Stepping into magic mushrooms, or psychedelics, for the first time is like entering into a whole new world, in more ways than one. Even before your first psychedelic experience, there is a universe of information and terminology that can feel daunting enough to ignore it entirely. If there’s one thing you really need to know before you dive in, it’s appropriate dosing for an enjoyable trip.
Trippy terms for dosing magic mushrooms
When it comes to magic mushrooms — the fungi that contain psilocybin — there are a few terms that are thrown around when talking about dosing. The most common are microdoses, average doses, and ‘heroic doses’. While these terms are somewhat open to interpretation, there is a range that’s generally agreed upon. It goes without saying — hopefully — that an average dose is recommended if you’re new to magic mushrooms.
The ‘average’ dose of magic mushrooms
An average dose of magic mushrooms is usually in the range of 1 to 2 grams. Since potency between mushrooms from different batches can vary by as much as ten-fold, it’s best to start on the low end if it’s your first experience with a particular batch. Unless you’ve gotten lucky (or unlucky?) with a super-strong mushroom, a dose of 1.5g should not be overwhelming for the vast majority of new users.
This assumes that your mushrooms are dried to the point that they snap like a cracker when bent. If your mushrooms bend and flex, it’s safe to assume that they’re carrying some water weight. However, do not attempt to increase the dose to compensate for added water; you can always re-dose after an hour if you prefer, but you can never un-dose if you’ve overdone it.
Microdosing magic mushrooms
Magic mushroom microdoses are usually suggested to be 1/10th of an average dose, putting them in the ballpark of 0.1 to 0.2 grams. However, the point of microdosing is that the direct outcomes are ‘sub-threshold’, or not readily detectable. Some sensitive individuals may find themselves having a ‘mini-trip’ with only 0.2g; self-experimentation is critical to finding the correct dose for you.
The Heroic Dose
A heroic dose of magic mushrooms is a concept coined by Terence McKenna, the “American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants” and fungi. He defines it as any dose that is over 5 grams of dried mushrooms. He added an extra stipulating, in which the dose is undertaken in the setting of “silent darkness.”
While the name may implicate the slaying of dragons, or subduing of villains, it’s not without reason. A heroic dose will be challenging, only advised for those with ample experience. Like the heroes of yore, this dose is reserved for those with ‘training’, experience, or sheer strength of will. The addition of silent darkness adds another layer of ‘difficulty’, by making your mind the only challenge to overcome. In this setting, with a heroic dose, only you can dictate the objective success of such a challenging experience.