), we have a reasonable window with which to find a comparable dosage of fresh truffles. Keep in mind that potency may vary by strain and that individual tolerance varies depending on both physiological and psychological factors (more on this another time).

The information below is presented as a rough guide and calculated with fresh truffle weight. (If your truffles are dried, the equivalent dose will be significantly less. Fully dried truffles are approximately ⅓ the weight of fresh truffles. So for example, if the fresh truffle dose was 13g, you could calculate 13 / 3 =  to get a dried truffle dose of 4.33 g.)

The best way to find the dosage right for you is through personal experience. Start low, document your sessions, and gradually work your way up.

If you are considering to go DIY and organise your own session at home or without a sitter, remember that the psilocybin sessions in the research studies mentioned are accompanied by psychological support before, during, and after each session.

Pure (Synthetic) Psilocybin Doses Converted to Truffle Weight

10 mg psilocybin – Low dose

10 / 0.75 = 13.33
10 / 1.25 = 8
10 / 1.75 = 5.71

6 – 13 g fresh truffles

20 mg psilocybin – Moderate dose

20 / 0.75 = 26.66
20 / 1.25 = 16
20 / 1.75 = 11.43

11 – 27 g fresh truffles

25 mg psilocybin – High dose

25 / 0.75 = 33.33
25 / 1.25 = 20
25 / 1.75 = 14.29

14 – 33 g fresh truffles

30 mg psilocybin – High dose

30 / 0.75 = 40
30 / 1.25 = 24
30 / 1.75 = 17.14

17 – 40 g fresh truffles

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, I’d recommend lower doses for recreational trips, creative thinking, and active problem solving, and scaling up to higher doses for therapeutic experiences, deep inner journeys, and peak mystical experiences.

Safe journeys!

 

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