Users report different benefits of microdosing LSD or mushrooms. Some report higher levels of energy, or an increased mood. Others feel more creative, productive, or are more apt at problem solving. There have also been reports of users using microdosing for other goals, such as sports.
In my experience, different users experience different effects. Some of the things stated below might not be true for you, or at least not on every occasion.
Microdosing for Energy and Mood
When microdosing one of the most common benefits, is a change in your energy levels and mood in general. The effect is often subtle; it might not make a big difference, but you can feel a slight change. It’s also different from a caffeine rush, or sugar high, in that it doesn’t have ups and downs. To me it feels like a persistent source of extra energy.
It might be easier to focus on the task at hand, to stay concentrated for a longer period of time, and to maintain a higher level of productivity. While many people report similar feelings, I have noticed that this extra energy does not come from nowhere. After microdosing, I do require a good night of sleep to catch up. Perhaps a microdose enables you to summon more energy, but, naturally, your energy stores need to replenished afterwards as well.
Another benefit of microdosing can be that it helps to improve your overall mood. You might feel more empathetic, more connected to the people around, more social, and other people might find you to be “fun” to be around. It can also instill in you a sense of gratitude and general appreciation of the things around you.
As Dr. Fadiman reports in his book: “People are saying, ‘After a month or more of microdosing, I’m eating better; I’m nicer to my kids; I’m not as upset when people behave badly.”
Unsurprisingly, Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, actually suggested that the biggest benefit of LSD would be as an ephoriant or antidepressant when consumed in small dosages.
Microdosing for Creativity and Problem Solving
One of the most promising benefits of microdosing is the potential for increased creativity and ability to solve (complex) problems.
A famous study conducted on LSD centered around giving subjects with real, complex, and unsolved problems, 100 mg of LSD to see if it could help them solve their issues. The thing that makes this study so noteworthy is that the volunteers were experts in their fields, working on hard sciences, and had problems that remained unsolved for many months (or longer).
After taking LSD and forming potential solutions under influence, the results would then be analyzed by a group of peers. The results of the study, to me, were nothing short of astonishing. The volunteers developed a range of solutions after their psychedelic experience, concluding that: “LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems.”
Although these volunteers used a normal dosage in the study, user reports also point to increased creativity and problem solving skills, even whilst on a microdose.
Obviously it won’t be the same experience as with a normal dose, such as the volunteers in the above study were using. But, anecdotally, it seems to be easier to reach the right mindset for creativity, to enter a state of “flow” and to hold on to this feeling a little longer.
For me this seems to be the main benefit of microdosing as well. I’m not more creative or productive in an absolute sense, but it easier to enter the right state of mind for creativity and to hold on to it longer. And this is not only for the day when I’m taking a microdose. The day after is just as good in many ways.
Microdosing for Spirituality and Emotions
When taking psychedelics a common feeling is that of ‘enlightened’ spirituality, or a feeling of interconnectedness. Feeling closer to the universe, or, in general, to the things around you. With a normal dose this feeling can be quite intense, but users report that with a microdose this feeling is still there, but more subtle. Personally I would describe it as an increased awareness and feeling of connectedness and presentness.
While on a microdose it also seems to be easier to achieve certain emotional states. Not only related to mood (happier, more social), but also to feel more connected, grateful, and appreciative.
Or, as Dr. Fadiman writes: “One man was saying, ‘I’m so much more in the present. I used to, even when I was enjoying something, really be thinking about what I was going to do when it was over and so forth. Now when I’m doing something, I’m actually doing it.’”
For me the feeling of ‘presentness’ is something that is clearly noticeable. It’s not as profound as when taking a full dose of psychedelics, but it feels more like a sense of calm that also exists when meditating.
Microdosing for ..?
While mood, energy, creativity, and spirituality are the most common reported benefits, there might be other areas as well.
One that interests me personally is the use of psychedelics within sports. James Oroc, for example, chronicles the intersection between the drug-using culture and newly found extreme sports in the 70s and 80s. He describes how at the correct dosages, LSD can improve reflex time, balance, concentration (“tunnel vision”), and increase resistance to pain and weakness.
Perhaps it has to do with the increased awareness of yourself or your surroundings, but anecdotally there is some benefit of sports on LSD. As far as I’m aware there is only one self-reported, famous case of psychedelics use and professional sports, that of Doc Ellis. In 1970, Ellis threw a no-hitter while (self-reportedly) on LSD. As he recalls:
“I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the [catcher’s] glove, but I didn’t hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters, and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes, I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn’t hit hard and never reached me.”
This is of course an extreme example, but it might be worthwhile to experiment with microdosing while doing sports. Unfortunately, not many people have reported findings on this.
Different users have different results. Some people experience the above effects, to others it might not be directly noticeable. I know in broad lines what I can expect when taking a microdose, but each day is a little different.
Since little research is being done on psychedelics and microsing, interested users should find out the benefits of microdosing themselves. Microdosing might not be useful for all occasions, but with a little trial and error you can find what benefits it offers you. Interested? Check out our guides on microdosing magic mushrooms, microdosing LSD, or some pointers on self-experimentation.