Microdosing has only become popular in the last five years, so there’s little scientific data on best practices.
While tech workers microdosing LSD for a productivity hack may have earned the practice mainstream attention, microdosing has come a long way since then.
These days people from all walks of life are microdosing mostly for mental health reasons and it’s no longer limited to LSD or mushrooms. A variety of drugs can be used to microdose with positive effects.
LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are probably the most common choices for microdosing, but many drugs - including less obvious ones like DMT or mescaline - can be microdosed too.
This article will detail 5 of the best drugs to microdose.
What is microdosing
There’s no scientific definition of microdosing, but generally, it means taking a sub-perceptual dose of a drug. Usually 1/20th to 1/10th the usual dose of a drug. Sub-perceptual means you don’t perceive any obvious effects.
Microdosing is normally done a few times a week over a period of time. There are a number of different dosing protocols, including 5 days on/2 days off, 1 day on/2 days off, etc.
Microdosing benefits and risks
The amount of scientific evidence of the benefits from microdosing are quite thin. Most studies conducted are by self-reported surveys and questionnaires, meaning any benefits reported must be taken with a grain of salt.
Some studies suggest that the beneficial effects of microdosing are simply down to the placebo effect. Read more about that here.
However, the most commonly reporteed benefits are:
- Boost in mood
- Decrease in anxiety
- Reduced cravings
- Enhanced focus
- Emotional regulation
- Improved confidence
- Improved relationships
- Increased optimism
While there is little scientific evidence for the benefits of microdosing, when it comes to larger doses of psychedelics, there is growing amounts of research proving positive effects.
Psilocybin in particular appears to help promote the growth of new brain cells, making it a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other related conditions.
Although they’re not common, some people do report negative effects from microdosing, including:
- Increased emotionality
- Disrupted sleep
Best drugs to microdose
Common microdose: 0.01–0.3 g of dried mushrooms, 0.5-2g of truffles
Microdosing psilocybin usually involves consuming dried mushrooms or truffles that contain psilocybin. You can eat it straight, in the form of shroom chocolates, or by taking capsules containing ground-up mushroom powder.
You shouldn’t experience any hallucinatory effects, but you might notice a feeling of lightness or being in a flow state.
Common microdose: 10–20 micrograms
Similar to psilocybin in some ways, but also very different in others. Microdosing LSD tends to increase focus and energy as opposed to psilocybin’s more curious and creative flow state.
Making a LSD microdose can be tricky. Some people try cutting up tabs but volumetric dosing is probably best. This is when you dissolve LSD in a mixture of un-chlorinated water and/or vodka before measuring your doses with a syringe or dropper.
Common microdose: 0.1-3mg
It may not be the most obvious choice of drug from microdosing but low doses of THC can have useful effects like an increase in focus, creativity and verbal recall.
There isn’t much research on this, but low doses of THC have been shown to reduce cravings and pain.
Simply taking a puff on a joint or vape, or eating a low-dose edible, will give you a THC microdose that won’t make your eyes red or affect your short-term memory. Be careful to start slow so you don’t get more stoned than you intended.
Common microdose: 0.5–1.0 mg
Known as the spirit molecule, DMT is a potent hallucinogenic that can take people on other-worldly trips. When microdosed, however, DMT can give users a sense of calm confidence and optimism.
DMT can be vaporised, smoked in a pipe, or snorted.
Common microdose: 1g dried Peyote, 3–5 g dried San Pedro
Found in the peyote and san pedro cacti, mescaline is a powerful hallucinogenic at high doses. When microdosed, it can improve focus, mood and general outlook on life.
Microdosing is a new phenomena and there’s no manual on how to do it best. Citizen scientists (and psychonauts) are out in the field experimenting with microdsoing in everyday life and getting real-time feed back before sharing their discoveries online.
In a world suffering with a mental health crisis, microdosing may offer a unique way to reduce suffering and to heal. And it’s not just psilocybin and LSD which could help.
Have you experimented with microdosing? What substances do you find help you?