Can Microdosing LSD Really Make You Smarter, Happier, or Healthier?
You are probably looking for information on LSD, microdosing, or a combination of both. So get ready to scroll...and scroll...because everything you need to know about taking small doses of LSD - aka Trips, Tripper, Tab, Stars, Smilies, Rainbows, Paper Mushrooms, Micro Dot, Lucy, Lightning Flash, Hawk, Flash, Drop, Dots, Cheer, Blotter and Acid.
What is LSD microdosing?
Microdosing is a trend in which people consume very small amounts (literally micro-amounts ) of a psychedelic substance, usually every few days for several weeks - with the intention of improving their mood, concentration, creativity, motivation or energy level.
Microdosing involves taking such a small dose of the psychedelic in question that the user is usually able to go about their daily activities fairly calmly; neither he nor anyone he interacts with on the day of the microdosing should notice any major changes in his mental behavior. The changes they notice should be very slight.
LSD - scientific name lysergic acid diethylamide - is a synthetic (illegal) street drug that people get in the form of powder, liquid, tablets or capsules.
It may also be available in small pieces of absorbent blotting paper (blotting art is a subculture that has flourished for decades).
Renowned psychedelic researcher, Dr. James Fadiman , measures a microdose of LSD between 8 and 15 micrograms and recommends starting with 10 micrograms.
Depending on the form the LSD is in, the microdoser may put this small amount of powdered LSD into an empty gelatin capsule and swallow it, or mix the powdered or liquid LSD in water and swallow it from this way.
What is the history of LSD?
Unlike the use of natural psychedelics such as certain types of mushrooms, mescaline or iboga, which date back to ancient times, the origin of LSD definitely dates back to 1938 and the research work of Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman .
Hoffman developed lysergic acid diethylamide by working with a chemical found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.
His intention was to develop a respiratory and circulatory stimulant or analeptic for medicinal purposes. However, he puts this job aside for a while and another five years pass before he returns to it and accidentally ingests a small amount of the new substance he has created.
Hoffman falls into a heightened sensory experience " I lay down at home and fell into a not unpleasant state of intoxication, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dream state, eyes closed (daylight m 'seemed unpleasantly blinding), I perceived a continuous flow of fantastic paintings, extraordinary shapes with an intense and kaleidoscopic color play.After about two hours, this condition subsided.
A few days later, Hoffman deliberately ingested more LSD to confirm its psychedelic effect. As part of his wider work, he continued to research his properties for decades, eventually dying aged 102 in 2008.
Until his death, Hoffmann believed that "scientists and psychiatrists should be allowed to study the effects of LSD and prescribe it in a safe and controlled way" - on the other hand, he also recognizes the power and the dangers of LSD and condemns the bad reputation it has gained due to its widespread abuse.
The 1960s: "swan song" of legal LSD
In the middle of the 20th century, LSD - "acid" - gained popularity in artistic circles, with authors, actors, musicians and many members of the American counterculture using it as a means of breaking with reality or expand the boundaries of their lives. thinking.
Scientists such as Timothy Leary explored the mind-expanding potential of LSD and became vocal proponents of psychedelics.
Meanwhile, the CIA was investigating the possibility that LSD and other substances were used as psychological weapons during the Cold War.
Eventually the U.S. government came to view LSD as a growing danger rather than a potential benefit to society, and in 1968 banned the possession of LSD .
LSD was already banned in the UK in 1966. By 1970 it was banned almost everywhere - even as its potential benefits in psychiatric treatment, ironically, were becoming very compelling to a number of researchers.
The era of hypercreativity
Of course, the new illegal status didn't stop the "hippie" culture from continuing to interact with LSD/acid into the 1970s, despite often breaking the law.
In the 1980s its use permeated the punk and goth subcultures, and in the 1990s a mass acid movement emerged from the music scene in Manchester, England. The phenomenon was called "Madchester", and the use of acid was mostly centered on "raves" (rave culture would turn into Tomorrowland-scale festivals).
Perhaps of all psychedelics, LSD has found the most prominent place in nearly every stream of pop culture .
There are a number of songs said to have been inspired by acid travel, including Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit and The Beatles' I am the walrus .
A number of classic books are devoted to LSD, including Gates of Perception by Aldous Huxley and Hunter S. Thompson's most famous book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas , which was later adapted into a heartbreaking film ( trailer here if you haven't seen it).
Meanwhile, nearly half a century after it was banned in the United States, the potential psychiatric benefits of LSD are once again being explored. seriously into a new subculture: microdosing .
LSD is back
In November 2015 , a widely read article in Rolling Stone magazine reported on the phenomenon of young professionals, particularly in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area, using " microdoses " (about 10 micrograms) of LSD not for wild excursions. , but simply to better solve technical problems and stimulate their spirit of innovation.
During this time, the practice of microdosing various substances, including LSD, has become an increasingly common topic of conversation everywhere – from Reddit and Twitter to labs at famous universities.
Microdosing had gained traction as a trend for a few years before Rolling Stone's article and other editorials surrounding James Fadiman 's microdosing studies and his 2011 book The Psychedelic Researcher's Handbook, but between 2015 and 2020 it really made a noticeable breakthrough in the public space. .
Side effects of LSD?
Taking too much LSD can cause terrifying hallucinations and disorientation, but technically a person cannot take enough LSD to die (this is where psychedelics differ from things like heroin, Xanax - even alcohol this is not known to be a lethal dose of LSD, even in the case of a woman who accidentally took 550 times the "normal" dose of LSD).
However, a person can experience a " bad trip" Bad Trip because of too much LSD that they self-harm in some way, such as thinking they can fly away from a window sill on the tenth floor. The danger of too much LSD is not so much what it will do to you, but what it can do to you.
The Benefits of Microdosing LSD?
When it comes to microdosing LSD, one ingests such a small amount that any noticeable effect should be minor and hopefully entirely positive.
According to Rico Doblin, executive director of the non-profit psychedelic research organization MAPS, when microdosing, " your cognitive processing is slightly improved in some ways - more creative, more focused, better mood - but you don't are in no way confused ." And you can drive. You can do all kinds of things that you wouldn't if the dose was higher. "
Microdosing has its share of skeptics, especially in medical and scientific circles.
David. E. Nichols, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, USA: “ To date, there is absolutely no credible research on microdosing. ”
Since there isn't much solid scientific data on the practice of microdosing yet, information about its benefits or effects must come largely from the personal accounts of microdosers (apparently James Fadiman has collected hundreds). Here are a few we found online:
Opinion on LSD
"I know what I have to do and I'm not distracted. I had a lot less impulse to go to Facebook, text or email, and was happier spending a long time focused on one thing without extra stimulation ." - Nat E.
"The microdoses reduced the potency of the wave of negative emotions that so often swept over me and made room in my mind, not necessarily for joy, but for insight." - Ayelet W.
"It interrupts your usual programming. The brain's default networks calm down, giving way to new channels and connections. Thus, previously separated areas of the brain begin to communicate. Like enhanced lighting that dims fluorescent lights and illuminates shadows in your mind. Illuminated hallways and doorways you never knew existed. " - Erica A.
“ Basically, every day turns out to be a good day. At work, you feel ready for anything and you even like to do everyday tasks. ” John
“The effect is subtle. After an hour, colors appear richer and edges more defined. The sunlight takes on a different quality, shimmering softly at the edge of my peripheral vision. It's like watching the world in HD after a lifetime of low resolution. I feel calm and present. Even optimistic. I get rid of little stress easily. At dinner that night, I feel presentable..." - Dan Dalton
Scientific studies on LSD?
Although the effects of LSD microdosing appear to be subtle and quite subjective when it comes to mental aspects such as improved mood, concentration and creativity - the evidence is weak - with respect to When it comes to the potential of LSD as a pain -reducing therapy , the data is more compelling .
A recent study by researchers at Maastricht University and the Beckley Foundation focused on low-dose, non-hallucinogenic LSD for the treatment of pain. The results, from an LSD ingestion of 20 µg, were "significantly increased pain tolerance of approximately 20% and reduced subjective levels of perceived pain and unpleasantness".
From the same study : "The results indicate long-term pain relief that begins within 90 minutes of microdose administration and continues for at least five hours thereafter."
Meanwhile, biomedical startup Eleusis is investigating the anti-inflammatory potential of subliminal doses of LSD to halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
LSD , in particular, seemed like an interesting candidate...because it is able to potently and persistently activate the serotonin and dopamine receptors that are associated with Alzheimer's disease, and in particular serotonin 2A receptor.
A growing body of research is being conducted on the potential of LSD for the treatment of depression , PTSD , substance abuse , and acute anxiety in patients with life-threatening illnesses.
As ADF reports here , the way LSD may be effective in improving certain aspects of mental health appears to be that it "helps people see the 'big picture' beyond their personal issues."
When microdosing LSD according to a commonly accepted protocol such as that of James Fadiman , the effects of LSD , positive or not, are likely to be quite mild for most people.
Is microdosing LSD legal?
Without a doubt, the biggest risk in microdosing LSD is getting into it. LSD is illegal in most countries of the world.
Here , The Third Wave lists the legal status of LSD in the following countries:
Ecuador : it is legal to possess up to 0.0020 mg of LSD; Czech Republic : Possession of up to 5 bottles of LSD is considered a “misdemeanor” and carries a relatively small fine; Portugal : not legal, but this status is weakly enforced. Mexico : Possession of up to 0.015 mg is permitted, but not on the premises of public institutions such as schools and prisons; United States - classified as a Schedule I controlled substance; Canada - classified as a Schedule III controlled substance; Australia - Prohibited Substance; United Kingdom - Classified as a Schedule 1 Class "A" drug; Rest of the World : Illegal under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Is LSD in the Netherlands legal?
LSD , along with other "hard" drugs, is classified as illegal ( unlike cannabis and psychedelic truffles or psilocybin ). This is a detailed overview of drug policy in the Netherlands on Wikipedia.
We advocate the responsible use of truffles containing psilocybin for microdosing in compliance with the law and for people over the age of 18. Although we are very interested in LSD as a research topic, we do not advocate microdosing LSD.
The Psychological or Physiological Risks of LSD?
Many doctors point out the potential risks of microdosing psychedelics, including LSD. Although not considered as addictive as cocaine or heroin - or even alcohol - microdosers might develop a tolerance that causes them to take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect. This can lead to or worsen long-term psychoses such as schizophrenia or depression .
Earlier in this document, we also discussed how taking too much LSD can lead to a " bad trip " in which a person can hurt themselves, either intentionally or accidentally.
Even if you don't, a bad trip can be terrifying and exhausting. In 2011 alone, there were about 5,000 emergency room visits in the United States related to adverse reactions to LSD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, we are still talking here about high or excessive amounts of LSD; if microdosing is followed strictly at the recommended amounts and according to a specific protocol or schedule, will there still be risks?
The risks of LSD in Microdosing?
There's not a whole lot of research to rely on, but it still seems like all the potential pitfalls are that microdosers don't stick to the small microdosing set and after a while increase their dose and/or become psychologically addicted to microdosing as a long-term panacea. "James Fadiman, aka "the father of microdosing" and creator of the most widely used microdosing protocol - one day, two days off, for a month - then advises people to dose however they want. And that's where things got complicated for me." She later wrote:
"In the summer of 2019, after two years of dosing, my last microdoses sent me into extreme anxiety and agitation. I haven't microdosed since. I may have had to lower my usual dose by 15 micrograms ."
Although LSD does not cause physical dependence, the Oxford Treatment Center says its microdosing "fails to address the potential risks associated with continued use of a strong drug, including feelings that stability or a person's well-being depends on substance use, or chronic side effects such as flashbacks or psychosis...
too much of this drug can induce psychosis, exacerbate mood disorders, and potentially trigger schizophrenia or psychotic disorders in people with these conditions."
Again, the risk seems to lie mostly in taking too much LSD or taking it too long.
The best practice for those who choose to microdose LSD seems to be to stick to the same low dose, say 6-10 micrograms, following a protocol like Fadiman's, and stop microdosing after a while.
This is what we have learned from our research, but we would appreciate personal and medical opinions on the potential risks (and benefits) of microdosing LSD, and would be happy to incorporate any comments into this document.
How to microdose LSD?
Before microdosing with a psychedelic for the first time, we advise making sure of three things to ensure a positive experience:
Being free from work, social commitments or other commitments for the day.
Have a quiet microdosing environment where you will not be disturbed.
Your state of mind should be calm - not feeling stressed or anxious.
To take a microdose of LSD, of course, you need the substance itself.
Since microdosing works with such small amounts - a tenth of a "normal" dose of LSD - it would be best if the LSD was in powder form (measuring a tenth from a blank won't be very accurate ). You will need a sensitive scale that can measure microgram quantities of substances.
If you have LSD in tablet form, you will need a small grinder, such as a coffee grinder, to grind it into a powder; you can also use a mortar.
Powdered LSD can be mixed into a drink, such as a smoothie, and taken that way. Many microdosers pour the powder into widely available empty gelatin capsules and swallow the capsules.
Optimizing the result of microdosing
Microdosing journaling is the habit of recording your daily microdosing experience.
There are two reasons why this is important:
- Keeping a diary will help you track the effects of microdosing and whether you should reduce the frequency or amount of microdosing if you experience negative effects.
- Microdosing is a journey of discovery, and journaling and sharing your experiences with microdosing will help build knowledge about this lifestyle trend. In the future, your diary can be a useful source of information for new users of microdosing.
Where can you buy microdosed LSD?
We are very happy at this point to refer you to our partner Microdose pro 's webshop where you can consider ordering microdosing kits containing "magic" psilocybin truffles , which, if you are reading this in the Netherlands- Low, are legal.
Plus, you'll get 10% off the price using code dontforget10% Learn more about microdosing truffles here .
However, given their illegal status in much of the world, we cannot advise you on where to obtain LSD or other illegal psychedelics in microdosage.
Thanks for reading this article and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have - we're here to help. If you want more information on microdosing on a macro level other than LSD, check out the articles below.
All information in this article is based on sources and references, and all opinions expressed are my own. I do not give advice to anyone and although I am happy to discuss topics, if anyone has another question or concern they should seek advice from a competent specialist. People who have psychiatric, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions or who use psychiatric medications should avoid microdosing altogether.
France culture: https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceculture/podcasts/lsd-la-serie-documentaire/les-mondes-invisibles-3976761