How Much Shrooms Should A Beginner Take?

How Much Shrooms Should A Beginner Take?

Those with interest in taking a first dose of magic mushrooms need some guidance. But how much shrooms should a beginner take before taking the leap? That depends on a few factors — so be sure to avoid dabbling before learning about your shrooms dosage.

Magic mushrooms are classified as psychedelics due to the fact they contain two active, hallucinogenic compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. They bind to the serotonin receptors in the brain and cause visual and sensory distortions (also known as hallucinations). These have now been linked to many worldwide studies on helping treat a variety of mental health issues people struggle with.

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The process of microdosing magic mushrooms means taking small doses of these psychedelics. The practice is becoming more popular — and not only for individuals dealing with depression or anxiety. With reports of improved mood, creativity, focus and productivity naturally spark interest in everyone trying to boost their careers and improve their work and life balance.

This is where the psychedelic journey begins, with the question of why you’re even interested in trying out shrooms in the first place.

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How Much Shrooms Should A Beginner Take? Finding Your Why

Just like with many other things in life, it’s important to figure out and know your reason for wanting to explore something new. Psychedelics are still a bit abstract in the sense of no strict guidelines in dosage and consistency as well as the matter of their legal status, so they’re definitely not just something you find in the store and decide to try out.

Why you’re interested in magic mushrooms will reflect on your dose and whether or not you need professional guidance. If you’re struggling with treatment-resistant depression or anxiety, there are states which have now approved their use in therapy. However, use of psilocybin mushrooms can only be under specific regulations.

On the other hand, if you only have interest in improving your focus at work, you’re probably going to need to obtain the shrooms from a dealer or the dark web. Another option would be growing magic mushrooms at home.

Identify The Right Source

The question of purity and potency plays a huge role as getting your shrooms from an unidentified source could be quite dangerous. Many dealers are known to mix psychedelics with other non-psychedelic mushrooms, medications, or even drugs in order to lower their costs, so you never know how pure your shrooms really are. This will affect your dose as the amount of psilocybin you ingest might differ from one source to the next.

RELATED: Do Shrooms Show Up On A Drug Test?

Mixing Shrooms With Other Medications

If currently on medications or having ongoing therapy, the way shrooms are going to impact you could be different. The interaction between psilocybin and other active substances could have an unpredictable and dangerous effect.

This ranges from a mild reaction all the way to experiencing a bad trip. The experience can also be accompanied by extreme psychological and physiological side effects.

Previous Experience Using Psychedelics

If you’ve never tried any of the psychedelics or taken any other drugs, you might want to try a lower dose than recommended, just to see how you would react. Some people experience none or very mild effects at the very beginning, but others might get a strong sensation right away. In order to prevent that from happening and scaring you right off the bat, starting with a microdose is the best way to go.

However, if you’ve already had an experience with psychedelics, you may already understand how your body and mind react to different hallucinogens. This could potentially give you some insight into how you’d feel when you take shrooms for the first time.

Keep in mind that your experience might still be different, as each psychedelic has its own way of entering and interacting with the body.

RELATED: Psilocybin For Creativity: How A Hero’s Dose Helped Overcome Writer’s Block For My Latest Book

What Does Set And Setting Mean?

The two most important aspects to prepare for a psychedelic experience are set and setting.

This idea came from Timothy Leary and his Harvard colleagues in 1964. It was later laid out in the book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The thought is that set and setting refers to internal and external factors surrounding a psychedelic experience.

Set reflects the inner state (mood, preconceived notions, personality, beliefs, thoughts on the subject, reasons why). However, setting identifies everything within the immediate environment. These include things like the following.

  • People nearby
  • Sounds or music playing
  • Smells
  • The cultural and social affairs of a user

Depending on the set and setting, different doses of psychedelics can affect someone differently.

RELATED: How Much Do Shrooms Cost, And Can You Buy Them Legally?

So, How Much Shrooms Should a Beginner Take?

Below, you’ll find some common guidelines on shrooms doses.

  • Microdosing (0.1 to 0.5 grams). Usually administered when conducting therapeutic treatments. Apparently, this dose shouldn’t create a “high” and it should invoke only minimal serotonin-binding effects that can help long-term.
  • Low Dose (1 gram or 1,000mg of psilocybin). People usually experience euphoria and enhancement of all senses without feeling completely outside of their body.
  • Medium Dose (1.75 grams or 1,750mg of psilocybin). Experiences of some hallucinogenic effects (mostly visual and sensory) and a stronger sense of euphoria.
  • High Dose (3.5 grams or 3,500mg of psilocybin). Strong visual and sensory distortions which may invoke synesthesia (blending of the senses).
  • “Heroic Dose” (5 grams or 5,000mg of psilocybin). This dose brings on the full depth of the mushroom experience. This includes feelings of losing control, being outside your body, and even experiencing “ego death“. The term “heroic dose” comes from American ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna, who is a strong advocate of psychedelics.

When it comes to how much shrooms a beginner should take, the best recommendation is to start with a tiny dose. From there, a user can build upwards.

Debra Ferguson, a seasoned psychonaut and contributing member to the Daytryp Health Psychedelic Wellness Center team, recommends, “If you’re truly a beginner in the realm of psychedelics and are looking to just ‘dip your toe’, starting off with 1.5 grams is probably a safe bet. It’s enough for the user to get a feel for what to expect but short of a full recreational dose, which is generally recognized as being 3.5g.”

However, if you’re taking mushrooms for the first time in a retreat setting, you may take a slightly higher dose. According to Alberto Herrera, collaborator and facilitator at Soul Medicine, retreat participants can expect to take anywhere from 2.5-3 grams, but that depends heavily on “the physical and mental health of the participant.”

It’s impossible to know how each individual will react to taking shrooms. And because there are a myriad of different factors, starting small is the best approach.

RELATED: How Long Do Shrooms Stay In Your System?

Karla Tafra

View all posts by Karla Tafra

Karla is a freelance writer, yoga teacher and nutritionist who's been writing about nutrition, fitness, yoga, mindfulness, and overall health and wellness topics for over seven years. She's written for numerous publications such as Healthline, Livesavvy,, Well + Good, and many others, sharing her love of storytelling and educating. She loves talking about superfoods and another amazing plant powers that people can benefit from if they learn how to use it properly. Her passion lies in helping others not only eat healthier meals but implement good eating habits, find a great relationship with food & achieve a balanced lifestyle. She believes that the only diet and lifestyle that's worth creating is the one you can stick to, so she aims to find what that means for each and every individual. Teaching WHY we eat, and not only WHAT we eat, is the premise of her approach.

This post was approved by mycologist Caine Barlow

Caine is a mycologist and educator who is skilled in mushroom cultivation, cell culture, and biotechnology. He has a Master’s Degree focused in Science (Bioinformatics) from University of Melbourne. He focuses on teaching how to culture and grow gourmet fungi while partnering with other organizations to help promote the discussion and conservation of fungi in the developing field of Conservation Mycology.

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Comments (1)

  • Gala
    July 10, 2023 at 7:29 pm Reply


    I noticed in your dosage recommendations the conversion from grams to mg is incorrect. 2 g is 2000mg, .25g is 250 mg etc.

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