Balance July 2018 - 41

A L I T T L E O F W H AT Y O U FA N C Y

of. It's virtually impossible to die of
an overdose of them; they cause no
physical harm and, if anything,
they're anti-addictive."
In 2018, the scientific community
is shining a spotlight back on LSD,
suggesting microdosing, according to
anecdotal evidence, increases creativity,
positive thinking, energy and wellbeing.
A microdose constitutes about a
10th of the typical recreational amount
found in the average acid tab, not
enough to experience a partial trip.
Some exponents have reported positive
outcomes, like relief of constant and
intermittent pain.

SMALL STUDY, BIG FINDINGS

According to Dr James Fadiman and
Dr Sophia Korb, over 1,500 volunteers
have followed their protocols for
microdosing, before submitting daily
mood reports and a longer, post-project
review for analysis. According to their
findings, "If you're experiencing visual
effects, you have taken too much." They
recommend a schedule of microdosing
one day, followed by two days without,
for a total of 10 cycles over 30 days.
At Psychedelic Science 2017, a
conference in Oakland, California,
Fadiman presented his findings
based on the experiences of the
first 418 respondents to his citizen
science project.
Three-quarters had chosen to
microdose to deal with depression, and
all felt an improvement. Those who
hoped it would help with anxiety found
this increased. However, individuals
suffering from anxiety and depression
enjoyed an increase in overall wellbeing.
There were no reports of lasting harm
and microdosing did not affect existing
medications. In fact, users even felt they

ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE SUGGESTS
MICRODOSING INCREASES
CREATIVITY, POSITIVITY & WELLBEING

July 2018 BA LA N CE

could reduce their prescriptions
and reported increases in focus,
tolerance, creativity, efficiency
and problem solving

A TRIP INTO THE UNKNOWN

Detractors point to a lack of accepted
scientific fact derived from approved
clinical trials, and suggest microdoses
could be combined to make up a full
trip-inducing dose - and one bad trip
could mean long-term psychosis. The
first two points are correct and the
third is a long-standing belief which
has persisted since the peak of LSD
usage in the 1960s.
The moral panic surrounding 'turn
on, tune in and drop out', which led to
LSD's UN ban in 1971, was driven by
tales of nightmares, some of which told
of people accidentally killing themselves
because of wild hallucinations. None
of these stories are backed by solid
scientific evidence but it is this negative
association which trumps positive
anecdotal evidence. Solid research is
precisely the sort of study Fadiman and
Korb hope to stimulate. And still, no one
knows why microdosing seems to be
good for you.
Neuropsychopharmacology research
into LSD's effect on brain chemistry is
increasing. In 2014, at University College
London, Dr Robin Carhart-Harris led
the UK's first scientific study of LSD
for more than 40 years. MRI scans of
subjects who had taken a 75mg dose,
or 5-6 microdoses, revealed previously
undetected brain activity, including
the visual processing system working
without direct input from the eyes (in
other words, hallucinations).
These are exciting preliminary
findings, but Fadiman believes there
are more microdosers outside his study
group who remain silent because of
the illegal nature of LSD. He's probably
right, and it will be many years before
LSD or other psychedelics are available
as mainstream treatments. But getting
to that point will certainly be one
hell of a trip. B

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance July 2018

Balance July 2018 - 1
Balance July 2018 - 2
Balance July 2018 - 3
Balance July 2018 - 4
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