In recent years, microdosing psychedelics has picked up steam throughout the psychedelic community and mainstream media alike. Many users have reported it helps them alleviate their symptoms of depression and anxiety, boosts productivity and creative problem solving, and improves their overall well-being. Microdosing MDMA is much less common than other substances, but some people have begun experimenting with it. Generally, they are using it to help them get over past trauma, boost their energy levels, and increase their sociability. Typical MDMA dosage for microdosing range from 5 milligrams to 25 milligrams.
How are MDMA Doses Measured
MDMA dosage is measured by the milligram of pure MDMA. It is commonly pressed into tablets or pills for ease of use and to avoid the bitter taste. A single tablet or pill generally contains between 80 milligrams and 120 milligrams of pure MDMA. The variability in dosage contained within a single tablet or pill makes it difficult to microdose them. Most users will prefer microdosing with a powdered or crystalline form so they can weigh out their doses with higher accuracy.
How Long Does MDMA Stay in Your System
Common Clinical Research Doses
Clinical MDMA dosage ranges from 40 milligrams to 125 milligrams with a 62.5 milligram booster dose. In one of the largest studies, 166 subjects in a clinical setting took a single 125 milligram dose.
How Much MDMA Cause an Overdose?
Generally speaking, an overdose occurs when a user consumes a toxic amount of a substance or mixes substances that overwhelm the body. A common measurement of toxicity determines the median lethal dose of a substance, known as the LD50, or Lethal Dose, 50%. Every single substance has an LD50 from water to snake venom. There is an amount of any substance that can cause harm.
In the context of MDMA dosage, serotonin syndrome and sympathomimetic effects result in most overdoses. An overload of serotonin in the central nervous system causes serotonin syndrome, and produces a variety of symptoms including high body temperature, agitation, increased reflexes, tremor, sweating, dilated pupils, and diarrhea. In extreme cases these symptoms can be fatal. While mostly induced by a combination of serotonergic substances, such as SSRIs, a large dose of a single serotonergic substance as well could cause the syndrome as well.
Fatal intoxication caused by MDMA is extremely rare, especially when used alone. There has yet to be a determination on the LD50 of MDMA within the scientific community, but most guess it to be somewhere between 10 to 20 mg/kg. This means an average adult weighing 70 kg, about 150 pounds, would have to consume 700mg to 1,400mg, roughly 7 to 14 times a normal dose, before reaching the LD50.
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 their activities of a standard day. A typical microdose is somewhere around a tenth to twentieth 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. Researchers did not conduct any formal research prior to the prohibition of psychedelic research in 1966. There has been recent interest in microdosing with some scientists looking to derive results from user experiences and others looking to conduct clinical studies. Most of this interest is for LSD or psilocybin. There has yet to be much research or scientific interest in microdosing MDMA. Most MDMA research is going towards its potential in psychedelic psychotherapy, particularly for treatment of PTSD.
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.
What is Considered a Microdose of MDMA?
Microdosing MDMA has largely remained under the radar. However, interest in microdosing MDMA has developed within the psychedelic community. Some users have used it as a method to help them overcome past trauma and enhance their sociability. A microdose of MDMA is generally considered around 5-25 milligrams, with some users dosing as little as 200 micrograms.
What the community says about microdosing MDMA
As a whole, the psychedelic community is very split on how they feel about microdosing MDMA. One user taking 10 milligrams a day for one week reports it helped them overcome their depressive episodes by allowing them to think through the root cause of that depression. This draw them to some form of past trauma that they were able to understand better and adjust their thought patterns around.
While this user reported mostly positive aspects of microdosing MDMA, another user reported a friends experience of taking about 20 milligrams every morning for fifteen days. This user reports their friend had extreme depressive episodes, brain zaps, shakes, and a variety of other issues during the time they were microdosing. Eventually these symptoms got so bad that they disposed of the rest of their MDMA.
What scientists say about microdosing MDMA
There has yet to be much scientific research into microdosing MDMA. Most scientists who heavily advocate for further psychedelic research have not commented on microdosing MDMA either.
There has been one study in a therapeutic setting that compared the effects of different MDMA doses on treating PTSD alongside psychotherapy. The lowest dose studied was 30 milligrams, which could be considered a microdose. However, this 30 milligram group was not used to test the effectiveness of microdosing; it was used as a control group. The study found patients who took 70 milligrams or 125 milligrams “had significantly greater decreases in PTSD symptom severity.”
What the critics say about microdosing MDMA
The primary concern critics have with microdosing MDMA is the potential for neurotoxicity. Repeated use of MDMA can cause decreases in the concentration of serotonin and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. This suggests MDMA use either causes a downregulation of serotonin, meaning the neuron isn’t making nor retaining as many serotonergic markers, or the permanent loss of serotonergic axons. It is still unclear whether or not microdosing MDMA will cause these effects or not.
Where do I buy MDMA 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 product is pure, and offer legal alternatives. These kits generally contain an amber glass bottle, a medicinal syringe, and a reagent test.
What to Know Before Microdosing MDMA
When purchasing MDMA to microdose, the primary concern is receiving an impure product. Any MDMA someone purchases could be cut with other substances such as MDA, methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, or just about any other type of stimulant. This makes testing MDMA all the more important. Most recommended testing any MDMA with a Marquis test, Simon test, and Froehde test to ensure the purity of your MDMA. This series of tests will rule out most common substitutes of MDMA.
Common Effects when Microdosing MDMA
Common effects of microdosing MDMA include increased energy levels, decreased anxiety, improved sociability, and mild euphoria.
How to Microdose MDMA
There has yet to be a consensus on the best method of microdosing MDMA. However, most users recommend spacing out MDMA doses by at least a week or more in hopes that this will reduce the possibility of neurotoxicity. Most users consume between 5 milligrams to 25 milligrams, with some users consuming as little as 200 micrograms.
How MDMA works inside your body.
Once consumed, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs the MDMA. Then, the liver metabolizes it into an active metabolite called methoxyamphetamine. This substance then acts as a presynaptic releasing agent of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. 5-HT neurons then synthesize the neurotransmitter serotonin and store it in synaptic vessels. These synaptic vessels release it into the synaptic cleft causing most of MDMA’s effects.
When consumed in large doses, MDMA causes effects including:
- Reduced inhibitions
- Increased empathy
- Decreased appetite
- Increased awareness of the senses
- Visual distortion
- Unintended emotional bonding
Small doses of MDMA, referred to as a “microdose,” do not produce any of these strong effects. A real microdose should not produce any acute effects that are noticeable, but rather a psychological and social benefit from regularly consuming microdoses. These effects include:
- Increased sociability
- Enhancements in empathy
- Increased energy levels
- Mild euphoria
- Decreased anxiety
- Ability to contemplate past trauma without an overwhelming emotional response
Common Interactions when Microdosing MDMA
There are a few substances that can cause dangerous side effects when mixed with MDMA. One of these interactions occurs with any substance metabolized by the liver enzyme CYP2D6. Common substances metabolized by CYP2D6 include Ritonavir, codeine, opiate derivatives, DXM, and Prozac. This interaction causes both substances to take longer to metabolize resulting in a stronger effect from each substance.
Never take MDMA with any protease inhibitors. A protease inhibitor is a class of antiviral drugs such as Ritonavir. This combination is potentially life-threatening.
Consuming MDMA alongside other stimulants can cause dangerous increases to your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Common stimulants include Adderall, anabolic steroids, cocaine, Concerta, crack, Dexedrine, methamphetamine, and Ritalin.
A major safety concern of MDMA dosage comes from a user having any pre-existing heart condition. MDMA could cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. So using MDMA with a pre-existing heart condition puts unnecessary stress on the heart and could even be fatal.
Is it legal to microdose MDMA?
The United States lists MDMA as a Schedule I Substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The United Nations also lists it under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, although exceptions exist for research and limited medical use. Peru legalizes the possession of up to 250 milligrams of MDMA so long as it is the only substance you possess.