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Psychedelic Dosage Guide: How Much of Each Substance to Take

Alongside other questions about psychedelics, many people commonly wonder which substances to take and what a proper therapeutic dose looks like for drugs like psilocybin, LSD, & cannabis. 

Unlike commercialized drugs that come in uniform sizes like prescription medication, cigarettes, and beer, it’s more difficult to find a ‘standard’ dose of a psychedelic substance.      

Psychedelics affect people in different ways and it’s important to realize that even the same dose of the same psychedelic drug at different times can produce entirely different experiences—even for the same person. 

Although the variety of experiences do make psychedelic dosages somewhat difficult to quantify, we have experiential, anecdotal and scientific information to help decide proper dosage amounts. 

While recent research has discovered certain dosages can contribute to positive effects, the responsibility of determining a safe and sufficient dosage for your experience will ultimately fall on you. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Drug Purity and Potency Test Kits are the best way to ensure your dose is safe and will provide the desired effect.
  • Even though dosing is not one-size fits all and has complex factors which can alter the effects, knowing recommended dosing gives you a general framework of where to start.
  • Consult with an expert for the safest psychedelic experience. 
  • Psychedelic Passage: Your Psychedelic Concierge — The easy, legal way to find trustworthy psilocybin guides, facilitators and psychedelic-assisted therapy near you in the United States.

Download Our Free Psilocybin Sourcing Guide

For harm-reduction purposes, we provide links to online psilocybin vendors, local stores, delivery services, and spore vendors for growing your own medicine at home.

How to Determine an Accurate Psychedelic Dosage

1. Drug Purity Test Kit

It is absolutely essential that you know what substance and mushroom species you’re ingesting so that you avoid adulterated substances. When it comes to staying safe and supporting your journey with psychedelics, a drug testing kit is your best friend.

Luckily, we’ve dedicated an entire article to reviewing the best psychedelic purity test kits. In it, we review DanceSafe, a unique organization that offers reagent test kits for psychedelics as well as providing education and harm reduction services to its community. 

They are dedicated to promoting health and safety within the music and nightlife communities and have a strong emphasis on education and harm reduction. Check out their purity test kits below:

Psychedelic Purity Tests

Another good option if you’re looking for a multipack of sorts is their best seller Standard Set of 6 Reagents. This set tests for MDMA, ketamine, and LSD. 

Dance Safe also offers workshops, training sessions, and outreach programs to promote harm reduction and provide their community with the tools they need to make informed decisions about substance use. 

They also actively engage with their community, gathering feedback and using it to continuously improve their services and offerings. 

If you are looking for a reagent test kit provider that prioritizes education, harm reduction, and transparency, DanceSafe is the perfect choice. 

2. High-quality Scale

Investing in a high-quality scale is crucial. Aside from LSD, fresh mushrooms and dried magic mushrooms can be weighed. 

When it comes to certain substances (like DMT), even a slight change in weight can have a huge impact, so it’s important that you can ensure you’re taking the correct amount.

3. Drug Potency Test Kit

Unlike traditional reagent kits that merely identify the presence of a substance, potency tests go a step further by revealing the potency of psychoactive compounds in milligrams or as a percentage

By providing quantitative data on the potency of psychoactive substances, these kits enable users to accurately determine the exact dosage of the most popular psychedelic drugs. 

In a groundbreaking development for harm reduction practices, Dr. Felix Blei, based in Jena, Germany, has pioneered QTests—the world’s first quantitative reagent test kits specifically designed for psychedelics. 

The introduction of QTests revolutionizes the way individuals approach harm reduction in the realm of psychedelics. Qtests offers: 

Dr. Felix Blei's Miraculix Qtests

QTests provide a scientifically validated method for determining the concentration of unregulated substances, granting both journeyers and healthcare providers greater control over treatment processes and enhancing the potential benefits of psychedelic therapies. 

Psychedelic Dosages Compared to Other Drugs

While we’ve come a long way in terms of research and regulation, we’ve only just begun to dip our toes into the psychedelic pool. 

Whereas specific dosages and recommendations can be made for other drugs (tobacco, alcohol, etc.), medical guidance and safety protocols still fall behind when it comes to psychedelics. 

Prohibition has ultimately caused the safety and efficacy of psychedelics to fall into the hands of the users themselves. With future legislation and legalization, that may change. 

But for now, the best way for users to stay informed and practice harm reduction is with the help of a psychedelic facilitator who provides preparation, trip sitting, and integration services throughout your journey. 

If you’re interested in this type of support and want to receive personalized guidance on how to get the most out of your psychedelic experiences, we invite you to book a consult with our psychedelic concierges today. 

Our concierges will help you get connected to our pre-vetted network of psychedelic facilitators, located around the country.

In the meantime, we’ve put together this comprehensive psychedelic dosage guide based on each type of substance. 

This guide will help you determine how much of each substance to take for your desired effect. We’ll state our recommended dose as well as what a light and a heavy dose would look like for reference.  

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Determining Therapeutic Dosage: Psychedelic or ‘Magic’ Mushrooms

Recommended Dosage: 20 to 30 mg of psilocybin/70 kg of body mass (typically equates to about 3 to 5 grams of dried mushroom).

It’s important to note that much of the research on taking magic mushrooms has involved the active chemical compound itself—not the entire mushroom. Determining mushroom dosage typically involves the mushroom as a whole. 

Furthermore, different psychedelic mushrooms or magic mushrooms contain different amounts of psilocybin, the ingredient that makes you “trip.” 

If you’re going to use a recommended dosage, you’ll have to do some math to work out the weight of the mushrooms required to contain the amount of recommended psilocybin (mg). 

Fortunately, there are a few calculators that can help determine low dose and high dose amounts for dried mushrooms.

This calculator allows you to choose from fresh or dried mushrooms or truffles, and this one breaks it down into different strains of mushroom and considers if you’re taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or not.

Generally speaking, higher doses, which some call a heroic dose of psilocybe mushrooms are associated with more positive benefits. 

However, as with most substances, this is a very fine line and higher doses don’t always translate into better experiences. 

A higher, heroic dose of fresh mushrooms will almost always result in a more intense experience, which can result in significant discomfort–what many categorize as a ‘bad trip‘.  

It’s also important to note that, according to this 2021 review by Rucker and Seth, even the lowest dosages used produce long-lasting and positive changes in spiritual beliefs, overall satisfaction, behavior, and attitudes. 

This supports the idea that both microdosing (taking a small amount that doesn’t make you hallucinate) and macrodosing (taking an amount that kicks off a full blown psychedelic trip) provide benefits. 

With that being said, if you’re experimenting with psilocybin for the first time, start small. 

Research Studies on Therapeutic Psilocybin Dosages

One 2011 study by Johnson and colleagues investigated headaches (which are commonly reported with magic mushrooms) and reported that the duration, severity, and incidence all increase with the dosage amount (5, 10, 20, and 30 mg/70 kg).

However, mystical-type experiences are generally reported with higher doses of psilocybin. Perceptual effects began at around 20 to 30 mg/70 kg dosages. 

These higher doses are also attributed to longer-lasting benefits in behavior, mood, attitudes. 

They also contributed to “substantial personal and spiritual significance” (Griffiths et al., 2011) with the highest dose producing the greatest positive effects. It’s important to realize that sometimes even “bad trips” produce positive lasting effects.

In the same study by Griffiths and colleagues, a volunteer was given the highest dose (30 mg/70 kg) and reported that it was the worst experience she had ever encountered. 

Although she almost dropped out of the study, she ended up continuing to participate and actually re-evaluated her first experience as one with spiritual significance and benefits regarding her life-satisfaction and well-being. 

She then rated her second encounter as the number one most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experience of her life.

While genuinely “bad” trips with magic mushrooms are possible, especially with higher doses, it’s helpful to know that there are tools that can help mitigate bad trips and transform them into experiences with significant insight and meaning. 

Feeling supported in your journey with magic mushrooms is undoubtedly the best way to prevent truly bad trips, and to turn them into meaningful experiences. 

Seeking quality support from a psychedelic guide who also offers integration services is essential to accessing and implementing the insights received in a magic mushroom experience, especially the tough ones. 

Determining Therapeutic Dose: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

The Recommended Dosage for LSD is 50 – 150 µg (micrograms) per individual, 200+ µg in highly supportive settings. 

LSD also has unique characteristics that make it somewhat difficult to dose. Unless you have a direct connection to the illicit source or are able to access LSD in liquid form, you probably won’t know how much you are taking. 

That’s because the most common form of LSD comes on blotter paper, which is an absorbent paper soaked in a solution of LSD. An average sheet of blotter paper has about 100 uniform tabs containing about 100 µg per tab. 

However, unless you know who’s prepared the blotter sheet, it’s difficult to know how much LSD each tab or hit will contain. 

In other words, one piece of blotter paper could contain 100 µg and another tab of the exact same size could contain 200 µg. 

That said, it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to LSD, as even with the most trustworthy sources, you may be consuming an unknown amount. 

 Psychedelic Dosage Guide: How Much of Each Substance to Take

Research Studies on Therapeutic LSD Doses

The minimal recognizable dose of LSD is about 25 µg (Passie et al., 2008). A moderate dose (75 to 150 µg) will result in a significantly altered state of consciousness.

Commonly associated are feelings of euphoria, increased introspection, pseudohallucinations, changes in ego-function, and alterations of thinking and time experience. 

This makes LSD difficult to microdose. We prefer psilocybin for microdosing

A full LSD reaction typically occurs at doses of around 100 to 200 µg. 

At the higher end (200 µg), mystical experiences are commonly reported, and this dose is associated with benefits for depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder. 

Compared to a 100 µg dose, 200 µg produces greater feelings of openness, trust, happiness, and closeness to others. 

A typical experience will last eight hours on average. Residual effects can last for over 12+ hours after ingestion. 

Doses of more than 100 µg produce psycho-sensory effects like increased sensory perception, synesthesia, and enhanced mental imagery (Dasser et al., 2014).

It is also associated with weakened ego identification. A 200 µg dose is not associated with acute or chronic adverse effects and has been attributed to reductions in anxiety for up to 12 months. 

Interestingly, the 200 µg dose was associated with less anxiety during the experience than what was reported with the placebo.

If you need support integrating a challenging LSD experience, we encourage you to connect with our network of pre-vetted psychedelic integration specialists today. 

In a safe and supportive environment, even extremely high doses of LSD may produce long-lasting positive effects. In fact, in the case of three accidental LSD overdoses, positive mental and physical health effects were reported (Haden & Woods, 2020).

Determining Therapeutic Dose: MDMA or ‘Molly’

The Recommended Dosage is 3 mg per kg of body mass, or 60 to 150 mg (dependent on weight and sensitivity).

Pure MDMA itself is a very safe drug and presents less danger than other substances like alcohol and tobacco. It’s rarely habit-forming and has a smaller risk of death than horse riding (MAPS, 2015).

However, MDMA does present great risk to those who use it when it contains other substances. 

Due to a lack of regulation and safety protocols for the illicit substance, the black market has become a place where dangerous variants are sold as MDMA, which is why drug testing kits are vital to risk mitigation and safety. 

Regardless of what form MDMA comes in, the responsibility ultimately falls into the hands of the user to make sure what they are putting in their body is safe and pure.

Research Studies on Therapeutic MDMA Doses

Low doses (50 to 75 mg) are physiologically and psychologically safe with no adverse side effects, but greater efficacy (reductions in anxiety, depression, phobias, and damaged self-esteem) is reported for higher doses (Bouso et al., 2008).

Regular doses of MDMA (80 to 150 mg) produce euphoria, enhanced sensations, and increased empathy and energy (Green et al., 2003). 

However, they can also produce adverse physiological effects like tremors, nystagmus, nausea, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. 

Effects typically last three to five hours. Positive effects are typically reported up to doses of 100 mg, with higher doses associated with more negative effects. 

Doses of 180 mg or more are associated with only negative effects. Higher doses are also associated with sleep loss and some effects on psychomotor function. 

However, most recreational MDMA use involves other substances and consuming it at much higher doses than recommended. 

For many, these numbers, calculations, and recommendations are confusing. It can sometimes be a lot to process, but getting a dosage right is a pretty crucial component of psychedelic safety. 

Determining Therapeutic Dose: N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

Recommended Dosage: 20 to 40 mg (smoked), or 0.2 to 0.4 mg per kg of body mass (intravenous infusion)*

*Please note that in clinical research, DMT is typically given intravenously, so these numbers should be considered to reflect that route of administration. 

DMT is one of the most powerful psychedelic compounds in the world producing a short, but extremely intense experience. DMT can come in the form of crystalline powder, suspended in a liquid, or infused with herbs (Changa). 

When used recreationally, DMT is typically smoked or vaporized. It is consumed at a single time (the whole dose in one hit). 

DMT is also the main psychoactive ingredient in ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic herbal brew that has been used in sacred religious ceremonies of indigenous peoples of South America for generations. 

However, odds are if you live in the United States, these religious ceremonies will be illegal and not readily available. 

This is not a psychedelic substance to be taken lightly. Despite its short duration, the experience often results in overwhelming visual phenomena, ego-dissolution, and impaired motor function. 

As with other substances, start small and gauge your tolerance before you try a larger dose.

Research Studies on Therapeutic DMT Doses

Higher intravenous doses (0.2 to 0.4 mg/kg) were associated with brightly colored visuals, a brief loss of control, and an overwhelming rush before a dissociated state where both anxiety and euphoria were reported (Strassman et al., 1994).

Lower doses (0.05 to 0.1 mg/kg) were ironically associated with less desirable effects. Recreational doses of smoked DMT are usually around 40 to 50 mg but can reach upwards of 100 mg. 

Higher doses are associated with sensory alterations, but lethality hasn’t been reported even with extremely high doses. 

Near-death experiences have been associated with positive and long-term changes in psychological health and well-being and have been reported with various doses of DMT (7, 14, 18, 20 mg intravenous solutions) (Timmermann et al., 2018).

Determining Therapeutic Dose: Ketamine

Recommended Dosage: 25 to 100 mg (dependent on route of administration and your intention/goals)

Ketamine has historically been used as an anesthetic for medical procedures and surgery. However, recent alternative applications have produced positive results in addressing symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and treatment-resistant depression. 

However, it is important to note that ketamine is typically administered via intravenous infusion, intramuscular injection, or oral lozenge in legal clinical settings; whereas illicit forms of ketamine typically come in a powder that is insufflated (snorted). 

The difference in administration methods change the recommended dosage. And as always, use a drug testing kit and scale to reduce the chance of adverse reactions. 

Research Studies on Therapeutic Ketamine Dose

A typical recreational dose is 50 to 100 mg (intravenously), 75 to 125 mg (intramuscularly), 200 to 300 mg (orally), or 60 to 250 mg (nasally). 

At lower doses, “heart opening” effects are experienced, such as euphoria, compassion, peace, and pain relief. 

Medium doses produce out-of-body experiences and large doses can simulate a near-death experience or a complete loss of self. 

The average lethal dose is 600 mg per kg of body mass, or 4.2 g for a 70 kg (154 lbs) human. At lower amounts, overdose can cause symptoms like hypertension, abdominal pain, vomiting, impaired consciousness, excessive salivation, and chest pain (Orhurhu et al., 2023).

Long-term use of ketamine has been associated with severe urinary tract problems and episodic and semantic memory impairments

Unlike other psychedelics, ketamine has been associated with the development of tolerance and psychological dependence. 

However, it’s important to note that emergencies and death are extremely rare with ketamine, and when these do happen, it’s typically because ketamine is used in conjunction with another substance. 

Determining Therapeutic Dose: Cannabis

Recommended Dosage: 66 to 800 mg (smoked), 5-25mg starting dose (ingested)

A standard recommended dosage for cannabis is extremely difficult to gauge. Different strains contain different combinations of cannabinoids (particularly THC and CBD) and terpenes (that control the effect of the high) which makes it difficult to quantify the proper dose. 

In addition, an individual’s tolerance will impact how they feel when using cannabis, and the various methods of use impact the human body differently. 

Smoking produces a quicker, shorter high, while edibles produce a long-lasting high that can take a few hours to feel. 

Even different inhalation methods—whether it be a joint, pipe, or vaporizer cartridge—will burn the THC in different ways, meaning that different amounts will make it into your body. Some scientists are pushing for a ‘standard’ dose of 5 milligrams of THC (Freeman & Lorenzetti, 2020).

If you have access to testing results such as cannabinoid percentage, a calculator can help determine how much cannabis (THC) you’ll consume, but you’ll obviously have to experiment to determine what dosage is best for you. 

Research Studies on Therapeutic Cannabis Dose

Different doses are used for different medicinal goals (i.e. 5 mg for glaucoma, 5 to 7.5 mg for HIV/AIDS symptoms, 2 to 5 mg for seizures). 

The route of administration matters. For example, 1 milligram of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an edible product is roughly the equivalent of 5.71 mg of THC in smokable cannabis. 

The “entourage effect” (i.e. the effect of tens, if not hundreds, of cannabinoids and other constituents present in the plant that increase in strength when combined, think of it as synergy) can produce different effects and modulate the “high” produced by THC. 

For cancer patients, pain relief is reported at doses of 400 mg of smoked dried cannabis (Can Cam Physician, 2014).

Even within one type of route of administration such as smoking, the dosage will be influenced by a variety of factors (number, spacing, and duration of puffs, inhalation volume, hold time, etc.) 

Recommended Dosage is Not a One-Size-Fits-All

Because of the social and political stigma of psychedelics in the United States, there isn’t much actionable guidance on what the correct dosage is for your unique body and intended outcome. 

This means that when it comes down to it, your experience with psychedelics will be exactly that, yours. 

While anecdotal and scientific evidence can help you make decisions when it comes to dosage amounts, what works best for you will ultimately require some experimentation on your end. 

In order to find the optimal amount of any substance, you should always start small. While sometimes, higher doses result in “more enlightening” experiences, this isn’t always the case. 

In the same vein, overconsumption can be extremely uncomfortable. Just remember: you can always take more, but you can’t take less

You’ll want to find a dose that works best for you and your desired outcome. While you can read every scientific journal article and forum response out there, you’ll have to determine your own guidelines for your psychedelic use. 

Your tolerance and response to each substance will be unique, and psychedelic safety will ultimately be up to you. 

If you are looking to experiment with psychedelics in a supported way, you are in the right place. Our network of facilitators provides not only day-of trip support and guidance but also preparation and integration support (and yes that includes dosage advice).

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Hi there! We sincerely hope that you’ve found valuable takeaways that resonate with your current intentions. To explore research-based education, stay updated with psychedelic news, and benefit from practical how-to articles, we encourage you to head over to our resources page.

If you’re seeking personalized advice and are prepared to take the first step toward a therapeutic psychedelic experience, we invite you to book a consultation with our team of experienced psychedelic concierges or to fill out a matchmaking form.

This is an opportunity to be matched with a trustworthy local facilitator. You’ll be seamlessly connected to our rigorously vetted network of psychedelic guides, ensuring potential matches align with your needs.

Psychedelic Passage offers confidence and peace of mind by alleviating the burden of having to guess who’s right for you. If you want to discover how Psychedelic Passage can help you, we empower you to learn more about our services and check out client testimonials from those who’ve gone before you.

Your healing path is uniquely yours, and our commitment is to serve you at every juncture. Psychedelic Passage: Your Psychedelic Concierge — The easy, legal way to find trustworthy psilocybin guides, facilitators and psychedelic coaching near you in the United States.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I determine the appropriate dosage for a psychedelic experience?

Dosage varies based on the specific psychedelic, individual tolerance, body weight, and past experiences. Start with a low dose and gradually increase to find the right level that provides the desired effects without overwhelming or causing discomfort.

You can use this article as a general guide for therapeutic doses of each substance as well as to understand safety precautions for psychedelic medicines. 

Q: Are there recommended dosages for different  psychedelics?

Yes, recommended dosages differ for each psychedelic. Research extensively on the specific substance you intend to use and refer to reputable sources for dosing guidelines. 

We broke down in this article what scientific research is available on recommended dosing, so use this article as a reference as needed.

Q: Can set and setting affect the dosage’s impact on my experience?

Your mental state (set) and physical environment (setting) significantly influence how you perceive and handle the effects of a given dosage. If your environment feels less supportive or fail-safe, starting out low and slow can be helpful. 

Q: Can factors like body weight and metabolism impact the appropriate dosage?

Yes, individual differences, including body weight and metabolism, can influence the absorption and effects of psychedelics. A higher body weight might require a slightly higher dose for the same effects. 

Consider these factors when determining your dosage, but always start conservatively and adjust cautiously. Having professional support can help mitigate any adverse reactions to dosing.

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  1. Garcia-Romeu, A., Barrett, F. S., Carbonaro, T. M., Johnson, M. W., & Griffiths, R. R. (2021, April). Optimal dosing for psilocybin pharmacotherapy: Considering weight-adjusted and fixed dosing approaches. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). 
  2. Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Richards, W. A., Richards, B. D., McCann, U., & Jesse, R. (2011, December). Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: Immediate and persisting dose-related effects. Psychopharmacology. 
  3. Gasser, P., Holstein, D., Michel, Y., Doblin, R., Yazar-Klosinski, B., Passie, T., & Brenneisen, R. (2014, July). Safety and efficacy of lysergic acid diethylamide-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening diseases. The Journal of nervous and mental disease. 
  4. Green AR;Mechan AO;Elliott JM;O’Shea E;Colado MI; (n.d.). The Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”). Pharmacological reviews. 
  5. Kahan, M., Srivastava, A., Spithoff, S., & Bromley, L. (2014, December). Prescribing smoked cannabis for chronic noncancer pain: Preliminary recommendations. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien. 
  6. LSD overdoses: Three case reports: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs: Vol 81, no 1. (n.d.). 
  7. Orhurhu, V. J. (2023, January 30). Ketamine toxicity. StatPearls [Internet]. 
  8. Passie, T., Halpern, J. H., Stichtenoth, D. O., Emrich, H. M., & Hintzen, A. (2008). The pharmacology of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: A Review. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics. 
  9. Timmermann, C., Roseman, L., Williams, L., Erritzoe, D., Martial, C., Cassol, H., Laureys, S., Nutt, D., & Carhart-Harris, R. (2018, August 15). DMT models the near-death experience. Frontiers in psychology.
  10. V;, F. T. (n.d.). “standard THC units”: A proposal to standardize dose across all cannabis products and methods of administration. Addiction (Abingdon, England).

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