What is Microdosing?
“If the door of perception were cleansed everything would appear to a man as it is, infinite.”– William Blake
Many forward thinking entrepreneurs in their 20s-30s have been turning to psychedelics as an avenue for enhanced productivity and creativity in the workplace. Microdosing, as its known, has found its own subculture with young professionals in San Francisco and Silicon Valley - and is also continuing to garner a consistent interest across the country (and world).
A microdose is the ingestion of about one tenth of a normal dose of a psychedelic; with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms being the most commonly used. Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) says a dose between 0.2-0.6 grams creates a “subperceptual” effect or just enough “to feel a bit of energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that you are tripping.”
How to Microdose...
"It would have gone on to be used as Ritalin, if it wasn't so harshly scheduled." - Albert Hoffman
To experiment with microdosing on your own, it is advised to first test your reaction to the dosage/substance you are dosing with. It is essential to begin with a lower dosage, as you'll be able to get a better gauge of what works best for you. If you start off with a dosage that is too high, your normal routine may become compromised and you might find yourself in an uncomfortable state of "limbo" (ie: anxiety, perpetual butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling). Finding the proper balance is crucial, but also remember to be conservative with consecutive doses as well - if you keep a normal baseline, you'll benefit greatly from incorporating this into your routine. Microdosing every day is not recommended, and it is suggested you take two days between doses.
Microdosing with LSD:
The suggested dosage amount for LSD is 6-25 micrograms (µg), but popular opinion suggests 20-30µg as a standard. Connection to nature, creativity, focus, enhanced visuals and clarity are some of the reported benefits to an LSD microdose. Albert Hoffmann, the creator of LSD, microdosed (with LSD) well into his old age, and died at 102.
Microdosing with Psilocybin:
To microdose with psilocybin, 200-500mg (0.2-0.5 grams) of dried mushrooms can be taken in capsule form, or eaten. Clean energy, cardiovascular endurance, positive mental attitude, improved cognitive function and overall well being are some of the beneficial effects one can expect to experience during this type of microdose.
Microdosing with Mescaline:
A microdose with mescaline can be experienced by using 50-75 microgram mescaline HCL. Overall effects from this experience include heightened sensory perception (touch, hearing and smell), and enhanced focus/workflow. Some say that microdosing LSD and mescaline are the most beneficial, and are extremely similar/interchangeable - with the primary differences only being in varying degrees of sensory enhancement. LSD provides more in the way of enhanced visuals, smells, and taste - while mescaline primarily will increase smells, touch and hearing without any changes to your vision.
Microdosing with Cannabis:
If you're uncomfortable with experimenting with psychedelics, you may also microdose with marijuana. For example, this would be a single puff if you were smoking/vaping, a small droplet of tincture, oil or canna capsules, or if you prefer cannabis-infused edibles, you might shoot for less than half of the recommended amount on the label. If you are looking for a more mellow experience, we would suggest using an indica strand of cannabis, as this type of strand enhances the appetite, helps with sleep, and relaxation. However, if you prefer to have a more alert experience you'll want to find a sativa strand - sativas are extremely uplifting, as they give strong cerebral effects, enhance overall energy (similar to caffeine), and heighten creativity. If you're looking for a synthesis of both, you may want to try a hybrid (see video below).
Microdosing Side Effects...
"To fathom hell, or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic." - Humphry Osmond
It is important to be aware that although there are mostly positive effects from this practice, some of the negative side effects include...
- Feeling the need for excess sleep/more drained than usual at the end of the day.
- Uncomfortable/sour stomach feeling, or an overly heavy body load.
- A warped perception of time.
- Mood exaggeration, ie: over awareness of feelings - both positive and negative.
Final Thoughts on Microdosing
“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” - Terence McKenna
Federal law in the United States is still firmly against the use of all psychedelics, including responsible usage of them, so it is important to use discretion about your microdosing practice, and to (most importantly) stay safe. Should you choose to microdose with LSD, we recommend purchasing a testing kit to ensure the quality of the substance in order to protect you from synthesized chemicals like DOB, DOI, 2C-I-NBOMEe, which are psychedelic amphetamines that have very harmful side effects.
Overall, thanks to organizations like MAPS, the years of research regarding the benefits of psychedelics as a medicine and the microdosing practice seem to support unanimously positive benefits for individuals using this as a means for ultimate human optimization - in not only mind and spirit, but in business/creativity.
While still taboo as a social "norm", it is my belief that responsible usage can be a holistic catalyst for productivity and insight - and hopefully, society will become much more accepting of the benefits of responsibly using psychedelics. In time perhaps the conversation can continue through a larger audience; not just our progressive explorers of consciousness and the noosphere.
The video below by PsychedSubstance is a helpful guide on how to microdose, and further elaborates on what to expect from your experience.
McKraken, T. Could Psilocybin Be the Next Caffeine? A Microdosing Report. Corporate Skeptics, Education, News, Politics Religion. March 17, 2015.
Leonard, A. How LSD Microdosing Became the Hot New Business Trip. Rolling Stone. November 20, 2015.