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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How Often Should You Use Psychedelics?


Many people wonder about the frequency of psychedelic use. In this article, we will explore this question and provide some insights based on different methods or indications of psychedelic use.

The simple answer is: “As often as is good for you.”

However, it’s important to note that there is no strict schedule for personal growth and exploration. Each individual’s journey with psychedelics is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. The frequency and dosing of psychedelic use should be a personal decision based on factors such as intention, indication, and response.

While there is no definitive answer, here are some guidelines for different modalities of psychedelic use:

 

Frequency of Psychedelic Use by Modality

 

Microdosing

Microdosing involves taking subperceptual doses of psychedelics regularly. Different regimens exist, ranging from less to more intensive. However, long-term chronic use of microdoses may pose risks of Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) due to the activity of psychedelics on serotonin 2B (5HT2B) receptors. It is recommended to consider a course of microdosing for 1-2 months and then take a break that is at least half as long as the microdosing course. Starting with lower doses and less frequent administration schedules can help individuals build a relationship with the substances’ effects and prevent overwhelming experiences.

 

Psychedelic Therapy

Psychedelic therapy involves taking moderate to large doses of psychedelics in a controlled setting, accompanied by preparation therapy, emotional support during the experience, and integration therapy afterward. Clinical trials have used different administration regimens, ranging from 1-3 sessions spaced a week to a month apart. The spacing between sessions is necessary to allow for recovery and integration. Rapid tolerance can occur with macrodoses of LSD or psilocybin, leading to diminished effects with consecutive days of use. Therefore, taking breaks of 5-10 days between sessions can help maintain the full potency of these substances.

 

Sacramental Use

Sacramental use of psychedelics involves taking small to large doses in ritualized settings as part of a religious or spiritual path. Ongoing and intermittent use is common, and support can vary from minimal to extensive, including emotional and medical support. Long-term and regular users of ayahuasca have been studied and found to have specific brain changes associated with their use, such as thinning of the Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC) and increased self-transcendence personality traits. These changes were not considered pathological.

 

Anti-inflammatory, Pain, Headaches

There is limited data available on the administration schedules for managing cluster or migraine headaches with psychedelics. Some regimens suggest taking 3 doses of psilocybin or LSD spaced 5 days apart for cluster headaches. Another approach is the “Burst and Pulse” dosing modality, where individuals start with a moderate dose and follow up with smaller doses every 5 days for several administrations, aiming to break the headache or pain cycle. It is important to consider the typical window for detecting markers of neuroplasticity (3-7 days) when spacing out these doses.

 

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) involving classical psychedelics are not common, and psychedelics have shown anti-addictive effects. However, individuals may sometimes question if they are using psychedelics too much or have become addicted. Answering “yes” to several questions such as taking larger amounts or using longer than intended, wanting to cut down or stop but not managing to, or experiencing problems in relationships due to substance use, may indicate the presence of a SUD.

 

High Notes on Psychedelic Use

While there are some general guidelines for the frequency of psychedelic use, it ultimately depends on the individual and their specific circumstances. Reflecting on reasons for use, goals, responses, and whether there may be a problem can help individuals determine if their use is appropriate or needs adjustment. It’s important to stay informed and seek professional guidance if needed.

If you would like personalized guidance on psychedelic use, you can book a consultation to discuss your details and concerns. Visit the consultation page on the Spirit Pharmacist website for more information.

 

 

 

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FAQs

1. How often should I microdose psychedelics?

Microdosing regimens vary, but it is recommended to consider a course of microdosing for 1-2 months and then take a break that is at least half as long as the microdosing course.

2. How many sessions of psychedelic therapy should I have?

The number of sessions in psychedelic therapy can vary, but clinical trials have used 1-3 sessions spaced a week to a month apart. It’s important to allow for integration and recovery between sessions.

3. How does sacramental use of psychedelics differ from other modalities?

Sacramental use of psychedelics involves taking psychedelics in ritualized settings as part of a religious or spiritual path. Ongoing and intermittent use is common in sacramental practices.

4. What is the recommended dosing schedule for managing cluster or migraine headaches with psychedelics?

There is limited data on the dosing schedules for managing headaches with psychedelics. Some regimens suggest taking 3 doses spaced 5 days apart for cluster headaches. The “Burst and Pulse” modality involves starting with a moderate dose and following up with smaller doses every 5 days for several administrations.

5. How can I determine if my psychedelic use is becoming a problem?

If you answer “yes” to several questions related to your psychedelic use, such as taking larger amounts than intended, wanting to cut down but not managing to, or experiencing problems in relationships due to substance use, it may indicate the presence of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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