Essential Guide to Microdosing LSD
17 November 2015
Around 8:00 a.m., right after a quick morning shower, I walk over to my personal supply of psychedelics, where my microdose of LSD waits.
I open a physical copy of ‘Tender is the Night,’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is a book I have yet to read, but one I still carry around as my personal ‘psychedelic suitcase.’ From the depths of the book, I withdraw a small piece of tin foil, wrapped over a smaller amount of white-on-white blotter paper.
Careful not to touch the blotter paper with my fingers, I withdraw it from the tin foil with my tweezers. I’m indifferent to exact measurements, so I eye a tiny sliver of the blotter paper and cut it off with a pair of scissors.
Then, I place the small sliver of blotter paper on my tongue.
About an hour later, the magic begins.
What magic, you may wonder?
The magic of microdosing.
Over the past six months, various articles have popped up about the near-hyperbolic benefits of microdosing with psychedelics.
Many users claim to experience a bevy of unique benefits after consuming a microdose, including improved creativity, better relational skills, and more energy.
Is the hype true?
Do these individual users have a story worth its weight?
Or is it merely a placebo effect brought on by a bias of expectation?
Yes, yes, and hard to say.
If you are looking for an answer about placebo effect versus scientific basis, you will be disappointed. Due to its recent surge in popularity, the impact of microdosing has yet to be studied in a proper scientific, double-blind study.
But I still have good news: every anecdotal story about microdosing agrees on the supposed benefits of microdosing.
Individuals who microdose with a particular purpose in mind – improved creativity, help with depression, more emotional awareness – notice substantial, measurable changes because of microdosing.
Whether for business, personal relationships, or emotional well-being, microdosing will improve your life.
It might change the way you strategize, the way you exercise, or the way you socialize.
It might change the way you perceive work, relationships, and the Earth around you.
It might help you with ADHD, depression, or to quit smoking.
The efficacy of microdosing will depend on your purpose, for your purpose will determine microdosing’s effects.
My Personal Experiment
I became interested in microdosing after listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast with Dr. James Fadiman. Dr. Fadiman is a renowned psychedelic researcher who carried out breakthrough experiments on psychedelics and creativity in the 1960s.
In the podcast, Fadiman brings up the topic of microdosing and how various individuals have tried it for a number of reasons – and all have seen some level of improvement in creativity, mental health, or any other number of life aspects.
As a productivity/creative ninja, I always look for healthy, sustainable ways to up my game. So, I gave it a try.
I obtained a source of LSD and tried my first microdose. I have now microdosed over 50 times in the span of 6 months.
This post is a result of my personal experiment. Through my interactions with small amounts of psychedelics, I have learned a tremendous amount about psychedelics when used in sub-perceptual doses.
When I looked online for a definitive resource on microdosing, I did not find one. Much of the information exists in various corners of the Internet.
What is Microdosing LSD?
Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics, like LSD and Psilocybin.
Sub-perceptual means the effects are subtle but noticeable.
Typically, individuals integrate sub-perceptual doses into their weekly routine for higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills.
Microdosing also helps to heighten spiritual awareness and enhance all five senses.
The underground world of extreme sports has documented the myriad benefits of microdosing for the last 40 years.
James Oroc, an established authority on psychedelic use, and author of ‘Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad,’ wrote about the heralded benefits of microdosing LSD in the extreme sport underground.
According to Oroc, “The combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, [show that] LSD can increase your re-flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel-vision,’ and make you impervious to weakness and pain. LSD’s effects in these regards amongst the extreme-sport community are in fact legendary, universal, and without dispute.”
While I find claims such as these to tip the scales towards hyperbole, there is also a level of legitimacy to 40 years of substantiated reports.
Other claimed benefits for microdosing include…
Elevated mood to assist with depression
Use as an aid to help those with ADD and ADHD
Use as a tool in quit smoking
As Oroc makes clear, taking LSD has certain benefits for the closely-knit community of extreme athletes.
Microdosing LSD Dosage
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.
(Note: I will use ‘microdose’ and ‘sub-perceptual’ dose interchangeably throughout this article)
Well, each psychedelic has a different threshold dose. The threshold dose is the minimum dose of a drug that will produce a noticeable degree of any given effect.
Since microdosing is the use of sub-perceptual doses, a microdose amount is below the threshold dose. Ideally, a microdose will not cause a substantial change in mood, disposition, or mindset. Instead, its effect will be subtle but present.
For LSD, a microdose is between 6 and 20 micrograms. This amount equates to between 1/7th and 1/5th of a single tab.
How to Microdose LSD
When microdosing with LSD on blotter paper, there are two methods to “extract” a microdose from the blotter paper: cutting or volumetric.
The cutting method is exactly what it sounds like: cutting the blotter paper with an Exacto knife or scissors.
I use scissors due to its simplicity. The drawback to this method is a lack of precision. My microdoses usually have a 5-microgram variance.
Another drawback to cutting LSD for microdoses is consuming a ‘uneven’ dose.
Some LSD blotter paper doses are laid unevenly. When LSD is ‘laid’ it means a crystal of LSD is melted into a liquid form, then spread across a piece of blotter paper. At times, the liquid LSD is laid ‘unevenly’ on the blotter paper. An uneven lay causes variation in the amount of LSD you may consume in any given microdose.
The best thing to do is assume your dose is 20% less than advertised. For example, if you bought 10 doses at 100-micrograms each, assume each dose is 80-micrograms due to an uneven lay.
Cut each single dose into even pieces for the amount you desire based on these conservative calculations. For example, if you want to take 20 micrograms of LSD, cut the dose into 4 separate pieces.
The volumetric method involves submerging a full tab into distilled water and taking small quantities of the water as your microdose.
This process is slightly more challenging due to the number of measurements, but will give you a more accurate, consistent dose. Read our full guide on volumetric microdosing to learn more.
To describe it briefly, all you need to do is drop a 100ug tab into 10ml of distilled water or alcohol. Leave it for a day or so, in the dark. Then, 1ml of the liquid will contain 10ug of LSD, and will provide you with a consistent microdose. You can store your liquid in the fridge and it should last for months.
How To Get An LSD Microdose
Since LSD is illegal almost everywhere, we don’t recommend breaking any laws to obtain LSD for microdosing.
Your main legal alternative is to purchase research chemicals such as 1P-LSD. Click here to read our full article on the legality of various research chemicals that you could use for microdosing.
If you want to learn more about how to get started microdosing with LSD, enter your email address below to gain access to our free guide on what’s legal and what’s not.
How Often Should I Microdose LSD
The next question you might have:
What daily and weekly regimen should I follow for microdosing?
Dr. James Fadiman, the author of the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, recommends taking a microdose once every four days.
Take a microdose on Day 1. Then do NOT take a 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 ten total weeks. Take notes throughout the entire 10-week 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.
It is also excellent to keep continuous notes on the observed effects of consistent microdosing over a long span of time. From the reports Dr. Fadiman collected, many people report a gradual buildup of openness and awareness over the span of their experiment.
As Dr. Fadiman says in the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, “People are saying, ‘After a month or more of microdosing, I’m eating better; I’m nicer to my kids; I’m not as upset when people behave badly.“One man was saying, ‘I’m so much more in the present. I used to, even when I was enjoying something, really 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.’”
My personal experience has been similar. On an overall basis, I am more receptive to social invitations, more open when engaging with others in social settings, and I’ve noticed a significant increase in overall creative output.
If you follow this regimen for the full ten weeks, you will need at least four doses at 100 micrograms each (total of 400 micrograms).
Let’s do the math:
One full dose of LSD equals 100 micrograms
Each microdose equals 20 micrograms
You will get approximately five microdoses from each single dose.
If you want 20 microdoses (remember, 2 microdoses per week for 10 weeks), you will need a total of 4 doses for the entirety of the experiment.
Conversely, if you wish to use magic mushrooms, you will need around 10 grams of dried magic mushrooms.
How did I get this number? If you take .5 g of dried mushrooms each microdose, and you microdose 20 times, you will consume around 10 g of dried magic mushrooms.
Is Microdosing LSD Daily a Good Idea?
Microdosing LSD every day is not recommended. Psychedelics like LSD produce a tolerance, even with microdoses, so you might see diminishing returns after a few days. This is why Jim 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 don’t know how this translates when it comes to microdosing, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution, and avoid microdosing too frequently.
Taking psychedelics every day will also create challenges in understanding the effects of microdosing. In other words, you won’t understand how your baseline behavior (creativity, productivity, mood, behavior) is affected by microdosing. Therefore, you won’t have any idea if certain changes are caused by the microdosing or if it is merely placebo effect.
One other downside to microdosing every day is normalizing a very potent substance. I 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.
Microdosing LSD Benefits and Effects
In general, users report five primary advantages when microdosing (either LSD or Magic Mushrooms):
From the anecdotal reports I’ve read on the internet, users who microdose with LSD often does so for three primary reasons:
To aid in creative pursuits and help with productivity – Physical/Creative
As medication to help with social anxiety, depression, ADHD, or smoking cessation – Emotional/Creative
To heighten spiritual awareness – Spiritual
There are also reports of unwanted emotional baggage rising to the surface when microdosing. Such emotional turbulence is largely due to a psychedelic’s ‘amplifying effect’.
LSD 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. I have one friend who was in a poor mindset before taking a mindset. By taking a microdose, her emotional baggage rose to a more prominent point in her consciousness, causing a slight dip in mood.
From a positive emotional perspective, users report more appreciation for life, improved mood, more patience, stronger relational bonds, and a gradual buildup of openness when used over a period of time.
My personal experience has been overwhelmingly positive from an emotional perspective. As an ambivert, I can only handle social situations for 1-2 hours of time before withdrawing into myself. However, when microdosing, I stay engaged in social situations for longer periods of time and do not feel the same level of social fatigue.
Close friends of mine also notice an increasing softness in my personality. When microdosing, I am more caring, more emotionally available and a better listener, according to my friends.
Many users of microdosing LSD report a heightened sense of spiritual awareness. Spirituality is a notoriously abstract concept, so, to help give it an understandable meaning, I will define it as one’s feeling of connectedness with other forms of life.
One of my favorite things to do while microdosing is go for hikes. When I walk in the woods, or through the sand dunes, near my home, I feel a connection to the trees, dirt, plants, and earth around me. I often walk barefoot to heighten the sensual appreciation of such moments.
In essence, I feel at home.
One aspect of a practical spiritual practice that may be improved by microdosing is meditation.
Myron Stolaroff, an author and researcher best known for his work on psychedelic psychotherapy, used psycholytic doses as an aid in meditation. He believed access to LSD at appropriate times could help an individual to master meditation.
Small amounts of psychedelics likely work so well for meditation because they inhibit the ego, enabling a truer sense of connection with the world in each moment.
Ego loss is one of the most revered aspects of a full on psychedelic trip (at least for experienced ‘psychonauts’ who understand how to deal with ego loss).
While ego loss is not possible on a microdose, the small amounts of psychedelic aid in perceiving reality with more clarity.
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