Ayahuasca is a hot topic of conversation and has been ever since it hit the mainstream. Now with microdosing on the rise it’s no surprise that microdosing ayahuasca has become a subject of interest. From the new-aged hippies to workaholics, microdosing ayahuasca is climbing its way to popularity. The goal of microdosing is to ingest a small amount of ayahuasca without disabling your motor skills and ability to function, a.k.a. without getting high. A proper ayahuasca dose is believed to help everything from the immune and nervous systems to activating parts of the brain and jump starting cell regeneration. Below we will explain proper ayahuasca dosages and the benefits of microdosing ayahuasca according to an experienced Peruvian brew master, Raimutsa.
The two plants used for the traditional entheogenic ayahuasca brew are — Banisteriopsis caapi (a vine) and Psychotria viridis (a shrub). Both have hallucinogenic properties and are native to South America. Banisteriopsis caapi is required for its MAO-inhibiting alkaloids. The DMT is provided from psychotria viridis, but in some cases this plant is substituted for a handful of less popularly used plants that also contain DMT. Subsequently in the West a chemically similar preparation also known and sold as ayahuasca, but occasionally also known as “pharmahuasca”, can be prepared using illicitly manufactured N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and a pharmaceutical monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid.
Ayahuasca Dosage Chart
Microdose – 1-2ml before bed
No psychedelic effects. Restful sleep. Energized the following day.
Light – 30ml
Ego tendencies are still present. Ability for cognitive and rational thinking. Motor skills are still somewhat functional (ability to walk). Some mild to strong visuals.
Medium – 50ml
Potential for full experience. Purging, possible ego dismantling.
Heavy – up to 70ml
Full surrender. Concepts and ego dissolves. Limitless space of potential. Purging. Used in ayahuasca ceremony.
According to Raimutsa it can be difficult to lay out an exact dosage chart. An ayahuasca dosage for a full ceremony is decided based on a number of factors. It is customary to start all new participants in an ayahuasca ceremony with a 50ml dose of a milder brew. “We want the experience to gradually progress” explains Raimutsa. This gives the ceremony leader an opportunity to see how the participants respond to the medicine. Aside from the milder first session, Rai always sits with each participant prior to drinking the brew in order to feel them out and understand how their body reacts to different substances and experiences. It is important for him to know if the individual recently took any other substances, if they are struggling with substance abuse, what their history is with psychedelics, any history of mental health issues and the overall headspace the participant is in at the time leading up to the ceremony. All these factors play into the dosage.
An individual’s weight is not a reliable factor when finding a proper ayahuasca dosage.
“Dosage is relative. In my experience I have seen big people fly high with a small amount of medicine and I have seen little people need a lot of medicine to reach the same experience. The body weight and mass isn’t always what to base the dosage off [of]. More important factors include the person’s way of life, if they take drugs, if they have medical conditions, if they take sleeping pills or any other medicines. The body is relative, if you have a person who has been a drug addict they may need a big dose, if you have young person who is lost in life sometimes a little medicine is all they need to be set back on track, so it is all relative.”
Rai goes on to explain, “Light doses are important for people who are not ready for a big dose. Some have to go gradually because we are all different, it’s not about the size of the dose but about the individual’s ideal dose. It’s not about the size of the dosage, it’s about getting the most of the experience so the person can integrate the lessons and visions into their life. If someone is not ready for a big dose don’t give them one, because they wont understand it and the integration is going to take longer and be tougher on them.”
Can you Microdose Ayahuasca?
Microdosing ayahuasca is NOT an exact science, but a rough guideline of 1 – 2 milliliters per dose, before bed, is suggested by Raimutsa. Rai says it is important to keep in mind that most individuals have to play with the size of their microdose to find the sweet spot. Because the doses are so small there is no risk of having a heavy trip when changing the dosage quantity by just one half milliliter. “We must always be aware of the fact that each medicine is different, the concentrations and potency varies based on a number of factors.” Says Raimutsa.
Raimutsa uses a one ounce tincture bottle to measure his brew. “I would suggest 1 or 2 droppers at night. Take your medicine (ayahuasca) a half hour before going to sleep. The measurements are always relative, we are talking about 1-2 ml per dose measured by dropper, but a little teaspoon can also work.”
Raimutsa goes on to explain how to find the sweet spot. “The measurement comes from your own experience. If you microdose the ayahuasca at night and have a nice refreshing, regenerating sleep and you wake up the next day with energy I believe that is a good dose for you. If while you are sleeping you are more awake then asleep it means the dose is too high from my experience.”
“The intention of microdsoing is to restore or activate your systems, the pineal gland, the melatonin, to recharge parts of your brain. This will generate stem cells and the renewal of the cells, along with many other benefits. The idea with the microdosing is to mend those circuits while you have a restful sleep so you can be energized the next day.”
What to Know Before Microdosing Ayahuasca
It is important to be aware that multiple factors play into the potency levels of ayahuasca. The brew is made from two separate plants that can both vary in potency, therefore an individual may need to slightly adjust their microdose per new batch they obtain.
Setting an intention is considered an important factor in the ayahuasca community prior to ingesting the brew. It is believed that what you are trying to accomplish from your microdosing is dependent on your approach to the situation.
Common Effects When Microdosing Ayahuasca
Because it is recommended to microdose ayahuasca in the evening, a restoratively good night’s sleep will be the immediately noticed effect.
“Microdosing can be used to regenerate cells or activate the pineal gland and the immune system. What you try to accomplish depends on your approach. For me it is about being healthy with a clear mind.” – Raimutsa.
It is said that the benefits of microdosing ayahuasca are both mental and physical. Raimutsa says, “It’s about letting your potential manifest here and now and from there you put in intentions that are going to continue manifesting.” He says the benefits from microdosing ayahuasca include regenerating cells, feeling healthy and having a clear mind, feeling energized, experiencing a good nights rest with colorful dreams and having an overall shift into positive emotions and feelings.
How Ayahuasca Works Inside Your Body.
N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is a psychedelic substance that occurs naturally in the plant Psychotria viridis. Because of the low bioavailability of DMT in the plant it is quickly broken down by enzymes (monoamine oxidases) in your liver and gastrointestinal tract. These enzymes are often referred to as MAOs. Because of these digesting enzymes, MAO inhibitors are needed to prevent the DMT from being flushed from the body. Banisteriopsis caapi is a thick vine that contains β-Carboline, MAO-inhibiting enzymes. These enzymes not only inhibit MAOs but have psychoactive effects of their own. When combined, these two plants create ayahuasca, the sacred traditional drink used in ceremony that has powerful psychedelic properties. This brew affects the central nervous system, creating out-of-body experiences and an extreme state of altered consciousness.
Effects of macrodosing ayahuasca begin within 30-40 minutes after the brew is ingested orally. Along with psychedelic visions the brew can create a change in cardiac and respiratory rates, blood pressure, temperature, and pupil diameter.
Purging is a common effect caused by ingesting ayahuasca. This includes nausea and vomiting, often combined with frequent bowel movements (hence the term purging).
Common Interactions When Microdosing Ayahuasca
Antidepressants can prohibit an individual from experiencing all the benefits from microdosing any psychedelic. SSRIs, (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. Furthermore there is research that suggests extreme and potentially fatal risks with mixing SSRI’s, SPARI, SNRI medications with MAOI’s.
A chart posted on the website Spirit Pharmacist, created by psychopharmacologist Benjamin Malcolm, uses the limited research available to help guide interested parties through understanding these risks. The chart suggests that subjects will be safer and have a more potent experience by tapering off of Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), and Fluvoxamine (Luvox) for at least two weeks, while those on Fluoxetine (Prozac) should wean off for a period of at least six weeks.
It is not recommended to taper off SSRIs without consulting a doctor as it can be dangerous. Physical symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and other flu like symptoms can be triggered from no longer taking SSRIs, as well as psychological symptoms like irritability, anxiety or even suicidal thoughts.
How Much Ayahuasca Causes an Overdose?
Safety data collected for the use of ayahuasca is minimal. It is known that some adverse effects for a large dose of ayahuasca include nausea and vomiting, alteration in blood pressure and heart rate, and hallucinations that can cause anxiety.
Anything above the heavy dose of 70ml is taking a risk. Raimutsa warns that too large a dose of ayahuasca can be fatal. “As young kids my cousin took 100ml by mistake and it almost killed him but he survived, once I had a friend who ingested 100ml in two hours. He blacked out and fainted. The dosage is very important with macrodoses. People can go crazy. Still I don’t believe that ayahuasca is dangerous in the aspect that you have to take a whole lot on purpose for it to be fatal. If you know more or less the dosage of the medicine then you are safe.”
Raimutsa also points out that sometimes ayahuasca is brewed with different plants than the traditional ingredients. “I would never do that, I stick to the recipe of the tradition. Other plants that are mixed can create different reactions and can be dangerous. It’s unnecessary but it happens in the world.”
Ayahuasca is a powerful plant medicine that deserves respect. When treated deservedly the medicine has changed the lives of generations for the better.
RS Contributing Author – Pimienta Fantasma
Pimienta Fantasma is a nature enthusiast and parent of two beautiful children and some amazing animals. Pimienta’s desire to give back to the earth and dive deeper into the beautiful weirdness that is being alive has proven to be nothing short of a wild ride filled with irreplaceable experiences, through snow-peaked mountains, lush valleys, colorful coral reefs (that need our help), dolphin-filled waters, and the epic wonder of Pimienta’s hummingbird-filled garden. Expand your mind and your heart, dance, laugh, explore, learn, speak up and ask questions, is Pimienta’s advice to readers. Pimienta can be found protecting the innocent and trying to live the best life possible.