Macrodosing 101: Hero Days
Opposite to the small dosing rituals of microdosing is the practice of macro dosing mushrooms. A macrodose sometimes referred to as a “heroic dose,” consists of consuming one to four grams of higher dose capsules, like our Play that Funghi Music, or more. This kind of trip requires a lot of careful preparation and planning in order to experience its therapeutic benefits.
Macrodosing will affect us all differently. Some folks report a sense of euphoria or peacefulness, saying they receive spiritual downloads and profound insights. Others say they experience confusion, muscle weakness, lack of coordination or even paranoia and anxiety. Self-reflection and discovery is often a big reason for macrodosing, so knowing what to expect and planning accordingly is the key to getting the most out of your heroic dose sessions.
Each person will feel a macrodose in their own unique way, but some common experiences include intense visual hallucinations, epiphanies, and changes in perception. Different emotions often arise, including feelings of warmth, love and connection, but it’s also possible to experience the kind of uncomfortable feelings or realizations that lead people to describe their journey as a “bad trip.”
These uncomfortable realizations are not necessarily negative or to be avoided. Many people believe this discomfort reveals aspects of our repressed shadow self, and that the mushrooms are bringing issues or challenges from deep within to the surface for healing. This can be incredibly growth-provoking when embraced and integrated properly throughout your dosing journey.
What is Macrodosing and why should I do it?
A macrodose is a large dose of Psilocybin mushrooms. Such a large dose of magic mushrooms can be a wild psychedelic ride, and it can also be the catalyst for inner healing. Macrodosing is known to trigger the kind of deep self-reflection that produces meaningful insights and helps to challenge ingrained patterns of thought.
The larger the dose, the stronger the effects, bringing on sensations and experiences that are quite different from small microdoses. Some of these effects are sensory, like altered visual and auditory perception—even your sense of touch and your awareness of your body could be temporarily transformed. Some effects are more metaphysical, like having an intimate, face-to-face encounter with your ego that reveals or changes aspects of your self-perception.
There are risks to taking any psychedelic substance, but preparing properly and taking quality, precisely dosed psilocybin will minimize any risks and can provide a lot of great benefits. Read our macrodosing guide below for step-by-step instructions for a successful, enjoyable trip.
How Much is a Macrodose?
Determining the best dosage for you depends on many factors and will vary person to person. If it’s your first time macrodosing, it’s better to take too little than too much. You can always take more if you feel the need, but be sure to give the mushrooms enough time (approximately one to two hours) to take effect before upping the dose. Visit our shop for a range of dosage options for the effect you’re looking for.
Mushroom Dosage Guideline:
- Full Dose – 1g to 2g: For first-time macrodosers this dose is enough for a full-on trip. You will feel a body high—sensations like warmth, tingling and floating— and you might experience changes in what you see, like objects swaying, fractal patterns, sparkly highlights, and altered depth perception.
- Deep Dive – 2g to 3g: Now we enter the serious dose category, where you’ll probably experience a heightened sense of “oneness” with the natural elements and people around you, along with vivid visual and auditory hallucinations. This is also the dose where it’s more common to receive new, unfamiliar patterns of thought and realizations.
- Heroic Dose – 3g+: A potent dose for experienced users to take on a day off, this strength should send tingles and warmth through your body, a serious case of giggles, and a sensory explosion for the mind and body. Anything beyond 3 grams could be considered a “heroic” dose, and a dose this strong should be taken ideally with supervision, preparation, with an intentional goal.
Mushroom Macrodose Tips and What to Expect
The effects from consuming large amounts of magic mushrooms can last anywhere from 4–10 hours, depending on the dose you take.
Setting an intention is a key part of working with plant medicines, especially in high doses. The higher the dose and potency, the more likely you are to experience ego dissolution or an out-of-body sensation. Setting an intention for your journey can help guide you towards the benefits and insights you seek.
Psychedelics, including magic mushrooms, quieten the area of the brain known as the Default Mode Network. Once this area is put to rest, the boundaries we feel between ourselves and the rest of the world come down, allowing us to experience a sense of connection and oneness. These sensations help to break old thought patterns and release negative or addictive behaviours.
Psychedelic research at institutions such as New York University and Johns Hopkins has shown that administering larger doses to individuals can help treat anxiety, addiction, and other health issues.
Large “hero” doses of magic mushrooms should not be done on a weekly or even monthly basis. This is an important difference in macrodosing vs microdosing. Bigger doses of magic mushrooms can have lasting effects on your psyche and emotions that require a process of integration and reflection, so it’s common to do a macrodose trip every three to six months or longer. The proper context, education, set and setting is a crucial part of the process, including your internal mindset and external environment.
For first time macrodosers, having a trip sitter or psychedelic guide can help make your journey feel safe and keep you grounded. There’s also the risk of psychosis or triggering schizophrenia, so if you’re aware of a family member who has this or is predisposed to these underlying mental conditions, it’s best to check with a health professional before embarking on a trip of this magnitude.
A phrase that’s often used when talking about psychedelic journeys is “set and setting, ” referring to the environment you consume mushrooms in. “Set” means your mindset and emotional state, and “setting” is about your physical surroundings.
Magic mushrooms will intensify your emotions and heighten your senses of sound, touch, and sight, so it’s important to prepare the ideal comfortable space for your trip.
Set yourself up somewhere you’re familiar with, like your own home or the home of a close friend. Dim the lighting to a soft and warm hue and play soothing music or sounds (may we recommend this Ground Sounds playlist?) Try to stay away from crowded, busy spaces, or any chaotic activity that could provoke discomfort or anxiety while you’re on your trip.
You can enhance the vibe of your “setting” by lighting candles, burning incense, palo santo, or other soothing scents you enjoy. Wear comfortable clothing and have blankets, pillows and other cozy items nearby. It’s nice to set up a few activities you may enjoy during your trip, like drawing, painting or stretching.
We also recommend having a notebook close at hand to capture any impressions, thoughts, or ideas that come to you so you can look back on them during your post-trip integration period. Magic mushrooms don’t typically trigger the munchies like cannabis, but you’ll want to stay hydrated and have snacks prepared in case you need fuel. Fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts are great to have around, and plenty of water.
Creating your setting outdoors in a beautiful, peaceful natural space can also be a wonderful and connected experience. If it’s not your backyard, choose an area you know well and let someone know where you are, when you plan on coming back, and be sure to return home safely before dark.
A journey with friends can be really special, as long as everyone on the trip is like-minded, non-judgemental, and comfortable with each other. It can also help to connect ahead of time to make sure everyone is on board with the activities and setting, and create space to address any concerns. If it’s your first time, having someone who is experienced can help make the trip super enjoyable and safe.
There are a lot of factors that will influence the onset of your mushroom trip, like dosage, experience, natural tolerance, when you last ate and how much food you consumed. Coming up on mushrooms can take up to two hours, so don’t increase your dose before then. If you don’t feel anything after two hours and want to take more, increase your dose in small amounts to prevent accidentally overdoing it.
A common side effect of magic mushrooms can be an upset stomach due to the active compounds. If your stomach feels nauseous or achy after consuming the mushrooms, try drinking ginger or peppermint tea to soothe it. These physical discomforts normally won’t last long and are a sure sign you’re starting your trip, so tune into your body, take some deep breaths and try to relax until it passes.
The start of a magic mushroom trip can be a bit strange, beginning with feelings of unsteadiness or even drowsiness. Pretty soon colours will start to appear more saturated and vibrant, sounds will be more dynamic, and you’ll begin feeling a giddy lightness in your body. Objects may sway and pulse softly, textured surfaces begin to shift and warp, and higher doses can also create bright fractal patterns in your vision.
If your setting is outside, the trees and plants may sway and move in unusual ways and you might experience a deep sense of connection to the plants and nature all around you.
The effects of magic mushrooms vary for each person, and each journey you go on. You may experience some of the above effects or none of them. Every effect, emotion and realization will be unique to you. When you approach your trip with an open mind and embrace the experience as best as you can, you’ll be more free to enjoy what comes up.
The Come Down
After four to eight hours you’ll begin to drift back down to reality, with your visual and auditory senses returning to normal perception over the course of a few hours. The sensory effects of mushrooms can come in waves, so if you feel them return again after subsiding, this is a normal and natural part of the psilocybin cycling through your body.
After your trip you may feel an extended “afterglow,” a boost in your overall mood which can last anywhere from 24 hours to a week.
How do I know if it’s working?
The plant medicine journey is an ever-evolving and ongoing process, and we recommend keeping a journal of observations and feelings that you record during or after your macrodose trips. Reflecting on your notes can help reveal more about what the magic mushrooms brought to the surface, or help you identify areas of growth and healing to focus on. After your first macrodose, working with a microdosing protocol for a few weeks or months is recommended to assist with integration.
Whichever dose you decide is right for you, we hope you enjoy the journey! Keep your eyes to the skies and your ears to the ground and listen…