As the practice of microdosing psilocybin gains popularity in modern wellness routines, a surplus of individuals from all different lifestyles have increasingly embraced microdosing psilocybin as a natural means of self-improvement for a range of intentional reasons.
While microdosing has witnessed a wave of attention in recent years, mycology experts have dedicated a considerable amount of time to comprehending the basics of microdosing, and how to approach it the most effectively.
Because microdosing is such a powerful tool to assist in so many areas, we want to make sure we are reaping the benefits accordingly. One major factor in doing so is taking the time to understand the protocols, more specifically the scheduling aspect of microdosing.
Creating a well-structured schedule to be consistent with is an important step, to ensure you are absorbing all the beneficial effects that microdosing psilocybin has to offer.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing journeys, there are various microdosing protocols to choose from. In order to make things more digestible, we will shed some light on the two most common microdosing protocols: The Fadiman Protocol and the Stamets Stack Protocol.
- The Fadiman Protocol
Thoughtfully curated by the psychedelic pioneer himself is the Fadiman Protocol, invented by Dr. James Fadiman.
Since 2010, Dr. Fadiman has amassed a wealth of firsthand accounts from thousands of individuals worldwide who have experimented with microdosing, the majority of which adhering to his specific protocol. Over the years, the multitude of reports has only enhanced Dr. Fadiman’s unwavering belief in microdosing, illuminated by inspiring success stories that assist in various diverse contexts, including anxiety, depression, stress, and beyond. However, his acclaim as the “Father of Microdosing” did not emerge from overnight success, but is rooted in years of meticulous research and exploration in the field of psychedelics and more specifically, microdosing.
In 2011, Dr. Fadiman published his book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide,” a compilation of psychedelic knowledge emphasizing the spiritual and therapeutic use of psychedelics. This book would be a milestone in microdosing knowledge, becoming the first ever real publication to address the topic.
Dr. James Fadiman has always been leaps and bounds ahead of the game in terms of psychedelic exploration. Being one of the first experts to publicly acknowledge the benefits of psychedelics on a professional scale, Fadiman’s devotion has resulted in some of the most monumental works and studies in psychedelic research to date —- including his masterful microdosing protocol that is now followed by individuals around the world.
The Fadiman Protocol entails a structured 4-day process, with doses taken on day 1, and day 4.
Day 1: First microdose
Day 2: Afterglow day
Day 3: Day off
Day 4: Second microdose
Repeat the process for 4-8 weeks, followed by 2-4 weeks off entirely. Easy right?
The mere simplicity of this protocol is what makes it such an ideal protocol for microdosing beginners, while it is the intentional efficacy of how the days are laid out that makes it a highly applauded protocol for experienced dosers as well.
Day 1 Breakdown: Assuming you have found which dose size works best for you (0.1-0.4g is recommended), day one will simply involve taking your first dose and going about your day accordingly.
Day 2 Breakdown: Albeit you won’t be taking another microdose until day 4, the in-between day is where the progression really takes place. Many refer to the day after dosing as the “afterglow” day, because of the enhancive qualities that come with it. At this time, the after-effects of the psilocybin can linger, sustaining potential feelings of increased insight and/or euphoria from the dose taken the day prior. Allowing your body to process the benefits without interruption is a great routine to get into, with some saying the afterglow day is the best day to relish in the stress-free, mood-boosting energy of microdosing.
Day 3 Breakdown: Day 3 is all about letting the body rest. This day is when the body can resume homeostasis, bringing us back to our usual functioning state without the residual effects of psilocybin. These off-days play a significant role in the Fadiman Protocol, as they not only offer a chance for rest, but they also provide us a valuable opportunity to analyze and discern the contrast between our microdosing days and non-microdosing days. This reflection process allows us to intentionally gain insight into the progress of our microdosing journey, while amplifying the benefits of the dose days and enabling them to truly shine in retrospect. This off day process will also prevent unwanted tolerance build up. Rest is key!
Day 4 Breakdown: Enjoy your second dose and go about your day with the same intentionality as day one. The subsequent days will follow the same pattern of afterglow/off day process, as explained above.
In order to follow the Fadiman Protocol verbatim, this process should be followed for a minimum of 4 weeks, with others finding benefits in an 8 week duration as well. After the protocol duration has concluded, a 2-4 week break is recommended to avoid tolerance and enhance retrospective takeaways.
The Fadiman Protocol has been eulogized over the years for being a highly effective protocol for psychonauts and beginners alike, as the disbursement of days is thought to complement and emphasize the effects of microdosing to the utmost extent.
- Stamets Stack Protocol
Now that we’ve broken down the infamous Fadiman Protocol, we must introduce yet another microdosing structure that has received similar praise in the microdosing community —- the Stamets Stack Protocol.
The Stamets Stack has gained popularity for its particular cognitive enhancing effects, entailing the infamous method of ingredient stacking.
The purpose of stacking is to enhance the effects of mushrooms by combining psilocybin and functional shrooms into a single dose. The concept is that each component of the stack will synergize with the others, resulting in a nootropic blend that provides an expansive range of benefits when taken together as one.
The mind behind the stacking protocol is Paul Stamets, a well-known mycologist who has made an applauded name for himself in the world of psychedelics thanks to his impressive list of work and fidelity to microdosing.
Paul’s passion for fungi extends much further than just microdosing. He is also an advocate for ecological restoration, with an emphasis on recognizing and respecting the organisms which he believes has the capacity to preserve both humanity and planet wellbeing. Paul Stamets has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies throughout his journey in mycology, validating that Stamets is unquestionably a like-mind of knowledge and passion when it comes to the world of microdosing and entheogenic medicine.
The three components involved in the Stamets’ Stack include:
- Lion’s Mane
- Niacin (vitamin b3)
The process of combining low doses of psilocybin with non-psychoactive mushrooms as well as niacin, according to Stamets, is thought to enhance neurogenesis — a process in which new neurons are formed in the brain.
Both psilocybin and Lion’s Mane have been shown to possess neurogenerative properties that help enhance cognitive function. The addition of Niacin (vitamin b3), functions as a vasodilator to further distribute psilocybin across the blood-brain barrier, migrating towards the peripheral/central nervous system where neurogenesis may occur.
Though each component of this stacking protocol is considered safe for use, it is the consumption of Niacin that should be monitored attentively. High-doses of Niacin can bring unwanted side effects in those with vitamin b3 sensitivity, therefore it is recommended to not exceed more than 200 mg of Niacin daily. The recommended daily dose of Niacin will likely cause a flushing effect, accompanied by tingling sensations due to increased blood flow. The redness and flushing side effect should mitigate as quickly as ten to thirty minutes upon consumption and is likely not cause for concern. It is worth noting that there is also a non-flush version of Niacin, but is not recognized as suitable for this particular dose protocol.
Lion’s Mane, a health-enhancing nootropic, has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its potential to provide a variety of benefits when taken regularly. With one study showing that Lion’s Mane extract successfully promoted quicker nerve regeneration in mice, the advantages of Lion’s Mane mushroom’s neuroplasticity-boosting properties is thought to encompass a wide array of benefits for brain health — alongside its many beneficial effects on immune health as well.
The potential synergistic effects of combining Lion’s Mane and psilocybin, both known for their nootropic properties, may result in enhanced neurogenic effects. This would suggest that the combined use of psilocybin with nootropics such as Lion’s Mane or Reishi could potentially amplify the existing positive effects, offering users a broader range of benefits to experience.
Stamets Stack recommended doses:
- Psilocybin: 0.1-1g
- Lion’s Mane: 50-200mg
- Niacin: 50-200mg
Stamets’ recommendation consists of a 4 days on, 3 days off schedule structure. Continue this schedule for 3-4 weeks, followed by a minimum two week break for optimal results.
Stamets Stack dosage can vary depending on body weight and metabolism, but it is always recommended that beginners stay low and move slow to ensure minimal side effects and promote overall safety when consuming entheogenic compounds.
Remember that although these protocols have driven a level of success amongst psychonauts globally, it is never to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it come without potential risks.
Although the Fadiman and Stamets Protocols are the most popular amongst most microdosing individuals, there are a variety of existing protocols worth looking into if you are on the active search of finding a microdosing schedule that fits you best.
Intuitive microdosing, Nightcap microdosing, Asha Sultana microdosing, and many more, are only some of the other famous protocols that we are eager to discuss further in the future.
Until then, remember to grace at your own pace, and always research your options before incorporating any new lifestyle changes into your sacred routine. If you have any questions we are here to help in any way we can.