HOLIDAY SHIPPING DEADLINE - DECEMBER 6TH!

Comprehensive Guide : Microdosing

by Bill Kovski October 05, 2016 0 Comments

Comprehensive Guide : Microdosing

Art: “Existence” by Android Jones

James Fadiman's inbox is stuffed with hundreds of emails from people describing how they've conquered anxiety or depression or even things like cluster headaches and painful period cramps. Will the scientific establishment ever begin taking their experiences seriously?

Over the last five years, Fadiman has spent much of his time explaining how taking a tiny little bit of LSD or another hallucinogenic drug on a specific schedule could have big time medical benefits. It's called microdosing, and while the idea hasn't yet catapulted itself into the mainstream, it's getting there—there's nary a science- or technology-minded media outlet that hasn't either tried microdosing or written about it in some form over the last few months.
The general idea is based on the long-held belief that acid can help you work through some mental problems and see the world in a different way. But taking a full dose of a hallucinogen isn't for everyone—my sole experience with LSD ended with me crying and eating frozen fish off the floor of a Barcelona hostel, among several other harrowing experiences during a high that lasted 14 mostly excruciating hours.

With microdosing is to take roughly a tenth of a normal dose (about 10-20 micrograms) every four days and then go about your business. Done correctly, there are no hallucinations, no traumatic experiences, not even any sluggishness. Those who do it correctly, Fadiman says, report having better days, feeling less anxious, and sometimes even conquering long-held mental hangups.
"People do it and they're eating better, sleeping better, they're often returning to exercise or yoga or meditation. It's as if messages are passing through their body more easily," Fadiman told me.
Five years ago, Fadiman started sending out microdosing instruction sheets to anyone who was interested (this document is embedded below if you want to try) and able to procure their own drugs. He then asked them to do the following and email him the results:
"Write a few notes to yourself about how your day went. Consider, for example, the amount of work you did, how productive or creative it was, and the level of ease or discomfort you felt. Notice any changes in how you are relating to others. Notice any differences from normal in mood, food, physical strength, or symptoms of any condition."
Fadiman has been overwhelmed with the response—hundreds of "trip reports," most of them positive.
"This is total guesswork, but so many different conditions that I've seen are improved, it looks like it rebalances those pistons which are not in balance,” he added. “This may be in your central nervous system, it may be the brain stem, it may be that it's improving function of mitochondria. One woman who had painful, crampy periods started microdosing and when her period came, she had no problems."

"I am the least-known microdosing researcher in the world and I am the most famous microdosing researcher in the world."

But Fadiman and others who I have spoken to about microdosing say that, like anything else that's self-administered, there are potential pitfalls. Reply All's PJ Vogt took too much acid on a recent experiment for the podcast, got too high, and decided to never microdose again.
Fadiman said he's gotten about 5 reports from people who very much did not enjoy their experience. Others say they feel good when they microdose, then go back to being depressed or anxious in the weeks after they stop a cycle. Still others take LSD too often and build up a bit of a tolerance.
Thus far, these anecdotal experiences suggest that microdosing is relatively safe and potentially helpful if you are truly sticking to Fadiman's regimen.
"If you're interested in what are the real effects, field reports are superior to clinical trials," he said. "You're dealing with people in the context of their lives. They have no stake in any particular outcome. Clinical reports are helpful if you want to make these medically available."
Back in 1966, Fadiman published a landmark study about hallucinogen drugs and creative problem solving that's still held up today as one of the main pieces of hard scientific evidence about acid's artistic utility. But if you've read any article about microdosing, you knew that already, because Fadiman—and often Fadiman alone—is quoted in just about all of them.
"I am the least-known microdosing researcher in the world and I am the most famous microdosing researcher in the world," he told me.
Though Fadiman believes his field reports are strong evidence, he said it's time for other researchers to start looking into microdosing. Fadiman decided while I was interviewing him that he no longer has the bandwidth to read any more reports and said it's time for microdosing to be tried in traditional double-blind studies with placebos, which would put the technique on the path toward FDA approval as a possible treatment for a myriad of conditions.

"I absolutely think it's time for a scientific study with appropriate controls, a true placebo, and a look at—if there is indeed an effect, how unique is it?"

"The scientific basis is pretty shaky right now," Matthew Johnson, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University who studies psilocybin and other hallucinogens, told me. "Its benefits are plausible and very interesting, but the claims of 'everything fits together and goes right and you're in a good mood and in the flow,' well, we all have those types of days regardless of any pharmacological intervention.”
“If you expect to have one of those days, you're more likely to have one,” he continued. “In fact it's not all that different from the kind of feeling you get from 5 milligrams of amphetamine or a low-dose stimulant."
Johnson is what Fadiman called a conscientious skeptic—someone who believes microdosers may be having a placebo-type reaction but nonetheless believes the hundreds of positive case studies warrant further inquiry.
This video has nearly 300,000 views—Fadiman says it's a good primer though the dosages are a little high.
"I think it's a really fascinating idea and I absolutely think it's time for a scientific study with appropriate controls, a true placebo, and a look at—if there is indeed an effect, how unique is it?" Johnson added.
The problem is, until recently, no one was lining up to do these types of studies. Fadiman says he hasn't had the funding or staff to do a double blind study.

"Microdosing, if you do it correctly, it will help you"

But the field reports have been so promising lately that Fadiman believes it’s time to move to the next step. He says a team of researchers at a university in the United States and a team in the Netherlands are both trying to perform studies in the next couple years, though he wouldn't name them because there are still regulatory obstacles before either study gets started.
Even experienced microdosers say they'd like to see the scientific evidence to help support what they've been feeling. Martijn Schirp, a regular microdoser and founder of the drug news website High Existence (which has several good primers on microdosing), says there's still a stigma around hallucinogenic drugs even if you're just taking a tiny bit of them.
"I think a lot of people keep it to themselves unless they know for sure unless they know other people don't look down upon it," Schirp told me. But it cuts both ways: "There's so much bias in people in general. Once they're a fan of something, they oversell it. I'm definitely guilty of it."
And with so many new believers, microdosing, as an idea, is more popular than ever. Fadiman notes that a how-to video on YouTube has received hundreds of thousands of views as evidence that it's becoming mainstream. He's seen enough evidence that he's convinced microdosing can help just about anyone. When I tell him that I have occasional panic attacks, he doesn't hedge.
"Microdosing, if you do it correctly, it will help you," he said.

Long before microdosing was being touted as the Silicon Valley life hack du jour, Dr. James Fadiman was investigating the potential mind-enhancing effects of ingesting psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin, more commonly known as magic mushrooms.  

In the 1960s, Fadiman conducted pioneering psychedelic research, including one study in which he gave LSD and another hallucinogen, Mescaline, to scientists, mathematicians and architects to see how it affected creative problem-solving. (His research was one of the last investigations into LSD due to the Food and Drug Administration’s mid-1960s research ban of the substance.)

More recently, Fadiman authored “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide,” a how-to manual for safe and therapeutic psychedelic drug experiences. 

Now, his research has taken a new turn.

Fadiman is examining the effects of administering psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin in amounts so small that they are below the perceptual threshold. As part of an ongoing research project, Fadiman is collecting the self-reported testimonies of hundreds of people from around the globe who have experimented with psychedelic “microdosing” to treat ailments from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or simply to improve productivity or break through writer’s block. 

How does one microdose? You take a very small dose of either LSD or psilocybin (roughly one-tenth to one-fifth of a normal dose), on a regular schedule. Fadiman recommends dosing in the morning, once every four days. The dose isn’t enough to “trip,” but for some users, it can lead to subtle yet profound internal shifts. Many microdosers report experiencing improvements in mood; enhanced focus, productivity or creativity; less reactivity; and in some cases, even relief fromdepression or cluster headaches

“What it seems to do is rebalance people,” Fadiman told The Huffington Post. 

HuffPost Science recently sat down with Fadiman to learn more about how microdosing works, and its potential for enhancing well-being and treating a range of health problems. 

Where did this idea of microdosing come from? 

Dr. Albert Hofmann (the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD) had been microdosing for at least the last couple decades of his life. He lived to be 102 and at age 100 he was still giving two-hour lectures. Hoffman said that he would mainly use it when he was walking in trees, and it would clarify his thinking. So he was the person who first introduced this to many people, and he also said that this was a very under-researched area. 

And of course, for thousands of years, indigenous people have been using low doses of mind-altering substances as well.

What types of people are microdosing, and who do you think can benefit most from the practice? 

Microdosing seems to improve a vast range of conditions. I’ve explored microdosing as a safer way of doing psychedelics than the high doses that have been used before. Roughly 95 percent of the people who write me have considerable psychedelic experience. I’ll basically tell them, this isn’t going to harm you, let me know what happens.

The general response is that they feel better. There is an actual movement towards increased health or wellness. What that means, for instance, is that people who write in for anxiety seem to get help with their anxiety. People who use it for learning, improve their learning. One Ivy League student said he was using microdosing to get through the hardest math class in the undergraduate curriculum, and he did wonderfully in the class. Another young man used it for severe stuttering, and others have used it for social anxiety. One young woman, an art historian, even found that it regulated her periods and made them painless.

JAMES FADIMAN
Dr. James Fadiman, who is the world’s leading authority on psychedelic microdosing.

What does your microdosing protocol look like? 

On day one, you dose. Day two, you’re still having the effects. Day three, you should be noticeably not having the effects, and on day four you dose again. For self-study, that’s ideal because it gives you a chance to see what’s going on. After a month — which is all I ask of people — most people say that they’re still microdosing, but not as often. 

You’ve worked with hundreds of people on a self-reported microdosing study. How did that get started and what have you been finding?

Over the past number of years, people have written to me and said, “I’m interested in microdosing” for this or that reason, “can you help me?” They ask me to tell them what I’ve been suggesting to people, and they ask to be in the study. I then send them a protocol I’ve developed for a self-study and ask them to get back to me. I’ve probably sent out 200 or 300 of these, and I’ve gotten about half as many back as reports. A number are in process right now.

The range of interest goes from “Hey man, new drug, cool” to “I have post-traumatic stress, I’m recovering from cancer, and I hate my meds.” It’s a very wide range. I get a lot of people who say “I have anxiety or depression and I’ve either gotten off my meds or I hate my meds. Could microdosing help?” And my response is, “It’s helped a lot of other people and I hope it helps you. Here’s the protocol.”

I’ve heard there’s potential for enhancing focus and improving symptoms of ADHD, too. 

What people basically say is that they’re better. They focus more in class. A number of people have told me that it’s like Adderall but without the side effects. Now these people are coming off Adderall and have used microdosing to help them taper off pharmaceuticals, or at least to take their pharmaceutical use way, way down.

In your study, are you seeing a lot of people turning to microdosing as a way to come off pharmaceuticals?

For some people, it can take a year or two to come off of a pharmaceutical. A number of people have simply said that with microdosing it was much easier. They said they could do it without incredible suffering. A woman who was coming off of some anti-psychotics that she probably should never have been put on said that it wasn’t that she didn’t have the same symptoms, but she didn’t identify with them as much. She said that she could think of her mood swings as her brain chemistry rebalancing.

“A number of people, by the time they’ve finished a month, say, ‘I’m sleeping better, I’m eating more healthy food, I’ve returned to yoga and I’m doing meditation.’”

What’s going on beneath the surface to create these changes? 

What microdosing seems to do is rebalance people. Here’s a generalization, which is how I’ve come to this conclusion: A number of people, by the time they’ve finished a month, say, “I’m sleeping better, I’m eating more healthy food, I’ve returned to yoga and I’m doing meditation.” They’ve improved their relationship to their body — or their body has improved their relationship to them.

One man quit smoking. He said that he knew smoking wasn’t good, and it was as if his body could actually help him make the decision. What seems to happen with microdosing is that you’re more attuned to your own real needs.

Why has there been so little research into microdosing?

There are two main problems. One is that nobody was interested in microdosing, even a couple of years ago. The early research was always high-dose, and the fact that you could take psychedelics as a microdose didn’t occur to people. The only person we knew of who microdosed seriously was Hofmann … It was basically invisible during the time when research was legal and most of the time when it wasn’t.

On the other side of it, I talked with a major researcher who’s done a number of psychedelic studies and who said that he would love to do a microdosing study. I asked him what was stopping him. He said that the Institutional Review Board is not going to say, “Oh you want to give a Schedule I drug to people every few days and have them just go run around?” It’s going to be really hard.

Now, there are two groups, one in Australia and one in Europe, who are starting microdosing studies. I’m working with both of those groups on designing the studies.

New Age of Tripping

Austin, Texas is becoming a hub for a new kind of entrepreneur, hippie, and hipster breed. As gross as that might be to visually imagine, it actually creates an amazing environment for testing personal practices, such as microdosing.

While I have sifted through scientific research, particularly from Dr. James Fadiman in the 1970s, much of this is based on anecdotes, experiences, and interviews.

Names have been changed to protect those who shared their experiences.

What is Microdosing and What are Proposed Benefits?

Microdosing is using small doses of powerful psychedelic drugs in order to improve working conditions. In contrast, full psychedelic experiences are often mystical and not conducive to completing work-related tasks.

There are several purported advantages including:

Problem-solving

Imagine you have been working on a problem for weeks without finding an adequate solution. You wake up every morning, put in your time, but still don’t feel satisfied with your results.

That was the basis for a 1966 experiment organized by Dr. James Fadiman among others. This experiment took 27 male subjects (16 engineers, 2 mathematicians, 2 architects, 1 engineer-physicist, and others) and required them to bring a professional problem they had been working on for at least 3 months with a desire to solve it.

After providing these subjects with 200 mg of mescaline sulphate, the subjects had 4 hours to work on their professional problem. Almost all of them reported greater problem-solving ability and at least 12 had breakthrough solutions.

Creativity

Eric Clough was an architect in 1966 during the same era of research who wrote “The consensus among the architects interviewed…seems to be that LSD, when administered under carefully controlled conditions, does enhance creativity… aids in visualizing three-dimensionally, and generally heightens perceptivity.” (Fadiman, 170)

Numerous microdosing practitioners report having more creativity, which often ties into problem-solving. However, for musicians and artists, the creativity may help produce exceptional work in the absence of a definitive ‘problem’ that needs solving.

trippic2

Mood

Many psychedelics drastically enhance mood and happiness because of their interaction with serotonin receptors. Psilocybin decreases depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. The same is true for most other psychedelic drugs through small microdoses.

Physical

In a book Tryptamine Palace, author James Oroc asserts “Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD… believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities. According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your re-flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration…”

It sounds nice, but I spoke with my friend Larry to get his experiences and confirmed the same phenomenon. Both LSD and o-acetylpsilocin (prodrug for psilocin) offered strong physical energy and endurance beyond the norm.

These are just a few of the benefits of microdosing specifically. Note that the ‘heroic’ dose, which provides mystical and self-reflective experiences, does not provide the same problem-solving or physical endurance effects. In fact, it might be the opposite in some circumstances so be careful when microdosing.

Anecdotal Experiences with Microdosing and N = 1

In scientific studies, the letter “n” is used to refer to the sample size. If you test something in a group of 5 friends, the sample size is 5 (n=5). The term “n=1” is used to describe a sample size of 1, which is you. Therefore, the popularized term in biohacking circles is meant to encourage self-testing as opposed to listening to what everyone else believes.

There are at least 3 acquaintances with whom I spoke about microdosing. Larry is an entrepreneur creating a health-food company and had the most extensive experiences with microdosing. He felt LSD had a more complete microdosing experience even though mushrooms improved his physical energy and endurance profoundly.

Both Larry and another named Josh reported cycling LSD microdoses once every 3 – 4 days because of tolerance and ability to connect with others. Larry concluded that 10 – 12 mcg is better for physical endurance and concentration, while 12 – 15 mcg is better for creative thinking and problem-solving.

In contrast to these generally positive experiences, there is a individual self-experiment by Gwern that showed “No beneficial effects reached…LSD microdosing did not help me.” He continues to show how he tested and calculated things.

Another trained pianist and composer on Reddit took 30 – 40 mcg microdoses and reported “The experience could be described as slightly withdrawn and I felt like I had worse coordination and consequently lower accuracy in playing.”

Given the mixed nature of these anecdotal experiences, I recommend taking an N=1 approach. Understand that each individual is different and the dosage and microdosing that works for one person may not work for you.

The evidence from Fadiman’s research in the 1960’s along with other testimony leads me to be cautiously optimistic about microdosing benefits, but don’t expect it to solve all your professional or personal problems.

How-To: Microdosing and Mistakes

Again, neither I nor Pure Nootropics condone or recommend using illegal or illicit drugs. This is the process for microdosing that is reported through the experiments of Dr. James Fadiman and the experiences of others.

Given that microdosing with LSD is most common. Here is a brief guide for most accurately dosing. This is called volumetric dosing and it offers the most superior and accurate result.

(Tools needed: Scale, Pipette bottle, distilled water, tab of LSD)

  • Step #1 – Weigh out 10 grams of distilled water on the scale
  • Step #2 – Mix the water in the pipette bottle with 100 mcg of LSD
  • Step #3 – With these calculations (10 g water + 100 mcg LSD), every gram (or ML) of water is now a 10 mcg dose
  • Step #4 – Shake up pipette bottle a few minutes before administering (no need to wait all day)

Here are some of the common mistakes people make when trying to microdose:

Mistake #1 – Do not cut the tab of LSD into strips in order to divide the dosage. For one, this is incredibly difficult to do accurately (given the small size of most LSD tabs). It also does not account for “hotspots”, which are heightened concentrations and uneven distribution on the tab itself. Instead, use the volumetric dosing with distilled water method explained above.

Mistake #2 – Taking the “incorrect” dose. While each dose will have different effects for different people, some guidance can be helpful. 20 mcg of LSD is usually considered the high end of the microdose range, but some people go as high as 50 mcg. For LSD the lower doses tend to have concentration and slight mood benefits (5 – 12 mcg) while 12 – 20 mcg is a dose for problem-solving and creativity with more felt effects.

If you are using o-acetylpsilocin for a mushroom microdose (easier than trying to weigh actual mushrooms precisely), dosage recommendations are around 3 – 4 mg for microdosing.

Mistake #3 – Taking doses too often. Most accounts recommended once every 3 – 4 days maximum, but longer is also good. LSD is particularly subject to tolerance and doing it every other day can create uncomfortable relationships with reality.

Mistake #4 – Obviously sourcing makes a big difference with microdosing. A poor quality product with a big dose is less impactful, but when you rely on a tiny dose to provide effects, opt for quality.

Today we are witnessing the birth of a truly remarkable epoch. With the psychedelic renaissance well under way, consisting of new fascinating research, the coming out of thousands of individuals and the introduction of many, hitherto unknown, psychoactive plants steeped in their cultural context of healing and initiation, we are now facing some new and interesting questions.

  • What types of consciousness are possible, and how are we to navigate these?
  • Which plants and substances are beneficial in which situations?
  • How are we to make sense of these shamanic wisdom traditions, as our own euro-shamanistic traditions and the Eleusinian mysteries seem to be lost in time forever?
  • And how can we develop new ways of healing, new rituals embedded in cultural meaning that are able cure our current “collective insanity“?

I think one of the more fruitful directions we can take is towards is microdosing.

Microdosing is taking sub-perceptual doses (6-25 microgram LSD, 0.2-0.5 gram dried mushrooms, 50-75 microgram mescaline HCL) while keeping up with ones daily activities, engaging in extreme sports, appreciating nature or enhancing one’s spiritual practice.

This manner of integrating psychedelics, also known as a psycholytic dose, doesn’t inhibit ego-functioning in the same intense manner as the ‘heroic’ Terence McKenna dose does. It is much easier integrated into non-psychedelic activities.

It is known that Albert Hofmann, the first synthesizer of LSD, continued this practice well into his old age while saying “it would have gone on to be used as Ritalin if it hadn’t been so harshly scheduled.”

What are the effects of microdosing that makes it so interesting?

James Oroc, the author of the amazing book Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad, while writing about the secret affair between psychedelics and extreme sports, says that taking psychedelics at lower doses, the “cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina were actually found to be improved.”

For some, this might not come as a surprise, since Hofmann already spoke in a now famous interview that “Lysergic acid diethyl amide (LSD) is related in chemical structure to nicotinic acid diethylamide, known to be an effective analeptic.” (central nervous stimulant.)

But there’s more, as James Oroc eloquently put,

Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD
 at psycholytic dosages believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities. According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your re- flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience “tunnel vision,” and make you impervious to weakness or pain. LSD’s effects in these regards amongst the extreme-sport community are in fact legendary, universal, and without dispute.

He goes so far to suggest that, to some in the extreme sports subculture, taking a microdose at any physical competition is considered cheating. And this is not just the case for sports. P.G. Stafford and B.H. Golightly write in LSD — The Problem-Solving Psychedelic about a student that wanted to learn german making huge strides under the influence of an unknown amount of LSD. These are the words of the student:

It was a week before registration and it depressed me tremendously that I had not spent the summer learning German, as I had planned. I had intended to give myself a crash course so I could take second-year German, which I needed for my study in physics. I had heard of a woman who had learned enough Spanish in a few days, via LSD, to speak it fluently when she had to go to Mexico on business.

I had taken LSD before, and while I couldn’t see how she did this, I decided it was worth a try. I hadn’t even gotten around to picking up a textbook, but I did have a close friend who knew German well and who said he was willing to “sit in” while I took the drug and try to teach me the language.

Fortunately, I knew something about conjugation and declension, so I wasn’t completely at sea. I wanted to get worked up and feel involved with the language, as it seemed that this must be at least part of the key to the problem, so I asked my friend to tell me about Schiller and Goethe, and why the verb came at the end. Almost immediately, after just a story or two, I knew I had been missing a lot in ignoring the Germans, and I really got excited. The thing that impressed me at first was the delicacy of the language (he was now giving me some simple words and phrases), and though I really messed it up, I was trying hard to imitate his pronunciation as I had never tried to mimic anything before.

For most people German may be “guttural,” but for me it was light and lacey. Before long, I was catching on even to the umlauts. Things were speeding up like mad, and there were floods of associations. My friend had only to give me a German word, and almost immediately I knew what it was through cognates. It turned out that it wasn’t even necessary for him to ask me what it sounded like.

Memory, of course, is a matter of association, and boy, was I ever linking up to things! I had no difficulty recalling words he had given me—in fact, I was eager to string them together. In a couple of hours after that I was reading even some simple German, and it all made sense.

The whole experience was an explosion of discoveries. Normally, when you’ve been working on something for a long time and finally discover a solution, you get excited, and you can see implications everywhere. Much more than if you heard someone else discovering the same-thing. Now this discovery thing, that’s what was happening with me—but all the time.

The threshold of understanding was extremely low, so that with every new phrase I felt I was making major discoveries. When I was reading, it was as though I had discovered the Rosetta Stone and the world was waiting for my translation. Really wild!

In the 60’s the creativity enhancing effects of psychedelics were already hailed as revolutionary, and these famous trippers would certainly agree. One significant study investigated the effect of 100 micrograms of LSD on top of the field experts who had been struggling with a hard problem for months. Their solutions were reviewed by a panel of other experts in the same field. As Tim Doody reports;

LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties.

Psychedelics can be described as “non-specific amplifiers”, and, as such, not just creativity can be enhanced, also the distressing states of mind. In smaller doses this is not as overwhelming and therefore, if used properly, can be quite beneficial.

Myron Stolaroff, while writing about the usefulness of psychedelics in the practice of buddhism, argues that low doses of psychedelics can be extremely beneficial to improve ones meditation practice.

The use of low doses often can be much more effective in dealing with our “psychic garbage.” Many do not care for low doses because they can stir up uncomfortable feelings, and they prefer to transcend them by pushing on into higher states, but it is precisely these uncomfortable feelings that must be resolved to achieve true freedom.

With low doses, by focusing directly on the feelings and staying with them without aversion and without grasping, they will in time dissipate. Resolving one’s repressed feelings in this manner clears the inner being, permitting the True Self to manifest more steadily. Such a result provides greater energy, deeper peace, more perceptive awareness, greater clarity, keener intuition, and greater compassion. It permits the deepening of one’s meditation practice. The surfacing of buried feelings that this procedure permits often can bring new understanding of one’s personality dynamics.

The potential to improve cognitive functioning, body awareness and our spiritual evolution with a microdose of psychedelics are limitless. There are five categories by which we can describe the overall effects of microdosing LSD. I gathered these from the various first person reports I’ve quoted so far and my own extensive experimentation.

Physical:

  • More overall energy, like a psychedelic coffee. A buzzing effect.
  • Being able to walk very long distances without tiring.
  • Need of extra sleep at the end of the day, feeling more drained than usual.
  • Sometimes an uncomfortable stomach feeling, heavy body load.
  • More relaxed and better focus.

Emotional:

  • More appreciation for little things.
  • A resonance and openness by which world seems to invade more deeply and I have a more playful way of relating to this invasion.
  • Anti-depressive qualities, improved mood.
  • More patience.
  • Personal issues are at times disturbing.
  • Enhanced emotional clarity.

Perceptual:

  • Music is better, more persuasive in guiding inner states.
  • Sometimes objects seem to glow, having an aura surround them.
  • Time perception is warped.
  • Enhanced sense of touch, smell and hearing. Sometimes synesthesia.

Creative:

  • More flow.
  • A fuller awareness of the entanglement of ideas, a richer and seemingly higher overview and increased association.
  • Comprehension of ideas is greatly enhanced.

Spiritual:

  • Increased awareness of universal connectedness, in a marvelous, enlightening and almost divine way.

To be able to experiment with these states of conscious in a safe and constructive manner, be sure to follow these guidelines.

  • Start out with a dose on the lower end of the psycholytic spectrum and record how you react to it. A microdosing regime that is too high makes you incapable of following your normal routine with the risk of staying in the limbo/coming up phase the whole time, which is neither beneficial nor trippy and can often be uncomfortable.
  • Follow your normal routine, especially sleeping, eating, working and spiritual practice.
  • Be conservative with consecutive doses. Building a tolerance is unlikely, but having a normal baseline improves integrity of action.
  • Be discreet to whom you tell. Disinformation, stigma and prejudice are still mainstream.

Our Psychedelic Future

“To make this trivial world sublime, take half a gram of phanerothyme” -Huxley

In a not so far away future it will be possible to unlock different experiences with a pill. A little piece of matter, folded and turned using organic chemistry into a unique organic key to insert your brain. A drug you can buy as easy as alcohol or tobacco, or weed. Perhaps it will thrive in a system where one has to take an exam, some basic tests, and will be rewarded a license of some kind.

Aldous Huxley envisioned in Island, his last, and according to himself, his most important book, that psychedelics could help us overcome addiction, anxiety and depression. That if we could change how we experience ourselves, our loved ones and the world at large, either through rituals or through neurochemical mediated ways, we could usher in a new paradigm of human flourishing.

While his vision has not come to fruition yet, it is still very much alive. With the practice of microdosing, we will be one step closer to learning how to cope with the vast depths of our own psyches.

Enjoy the magic, my friends.

Share your microdose experience here

I’ve gotten so many questions, requests and microdose stories after writing this article that I have decided to write an e-book on this fascinating subject matter. If you’d like to help, I am looking for:

  • Tips & Tricks
  • Writings about microdosing, scientific publications on microdosing (sometimes a microdose is being used as a control for a full dose) and art.
  • Your experience! Why do you microdose? How often? How is it like? What is your psychedelic of choice? How do you combine different entheogens & activities?

All information received will be used anonymously. Please enter ‘Microdosing’ as the subject. Thank you :)

A Final Note on Safety

As we repeatedly stress on HighExistence, psychedelics must be approached with reverence and caution. We believe that in a loving context, psychedelics are powerful medicines with tremendous potential, but there are a number of physical and psychological safety concerns that one should consider before journeying with psychedelics. Please, please do plenty of research, and do not take psychedelics if you have reason to believe that they will not jibe with your personality or particular mental baggage. The Essential Psychedelic Guide on Erowid is an exceptional free resource, and we recommend reading it, especially the section on ‘Psychedelic Safety,’ before ever dabbling in these substances. Take care, and happy tripping. : )

WHAT IS MICRODOSING?

The act of integrating sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics into your weekly routine for higher levels of creativity, moreenergyincreased focus, and improved relational skills.

Quote: "I’ve found that I’ve had some brilliant outbursts with respect to both work product and personal creative projects."
Charles, Environmental Expert and Ghostwriter of Non-fiction books

 

WHY TAKE A MICRODOSE?

Typical Day When Microdosing.

09:00 - INCREASED CREATIVE OUTPUT

  • Brilliant outbursts in work and personal creative projects.
  • Super easy to get in the ZONE.
  • Work becomes fun!

16:00 - MORE PHYSICAL ENERGY

  • More stamina while exercising.
  • Clean energy buzz–like a psychedelic coff­ee.
  • Lift heavier weights
  • Improved coordination & higher level of focus.

 

19:00 - IMPROVED EMOTIONAL BALANCE

  • Create stronger bonds with new and existing friends
  • High levels of gratitude
  • Alleviates Depression
  • Gradual buildup of openness and awareness

21.00 - HEIGHTENED SPIRITUAL AWARENESS

  • Glimmers of insight into the unity of all life forms
  • Amazed by the wonders of life
  • More in line with spiritual intentions

Quote: "I would venture to say my wit, response time, and visual and mental acuity seem greater than normal while Microdosing."
Madeline, Media professional in New York City

 

HOW MUCH IS A MICRODOSE?

Microdose
10-20 µg of LSD or
0.2-0.5 g of magic mushrooms

Heroic Dose*
400 µg of LSD or
5-7 g of magic mushrooms

Moderate Dose
100-200 µg of LSD or
2.5-4 g of magic mushrooms
 

 

Quote: "Someone taking a dose this low functions, as far as the world is concerned, a little better than normal. To date, I received no reports that sub-perceptual doses have caused any social disruption, personal upset, or any form of work-related difficulty."
Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide and renowned psychedelic researcher

* This dose amount is NOT recommended. Heroic doses have extreme variability when taken.

 

Dr. Fadiman says to take a microdose every 4th day.


For 10 weeks:

Sunday: Take microdose

Monday: Observe residual e­ffects

Tuesday: Day o­ff

Wednesday: Take microdose

Thursday: Observe residual e­ffects

Friday: Day o­ff

Saturday: Day o­ff

 

  • Take notes: On the various observed e­ffects of the sub-perceptual dose.
  • Follow your normal routine: No major changes.

 

 

So far, over 99% of anecdotal reports about Microdosing are positive.

The overwhelming majority of users have zero issues with psychological well-being, emotional balance, and productivity at work while Microdosing. However, a few report an uncomfortable level of emotional release.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Research:
“Sub-perceptual doses are the most under-researched area of psychedelics.” – Albert Hofmann, Inventor of LSD. Right now, MAPS leads the way for psychedelic research in the United States.

 

Healthy Alternative for Treating Depression and ADHD:
Individuals have used microdoses of LSD and Psilocybin as a healthy and e­ffective alternative to treat depression and ADHD. Small amounts of psychedelics are healthy alternatives to mainstream prescriptions currently used for both of these ailments.

James Fadiman on the Tim Ferris Podcast
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/03/21/james-fadiman/

 




Bill Kovski
Bill Kovski

Author