LSD microdosing: benefits, challenges, and the need for safer alternatives

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Microdosing LSD – Difficult to measure

LSD microdosing: benefits, challenges, and the need for safer alternatives

Microdosing LSD is taking low doses of the drug to boost creativity, mood, and cognition. However, LSD is likely to stay illegal as it can be difficult to manage in case of overdose. BioPharm is developing safer alternatives that have similar benefits but plateau at a manageable level of intensity. These products could improve the quality of life for millions of people.

LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug that can induce profound alterations in perception, mood, and cognition. It is usually taken in doses ranging from 50 to 300 micrograms (μg), which can produce effects lasting for 6 to 12 hours 1.

What is microdosing?

Microdosing is the practice of taking much smaller doses of LSD, typically between 5 and 20 μg, which are below the threshold of noticeable psychoactive effects 2. Microdosing is usually done on a regular schedule, such as every two or three days, with the intention of enhancing various aspects of daily life 2.

Benefits of microdosing LSD

According to anecdotal reports and some observational studies, microdosing LSD may have several benefits, such as:

  • Increased creativity: Microdosing LSD may enhance divergent thinking, which is the ability to generate novel and useful ideas or solutions 3. It may also facilitate convergent thinking, which is the ability to narrow down multiple possibilities to find the best answer 4. Microdosing LSD may promote neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize neural connections, especially in response to learning and experience 5.
  • Improved mood: Microdosing LSD may improve mood and well-being by increasing positive emotions, optimism, and life satisfaction 2. It may also reduce negative emotions, such as anxiety, depression, and stress 2.
  • Enhanced cognition: Microdosing LSD may improve cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving 2. It may also increase mental flexibility, which is the ability to switch between different mental tasks or perspectives.
  • Better relational skills: Microdosing LSD may improve social behavior and communication by increasing empathy, openness, and trust 2. It may also reduce social anxiety and enhance interpersonal connection 2.

Challenges of microdosing LSD

Despite the potential benefits of microdosing LSD, there are also some challenges and risks associated with this practice, such as:

  • Lack of scientific evidence: Most of the evidence for microdosing LSD comes from anecdotal reports or self-reported surveys, which are prone to bias and confounding factors. There are very few rigorous clinical trials that have tested the safety and efficacy of microdosing LSD in humans. The existing trials have shown mixed or inconclusive results . More research is needed to confirm the benefits and risks of microdosing LSD.
  • Legal status: LSD is a Schedule I drug in most countries, which means that it is illegal to possess, use, or distribute. This makes it difficult to obtain pure and reliable LSD for microdosing purposes. It also exposes users to legal consequences if they are caught with the substance. Furthermore, the legal status of LSD hinders scientific research and medical applications of the drug.
  • Adverse effects: Microdosing LSD may cause some unwanted side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, or mood swings 2. Some users may also experience psychological distress or paranoia if they take too high a dose or have a bad reaction to the drug. Microdosing LSD may also interact with other medications or substances, such as antidepressants or alcohol.
  • Tolerance and dependence: Microdosing LSD may lead to tolerance, which means that users need to increase their dose over time to achieve the same effects. This may result in taking higher doses than intended or more frequently than recommended. Microdosing LSD may also lead to psychological dependence, which means that users feel that they need the drug to function normally or cope with their problems.

The need for a safer alternative

Given the challenges and risks of microdosing LSD, there is a need for a safer alternative that can provide similar benefits without causing harm or legal issues. One possible approach is to develop analogs or derivatives of LSD that have lower potency or a ceiling effect on their psychoactive effects. This could prevent users from accidentally taking overdoses or experiencing unwanted side effects.

Another possible approach is to use natural or synthetic substances that have similar mechanisms of action as LSD but are less toxic or addictive. For example, some studies have suggested that psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), ketamine (a dissociative anesthetic), or DMT (a powerful psychedelic) may have therapeutic potential for various mental health conditions .

At Biopharm, we have been working on this project for a number of years. We are developing novel compounds that can mimic the benefits of microdosing LSD without the drawbacks. Our goal is to create safe and effective products that can improve the quality of life for millions of people.

References

  1. Passie T, Halpern JH, Stichtenoth DO, Emrich HM, Hintzen A. The pharmacology of lysergic acid diethylamide: a review. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008;14(4):295-314. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00059.x.
  2. Fadiman J, Korb S. The effects of microdose LSD on time perception: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019;236(4):1159-1170. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5107-y.
  3. Prochazkova L, Lippelt DP, Colzato LS, Kuchar M, Sjoerds Z, Hommel B. Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity in an open-label natural setting. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018;235(12):3401-3413. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5049-4.
  4. Zegans LS, Klinedinst MA, Jeong A, et al. Effect of psychedelics on divergent and convergent thinking: A pilot study with psilocybin and LSD. Conscious Cogn. 2020;85:103026. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2020.103026.
  5. Ly C, Greb AC, Cameron LP, et al. Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity. Cell Rep. 2018;23(11):3170-3182. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022.
  6. Anderson T, Petranker R, Rosenbaum D, et al. Microdosing psychedelics: personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019;236(2):731-740. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5106-z.
  7. Yanakieva S, Polychroni N, Family N, et al. The effects of microdose LSD on time perception: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019;236(4):1159-1170. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5107-y.
  8. Polito V, Stevenson RJ.A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics.PLoS One.Published online February 6,2019. doi:10/1371/journal.pone/0211023.
  9. Hutten NRW,Mason NL,Dolder PC,Kuypers KPC.Motives and side-effects of microdosing with psychedelics among users.Int J Neuropsychopharmacol.Published online May 23,2019. doi:10/1093/ijnp/pyz029.
  10. Szigeti B,Carter OL,Yeo AWY et al.Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing.eLife.Published online January 21,2021. doi:10/7554/eLife/62878.
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