The practice of microdosing Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is growing in popularity, in addition to the attention mushrooms have received. One of the reasons for this, is that traditional psychiatric medications such as SSRIs have failed many people and have side effects, prompting millions of people to seek something that can improve their daily lives even if they have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Microdosing LSD involves taking small doses that do not induce psychedelic effects. A 2019 study found that 10 micrograms (mcg) was the most common dose, and most people who microdosed followed one of three protocols:
- taking microdoses for two consecutive days following two consecutive days of nondosing,
- taking microdoses Monday through Friday and none on the weekends,
- taking microdoses every other day.
Finally, it was concluded that most people engage in microdosing for periods lasting between 1 week and 2 years, and around half create their own protocols.
Effects of Microdosing LSD
Microdosing LSD should be what is called “subperceptual” meaning, that it will enhance the user's overall state of mind and physical wellness without interrupting their “daily” life.
In addition, it has been reported to help improve mental and physical health, as well as help healthy individuals make smarter choices about their diet and sleep routine. However, researchers have yet to establish whether microdosing LSD has any true health benefits, and most human studies exploring its use are considered unreliable as they rely on self-reported data from self-medicated subjects primarily through online surveys. Besides, some recent research suggests that the effect of microdosing psychedelics may actually be a placebo effect.
Despite the limited research, anecdotal evidence and preliminary research suggest microdosing LSD may have numerous benefits, such as:
- enhancing cognitive processes and abilities
- increasing energy levels
- improving emotional balance and mood
- reducing anxiety
- helping treat depression and addiction
- reducing pain
- improving migraine and cluster headaches
- reducing symptoms of attention deficit disorder
- enhancing self-care and senses
- improving cardiovascular endurance
- increasing sleep quality
- reducing sensitivity to trauma.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, researchers explored the use of LSD to treat:
- psychosomatic conditions
Are there any potential risks?
Current scientific knowledge suggests that LSD does not cause any short- or long-term damage to the body. The substance is completely metabolized and eliminated from the body within 24-48 hours, making physical overdose almost impossible. However, microdosing LSD, like any activity, is not completely risk-free.
One potential concern is that microdosing LSD may pose a risk to people with pre-existing heart conditions. Studies have shown that fenfluramine, when taken daily, doubles the risk of Valvular Heart Disease.
Fenfluramine binds to the same receptors as LSD and psilocybin, but the quantities used for microdosing are much lower in comparison. More research is needed to determine whether this potential risk applies to humans who microdose with LSD. Currently, the recommended microdosing protocols of 10 weeks, with a 4-week pause afterward, are considered safe for most people. However, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, it is advisable to avoid extended periods of microdosing, and consult with your doctor.