What is a microdosing protocol or routine?
But why do I have to follow a schedule you may ask? With other healthy supplements such as vitamins, minerals, CBD, non-psychedelic mushrooms and so on you’re taking them daily so why can’t you do the same with truffles? The answer is in the way your body reacts to psilocybin. The experienced trippers among you will already know that if you take tripping doses in quick succession the effect will feel significantly less each time. The reason for this is summed up by a broad term called tolerance.
What is tolerance?
When you take psilocybin your body will convert this to psilocin, and this is the main compound that has effect on several receptors in your brain, most famously the serotonin-2A (5-HT2A) receptor. The activation of this receptor is believed to mediate the hallucinogenic properties of psilocin. Your liver will then in turn start a process of glucuronidation which will turn the psilocin in your body to psilocin-O-glucuronide after which it has a lessened or no more effect on your receptors and will leave your body through your urine.
To understand tolerance all you need to remember from the above story is that there is a process of metabolism and that psilocybine works on your serotonin receptors. When you take psilocybine frequently, the process of metabolism will be sped up. And more importantly, your serotonin receptors will be less dense. In laymen terms we can say that your body gets rid of the psilocybin quicker and it has less receptors to bind to. The combination of these two factors leads to a lessened effect of psilocybin.
To circle back all the way to the beginning of the article, why should I follow a protocol? The answer is that even when microdosing you build up tolerance to psilocybin (although it is less than when you take a full tripping dose). So if you take a microdose every single day and go on to do so without any breaks before long you will discover you don’t really feel any benefits anymore. A protocol serves to prevent that from happening.
What kind of protocol should I follow then?
There is a wide variety of protocols out there, most famously and recommended by us is the Fadiman protocol:
The benefit of this protocol is a two day break between each microdose. This greatly helps reducing your tolerance levels to psilocybine and ensures that your microdosing diet will remain effective. The benefits of the microdosing should be the strongest on the day of the microdose and continues to have effect the next day while the third day is a rest day.
2 day a week protocol
With the Fadiman protocol the days on which you microdose are constantly changing. This can be challenging for some people to fit it in their schedule. It is possible to pick two permanent days a week and microdose on those instead. This does mean you consume less psilocybin per 7 day period and thus it might be less effective.
Microdosing Institute protocol
In this protocol you take a microdose with 1 day break periods. This is a protocol that is designed for people who are chronically dependent on microdosing to function. Because you are microdosing more often than with the Fadiman protocol it has a higher chance to induce tolerance, due to this it might be necessary to take higher microdoses when nearing the end of this protocol.
Originally developed by Paul Stamets this stacking protocol is intended to significantly boost your cognitive ability, support and potentially repair your nervous tissue. The microdose and the Lion’s mane are intended to support your nervous tissue and support and induce the process of neurogenesis (The creation of neurons by neural stem cells). The B3 functions to distribute the mushroom and truffle molecules past the blood brain barrier. While not mentioned by Stamets, further supplementing with gamma-Aminobutyric acid could be beneficial on this protocol too. It is possible to continue supplementing with Lion’s mane and Vitamin B3 on your rest days. Due to the successive microdosing it might be necessary to take higher microdoses when nearing the end of this protocol.
Regardless of which protocol fits you best, it is recommended to only follow it for 4 to 6 weeks. After this period you have to take a break from microdosing that is at minimum 2 weeks, but preferably up to a full month. After the break you can continue with your protocol. If you decide to take a tripping dose, you should take the 2 week break after before continuing to microdose.