Since the 1940s, scientists have researched how the psychedelic drug LSD—or acid—can be used to treat ailments ranging from depression and headaches to alcoholism. Typically, such studies involve high doses administered in a strictly controlled lab.
Over the past five years, however, the psychologist Dr. James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, has been collecting accounts from people who have "microdosed" with it. They take, in other words, tiny quantities of the drug for up to a month with therapeutic, rather than hallucinogenic, results.
At THUMP, we stay tuned in to drug culture and how it pertains to nightlife, so I spoke to Dr. Fadiman to find out more about this treatment. This is the first installment in our new monthly column about drugs and nightlife, The THUMP Guide to Drugs, which also ran in the April issue of VICE magazine.
THUMP: What is microdosing? Dr. James Fadiman: Taking an extremely low dose of a psychedelic, from one tenth to 1/20th of a recreational dose. It has no psychedelic effects.
For those who don't know, what's the difference between microdosing and tripping? Tripping is at a higher dose. When tripping, you need to be very concerned about certain settings; it's helpful to have a guide. It has perceptual distortions, synthesia, dragons, and angels. Microdosing has none of that.
Is it safe? Microdosing is probably the safest possible way for people to use a psychedelic. What we've found in about five years of work and hundreds of reports is some people's stomachs can get a little upset, and others can get anxious, but that stops because the effect wears off fairly quickly.
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