Why You Need To Take Breaks When Microdosing

You’re committed to your microdosing protocol. You take your psilocybin or LSD dose on schedule, every time, without fail. You’ve already seen the improvements to your mental health, your well-being, and your mood. You swear by microdosing and tell everyone around you about it. But you can’t microdose forever, or even constantly — breaks need to be a part of your routine too.

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

Microdosing protocols

There are a few microdosing protocols out there. Even folks new to the game might be aware of some of these — the Stamets Stack is a fairly well-known option for consumers, as is the Fadiman Protocol, invented by the godfather of microdosing himself, Dr. James Fadiman.

Some people like to keep things simple and take a dose every other day. I used to commit to the Stamets stack, but I’ve found that the “every other day” rule seems to work best for me.

I’ve also spoken to people who microdose on a different scale, with a once-weekly dose of around 400mg to ride the micro-high all the way to the next.

All of these are valid, reasonable ways to microdose. My take? As long as you have a schedule in mind, and you’re consuming with intention, whatever way you operate is generally pretty acceptable. Figure out why you’re microdosing and remember that reason, and stick to a schedule that you can commit to.

Microdosing without a schedule or a plan isn’t really the point of microdosing. It doesn’t allow you to maximize its benefits, nor does it let you get the most out of the psychedelic. A commitment to a schedule is necessary to benefit from any change. Moreover, if you’re new, I’d even recommend keeping a microdosing journal to monitor your experience.

This is a practice in commitment and devotion. The payoff really only happens through dedication. Are you really hoping that microdosing will change your life? Don’t be sloppy — let it.

Microdosing is not forever

It’s important to remember that psilocybin (or any psychedelic) is not panacea. It is a tool just like anything else.

You don’t take antibiotics indefinitely, so why take mushrooms (or LSD, or whatever you’re choosing to microdose) the same way? Microdosing is a tool, a stepping stone, a stool, a ladder, a bridge to help you get to where you need to be. Use it wisely — these are still drugs, despite the extremely positive conversations and media coverage happening around psychedelics these days.

You may think a small dose can’t be harmful, but abuse of any substance is possible. Treat the microdosing practice with respect and allow it to work for you.

When Microdosing
Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

Pause & reset

In an article with Dazed, drug researcher and author Dr. Nuke says that “The standard pattern for microdosing is taking a microdose every other day for one to two weeks and then taking a week or so off.”

Why take a microdosing break?

Taking a break from your microdosing schedule allows you to reset.

Treat microdosing like you would any physical and mental regimen: You simply cannot do it every day, all the time.

A reset week will prevent tolerance buildup in your microdosing practice. While your “off days” will also serve this function, a longer break away from psychedelics will do a better job of re-regulating you so that your return to microdosing is still powerful and effective.

Keep track of your mood and emotions during your break; are you feeling better or worse? Use this time to reconnect with yourself. Perhaps you’d like to raise your dose? Lower it? Is the schedule you’ve been following working for you?

Back to microdosing

On your return to your microdosing protocol, perhaps review your intention and goal with the process. Again, ask yourself: Why are you microdosing to begin with? And why is this the right dose?

Before I took the break that I’m currently on, I had been microdosing at 250mg every other day. I had somewhat recently decided to raise my microdose from 100–150mg every other day in hopes that the effects might be a bit more noticeable and help elevate a mood that was constantly dropped and increase creativity levels that I felt were suffering.

I later went on a high-dose trip in Jamaica on a retreat (article coming on that later), and in order to prepare for it and to integrate the effects after, I didn’t microdose for over a month.

I am currently travelling and won’t be back in Canada until later this month, after which I plan to rest for under a week and then begin microdosing again. However, after a break of almost five weeks, I won’t be starting at a 250mg dose — I’ll be starting with 100mg and slowly working my way up to 250 again (if I feel I need it) before breaking for another chunk of time, probably around two weeks or so.


There’s still some questions around the science of microdosing and whether or not there’s really any benefit to be gained from it. Personally, as an on-and-off microdoser for over two years now, I find that it’s significantly helped my mood, patience, and creativity. Placebo or not, something was working for me. Perhaps for others, not so much.

Here are some articles about microdosing:

What is microdosing, and does it work? (NY Times)

Traces of psychedelics make you feel good, but so does placebo, finds unusual ‘self-blinding’ study (Science.org)

Microdosing: ‘Smart’ Psychedelics Explained (Healthline)

Thanks for tuning in. I’m Sofie Mikhaylova, a freelance travel and psychedelics writer and explorer, among other things. Feel free to follow me on here, on Instagram, or LinkedIn to see where I am in the world and what I’m up to. I also have a weekly newsletter called Sofieland that is a bit more personal than this blog, which will mostly exist to host ideas for articles around psychedelics, wellness, travel, and the underground that weren’t able to find a home with another publisher.

Thanks for reading. I’m glad you’re here.

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