Updated: Jul 12
Microdosing psychedelics has been growing in popularity seemingly month over month in the past couple of years. From boardrooms to college campuses, and veterans groups to health and wellness gurus, everyone seems to be microdosing these days. Some are in search of a mood boost, others seeking focus, performance, and creativity, while others seek to rewire their brain away from addiction, compulsions, and even chronic pain.
Most individuals begin their practice by microdosing the pure substance; often psilocybin or LSD, but if you ask long-time microdosers, advanced microdosing practice is all about stacks and protocols. Stacking refers to the practice of combining a psychedelic microdose (often psilocybin) with other non-psychoactive compounds to enhance delivery, benefits, and duration.
The practice of stacking was first introduced by the renowned mycologist Paul Stamets who combined psychedelic mushrooms with lion's mane mushrooms and niacin to develop the Stamets Stack for microdosing. Since then, psychedelic explorers and enthusiasts have begun experimenting with various stacks to enhance the experience and the effects of a microdosing practice.
I have been utilizing stacking both personally and in my alternative mental health practice to highlight and/or minimize certain aspects of psilocybin microdosing with various custom formulations. For instance, when microdosing for focus and productivity, I tend to stack with nootropics like lion's mane, and l-theanine, while when microdosing for mood enhancement I love stacking with adaptogens like ashwagandha. Stacking is indeed a wonderful and empowering way to take your microdosing practice to the next level.
The practice of stacking has given rise to a sub-culture of self-proclaimed psychedelic alchemists crafting smart microdosing stacks aimed to unlock new dimensions of microdosing practice. While stacking is still very much in its infancy, anecdotal reports suggest great untapped potential in this area that can give rise to an entire class of psychedelic-infused smart drugs in the future.
Ready to play mad scientist and begin crafting your own stacks? It's a truly fascinating, informative, and rewarding experience. However, it is important to note that both nootropics and adaptogens are potent compounds that can have unpleasant effects on individuals with certain health conditions, as well as in combination with certain pharmaceuticals, and mood-altering substances. Start with small doses, always! Remember that microdosing is about subtlety so less is more. It is also important to always check with your physician before beginning a supplemental regimen.
Stacks are fascinating! Another variable to experiment with is dosing protocols. Protocols refer to the schedule of dosing which involves a certain number of dosing days followed by a certain number of non-dosing days. Microdosing results can vary widely depending on the dosing regimen being followed.
While many choose to follow well-known microdosing protocols, advanced microdosers tend to experiment with a wide range of self-crafted protocols while keeping detailed notes of their experience in an effort to potentially access new dimensions of the practice. Like stacking, different protocols can also deliver different results although in more subtle ways.
Microdosing experiences and outcomes vary not only by stack and protocol but also from person to person. The unique neurochemical makeup of each individual plays an important role in their experience of the practice. No two individuals respond the same to the same dose, stack, and protocol. This is precisely why microdosing is a truly collaborative experience inviting each person to develop their own relationship and find the approach, stack, and protocol that best fits their needs.
Although we craft Personalized Microdosing Protocols for clients, we always encourage them to keep a detailed journal of their diet, fitness, and lifestyle along with their microdosing experience each day to begin developing a holistic perspective of how their body chemistry and lifestyle choices impact the outcomes and make adjustments as needed.
Microdosing is perhaps above all an invitation to engagement, curiosity, self-knowledge, self-determination, and self-mastery. Experimentations with stacking and protocols are perhaps the gateways to deepen through these potent layers of empowerment.