Six hours ago I took 780mg of ground cubensis mushrooms in six size-1 capsules – my strongest dose to date. I took the caps first thing after waking on an empty stomach. This is roughly my 25th time taking a microdose of psychedelic since I started this journey about 4 months ago.
Quick Preface – Are Long-Term Effects Taking Root?
Lately while using my go-to 260mg dose, it has been less obvious whether anything is happening or not. I don’t mean this in a disappointed way, since my disposition during each session is reliably pleasant, grateful, content. Further, the 260mg dose is deliberately subtle. (Some in the microdosing community would suggest one should not feel anything while “properly” microdosing. Personally… I think this should be loosely followed, and I know the father of microdosing- (James Fadiman) would agree. Update: this has been clarified).
Anyway, in the past, I felt I was able to pick up on subtle changes, whereas today I am no longer even dimly aware I am jumping from one state of mind to another.
Which makes me wonder: why?
A few ideas…
Hypothesis 1: A positive consequence of microdosing – my baseline state of mind has shifted closer to where psychedelics were leading me during my initial sessions.
Hypothesis 2: I was never able to detect subtle effects of 260g in the first place.
Hypothesis 3: The psilocybin is losing it’s potency while in storage.
Hypothesis 4: I am building a tolerance.
Since it will be impossible to “prove” hypotheses 1 or 2, or even make a really compelling qualitative argument that *may* be true without more time and reflection, I’ll focus on hypotheses 3 and 4.
I’ll start by dismissing hypothesis 4 – tolerance. I am using very small doses, sometimes once per week, sometimes less. Even though popular microdosing protocols (Fadiman and Stamets, for example) prescribe multiple days per week, I am taking a more conservative approach. According to scientific research, not only is psilocybin one of the safest psychoactive substances, tolerance resets rapidly.
Which leads me to to hypothesis 3 – have my stored capsules lost potency – is this stuff still good?
Is This Stuff Still Good?
Short answer – Yup!
Today’s dose, while still not in hallucinogenic territory, was incredibly powerful and rich. The most I’ve felt to date. Here is an excerpt from my journal during the peak of my experience earlier today:
Approximately 90 minutes after consumption, I am in place where, as in a few past sessions, the chemical effects are ridiculously obvious, without any doubt. I am not hallucinating or “in another dimension”, I simply have deepened appreciation for the same world I inhabit every single day. Everything is extremely beautiful, the sun is out, I am filled with warmth from time spent with loved ones yesterday.
Once again – in this moment – it is so obvious that the world is rich, we are swimming in treasure (relationships, beauty, mystery, adventure, art, music) every moment every day, it’s our own perception that prevents us from constantly appreciating this.
*** We should aspire to cultivate our ordinary lives in a way that sustains this point of view. What better guiding principle in life can there be?? ***
The relationships we share with other people really are the crown jewel at the center of the vault of life.
Why My Perception Hypotheses Don’t Really Matter…
I will continue to study my subjective experiences very carefully, and understand when I can perceive changes in my mind vs not. This is really interesting and fascinating to me, and will teach me about myself.
In the big picture of whether microdosing is beneficial or not, it doesn’t really matter. Whether one is using perceptible or imperceptible doses, there are a whole range of experiences and insights that can be discovered on this journey that are very tangible. A naive understanding of psychedelics, informed by rumors and legend, may lead one to believe these compounds are life-altering, potentially very frightening and devastating. On the contrary, I am proof one can dabble and briefly take on these incredibly warm and rich perspectives, that consequently inform your life long after the chemicals wear off. We are not talking about speaking with elves or looking in the mirror and seeing you’ve turned into a cat. Simply insightful new views of everyday life.
Microdosing has been amazing!
I have no Timothy Leary-esque plans to write a manifesto about how the entire world should be using LSD – however – I can see how one would wish this experience for all humanity, if only it were understood and used safely.
I am hopeful science is paving the way toward that.
I intend to continue exploring the < 1g dose for a while and returning to this blog to share material feedback. That’s it, for now.