Microdosing – A New Way to Approach Psychedelics

Picture: Olga Kalinovskaya

“Micro-dosing turns out to be a totally different world. As someone said, the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day. ‘” – Dr. James Fadiman

Psychedelics, such as LSD, psilocybin and mescaline have been eye-openers, life-changers and life-saviours for many decades or even centuries. Being reported as one of the most important experience in peoples lives, trips on these substances illuminate, heal, support and remind. Usually this process of illumination and healing is encountered by low to high doses of the chosen compound, but in recent times a new way of using psychedelics emerges – microdosing.

Microdosing describes the use of a psychedelic in small, imperceptile doses, which show no significant signs of a usual psychedelic experience. It is said that Albert Hofmann, who discovered LSD in 1943, has been microdosing on the substance throughout many decades of his life, stating that this kind of usage is the most under-researched area in the field of psychedelic research. In 1976 Hofmann considered micro doses of LSD (10-25 micrograms) to be a great euphoriant and antidepressant and believed it could have also replaced drugs like Ritalin, a toxic and highly addictive amphetamine derivative used to treat ADHD. His positive presumptions seem to come true, for many people microdosing on LSD nowadays report that it helps them to improve the quality of their lives by giving them more energy, emotional clarity and enhanced creativity. Being both a stimulant and calming agent in low doses, LSD balances body and soul. Myron Stolaroff, author of many books concerning psychedelics (The Secret Chief, Thantos to Eros), describes the positive idea and outcome of microdosing as follows:

“The use of low doses often can be much more effective in dealing with our “psychic garbage.” Many do not care for low doses because they can stir up uncomfortable feelings, and they prefer to transcend them by pushing on into higher states, but it is precisely these uncomfortable feelings that must be resolved to achieve true freedom.
With low doses, by focusing directly on the feelings and staying with them without aversion and without grasping, they will in time dissipate. Resolving one’s repressed feelings in this manner clears the inner being, permitting the True Self to manifest more steadily. Such a result provides greater energy, deeper peace, more perceptive awareness, greater clarity, keener intuition, and greater compassion. It permits the deepening of one’s meditation practice. The surfacing of buried feelings that this procedure permits often can bring new understanding of one’s personality dynamics.”

Already in 1966 Stolaroff and Fadiman were part of a team performing experiments, in which psychedelics were examined for both visionary and analytic thinking. Test subjects (designers, engineers, mathematicians, artists, architects) were given relatively small doses of LSD (50micrograms) and mescaline (100 milligrams) to explore whether or not it improves creative problem-solving. The participants reported less anxiety, enhanced fluency and flexibility of thinking, increased focus, heightened empathy and motivation and an improvement of visual imagery.

Since the classification of psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs in 1966 – meaning they have a significant potential for abuse and no recognized medicinal value – all research had stopped, until a few years ago. Even though we do see a comeback of psychedelics in therapeutical research (including LSD and psilocybin for the fatally ill and mdma for PTSD patients), there are zero permitted experiments about psychedelics in connection to cognition and creativity, even less about microdosing. Due to this problem, an underground research by users themselves has been formed. Fadiman supports these self-experiments about microdosing by giving out information and guidelines, offering suggestions and collecting the results. For more information about James Fadiman, visit his official website. To those who are interested in microdosing, remember to dissolve your LSD blotter in distilled water, for chlorine neutralizes the effects of LSD. Also, the tolerance for psychedelics builds extremely fast, so consider a time distance of 3-4 days between two ingestions. Make reports and take care of yourself.

Next to all the positive feedback on microdosing, there is also negative and justified concern. Obviously the positive effects are undeniable, yet microdosing holds the sad risk of becoming psychological addicted to psychedelics. It is for us to decide, are these Gods really supposed to be crutches? What do we really learn from microdosing other than: “With LSD I’m clearer, happier, more focused, more open to wonder and magic… and without LSD I’m not.” ? Don’t ignore the brave warrior inside of you that wants to jump into the stormy, dark and deep oceans with all their heart and blood to illuminate the essence of it all. Don’t forget the mystery.