Microdosing LSD and other psychedelic substances has become increasingly popular among a wide range of individuals, from businessmen in Silicon Valley to creatives working toward their next big idea. It involves ingesting a very small amount, well under a typical LSD dosage, on a regular basis. A recent survey with over one thousand participants from 59 countries suggests microdosing LSD increases energy, work effectiveness, health habits, and overall well-being. Some respondents reported it helped alleviate their symptoms associated with migraines, pre-menstrual syndromes, traumatic brain injury, shingles, and depression.
How are LSD Doses Measured
When consuming LSD for a psychedelic experience, most users will measure their LSD dose by number of tabs, or pieces of blotter paper. However, this is a relatively ineffective method of measurement as a single piece of blotter paper can contain vastly different amounts of LSD.
A more accurate way to measure it is by the microgram. It can be difficult to find a reliable source that knows how many micrograms of LSD are in each tab. A standard dose when consuming to have a psychedelic experience ranges from 50 to 150 micrograms. When microdosing, most users consume about a tenth of a normal dose, so somewhere between five to fifteen micrograms.
LSD Dosage Chart
Common Clinical Research Doses
Clinical research doses of LSD depend on the purpose of the study. Over the last 25 years, scientists conducted six studies with dosages ranging from 40 micrograms to 200 micrograms.
How Much LSD Causes an Overdose?
While the LD50 of LSD is still unknown among humans, (there has yet to be a recorded overdose), it is safe to assume it would be well above what any user would consume for recreational purposes.
In one case, eight individuals accidentally consumed upwards of 40,000 micrograms, around 400 times a normal dose, of LSD thinking it was cocaine. While all eight were admitted to a hospital, they were all discharged within 48 hours. Five of these patients were followed up with after a year and were found to have no residual effects after this experience.
Microdosing is the act of consuming a sub-perceptual dose of a psychoactive compound. Many users believe that consuming an extremely small dose brings some of the positive effects of the substance while still remaining fully functional to carry on with all of the activities of a standard day. A typical microdose is somewhere around a tenth of the amount of a standard dose.
The History of Microdosing
When it comes to microdosing, there is very little history in regards to use and scientific studies. No formal research was conducted prior to 1966, when a prohibition on psychedelic research was established through most of the western world. There has been recent interest in microdosing with some scientists looking to derive results from user experiences and others looking to conduct clinical studies.
Why do People Microdose?
Most people try microdosing psychedelics to enhance their creativity, energy levels, emotional stability, and alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression and addiction.
Can You Microdose LSD?
LSD is one of the most popular substances to microdose with. Many users report an overall improvement to their health and wellness, both physiologically and psychologically. Common effects of microdosing LSD include increased energy, and improvements in work effectiveness and health habits. Some users even report it alleviated symptoms of migraines, pre-menstrual syndromes, traumatic brain injury, and shingles.
What the Community Says about Microdosing LSD
The psychedelic community considers a wide range of benefits to microdosing LSD. One user who suffers from anxiety and depression attempted microdosing with 30 micrograms a day for a week to see if that could help him alleviate some of his symptoms. He was also a frequent user of a wide variety of substances. During this week trial he felt a lowered desire to consume other substances, and less stress throughout his workdays. However, in his report he does say he is unsure whether this was due to a placebo effect or the effects of microdosing LSD.
Another user microdosed for thirty days, skipping every third day or so. This user reports having more creative thoughts for problem solving, however it did not help him work healthy routines into his day like a regular sleep schedule or healthy eating habits.
What Scientists Say about Microdosing LSD
The first step for scientists to understand the effects of microdosing is determining what dose constitutes a “microdose,” and the acute effects of consuming that dose on a repeated schedule. A brand new study published on November 15, 2019 sought out to find this dose. They used three doses, 6.5 micrograms, 13 micrograms, and 26 micrograms in a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 20 healthy young adults. This study finds that 13 micrograms would likely be a safe dose to further study with repeated administrations. Further studies based on these conclusions have not been conducted yet, but this study paves the way for future research into the potential benefits and consequences of regularly microdosing LSD.
What the Critics say about Microdosing LSD
With the increased media attention microdosing has received, there have also been critics of the practice pointing out potential downsides. The major point most of these critics are emphasizing is in regards to microdosing DMT, but these effects could be apparent in microdosing LSD as well. They all reference a study published by the ACS which found microdosing DMT effected metabolism and neuronal growth in rats. Male rats tended to gain a significant amount of weight and the female rats developed neuronal atrophy. Whether these effects appear in humans as well is still unknown.
What is Considered a Microdose of LSD?
A microdose of LSD is considered to be a sub-perceptual dose meaning the effects are mostly unnoticeable. How much this dose would be is very subjective depending on the individual. The Fadiman protocol recommends using between a tenth to twentieth of a normal dose daily with every fourth day skipped. This prevents a tolerance from building and allows you to subjectively determine the effects compared to an off day and a day of microdosing.
Where do I buy LSD to Microdose?
As microdosing continues to become increasingly popular throughout the western world, companies are beginning to offer microdosing kits to help an average user measure out a dose, ensure their LSD is pure, and offer legal alternatives. These kits generally contain an amber glass bottle, a medicinal syringe, and ehrlich reagent test.
What to Know Before Microdosing LSD
The most important part of safely consuming any illicit substance is ensuring the substance you are consuming is pure. The psychedelic community commonly uses an ehrlich reagent test to rule out most common LSD substitutes. This test involves placing a small drop of an ehrlich reagent on a portion of the substance you have. The reagent then turns purple when in the presence of indoles, which is what LSD is. This will rule out a common and dangerous substitute of LSD called 25i-NBOMe.
Common Effects when Microdosing LSD
Common effects of microdosing LSD include increased energy, and improvements in work effectiveness and health habits.
How to Microdose LSD
The most popular method of microdosing LSD is referred to as the Fadiman protocol named after the man who created it, James Fadiman. Fadiman created this method to survey the effects microdosing has on a wide range of individuals through a controlled methodology. For LSD, it involves consuming between 5 micrograms and 10 micrograms every third day. This allows for a baseline on the third day to compare how microdosing has affected you and whether or not it is beneficial for your specific situation. He encourages anyone trying this method to report their results to him so he can congregate the results and hopefully further push research into this area based on those results. His site also provides a quick set of five questions to make reporting your experiences even easier.
How LSD works inside your body
The basic mechanism behind how LSD produces its effects involves the substance binding to the serotonin receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system. These receptors are called 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT, receptors. It binds to most types of these receptors except the 5-HT3 and 5-HT4 receptors. The most important receptor it binds to producing the majority of its effects is called the 5-HT2A receptor. This causes a cross activation of the heteromers of this receptor which is thought to produce to the psychedelic effect.
When consumed in large doses, LSD produces a profound psychedelic effect involving:
- Closed and open eye visuals
- Dilated pupils
- Reduced appetite
- Heightened emotions
- An altered sense of reality.
Small doses of LSD, referred to as a “microdose,” does not produce any of these strong effects. A real microdose should not produce any acute effects that are very noticeable, but rather a psychological and social benefit from regularly consuming microdoses. These effects may include increases in:
- Social ability
- Analytical thinking
- Positive mood
- General wellbeing
Common Interactions when Microdosing LSD
The largest concern with interaction between LSD and other substances comes from mixing Lithium or any other tricyclic antidepressant. This combination has the potential to cause serious seizures. Another interaction that has cause for concern is with any SSRI due to the increased chance of Serotonin Syndrome. Serotonin Syndrome is a potentially fatal disorder caused by an overload of serotonin. Benzodiazepine tends to lower the effectiveness of LSD.
There are potential safety concerns when microdosing LSD for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. This concern comes from the vascoconstriction caused by most psychedelics including LSD. It also tends to alter an individuals heart rate which can cause complications with an existing heart condition.
Is it legal to Microdose LSD?
LSD is a controlled substance in most of the modern world. The United States listed it as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances also lists LSD requiring all members of the UN to prohibit LSD. However, Mexico has made the possession of extremely small quantities, under 15 micrograms, legal and Portugal decriminalized LSD in 2001.
Contributor | Cort Honey