What is Microdosing? Everything You Need To Know.

What is Microdosing? Everything You Need To Know.

Jun 26, 2024

Jun 26, 2024

Microdosing is the act of taking a very small dose of a psychedelic drug. It is typically LSD, but sometimes psilocybin (magic mushrooms), mescaline, or other exotic psychoactive compounds such as iboga or ayahuasca are used. The user will take this in small doses, typically 1/10th of a full dose, on a set schedule or specific protocol to boost creativity, productivity, and overall satisfaction with life. The effects of psychedelic medicines are usually considered to be sub-perceptual, referring to the fact that there are no perceptible effects.

Microdosing is not new to the psychedelic community, but it is gaining mainstream popularity. A network of psychologists and psychiatrists first utilized it in the early 1960s. Dr. James Fadiman and others conducted scientific experiments with microdosing LSD in Menlo Park and Silicone Valley, CA. Evidence suggests microdosing protocols were active throughout the development of the modern-day Tech Industry.

Even Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist credited for discovering LSD, was microdosed throughout much of his later adult life and lived 102 years of age. 

While it is not for everyone, microdosing definitely has its place in the world of health, wellness and alternative medicine. 

What are the Benefits of Microdosing Psychedelics?

So far, the evidence for the benefits of microdosing psychedelics has been obtained through citizen scientists. Most people report having a positive experience after taking psychedelics in small doses, especially improved mood.

Some scientific studies suggest that these substances can indeed enhance mood and cognitive function. For example, one study found that psilocybin-containing mushrooms improved the moods of cancer patients (1). In addition to enhancing mood, microdosing psychedelics may also improve cognitive function. One study found that LSD improved “divergent thinking” in healthy individuals (2). Divergent thinking is a type of thinking that allows for the generation of new ideas and solutions.

Another benefit of microdosing is the reduction of anxiety. A recent study published by the University of North Carolina showed an active dose of LSD reduced signs of anxiety and depression in laboratory mice (3).

Microdosing with LSD and Psilocybin Improves Creativity, A recent study showed that taking a small dose of LSD before completing a creative task resulted in more creative outputs (4). This finding builds on previous studies, which have also shown positive correlations between LSD and creativity. For example, a study conducted in the 1960s found that microdosing LSD increased creative activity (5). Another study published in the 1960s also showed a correlation between taking an active dose of LSD and heightened creativity (6).

New research shows potential physical health benefits such as improved sleep quality, increased energy levels, enhanced immunity, reduced inflammation, improved digestion, and reduced anxiety. Research is new and has not been fully validated or peer-reviewed because psychedelics are Schedule 1 narcotics by the DEA, and the approved research has been focused on mental health outcomes and not the quality of life applications.  As some psychedelics could get rescheduled or descheduled in the future, many feel the applications for microdosing will only continue to grow based on the reports coming from the experience of microdosers.

While additional research is being conducted for verification and validation, all indications show that routinely using small amounts of LSD or psilocybin can be an effective dose to enhance one's overall quality of life.

Potential Mood-Related Benefits

  • Improved and balanced mood

  • Fosters a more positive mindset

  • Increases emotional self-awareness

  • Strengthens empathy and emotional connection

  • Fosters a present state of mind

  • More openness with others

  • Increases sense of belonging and community

  • Encourages feeling a sense of oneness

  • Increases connection with life purpose

  • Increases gratitude for others and their contributions to your life

Potential Cognitive Benefits

  • Strengthens brain neuroplasticity

  • Improves concentration and focus

  • Helps access and maintain the flow state

  • Increases creativity and productivity

  • Improves analysis and problem-solving ability

  • Supports better decision-making

  • Limits the inclination for procrastination

  • Increases mental resilience

  • Brings balance to stressful periods

Potential Physiological Benefits

  • Improves sleep

  • Allows for more physical energy

  • Enhances sensory perception and awareness

  • Increases the likelihood of making conscious choices about health and well-being

  • Reduces premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

  • Can lessen or alleviate stuttering

  • Assist to help to quit smoking, relationship with alcohol and other substances

How to Begin Microdosing?

Psychedelics are scientifically shown to offer therapeutic benefits for those struggling with mental health issues, but these drugs can be daunting for first-time users. Microdosing is a way to reap the benefits of psychedelics without having a full-blown trip. Here's how to begin microdosing.

Many people are interested in microdosing but don't know where to start. So here's a quick guide on how to begin microdosing.

First, you must figure out what substance you want to use for microdosing. LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are the most popular choices, but there are also other options like DMT and iboga root. Once you've decided on a substance, it's time to research and determine the appropriate dose.

Start by taking a very small dose of your chosen substance, about 1/10th of a standard therapeutic or ceremonial amount. See how you feel after taking this small dose before increasing your dosage. If everything goes well and you don't experience any adverse effects, you can gradually increase the dosage until you find the perfect level for your bio-individuality.

DIYECS Health and Coach Michael specialize in helping individuals choose the appropriate psychedelic substance for microdosing and have a practical methodology to ensure proper dosage. To learn more, please schedule a confidential consultation.

How To Incorporate Microdosing Into Your Life? 

Starting a microdosing regimen can be daunting - especially if you're not sure what to expect. This section provides some tips on how to begin. While this list seems basic, implementing all strategies will take time and self-discipline.

Microdosing Tips

  • Get your medicine from a trusted source and always test it

  • Start low and go slow. Less is usually more.

  • Set your intention.

  • Follow a specific protocol to start.

  • Document and journal.

  • Add new routines to your lifestyle or remove unhealthy habits.

What Is A Typical Microdosing Schedule?

The Fadiman Protocol

Named for Dr. James Fadiman, it is one of the most well-known microdosing schedules and involves taking a minimal dose of LSD (or another psychedelic drug) at a specific interval.

His protocol involves microdosing every third day: On Day #1, you microdose, and on Days #2 and #3, you refrain from dosing. This pattern is considered a "cycle" and can be repeated with another microdose starting the following day (day four). Fadiman recommends this pattern because he has realized that many microdosers feel a two-day "window" of effects, sometimes described as an "afterglow" in which the benefits linger into the next day.

Many people have self-reported that the Fadiman Protocol enables them to feel more creative, energetic, and present in their everyday lives. If you're interested in trying microdosing, the Fadiman Protocol is a great place to start, but I encourage you to document your journey by tracking your dosage days, amounts, and time of ingestion.

The Stamet's Stack

The Stamet's Stack combines magic mushrooms (psilocybin), lion's mane, and niacin (vitamin B3), taken in microdoses, that are thought to increase their effectiveness. While niacin can cause an uncomfortable warm feeling called the "flush," it is proven to help molecules cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Paul Stamets, the scientist accredited for this microdosing routine, suggests taking the stack in a weekly cycle of fours day on and three days off. Advocates of Stamet's Stack say that it can help treat various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. Some people also claim that it can improve creativity and boost cognitive performance.

Intuitive or Instinctive

This form of microdosing is known for its nonscheduled approach. As the name suggests, you dose intuitively, with only one primary rule: you always take at least one day between the days you microdose. Once individuals follow the Fadiman or Stament's Stack microdosing protocol for one or two cycles often switch to a more instinctive method of microdosing.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Most people have positive experiences when microdosing. But it is key to ensure you have the proper dosage. On rare occasions, people report drawbacks to microdosing; usually, these effects occur when the dosage is too high, or their routine lasts too long. The drawbacks of "over" microdosing can include:

  • Potential “high” or hallucinogenic effect if the dose is too high.

  • Fatigue (partially due to increased neural activity or more life activity)

  • Tolerance (needing more of the substance each time to get the same effect)

  • Mild nausea. Ginger or activated charcoal may help.

  • Body temperature fluctuations and increased sweating.

  • The process of learning new insights, perspectives, boundaries, and levels of consciousness can be challenging without proper support.

What are the Risks of Microdosing Psychedelics?

While generally viewed as safe, there are a few potential risks when using psychedelic medicines. The main risk to "normal-healthy" individuals is the raising or lowering of blood pressure. We strongly suggest you monitor your blood pressure when starting the practice of microdosing to be aware of any changes. If you have a known blood pressure issue, we highly recommend not beginning the practice of microdosing until your condition has been evaluated by a healthcare professional.

One segment of the population, those with red/green colorblindness, may want to avoid microdosing. While there is no scientific-backed data, anecdotal information suggests that those with colorblindness have "tracers" or "trails" in their vision when microdosing. For this reason, microdosing may not be suitable for individuals with Deuteranomaly.

People prescribed anti-depressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs need to speak with their healthcare professional before beginning a microdosing protocol. These classes of pharmaceuticals change the way our bodies utilize and produce serotonin. It is unclear whether microdosing will affect the way these pharmaceuticals work. Because of this uncertainty, it is recommended that you speak with your prescriber if you are on any of these types of medications.

Lastly, if you suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or another psychosis disorder, microdosing at this time is not recommended. While some anecdotal evidence suggests specific kinds of macrodosing in very specific situations can be beneficial, the science suggests microdosing can lead to mania and trigger unfavorable outcomes.

Potential Risk Groups

  • Individuals with abnormal or sensitive blood-pressure

  • Individuals with red/green colorblindness

  • Individuals on SSRI or SNRI (antidepressant medication)

  • Individuals with certain psychiatric disorders

Final Thoughts On Microdosing

After researching the effects of microdosing psychedelics, it's clear that there are many benefits and a few risks associated with this type of self-experimentation. Microdosing can improve mood, creativity, and focus but can also negatively impact specific individuals. 

If you are not in a risk group, microdosing is generally considered safe, and the impacts on your life can be drastic and impactful. While it is true that you may experience a few mild adverse side effects, these generally subside after the first few days of dosing. 

Therefore, microdosing psychedelics is a great way to explore the benefits of psychedelics and get a feel for their effects without having to take massive doses and have mind-altering journeys. If you'd like to learn more about microdosing and how to set up an effective routine based on your lifestyle, please schedule a complimentary call with Coach Michael or a member of the DIYECS Health team.

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© 2024 by DIYECS Health - All rights reserved. 

© 2024 by DIYECS Health - All rights reserved.