Last update May 3, 2017 This is for information purposes only and not medical advice. Be sure to educate yourself about exactly what you’re doing before you take any substance.
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing means consuming a small amount of a psychedelic substance – usually LSD or psilocybin – not to ‘trip’ or substantially alter consciousness but rather to enhance the experience of day-to-day life.
A typical ‘microdose’ is a tenth to a twentieth of a normal dose – somewhere between 5-20ug for LSD. It is meant to be sub-perceptual or almost sub-perceptual, meaning you barely notice or just notice it.
I first learned about microdosing after hearing James Fadiman on the Tim Ferris Podcast.
Fadiman is a psychologist and writer and was part of a team who conducted early studies on psychedelics and problem solving back in the 1960s.
More recently he has been conducting informal studies on microdosing. Participants around the world – who already have access to their own psychedelics – microdose and report their findings to him.
Partly due to this, microdosing has recently seen a resurgence in popularity and even has its own subreddit.
What is 1P-LSD?
I microdosed with 1P-LSD (1-propionyl-lysergic acid diethylamide) which is an analog of regular LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).
1P-LSD acts as a ‘prodrug’ to LSD, which means it is sold in an inactive form and, if consumed, converts to an active form in the body. 1P-LSD is structurally different to LSD, but the effects are the same.
I followed a protocol of one microdose every other day for about 30 days.
This post is a summary of my experience and observations. Overall I found microdosing to be beneficial for energy levels, mood, productivity, time usage and creativity. It made the experience of life more enjoyable in general and improved both ‘work’ and ‘play’.
You can also read about my more conventional experience tripping with 50ug of 1P-LSD
As I mentioned, a standard microdose of LSD is between 5-20ug (micrograms). Here’s what I noticed about different dosages:
Below 10ug – Not really noticeable in effects, maybe a tiny tiny bit.
10ug – The minimum I would take for a microdose to be effective – this was the amount I used most days.
15ug – Quite a noticeable (positive) difference from ‘normal waking consciousness’. However sometimes verging on too noticeable and not really a microdose anymore.
I didn’t microdose with any higher than 15ug, considering I had a reasonably intense experience with only 50ug.
I’d say once you get up to above 20ug it’s too noticeable to really be called a microdose anymore and you’re just mildly tripping.
Here are my observations from microdosing:
Microdosing improves energy levels
While microdosing I had consistent, high, and stable energy levels. For the most part this was also combined with:
- Adequate sleep
- A daily green juice
- Regular caffeine intake of about 1-2 coffees/day
- A generally healthy diet
Normally my energy levels are pretty good. But while microdosing with 1P-LSD there was a noticeable increase in the amount of energy and its stability throughout the day.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, since there are certainly some stimulant-like effects of a normal-high dose of LSD. It makes sense that these effects would be noticeable to a lesser degree on a microdose.
Microdosing heightens sensory perception
While microdosing I noticed slightly heightened sensory perception, in particular the sense of touch.
For example feeling the hot sun on my skin is more noticeable, or the rush of the wind when driving my bike. Music also seems to sound better and is more enjoyable to listen to.
While microdosing, physical sensations you normally find pleasant are slightly more pleasant. Things you normally find enjoyable are slightly more enjoyable.
This often means that…
Microdosing improves your mood
Microdosing caused me to generally be in a better mood – very slightly but still noticeably. This is probably due to a combination of all the other positive effects described here.
When you’re in a good mood, you often perform better in life and things seem to ‘go your way’. That puts you in a good mood, and it creates a self-reinforcing cycle.
There’s something else though that is hard to put into words –
The first day I tried a microdose, I was walking on the treadmill at the gym and I looked out the window at the parking lot (parking lot!) and found it somehow slightly beautiful. The sun was shining a tiny bit, and I was hugely grateful just for that little bit of sun.
Life in general just seems a little bit more beautiful – ordinary things are slightly beautiful and beautiful things are more beautiful.
Microdosing allows you to ‘get out of your own way’
One of the biggest things I notice about microdosing is that it seems easier to “get out of my own way”.
There is less pull of distraction and less over-thinking. Although I am pretty disciplined already, on a microdose doing what I should be doing just seems way more appealing than anything else.
And if you buy into the same woo-woo stuff that I do – the best way I can explain it is that microdosing makes it easier for the flow of the universe to come through you.
If a strong trip of LSD gets you closer to being one with the universe (and a very strong trip gets you to completely be one with it) then a microdose gets you slightly closer than you would normally be.
You are slightly more in touch with everything and slightly less blinded by the illusion of separateness and the feeling that you are an isolated ego. You are slightly more connected to the totality of everything and to whatever that ‘everything’ is manifesting through you.
This was my experience, at least.
Microdosing reduces anxiety
This was a more minor effect but I noticed a reduction in anxiety while microdosing. Big worries seemed less worrisome and small worries disappeared completely.
Things in general just felt ‘lighter’ and less serious, like there was less need to be concerned. Again this was minor, but still noticeable. I imagine that microdosing could be effective for reducing social anxiety as well.
Microdosing improves focus and concentration
Microdosing seems to improve focus and concentration – it’s easier for me to work without getting distracted and to concentrate on the things that are important. This is related to what I said above about ‘getting out of your own way’.
On occasion I found some similarities with the effects of modafinil, but much less intense. This was generally with higher doses of 1P-LSD (~15ug) and when combined with caffeine.
It also seemed easier to enter states of flow, and easier to stay in them. Flow states while microdosing were more frequent, longer lasting, and easier to maintain.
One day I microdosed about 15ug in the morning, and was on a plane flight throughout midday. In the airport and on the plane I felt the incredible urge to write – I wrote a bunch in the airport and had to stop to board the plane.
I was in the window seat and my laptop was in the overhead compartment, and rather than get up to get it I just started typing on my phone – banging out thoughts and ideas for about 40 minutes straight without looking up. In this instance in particular the 1P-LSD seemed very similar to modafinil.
Microdosing improves creativity
While microdosing ideas seem to come to the surface more easily and in greater numbers. There is better flow of ideas, and I also felt like I was able to understand ideas better and more easily.
This translated to greater problem-solving capacity, because solutions to problems are just ideas. And as I mentioned, flow states come about more easily, which often corresponds to creativity.,
Microdosing makes for better time usage
While microdosing I was able to make better use of my time.
In general there was less time wasted than usual and it seemed easier to get on to the next thing I was supposed to be doing. I had several “perfect” days where there was no time wasted at all and I got every single thing I wanted to done.
It seemed easier to follow a routine completely, and to have full days packed with efficient action and manage to do it all without forgetting anything.
In general it was easier to “stay on top of things”, even when I had a lot going on.
Microdosing side effects?
There were no side-effects that I’ve noticed, except on two occasions during the 30 days where I experienced a very brief (<1 minute) but relatively intense headache. I don’t know if this was due to the microdose or due to something else – but the reason I noticed it was because I don’t otherwise get headaches.
Even if this was caused by the microdosing (I don’t know) two headaches in 30 days – lasting in total probably under two minutes – in terms of side effects this is pretty minimal. I’ll definitely take that in exchange for the benefits.
Combining Microdosing 1P-LSD with Modafinil
On two days of the 30 I took 10ug of 1P-LSD along with modafinil. One day it was roughly 112.5mg of Waklert (generic armodafinil) and one day it was 200mg of Modvigil (generic modafinil).
I didn’t notice much different from a normal modafinil experience. I think the strength of modafinil is such that any effect of a microdose isn’t really noticeable. That was my experience at least, I did only do it twice.
For more on modafinil check out 7 Tips to Get The Most From Modafinil.
Summing up the microdosing experience
While my experience with microdosing was overwhelmingly positive, I don’t want to overstate the benefits. With all the things I listed here, it might seem like a ‘cure-all’ or ‘magic pill’ that makes everything amazing. I should emphasize that while all these areas were improved, it was only slightly.
The best way I can summarize the experience is that microdosing – rather than enhancing one area of life a lot – enhances all areas of life a little bit.
Just a little bit in many areas – and cumulatively this makes for a pretty large increase in quality of life overall.
More on Psychedelics
Can We Derive Values from Psychedelic Experience?
Psychedelics, Personality Traits, and Values: A Closer Look at the Research
Mystical Experience & Psychedelics: Meaningful, Measurable, Life Changing
How to Have Mystical Experience: A Research Based Guide
How Psychedelics Take Us Back to The Garden of Eden
Do you have any thoughts or questions on microdosing? Have you ever tried it yourself? Post a comment below to let us know what you think.