The Ultimate Guide to

Microdosing LSD

(Acid, L, Tabs, Blotter, Doses)

Microdosing LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide

C20H25N3O

Disclaimer: LSD is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs, and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substance.

What is LSD Microdosing?

01

Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual – unnoticeable – amounts of a psychedelic substance. Many individuals who have integrated microdosing LSD into their weekly routine report higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills.

Some enthusiasts also report that microdosing LSD helps to heighten spiritual awareness and enhance their senses.

A recent survey of 1,000+ people from 59 countries who had been microdosing LSD for a period of one week to four months revealed elevated mood, decreases in depression, increases in energy and productivity, and adoption of better health habits.

In another study, researchers found that psychotherapy that included microdosing with LSD had long-term, profound, positive effects on patients diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. These changes included reductions in anxiety, a rise in the perceived quality of life, valuable insights, and improvements in social relationships.

Microdosing LSD has also been found to boost creativity and problem solving skills in healthy individuals. LSD gained massive attention as a catalyst of these enhancements when Apple founder Steve Jobs noted that “taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life.” Since his death, microdosing has become a global trend, with thousands of personal accounts posted on forums such as Reddit.

Thanks to positive results coming from scientific studies and anecdotal reports, the phenomenon is spiking worldwide interest. You can read about microdosing LSD in virtually any major online media outlet these days, including the NY Times, The Guardian, Independent, and Futurism.

THE HISTORY OF MICRODOSING

While the modern history of psychedelics reaches back to the 1950s, interest in microdosing saw a major revitalization with the publishing of Dr. James Fadiman’s The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys in 2011.

The book explores microdosing as a subculture of psychedelic use. While a number of indigenous cultures, as well as modern professionals, have used microdosing to unlock a host of benefits, Fadiman’s book formally introduced the term “microdosing” into the psychedelic mainstream.

But the book didn’t just contribute a piece of terminology; it awakened the curiosity and imaginations of millions of people. It also provided practical information for anyone who wanted to give it a try, much of which has been integrated into this guide.

Fadiman’s ongoing research serves as one of the few modern studies into the effects of microdosing specifically (most other research deals with larger doses for specific therapeutic outcomes).

Following the publication of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, the next boost in the public’s awareness of microdosing came from a podcast interview the author gave with Tim Ferriss in March of 2015.

Ferriss, who rose to fame after authoring the bestseller, The 4-Hour Work Week, has an enormous audience of individuals interested in entrepreneurship, “biohacking,” self-experimentation, psychology, spirituality, and other subjects that predispose them to an interest in the benefits of microdosing.

His podcast interview with Fadiman blasted the core messages about microdosing contained in The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide from a soapbox loud enough to increase  awareness of the practice.

Soon after its air date, listeners of Ferriss’ podcast were not only starting to experiment with microdosing; they were discussing it with their own personal networks. Consequently, journalists began writing articles about microdosing, leading to even greater awareness and interest.

Another source of interest in microdosing came from Ayelet Waldman’s 2016 book A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in my Mood, My Marriage, and My Life.

Waldman’s book discusses her 30-day protocol of microdosing with LSD to address a variety of psychological symptoms primarily caused by hormonal changes related to menopause.

Prior to microdosing, Waldman’s mood swings had become severe enough to put her marriage and relationship with her children at risk.

Afterward, in an interview with The Third Wave, she said, “This month changed my life, and I am sad every day that I can’t keep doing it legally.”

Now, tens of thousands of people around the globe are being turned on to microdosing – whether it’s for treating mental health problems, boosting creativity, or giving entrepreneurs new directions.

The Science of LSD Microdosing

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While psychedelic substances have been illegal and prohibited from study in most countries up until the past few years,  experts have picked up on research that started in the 1950s and 60s.

While there has been some recent research on microdosing, we know more about what large doses of psychedelics do to the brain.

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

Classic psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin share a similar structure to serotonin, and work along a similar pathway. This is why these substances will have comparable effects when microdosed, too – at least in the most important aspects described in the Benefits and Risks section of this guide. You can read more here about the differences between them.

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 called “5-HT2A” located in the prefrontal cortex.

Stimulating the 5-HT2A receptor leads to two  important results:

  • The production of “Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (BDNF) which is “like Miracle-Gro for your brain. It stimulates growth, connections, and activity.” [1]
  • The increased transmission of “Glutamate,”  the neurotransmitter most responsible for brain functions like cognition, learning, and memory. [2]

Glutamate and BDNF work together in ways we’re still understanding, but it’s become clear that having more of each leads to many of the benefits that microdosers are seeking. [3]

These processes may account for why microdosing LSD has positive results on many patients suffering from depression. Mimicking serotonin instead of artificially increasing its concentration is also healthier, as it doesn’t disturb the brain’s chemical balance.

Psychedelics also cause parts of the brain that don’t usually communicate with one another… to communicate with one another! These unique connections are formed by dampening the activity of an often over-used part of our brain called the “Default Mode Network” (DMN). [4]

The DMN is responsible 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. [5] It’s possible that a highly active DMN causes us to ruminate, over-analyze ourselves, and step out of the present moment to 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 elegantly working the room…

Simply put, flow is 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 studies have shown moderate doses of psychedelics cause brain waves to shift toward alpha oscillations, which is also seen in the transition to a flow state [6].

Psychedelics such as LSD imitate the neurotransmitter serotonin when they enter the brain – and we know that serotonin is found in higher levels in flow states. Similarly, LSD increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, [7] another neurotransmitter found in higher levels in flow states.

Perhaps most important, psychedelics’ ability to dampen down the DMN can allow our brains to make unique connections between areas that don’t usually communicate. [4] 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, it seems likely that a regular microdosing regimen could begin to shift our awareness in the direction of flow.

How Do You Microdose with LSD?

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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 typically between 6 and 20 micrograms. This amount equates to between 1/16th and 1/5th of a single tab.

When microdosing with 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.

The drawback to this method is a lack of precision. Your microdoses may be variable if you cut up your tabs. When LSD is “laid” on a tab, a crystal of the substance is dissolved into a liquid medium, then spread across a piece of blotter paper. Sometimes, the liquid can distribute unevenly which causes variation in the amount of LSD  in any given microdose.

The volumetric method helps you get around such variations. It involves submerging a full tab into distilled water and taking small, measured quantities of the water to microdose.

This process requires a couple of small measurements, but will give you a more accurate, consistent dose.

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.

For a more detailed guide on Volumetric LSD Microdosing, click here.

WHAT SCHEDULE SHOULD I FOLLOW?

Fadiman recommends taking a microdose once every three 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 daily notes in a journal.

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.

However, 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 doses. Many people perceive increased feelings of flow, creativity, and energy the day after they microdose, as well as the day of microdosing.

Microdosing every day is not recommended.  LSD produces a tolerance, so you might see diminishing returns after a few days. This is why Fadiman suggests leaving a couple of days between each dose.

Additionally, the fact that positive effects can be felt sometimes many days after a microdose is a good reason to space out your doses.

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, or for longer than a few months at a time.

Another 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. Within a couple of months, one cup turns into two, three, or four cups.

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

MICRODOSING RETREATS

For people who are new to psychedelics, even microdosing can be a daunting concept. But retreats are an exciting option for those who want to be introduced to psychedelics surrounded by experts in a guided, personalized setting.

The Synthesis retreat in Amsterdam is curated by microdosing experts, and is designed to offer each participant a perfect introduction to psychedelics.

Curated microdosing retreats could be an option for people looking to begin their microdosing journey, and could be the best way to translate the psychedelic experience into lessons for living a better life.

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

Benefits and Risks

04

At the risk of oversimplifying, people microdose for two reasons:

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

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Mood disorders
  • PTSD
  • Addiction

or,

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

  • Creativity
  • Energy
  • Flow states
  • Productivity/focus
  • Improved relationships/increased empathy
  • Athletic coordination
  • Leadership development

UNDESIRABLE STATES

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 depressionanxiety, 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’s 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’m 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 haven’t 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’s unhealthy to overindulge. I found microdosing to make me feel the need to be productive so I smoke much less when I microdose and don’t indulge just to smoke.”

– Third Wave Survey Respondent

DESIRABLE STATES

Many people microdose for personal development. Reports suggest that the practice can improve creativity, productivity, and energy.

The creative benefits of microdosing are linked to the enhancement of flow states. Since microdosing allows you to enter into a flow state with greater ease, you can explore an exciting and rewarding form 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

RISKS

By far, the riskiest thing about microdosing LSD is the law. It’s crucial to check your local laws before microdosing, as the penalties for LSD possession are still harsh in most of the world. It’s possible to microdose LSD legally if you live in one of the handful of countries that adopt a mild-to-forgiving stance on this substance. Otherwise, make sure to follow your local laws.

A legally viable alternativeto LSD may be the increasingly popular 1P-LSD. This compound is almost exactly like LSD in its molecular structure, and it has comparable beneficial effects.

However, some users report that 1P-LSD must be microdosed in considerably lower quantities than LSD due to its “horrible” side effects which include anxiety, ruminations, and hyperactivity. If you attempt to microdose 1P-LSD, we recommend starting off at an extremely low dose, such as 1 microgram.

In the US and Canada, 1P-LSD can be purchased as a “research chemical” labeled “not for human consumption.” In Europe (including the UK), it’s illegal.

Another option is ALD-52, a similar “research chemical” that is available online in Europe as well as in North America. It’s touted by some users to provide a smoother, gentler, and more relaxing microdosing experience.

Aside from the legal qualms, if you microdose LSD, you run the slight risk of someone from your environment realizing that you’re “on something.” Increased alertness, productivity, and creativity can be explained away, but not dilated pupils.

Will your pupils dilate? It’s hard to say, as this varies from person to person. However, the general consensus on Reddit seems to be that 20 micrograms is where most people’s pupils will start expanding. However, there are reports by people who have this happen at 9, or even 7 micrograms. This is another reason we advise you not to start microdosing LSD on a day when you need to be in a socially saturated environment.

Other than these few concerns, you can look at microdosing as a safe, non-threatening, measureable way to explore the incredible possibilities and reap the benefits that psychedelics have to offer.

As you can see on this chart comparing the relative harms of common substances, LSD is among the safest from a biochemical and social perspective. It’s 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 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.

Since 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, it’s best to avoid doing it for extended periods of time (longer than a few months). There is a potential heart risk of taking too many large doses of psychedelics over a long period of time – although we don’t know if this translates to microdosing.

How Do I Acquire LSD for Microdosing?

05

Since LSD is illegal almost everywhere, we don’t recommend breaking any laws to obtain it for microdosing.

Your main legal alternative is to purchase research chemicals such as 1P-LSD or ALD-52. 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 acid, check out our Microdosing Course.

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

FAQ

06

Can LSD be detected in a blood test?

The short answer is yes, but there are a few caveats.

Excretion through urine reaches a peak about four to six hours after administering a dose in humans, but even then, the amounts are quite small. There are four known major metabolites of LSD in humans that are excreted and can be detected in urine for up to four to five days after ingestion, with observed inter-individual variation.

There are several criteria that determine how long LSD can be detected in the body:

  • the test being used
  • the detection limit placed on the test
  • the point of collection
  • the type of sample fluid
  • the amount that was ingested.

The average time LSD can be detected in blood is six to 12 hours and in urine is two to four days. However, one metabolite (2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD) is typically present in higher concentrations and can be detected for longer periods of time in urine.

Tests for LSD (but not its metabolites) in hair samples are also available and they’re good for detecting both low doses and single uses, apparently for an underdetermined but long period of time after dosing.

However, for now, it is not typically included in standard drug screens.

Can I test my LSD to see if it’s safe to take?

Testing your LSD is always good practice even when you trust your supplier. Reagent test kits from Bunk Police can identify hundreds of adulterants and substitutes—offering peace of mind and potentially saving your life.

25I-NBOMe, for example, has on occasion been mis-sold as LSD with tragically fatal consequences. The Ehrlich reagent can help to rule it out. Simply place a tiny amount of LSD into a sterile test tube or onto a sterile white ceramic surface and add a few drops of the reagent. Then check the color change (or lack thereof) against the supplied spectrum booklet.

Do I have real LSD?

Depending on the dose and route of ingestion, LSD (otherwise known as acid) should take 45-90 minutes to kick in. The experience can last 12-16 hours. Click here to see a full list of the effects.

If you feel any other effects, or your experience lasts considerably longer than 16 hours, you may not have taken LSD. If your blotter paper had a bitter taste or numbed your tongue, it may have contained NBOMe or DOx.

It’s safest to be sure about what you’re taking (see the 6S’s), so if possible, get your drugs tested. Kits for home testing can be found online, or you can send your substance to a lab for testing.

Where can I get LSD?

See our section on acquiring LSD for microdosing.

Is microdosing illegal?

Microdosing is not necessarily illegal. Several countries allow the cultivation of Psilocybin Mushrooms, the purchase of Psilocybin truffles, or the purchase of LSD analogues. We do not condone microdosing where it is against the law, as penalties can be severe.

Is microdosing safe?

The riskiest thing about microdosing is its potentially illegal nature. Always be aware of your local laws and don’t undertake any illegal activities.

The first ever controlled, double-blind study of microdosing LSD and psilocybin suggests that the practice is more effective than a placebo and that it is safe. However, clinical studies of larger doses of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms have shown that these substances are extremely safe.

What remains an unknown is what effects frequent microdosing could have on the body. This is why we recommend microdosing for no longer than a few months at a time.

One thing is for certain – with microdosing, there is no risk of having a “bad trip” or experiencing intense psychedelic effects. Taking a microdose is the ideal introduction to psychedelics.

How do I get started with microdosing?

There are lots of things to cover before you get started – depending on the reasons you’re interested in the first place!

Sign up to our extensive microdosing course to gain access to curated materials that will help you design the ideal microdosing regimen for your needs. You’ll also gain access to an exclusive community of enthusiastic, helpful microdosers!

Footnotes

07

[1] Ayelet Waldman (2016) “A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My life”

[2] Riedel, Platt & Micheau (2003) doi:10.1016/S0166-4328(02)00272-3

[3] Vollenweider & Kometer (2010) doi:10.1038/nrn2884

[4] Carhart-Harris et al. (2016) doi:10.1073/pnas.1518377113

[5] Sambataro et al. (2014) doi:10.1017/S0033291713002596

[6] Kometer et al (2013) doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3007-12.2013

[7] Nichols (2016) doi:10.1124/pr.115.011478

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mr Agent 404 says

    You sir, are a champion, scholar and a mentor. Thank you for this very well thought out, researched and insightful write-up. I will (with backed up research myself) try this and post my own results within a month.

  2. Braydon says

    Great write up! I feel the need though for the Ehrlich Reagent test kit to be mentioned. Its available legally from various sellers on eBay and other sites such as dancesafe.org. It allows the presence of lysergamides to be determined.

    • Dafydd says

      It doesn’t really “kick in”, more like a subtle feeling that lasts a few days. If you took a normal tab then it would kick in but this is very different and isn’t microdosing

    • dirtyd says

      i am very experienced with lsd. it inspired me to get a degree in chemistry, quit opiates, among many other social related benefits. I always tell people lsd takes 3 hours to PEAK. some effects might start about an hour after consumption. I think one thing worth mentioning here is,
      STEVE JOBS, founder of APPLE inc. R.I.P. has a quote “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could”.

  3. Arielle says

    I assume while you are microdosing you should not consume other drugs – is this correct? What would be the effect of taking a psychedelic drug on an “off” day – if any?

  4. carlo says

    This guide is great, thanks a lot, got me started. I prepared a 150ug tab with 15ml destilled water from the pharmacy in a chair probe tube (it was all they could offer lol) and took the first dose of 1ml yesterday. I definitely felt it in my body and mood. Also I was more present.
    One thing I didn’t get from your article, how to deal with the tolerance? From a chart and a formula I found, I conclude that the equal dose 3 days later would be about 18ug. Should I ignore that in micro dosing and stick to the 10ug every time or adjust accordingly?

  5. roxanne Cadotte Lawless says

    Hi, i have been microdosing LSD for he past 40 days and it really helped me lift the depression i was in. I am thinking of stopping microdosing because i feel way better.

    Should i stop microdosing LSD all at once or gradually ? I could not find an answer on the site.

    Please help me with this question.

    Thank you so much !