So, you want to take shrooms. If you’ve gotten that far, you may have already tackled a handful of questions: What’s the best way to take them? Can you stop your trip once it starts? Can you drink on them? What if you don’t feel anything? You’ve probably bought some from your local dealer and stored them properly, too — now all you need to do is decide how many you’re going to take. There are a few options for this — you can take a wild guess, do extensive research or, if you’re like many people, head to Google and type out the words “magic mushroom dosage calculator.”
Once you click on any of the resulting links, you’ll be asked to input your weight, the type of mushroom — most sites let you pick between fresh and dry, but some also give you the option of shrooms versus magic truffles — and what kind of a dose you want to take, from microdose to high dose. And voilà, you’ll be prescribed a set amount of grams for the type of shrooms you have and the resulting trip you want.
Some calculators, like Shroomery’s, offer an even more detailed description of each trip “level,” as well as more options for the species of mushroom, and the amount of psilocybin or psilocin in them (based on whether they’re fresh or dried). Here, the levels start at microdose, then go up to “level five.” Shroomery describes a microdose as “a small dose, which isn’t enough to ‘trip’ in the traditional sense, but can lead to subtle yet profound internal shifts,” including improvements in mood, creativity and productivity. Level five, however, is described as “total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way. Total loss of ego. The loss of reality becomes so severe that it defies explanation.”
Although using these calculators might sound simple and foolproof enough, they actually come with a number of issues. “A potential problem with a magic mushroom dose calculator is that the dose consumed is only one factor in how strong a psychedelic experience is,” says Adam Waugh, the core team lead at harm-reduction charity PsyCare UK. “Factors like body weight, previous psychedelic experiences, how you’re feeling and the setting [you’re consuming the psychedelics in] can all have a big effect on how strong the trip is. So while getting an appropriate dose is important, it’s only part of the picture.”
Let’s say you do consider all those factors — can shroom calculators still be a useful tool? If this recent study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, is anything to go by, weight-adjusted dosing is just an exercise in futility. Researchers issued participants — whose weights ranged from 108 pounds to 249 pounds — different doses of shrooms with the aim of analyzing whether heavier individuals would experience a more pronounced trip. In the end, they found “no evidence that body weight affected subjective effects of psilocybin.”
In other words, using a shroom dosage calculator that’s based on your weight probably isn’t the most effective way to do it. Redditor Desperate_Ad6457 found this out the hard way. “Five days ago, I tripped off two grams of GTs (Golden Teacher Cubensis mushrooms), and yesterday I wanted to get a lil’ wavy again, [but] didn’t want to trip too hard since I had work the next morning,” they recently wrote in r/shrooms. “I used a dose calculator and a graph and came to the conclusion that I needed 4.2 grams. Within 45 minutes, I knew I messed up. I was completely overwhelmed. Every time it would calm down, it would come back worse (I’d feel like parts of my body, like my torso or my legs, were gone). This cycle repeated every 20 to 30 minutes for like two hours — I felt like I was in hell paying for every sin I had ever committed.”
Although their trip ended well — they “[eventually] felt a sense of complete forgiveness and self-love” — their incorrect calculation didn’t provide the trip they’d envisioned.
Another redditor said that shroom calculators aren’t “accurate at all” because they don’t take a person’s tolerance into account. Some people might be able to take more than others — whether they’re a beginner or not — while even the most experienced shroom-takers might find that their tolerance resets quickly.
The best advice is to start off with a smaller dose, and eventually work your way up. According to Double Blind, when it comes to psilocybe cubensis — the most common species of magic mushrooms — the following is a fairly good dosage guide: For a microdose, take 0.1 to 0.5 grams; for a low dose, you’ll want 0.5 to 2 grams; for a moderate dose, you’re looking at 2 to 3.5 grams; and for a high dose, you might try 3.5 to 5 grams and above.
So, good luck! It could be a glorious experience, or if you’re this guy, you might spend “an hour and a half getting absolutely shit whipped by a 30-foot troll, and then [spend] the next two and a half [hours] being in a euphoric gratitude your head didn’t fly off.”
As they say, you win some, you lose some.