Microdosing psilocybin with cacao
AN ANCIENT COMBINATION IN A NEW LIGHT
A microdose is a sub-perceptual dose. Unnoticeable or subtle in direct effect, but a noticeable influence in your life. The use of psilocybin containing mushrooms has a long and widespread history (scroll down for more history info). Microdosing psilocybin has recently gained popularity using it rather as a supplement in daily life compared to a deeper journey.
In general 1/10th to 1/20th of a ‘trip’ or journey dose is advised. Finding your sweet spot dose and schedule is a fun process and only you can decide what works best for you. And very important, IF microdosing is beneficial to you. Note that cacao increases the effect and the ideal dose might be lower.
“If you’re tripping, you’re not microdosing.”
How does psilocybin work?
Psilocybin is the active compound in sacred mushrooms and truffles. The chemical name of psilocybin is O-phosphoryl-4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine. After ingesting psilocybin your body quickly transforms it into psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), a very similar molecule to serotonin, which gives the actual psychedelic effect. By mimicking serotonin it stimulates the 5-HT2A receptor in the prefrontal cortex of your brain. Stimulating brain activity, growth and connections.
Psilocin is also directly present in sacred mushrooms or truffles, but less stable than psilocybin.
Psilocybin with cacao
The combination of sacred mushrooms and cacao share a long history and tradition. Traditionally used in ceremonies with larger dose journeys, we like to propose this combination for microdosing too. Separately cacao and microdosing are used for a healthy and positive lifestyle, together they give more depth. Cacao is not a psychedelic, but it does have a psychoactive effect as a mood enhancer and connecting us to our heart-centre. It also has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, is rich in minerals and the active compound theobromine is a mild stimulant. Making it a healthy food source with a subtle but profound effect.
The Aztecs called the sacred mushrooms teonanacátl (flesh of the gods). Cacao’s official name is theobroma cacao (food of the gods). A powerful combination increasing the effect where the mushroom opens the mind and cacao opens the heart.
Note that cacao increases the effect of psilocybin. It contains MAO-inhibitors that prevent the breakdown and modulate neurotransmitters like serotonin. Your sweet spot dose might be a little lower than usual.
Another benefit of using cacao with a microdose is that it helps your body to uptake active components. In the end it’s not only what you consume into your body, but what your body can uptake and process. The natural fats present in cacao and increased blood flow help. Your can eat pure cacao paste, but our preference is to make a traditional style cacao drink. Honouring both the mushroom and cacao as teachers supporting us in living our potential. For many a cacao drink is a delicious (and very welcome) combination when chewing mushrooms/truffles.
With an intention
Think about what your goals are before starting to microdose. They are important as an intention and also to reflect on later. When we start the day with a cacao drink we set an intention for that day, something we’re working on, for someone else or something broader in life. It is a nice way to connect with a deeper layer of purpose and prepare your mind to what you want to do next. We like to do the same with microdosing. Setting an intention adds to the experience and results.
Your intention or goals can be performance driven, social, personal development or spiritual and be different per day or change over time. Connecting to deeper layers of yourself is part of a fulfilling life.
Yoga to dive deeper into your body
Yoga is an incredible way to connect with ourselves, our body, our flow and peaceful state of mind. Letting go of thoughts and being present in our body is a challenge we all know.
It’s not always possible to start a day with yoga or other practices. Nice about microdosing is that it does not really take time. Still, our favourite recipe is to start the day with a microdose, cup of cacao and yoga flow. The dept and integration of this combination is very profound and can be a journey of its own. It’s worthwhile treating yourself on this synergy when you can ;-).
How often should you microdose?
There is no single answer to this. The most important is to find a schedule that works best for you. Two famous microdosing schedules are described by James Fadiman - single microdose days separated by off days and Paul Stamets - serial microdose days separated by off days.
Fadiman: Day 1: dose day - Day 2: no dose - Day 3: no dose - Day 4: dose day.
Stamets: 4 serial dose days - 3 days no dose.
Off days are important to observe the difference and not to build a tolerance. When continuing your schedule for several weeks it is recommended to take a break for some weeks. Again to observe the effects, see what the short-term, in-the-moment and long-term effects are. Take notes! Be kind to yourself and regularly check in with your purpose and intention. You don’t have to follow a schedule like this and can also microdose more randomly when you like and feel to, it all depends on your goals. If you want to know more about microdosing protocols you can check out this info from the Microdosing Institute.
A long history of psychoactive mushrooms
Mesoamerican mushroom stones, often found with metates and used for grinding the sacraments before use. - image: mushroomstone.com
Psilocybin containing mushroom use dates back over 7000 years throughout different cultures. Most proof has been found in Mayan and Aztec history (art, religion, excavations, texts, mythology, etc) indicating the important role they played. Even more is known about the cultural importance of cacao. And less about the combination of both.
The Aztecs called the sacred mushrooms teonanacátl (flesh of the gods). Cacao’s official name is theobroma cacao (food of the gods). Both are interesting by themselves and create a powerful combination increasing the effect. The mushroom opens the mind and cacao opens the heart.
Most information about uses and ceremonies has been destroyed, but luckily some survived. In the 16the century, Bernadino de Sahagún studies Aztec culture and describes in The Florentine Codex:
"At the very first, mushrooms had been served...They ate no more food; they only drank chocolate during the night. And they ate the mushrooms with honey. When the mushrooms took effect on them, then they danced, then they wept. But some, while still in command of their senses, entered and sat there by the house on their seats; they did no more, but only sat there nodding...And when the effects of the mushrooms had left them, they consulted amongst themselves and told one another what they had seen in their visions."
Ancient ceremonies continued in secret and many seeking them reported the combination with cacao drinks.
Safe, but be responsible
In general psilocybin is regarded safe to use and is not addictive. The therapeutic and physical effects of psilocybin in large and micro doses are being researched further. Before using psilocybin check if there is a contraindication for medicine that you’re using and your physical and mental condition. In general be responsible for yourself, get in contact with others to share questions and experiences.
Taking a higher dose in a mushroom ceremony
Microdosing is an interesting way to use psilocybin in daily life. Going into a ceremony is something completely different. Taking a psychedelic journey dose can be a life changing experience. Taking it in a ceremony is a beautiful way to honor the mushroom and to work with it's effect. Going into a mushroom ceremony we can advice the combination with cacao in a few ways.
1. Preparation: taking conscious moments to connect with yourself towards the ceremony. Cacao is a beautiful companion in moments like these, just as practices like breathwork and meditation.
2. During the ceremony: in combination with the mushrooms. Cacao and psychedelic mushrooms have a beautiful synergy, opening the mind and the heart in a loving way. It can also be fantastic to share a cacao drink with each other nearing the end of the effect of the mushrooms. It has a nice effect and is nourishing.
3. Integration: similarly to the preparation, creating some moments with yourself to stand still to what happened, what you might have learned and what you would like to take away into your life is very beneficial.
If you want to know more about psilocybin ceremonies we can recommend reading the Spinoza Bionaut Guide. It contains good info about what to expect and safety. Also they host an online psychedelic music journey to which you can register for free.
Grow your own sacred mushrooms
Depending on where you are in the world, sacred mushrooms or truffles can be legal, allowed or illegal. We encourage you to check the local law and we don't encourage any illegal actions. One of the most beautiful ways to use this medicine is to grow it yourself and this is easier than it sounds. Our friends at the Fungi Academy created an online course that we can recommend. They also gave us a discount code for 25% on all their online courses to share: "kakaw". ♡