LSD Microdosing Insights & Effects

FEATURED
December 19, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life
10 MIN READ

You might already know that desperate times call for uncommon measures. Perhaps you’ve considered altering your nutrition or trying acupuncture for stubborn allergies or persistent headaches. Similarly, living under emotional distress for a prolonged time can lead you to seek out a range of solutions to feel better. 

You’re probably familiar with LSD’s extreme popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s for its psychedelic effects. After that, it maintained a reputation as a drug with mind-altering components. 

But did you know some people are trying this drug in a new way? Let’s explore what it means to microdose LSD and why it’s becoming less taboo. Then, we’ll talk about what psychedelic drugs have to do with mental health treatment and how you can feel better. 

What Is LSD?

LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, and it’s a synthetic chemical that derives from the ergot fungus grown in rye. It’s in a drug class known as psychedelics, which means it contains mind, thought, and mood-altering properties in small doses. Taking more significant amounts of this drug typically leads to effects including hallucinations and an altered perception of time.

LSD has the nickname “acid,” and many describe their experiences under the influence of LSD as an “acid trip.” You may have also heard it referenced with street names such as “blotter,” “dots,” or “flash.”

Ultimately, repeated use of this psychoactive drug can produce hallucinogenic effects and lead to addiction. Still, we’ll explore how recent studies suggest that microdosing psychedelics under a medical professional’s supervision may have therapeutic uses. 

What Does LSD Taste Like?

One of the more popular forms of taking acid is in its paper form, which typically comes in small squares. Another way to take LSD is in liquid form or small pellets known as “dots.” 

In its liquid state, LSD has no apparent taste. When taking an acid tab, most people only taste paper. 

What Is Microdosing?

If you’re familiar with LSD, you’ll probably know it for its extreme mind-altering properties and trips that last for hours. How is microdosing LSD different?

Microdosing is a practice that began to rise in popularity with the expansion of the internet, along with psychologist James Fadiman’s book titled The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide about the potential for positive effects of regular, small amounts of LSD. Over the last two decades, LSD users have gained the ability to connect in chat rooms and share their experiences over forums. People began to unveil their stories surrounding microdosing and the beneficial effects they encountered.

How Does Microdosing Work?

So, how do you microdose LSD? You could think of microdosing as a concept similar to a power nap. It’s taking a tiny amount of a substance to experience mild positive effects rather than taking a full dose that would induce hallucinations and other psychedelic side effects.  

Those who microdose LSD to experience altered cognition do so by taking 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD, which is around one-tenth of the standard dose needed to get high. These micrograms affect your consciousness, mood, and motor ability by modifying the typical flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. Psychoactive substances can yield a rise in neural activity, causing your mind to be more sensitive to stimuli.

Some claim that by ingesting a small amount through microdosing LSD, they experience a boost in mood, motivation, and creativity. 

Is Microdosing Reliable?

Although many swear by the effects of microdosing LSD, some studies suggest it may not have the therapeutic properties many claim to experience. One blind study illustrated this principle by sampling participants who ingested either small doses of LSD or placebos.

Participants didn’t receive information about what kind of drug was being administered or what group they were in. Those who took part in the study received their microdoses or placebos during supervised laboratory sessions that spanned four to five hours. These sessions included emotional and cognitive tasks, which the participants would complete while under observation.

Afterward, medical experts monitored the participants during a follow-up session in which they had no substances in their system. The sober participants completed the same cognitive and emotional tasks to understand their behavior without LSD. 

The study’s conclusion found that microdosing LSD had little, if any, positive effect or benefits on those observed. Still, those who received a higher dose of LSD reported feeling a mild high, though other results were not obvious. 

You might wonder why many people report the benefits of microdosing LSD when research suggests it has little effect. Although this particular study showed insignificant advantages from microdosing LSD, experts still need to do more research. What we know right now is that taking low doses of LSD is not an entirely reliable option for improving cognitive function or mood. 

What Are the Dangers of Microdosing Alone?

By now, you’re familiar with the fact that LSD is a powerful psychoactive substance. If you’ve thought about microdosing drugs in this class before, know that it’s unclear whether there are serious risks to microdosing since experts in medical research still need more study concerning its effects. 

Still, let’s talk about some of the potential dangers that can surround regular LSD use. You’ve probably heard the term “bad trip” before, which refers to the unpleasant experiences of taking LSD. Since this drug can be highly unpredictable, you never know the exact outcome of what your experience will be when taking a standard dose. 

Purchasing illicit drugs can also include the risk of having mysterious contents laced into LSD. Because of this, many people experience “bad trips,” which can consist of extreme hallucinations, altered perception of space and time, paranoia, and psychosis, among other things. Though these risks may not be as prevalent with microdosing, it’s a good idea to know about the potential dangers of taking LSD in general. 

What Does Microdosing LSD Feel Like?

LSD is known for the effect of its trippy hallucinations, and taking high doses can cause a high that influences your physical, mental, and emotional state. But what does microdosing feel like? 

Although looking at more controlled research would be the most reliable option, we can look at anecdotal research to get an idea about what people self-report concerning their microdosing. Keep in mind that some research suggests microdosing LSD produces a placebo effect rather than legitimate results. 

These are some of the self-reported benefits that may result from microdosing LSD:

  • Reduced tension
  • Supported mood
  • Enhanced cognition
  • Increased creativity
  • Heightened senses
  • Supported sleep
  • Reduced ADHD symptoms
  • Improved energy levels

Are There Side Effects of Microdosing LSD?

By now, you’re likely getting the idea that we need more research to understand the potential impact of microdosing LSD. Still, we can see that microdosing psychedelic drugs without medical oversight may lead to experiencing some side effects, which are worth noting. 

These negative effects may include the following:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased libido
  • Increased aggressive tendencies
  • Physical or cognitive impairment

Since LSD is one of many drugs that affect the serotonin receptors in your brain, you’ll also want to remember the risks surrounding serotonin syndrome:

  • Shaking
  • Hyperthermia

Although taking LSD in large doses may accompany a host of risks, experts have yet to discover that microdosing is harmful or addictive. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind that LSD is an illegal drug, and even microdosing it may be considered misuse. 

Can Microdosing LSD Aid Mental Health?

We know that one of the reasons you might be seeking to know more about microdosing is to discern its connection to mental health. One survey from 2020 recorded the self-reported experiences of over 1,000 participants who microdose LSD. Among these, the study found the following: 

  • 2% microdosed to reduce or ease substance use
  • 7% engaged in microdosing to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety
  • 9% microdosed LSD to treat other various mental health conditions
  • 21% of participants noted microdosing to help treat their depression\

While people have self-reported this information, you may want to keep the placebo effect in mind. Until more research shows a direct link between microdosing LSD and mental health support, any connection between the two is primarily anecdotal. 

Still, you have choices if you’re seeking alternative options for mental health treatment. 

What About Other Forms of Psychedelic Treatment?

LSD isn’t the only psychedelic drug people are turning to for mental health support. In addition to microdosing LSD, many have also taken to microdosing mushrooms, psilocybin, and cannabis for symptom management.

Many people have also begun to see the benefit of trying alternatives such as ketamine treatment for depression. Even if typical anti-depressant medications and therapy haven’t provided sustained results, you’re not out of options. 

What Is Ketamine Treatment?

Ketamine treatment is an effective alternative that can help you manage the symptoms of depression. It’s a psychedelic substance that produces a short-lived subjective experience. Many who undergo ketamine treatment describe its effects as powerful and insightful. After the initial peak experience with ketamine, users can experience a sustained improvement in mood and life outlook. 

How Does Ketamine Feel vs. LSD?

Physically speaking, since ketamine is a general anesthetic, it can reduce sensations throughout your body. When talking about emotions, ketamine can cause you to experience a few different things.

Like LSD, ketamine may alter your perception of time and space. When having a monitored psychedelic experience with ketamine treatment, you may also feel as if you are in a detached, insightful space. Everyone’s experiences are unique, but many find ketamine treatment powerful and euphoric.  

Is Ketamine Treatment a Better Option Than Microdosing LSD?

Microdosing LSD consists of taking tiny amounts of this substance at your discretion. LSD is not only currently illegal, but it is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. Opting for supervised, medical ketamine treatments is generally a safer option.

Is Ketamine Treatment Legal?

Ketamine has been legal for medical use since the seventies. When you take this substance under the guidance and regulation of a qualified medical professional, its use is completely legal. 

Who Can Benefit From Ketamine Treatment?

Did you know that 40% of people who try SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) find them ineffective? This can leave many people feeling like things can never get better. Ketamine treatment is one more path to explore if you’re searching for mental health solutions that work for you.

Is Ketamine Treatment Safe?

Ketamine treatment is the safest when done legally under the care of a medical clinician. Recreational misuse of ketamine can lead to unsafe psychedelic experiences and physical side effects. 

What Are the Side Effects of Ketamine Treatment?

Ketamine treatment can provide meaningful depression relief for many people. Still, it’s important to note the potential ketamine side effects that may accompany usage for some people. 

These are generally mild and can include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Dissociation
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Double vision

How Can Nue Life Help?

Ketamine treatment with Nue Life is unlike any other ketamine treatment available. 

At Nue Life, we offer at-home ketamine experiences that are virtually supervised so you can have your treatment in the comfort of your home. 

We care about you as a whole person, and you’ll have a member of our medical team with you each step of the way. We offer all of this to help your brain form new neural connections and establish new thought pathways for mental wellness. 

The Bottom Line

Microdosing LSD might be the newest productivity and creativity trend in silicon valley, but it needs future research before being classified as safe or effective. If you’re looking for help with persistent depression, psychotherapy, prescribed medication, or supervised ketamine treatments are all safer options you can pursue to get on the road to mental wellness. 

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.

Sources:

Study of LSD microdosing doesn’t show a therapeutic effect | UChicago Medicine

Perceived outcomes of psychedelic microdosing as self-managed therapies for mental and substance use disorders | SpringerLink

Ketamine Side Effects: Physical, Mental & Long-Term Effects | American Addiction Centers

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