Sub-Perceptual Psilocybin Dosing
mood & emotion
Janet Chang works in the tech industry in San Francisco. In this video, she discusses how her micro dosing experiment in the last 12 months helped her with productivity, mood, and social anxiety. She shares the data from the experiment with sub-perceptual doses of psilocybin and what she learned.
Notes | observation
So why micro-dosing?
So I took in the previous eight months full doses and it was like a rapid-fire experiment with various substances, And I wanted to see if I could retain the benefits of some of that on a consistent basis without disruption of my daily and weekly routine. Some of the benefits that they include were elevation and my mood, more social confidence, connectedness and some other ones that I’ll go into.
And the way I did this was to measure the dose every day I took in the morning. I would email to myself subjective observations of what I was experiencing, emotions, thought, and then I would quantify based on a five-point scale for each of the below factors on a rational active basis.
So there were four phases of this experiment. I wasn’t planning on doing four phases. It just naturally came out this way. So the first was six months long. I was taking the lowest microdose between 0.15 and 0.2 of Psilocybin mushrooms. Only taking the stems would track all of these factors. And then it came out to be mood was slightly elevated, anxiety was slightly decreased. And productivity was a good moderate level for my understanding. Unfortunately, there were no baseline statistics before this, so that’s like the one caveat that I have outside of the possible placebo since I had expectations.
So yeah, it was a slightly brighter day, and then the second part was in a more chaotic startup environment that I was working in. I was taking 0.2 to 0.3, so slightly higher and wanted to see if that would make a change and it did. My mood actually decreased, my anxiety increased, and my productivity drastically increased because of on the test that I was assigned to do.
And in this case, it was making sales calls, which is not my typical line of work but that was a fun experiment. So it was six weeks of having no dosing and then six weeks after dosing. So it went from 8 to 10 sales per day, to 14 to 16 sales per day in that six weeks and six-week comparison. So a pretty drastic change here and my guess is an increase in empathy.
And then next was a small dose of the same dose, same frequency in a more stable work environment. It was corporate, and this resulted in having moderate productivity, same low mood and high anxiety combination as the previous chaotic work. So this was surprising since I thought environment would change things. And the tasks were different and so that might be the cause for the change in productivity.
And the fourth was my favorite experiment where I did 0.5 grams daily. I was almost going to quit on this micro dosing experiment, and 0.5 is not a microdose according to James Fadiman’s definition, but I did it because I was giving up on the 0.2 to 0.3 grams. It was just I don’t think it worth it to be more anxious and less happy than I normally am with the potential decreases in the productivity or the productivity wasn’t worth that.
So I went to a part and took 1 gram and that was the most amazing self-actualization dose that I had. So I had way more confidence than I usually do, none of the anxiety. And the same thing happened when I took 0.5 at work. So I was doing this every day at work in this corporate very buttoned-up environment, trying not to go crazy on 1 gram which happens. Emotional volatility was the risk there, so productivity was increased. I had a combination of both the typical routine task and then more people facing tasks. So that might be why it’s not as high as the second phase.
So yeah, there you have it. These are all four of the phases put together by mood, anxiety, and productivity, the three things I was tracking. The most and as you see here, the mood was the highest on the last phase, anxiety was high. Mood was low. Anxiety was high on the 0.2 to 0.3. and then productivity was high on both times that I was assigned to do like high empathy work, like a lot of meetings right, as opposed to more routine tasks
So what I learned from this was that the level of positive or negative effects from micro dosing could be really really dose dependent by even 0.5 of a difference in grams. Productivity is also dependent on the tasks obviously. And then with emotional awareness, it can increase with dose at first when you’re on the lower doses and for me at least. And then transform into increased positive emotions and decrease in negative emotions.
That is my hypothesis, not so validated with the data yet. And so what’s next is for me to become more objective with tracking these emotional states to understand through EEG and functional MRI, whether some of these hypothesis are true.
Specifically, I want to explore the difference between emotional awareness and objective emotional experience, so that might be a difference. And also explore the third thing which is, how do you replicate these states without micro dosing at all, like I don’t want to be dependent on a substance to have this kind of experience. So is that even possible with mindfulness techniques.
So I would love to keep in touch with anyone who is working with mental health or just kind of applying these kinds of findings in other areas in our society. So yeah, this is really exciting. Thank you.