“Microdosing” on Psychedelic Drugs Gains Cult Following

Some people who use psychedelic drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms are routinely taking “microdoses” of the drugs, LiveScience reports.

The trend has gained a cult following among a small group of people, who say the tiny doses improve their perception, mood and focus, without the hallucinogenic effects of larger doses.

Martijn Schirp, who writes for HighExistence.com, says small doses are “like the coffee to wake up the mind-body connection. When I notice it is working, depending on the dosage, time seems to be slowing down a bit, everything seems covered with a layer of extra significance.”

Matt Johnson, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who has studied the behavioral effects of psychedelic drugs, says there is no scientific evidence about the effects of microdosing. He notes that while taking a smaller dose of a psychedelic drug is safer than taking a larger dose, there could be long-term side effects from regularly taking small doses every several days.

Johnson told LiveScience that psychedelic drugs activate a receptor in the brain that fuels the release of serotonin, the “feel-good” brain chemical. He said it is possible people using microdoses of psychedelic drugs are experiencing the placebo effect, in which people taking a dummy pill believe they are taking a real drug, and report perceptible effects.

Johnson noted that because LSD is an illegal drug bought on the black market, there is no way for a person to know exactly what they are getting. In addition, he notes there is substantial variation in how people react to psychedelic drugs.

“Someone might be expecting a kind of sparkly day, just a really productive day at work — and next thing you know, they’re grasping hold to their office chair wondering why the world is dissolving,” he said.

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    July 22, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Interesting how the Join Together staff writer carefully chose to use words/phrases like “cult following” , “magic mushrooms”, and “black market.” when describing this supposed phenomenon involving pyschedelics.

    Rather blatant attempt, in my opinion, to associate pyschedelics with supernatural practices (e.g. witchcraft, voodoo) in order to elevate the fear and hysteria level of the reader.

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    Jame Matter

    July 21, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    The article is rather short on actual facts. For those who believe they know what they’re getting, for example, how much is in a micro-dose? Back in the original hippie days, a hit of acid was 100 micrograms. During the acid renaissance in the nineties, it was 25-50 micrograms. Granted, in neither time were people 100% sure of what they were getting or how much, but SOMEBODY had an idea of what was going on– and there were reliable suppliers, if one knew where to look. Same for mushrooms. How much is micro? And are people using other substances considered psychedelic? If so, which ones? Similarly, how often are people doing this? Back in the heyday of acid, people who dropped frequently reported that it stopped being psychedelic and became more of a stimulant. So how does the effect of dosing (micro or otherwise) change when you do it once a week? Twice? more? And do people do this for specific effects, specific activities, just for random recreation? I’d love to know, but this summary is way too vague.

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    robert mauer

    July 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Micro-dosing sounds interesting, and I am not surprised there isn’t any scientific data about it. I believe there is a great deal to be learned about LSD and other psychedelic drugs. I think there is a lot of upside potential for their usage to help certain mental and behavioral problems. Ayahuasca, for example, is being used to help relieve addiction.

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