"Microdosing" 101

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 07:19

Microdosing is a growing trend in which individuals take small amounts of certain substances, such as psychedelic drugs or plant-based compounds, in an effort to improve various aspects of their lives. In this blog, we will explore the concept of microdosing in more depth, the substances used for microdosing, and the potential benefits and risks associated with microdosing.

A ”Micro dose” usually involves taking 10% of the typical dosage, with the intention of experiencing subtle benefits without the full effects of the substance. It is most commonly associated with LSD or psilocybin, but it can also involve other compounds, such as ketamine, cannabis or ayahuasca.

Devotees believe that by taking small amounts of these substances, individuals can experience subtle changes in their perception and cognitive function without experiencing the intense and potentially overwhelming effects of a full dose. In particular, they are using it to help them manage depression and anxiety, increase creativity, improve focus and productivity, and even potentially help with ADD.  

At this time however, it’s important to understand that research into microdosing is still in its infancy and therefore the purported benefits are largely anecdotal. Preliminary findings have indicated that low doses of both LSD and psilocybin do have some subtle positive affects on cognitive and biological processes in individuals who are depressed which is believed to involve “changed connectivity” in the brain.

Here's a quick snapshot of each drug and what micro dosers are using them for:

  1. LSD - LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a potent psychedelic drug that is typically taken in larger doses to induce hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. Micro doses of LSD, are utilized for increased focus and creativity.
  2. Psilocybin - Psilocybin is the active compound found in magic mushrooms and is also a powerful psychedelic. Micro dosing “shrooms” has potential therapeutic benefits for conditions such as depression and anxiety.
  3. Cannabis - Arguably the most well known drug of the bunch, cannabis in small doses is utilized to achieve relaxation or pain relief.
  4. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, which is utilized in micro doses to help with anxiety and depression.  
  5. Ayahuasca / DMT - Ayahuasca is a plant-based brew that has been traditionally used in shamanic ceremonies in South America. Microdosing with ayahuasca is also used to help with anxiety and depression.

Potential Risks:

  1. Legal issues - Many of the substances used for microdosing, such as LSD and psilocybin, are illegal in most countries posing significant risk in procuring them.
  2. Lack of research - There’s limited research on the long-term effects (good or bad) of continual microdosing. And, none of these drugs should be treated equally. If psilocybin doesn’t have any negative health risks long term it doesn’t mean that ketamine or DMT / Ayahuasca won’t.
  3. Potential for addiction - While microdosing is typically done with the intention of avoiding addiction, there is still a risk that individuals may become dependent on the substance.
  4. Negative side effects - While microdosing with small amounts of a substance can lead to fewer side effects than taking a full dose, some individuals have reported negative side effects such as anxiety and paranoia.
  5. It’s still important to recognize that any drug procured illegally has the potential to be tainted with dangerous compounds like fentanyl.

Ultimately, while the preliminary data does show some promise, it’s strongly encouraged to wait until this practice is more thoroughly researched. Consider seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in brain chemistry and can help with above mentioned conditions like anxiety and depression as safely as possible. Another option would be to seek out a clinical trial. This way you skirt any issue with procuring the drug, dosing the drug safely, and purity of the drug.