Cali Sober Journey: Psilocybin Dosing and Tips

Explore the Cali Sober lifestyle by diving into psilocybin dosing. Learn how microdosing and dosing with psychedelics can help reduce alcohol intake, get pro tips on dosing psilocybin mushrooms, and understand the importance of set and setting for a positive psychedelic experience.

What is Cali Sober? Part 2

Looking to de-booze and infuse with cannabis and psychedelics instead? Diving deeper into the world of Cali Sober, this episode of The High Guide talks the details around psilocybin dosing, with some pro tips from our guides on curating the best psychedelic experience possible.
After listening to this episode you will have a better understanding of…

  • Dosing with psychedelics to reduced alcohol intake
  • What microdosing means
  • Tips on dosing psilocybin mushrooms
  • Importance of set and setting

Episode Guests

Michelle Lhooq | @michellelhooq

Episode Resources & Additional Reading

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Podcast Episode Full Transcription

0:00:00.7 April Pride, host: This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

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0:00:10.2 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: A lot of people there were like, “I wanna do shrooms, but I don’t know how to do it. How much should I do? Can you dose it for me? Can you teach me how to do it?” So yeah, I found that experience to be a really good field test of what I think will be the future of partying and community gatherings in California.

0:00:36.3 April Pride, host: Welcome to The High Guide. I’m your host April Pride. When you start digging deeper into the ins and outs of what is considered Cali Sober, it isn’t long before you run into the topic of psychedelics and the potent issue of dosage. Given that these substances are known to produce transformative experiences in very small amounts, taking the proper dose can be the difference between consciousness expansion and crippling anxiety, which brings us to our glossary term for this week’s episode, “Microdose.” While it may seem somewhat obvious that we’re speaking of a smaller dose here, just how much smaller remains an elusive concept that’s often quite subjective. Microdose is typically defined as an amount that is considered to be sub-hallucinogenic, meaning the threshold into full-on tripping is never crossed. These amounts are often in the neighborhood of a 10th of a regular dose and produce considerably less intense effects. For instance, [chuckle] my first dose of LSD, which occurred after the age of 40, was exactly a 10th of a tripping-sized dose. My subsequent doses have been the same, a small boost before a night, in every instance that I’ve consumed, a night of dancing and the need for any other substance, except for some weed at some point, is completely erased.

0:01:55.1 April Pride, host: Unlike the smile on my face, which never relaxes, the next day proceeds as usual, maybe a little slow to start, but nothing [chuckle] that my usual cup of coffee can’t straighten out. A microdose of psilocybin is super subtle, and its effects are only recognized, for me, as they’re waning. “Oh, I was in such a flow state today, and I had so much done. Oh, I took that chocolate.” On this episode of The High Guide, we’ll explore, with our guides, some tips on psilocybin doses and the all-important set and setting. And by set, that’s mindset, as we continue to dive into the drug diet better known as Cali Sober.

0:02:33.0 April Pride, host: And I just wanna know what’s so wrong with being high. That’s also quite fun. And like I said, I think allowing myself to get really fucking high in my 20s is the reason why I’m a pretty well-adjusted 40-something-year-old, so… Can you teach us how to do this and do it really, really well? ‘Cause that’s what I always get asked, Michelle, it’s like, “Okay, how much do I need? Which mushroom? How much psilocybin? Should I try mushrooms before I try LSD?” What are some of the things that you’ve learned from all of the people around the world that you’ve hung out with and your consuming psychedelics, tell us… Yeah, give us some info, tell us some top things. I’d love to hear. Yeah.

0:03:25.9 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: [chuckle] How to do drugs according to Michelle.

0:03:26.9 April Pride, host: How to do drugs, yes. Oh my God. That’s gonna be the name of your book, “How to Do Drugs.”

0:03:34.4 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: Oh my God. So, I don’t know. I guess I don’t like to be prescriptive either because I feel like it’s such a personal journey. There is no right or wrong way to do it, it’s just what works for you. But I guess there are some ways to maybe… I hate the term “Harm reduction” because I think it implies that drugs are harmful, and I wanna move away from this vocabulary of hurt, harm, pain, falling, all of these sorts of metaphors that we use to describe sobriety, that I think are really couched in an old model of pain and suffering. And I really like to orient it more towards like… I’m such a clich√©, but self-optimization and wellness and things like that, I feel like are more positive ways to think about doing psychedelics and maybe being Cali Sober. So I guess I would just recommend that people start with a microdose or somewhere between, for mushrooms, 0.1 to 0.25. I think that a lot of people make the mistake of wanting to trip, they’re so anxious to feel something.

0:05:04.2 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: They’re like, “I wanna feel something, I wanna feel something.” And you can kind of just jump off that cliff and feel overwhelmed, and then the fear of the unknown can kind of cause you to pull back, and I feel like that sort of push/pull action can be just kind of stressful.

0:05:25.2 April Pride, host: When talking specifically about psilocybin doses, we’ve all likely heard and some maybe even experienced for ourselves, what is considered a more heroic dose, ingesting a full eighth. Yes, three and a half grams of magic mushrooms will undoubtedly induce a psychedelic trip, which makes a lot of sense when you know that microdoses are more in the 0.2-0.5 of a gram range. Again, the difference is 3.5 grams is a heroic dose, whereas under 0.5 grams is a microdose. Experimenting in the 1-2 gram range is yet another option, which is considered more of a standard dose of psilocybin.

0:06:09.4 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: I think two grams is too much for a social setting. I think…

0:06:13.5 April Pride, host: Yes, that’s true.

0:06:15.2 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: I think one gram is probably the most that I would recommend for, if you want to be able to be present in a conversation. But honestly, I’ve done 0.2 and felt vibey, 0.2. So I really feel like people get some kind of performance anxiety a lot when they’re out in a social setting, where they’re like, “Am I gonna be fucked up enough to be on the same wavelength as everyone else?” And it’s like, you can always do more. I don’t think that you need to jump into things full swing. And actually, I think this is an issue that I want more people to think about as we kind of return to the world and everyone’s trying to go buck-wild, everyone’s so desperate [chuckle] to let loose, that we need to be really careful and mindful of our bodies and not shell-shocking it into maximum pleasure, which can quickly dip into the danger zone.

0:07:22.0 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: This is the whole conversation around sobriety and addiction, too. It’s about finding equilibrium rather than going max speed at all times, so… I know some people who’ve really hurt themselves from jumping into things too quickly like partying too hard and doing way too many drugs. And I feel like this is gonna be an issue that’s gonna keep happening in this sort of interesting transition, as we go from lockdown to Hot Vax Summer or whatever. So I think that this conversation around addiction is super important right now, and part of that is also just helping people understand that there is no need to have performance anxiety around drug use. Do you, and start slow.

0:08:12.6 April Pride, host: While the desired dose of psilocybin can be relatively easy to measure, aspects of set, again, mindset, and setting can be more fluid. A safe space that’s properly curated and whatever supplies and vibes you need to feel comfortable is of the utmost importance. So Michelle, you were saying that that’s really what you feel like you do really well, you give people a place to experiment, perhaps maybe for the first time, and they can feel safe, so… And that was really what was missing from the raves that I went to, is there was no guide. The guide was the DJ, and that was what you were riding for the night, basically.

0:08:54.7 Michelle Lhooq, journalist: Totally. So I’m really interested in curating spaces around cannabis and psychedelics for people to try these substances maybe for the first time in a communal setting where people can kinda guide them. I think that’s kind of, to me, the biggest piece of advice per se that I would give, which is to do it in company. Do it with someone else who’s maybe a bit more experienced than you, maybe they’re sober, which is the more responsible trip guide kind of setting, or maybe they’re tripping with you, which is fine too. But having some kind of guide, I think, is always really helpful.

0:09:41.0 Speaker 3: I think for those of us that are in the cannabis industry, we have this cognition of how we consume whatever it is that we’re consuming, whatever psychedelic it is that we’re consuming. And being really aware of what the form factor is and what else you have done or what else is in your body at the time when you’re consuming that form and how it’s gonna have an impact on what you’re consuming. So if you consumed a chocolate after having a burger and fries, the chances of you experiencing that 0.5 grams in a really clean and pure way so that you can identify what it is that you’re experiencing is gonna be kind of… It’s gonna be moderated, for lack of better words.

0:10:18.5 Speaker 3: And the same goes for cannabis. We talk about in edibles all the time. If you’re eating an edible on an empty stomach, you’re going to feel it sooner, and you’re gonna feel a stronger impact than if you were to eat a big meal and then consume it right afterwards because it has to go through your entire digestive tract and then compete with everything else that’s in your stomach. And so for that reason, specifically with psilocybin, I prefer tinctures because they are more fast-acting, they go directly into your bloodstream by holding them under your tongue, and then you have to consume less things. While I like chocolates with mushrooms, particularly because they support a similar neurological structure with the kind of joy-receiving molecules, it can be amazing in the right setting and the right digestive state.

0:11:06.8 Speaker 3: Tinctures are gonna be so much more reliable in terms of dosing and in terms of immediacy, so you are also talking about, “Can you, after an hour if you’re not feeling anything, take more?” You can, but again, if you’re eating it, it’s gonna take longer to come on, and while it won’t necessarily prolong your trip, it may amplify it for a period of time. But it won’t be all necessarily at the same time. So then you get back to tinctures and after 45 minutes, if you’re not feeling anything, you take more tincture. You’ve got less of a window to spread it all out there, which I think is pretty cool. And then also from a personal experience standpoint, I find that 0.2, as a regular cannabis consumer and as somebody that plays with all of the plant medicines and has a pretty pure digestive system because I’m always in some form of managing my consumption, I find that I’m not gonna feel 0.2 or 0.3 so much as I’m feeling a microdose.

0:12:04.9 Speaker 3: And so in order to really get a psychedelic experience with psilocybin, I’m looking at closer to a two-gram dose. One gram gets me in my head, and I wanna be a little bit more introverted and still really comfortable being in a social setting if that’s what I wanna do, but probably prefer not to. And then two grams is like my… Is my happy journey place.

0:12:28.5 April Pride, host: While you can definitely plan your psychedelic journey, whether micro or macrodosing. Like all things in life, they don’t always work out quite like you intended. You simply don’t know what kind of timing may emerge or what you may run into, including among other things, extremely emotional reactions to Beyonce.

0:12:47.5 Speaker 4: You know I work with a company called Flow State and they have actually an LSD microdose tincture as well as psilocybin caps, microdose, in a couple of different varieties. And what I’ve always sort of just found really directional at the beginning of choosing which of the two plant medicines for me, is that the psilocybin tends to create a little bit more of an introverted experience no matter how much I generally consume of it. Whereas, the LSD tincture, as the microdose plant medicine, tends to create a more extroverted experience for me. And so me playing with those two different ones is the difference of like a barbecue on Saturday or staying in and watching a movie on Wednesday. And I definitely try to take my microdoses somewhere around the 4:30-5:00 O’clock hour, just in case I am having an interesting day where maybe I didn’t eat anything and it is hitting pretty hard. The last time I took a slightly larger microdose, it was the day that Kobe Bryant’s funeral was on TV and fucking Beyonce sang, and I was wrecked all day, I literally couldn’t stop weeping. But I also don’t think I ever watched a Kobe Bryant game ever in my life, so I don’t know why I was feeling that empathy, it was like over-empathy, and it totally ruined my day. I didn’t get any work done I just laid around and cried and listened to Beyonce.

0:14:34.1 April Pride, host: I just did the same thing, Thomas, I cried all morning watching Lemonade visual album for the first time, Raven I just shared that with you. Don’t tell anyone else. I’m embarrassed by that fact, less… Like about a month ago. Beyonce does that to us, and I think there was probably some plant medicine involved early in the morning too.

0:14:52.6 Speaker 5: Right. We’ve all cried and listened to Beyonce, so [0:14:55.8] ____.

0:14:57.3 April Pride, host: Yes, but I’m sorry that your day got sidetracked that day, but you remember it too, which is…

0:15:02.5 Speaker 4: It was a Tuesday. Tuesdays are a pretty pivotal day of the week in my world, and I remember waking up on Wednesday and just being like, “God dammit, did I really just like sob all day?” I took the plant medicine too early, is what my point of the story was. And so if I take it at that 4:30-5:00 hour, if it does hit me in a little kind of bit of the feels, at least I’m already at the end of my day, and I can distract myself with dinner and then end up smoking a bunch of weed. And for me, there would just be times where I thought I was tots good, and then I would think for the next 10 minutes, “Alright, how can I get out of this client conference call? How do I get out of it? How do I get out of it? How do I get out of it? I don’t wanna be on it.” And I don’t like anything that takes me out of my ability to perform as a professional, which is why I don’t actually really drink, and which is why I guess I abide by the Michelle Lhooq Cali Sober as well.

[chuckle]

0:16:10.8 April Pride, host: Well, it turns out the Californians know how to do more than partying. Thanks for listening to this episode of The High Guide. And of course, a big thanks to our guide, Michelle Lhooq, for insights into the world of sobriety through the lens of being Cali Sober. And definitely check out her newsletter and subscribe, Rave New World. As we wind this summer down and shift toward fall, we hope you found this conversation both inspiring and informative. If you’re looking for more than a microdose, make sure to visit our website and peruse our ever-growing glossary of terms at the @thehigh.guide. Of course, you’ll find a new episode of The High Guide here every Friday, subscribe and follow wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you’re looking to stay in closer contact, give us a follow on Instagram @thehigh.guide. Again, subscribe to our newsletter @thehigh.guide. This is April Pride. Join Me here next week as we continue our discussion on plant-based pleasures.

Episode Credits

Producer & Host: April Pride Audio Engineer: Nick Patri, Cloud Studios Theme music: Cheri Dub, Morris Johnson

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