Microdosing mushrooms is very big right now, and users report it can help with confidence, creativity and just feeling better. A few scientific studies are backing them up.

But buying an illegal substance from a dealer can be sketchy — have you met cousin Guido with the baseball bat? And buying from the darknet might end with a knock on the door from the men in dark sunglasses. 

Still want to try it?

There are two known ways to secure mushroom microdosing material without having any sort of connection, and without breaking the law — or, actually, without breaking the law so much that you risk ending up in the Big House with a new girlfriend named Bruce.

* The first way is to grow mushrooms yourself.

Buying psilocybin spores online is not illegal, except in three states. Google it. 

Growing the spores into mushrooms is about as easy as baking a cake. Doing so for personal use was ruled not illegal by a New Mexican court. Assuming everyone reading this lives in New Mexico, this is a perfectly legal way to microdose mushrooms. 

* The second way is to use research chemicals.

These are not technically mushrooms, but they are synthetic molecules structured just like psilocybin. There are several, but the most similar is 4-AcO. At low doses, it's as close to shrooms as, say, real butter is to I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, or toilet paper is to Kleenex — which is pretty close. The only people who can tell the difference between shrooms and 4-AcO at low doses are probably currently following Tipper on tour in a van. 

But these small molecular tweaks are distinct enough to make these research chemicals available everywhere. You can buy them online and have them shipped to your house nearly as easily as a box of paper towels from Amazon. A quick Google should get you to a vendor.

photo - psilocybin mushrooms from a home grow

[Psilocybin mushrooms from a home grow, with spores bought off the Internet.]

After you have your mushroom-y material, the typical method for microdosing mushrooms is simple:

1. Measure your dose.


If using real fungus, try .1 to .2 grams of psilocybe cubensis. (Get a scale off Amazon.)


If using 4-AcO, try about 1 to 2 milligrams. (Look online for advice on how to "volumetrically dose" such a small amount.) 

2. Test it out on a day when you don't have to be anywhere. See if it helps you garden or bowl or knit. Otherwise you risk being in the middle of a faculty meeting when you realize you measured 20 milligrams instead of 2, and the principal's head has become a geometric neon-colored 4D cube. (Note: what he's saying will still be boring.) 

3. Journal about your experience, preferably on flowery paper. See if microdosing helped you. If not, bail. 

4. If you like the effects, try microdosing again three or four days later.

5. Make sure you're skipping days between doses. Everyday use builds up a tolerance.

6. Experiment with different dose levels. Too buzzy? Dial it back. Too anxious? Dial it back.

7. Try microdosing for a month or two.

8. Quit, just to be safe. Nobody knows the long-term consequences of microdosing for years on end. There's some concern microdosed psychedelics could be bad for your heart.

While the downsides of mushroom microdosing could be huge, they aren't showing up yet. Meanwhile, the stories of how much it helps are all over the internet. Read a few anecdotes on Reddit before you try it.

Microdosing mushrooms is not for everybody, but some folks say it changes their lives for the better. 

And with these tips, you can improve your life without the sketch of going to a drug dealer. Your kneecaps will stay intact. 

[Cover photo: Roughly 1 to 2 mg of 4-AcO, a molecule very close to psilocybin that feels about the same.]