Macrodosing has received the most attention in the past several decades, and refers to a full dose of psychedelics that induces a profound state of altered consciousness (typically called “tripping”).
As interest in psychedelic therapy has reemerged, some proponents and practitioners have begun to experiment with a technique called microdosing. While this technique also shows promising results, particularly for anxiety, it works a bit differently compared to traditional psychedelic therapies where a full macrodose is consumed.
Microdosing works by using tiny doses of psychedelic compounds—not enough to produce impairment, but sufficient to induce a sense of wellbeing. When taken at these tiny doses, psychedelic appear to reduce anxiety, improve our ability to socialize, and boost our mood. Microdose aim to improve creativity, support their ability to focus, and feel more grounded and “present” in daily life.
This grounding effect may be especially helpful for people struggling with anxiety, particularly in combination with other therapies like mindfulness and meditation. Microdosing may be especially beneficial to people suffering from panic disorders.
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On the opposite end of the spectrum is macrodosing mushrooms, which has also been referred to as a “heroic dose” (4+ grams). Taking a high dose of shrooms can send you into a full-blown, oddly profound psychedelic experience.
These trips truly make you face yourself, head-on. An individual may have intense visual hallucinations, realizations, or changes in perceptions. Uncomfortable feelings or realizations about ourselves and our lives may arise, creating what some refer to as a “bad trip”.
However, these realizations of our shadow selves can be incredibly growth-provoking when integrated.
Ingesting a large dose of magic mushrooms can last anywhere from 4–10 hours, depending on just how much a person takes — although it usually falls somewhere in the 6–8 hour range.
Unlike microdosing, taking large doses of shrooms should not be done on a regular, weekly basis. These experiences can be overwhelming and should be spaced out. Many individuals report doing a macrodose trip every 3–6 months, while others take more time to integrate previous lessons.
- Side effects from taking a large dose of mushrooms include:
- euphoria, peacefulness, “spiritual awakening”
- depersonalization, or a dream-like sense of being disengaged from surroundings
- distorted thinking
- visual alteration and distortion, such as seeing halos of light and vivid colors
- a deeper connection to people, pets, or nature
- altered senses
- impaired concentration
- muscle weakness, lack of coordination, “body high”
- nausea or vomiting
- paranoia, confusion, heightened anxiety
Is macrodosing right for me?