• Psychedelic Medicine

MICRODOSING | +80 articles

mr peabody

Bluelight Crew
Aug 31, 2016
Frostbite Falls, MN

Ann and Sasha Shulgin

Finally, a research study on the effects of microdosing LSD*

Beckley Foundation

2 years ago I wrote a piece for Forbes entitled, "LSD Microdosing Deserves More Serious Research." It turns out The Beckley Foundation in England is finally doing just that.

This is a very big deal because there are countless stories about how microdosing LSD can improve creativity. But right now they are only stories.

What is microdosing?

Microdosing means taking a tiny, tiny amount of LSD - 1/10 of a normal "trippy" dose - every four days. People who do so have reported increased clarity, increased productivity, better mood and a better ability to put disparate thoughts together (creativity).

People have reported "microdosing" LSD and other psychedelics with great creative results, including increased productivity, increased creativity, and a general feeling of "better living."

There are reports of people dramatically improving the work they do, the sports they play, and everything in-between. Martijn Schirp, an Amsterdam native who has been experimenting with microdosing put it this way in an interview with LiveScience:

"It's like the coffee to wake up the mind-body connection. When I notice it working, time seems to be slowing down a bit, everything seems covered with a layer of extra significance."

My speculation is that these microdoses replicate, and/or magnify existing, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), in that things that may have seemed irrelevant before now take on "added significance." As such, we are more likely to consider more thoughts, and then more thoughts are able to collide in our thought process - and then boom, more creativity.

But, as I said above, to date the evidence of LSD's power at a microdosing level has been anecdotal.

Here are the research intentions from the Beckley Foundation site:

"The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme will soon undertake the world’s first scientific investigation into the effects of microdosing on mood (including depression, anxiety, and vitality), cognitive functions, creativity and general wellbeing."

"Led by Amanda Feilding, this unprecedented and highly original study will use the ancient Chinese game of
Go to measure the unique type of cognitive enhancement that microdosing is anecdotally reported to produce: insight. Performance in this game relies largely on intuitive pattern recognition and participants will compete against a Go-playing AI, which will assess their performance using the standardised Go ranking system. Mood and cognitive function will be measured with well-established methods and the latest brain imaging technology will reveal the neurological mechanisms behind the effects of microdosing. The safety and tolerability of LSD microdosing will also be evaluated."

You can read more about it here. I am currently trying to get in touch with Ms. Feilding for a follow-up Forbes piece so I can get more clarity on the research methodology.

But very exciting to finally see actual researchers studying the effects of this potentially breakthrough drug. I honestly can't wait to see the results.

*From the article here: https://www.williamoburns.com/unleas...icrodosing-lsd
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Microdosing LSD modulates our perception of time*

by Christian Rigg | PsyPost | 23 Jun 2021

Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a drug which produces a variety of cognitive, perceptual and behavioral changes in users. One of these is distortions in interval timing: one’s perception of (relatively) short intervals and, specifically, the ability to reliably reproduce these intervals (by, for example, switching on a light, pausing, and switching it back off).

To understand whether this temporal effect is separate from or merely a consequence of an altered state of consciousness, researchers from London and Oxford turned to a growing trend among young professionals: LSD microdosing.

Microdosing refers to the consumption of barely perceptible doses of LSD, purported to increase productivity and boost cognition without altering perception. Their results are published in Psychopharmacology.

In the study, 48 healthy adults were invited to participate in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and given 0, 5, 10 or 20 micrograms of LSD. The authors measured subjective (perceptual) effects through self-reporting and assessed reproduction of interval timing, using periods shorter and longer than one second.

The results show that the authors were able to successfully induce temporal reproduction inaccuracies in participants without (noticeable) changes in perception, mentation or concentration. Interestingly, these effects were largely restricted to intervals of 2 to 4 seconds.

The authors present some tentative explanations, but underline their speculative nature, as more research is needed to understand the neurochemical interactions of LSD microdosing. For example, attention and working memory, which are “recruited to a greater extent for timing in this interval range”, are both implicated in the discussion. It may be that LSD increases attentional awareness, resulting in the over-reproduction of time intervals.

They additionally evoke the possibility of a dopamine-related effect, specifically via activation of the D2 dopamine receptor. Indeed, previous research has demonstrated an important relation between dopamine and time-keeping. Still, they caution against taking this hypothesis at face value, as D2 interval experiments thus far have been restricted to animals.

Mind-altering drugs present a fascinating method for understanding the brain and behavior. LSD microdosing has been praised by advocates for its ability to improve concentration, cognition, and mood, without causing hallucinations. However, more research like the present study is needed to understand the precise effects of LSD on the brain and mind, both positive and negative, and to develop guidelines for its safe use.

The study, “The effects of microdose LSD on time perception: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial“, was authored by Steliana Yanakieva, Naya Polychroni, Neiloufar Family, Luke T. J. Williams, David P. Luke, and Devin B. Terhune.

*From the article here :
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Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy

Meet the doctor behind New Zealand's historic LSD microdosing experiment

Scott Palmer, Ben O'Connor, Sam Harvey | 12 Sep 2019

At Auckland University, neuropsychopharmacologist Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy is working to secure approval for a historic LSD microdosing experiment in New Zealand.

His research could change lives, science, and how we treat psychedelics. Dr Muthukumaraswamy sat down with Newshub to discuss his work.

- How psychedelic drugs are being used to fight depression

- New trial to study effects of micro-dosing LSD

- Magic mushrooms: The psychedelic drug making a clinical comeback

Psychedelic research flourished in the 1950s and 1960s, before concerns about LSD's recreational usage - and the overenthusiasm of some researchers - led to a legal crackdown.

But now the field is flourishing again as part of a psychedelic renaissance, with researchers exploring how psychedelics and empathogens could help treat mental health issues such as PTSD, addiction and clinical depression.

LSD works by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, changing the electrical signalling and resulting in the psychedelic effects. While it is a Class A drug - the same as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine - it has one of the lowest rates of harm for a drug and isn't considered to be addictive.

The microdosing trial

Dr Muthukumaraswamy is planning a randomised, controlled trial to see how effective microdosing actually is. Some of the volunteers will be given LSD, while others will be given a placebo.

"At the moment there's not a lot of rigorous scientific study of this, in fact, is really no rigorous scientific studies," he told Newshub.

"So what we want to do is a kind of controlled study where we look at these sub-perceptual doses to see whether they really have these kind of effects."

About 40 male subjects will be needed. Although Dr Muthukumaraswamy says there won't be any risk to those involved, because the LSD will be tested on people, there are stringent ethics and safety requirements. This costs a lot of money.

"Setting up a trial like that, first you have to get enough money to do it because these things are expensive to do," he says.

"You need to get the team of experts that you need to do it, various types of doctors and pharmacists, you need the facilities in place to do the study."

"Then you need to put together a study plan, and then you need to apply for ethics to do the study. You need regulatory approval of various layers, so in New Zealand, that's from MedSafe."

Even getting hold of the quantity of LSD he needs is difficult - and expensive.

"A really tricky thing is actually trying to get the drug in a pure pharmaceutical-grade form that you can afford it because drugs are normally produced in massive, massive amounts," he says.

"They might be producing 100,000 doses on a factory line whereas our little study only needs 500 doses. So that can actually be very expensive to produce just a very small amount of drugs."

Dr Muthukumaraswamy said "getting the trial started is a big process that might take a year's work."

"We're about halfway there,"
he adds.

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Microdosing ibogaine

The Third Wave

Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic substance derived from plants native to Central Africa and the Amazon. Though listed as a Schedule I controlled substance in the US, ibogaine is unregulated in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Brazil.

In the Central African spiritual tradition of Bwiti, iboga root bark, which naturally contains ibogaine, is used in rituals and medicinal healing. European explorers first encountered the substance in the 19th century, and it was sold in France during the early 20th century as a mental and physical stimulant. Ibogaine also developed a reputation as having anti-addictive properties, and in several clinical studies has demonstrated potential to reduce addiction.

The microdose

A full dose of pure ibogaine (around 200mg) is highly potent. Ibogaine ceremonies or retreats usually last for a few days. Various anecdotal reports warn against treating ibogaine as a casual drug. One user recommended an ibogaine experience only if you want your body to explode into 1,000 pieces and then rebuild itself into something beautiful.

However, if you are looking for something less intense, you dont need to commit to a full dose or leave the country to attend a ceremony. Microdosing ibogaine is possible. Even the Bwiti use iboga in different ways: aside from the strong doses taken for spiritual initiation ceremonies, they also participate in weekly religious ceremonies using iboga in lower doses. These smaller and more frequent rituals bring people together for emotional experiences that strengthen their connection with divinity. For the Bwiti, microdosing ibogaine is sort of a spiritual housekeeping.

A dosage amount for microdosing is difficult to establish since ibogaine is unregulated and differs in source and form. The concentration of ibogaine in root bark varies, though 1g should be a safe starting point for microdosing. Root bark can be chewed and ingested, though some choose to make their own tinctures. A premade iboga TA (total alkaloid) tincture is also available. The tincture is concentrated at a 1:50 ratio, and is one of the most common ways people microdose, since one drop is an effective amount for microdosing.

Depending on how ibogaine is extracted from the bark, it comes in either a powdered TA form, or a powdered HCl (hydrochloride). If using concentrated TA powder, you can start your dose anywhere from 50-100mg. Depending on how it affects you, you can tinker with the dose from there. If using ibogaine powder in HCl form, which is purer than the TA form, try starting at around 25mg per microdose. Powder can be put into capsules, ingested orally, or diluted in liquids. By all accounts, the taste of ibogaine is very bitter and earthy.

A proper amount for a microdose varies between people, and depends on your product. Always start with a low amount that you feel comfortable with. As a general rule of thumb, a microdose should be nearly imperceptible, with at least a day or two between doses. You should be able to think and function normally while microdosing.

Another important thing to remember: a little mental preparation goes a long way. Just like with LSD or psilocybin, being intentional will significantly improve your microdose experience. Be clear with yourself about why you are microdosing, what issues you want to explore and address, and what you want to learn.

The effects

Ibogaine is probably most known for its anti-addictive properties. Research is limited, but scientists believe that ibogaine affects the neural pathways linked to addiction. Unlike some existing addiction treatments, such as methadone, ibogaine doesnt substitute the bodys cravings by offering it something else. The unique effect explains why addiction treatments using ibogaine have lasting effects, even after a single session.

Clinical research into ibogaine is scant, and most studies use higher doses on their patients. However, there are anecdotal reports that discuss the effects of microdosing ibogaine, and how it helps with addictions of all kinds. We all have addictive patterns and behaviors that we may not even notice, yet unconsciously act on every day.

Commonly, people who microdose ibogaine switch to a more detached perspective. This change allows them to recognize patterns of behavior without giving in to them, which helps explain ibogaine effectiveness against addiction. One user reported that microdosing with ibogaine helped him stop a 30-year tobacco addiction, with no withdrawal. He added that the ibogaine helped with other, subtle addictions like junk food, emotional outbursts, and reacting or being affected by a negative thought process.

On top of addressing addictions, people also microdose ibogaine for self-discovery and to treat trauma. A woman who had developed DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) after experiencing a traumatic event began to use ibogaine. After about a week of microdosing, her symptoms improved. She noted that I received insight into some traumatic issues. Specifically, I had visions of a few traumatic childhood situations I had not previously remembered. I experienced these from an observer-perspective, i.e. I saw what happened but did not re-experience the situation from a first-person perspective. Even more remarkably, I could then step into the situation and change it.

The new insights and changed perspective allowed her to address the situation. I feel like my brain has been re-wound to about the state of a few years ago (before I went through some traumatic times that finally resulted in my DID crisis).

Moving forward, safely

Ibogaine is a powerful substance for treating addictions, addressing traumas, and aiding with contemplation and reflection. Microdosing is a safer way to experience ibogaine without committing to a full dose. If you plan on microdosing, keep in mind your intentions and reasons for using the substance. On days that you ingest it and on the days in between, explore the changes that arise in thought and behavior, stay present with them, and record them if you think you might otherwise forget them.

Most important: Exercise caution with your dosing and source. If you are unsure about how ibogaine may affect you, then stay on the safe side. Though studies by the NIH have shown that ibogaine is not neurotoxic, there have been cases where, due to existing conditions or medications in users, it resulted in fatal reactions. The risk for dangerous side effects while using ibogaine increases if you have an existing heart disease, or are taking certain anti-arrhythmic, antidepressant, or antipsychotic drugs.

There have been some reports of scammers who sell fake or poorly sourced ibogaine, or who run fake ibogaine retreats. Whether youre buying ibogaine or attending a retreat, do some research into your source before spending money or trying the substance. Most reports say that their experience was simply ineffective or overpriced, but it is possible that a seller can give you some other dangerous substance instead of ibogaine. Be very careful to make sure your source is reputable.

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More people are microdosing psychedelic drugs

by Tia Ghose | NBC News | 12 Jul 2015

For Martijn Schirp, it's a way to make an ordinary day just a little bit better. A former poker player and recent graduate in interdisciplinary science in Amsterdam, Schirp has been experimenting with a new way to take psychedelic drugs: Called microdosing, it involves routinely taking a small fraction of a normal dose of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or magic mushrooms (the latter is legal to purchase in coffee shops in Amsterdam but not the former).

Microdosing has gained a cult following amongst a small group of hallucinogen enthusiasts like Schirp, who now writes at HighExistence.com. Proponents report improvements in perception, mood and focus, minus the trippy tangerine trees and marmalade skies normally associated with psychedelics.

Schirp said he prefers to microdose when he's immersed in creative or contemplative activities, such as writing, painting, meditating or doing yoga.

"It's like the coffee to wake up the mind-body connection. When I notice it's working, depending on the dose, time seems to be slowing down a bit, everything seems covered with a layer of extra significance," Schirp told Live Science in an email.

Given his positive experiences with higher doses of psychedelics, "microdosing offered a way to get a taste of this without the experience completely overwhelming me," Schirp said.

"But while the effects Schirp and others describe are plausible from a physiological perspective, microdosing is uncharted territory," said Matt Johnson, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has studied the behavioral effects of psychedelic drugs. Scientists have yet to run a clinical trial to assess the effects (or lack thereof) of microdosing. Johnson added that taking a smaller dose of a psychedelic is safer than taking a large dose, but the way people tend to do it, regularly taking small doses every several days, could have long-term side effects.

Just a little bit

The idea of taking small doses of psychedelics has been around for a while. The inventor of LSD, Albert Hofmann, was known to microdose in his old age and told a friend that microdosing was an under-researched area. But microdosing gained greater visibility when James Fadiman, a psychologist and researcher at Sofia University in Palo Alto, California, described it in his book The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide.

Since then, Fadiman has received about 50 anecdotal reports from microdosers around the world. "Most report positive, barely perceptible shifts while microdosing," Fadiman said.

"What people say is that whatever they're doing, they seem to be doing it a little better", Fadiman told Live Science. "They're a little kinder, a little bit nicer with their kids."

"People with creative jobs report improved focus and an ability to enter the state of flow more easily. Some report a desire to eat healthier or start meditating,"
Fadiman said.

"It's like they tend to live a little better," Fadiman said.

"Still others report taking the teeny doses of psychedelics for psychiatric conditions," said Brad Burge, the director of marketing and communications at MAPS in Santa Cruz, California, where scientists study the effect of psychedelics on medical conditions such as PTSD.

"I've heard anecdotally of people using it for depression, seasonal affective disorder, anxiety, and OCD, Burge told Live Science. With microdoses, the point would be to create subtle changes in people's psychopharmacology or experience, in much the same way as most traditional pharmaceuticals are used now."

Plausible mechanism, no evidence

"The effects people report with microdoses of LSD, psilocybin, DMT or other classic psychedelics aren't completely implausible," Johnson said. "All these drugs work by activating a particular receptor in the brain known as the serotonin 5HT-2A receptor. This receptor fuels the release of the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin, which creates a domino effect in the brain that leads to many other brain changes."

"At high doses, these drugs temporarily, but radically, reshape brain networks; for instance, one study found that magic mushrooms create a hyperconnected brain. But antidepressants like Prozac also target serotonin receptors, so it's possible that a low, constant dose of a psychedelic might work in a similar manner,
" Johnson said.

"Still, there's absolutely no evidence to suggest microdosing works as people claim it does," Johnson said. "The effects described are so subtle, on par with having the caffeine in a cup of coffee, that they fall within that category of barely perceptible, and it's right in the range where people can so easily fool themselves," Johnson told Live Science. "That means microdosing is particularly susceptible to the placebo effect, in which people taking a sugar pill who believe they're taking a drug report perceptible effects," he said.

"To prove that microdosing has an effect, psychedelics researchers would need to do a double-blind study, in which neither the people administering the drug nor the recipients know whether a particular participant is getting a microdose of a psychedelic or something inert, like a little sugar dissolved in water," Johnson said.

"Some groups of people are allegedly doing these trials, but because LSD is illegal, and is only approved for research use in a few small trials in a few locations. All of these people are off the grid and not publicizing their efforts," Fadiman said.

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James Fadiman on the benefits of microdosing

Hi James, and welcome to the Psychedelic Frontier! Your upcoming talk at Altered Conference (in Berlin, 3-4 November 2017) looks absolutely fascinating.

I understand your global research project is all about microdosing with psychedelics. What exactly is microdosing, and why are people trying it?

JF: Microdosing is taking a very small amount of a psychedelic every few days. People are trying it because other people and the media are reporting that it seems to be beneficial for a wide variety of conditions, and, for well people, they report that it improves overall functioning.

What kinds of substances do people use? LSD, mushrooms, modern research chemicals? What would be a typical dose?

JF: People have reported to us their use of LSD, mushrooms, research chemicals that are similar to LSD, and other psychedelics. A typical dose is 1/10 to 1/20 of a recreational dose. With the LSD that would mean approximately 10?g, for dried mushrooms 0.2 to 0.4 grams, etc.

We have not looked at any use of DMT, or MDMA, 5-MeO, or any of the more exotic ones.

Lets talk about the research. How many subjects who you have enrolled? What have you discovered about microdosing?

JF: While I have accumulated several hundred written reports over the past 7 years, in the last year Sophia developed and ran a formal study where people checked in on a daily basis. That study has 1500 people from 59 countries. We are in the early stage of our analysis of this data, and will report in more detail at the conference, but overall people report that over the course of approximately a month, they feel more positive emotions and improved health. They also report less negative emotions and many report improvements, especially from depression.

Anything emerge from the data that surprised you?

JF: There are a number of surprising results that have not appeared in any of the research over the past 50 years with higher does. In a number of cases, but not all, women whove had painful or emotionally upsetting periods report that their periods are pain-free and normal. We also have a number of reports of people whove had many years of migraine headaches tell us that those headaches are greatly reduced in intensity and number. A number of students have reported that they have improved their grades and can focus more easily on schoolwork. We expect more surprises as we go through the summary reports written by people in our sample.

How did this project get off the ground? What drew you to study microdoses, rather than full-on psychedelic trips?

JF: I learned from a friend, Robert Forte, that Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized LSD, said that this very low dose area had not been studied, and that he personally microdosed himself and found it was helpful for his own thinking. I had devoted some large part of my career to research with full doses and like every other high-dose researcher had ignored this low-dose area. One of the striking differences is that microdosing, produces none of the classic psychedelic visual effects nor does it lead to major therapeutic breakthroughs or mystical experiences. It seems, however, to improve general health.

The theme of the upcoming Altered Conference in Berlin is Altered States, Crisis And Opportunity. Do you think the altered state induced by psychedelics, including both microdoses and full-blown trips, help us confront the numerous crises of the modern age?

JF: High-dose psychedelics taken in a safe and supportive setting almost inevitably lead people to care more about themselves, nature, and one another. We need as much of that as we can get. Reports from people taking microdoses often described that they are kinder to those they care for and have more compassion for those they don't. Once again, these are vital aspects of human nature that benefit us all.

Where full-blown psychedelic trips often shatter long-held assumptions and induce deep questioning, microdoses are much less dramatic. Many people use low doses for a boost in productivity and creativity during a normal workday. Some purists would argue that microdosing this way merely reinforces the embedded power structures of capitalism and the 9-to-5 grind. Any thoughts on the contrast between psychedelic revolutionaries and microdosing worker bees?

JF: The problem is deeper than your question supposes. In the 60s, psychedelic explorers were genuine revolutionaries and began the ecology movement, the womens movement, much of the social justice movements and the antiwar movement. I see very little of that today. However, this conference may be the beginning of resurgence of that energy. As for the idea that people who microdose support capitalism, it is hard to fault people who wish to enjoy their work more, have healthier diets, be more likely to do exercise and meditation and be less likely to use standard pharmacological medications. To say they are only doing so in capitalist countries is nonsense. We have similar reports from all over the world independent of what form their government is taking. Improving the quality of your life may be a political act, but it is not an ideological one.

Most recent psychedelic research focuses on helping people with a medical condition, such as PTSD or anxiety. But your research project includes many healthy individuals. Do you think the power of psychedelics lies primarily in healing, or in improving the lives of healthy people? Are we limiting ourselves by focusing so heavily on medical aspects?

JF: While the goal of much of psychedelic research projects is medical, the larger goal behind all these projects is to overcome the unscientific and undemocratic repression of these substances, which we know have been used worldwide for thousands of years for healing and spiritual understanding. In our current culture, the medical profession controls much of what you put into your body. Therefore, they are the gatekeepers for now. There are also religious groups using psychedelics legally in country after country, with the same intention of having these substances used as safely and as well as possible.

Microdosing falls somewhere between the growing interest in plants and chemicals that helps well people and the continuing interest in alleviating suffering. Both groups have a great deal to learn from one another. The third group, and perhaps the largest, is using psychedelics recreationally. Perhaps in the future, they will be the group demanding and succeeding in having wiser regulations for all of us.



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Microdosing Psilocybin

by Luke Sumpte

Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide; carried out one of the last studies involving LSD before research bans were put in place. Fadiman is collecting testimonies from people across the world who are microdosing.

The aim of microdosing is to ingest a sub-perceptual dose. The feeling obtained should be extremely subtle, enabling persons to go about their daily work as they would when entirely sober.

Fadiman has stated, "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."

Obviously, there are variables at play when microdosing, with factors such as the body weight of the individual involved and the amount of food eaten beforehand playing a role, among other things such as the strength of the strain of mushroom or truffle.


A standard microdose is described to be between 0.2-0.5g of dried mushrooms. Fadiman suggests microdosing takes this amount every fourth day as follows:

Sunday: take microdose
Monday: observe residual effects
Tuesday: day off
Wednesday: take microdose
Thursday: observe residual effects
Friday: day off
Saturday: day off

Fadiman suggests that this cycle takes place over a period of ten weeks, with the subject observing their experience, taking notes and following their normal daily routine while doing so. Interesting changes to look out for are any modification in behaviour, outlook, emotions and energy levels. Obviously, if any negative effects are experienced that make a person feel uncomfortable, they may choose to cease their intake of microdoses.

Fadiman has stated in his book the Psychedelic Explorers Guide, "People are saying, After a month or more of microdosing, Im eating better; I'm nicer to my kids; Im not as upset when people behave badly. One man was saying, Im so much more in the present. I used to, even when I was enjoying something, be thinking about what I was going to do when it was over and so forth. Now when I'm doing something, I'm actually doing it."

Without sufficient research in place, microdosing at this present time is really about self-experimentation in order to find out the exact dose that works with your own body and mind. People have very different metabolisms and react differently to substances that alter consciousness. For this reason, it is better to start off at the lower end of the spectrum and slowly increase the dose by tiny amounts in order to really feel out the experience.


If anybody out there decides that microdosing is something they may benefit from and want to try, the obvious next step in the procedure is sourcing some mushrooms to use throughout the process. With psilocybin mushrooms being classified as illegal substances in many places in the world, this may prove to be quite problematic. Perhaps the easiest way to obtain mushrooms, without having to set up some dodgy back alley deal, is to simply to grow them yourself.

Growing mushrooms comes with an obvious risk, so be careful and aware the entire times. Grow kits can be easily purchased online from websites that offer a wide variety of strains that grow fast and offer several flushes of mushrooms after the first harvest has occurred. Strains include the Golden Teacher, Brazil, McKenna, Cambodia and Ecuador.


Once your mushrooms have grown to full size and you have successfully harvested and dried them, its time to set up a dosing mechanism. First things first, grind up your bounty into a fine powder in order to make weighing and dosing generally a bit easier. One way to do would simply involve placing the desired amount onto a sensitive scale and using a spoon to ingest.

However, easier methods exist to avoid having to do this each time and potentially creating a mess. For example capsules and capsule machines can be purchased to prepare all of your doses and saving you any hassle further down the line. Encapsulating each dose allows the user to easily consume a microdose when desired straight from a capsule jar.

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Preparing psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing

The Third Wave | 24 Jul 2017

Microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms is ideal for the hands-on psychonaut who loves the idea of being involved in every step of the process. Preparing psilocybin for microdosing involves a small investment in kitchen equipment, but you can easily acquire this for around $80.

Psilocybin mushrooms are easy to grow yourself, and doing so is not necessarily illegal. So for some, microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms could be ideal. In this guide, we walk you through the steps of preparing your own psilocybin microdoses.

Getting started

- Fresh and dry psilocybin mushrooms are generally considered equivalent using the 10% dry to wet ratio, but this is only an approximation, meaning, if you take 3 fresh grams, you could be taking more or less than 0.3 dry grams, depending on the mushroom and environmental factors, like humidity levels.

- Caps and stems contain different levels of psilocybin. The psilocybin contents in Psilocybe cubensis, one of the most commonly enjoyed strains, are in the range of 0.37–1.30% in the whole mushroom, with 0.44–1.35% in the cap and 0.05–1.27% in the stem.

- Psilocybin content varies from mushroom to mushroom, from flush to flush, and between strains. Changing varieties during your microdosing protocol will make calibration difficult as you’ll be ingesting varying amounts of psychoactive substance with each different type of psilocybin mushroom.

- Psilocybin content changes in the different stages of development of a mushroom. Miniature pinheads that just didn’t grow bigger can be more potent than larger mushrooms per gram of weight.

The best way to prepare psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing

Powdering your dried psilocybin mushrooms is by far the best way to yield the most consistent dose. By grinding your mushrooms up together, you equalize the variance in psilocybin content between caps and stems, and from mushroom to mushroom.

A quick note on drying mushrooms: the methods range from leaving them out on a towel, to putting them in front of a fan, to low heat in the oven for several hours, to placing them in a box with Epsom salts.

For economy of space, energy, and time, a food dehydrator with a low heat setting is one of the most effective ways of preserving your psilocybin silos. A dehydrator will set you back $40. Several harvests of mushrooms can be dried overnight. Dehydrators are especially recommended for humid climates.

The easiest way to powder psilocybin mushrooms is with a spice or coffee grinder. Unlike the dehydrator, it is recommended to have a separate one for microdosing preparation as it is nearly impossible to get all the fine mushroom particles out of the blades. Better not to run the risk of unwanted microdosing.

It will take less than a minute of pulsing to mill your psilocybin mushrooms into a fine powder. Better not to open the grinder for at least half an hour, to allow the fine dust in the chamber to settle. Opening it right away could cause some of the agitated particles to be sucked up into the air.

Weighing and measuring: How much powdered mushroom is a microdose?

Buy an electronic scale. Scales accurate to 0.1–1.0 grams go for about $20. Weigh the dry mushrooms before pulverizing them, in order to know how much total mushroom mass there will be once they are powdered. Knowing how much you have to start with will help you divide up the amounts for each microdose.

For example: 2 grams of dried whole mushrooms will yield 10 microdoses of 0.2 grams after powdering.

As a psilocybin microdose is approximately 1/10 of a standard dose, you will use somewhere between 0.2 – 0.5 grams of dried powdered psilocybin mushrooms per dose. Bear in mind that this amount can be higher or lower depending on each individual’s neurophysiology, and an important part of the microdosing process is calibrating the dosage that's just right for you.

Kitchen scales are often not precise to 0.1 grams. They may not register any weight until there are at least 0.5 grams and this may be too much for one microdose. What you can do instead is simply heap all your powder onto a piece of paper and parse it out evenly into micro-piles.

As you will notice, the issue with powdered mushrooms is that their low density causes the powder to just float everywhere during handling. So, as before, try not to breathe in too much of the vapor, or you will be delivering yourself aerial microdoses.

In case you don’t want to go through the work of manually dividing up your powder, there are other ways to distribute microdoses:

- Capsules: you’ll need a capsule dispenser for this one. These go for about $40. This is a popular method for the committed micro (or macro) doser, and has the advantage of bypassing the loamy mushroom taste that not everyone enjoys. The disadvantage is that your capsules are pre-measured and it is harder to adjust dosage after they’ve all been packaged.

- Simply putting all your mushroom powder in a small container and using a very small scoop (1/16-1/8 of a teaspoon) to measure out your doses. The advantage of this is that you can more flexibly adjust your dosage than with capsules. The disadvantage is that it is more prone to the error of eyeballing!

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Women are microdosing LSD at work

by Noreen Malone | Marie Claire | 17 Nov 2016

Karen Smith has a lot on her mind. The 32-year-old lives in Chicago, where, after working for tech startups abroad for 10 years, she moved last year with her husband to attend a graduate program in data science. On top of her academic studies, Smith works 10 to 30 hours a week as the data guru for a consulting firm. But late last year, what was really bringing her down was the bleak Midwest winters - and that she'd recently cut out her daily habit of cigarettes and cannabis. She needed something to take the edge off.

Smith, whose husband was also feeling low and looking for relief, had an idea, something she'd run across on Reddit. After some research, her husband bought psilocybin from a friend, ground them up with a Cuisinart spice grinder, and separated them into gel capsules ordered from Amazon. The dosage was precisely measured and precisely tiny: 10 micrograms for Smith's husband and about half of that for her, which is just below the threshold of what would normally make a user "trip." She took the homemade pill with a glass of water and waited. A few days later, she swallowed another one.

Smith and her husband continued to take tiny doses of magic mushrooms every few days while going about their daily lives. Along with shaking off those winter blues, she became very, very efficient. "It gives you fresh eyes," she says, "for programming or figuring out algorithmic stuff. It made me really productive in a motivated way. Whatever mental block that was stopping me from doing something would disappear." Plus, during her four-month-long mushroom experiment, she got a lot of household chores done.

The term for what Smith and her husband were trying is "microdosing," a growing trend in psychotropic experimentation. Unlike other psychedelic experiences, like, say, drinking ayahuasca, microdosing doesn't deliver an earth-shattering, mind-blowing journey through the other side of the Doors of Perception. The idea is to change, in an almost imperceptible way, your everyday neural functioning for the better.

The women we spoke to are high-achieving, and interested in becoming more so. Women like New York Times best-selling author Ayelet Waldman. The writer and former drug-policy lawyer suffered for years from PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), a severe form of PMS that mimics depression, which she was treating with SSRIs (antidepressants) timed to the week before her period. But when Berkeley, California-based Waldman, 52, hit perimenopause, her periods became far less predictable and she began to hunt around for other options to manage her moods, which is how she began microdosing as a one-month experiment, despite her aversion to drugs of that sort.

Before trying her experiment, Waldman conducted extensive research into the myths and realities surrounding LSD. She also corresponded with Menlo Park psychologist James Fadiman, Ph.D., whose chapter on microdosing in his 2011 underground classic, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, meant to be a practical guide to psychedelics, introduced the term to the mainstream of drug culture. Fadiman explained exactly how to microdose and how he developed his method. Waldman was thrilled with the results: She regulated her own moods better and worked through marital bumps more easily. Her children whom she told only that she was trying a new medication gave her experiment glowing reviews.

What really surprised Waldman was the way it affected her work. "I found that it inspired a state of calm hypomania. It was a flow but without the Adderall irritability. You lose track of time because you're so into the work, and you're making all these exciting connections." So she turned her journal and research on microdosing into the book "A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life."

Many drugs make you feel better, some by tweaking levels of serotonin, the mood-regulating neurotransmitter. SSRIs make more serotonin available for use by your brain in a controlled way. Psychedelics work on some of the same receptors in the brain that moderate serotonin, but they're doing a different kind of work. They increase glutamate, a neurotransmitter that enables cognition. When people say these drugs expand your mind, they're actually being quite literal. But not as much is understood, on a clinical level, about how psychedelics affect neurological functioning because so much depends on mood and individual brain chemistry.

While Dean didn't experience the miracle of hyperfocus, microdosing did help her at work. Dean made 120 sales calls per day pitching her company's software to small businesses, and at least eight of those calls needed to result in sales. After microdosing, she says, she nailed an average of one to two more sales per day. Dean says that the mushrooms helped her switch personas as needed. Without consciously realizing it, she became girlier and sweeter when trying to sell to an older man, for instance. "When I'm microdosing, I'm more creative," she explains. "I read people better. It gives me a broader range of compatibility."

Is this really the miracle drug that will fix moods, increase productivity, boost creativity and empathy all without the risk of addiction posed by its prescription counterparts? After a decades-long drought in clinical research, there have been a few scattered studies, at UCLA, NYU, and Johns Hopkins, and in Switzerland, on the use of psychedelics in patients facing the end of life, for instance. But formal work on microdosing psychedelics is virtually nonexistent. As for how long to microdose, Fadiman doesn't encourage users to be on the protocol indefinitely.

Smith stopped microdosing when she started trying to get pregnant. Dean, who is still microdosing, says she is still learning things about herself, and quotes the philosopher Alan Watts, who had a simple recommendation for knowing when to stop using psychedelics: "When you get the message, it's time to hang up the phone."

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Sensible, structured microdosing: an alternative to prescription medications


Over-reliance on drugs such as Adderall, Xanax and Zoloft can be seen in almost every corner of society; from work environments in Silicon Valley, to office buildings in the midwest. Pharmaceuticals are used to push through dreary days; as a way to have an edge on peers and get work/homework done faster; or, perhaps in lower numbers, by people who need them to treat conditions such as acute anxiety.

Medications are not for everyone, but many of us use them to function effectively or to induce certain states of mind; such as happiness, euphoria, calmness, or creative flows. We are continuously finding that current pharmaceutical medicines come with a multitude of side effects which, unfortunately bring down the mind, body, and spirit. So whatever your reason for using these “magic” pills, it’s never too late to start reading about other options that have (potentially) better upsides, and certainly fewer downsides. Educating ourselves on the forms of medicine we consume will always be to our advantage.

An exciting alternative – one that could free us from over-reliance on prescription pharmaceuticals – is psychedelic medicine.

Psychedelics, in various forms, have been used for thousands of years by a number of cultures – including the Aztecs, Mayans, Greeks, Romans, and more, with overwhelming experiential evidence that taking these substances tends to be one of the most profound and transformative experiences of one’s life. When used with adequate care and guidance, psychedelics can be safer for the biology of the body and the health of the brain than typically prescribed medications and could potentially free us from all substance dependency. The interactions that have been studied between the body and psychedelics have shown these substances to be non-addictive.

What a marvelous gift nature seems to be offering us.

As the attention of modern medical science has begun to shift toward these ancient psychoactive substances, we’ve seen a flurry of studies reporting their efficacy at treating severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Not only can they be more effective than typical pharmaceutical treatments, just a single dose of a psychedelic can be enough to significantly reduce depressive symptoms for months.

With psychedelics, there’s no need to take a pill every morning and suffer the come-downs, side-effects, and tolerance of mainstream pharmaceuticals. It could just take one mystical experience to transform your relationship with your own mental health, permanently.

As leading Ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna mentions in The Third Wave podcast, anxiety, depression, and stress are depressions of the spirit. Modern objectivist medicine has, in many ways, abandoned the holistic and spiritual aspects of healing. This is why psychedelics could provide a much needed paradigm shift in modern medicine.

Even so, the thought of a full-blown psychedelic trip may be justifiably intimidating to many who are innocent to the world of psychoactive substances. Thankfully, there’s a middle-ground that is gaining popularity and scientific interest.

Microdosing, the act of taking very small quantities of psychedelics on a semi-regular basis, is an option for people who want to make use of the healing benefits of psychedelics, without jumping in at the deep end.

Leading psychedelic researcher James Fadiman states in the Netflix documentary Take Your Pills:

“A microdose is about a tenth or a twentieth of a conventional dose of a psychedelic substance, and that includes the classic psychedelics: LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, peyote. You can expect zero psychedelic effects. The rocks don’t glitter even a little. The flowers have no great interest in you personally. In fact, if you have anything like that, that’s too high a dose.”

Large studies have shown that microdosing can be an effective replacement for anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. The internet is flooded with individual reports of microdosing treating conditions such as depression and ADHD. Although its long-term effects on health are unknown, it’s highly unlikely that it can cause any harm comparable to those of modern prescription drugs.

There are many resources available help to guide people toward sensible, structured microdosing routines that can improve lives. The goal is not to get people hooked on a microdosing regimen that resembles a typical prescription – but instead, the goal is to use the mind-opening power of psychedelics to help people get control of their own health (and ultimately, break free of any substance dependence).

All the recent attention around microdosing has prompted the first ever clinical study of its effectiveness: The Beckley Foundation is currently undertaking a double-blind controlled trial to uncover the psychological benefits of microdosing. It will undoubtedly be the first of many, and marks the beginning of mainstream scientific acknowledgement of microdosing’s potential.

Fadiman believes that microdosing could change the pharmaceutical landscape:

“Are there better, safer, simpler, less physiologically disruptive substances that have better side effects? A substance never has any side effects, they’re all effects. It’s just which ones you want – if you’re selling you go for one set of effects, if you’re looking at helping people who are being tortured by their pharmaceutical, you look at other effects. The clue came to me some years ago where I learned that Albert Hofmann, who was the man that first synthesized LSD, said that this very low dose area was incredibly under researched, and he said had Sandoz his company been more active there would have not been a market for ritalin.”

Unfortunately, the main risk with microdosing remains its unstable legal status. Although some psychedelic substances are legal in some countries, the unjustified legal status of many psychedelics is holding people back from discovering new forms of healing.

The Netflix Take Your Pills documentary starts to scratch the surface on where we are today and where we could be one day with medications that are currently legal and illegal. The synopsis for Take Your Pills states the following:

“Every era gets the drug it deserves. In America today, where competition is ceaseless from school to the workforce and everyone wants a performance edge, Adderall and other prescription stimulants are the defining drugs of this generation.”

Is that the legacy we want to leave? Do we want to be known as the stimulant generation?

Luckily we still have the chance to learn, grow, and move forward in ways that will benefit not only ourselves, but future generations. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

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Microdosing’s Micromoment

by Simone Kitchens | The CUT

Consuming crumb-size amounts of psychedelics — not to get high but to feel more focused and creative and present — is moving mainstream.

As of one month ago, I knew of just one friend who microdosed; my friend, who is a musician, said he was taking 0.1 grams of mushrooms a few mornings a week so he could finish up an album that had been taking him years. Then, a few weeks later, I was at a different friend’s house when he walked into his kitchen, took a teeny-tiny, shriveled-up mushroom stem out of the freezer, snapped off a minuscule amount, and popped it into his mouth, a thing he now does regularly to feel “more open” while on the many work calls he has throughout the day.

This was while telling me about another friend, who’s devised a way to, as precisely as possible, dilute liquid LSD into 10-microgram doses. That guy uses it for painting.

It’s been quiet but also quick: Microdosing, which usually means taking tiny amounts of psychedelics (one-20th to one-tenth of a recreational dose) has spread from San Francisco to New York and around the country. People say they are using it not to escape their everyday lives but to enhance them: If you’re microdosing, you might even forget you’re doing drugs in the first place. The amounts are sub-perceptual, without the seeing-stuff side effects. They’re still themselves, users say, only a little better.

Recent reports show that millennials are drinking less and less interested in drugs like cocaine. But in a strange turn of events, they’ve taken up LSD and mushrooms in the way someone else might pop an Adderall. The most common self-reported benefits include improved mood, better eating and sleeping habits, and less of a need for caffeine. And, really, what could be more millennial than rebranding some of the most potent drugs out there as illegal vitamins that combine the feel-good-ness of self-care with the possibility of gaining a competitive edge on colleagues?

Drug dealers I surveyed have reported an uptick in microdosing requests: “Maybe 10-15 percent of my clients plan on microdosing, which is definitely up from when I first started selling mushrooms,” says one Brooklyn dealer. Another says that while she’s noticed more people buying mushrooms and LSD, return customers are consuming them more slowly. One dealer even brings around his scale for microdosers who want to measure out smaller amounts; another creates tinctures of diluted LSD. And a growing number of posts on Reddit devoted to the subject indicates that people are microdosing all sorts of things, from ketamine (for depression) to cannabis (for pain management).

Between 2010 and 2013, microdosing began to gain steam in Silicon Valley coder circles, thanks in part to the preachings of LSD researcher James Fadiman. The appeal of a drug regimen that allows for hours of uninterrupted focus and concentration was not lost on this crowd. Fadiman thinks microdosing caught on so quickly because “it has a small positive effect and it’s not scary.” There have been zero controlled clinical trials related to microdosing. In England, Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation is close to beginning a study that will involve hooking up microdosers to an EEG while they play the strategy game Go in an attempt to measure both creativity and cognitive function, but for now, that’s it.

Anecdotal accounts already suggest that microdosing is not for everyone. For those who have any sort of bipolar or psychosis history, there is the possibility of overstimulation. It also doesn’t seem to agree with those with existing anxiety, says Fadiman. And, of course, it is illegal.

Yet the curiosity only grows, in part because of renewed interest in the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics taken in traditional doses. In Michael Pollan’s new book on the subject, How to Change Your Mind, out in May, he goes deep on the science from professionally guided, federally approved studies that looked at the effects of psilocybin (that’s the psychoactive part of mushrooms) on cancer patients in significantly lessening signs of anxiety and depression.

“Eventually, people take things into their own hands,” says Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a Charleston psychiatrist involved in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. “Certainly not the ideal way to do it, but that’s one of the problems that happens when the regulatory and scientific community isn’t responding to the need for better medicines.” And perhaps the science will catch up with the culture. “It’s a very plausible question whether microdosing has antidepressant activity,” says Matthew W. Johnson, a Johns Hopkins psychologist who has published psilocybin studies. “If that was true, that could be a novel treatment to one of the world’s biggest medical disorders.”

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Microdosing 4-AcO-DMT

Psychedelics Daily | 6 Feb 2018

4-AcO-DMT is equivalent to psilocybin mushrooms in the following ratios:

1-dried-gram Psilocybin mushrooms is approximately equal to 10-mg of 4-AcO-DMT. An effective dose of Psilocybin is 2.5-grams (25mg).

2.5mg of 4-AcO-DMT is equal to 0.25 gram of Psilocybin mushrooms. The table below shows how much mg of 4-AcO-DMT is equal to a gram of mushrooms.

According to Erowid, magic mushrooms are roughly 0.5% psilocin by weight, or about 5mg per gram of dried mushrooms. Mushrooms contain 0.63% psilocybin and 0.60% psilocin. Therefore, 1-gram of shrooms has 6 mg each of psilocin and psilocybin. The psilocybin dephosphorylates to roughly 4.5mg of psilocin, which totals to approximately 10mg of psilocin per gram of dried mushrooms. One gram of dried psilocybin mushrooms is roughly equal to about 10mg 4-AcO-DMT.
Psilocybin Mushrooms
Microdose - 0.25 (14 dried-gram)​
2.5-mg (Microdose)​
0.5 (12 dried-gram)​
1 dried gram​
2.5 dried-grams​
5 dried-grams​

4-AcO-DMT microdose is 2.5mg. Start with 2.5mg. Please keep in mind that these dosage levels were calculated by myself, which work best for my body. Some people have reported that 25mg of 4-AcO-DMT feels like an eight oz. (3.5 gram) mushroom trip.

Bearing in mind our unique physiologies, you may want to start your experiments with 1mg. If you don’t notice any effects, try 1.5mg. Similarly, if noticing no effects still, proceed to slowly increase the dosage to 2.5mg.

If 2.5mg produces no effects, then just like mushrooms, you may have to play around in the 2.5mg to 5mg range, as 4-AcO-DMT is almost identical to psilocybin mushrooms.

Many people find that 4-AcO-DMT offers a much more consistent microdose regimen because, unlike mushrooms, the potency of the compound isn’t affected by the amount. Mushrooms vary in potency due to strains and growing conditions.

Microdosing 4-AcO-DMT offers more consistency than psilocybin mushrooms, many have found, including myself.

Preparing 4-AcO-DMT for microdosing

Without a scale that is able to measure in milligrams, 4-AcO-DMT can be very tricky to microdose. It is recommended that you get a scale, otherwise please do not attempt to consume 4-AcO-DMT, as eyeballing or miscalculating can turn out to be potentially dangerous. For harm reduction purposes, it is essential that you get a scale that can measure to the milligram, that is, to 0.001g.

If you don't have a milligram scale, do not attempt to consume 4-AcO-DMT fumarate or any powder form.

Buy a milligram scale

Accurate doses can only be measures using an electronic milligram scale. If your measurement is off by even a few milligrams, you would either not take enough, or take too much.

Preparing 4-AcO-DMT capsules

A lot of people don’t like the bitter taste, so they order empty capsules from Amazon and fill them up with the measured dose. It can be a bit tedious to individually measure out 2.5-mg, but some people don’t seem to mind the effort.

If you don’t have an accurate milligram scale, I don’t recommend consuming 4-AcO-DMT. Period.

Mixing 4-AcO-DMT in water

Psychonaut Wiki’s Volumetric Dosing Guide is one of the best methods by which to consume microdoses of 4-AcO-DMT, among many other substances.

If you don’t have a milligram scale, volumetric dosing won’t work.

After having measured out the correct dosage, feel free to consume it with food or drinks per your taste. Apart from 4-AcO-DMT’s dose difference, almost everything mentioned in How to Prepare a Psilocybin Mushroom Microdose and How to Microdose Acid and Magic Mushrooms is applicable. Follow those guides and stay safe.

Microdosing 4-AcO-DMT blotter tabs

If you have measured blotter tabs of 4-AcO-DMT, start with finding out exactly what-mg they are. Usually, blotter tabs come in 20mg-25mg. If that’s the case, and you have, for example, 20mg blotter tabs of 4-AcO-DMT, then start by cutting the 20mg tab into two equal parts (to get 10mg halves). Now divide these in half again to get four 5mg squares. Now cut each 5mg square in half to get 2.5mg pieces. A microdose of 4-AcO-DMT is 2.5mg.

Recommended microdosing schedule

According to Dr. James Fadiman, the leading researcher on microdosing affects of LSD and Psilocin mushrooms:

- 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 most people say that they’re still microdosing, but not as often.

Dr. Fadiman says to take a microdose every 4th day for 10 weeks:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Observe residual effects​
Microdose again​
Please consult our How to Microdose LSD and Magic Mushrooms guide to read more about the four-day microdosing schedule.

Dr Fadiman hasn’t spoken about 4-AcO-DMT microdosing to my knowledge. I have personally applied his regimen for mushrooms to 4-AcO-DMT and it seems to work exactly the same.

In fact, after having microdosed on over a dozen 4-substituted tryptamines, I've found that almost all psychedelic tryptamines (with the notable exception of DMT) function in “almost” exactly the same manner in tiny doses such as microdoses.

Essentially, microdosing LSD or Psilocybin or 4-AcO-DMT (and many other psychedelic tryptamines drugs) in micro doses function and behave in exactly the same manner. I’ve observed for myself and I’ve not been able to verify these findings with others.

Be mindful and conscious while microdosing

I find it essential to keep a daily journal of my activities, feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Be mindful and aware as you observe your daily life.

Observe your thoughts. Be attentive to your mind and body. Observe any changes in your desire for various foods or pleasures. What do you find yourself wanting to do? I’ve observed that microdosing psychedelic tryptamines give me a clarity of perception with which I can observe the complete interaction of this living and thriving organism in the Universe in which it dwells.

In conclusion, 4-AcO-DMT is great for microdosing

4-AcO-DMT is safe to microdose and consume. 2-mg to 2.5mg (up to 5mg) is the dosage range for microdosing. I find micorodosing 4-AcO-DMT to be more efficient and consistent than mushrooms. Due to the differences in mushrooms strains and growing conditions, their potency can vary. However, 10mg of 4-AcO-DMT molecules are always exactly 10mg of 4-AcO-DMT molecules.

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The Science of 1P-LSD Microdosing

The Third Wave

While psychedelic substances have been illegal and prohibited from study in the vast majority of countries up until the past few years, many of the worlds top experts have made incredible strides picking up on research started in the 1950s and 60s.

Although almost no research has been done on microdosing specifically, we know something about what large doses of psychedelics do to the brain.

Much of what we understand about how psychedelics work involves serotonin, a chemical that keeps our brains ticking. It is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain, and affects nearly everything we do, from how we feel to how we process information.

Classic psychedelics such as LSD and Psilocybin share a similar structure to serotonin, and work along a similar pathway.

Many antidepressants (called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs) try to make serotonin more plentiful in the brain to make you feel better.

Psychedelics work more directly, by mimicking serotonin. This means that one of their main effects is to stimulate a serotonin receptor, located in the prefrontal cortex, called 5-HT2A.

The stimulation of the 5-HT2A receptor leads to two very important results:

- The production of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is like Miracle-Gro for your brain. It stimulates growth, connections, and activity.

- The increased transmission of Glutamate. Glutamate is the neurotransmitter most responsible for brain functions like cognition, learning, and memory.

Glutamate and BDNF work together in ways we are still understanding, but it has become clear that having more of each leads to many of the benefits we all seek from microdosing.

And, while research is especially limited when it comes to microdosing 1P-LSD, it is known to act as a serotonergic hallucinogen, or classical psychedelic, just like LSD. In other words, it produces effects mainly via the serotonin system, and in particular by activation of this same 5-HT2A receptor.

1P-LSD is subjectively similar to LSD as well, with many users finding the effects to be practically the same. Chemically, the only difference between the two is that 1P-LSD has a small propionyl group bonded to the 1-position of LSDs indole ring.

It may even be that 1P-LSD is a prodrug of LSD, losing the 1P- group in the body and actually converting into LSD proper. According to David Nichols, it is otherwise unclear how the propionyl group would allow the molecule to bind to the 5-HT2A receptor and produce any psychoactive effects.

Another thing psychedelics do is to cause parts of the brain that might not usually communicate with one another? to communicate with one another!

Psychedelics allow these unique connections to be formed by dampening the activity of an often over-used part of our brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN).

The Default Mode Network is an area of the brain used for an array of different mental activities, including day-dreaming, self-reflection, and thinking about the past or the future. Some studies suggest that depression is linked to an overactive DMN, that may cause us to ruminate, over-analyze ourselves, and step out of the present moment to constantly question the past and the future.

This helps explain why these substances could be used to combat depression and anxiety, and also lead to insights and creative perspectives that otherwise remain inaccessible to us.

Flow states

All of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced a flow state. The surfer effortlessly riding a big wave, the therapist perfectly in-sync with her client, the salesman working the room in an out of body experience, are all examples of people performing at their best while in flow.

Simply put, flow is truly one of the great experiences of being human.

We have no specific, non-anecdotal evidence to suggest that microdoses of psychedelics can induce flow states, but we know that moderate doses can change the function of the brain in a way very similar to that seen in flow states.

Studies show that moderate doses of psychedelics cause brain waves to shift more towards alpha oscillations, which is also seen in the transition to a flow state.

Psychedelics imitate the neurotransmitter serotonin when they enter the brain, and we know that serotonin is found in higher levels in flow states. Similarly, psychedelics increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, another neurotransmitter which is found in higher levels in flow states.

Perhaps most importantly, psychedelics ability to dampen down the DMN can allow our brains to make unique connections between areas that don't usually communicate. This is crucial for allowing flow states to occur.

Since we know that moderate doses of psychedelics can induce similar effects to a flow state in the brain, it seems likely that a regular microdosing regimen will start to shift our awareness in the direction of flow.

How to microdose with 1P-LSD

Microdosing is the act of taking sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics, meaning the dose level is not high enough to cause substantial deviations from reality.

1P-LSD itself is possibly less potent than LSD, delivering just 38% of its cousins strength, according to testing on mice. However, this may not be a reliable indicator of 1P-LSDs strength in humans, and many people report that 1P-LSD and LSD have similar subjective strength.

In practice, you may need to take slightly more 1P-LSD than LSD for the same effects. Hence one user, citing personal correspondence with Jim Fadiman, recommends a starting dose of 15 micrograms (as opposed to 10). This can then be adjusted up or down as required to reach your own sub-perceptual level.

Like LSD, 1P-LSD is most commonly available on blotter paper, with each square tab typically containing 100-125 micrograms. Less common preparations include powder, pellets, or liquid suspensions.

When microdosing with 1P-LSD on blotter paper, there are two methods to prepare a microdose: Cutting or Volumetric

The cutting method is exactly what it sounds like: cutting the blotter paper with an Exacto knife or scissors.

One drawback to this method is a potential lack of precision arising during the process of laying the 1P-LSD, whereby a liquid suspension is applied across a sheet of blotter paper. If your 1P-LSD has somehow been laid unevenly, the cutting method will leave you with a degree of variation between microdoses that could otherwise be avoided.

The volumetric method is often preferable, since it helps to get around any variation in how a tab is laid or cut. This method involves submerging a full tab into distilled water or alcohol and taking small, measured quantities of the solution in a syringe to microdose. Volumetric microdosing requires some calculations and careful measurements, but will generally give a more accurate, consistent dose.

For the standard volumetric method, all you need to do is drop a 100 microgram tab into 10ml of distilled water or vodka, and leave it for a day or so in the dark. With these figures, 1ml of the solution should contain a reliable 10 microgram dose of 1P-LSD. And you can store this solution in the fridge for several months, as long as the container is sterile.

There is some disagreement in the microdosing community over whether it?s necessary to remove the tab after soaking. Some people find it attracts mold (if using distilled water), while others have even suggested the tabs might leach 1P-LSD back out of the solution, affecting the concentration of each dose.

In any case, a more controlled method of preparation would be to split your distilled water or vodka into thirds and soak your tab for three hours in each, decanting them into a sterile bottle for storage and finally disposing of the paper tab entirely.

What schedule should I follow?

Dr. James Fadiman, the author of the Psychedelic Explorers Guide, recommends taking a microdose once every three days.

Take a microdose on Day 1. Then do NOT microdose on Day 2 or Day 3.

Then, take another microdose on Day 4.

Observe the effects throughout this process by taking notes in a journal every day.

Continue the process of microdosing two times per week for several weeks. Take notes throughout the entire process on both short-term, in-the-moment effects, and long-term changes in your mood, energy, and social behavior.

Follow your usual routine while microdosing. You should not change what you do. The purpose is to enhance your day-to-day existence by integrating microdoses into your routine.

When you try microdosing for the first time, take a day off from work and social commitments. It will give you a chance to observe and notice any unusual effects before microdosing in a more public situation.

Be vigilant in observing the effects of microdosing on the two days between microdoses. Many people perceive increased feelings of flow, creativity, and energy the day after they microdose, as well as the day of microdosing.

Microdosing 1P-LSD every day is not recommended. Psychedelics like 1P-LSD produce a tolerance, even with microdoses, so you might see diminishing returns after a few days. This is why Dr. Fadiman suggested leaving a couple of days between each dose.

Concern for your health is another reason to avoid microdosing every day. There is a potential heart risk of taking too many psychedelics over a long period of time. Although we dont know how this translates when it comes to microdosing, it is probably best to err on the side of caution, and avoid microdosing too frequently, or for longer than a few months at a time.

One other downside to microdosing every day is normalizing a very potent substance. You can compare it to the use of coffee for productivity purposes. When you drink coffee every day, over time you need to increase the dose to get the same effect. One cup of coffee turns into two or three or four cups of coffee within 2-3 months.

It is best to leverage microdosing as an occasional advantage, rather than a consistent go-to like coffee.

Benefits and risks

While it is certainly an oversimplification, people generally microdose for two different reasons: to decrease the frequency and intensity of undesirable mental states or to improve the frequency and intensity of desirable mental states.

1: To reduce the frequency and intensity of undesirable states caused by various forms of mental illness, including:

Anxiety (i.e. Generalized or Social)
Mood disorders

2: To increase the frequency and intensity of desirable states/outcomes:

Flow states
Improved relationships/increased empathy
Athletic coordination
Leadership development

Undesirable states

We are not fond of the term Mental Illness because it pathologizes what is often a part of ones natural progression towards a more coherent, actualized self.

But for those struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, mood disorders and/or addiction (to name a few), microdosing can create a number of positive changes.

Clinical research has shown that larger doses of psychedelics are effective at treating depression, anxiety and addiction. Anecdotal evidence backs up the idea that a regular microdosing regimen can also have healing benefits for sufferers of various mental health conditions:

"Microdosing doesn't allow me to be anywhere else but in the present moment. This has helped me tremendously with my anxiety and depression. I am incapable of worrying about what is going to happen next week, tomorrow, or even five minutes from now. I can function without anxiety for the first time in years. I feel that my attention span is greater, I am concentrating like never before. When I was suffering with pain I was given a lot of prescription pain pills and was quickly becoming addicted to them. Microdosing instantly helped me stop taking the several pills a day I was taking just so I could get out of bed, and I havent touched them since." - Third Wave survey respondent

"I have fought depression for some 6-7 years since adolescence, microdosing has, so far, consistently helped me get on with my day-to-day, just as much on no MD days as MD days. This also applies to Social & General Anxiety which has been less severe but experienced for the same period." - Third Wave survey respondent

"I overcame my depression with microdosing because I can consistently be productive and happy with it as a creative booster. It also eliminates any anxiety I get because I never used to raise my hand in class. I smoke a lot of cannabis and it is unhealthy to overindulge. I found microdosing to make me feel the need to be productive so I smoke much less when I microdose and dont indulge just to smoke." - Third Wave survey respondent

Desirable states

Many people are microdosing in an effort of self-improvement or personal development. Reports suggest that microdosing can improve creativity, productivity and energy, which can be used at work or in other pursuits.

The creative benefits of microdosing are highly linked to the enhancement of flow states. Since microdosing allows you to enter into a flow state with greater ease, this allows people to explore new and exciting forms of consciousness.

Click here to listen to our interview with entrepreneur Janet Chang, and hear how she microdosed to improve creativity and work performance.

Countless people microdose to help them solve work-related problems, create new concepts, or simply to reduce procrastination.

Microdosing can also help you outside of the work environment, by improving your social interaction skills, athletic performance and spiritual awareness.

"Since microdosing I have come out of my shell. I have become more confident around other people and have formed an intimate relationship with another person where I have had difficulty in the past." - Third Wave survey respondent

"Microdosing LSD has been a very positive experience; it keeps me very present, focused, creative, and overall induces a deep sense of contentment! I found that taking it before going to my parents place made the family dynamic so much more enjoyable. It also has been great in terms of connecting with my partner." - Third Wave survey respondent

Getting the most out of microdosing is really important, and depending on the reason you are microdosing, you need to prepare and integrate appropriately. Our extensive microdosing course will guide you through the various protocols for getting the most out of microdosing, specific to your needs.


By far the riskiest thing about microdosing is usually the law, so it is crucial to check local regulations before using 1P-LSD.

While not federally controlled in the United States, a case could be made that 1P-LSD comes under the Federal Analogue Act, at least when sold or possessed for human consumption, as an illegal analog of LSD. A similar amendment regarding tryptamine derivatives applies in Latvia. However, in neither country have we heard of prosecutions for 1P-LSD.

In the UK, 1P-LSD is banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act, even though (as David Nichols suggested) the molecule itself may be non-psychoactive until metabolized into LSD. But, again, we haven?t heard of any prosecutions for 1P-LSD possession since the act was passed.

Elsewhere in Europe, the drug is illegal in a growing number of countries, some of which (including Sweden and Switzerland) have specifically banned it by name. Some notable exceptions at the time of writing include Germany and the Netherlands, where many of the remaining online vendors are based.

1P-LSD is also reportedly legal in Canada.

Generally speaking, if there exists no specific ban of the drug in your country (and no bans of LSD analogs or psychoactive substances either), then 1P-LSD is probably legal to buy and possess. Always be sure to check though; we never recommend illegal activity.

Aside from the legal risks, microdosing tends to be well tolerated as a safe, non-threatening introduction to the benefits of psychedelics. Of course, it is impossible to guarantee its safety for every user, especially this early on; 1P-LSD only appeared on the research chemical (RC) market in January 2015, and its precise origin remains unknown. However, given anecdotal reports and its chemical likeness to LSD, the risks are likely comparable.

Given the safety record of LSD, microdosing 1P-LSD, especially with such small amounts, appears to be a safe and measurable way to explore the incredible possibilities that psychedelics have to offer. LSD is one of the safest substances you can find, biochemically and socially speaking. It is much safer than alcohol!

Having said that, psychedelics are powerful substances and even microdoses have a risk potential.

Emotional turbulence or anxiety is possible while microdosing, largely due to psychedelics amplifying effect. LSD, for instance, tends to amplify your current mood, rather than act as a stimulant or numbing agent. For this reason, it is important to assess your mindset before consuming a microdose of 1P-LSD.

Since, like LSD, 1P-LSD has the potential to amplify your current mind state, we recommend discussing the risks with your physician if you suffer from psychosis, schizophrenia or severe anxiety, before you decide to begin microdosing. When overdone, microdosing can lead to manic states, which could exacerbate underlying conditions.

Since there is no clinical research on the safety of microdosing 1P-LSD, it is best to avoid doing so for extended periods of time (longer than a few months). There is a potential heart risk associated with taking too many large doses of psychedelics over a long period of time, although we dont know how this translates to microdosing.



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Microdosing DMT

The Third Wave

Unlike many other psychedelics, including psilocybin and LSD, DMT is metabolized too rapidly to be orally active. This is why ayahuasca contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the form of harmala alkaloids—to inhibit the enzymes that break DMT down. Taken without an MAOI, DMT has to bypass the gut to be effective, whether by smoking, snorting, injecting (IM/IV), or even rectal “plugging.” Since most of these methods are impractical for regular microdosing, and snorting is notoriously painful, most users prefer to smoke.

It’s important to note that only freebase DMT (usually in the form of white or transparent crystals) can be used for this purpose. In its natural salt form (e.g. tannate, acetate), the molecule breaks down when heated and may even become toxic.

There are various ways to smoke freebase DMT, including in the herbal blend “changa.” This typically contains MAOIs, such as Banisteriopsis caapi (the ayahuasca vine), to alter and prolong the effects. Another method is to layer DMT between cannabis, which, again, will alter the effects.

To smoke DMT on its own:

- Take a glass oil burner pipe and drop DMT into the bowl through the hole in the top

- Before bringing the stem to the mouth, inhale and exhale deeply a few times to oxygenate the lungs

- When ready to smoke, use a lighter to gently heat the bowl from beneath (at a distance of 1-2 inches), tilting it from side to side with the stem

- Empty the lungs and inhale the smoke deeply, but as gradually as necessary to avoid coughing

- Hold the smoke in the lungs for 15-20 seconds and exhale

Alternatively, you might prefer to use a more sophisticated, electronic vaporizer.

For most people the threshold dose of DMT is between 5-10 mg, but it may be as low as 2 mg. We would therefore expect a microdose to be less than 10 mg.

In line with Strassman’s findings, 0.1 mg/kg (by body weight) should be considered a tentative upper limit for microdosing, since at this dose participants reported an uncomfortable physical tension on the verge of psychedelic effects—similar to the electrically charged sensation of above-threshold doses but without the discharge of a breakthrough psychedelic experience.

It’s best to start with a very small amount, measured on a precise scale. As heated DMT tends to leave a residue with its own unique psychoactivity, it’s also important to rinse glass pipes with alcohol and salt to maintain full control over subsequent doses. According to some users, pre-warming the pipe may help to prevent this buildup of residue in the first place.

What schedule should I follow?

Given the relatively short duration of DMT’s immediate effects, the time of day doesn’t seem to matter as much as it does for microdosing LSD and (to a lesser extent) psilocybin. But in the spirit of controlled experimentation and collecting meaningful results, it’s recommended to follow a protocol along the same lines as James Fadiman’s.

There is little to no tolerance effect from DMT though, so you needn’t leave a day or two between doses. Instead, you may want to limit daily experimentation to a set number of days or weeks before stopping entirely to evaluate and integrate any effects. It may also help to come up with a list of objectives beforehand, as a way of gauging any changes or benefits. Of course, you should not hesitate to stop early if problems arise.


Some who have microdosed DMT consider it a powerful nootropic. At 10 mg, it has been found to increase mindfulness and concentration even better than LSD, and may be useful for meditation—although at this relatively high dose it also causes closed-eye visuals (CEVs). Some have also reported feeling less judgmental of self and others, not only on the day of the microdose but for a day or two after as well. Depression may be lifted, anxiety may be eased, and colors and visual acuity may be subtly enhanced. According to one DMT microdoser (at doses from 0.5 – 5 mg), there was also the sense, or “reminder,” that “we’re all eternal souls hanging around infinity.”

Some users find doses of 10 mg and below to be even more personally transformative than breakthrough doses. It is, they say, possible to bring more back from lower doses, and, according to one user, there’s a greater sense of “authorship” over realizations, “like being offered a koan to mull over instead of a direct statement.” This same user was motivated to make important (and long-delayed) life changes after microdosing DMT. Low doses “have less of a toll on your psyche,” said another; effects are “easier to integrate but seem more short term as well.” Low doses could also be useful for preparing one for a breakthrough dose (if only by easing anxiety and priming the lungs).


The risk of accidentally taking more than intended applies to any psychedelic, but DMT comes on faster and stronger than most. It also tends to be far more physically disorienting; even at low doses, DMT can make it extremely difficult to move around. For this reason, it’s recommended to smoke it in a safe, comfortable setting with the option to freely slump backward without hurting yourself. It’s also a good idea to have somewhere safe to put the hot pipe and lighter after use and, at least for the first time, to have someone else present.

Another potential risk associated with microdosing DMT is long-term lung damage or irritation, which may arise from frequent smoking. However, there is no evidence of toxicity, and a lethal dosage has never been reached (nor is it expected to be).

Less common dangers—more applicable to full doses, if at all, but possibly to microdosing as well—include the potential to trigger stroke or psychosis in vulnerable users (such as the elderly and those with a family or personal history of stroke, heart conditions, high blood pressure, and psychiatric conditions).

DMT should not be combined with a number of medications and substances, including:

SSRIs (e.g. Prozac)
Antihypertensives (blood pressure medications) and vasodilators
Appetite suppressants (diet pills)
Respiratory medications (e.g. for asthma or bronchitis)
Antihistamines; remedies for colds, sinus problems, hay fever, allergies; and drugs containing dextromethorphan/DXM (or with DM, DX, or "Tuss" in the name)
Central nervous system depressants (e.g. Xanax, Ativan)
Antipsychotics (e.g. lithium)



Sgt. Pepper​
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Microdosing cannabis

by Adam Hoffman | 25 May 2017

Practitioners of microdosing are taking small amounts of cannabis in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects. While microdosing is normally associated with psychedelics like LSD, many experts now believe the threshold for the medical benefits of THC is far lower than many people think.

"When you raise the dose, sometimes you get diminished benefits, and the opposite of what you are looking for," says Dustin Sulak, a physician who treats many of his patients with small doses of cannabis. "For example, while a little cannabis can help reduce anxiety, too much can actually cause it."

What medical conditions lend themselves to microdosing cannabis?

According to Sulak, patients are microdosing cannabis to treat conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, pain and insomnia.

While a solid empirical evidence is still lacking, some clinical research suggests that less is in fact more when it comes to medicinal cannabis.

In a recent study, patients with advanced cancer who were unresponsive to traditional opioid painkillers were given nabiximols, a THC/CBD compound, at low, medium, and high doses. Patients who received the lowest dosage of cannabinoids showed the greatest reduction in pain, while those receiving higher doses actually experienced more pain.

In another study, patients were given low (4 mg) doses of Nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, for treatment of PTSD and its associated symptoms. The results showed significant improvements in PTSD-associated insomnia, nightmares, general symptoms, and even chronic pain.

Sulak has also found that microdosing is beneficial on a daily basis, adding, "I find that a sub-psychoactive dose of cannabis helps me stay healthy, reduce stress, and stay sharp and focused at work."

What is the optimal dosage for microdosing cannabis?

"The goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal noticeable effect," says Sulak. For those using cannabis regularly, Sulak recommends a 48-hour period of abstinence, which he believes is enough time to reset the endocannabinoid system. While this might seem like a relatively brief window after years of usage, a brain imaging study published last year tracked the number of cannabinoid receptors during a period of abstinence from cannabis. The results indicated that even in heavy smokers, the receptors bounced back to baseline levels after just two days.

After this neural cleansing, micro hopefuls should gradually reintroduce cannabis into their system, starting at just one milligram.

"The goal is to use the dose that gives the most minimal noticeable effect," says Sulak. "You aren't trying to get total relief from symptoms. Once you get find the dose where you feel a little something (typically between one and three milligrams), stay there for a few days and then you can gradually increase that, if needed."

Sulak has also noticed that the use of lower doses can actually lead to increased sensitivity to cannabis over time, thus underscoring the importance of staying at low levels for the first few days of microdosing.

Sulak notes that tests on animals suggest that low-level doses of THC can result in an upregulation of the endocannabinoid system (for endocannabinoid production as well as expression of its receptors).

"When building tolerance to THC, you are building tolerance to your bodys own cannabinoids, which are there for the purpose of promoting balance and health," says Sulak. "So having a highly sensitive endocannabinoid system is extremely valuable for responding to illness, injury, and stress, and people can achieve that with low doses of cannabis."

For those who are using cannabis irregularly or for the first time, Sulak suggests one milligram of THC combined with one milligram of CBD and gradually increasing the dosage (while maintaining the 1:1 ratio) until they feel something, then stay at that level for four days.

"Everyone is going to get to the point where they increase their dosage and it will not work as well as it did before," he says. "And that means they have passed their optimal dose, which is different for everyone. Finding it means going past it."

What is the best way to microdose cannabis?

There are numerous methods of microdosing cannabis, some more effective than others. Smoking or vaping is one option. Using this approach, Sulak recommends that cannabis minimalists take just one puff, wait five minutes to feel any effects, and then take another if necessary. Yet, precisely controlling the amount of THC in your system using this approach can be difficult.

Instead, many experts recommend products such as tinctures, oils, or edibles that allow users to more accurately control the dosage. When it comes to edibles, however, users should exercise caution. Untested edibles are especially unreliable in their ability to deliver a low dose of THC.

However, there are now a number of products on the market that lend themselves to microdosing. For example, one company in California offers a variety of mints and chocolates with THC concentrations starting at 2.5 milligrams that are suitable for microdosing. Yet, it can take over an hour to feel the effects of some edibles. For those seeking immediate relief, an alternative is THC-infused tea, which can calm the nerves after just 10 minutes.

Products like these can be a good option for first-time consumers. If you are given a product that is 2.5 mg, you are much less likely to have a negative experience. So microdosing is perhaps the best way to introduce new people to cannabis.

What about microdosing CBD?

While microdosing generally refers to THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, it can be beneficial to add an equal ratio of CBD as well.

"When we add CBD to THC we tend to get a wider therapeutic window, which means we are less likely to see side effects of THC and more likely to see benefits," says Sulak.

Yet, it is important to note that doubling the amount of cannabinoids for each dose can be financially crippling, because CBD is very expensive. Sulak also mentions that for some people, CBD acts as a mental stimulant and should be avoided in the evening prior to bedtime.

While many have already started to benefit from the wonders of THC frugality, challenges still remain.

"There are still not enough low-dose products on the market. I would definitely like to see a wider range. I feel that every dispensary should be carrying these products."

Sulak believes the greatest roadblock to microdosing is societal. "We need to change our relationship with cannabis from something that we use for recreation, to something that we use to stay healthy, as we would a multivitamin," he says.

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Microdosing Mescaline

The Third Wave

Mescaline is the psychoactive alkaloid in psychedelic cacti—peyote (Lophophora williamsii), Peruvian torch (Echinopsis/Trichocereus peruviana), and San Pedro (Echinopsis/Trichocereus pachanoi). Each of these cacti have been used for thousands of years in Native American ceremonial and medicinal contexts. In fact, some traditional healers think of peyote as something of a panacea, a folk medical cure-all that renders other medicines redundant, and prescribe it for daily use.

Since its isolation and laboratory synthesis in the late-1800s/early-1900s, mescaline has also been of interest to Western psychiatrists and intellectuals. In the 1950s, for example, Humphry Osmond showed how it could be used to treat alcohol dependency, while Aldous Huxley called its effects an experience of inestimable value to everyone. A paper published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry in 1962 listed some of the mental health benefits of psychedelic therapy, including increased well-being, inner strength, and vitality, some of which came about months after the initial experience. Another paper, published in 1966, hailed mescaline as a revolutionary aid for problem-solving and creativity.

Although mescaline tends to be less popular nowadays than LSD and psilocybin, it could be a more viable alternative for microdosing. For one thing, mescaline-containing cacti are legal to buy and possess in many countries (if only for ornamental purposes) and for another, the compound has some relatively unique effects even at tiny doses.

Benefits may include:

- Anxiety relief
- Mood enhancement
- Mental clarity
- Self reflection
- Motivation and energy
- Creativity
- Empathy
- Sociability and extroversion

The science of...

As a phenethylamine, mescaline falls into a different chemical class than psilocybin (a tryptamine) and LSD (an ergoline); but, like many psychedelics, it activates the serotonin (5-HT) receptors, and in particular the 2A receptor subtype. Serotonin is one of our most important neurotransmitters, affecting not only how we feel but also how we process information.

Although contemporary psychedelic research tends to overlook mescaline in favor of other substances, it was actually one of the earliest to show true therapeutic potential. In the 1960s, for example, a team of researchers (including Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorers Guide) administered up to 200 mg mescaline sulfate to human volunteers and asked them to consider a problem they were facing at work. Some of these problems, which included commercial building and letterhead designs, space probe experiments, and mathematical theorems, had been ongoing for several months. Yet, during the experiment, almost all participants were able to solve their problem or at least come up with new ways of approaching it. This was attributed to:

- Lowering of defenses, or reduction of inhibitions and anxiety
- Enhanced fluency of ideas
- Ability to see the problem in the broadest terms
- Heightened empathy with other people
- Heightened capacity for visual imagery and fantasy
- Enhanced sense of knowing when the right solution appears

Interestingly, Native American peyote ceremonies commonly seek to address specific, highly individualized problems in a similar way, that is, by setting up the intention beforehand.

Another study, also carried out by Fadiman and others, linked guided mescaline therapy sessions to enhanced contentedness, creativity, relaxation, and sociability, even after six to nine months had passed. Lifestyle changes were mixed, but the reasons behind them were telling. While some became less orderly, for instance, less neat and tidy in their day-to-day lives, it was because they had become generally less anxious about what others might think; those who became more orderly, on the other hand, felt it was because things just fell into the right place more easily. At least one participant was able to kick a drinking habit and continued to abstain three years later. Another participant overcame their fear of drinking and was able to enjoy alcohol in moderate amounts, while others drank more for enjoyment than to ease tension or simply get drunk.

While neither of these studies, nor any since, looked at microdoses of mescaline specifically, their results are certainly promising. And they dovetail not only with what weve come to expect from other psychedelics, but also with anecdotal reports.

How to...

Mescaline is available in a variety of forms, including raw/dried cactus preparations and extracted mescaline salts. As a general rule for microdosing, 1-2 milligrams (mg) of mescaline is approximately equivalent to 1 microgram (ug) of LSD. So we'd expect an effective microdose to fall somewhere between 10-40 mg for most people, although upwards of 50 mg (in some preparations) has also been reported.

Obviously the amount of the compound in any given form will depend on a number of factors, which can make it difficult to calculate your dosage. The estimates provided here are only a very rough guide, indicating how much of a given preparation is likely to contain a 10 mg microdose of mescaline, which you can scale up (or down) based on your own experience.

- Pure mescaline (freebase): 10 mg
- Mescaline hydrochloride: 11.7 mg
- Mescaline sulfate: 13.2 mg
- Peyote
- Fresh: 10-30 g
- Dried: 0.9 g
- Peruvian torch
- Fresh: 20 g
- Dried: 1.25 g
- San Pedro
- Fresh: 10-20 g
- Dried 3.3-10 g

Mescaline salts and freebase

Mescaline salts (hydrochloride, sulfate, citrate, acetate, etc.) and freebase tend to be rare on the street, but they are the most reliable way to microdose. Since whole cactus preparations contain variable amounts of mescaline, not to mention other alkaloids, they cannot always guarantee consistent microdoses.

The easiest way to consume mescaline salts (which may appear as translucent crystals, waxy white clumps, or light-colored powders) is to swallow them with fruit juice or water. They can also be placed into capsules or bombed (i.e. wrapped in cigarette papers and swallowed) to help disguise the taste.

For optimal shelf life (potentially years), mescaline salts should be stored in an airtight container in the freezer, or at least somewhere cool, dark, and dry.

Whole cactus

Although less reliable for consistent microdosing, whole cactus preparations contain a natural balance of alkaloids that some feel have advantages of their own. Many cactus species contain mescaline, but the best known and most widely available are peyote (Lophophora williamsii), Peruvian torch (Echinopsis/Trichocereus peruviana), and San Pedro (Echinopsis/Trichocereus pachanoi).


It is possible to microdose mescaline by chewing on fresh, raw cactus, but many find the taste off-putting. If you do go for this method, you will want to keep the dark outer layer on as this is where most of the mescaline is found. Just be sure to remove the spines!

You can store fresh cactus in the freezer for extended periods (months to years), and doing so may increase the bioavailability of the alkaloids. Its best to cut it into portions first, though, since freezing tends to rupture cell walls and your cactus might end up thawing into sludge when it comes out of the freezer.


An alternative is to dry cactus pieces (the thinner the better) in the sun, an oven, a dehydrator, or on a surface in front of a fan. This should increase their shelf-life and stability whether kept in the freezer or not, as long as they are kept somewhere cool, dark, and dry.

It is best to remove the woody core (from Peruvian torch and San Pedro) beforehand, as it only adds to the drying time and contains little if any mescaline.

If drying in the oven, keep the temperature low to avoid charring and the door open to release the steam. How long it takes will depend on the size of your cactus pieces, among other factors. But whatever method you use, the aim is to make them as hard and brittle as possible, as well as totally dry throughout.

Dried cactus can be crushed or ground (e.g. in a coffee grinder) to a fine powder. And this may actually be the ideal way to microdose a full spectrum of alkaloids (as opposed to mescaline alone), since it ensures their even distribution and can easily be packed into capsules or swallowed with fruit juice or water.


You might prefer to pulp or juice your cactus, or boil it into a brew, adding honey or sweeteners to taste.

You will probably need to experiment a bit to find a microdose that works for you, perhaps using the fresh and dried dosages given above as a general guide.

As with fresh and dried cactus material, liquid preparations can be stored in the freezer in single-serving microdose portions with no need to thaw before use.

Resin/whole cactus extract

The tea can also be evaporated to leave a concentrated resin extract, which again provides a full spectrum of alkaloids as opposed to just mescaline alone.

It can then be scraped into capsules and consumed in the same way as powder, dosed according to how much cactus was used. Obviously we don?t encourage breaking the law, but if you live in a place where it is legal, guides like this can run you through the process.

What schedule should I follow?

Similar to LSD, mescaline microdoses appear to have a duration of up to 12 hours and should therefore be taken in the morning to avoid trouble sleeping at night. One user even suggests getting up earlier than usual, taking the microdose, and going back to sleep.

Dr. James Fadiman suggests microdosing no more than once every three days. That means taking a microdose on Day 1 and Day 4 from whenever you start your schedule, but not on Day 2 or Day 3.

You should observe the effects throughout this process and, ideally, keep notes in a daily journal. Be sure to include both short-term, in-the-moment effects and long-term changes to your mood, energy, and social behavior. And be especially observant on the two days between microdoses, since this is when many people report increased feelings of flow, creativity, and energy.

In line with Fadimans protocol, the process of microdosing twice per week should continue for several weeks. But you should otherwise follow your daily routine. Dont change what you do. The purpose is to enhance, not replace, your day-to-day lifestyle by integrating microdoses into it.

That said, when you first try microdosing it is probably a good idea to take the day off work and avoid any social commitments, driving, use of heavy machinery, etc. This will give you a chance to observe any unusual effects and gauge their suitability for you before microdosing more routinely.

Microdosing mescaline every day is not recommended. Those who try it tend to feel jittery and burnt out before long. Like many psychedelics, mescaline also produces a tolerance effect, which means you are likely to see diminishing returns within just a few days of daily use. This can be likened to drinking coffee for productivity; if you drink coffee every day, you will find you need to gradually increase the dosage to get the same effect. This is one of the reasons why Fadiman recommends taking a couple of days off between each microdose.

Safety is another reason. Although research is limited, there is a potential heart risk associated with frequent psychedelic use over a long period of time, and stimulating phenethylamines like mescaline could actually pose more of a risk. We don?t know what this means for microdosing, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and stick to Fadimans protocol for no more than a few months at a time.


Many users find mescaline more consistently reliable, as well as further-reaching in terms of personal benefit, than LSD and psilocybin.

Of course, mescaline also has a much longer history of use, and this apparently goes for microdoses too. The Raramuri Indians, for example, have used small amounts of peyote while hunting, allowing them to stalk deer for days on end without rest.

Nowadays, self-experimenters around the world are reporting a much wider range of benefits. These include personal insights, mood enhancement, increased empathy and creativity, lifestyle changes, and even lucid dreams.

Some find it useful for treating the symptoms or even the underlying causes of depression, experiencing a sense of peace and calm without the numbness of conventional medications. In fact, it tends to have the opposite effect of actually sharpening the senses and enhancing mental clarity. One user remarked on how easy it was to enter a flow state on microdoses of mescaline, especially when playing the guitar:

It was as if I would just be improvising and hit a couple notes that reminded me of a song, I would start with those and work my way through the rest of the riff just by memory.

Artists in regions where mescaline cacti grow wild are said to microdose for much the same reason.

As might be expected given the traditional Tarahumara use, there?s also a definite stimulant effect (perhaps more so than with LSD or psilocybin), and this can be useful for physical endurance, for sports, hiking, manual labor, and so on. And while it may act as an appetite suppressant, mescaline tends to lack the edginess of other stimulants. Indeed some users microdose it specifically to reduce feelings of anxiety, often with great success:

I used to have anxiety going to the checkout counter in a store, hated if anyone started small talk with me and planned out what I was going to say to the cashier, it was really bad. After I started taking microdoses of mescaline in the form of San Pedro powder, that all went away.

Increased empathy appears to be involved here. Many feel a greater connection to others, for instance, and are often surprised at how freely conversations start to flow.


It is important to note that not all users find mescaline helps to reduce their anxiety; some find it makes it worse. A few users say it gives them jittery feelings and cold sweats or leaves them feeling burnt out, at least when microdosing daily.

It could also exacerbate depression in the short term. Similar to MDMA (another phenethylamine), mescaline may produce a slight comedown effect in the days after a full dose and potentially a microdose as well. But this can usually be offset by regular exercise and a healthy diet, especially one high in good fats and antioxidants.

Others have complained of increased light sensitivity and dilated pupils while microdosing mescaline, so it might help to wear sunglasses.

Stomach and bowel discomfort is another potential drawback, and may have you rushing to the toilet?but this tends to be associated with whole cactus preparations as opposed to mescaline extracts.


Mescaline and mescaline-containing cacti are among the safest psychedelics, with a long history of responsible ceremonial use and not one single case of a fatal overdose. However, there are some potential risks to be aware of, as well as a number of specific contraindications.

Vasoconstriction (the constriction of blood vessels and elevation of blood pressure) may be an issue, particularly during strenuous physical activity, although this is less likely to be a problem with microdosing. For the same reason, it should never be combined with blood pressure medications. In fact, anyone with high blood pressure or heart problems should avoid taking mescaline in general.

Due to the risk of fetal abnormalities and other complications, it should also be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, despite the reputed traditional use of peyote by Huichol women during pregnancy.

Evidence suggests mescaline may be dangerous in combination with a number of other substances, including tramadol, immunomodulators, alcohol, and stimulants.

Also be aware of MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), present in some antidepressants (e.g. Marplan, Nardil) and foods containing tyramine (aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented soy products, beer, sauerkraut, etc.). Although not an established contraindication for mescaline, MAOIs could worsen the nausea associated with whole cactus preparations and may even be dangerous in combination.

Mescaline may or may not be safe in combination with cannabis. One user started to shake after smoking weed while microdosing mescaline, which could have something to do with vasoconstriction, although in this case heavy exercise without eating could also have been to blame.

Research into mescaline, and especially its frequent use for microdosing, is limited, which makes this section a work in progress. It is always a good idea to consult your physician before microdosing any new substance, especially if you have an existing medical condition.



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Microdosing: LSD vs psilocybin

by Eden Loi | The Third Wave | 26 June 2018

In case you are unfamiliar with the term, microdosing refers to ingesting a small, sub perceptual amount of a psychedelic substance. The revolutionary thing about microdosing is the control it gives to the user. Instead of taking a potentially unpredictable higher dose, microdosing allows you to guide your own psychedelic experience. You decide on the amount of the dose, the frequency of doses, and the duration of the whole process. Microdosing is a tool for self-exploration and control, and it works best when paired with intentional curiosity.

Considering the amount of control one has over their psychedelic experience when microdosing, let’s tackle the first significant choice you will face when starting out—what substance do you want to use? While there are plenty of psychedelics out there to experiment with, this article will focus on psilocybin mushrooms and LSD. Due to their popularity and the amount of existing information surrounding them, LSD and psilocybin are your two most likely choices when looking to microdose.


Before weighing the fine details of psilocybin and LSD against each other, it’s a good idea to begin with the most apparent difference between the two: psilocybin mushrooms come from the earth, and LSD from the laboratory. Depending on your outlook, the natural/synthetic difference could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Some prefer to ingest natural psychedelic substances instead of synthetic. It’s a valid perspective. The preference for natural over synthetic could be for ethical, aesthetic, or any number of other reasons. The thought of ingesting an extremely potent, psychoactive, synthesized substance puts some people off. A person could theoretically hand you a tab of anything, made by anyone. Psilocybin mushrooms, on the other hand, grow naturally and have been used in sacred ritualistic practices for millennia. This point of view may regard LSD as more of a stereotypical “drug” while seeing mushrooms as something like an intense cousin of marijuana. If taking psilocybin mushrooms instead of LSD would prevent you from feeling any guilt or fear, then go for the mushrooms.

Others, however, may prefer the synthetic nature of LSD to naturally growing mushrooms. LSD has been tinkered with and fine-tuned in labs by chemists for the better half of a century, while psilocybin mushrooms still grow in piles of shit and resemble other mushrooms that are poisonous to ingest. This perspective prefers the “clean” feel and experience of LSD over the earthy, almost ubiquitously disliked flavor of dried mushrooms. LSD is streamlined to enter your system and get to work. Mushrooms are fungi that happen to trip you out. For people who don’t mind the synthetic nature of LSD and are looking for something cleaner and, for lack of a better term, a more pharmacological experience, LSD is the way to go.

Ultimately though, these differences could be repudiated by a single experience with either substance. If you’ve never tried psilocybin or LSD and are drawn to one over the other, for whatever reason, start there. If you like it, good. If not, try the other. Even if you like your first choice, you could try the other anyway. Again, microdosing is about curiosity and control.


Another considerable difference between psilocybin and LSD is the dosage, form, and concentration of each, and how those factors affect the preparation of a microdose.

The process of creating a microdose from an LSD tab is relatively straightforward. You can cut the tab into smaller pieces or dilute it into a larger volume of water, which then can be cleanly divided. Want to know for sure if your LSD is actually LSD? Get yourself a testing kit to make sure you’re microdosing safely.

If you want consistent amounts of mushrooms for microdosing, the best way is to grind them up into a powder, and then weigh and dole the powder out into capsules. This takes a fair bit of work, requiring some pestle or grinder, capsules, and preferably, a scale. The psilocybin in mushrooms concentrates at different levels between the mushroom cap and the stem, so eyeballing an amount will be inconsistent. Read more about how to prepare psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing here.

In terms of acquiring these substances, your options for LSD include the potentially legal alternative 1P-LSD, whereas your options for psilocybin mushrooms involve purchasing legal psilocybin truffles online, or growing your own mushrooms where it’s legal. See our full guides on the legality of LSD analogues and the legality of psilocybin mushrooms for more.


If you are wondering about the difference between LSD and mushrooms when microdosing, their natural/synthetic difference illustrates it aptly. If I could describe each with a word, I’d say that mushrooms provide an “earthy” experience while LSD provides a “crisp” one.

Mushrooms tend to dissolve the ego by immersing the user in their surroundings, which can be real or imagined. They promote deep introspection and meditation. It’s likely you will feel a deeper connection to, and understanding of, the ancient rituals that used mushrooms. Think grounded feelings, tactile undulations. Even with a microdose, you may still experience the sensation of being plunged into your mushroom trip.

LSD will dissolve the ego through the sheer clarity of experience. Sounds, colors, and interactions will seem to happen smoothly and without your involvement. You will feel at home both on a walk in the woods and at a coffee shop in the city. It’s flexible, forgiving, and uplifting. LSD feels like something designed to improve you.

How are you going to spend your day when microdosing? If you have professional work to do, if you will be socializing and interacting with strangers or colleagues, or if you will be in busy, populated environments, LSD may be the better choice. However, if you have an open day and open space, and are seeking some introspection and solitude, mushrooms are perfect. That’s not to say that specific experiences must pair with a specific substance, but from anecdotal reports and personal experience, each has its own better environment. Keep in mind, too, that LSD and mushrooms have different durations. The effects of LSD last anywhere from six to 10 hours; psilocybin, from four to eight hours.


Ultimately, recommending LSD or psilocybin mushrooms for microdosing is like asking which child a parent likes most. The answer will come with all sorts of qualifications and contingencies, will assert that all are equally excellent, but will secretly harbor the fact that there is, in fact, a favorite.

For me, I prefer microdosing with LSD. It’s easier to manage doses, feels cleaner, and the manageable, productive experience is more aligned with how I view microdosing. LSD, in my opinion, is more suited for use as a self-improvement medicine that puts you in control.

But I’ve also tried microdosing with mushrooms, and my experience was wonderful. In fact, one of my favorite psychedelic experiences happened while microdosing mushrooms, in which a friend and I, for a few hours, tapped into some other-dimensional hacky sack skills. It was an objectively impressive upgrade in capabilities, and I should add one last note that I believe microdosing mushrooms has serious potential to improve physical and athletic performance.



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People say microdosing increases cognitive ability

by Elfy Scott | BussFeed | 2 Sep 2018

A world-first trial investigating the effects of microdosing with psychedelics is beginning this week at London's Imperial College.

Microdosing with psychedelics involves taking approximately a tenth of the recreational dose (10 to 20 micrograms for LSD), and there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the practice improves mood, creativity and wellbeing for some users. At these small doses, the psychedelic effects on perception are not apparent.

The ambitious trial, run by the Beckley Foundation through its laboratories at Imperial College, has recruited voluntary participants who already microdose with psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, and will observe the effects of this practice with a "self-blinding" method until midway through next year. The "self-blinding" method will be used due to the significant expense of setting up a normal randomised control trial with these illicit substances.

The method means participants will create their own capsules of psychedelic microdoses and then place these doses, as well as placebo capsules provided by the researchers, in unlabelled envelopes to take at random. The capsules will be marked with barcodes so that the researchers can monitor when participants are taking placebo drugs. The effects of microdosing will be tracked by online questionnaires and a series of cognitive tests.

This is the first trial with a control element to observe the effects of microdosing; it's necessary to introduce a placebo because the type of people who are already participating in illegal microdosing expect for it to have some beneficial effects. As this is not a traditional controlled trial and uses elements of personal experimentation, the researchers say that the strength of the evidence will be "somewhere in between" anecdotal and empirical. However, the study will still provide an important stepping stone to understanding the role of microdosing with psychedelics in science and medicine.

In a recruitment video for the trial Imperial College and the Beckley Foundation say that the "results from this study will contribute greatly to our understanding of the potential benefits of low doses of psychedelic compounds and could point us to explore the applications of microdosing under clinical trial settings".

So, what do we actually know about microdosing with psychedelics? As it turns out, very little. While there is a great deal of evidence to say that traditional cultures have used psychedelic plants such as peyote and magic mushrooms in aspects of ritual and daily life, it's not known where or when microdosing began.

Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, microdosed the drug in his old age, and the practice gained greater visibility when James Fadiman mentioned it in his 2011 book The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide.

In recent years microdosing with psychedelics (LSD specifically) has attracted wide attention for its use in demanding work spaces such as Silicon Valley offices, where workers have reported that taking small doses of LSD (or acid) helps creative performance, empathy and focus. Dr Stephen Bright, an adjunct senior research fellow at the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, told BuzzFeed News that the research on microdosing is in its early stages.

"We don't know if it does anything yet. The limitations of all the research that's been done so far is that it's based on self reporting — we don't know if the people actually took LSD, or something that was similar to LSD. We don't know if it was the placebo effect that was causing these changes."

For example, one Norwegian study from the University of Bergen published earlier this year interviewed 21 users who microdose with psychedelic drugs and found that they reported "mostly positive consequences from this form of drug use". The reported effects included improved mood, cognition and creativity, but the researchers stressed that the findings are not generalisable because it was a purely observational study.

Bright says a large amount of the anecdotal evidence of microdosing benefits that the research investigates comes from online communities such as SubReddits.

"There's a plethora of anecdotal data on places like Reddit. People are reporting that it enhances their creativity, it equips them to be more present-moment focused and it helps with emotional regulation," said Bright. For example, r/microdosing has over 36,000 users sharing information, tips and success stories.

One recent post by a user in the SubReddit reads:

"Recently, at the end of the (dose) day I feel such a clarity, calmness, enlightenment in my whole body. I'm feeling like a Buddhist monk or something with a lot of self consciousness and self confidence. Does anybody else notice something like this too? I'm in two months now."

However, the SubReddit also has a section for complaints of negative effects, including headaches, loss of energy, stomach pain, accidental doses that induce the perception-altering effects, and feelings of depression on coming down. Bright also points out there is evidence to suggest that microdosing with LSD may give more consistently positive experiences than microdosing with psilocybin.

A study currently under review conducted by Dr Vince Polito and Professor Richard Stevenson from Macquarie University recruited 98 people who microdose with psychedelics from these online forums, and tracked each person's experiences over a period of six weeks. The self-report study asked participants to fill out a daily ratings survey and found a reported decrease in depression, anxiety and stress, and an increase in ability to focus. However, the participants also indicated a slight increase in neuroticism.

Polito told BuzzFeed News that the anecdotal evidence for microdosing is remarkable enough that it needs to be explored with long-term empirical studies.

"People talk about dramatic changes in their cognition, in their perception, and in many cases ... there's fairly common reports of these substances having sustained positive effects," he said. "The magnitude of changes that people report anecdotally certainly seems to exceed the sort of things that we see with most traditional medicine."

So, what effects could psychedelic microdosing be having in the brain?

Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin, mescaline and LSD have been shown to activate complex processes with the serotonin and glutamate networks in the brain's prefrontal cortex at recreational doses, which is approximately 100 to 200 micrograms. This means that these psychedelics reduce the default mode network in the brain, allowing for increased communication to occur with different areas of the brain, leading to creative thinking and the characteristic sense of wonderment.

This hyperactive neural connectivity seen in the brain after taking psychedelics is thought to increase neural plasticity. This increase suggests that psychedelics can help to address the neurological basis of psychiatric disorders such as major depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

However, Bright says that these studies have only been performed with large doses.

"We don't know if that's what's happening [in the brain] with microdosing. My guess would be maybe, but certainly not to the extent that the full dose has."

Polito says the psychopharmacological effects of microdosing with psychedelics are "entirely up in the air at this stage".

Why is there so little research on microdosing?

Bright says there is so little research on microdosing due to barriers relating to the illicit nature of these substances.

"In Australia we have not conducted any research in psychedelic science in terms of providing people with the actual drug, because of the significant bureaucratic barriers to doing that, including issues with funding."

Microdosing research has resorted to exclusively using participants who already engage in the practice because of these issues. Due to the lack of regulation in the market and the fact that these studies rely on self-measuring doses, Bright says that the research can be unreliable and have unintended effects for users.

"Considering that we don't have a regulated market, people have consumed more than they thought they would and ended up at work tripping balls."

Bright says that he has faced many barriers in his research in Australia related to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Polito says that organisations such as MAPS in the United States are leading the way with empirical long-term research into psychedelics.

"It is definitely unusual that Australia doesn't have any empirical psychedelic research program going on when most Western countries now do have that," he said. "There is more and more evidence that these substances can have clinical and research applications."

Polito thinks that there are now two streams of research to explore: clinical applications for problems such as anxiety, and a more "pure" form of research looking at how these psychedelic substances affect different aspects of cognition for pharmaceutical applications.

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First ever trials on the effects of microdosing LSD under way now

by Sarah Boseley | The Guardian | 1 Sep 2018

In Silicon Valley they say taking tiny amounts of the hallucinogenic drug increases creativity and productivity, but is it all in the mind?

Silicon Valley geeks say it sharpens their thinking and enhances creativity. Other people say it lifts the fog of depression. A novel experiment launching 3 September 2018 will investigate whether microdosing with LSD really does have benefits – or whether it’s all in the mind.

Microdosing using psychedelic drugs – either LSD or magic mushrooms – is said to have become very popular, especially with people working in the Californian digital tech world, some of whom are said to take a tiny amount one or more days a week as part of their routine before heading to work. It’s not for a psychedelic high, though – it’s to make them more focused.

Microdosers tend to use either tiny amounts of LSD – as little as one-fifteenth of a tab – or of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The study is recruiting just those who use LSD, because of the difficulty in disguising even ground-up mushrooms in a capsule.

But it’s illegal. So how many people are microdosing is unknown and there is only anecdotal evidence of the effects and any downsides. In a bid to learn more, the Beckley Foundation, which was set up to pioneer research into mind-altering substances, and the unit it funds at Imperial College London, will launch the first ever placebo-controlled trial of microdosing on Monday, 3 September 2018.

It will be unique, says Balazs Szigeti, the study leader. The cost and the illegality of LSD would make a conventional study prohibitively expensive. So he has hit on a way of running it by inviting those who already microdose to join a “self-blinded” study. They will take either what they usually use in a capsule or an identical dummy capsule instead, without knowing which is which. They will complete questionnaires and tests and play cognitive games online, and only at the end will they learn whether they were happy and focused because of LSD or because they thought they were using LSD.

“The people who microdose right now are not an average random set of people from the street,” he said. “They are very likely to have used psychedelics before and have preconceptions about them. You are doing something novel and exciting and that you believe in – and you know you are doing it. It is absolutely no surprise that you are getting a positive effect.”

Those who volunteer to take part will be sent a manual which describes in great detail how to set up the gel capsules – some containing the tiny piece of blotting paper loaded with a small dose of LSD that they normally use and others that are empty – and then randomly assign them over four weeks. Smartphone-readable QR codes in envelopes containing the doses for each week will reveal what was taken and when at the end of the trial.

The Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, who first synthesised LSD in 1936 and began taking it years later, was said to have microdosed in his old age. Those who do it talk of a sense of flow and focus with none of the extreme hallucinogenic sensations associated with the drug. “It has become popular in Silicon Valley as a way to increase creativity and productivity,” said Szigeti. “I was interested in this and looked at the scientific literature. To my great surprise I found there were zero studies on microdosing. If you go online there are hundreds and hundreds of people expressing very positive outcomes but this is completely novel terrain in scientific literature.”

Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation, has spent her life supporting research into psychedelic drugs. “Since I first learned about LSD in 1966, before it was made illegal, I became aware of its great potential value for health and cognitive enhancement,” she said.

She gets a lot of correspondence on microdosing from San Francisco, she said. “I think it is spreading, but it is impossible to tell how much because no one knows. There has been a lot of talk about it in the last few years." At low doses, she says she thinks of it “almost as a psycho-vitamin.”

“I think it could give a boost to vitality, an improvement in mood possibly.
People have reported that it has lifted their depression, while others say it makes them feel more excited about their work. One can’t and doesn’t want to encourage people to microdose, but it is interesting to try to gather data in a slightly more scientific way from people who are doing it,” she said.

David Erritzoe, who is working on the study with Szigeti, said it is “in all ways an unusual project” piloted with a small group of people. They found the self-blinding feasible. “They could do it and they found it fun and stimulating,” he said. "Those taking part could break the blind themselves if they so wanted, but hopefully they will be on board and try to get it right by following the manual.” He and Szigeti say if the results are interesting, more conventional trials ought to be carried out.

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Why set and setting matter for microdosing

by Paul Austin | Medium.com | 15 Sep 2020

Microdosing is a controversial topic in the psychedelic space.

Many people — including myself — credit the practice as a pathway for accelerated development. When used with intention, microdosing minimizes the inevitable resistance we face on our path of growth towards greater freedom and self-expression.

Microdosing skeptics claim the practice is purely a placebo and that the only real transformation comes from high-dose peak experiences. According to those who doubt microdosing’s efficacy, a “sub-perceptible” dose, by definition, has no tangible change on how we manifest our external reality.

Which brings up two interesting questions:

How does microdosing fundamentally alter our direct experience of the world? And what role — if any — does set and setting play in the microdosing experience?

“Set and Setting”

“Set and setting” is one of the most recognizable terms in the psychedelic lingua franca.

Coined by Timothy Leary during the second wave of psychedelics, “set” refers to your mindset entering a psychedelic experience, and “setting” refers to the environment in which you take the psychedelic.

When it comes to high doses of psychedelics, the importance of curating “set and setting” is well-established:
  • Preparation: set aside a minimum of one day and upwards of an entire week to reflect, meditate, and prepare your mindset for an extraordinary experience.
  • Experience: create a safe and loving container where you can surrender to the psychedelic experience, ideally with a sitter or trusted guide.
  • Integration: take a minimum of 1–2 days to integrate the afterglow into everyday life, journaling about your experience to author your life’s next adventure.
When Dr. James Fadiman introduced microdosing as a concept in his 2011 book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide,” the idea of taking super-low doses of psychedelics 2–3x per week added an exciting dimension to our definition of “set and setting.”

Instead of a narrow focus on the immediacy surrounding a peak psychedelic experience, microdosing extends the set and setting container to an indefinite period, dependent on the length of time — 30 days, 60 days, or even longer — one chooses to microdose.


Neuroplasticity, adaptation, and the malleability of self

How exactly does microdosing extend the container of “set and setting?”

Recent clinical research published by the Beckley Foundation and Maastricht University found that those who microdosed with LSD had increased levels of BDNF in blood plasma, the first conclusive clinical research proving that microdosing increased BDNF levels.

BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that is “like Miracle-Gro for your brain.” BDNF stimulates growth, connections, and activity in the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that is responsible for planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior.

Another one of microdosing’s main effects is to stimulate a serotonin receptor called “5-HT2A” located in the prefrontal cortex, which leads to the increased transmission of “Glutamate,” a neurotransmitter responsible (in part) for essential brain functions such as cognition, learning, and memory.

So, how does this tie into “set and setting”?

If microdosing psychedelics increases levels of BDNF and Glutamate, then microdosing has a profound impact on the malleability of the self. And if microdosing helps to create a more malleable self (as we’ve heard tens-of-thousands of people report from their microdosing experiences), then the container in which you microdose is critical.

After all, neuroplasticity is a neutral term. Creating a mind that is more “plastic” does not necessarily mean that things will get better. It does mean that you’ve made an opening in your sense of self to change and adapt with more ease. For that reason, the container in which you choose to microdose is central to the benefits you experience through your extended protocol.


Microdosing, afterglow, and 'magicianing'

When I first began microdosing in mid-2015, I consumed between 15 and 25 micrograms of LSD 2–3x per week (some may call this “mini-dosing”). Through microdosing, it became so much easier to shift, adapt, flow, learn, and connect with others.

Because of this, the container of my experience extended from the typical 1–2 weeks (as is usual for a peak psychedelic experience) to seven months. In other words, the concept of “set and setting” evolved from a temporary blip on my journey through the matrix to a consistent practice of reflecting, refactoring, and refining what I wished to manifest into my lived experience.

After all, microdosing is not just taking a small amount of LSD or psilocybin mushrooms 2–3x per week and witnessing what unfolds from there. There is little to no structure in this intention. It’s way too loose.

Microdosing is like a magic wand, a modality of significant power to help shift and change your reality as you wish. Without intention, you cede control of your experience to outside forces, reacting to the whims of life rather than manifesting precisely what you want to create. By approaching microdosing with lackadaisical energy, you reduce the likelihood of having an experience that produces tangible benefits, like elevated mood, enhanced creativity, and more flow in social settings.

Your mood may improve for a relatively short period because of the biochemical impact of the microdosing (hint: increased serotonin levels). But if your attitude doesn’t continue to be stable and healthy after you finish microdosing, then your experience is just a drop in the pan, something that once worked but left no tangible change in its wake.

By creating the right “set and setting,” we create an opportunity for that new energy to become fully integrated into our being, becoming freer as we move throughout the world.

Third Wave’s microdosing experience program

Recently, the Third Wave rolled out our first-ever comprehensive coaching program: The Microdosing Experience Program.

We enrolled an initial cohort of 50 participants, an incredibly diverse array of people from 10+ countries, between the ages of 26 and 75, with professions ranging from medical doctor to investor to start-up founder to therapist to executive coach.

In creating the Microdosing Experience Program, we intended to create a tight container of healing and transformation. That way, every participant can experience noticeable changes in their disposition and well-being. Weekly topics included things like “Clarifying Purpose,” “Setting Your North Star,” and “Vulnerability and Accountability.”

By infusing specific intentions into our participants’ experience, we dramatically increased the likelihood of success for their microdosing experience.

By drawing on feedback from 3,000+ participants in our Official Microdosing Course and the wisdom that arises from having been at the forefront of this microdosing movement for the last three years, I was able to teach the essential skill of 'magicianing' with microdosing to all our participants.

That is, I taught each one of our students how to become an alchemist of their future, and how psychedelic substances are used to accelerate the path of manifestation and creation.

In part 2 of this 3-part series, we’ll get into psychedelic use as a skill, why microdosing is the meta-skill of all skills, and how you can become a master at incorporating psychedelics into your practice of alchemizing greatness.

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