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Not Sure About Psychedelics? Try Microdosing

"Microdosing psychedelics helped me lift a veil of hopelessness that gave me a chance to create new neuropathways and disrupt the catastrophizing looping that occurs with OCD."

That's a quote from a real person who received amazing relief from her OCD by microdosing.

When people talk about life-changing experiences from psychedelics and plant medicines, they are usually discussing macrodosing -- taking a fairly large quantity of a psychoactive substance in order to have that unique psychedelic experience of seeing images and shapes and colors, as well as journeys to other places, and a pathway to healing past traumas.

But macrodosing is not the only way to use these medicines. In fact, there is a growing body of (mostly anecdotal) evidence that shows the many benefits of microdosing -- consuming very small amounts of the medicine. With microdosing, you can get many of the "brain" benefits of the medicine without getting the "psychedelic" experience.

What are some of these psychedelic medicines? Psilocybin, Ayahuasca/DMT, LSD, mescaline, MDMA, and Ibogaine. In terms of microdosing, most people do so with psilocybin or LSD (mainly due to availability).

People are microdosing psychedelics to help deal with anxiety and depression -- while others are doing so for an increase in productivity, to enhance perception, to sharpen focus, deepen levels of creativity, to foster spiritual growth. Most of the success stories with microdosing are self-reported and anecdotal, but more quantitative research is being conducted.

The idea behind microdosing is to encourage an increased state of perception and calm, rather than going into a hallucinating state. Thus, microdosing is taking a minuscule dose of the medicine... so small (typically about a tenth of the full dose) that you will not have any hallucinations of even feel high.

Do you take daily vitamins or supplements for your health? Think of microdosing as a daily supplement for your spiritual and mental health, but also one that you don't take every day -- as most people typically microdose in flights.

As always, before attempting anything new, such as microdosing, do your due diligence and research and consult with trusted professionals before diving into the experience.

Advantages of Microdosing Versus Macrodosing

If you have ever taken a macrodose of a psychedelic medicine, you know much goes into the experience. First, there is the preparation -- including diet, intention, and setting. Then there is the time commitment to the experience (including the recovery). Finally, there is the need to surrender to the medicine -- to totally let the mind go where the medicine take it. (For those who have not done psychedelics, surrendering is probably the hardest part for most people. With microdosing, you:
  • Remain in complete control
  • Have no hallucinations or visual effects
  • Control the schedule -- taking the microdose in the morning, afternoon, or even before bed
  • Have low risks for having any mental or physiological reactions
  • Can carry on with your normal daily routine
  • Get to try psychedelics gently before deciding on a macrodose journey
  • Have minimal commitment/changes required to diet, routine
  • Can experiment with days on/off and dosage
  • Do not have to spend as much time integrating, as with a macrodose
  • Typically much lower costs than macrodosing

Effects of Microdosing

People report all sorts of positive effects from microdosing. From my personal experience, microdosing psilocybin left me in a more relaxed state, but never anything more than that; LSD, on the other hand, pushed my thinking and creativity to superb levels.

Anecdotal reports say some of the benefits people receive from microdosing include:

  • Increased optimism, positivity, joy
  • Sharpened focus
  • Enhanced empathy and access to heart
  • Greater sense of openness, lightness
  • Increased emotional and mental maturity
  • Better levels of energy and productivity
  • Augmented problem-solving
  • Reduced anxiety, stress, depression
  • Decreased negative self-talk
  • Heightened sensory perception
  • Deeper connection to authentic self
  • Amplified creativity, mental alertness/clarity
  • Decreased destructive tendencies
  • Improved memory
  • Lessened focus on pain
  • Increased sense of spiritual connectedness/awakening

How to Microdose

The key to microdosing is using the medicine in flights -- though experts disagree about the exact timing. The reason for microdosing in this manner is to avoid building up a tolerance to the medicine.

The most common method is 1 day on and two days off (the Fadiman Protocol), with the idea that the first day you are at the full dose, the second at half (as the dose wears off), and the third is a break -- before you start the regimen again. You could also try 4-5 days on, then 2-4 days off.

Another option recommended is one week on, then the next week off. Or, the Work Week Method of five days on, two days off.

Whichever method you choose, most experts suggest sticking with it for about a month before making any changes to the dose or scheduling.

It also makes sense to start keeping a journal when you start microdosing, making note of feelings, concentration, creativity, etc.

Refer back to your journal and your experiences and in future months consider changing your dosage and/or timing.

As you move forward with your microdosing journey, you may eventually taper off completely, take a prolonged break, or simply microdose during specific times, as needed.

Final Thoughts on Microdosing Psychedelics

As with any foray into self-medicating, especially with psychedelics, you should have specific intentions for what you want to accomplish with microdosing -- and take actions beyond the medicine to affect the positive changes you seek.

One recent trend with microdosing is doing so in preparation for a full-on psychedelic journey. The idea is that you build trust with the medicine by microdosing it first; then, when the time feels right, you can schedule macrodose journey with confidence, knowing the medicine works well for you.

Finally, while microdosing has many benefits, please remember that these medicines are still mostly illegal and cause for arrest in large parts of the U.S. -- though that is slowly changing through the decimalization movement. The other issue is sourcing -- and, again, because these substances are illegal, the sourcing from underground suppliers carries a certain amount of risk unless you are completely sure of the reliability and purity of the medicine you are purchasing.

Find your medicine. Heal.


Additional Microdosing Resources


EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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