Taking shrooms for the first time can be daunting. As well as being apprehensive about the prospect of tripping balls, you’ve also got a lot of logistics to cover. You need to establish how you’re going to take them, what you’re going to do while you’re on them, and importantly, how many you should take. If you’re a fresh-faced, doe-eyed beginner, there’s a couple of factors to consider here — mainly, the type of mushrooms you have and the level of trip you want.
First of all, it’s worth pointing out that different types of mushrooms contain different amounts of psilocybin (the active ingredient that puts the “magic” in magic mushrooms), so there’s no standard answer. On top of that, there’s literally no way to know how much psilocybin is in each individual shroom. As Rachel Clark, the education manager at harm reduction organization DanceSafe, explains more eloquently, “Each individual ‘flush’ of mushrooms — think of it like a crop — will have additional variability in psilocybin content, [meaning] there’s no way to tell how much psilocybin is contained within a given mushroom within a given flush within a given species.” So, she says, “It’s a bit of a crapshoot in that regard.” (This also partly explains why shroom dosage calculators are often unreliable.)
But this doesn’t mean you should just take a random bunch of shrooms and hope for the best, especially as you can’t stop a mushroom trip once you’ve started. Your dosage is still very important, particularly for a first timer, and Clark says there’s a general dosing scale that tends to be fairly applicable across mushrooms/flushes/species. The following is a good guide for dried shrooms: A microdose is typically between 0.05-0.2 grams; a light dose is 0.5-1.5 grams; a moderate dose is 1.5-2 grams; a strong dose is between 2.5-3.5 grams; and a heavy dose is 3.5 grams and more.
For first-timers, Clark recommends a light dose — but on the upper end of the scale. “My personal sweet spot suggestion is to start off with 1.2 grams to get the lay of the land and acclimatize to the physical and perceptual changes that take place,” she explains. You can measure your dose with a gram scale — or, if you want even more precision, you can use a milligram scale.
But Clark warns, “Everyone’s preferences with shrooms are different.” “Of the classical psychedelics (LSD, mescaline, DMT and psilocybin), they’re often considered to be the most volatile and spiritual,” she continues. “As the adage goes, ‘Acid puts you in the driver’s seat, shrooms take you for a ride.’” For this reason, Clark says she always drives home the importance of planning your set and setting ahead of time. “I advise doing mushrooms in a calm and peaceful environment, and eating a moderate meal two hours before dosing to help mitigate nausea and anxiety,” she tells me. “I also advise making sure that easy snacks, water and a comfortable/warm place to snuggle up are readily available in case you don’t want to interact with people, or you need to satisfy physiological needs.”
“Oh,” she adds, “and don’t dress yourself in anything that will make it really difficult to pee.”
So, hop out of that jumpsuit, grab your gram scale and get wavy, baby.