Host/producer of the EntheoRadio podcast and Ceremonialist and writer for MushroomShaman.com
What is a Microdose - two definitions (theirs and mine): Microdose: A very low dose of something. (In psychedelics this might be grams or micrograms) Microdosing, or micro-dosing, is a technique for studying the behaviour of drugs in humans through the administration of doses so low they are unlikely to produce whole-body effects, but high enough to allow the cellular response to be studied.
In my experience with these two (Shrooms and San Pedro Cactus) and a secret third medicine (Salvia Divinorum and Microdosing) that I have acted as a guardian for the micro-dose is generally less than a gram for dried mushrooms and probably a fresh 8-ounce cup of juiced San Pedro (not cooked down for ceremonies) or two to five large capsules of powdered green San Pedro cactus (about .8 to 1 gram in each capsule).
The San Pedro will cause some mild nause
a but might not be more that one would feel with a 2-ounce shot of wheatgrass. I recommend to try it on an empty stomach or a stomach without solids at first. Personally I took it and enjoy to this day by taking my microdoses in the morning, often before breakfast. I will then proceed to have fruit or something light. Ginger tea is highly recommended for settling one’s stomach.
How to micro-dose with Mescaline and San Pedro San Pedro dosing can vary and a reasonably large dose can still be below a visionary or psychedelic threshold. When I was first learning about this medicine, my teacher suggested that I measure the length of my forearm as a dose of the fresh material, the whole cactus. I now recommend after experiences galore, that a person include the length of their hand plus their fingers and forearm to the elbow at least.
This dose of arm length was specific to medium strength yet functional visionary experiences. I have often with success and no personal harm, doubled the dose to two arms lengths of cooked cactus. San Pedro can be tricky and some are more potent than others. The idea is to be effective with your time because it can be messy, prickley, and time consuming to prepare this for oneself or others.
Prep for the visionary experiences and making a brew is really for another article. I’ve considered describing pure mescaline microdose protocols in this article but I personally feel that needs to be in a separate future article.
As an advocate for shamanic plants and fungi (Spirit Plants or Plant Spirit Medicine - AKA Entheogens), I have to carefully align myself and my words with natural extracts or the sacramental plants in their naturally occurring forms. Peyote and Shrooms are intriguing to me because of the limited-to-no-processing necessary with these medicines. I see this as a sign from Great Spirit and Nature that they are Entheogens and can truly guide our society in the development of consciousness.
I remember once for several weeks at a time, I would juice San Pedro and carry around a gallon jug of it to continuously dose and take throughout the day. I remember one particular herb-hiking day where I had the SP juice jug in my trunk (#DrugJuiceJug) and I said something like “Cheers to the medicine, I don’t know why I do this to myself.” Then I took a drink of it from the bottle and made a face that only appears when drinking cactus and Calea Zacatechichi tea. My teacher proclaimed to the group that I was crazy and chuckled at me. The point of sharing this story is that I was functional completely while dosing throughout the day with this medicine.
Throughout the following weeks, I had continued a capsule based microdosing procedure daily. One or even four single gram capsules of powdered San Pedro in the morning daily. Just to have a body awakening experience, or euphoria. It wears off in two hours or so. At this time, it would be better to follow through in this subject with an entirely separate article: All I Know About San Pedro Cactus of the Four Winds.
Microdosing Revisited - The Gospel According to Paul
In fall 2018, for the mushroom season in the Pacific Northwestern states of the USA, I went to the Radical Mycology Convergence event, and Paul Stamets was not there. It took place in a farm setting just outside of the city of Portland with the sacred Mt. Hood in the background. It seemed to me and my travel companion that Paul and his company Fungi Perfecti wasn’t in good standing with the locals for quality control. I encountered more than a few conversations about what results would be possible for mushroom medicines if the fruit bodies were more widely used in Fungi Perfecti products. Needless to say, I feel that local sentiments, especially of people who are so integrated seasonally with mushroom picking, are sound.
This article is about analyzing and improving the ideas around microdosing, which again, Paul has a say in. After experiencing the local sentiments of his formulas and also trying the microdose formula in a capsule this recent winter 2019, I have to express a need to improve this formula and any techniques associated with magic mushroom microdosing. Firstly, it is reasonable to read about what he has to say from a reliable source on Nootropics: https://www.nootropedia.com/paul-stamets-epigenetic-neurogenesis-stack/
Some of my experiences with this recipe are less than ideal. My first difficulty with it is the B-vitamin, Niacin (AKA B-3). I think this makes for a recipe that is rough on the morning stomach and as we can tell, I’m a big proponent on pre-breakfast microdosing. For me, this helps with dream recall and this is often a time when significant personal development may occur. For example, many people breathe or do pranayama in the mornings, others meditate and some even get up and sungaze at the dawn (looking at the rising sun when it’s mostly safe to as a longevity practice). It’s a great time of day for reflection. Also, another time for calm and relaxation is sunset. These times of day have been often referred to as the “magic times.”
On a side note, let me explain some of that reasoning and where it was inspired from. The author of the worldwide best selling sci-fi book series starting with the title “Dune,” Frank Herbert was a known advocate of magic mushroom enjoyment and consumption. He and Paul were friends and there is also a page in “Mycelium Running” (a book by Paul Stamets) that talks about their common interests and mushrooms as the inspiration for the fabled Spice Melange in “Dune.” It’s also an interesting synchronicity that Paul of “Dune” has the same name as our modern-day mushroom hero. It’s also interesting to me that “Dune” is being remade as we speak into another major movie for release in 2020; and perhaps with the dawning of the age of entheogens and microdosing, the mushrooms which inspired Frank Herbert will finally receive the respect and recognition they deserve in our western culture.
So in the book series, starting with the title “Dune,” most people in this space-age society have to take Spice Mélange daily, and often take it as a morning coffee drink. So being a huge fan of “Dune” (I read all the original books no less than 4 times each and everything released by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson), and a mycologist and a shamanic priest, I brought the experience and wisdom of those books and my personal experimentation together by creating a morning microdose that honors the practices shared in the books. I also want to point out that our society at this time has become enthralled with fats and butters in coffee and the Bulletproof recipes.
So to summarize, I mostly disagree with Paul’s suggestion for the use of niacin and B vitamins as it may generally not be focused or helpful enough for what my shamanic intentions are with microdosing (which in my opinion are more aligned with his quote about being the next quantum leap for humanity).
“...his claims of this being “The next quantum leap in the evolution of the human species” ” -Paul Stamets’ article Epigenetic Neurogenesis Stack https://www.nootropedia.com/paul-stamets-epigenetic-neurogenesis-stack/
Additionally, I do not believe that anything outside of its natural God-given form is necessary here or at least very limited processing seems to be better aligned with my shamanism practices. I also feel it’s worth mentioning that I agree with his auditory test that helps us determine neurogenesis occurs. I would love to recommend listening to the same piece of classical music every morning for a month to determine what you notice. Also, I encourage folks to practice music every morning in some way to see if they notice a difference. Another time, I would like to more effectively discuss these tests of our human-to-shaman adaptation and it’s worth mentioning that math, geometry and language learning are excellent methods to test our improvement with microdosing.
One final note on this subjective criticism of the formula/recipe released by Paul Stamets that has to do with Hericium Lion’s Mane mushrooms. These are extremely variable medicines and several companies released products with insistent results. It’s nature so there will be chemical variables and constituents. It would be wise to test this separately in several ways because those who read the article on Nootropedia about this mushroom, will notice the following side effects that appear to be understudied:
“Lion's mane mushroom can create upper respiratory issues as in this case study of a 63 year old man. There is also evidence that lion's mane can negatively impact hormonal balances in women. One anecdotal report suggested a woman on birth control who had her period after 5 days of using lion's mane.”
In my personal experience, this mushroom is digestible and safe for my body but I have had several friends and loved ones who have experienced some of the other effects. One particularly difficult experience was with a woman who enjoyed a full fruit (whole mushrooms) powdered extract in a dose of about 500 mg to 1000 mg.
She had experienced strange and rapid changes in her hormones. Another woman in her post-menupausal phase of life described something similar. In my opinion, this mushroom is popular and the side effects are very much under-considered. ***Proceed with experimental caution.***
Lion’s Mane works for me but honestly, and readers will notice this later in the article, I lean towards more universal and alchemically-titled mushrooms from Chinese medicine, such as Reishi or Ling Shi. Sincerely, Hugh Trevahr Alkemi
Published by Trevahr Hughes Host/producer of the EntheoRadio podcast and Ceremonialist and writer for MushroomShaman.com