FAQ on Microdosing
What is the history of the idea of microdosing?
Albert Hoffman suggested that taking 10-20 micrograms of LSD could have a positive effect on mental health and physical functioning. Preliminary reports indicated that this is often so. Robert Forte told James Fadiman about Hoffman’s suggestions and his own use. Fadiman then began to ask others about their experience using psychedelics in these extremely low doses.
Based on a series of individual reports, Fadiman then developed an early protocol for self-study for a variety of conditions and uses.
In part, because of media attention and individuals describing their own experiences, our research team has compiled and analyzed a large number of reports on a variety of substances and a wide span of conditions.
Phase I, to determine the value and impact of these substances on healthy people and on those with medical concerns across a wide range of substances, has concluded. We have published an informal report, “Microdose Research,” in The Psychedelic Press, V. 15, pp. 53-59 (www.psychedelicpress.co.uk). That report includes a partial list of conditions that seemed to benefit from a month long microdose self-study.
What if I want to microdose on a substance that is not mentioned here?
For other substances, if measured in micrograms, the same suggestions as for LSD; if measured in milligrams or grams, the same suggestions as for mushrooms. Keep in mind that the proper dose is between 0.05x to 0.10x of a normal dose. A dose that feels as if you are right at the edge of a psychedelic experience is too high.
Can I be a participant if I am taking medications or supplements?
Yes. You can continue on any medications you are currently taking, or change medications during the self-study period. The list of medications and supplements that people report to be taking without incident is here.
As far as we can tell, so far, these doses do not interfere with the effects of the medications or vice versa, although they may alleviate the symptoms or the underlying conditions for which you take this medication or supplement. If you have specific questions, please reach out to us, and we can try to assist you.
The one important exception so far to this is lithium, for which we have one possible interaction report. However we have other reports that found no problems with microdosing while on lithium.
SAFETY NOTE: This is not true of higher doses of some psychedelics, especially Ayahausca or any psychedelic containing an MAOI. These do affect medications and can be dangerous if used together. Please do your research and act cautiously.
Who shouldn't microdose?
We specifically do not recommend that people with colorblindness, who live with diagnoses of psychotic disorders or along the autism spectrum try microdosing. People with colorblindness report lasting visual distortions from microdosing. Literature suggests people with psychotic disorders may be harmed by psychedelics. In our experience, people with diagnoses along the autism spectrum seem to require dosages that far exceed what is traditionally considered microdosing.
Can I be a participant if I am pregnant?
In this phase of our research, we will not be accepting people into the study while pregnant. This is not because there is any evidence of any harm, but simply because this is not what we are researching.
The decision to use substances is one only you can make. The medical literature suggests that there is minimal harm that can arise from using psychedelics while pregnant. At the same time, pregnancy is a time when many people refrain from using many substances, even those that may be harmless. Any decision to use substances must be weighed against the potential harm of not using that substance. Please reach out to us if you would like to discuss this in more depth.
What do people do after ten cycles?
Some people just stop microdosing. Others, and this is more common, continue to microdose now and then, doing it when they feel it would be beneficial. A few continue with more cycles. We are only beginning to collect information about this important question systematically.