'Magic Mushrooms' Can Improve Psychological Health Long Term references the famous John Hopkins study on psilocybin, as well as a new study by Griffiths that apparently discusses optimal dosing for the drug.
I found it interesting that they seem to be finding that lower doses, or at least starting with lower doses, leads to better outcomes. Makes a certain amount of sense, getting familiar with the territory. On the other hand, the work Stanislav Grof described in LSD Psychotherapy led him to the opposite conclusion. He found that low doses often brought up anxieties, while higher doses allowed for breakthroughs, a dissolving of the ego that would get one past said anxieties. Grof's approach was to dive in as opposed to getting one's feet wet.
Although I have tremendous respect for Grof as a pioneer, I suspect the Griffiths research is more robust. I would also have to say that I certainly seemed to have fared pretty well starting at the lower end of the psychedelic dosage range and working my way up.
I was disappointed that I couldn't locate a copy of the actual paper, I'd like to see the actual conclusions and dosing recommendations.
OK, I found the paper I was looking for here:
Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects
Participants were randomized into 2 groups that were given successive ascending or descending doses at one month intervals. The doses used were 0, 5, 10, 20 & 30 mg of psilocybin, which would equate to roughly 0.0, 0.8, 1.7, 3.3 & 5.0 grams dried psilocybe cubensis fungi.
Basically no big problems were seen up to the 1.7 gram level, although some anxiety was seen even at low levels. A surprising amount of effect could be attained at the low dose, but if you are going for mystical experience clearly the higher the better.
Subjects definitely seemed better off working their way up to higher doses:
And another couple of cool graphs. I'm personally very interested in the effects on the come-up from about 60 minutes to 120 minutes:
The conclusion I would draw from the research is that it would probably be reasonable to start someone out with 1-2 grams of dried mushrooms and work up a gram at a time.