Blossom your mind with Microdosing
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing refers to the practice of ingesting small amounts of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, and well-being. This involves the regular use of either LSD or psilocybin, which is found in magic mushrooms or truffles. While hallucinogens often conjure up images of wild trips and intense experiences, taking sub-perceptual amounts offers potential benefits without that full-on high.
Origins of Microdosing
Used in various forms throughout history, psychedelics became particularly prominent in the 1950s and ’60s, as a treatment for mood disorders. Microdosing hallucinogens gained fame in the 2010s, thanks in part to the research conducted by American psychologist, Dr. James Fadiman.
The researcher showcased reports of positive effects across the board and combined his findings with advice on appropriate dosage and use. According to Fadiman’s strategy, the best results are achieved with 10 to 20 micrograms taken every three days, for an initial period of around a month. Fadiman’s research led to a surge in popularity in Silicon Valley, where tech workers lauded the drugs’ effects on output, focus and creativity.
Benefits of Microdosing
Aside from the increased productivity experienced by those in the tech industry, microdosing is thought to aid people from all walks of life. From homemakers to CEOs, advocates have reported the following benefits:
*Improved mood : Enhanced feelings of serenity and positivity, and diminished mood swings and irritability
*Better eating habits : Many users point to a specific decrease in coffee consumption
*Energy boost : More energetic, awake and prepared to take on the world
*Enhanced focus : Increased ability to concentrate on tasks for extended periods
*Greater self-esteem : Plus more ambition, motivation, openness and empathy
*Combating mental health issues: Reducing stress and alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety
*Side-effects : In general, no negative side-effects are experienced
A protocol refers to a particular schedule of microdosing, i.e., when to take the hallucinogen and how often. The most known protocol is, of course, the three-day-cycle developed by Dr. James Fadiman. However, other approaches are worth mentioning too, including ‘two fixed days a week’ and the ‘every other day’ protocol.
World renowned mycologist Paul Stamets created his own microdosing formula, known as the ‘stacking protocol’. This involves combining three substances: psilocybin, niacin, and the Lion’s mane mushroom, to achieve a positive and lasting effect.
The biggest drawback to studying this practice comes down to issues of legality. Scientists are unable to access such drugs easily and conduct clinical trials in the US and UK on account of the law, meaning much evidence is provided anecdotally. Nevertheless, plenty of research has taken place. Most notably, the recent study at London’s Imperial College, which became the largest placebo-controlled trial of psychedelics ever carried out.
Research lead Balázs Szigeti uncovered a definite boost in well-being across participants using microdoses of LSD. However, the same improvements were also experienced in the placebo group. In fact, to such a degree, that no statistical disparity could be claimed between the two.
Across the water in the Netherlands, where magic truffles are legal, trials are also underway into the effects of microdosing. A recent study, conducted at an event organized by the Dutch Psychedelic Society, revealed that both divergent and non-divergent cognitive performance improved after a microdose of hallucinogens.
With other studies across the globe indicating that microdosing could be useful in treating a range of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, addictions and PTSD, further investigation is needed to unravel its full potential.
While various compounds are involved in the practice of microdosing, the following two substances remain the most popular :
Psilocybin is the psychoactive component found in numerous species of fungi. In contrast to LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, or magic mushrooms, have been used by humans in spiritual and therapeutic contexts for thousands of years. Both mushrooms and truffles are generally consumed directly, either fresh or dried, or brewed as a herbal tea.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD or acid, is derived from the fungus ergot, which grows on rye and similar grains. First synthesized in 1938, LSD is crystalline in its purest form and broken down into a liquid that has no taste or smell. It can be swallowed directly or ingested when added to blotted paper, tablets, or gelatin squares.
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