Let’s talk about microdosing.
Taking sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics (6-25 microgram LSD, 0.2-0.5 gram dried mushrooms, 50-75 microgram mescaline HCL), while maintaining your daily routine, playing sports, or performing any other activity, has been proven to increase mental capabilities as well as physical ones. Using psychedelics in this low-dose capacity, also referred to as psycholytic doses, doesn’t have the same effect as a hearty Terence McKenna dose does; psycholytic doses do not inhibit ego-functioning in the same aspect.
The author of Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad, James Oroc, conducted his own studies with microdosing and discovered “cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina were actually found to be improved.”
He goes on to say,
“Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD at psycholytic dosages believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities. According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your re- flex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel vision,’ and make you impervious to weakness or pain. LSD’s effects in these regards amongst the extreme-sport community are in fact legendary, universal, and without dispute.”
Oroco even suggests that, in some extreme sports subcultures, microdosing at any physical competition is regarded as cheating.
But what about in schooling? Would it be considered cheating if someone were to use microdosing to help themselves learn? P.G. Stafford and B.H. Golightly, authors of LSD — The Problem-Solving Psychedelic, wrote about a student who was attempting to learn German. This student made massive leaps and bounds under the influence of small doses of LSD. These are the student’s words:
“It was a week before registration and it depressed me tremendously that I had not spent the summer learning German, as I had planned. I had intended to give myself a crash course so I could take second-year German, which I needed for my study in physics. I had heard of a woman who had learned enough Spanish in a few days, via LSD, to speak it fluently when she had to go to Mexico on business.
I had taken LSD before, and while I couldn’t see how she did this, I decided it was worth a try. I hadn’t even gotten around to picking up a textbook, but I did have a close friend who knew German well and who said he was willing to “sit in” while I took the drug and try to teach me the language.
Fortunately, I knew something about conjugation and declension, so I wasn’t completely at sea. I wanted to get worked up and feel involved with the language, as it seemed that this must be at least part of the key to the problem, so I asked my friend to tell me about Schiller and Goethe, and why the verb came at the end. Almost immediately, after just a story or two, I knew I had been missing a lot in ignoring the Germans, and I really got excited. The thing that impressed me at first was the delicacy of the language (he was now giving me some simple words and phrases), and though I really messed it up, I was trying hard to imitate his pronunciation as I had never tried to mimic anything before.
For most people German may be “guttural,” but for me it was light and lacey. Before long, I was catching on even to the umlauts. Things were speeding up like mad, and there were floods of associations. My friend had only to give me a German word, and almost immediately I knew what it was through cognates. It turned out that it wasn’t even necessary for him to ask me what it sounded like.
Memory, of course, is a matter of association, and boy, was I ever linking up to things! I had no difficulty recalling words he had given me—in fact, I was eager to string them together. In a couple of hours after that I was reading even some simple German, and it all made sense.
The whole experience was an explosion of discoveries. Normally, when you’ve been working on something for a long time and finally discover a solution, you get excited, and you can see implications everywhere. Much more than if you heard someone else discovering the same-thing. Now this discovery thing, that’s what was happening with me—but all the time.
The threshold of understanding was extremely low, so that with every new phrase I felt I was making major discoveries. When I was reading, it was as though I had discovered the Rosetta Stone and the world was waiting for my translation. Really wild!”
With this information, we can see that small doses of LSD can really improve cognitive abilities! There was a study done by James Fadiman in the 1960’s that is still considered to be one of the most significant on this topic. In this study, Fadiman researched the effect of taking 100mcg of LSD when faced with long-term problems that participants were unable to solve. When the participants were finally able to present their solutions, they were reviewed by a panel of experts in the same field. What did the participants end up discovering? The Morning News’ Tim Doody answers that for us:
“LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties.”
Since psychedelics are “non-specific amplifiers”, it is not just creativity and cognitive function that are enhanced- the distressing states of the mind can also become more lively. However, in small doses this is not so overwhelming and can therefore be very beneficial.
In the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Myron Stolaroff wrote about the benefits of using psychedelics in meditation:
“The use of low doses often can be much more effective in dealing with our “psychic garbage.” Many do not care for low doses because they can stir up uncomfortable feelings, and they prefer to transcend them by pushing on into higher states, but it is precisely these uncomfortable feelings that must be resolved to achieve true freedom.
With low doses, by focusing directly on the feelings and staying with them without aversion and without grasping, they will in time dissipate. Resolving one’s repressed feelings in this manner clears the inner being, permitting the True Self to manifest more steadily. Such a result provides greater energy, deeper peace, more perceptive awareness, greater clarity, keener intuition, and greater compassion. It permits the deepening of one’s meditation practice. The surfacing of buried feelings that this procedure permits often can bring new understanding of one’s personality dynamics.”
Our potential for improving ourselves with microdosing (mentally, physically, and spiritually) is limitless. It is safe to say that everything in life is balance, so with the good must come the not-so-good. Luckily, the not-so-good parts of microdosing are managable, and worth the experience. So let’s take a look at the five categories of overall effects of microdosing so we can see both sides of the coin. These findings were gathered from a personal survey conducted, and first person reports via Martijn Shirp.
- More overall energy, like a psychedelic coffee. A buzzing effect.
- Being able to walk very long distances without tiring.
- Need of extra sleep at the end of the day, feeling more drained than usual.
- Sometimes an uncomfortable stomach feeling, heavy body load.
- More relaxed and better focus.
- More appreciation for little things.
- A resonance and openness by which world seems to invade more deeply and I have a more playful way of relating to this invasion.
- Anti-depressive qualities, improved mood.
- More patience.
- Personal issues are at times disturbing.
- Enhanced emotional clarity.
- Music is better, more persuasive in guiding inner states.
- Sometimes objects seem to glow, having an aura surround them.
- Time perception is warped.
- Enhanced sense of touch, smell and hearing. Sometimes synesthesia.
- More flow.
- A fuller awareness of the entanglement of ideas, a richer and seemingly higher overview and increased association.
- Comprehension of ideas is greatly enhanced.
- Increased awareness of universal connectedness, in a marvelous, enlightening and almost divine way.
If you want to be able to experiment with these states of consciousness in a safe and constructive way, I suggest following these guidelines from Shirp:
- Start out with a dose on the lower end of the psycholytic spectrum and record how you react to it. A microdosing regime that is too high makes you incapable of following your normal routine with the risk of staying in the limbo/coming up phase the whole time, which is neither beneficial nor trippy and can often be uncomfortable.
- Follow your normal routine, especially sleeping, eating, working and spiritual practice.
- Be conservative with consecutive doses. Building a tolerance is unlikely, but having a normal baseline improves integrity of action.
- Be discreet to whom you tell. Disinformation, stigma and prejudice are still mainstream.
“To make this trivial world sublime, take half a gram of phanerothyme” –Aldous Huxley
Written by Raven Fon