What is the Minimum Effective Dose?
The Minimum Effective Dose strategy means choosing to take the smallest amount of medicine needed to get the desired results, experience, or effect. There is a spectrum of methods and advice around how to work with psychedelics, from Microdosing to the Heroic Dose or Ego Death Dose, and everything in between. It can help to understand the wisdom and power of the Minimum Effective Dose by learning about the different types of psychedelic experiences, why and how they work, what they can deliver, and why you might want to dip your toes into the kiddie pool vs. diving into the abyss when it comes to psychedelics.
On the podcast, we discuss the pros and cons of microdosing, how it works, and why it may be no more effective or powerful than a placebo (which is actually super cool!) Microdosing has been reported to have many positive healing effects, and can be a gentle entry level place to meet psychedelic medicines. It is also not going to be as strong as a full psychedelic experience.
We also dive into seeking ego death or taking a “heroic dose,” (ever popular among psychonauts and psychedelic explorers, but often way more than you actually need to get what you’re looking for out of your medicine journey.) Contrary to what you may have read on the internet, you (probably) do not need to have an ego death experience to receive profound healing from psychedelics. That said, sometimes a person may need to have the ego death experience to get what they need, and that’s totally okay. Our goal here is to debunk the idea that if you aren’t killing your ego, it’s not working, because that’s not remotely true.
Seeking ego death often comes from a belief that you need to solve the issue in one sitting, and that it’s the only way. In the West we have a “cut it out and kill it” approach to everything, which in this context can be harmful. Ego death is a painful, often traumatizing experience that feels like actual death, and can do more harm than good.
Deciding you need an ego death comes straight from the ego. Ironic, no? Also, did you know there are some people who can take double the “heroic dose” and that’s how much they need to have even a mild experience? Some people have a metabolism that requires much less or much more medicine than others. Everyone is a unique individual, and however much medicine YOU need to take to have the experience you want is OKAY!
Finding The Middle Way that Works for You
As we always say in our work, it’s very difficult to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. So, it’s super important to start with preparation. Asking yourself some questions can help you understand what kind of experience you need, and how much medicine you’ll need to take to achieve this. Why are you doing this? Why are you working with the medicines? Where are you in your life? What do you need to heal? Are you prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally to experience this level of intensity? What have your previous meetings with this medicine been like?
Taking more psychedelic medicine than you need can be dangerous and traumatizing, and should be avoided in order to protect your health and wellness. The Middle Way is gentle, soft, and balanced way to approach psychedelics that allows you to find your own baseline, push your own edges, and choose what’s right for you. Practicing the Minimum Effective Dose as part of finding your own Middle Way is a harm reduction method can can help you get the healing you need in the safest, smartest way possible.
Check out this week’s podcast episode to learn more about Minimum Effective Dose, microdosing, heroic dose, and everything in between.
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