LSD for Breakfast #3
The Microdosing Edition
Hello, and happy New Year! For the third edition of LSD for Breakfast I have focused on microdosing. This technology has had such a big impact on my life and I am excited to share some of my thoughts and insights on this topic.
For this newsletter, I want to shout out the Microdosing Collective (https://www.microdosingcollective.org/), an organization of leaders in the psychedelic movement devoted to supporting the mental health of all people through the healing power of psychedelics. Join the movement now!
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The mission of the Microdose Collective is to develop a legal policy regulating microdosing psychedelics for use as a wellness supplement without needing a guide present.
The Microdosing Collective wants to create momentum around changes to state and federal policy to support the legalization of microdosing, starting with psilocybin.
We recognize that microdosing supplements are already sold in many jurisdictions worldwide, yet most of the commerce is unregulated.
We believe every human if they wish, should be able to access microdosing medicine in a trustworthy and safe manner with vetted and lab-tested products.
Deciding to Microdose
Let’s start with a statement of fact. You don’t have to be a Silicon Valley CEO or a self-proclaimed biohacker to microdose. This technology can be beneficial to anyone regardless of their profession or business. It is, however, essential to remember that even though anyone can microdose, this technology is not necessarily for everyone.
Imagine a world where everyone was more productive, more in tune with their feelings and the feelings of others, and more in sync with their environment. Envision a world where you can simply go online or to your local health food store and buy commercially made microdosing supplements, just like Ginkgo Biloba or Vitamin C. The store clerk can provide you with detailed information about doses and protocols. Utopias like this sound nice, but the reality is that society is not quite there yet, and probably will not be for some time. Using this technology, you are an early adopter, a citizen scientist experimenting with a radical new technology. Like any scientist, you will have to ask probing questions, observe and record observations and continuously reevaluate and redirect your experiment, if necessary. Your research will define this new technology.
If you choose to microdose, it is more than just taking small amounts of psychedelics. To gain the full benefits of microdosing, your mental state has to be aligned. You need to be willing to listen to yourself and be acutely aware of all the subtle changes you experience while microdosing.
In the psychedelic community, there is much talk about intention. Have a reason to microdose or do anything else, and set a purpose before you start. People often fail to discuss that no matter what intention you set, unpredictable results come from the psychedelic experience. Microdosing is a technology that adapts to a situation, explained another way. Psychedelics are an intuitive medicine. It often helps to fix problems we had not even perceived or knew needed repairing.
With all that said, it is crucial to have an intention. It can be as simple as “I want to try microdosing to see what it does,” or you could make your intention much more complex or zero in on a specific aspect of your work, mental state, relationship or anything else in your life. Whatever you do, don’t worry if your intentions differ from your results because one of the essential parts of setting an intention is accepting the outcomes, even if they are not the same as where you started. Psychedelics will always teach us the lessons we need to learn, not necessarily the ones we want.
The two main reasons people microdose are for improved mental performance and mental health, but it is not limited to that. Some of the most common benefits reported when microdosing are improved mood, better sleeping habits, better eating habits, less need for caffeine, and increased productivity and creativity [ref]. However, before we get too far, it is important to state that this technology will not give you superhuman abilities. For example, you can’t microdose and sit on the couch, expecting to become a millionaire or instantly cured of depression, action matters.
When you put improving mental health and improving cognitive performance on a spectrum, they are very similar. Microdosing technology is initiating a very similar change in your mental state. If you are feeling depressed or your mental health is in a low condition, microdosing could help to bring you back to “baseline” or standard. Although I hesitate to use this term, what is “normal” anyway? If your mental state is at baseline, microdosing could increase your mental state to initiate more creativity, heightened productivity or better problem-solving ability.
One way to explain the meta effect of this technology is that it helps to shift your mindset into a flow state. While the flow state can be elusive, based on the current literature, microdosing technology can allow humans to access a flow state. Based on the needs of a particular individual at the time, this flow state may help to solve a complex problem or allow someone else to focus on positive aspects of life while negating the negative ones. While flow states come in all shapes and sizes and are a very individual experience, the neurochemical foundation of the flow state is psychologically similar.
Remember how we talked about intention? The “why” we determine may not be the immediate improvement in our life. Be open and accepting of making a change in whatever form it comes. Remember that psychedelics are an intuitive medicine and will teach important lessons that we may not even be aware we need to learn. Regardless of the outcome, it is good to have a defined reason before experimenting with microdosing technology. We often stick with something when we have a goal or a defined set of outcomes. If you microdose, you will get results.
The Future is Bright
My name is Ivan, and “I microdose.” There, I said it is in print, and I can’t ever take it back. It may be a simple thing to state, especially now, but since I started microdosing in 2010, I have told only a handful of people. I was always nervous about the stigma that would come from admitting, almost daily for the last decade, I have been under the influence of a psychedelic substance, however slight. Would it affect my career? Would people think of me or treat me differently?
I started microdosing in 2010. I was studying in London (UK), and during Easter break, I visited my friend doing his MBA at Oxford. He gave me an incredible tour of the entire campus which ended at the Eagle Pub. This pub has been an institution of academic inebriation for centuries and steeped in legend. For example, Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, used to drink there.
While there, my friend told me the story of Wasson and Crick, who first announced the discovery of the DNA double helix at the Eagle in 1953. We were sitting in the same pub almost 57 years ago when Wasson and Crick made their announcement! I became enthralled with this story, and when I got home from Oxford, I started to research the discovery of DNA. While researching, I had my own eureka moment, undoubtedly minor compared to the discovery of the structure of DNA, but for me, it was a revelation. In August 2004, shortly after the death of Crick, the Daily Mail published an article titled: “Crick was high on LSD when he discovered the secret of life!” the article stated,
“Crick… often used small doses of LSD, then an experimental drug used in psychotherapy to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD, not the Eagle's warm beer, that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.”
The moment I read those two sentences, my mind started racing. Small doses of psychedelics led to one of the 20th-century discoveries and a noble prize. What could it do for me? What could it do for others?
While living in London, I was fortunate to be part of an incredible community of people well-versed in the use and history of psychedelics. I lovingly refer to them as the psychedelic intelligentsia of London. Through this connection, I obtained a bottle of LSD, which was sitting in my fridge when I read the Daily Mail article. Suffice it to say, I started microdosing that day, and what ensued was one of the most intensively creative times I had ever had. I saw immediate, tangible results in my academic work, mental state and emotional intelligence. Microdosing worked. As a scientist and a human, I was convinced.
Since then, for almost a decade, I have experimented with microdosing a variety of substances, sometimes a bit random, but other times using a variety of exact protocols. I don’t have a Nobel Prize (yet), but I have built a remarkable life. A career at the cutting edge, I live in a beautiful city and am surrounded by incredible friends who are all more intelligent than me, which is essential.
With yet another resurgence of psychedelic awareness and research, the time is right for me to start sharing what I know about microdosing technology. So while I am now, and always will be, a humble student of all things psychedelic and still have so much to learn, I hope what I have learned in the last decade, particularly about microdosing, will help others.
Microdosing is simple but not easy. It is simple because once you have picked your protocol and dialled your dose, it is like taking daily supplements. However, the information on microdosing is sparse, and very little is contained in academic literature or a “how-to” format for a general audience. Because of the lack of “how-to” information about microdosing, it requires you to learn about this technology yourself, interpret the data and apply it to your situation. Not easy.
Remember that you are an early adopter of this new and potentially revolutionary technology. You are a citizen scientist. You are the cutting edge. Have fun, be safe, and share what you learn with your friends, family and the world.
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