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    Scientists are studying the possible benefits of ‘microdosing’ LSD at work


    Can taking very small doses of psychedelic drugs like LSD or magic mushrooms help you work better?

    That’s the premise of a trend known as “microdosing” that has become particularly popular in places like Silicon Valley where advocates claim it can help boost creativity, focus and productivity at work.

    It may sound like a dubious excuse to take mind-altering drugs at your day job but the trend has some interesting advocates. Some have used the drug-taking technique to successfully treat depression and mental illness.

    Despite its growing popularity, the supposed benefits so far have been purely anecdotal — but that’s about to change. A new scientific study is set to conduct patient trials to see if there really are cognitive benefits from taking small but regular hits of LSD.

    Today, UK-based think tank The Beckley Foundation, which was set up to pioneer research into mind-altering substances, and the Imperial College London will launch what is being described as the first ever placebo-controlled trial of microdosing.

    How does microdosing work?

    Users typically take about one-tenth to one-fifteenth of a regular dose, meaning they avoid any hallucinations while still getting some of the effects of the drug.

    Australian Steve McDonald, founder of the non-profit group Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine believes workers can gain real benefit from the practice.

    “Research shows that the classic psychedelics tend to shut down or minimize activity in some parts of the brain which are related to controlling sensory input. As you can imagine, at any moment there’s a massive amount of sensory input coming in,” he previously told News.com.au.

    “If we were aware of it all, and trying to process it, it would overwhelm us, but at a very low level, psychedelics enhance your attention and capacity to process information, and hence they’re useful for boosting creativity and work performance.”

    Where did microdosing come from?

    The idea was first developed by the father of LSD, Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann. He originally developed the drug as a medicine with positive health benefits and saw microdosing as a way to achieve this.

    Microdosing has been gaining traction in recent years through the promotion of researcher Dr. James Fadiman, who has been investigating the effects of psychedelics on creative problem solving since the 1960s.

    Since then the idea has gradually grown in popularity. According to Rolling Stone, Fadiman receives a “steady, consistent stream” of feedback from professionals in the San Francisco area looking for ways to become more innovative.

    “Microdosing has helped me come up with some new designs to explore and new ways of thinking,” one mid-20s tech start-up employee told the magazine back in 2015.

    “You would be surprised at how many people are actually doing it.”

    Due to the illegality of LSD, a conventional study would be too difficult to conduct. So study leader Balazs Szigeti said patients involved will be in what he called a “self-blinded” study.

    Speaking to The Guardian, he said participants will be made up of people who already partake in microdosing during work. The researchers — who admitted the study was “unusual” — are keen to see how much of the reported benefits are from a potential placebo effect.

    “The people who microdose right now are not an average random set of people from the street. They are very likely to have used psychedelics before and have preconceptions about them,” Szigeti said.

    “You are doing something novel and exciting and that you believe in — and you know you are doing it. It is absolutely no surprise that you are getting a positive effect.”

    The study participants will either take what they usually use in a capsule or an identical dummy capsule instead, without knowing which one they have taken.

    During the study, they will complete questionnaires and tests and play cognitive games online, and only at the end will they learn which they were taking.

    The study is small and will rely on the participants not to take any doses outside the trial period but researchers hope that if the findings prove interesting it could pave the way for larger and more conventional studies to be conducted into psychedelic microdosing.

    https://nypost.com/2018/09/03/scient...g-lsd-at-work/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 30-01-2019 at 08:01.
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    Microdosing ibogaine

    "My experience with heroin went from age 14 up to age 30, and taking ibogaine was as close to a miracle as I have ever experienced in my life."

    Patrick Kroupa is an ibogaine treatment expert. Having developed a heavy dependence on heroin early in life, Patrick was one of the first participants at the Healing Visions experimental treatment center using ibogaine to detox in 1999. He went on to work with Dr. Deborah Mash at the University of Miami and eventually began providing ibogaine treatments in the early 2000s. He co-authored the first (and only) paper ever published on microdosing ibogaine.

    Kroupa is a well-known and outspoken advocate for ibogaine. His work has been featured in magazines like Wired, Forbes, Time, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and he’s made regular appearances in television and film.

    How did you first hear about ibogaine, and what led you to eventually work with it to the extent that you have?

    I was active in these hacker meetings called TAP, which stood for the Technological Assistance Program. It was actually this initiative by Abbie Hoffman in the 60’s, and it was mostly about phone phreaks. Phone phreaking was basically taking control of the phone systems, and there were different things you could do. It gradually transitioned into hacking during the late 70’s, early 80’s, as computers became available.

    Anyways, I went to these meetings because I was one of the hacker kids. I knew absolutely nothing about counter-culture politics, what the 60’s were, who the fuck any of these people were at all. They were just like these really old weird people who were at these meetings and they were always smoking a lot of pot, and it was exciting. Through that I was beginning my experimentation with a lot of different mind-altering substances, including heroin.

    And that was when I first heard about ibogaine.

    I didn’t do it back then because it was impossible to get and it sounded like the textbook definition of snake oil. It’s like this mysterious substance from a far off land that only a very few people have ever done, and it will magically cure any kind of drug addiction that’s ever existed. Um, ok sure.

    As years went by, we did this start up called MindVox, which was actually the first internet access provider in New York City. We went online in ’91 and we opened to the public in ’92. And basically it blew up. Everything positive that you can think of was happening in my life. It was like I had successfully turned being a participant in this strange subculture into an extraordinarily successful company that was right at the cusp of this whole explosion called the internet.

    My problem was at that point my personal life was kind of falling apart. I fell in love, I got married, and my wife at the time went from being very intense and exciting to being borderline schizophrenic and having psychotic breaks. I was 22 years old at the time. Essentially, my drug use got out of control and I developed a very heavy habit. At that point in my life, to be honest, I was extraordinarily grateful to heroin. It was like the superglue that held my entire life together and made it possible to continue. I mean everything was just falling apart and heroin fixed that.

    When you first get a habit and start doing heroin all the time, it makes everything in your life perfect. Food is better, sex is better, all of your relationships are better, and nothing bothers you. But it doesn’t last.

    So time passes, and the honeymoon ends. Then I started all my different attempts at detoxing. I tried literally everything that was available at the time, and we’re talking about the 90’s at this point. I tried ultra rapid opiate detox, twice. It did not work. I mean it worked in the sense that you wake up and you’re clean, but you’re also sick as fuck. You’re fiending. The only thing in your head is, “I gotta get the hell out of here, go get some dope, and get straight.” And that’s what I did.

    I tried a lot of different tapers. I tried methadone to taper down. I tried methadone maintenance. Spread across all the years, I spent probably half a decade on methadone. I was in the very early clinical trials for buprenorphine. All substitution therapies work in the sense that they provide some stability to your life, but none of them actually solve your drug dependence issues.

    I was friends with this guy name Fred Gotbetter – who had a cool name but he never did get better. He ultimately died. But at the time, I would be sitting in the shooting gallery with this guy and we’d be banging up. We both had really heavy habits. And then he’d vanish and come back a few days later, and he wouldn’t have a habit. It was like this guy who’d be banging up 5 to 8 bags all at once, he would come back and he’d do a bump and I’d see him get all fucked up. I remember asking, “How are you doing this? What the fuck are you doing to detox?”

    He said, “Oh, I’m doing ibogaine.” And basically that was the start of me trying to connect with ibogaine to reset my habit.

    So, to make a long story short, I tried to get it. I knew about Howard Lotsof, and I started talking to him. He was no longer able to provide treatments in Panama at that time, and was dealing with a lot of his own health issues. This guy named Bob Sisko ultimately turned me on to Dr. Deborah Mash, who had been granted permission by the FDA to do clinical trials on ibogaine.

    I ended up going to Healing Visions on the island of Saint Kitt’s, where I met Deborah Mash. I was one of their very first patients when I took ibogaine. There were medical people all around me, and it was the weirdest environment I have ever done a psychedelic drug in. For the first half hour or so I was in withdrawal. It felt like my spine was being smashed in a vice. I would be hot and sweating, and then freezing. I wanted to jump out of my skin. And all of that just kind of faded out. It was like being suspended in this ocean of warm energy. After about 30 to 45 minutes, that’s it, my habit was gone.

    Were you able to kick your habit after just a single experience with ibogaine?

    Quite honestly, for me it took 2 experiences. After my first experience I was clean, but as soon as I got to an airport in San Juan, Peurto Rico, I went and copped heroin. When I did that bag, this is a terrible thing to say, but at the time it was fucking awesome. It was like, “Oh yeah, this is why I started using heroin in the first place.” I could really feel my drugs for the first time in a decade.

    So after that, I went back for the next round, and I took ibogaine a second time. What was different this time was that I understood what ibogaine could do for me. It could absolutely clean me up. But I still needed to process all this stuff in my head, how I was living, own my shit, and move onwards.

    My aftercare plan was to immediately travel to live in an ashram just outside of Bangkok for 3 months. It was a really beautiful experience for me. It was completely different from any drug treatment program I had ever been to. I wasn’t surrounded by people telling me that I was diseased and flawed. I was just welcomed by a bunch of people who were extremely accepting and gave me a lot of unconditional love and support. It’s very hard to find that in the real world – there really was no judgment, there was no shaming you for your drug use.

    I got back to the States and was hired by Deborah Mash, and I ended up at the University of Miami’s Department of Neurology.

    Is this around the time you developed the low-dose ibogaine protocol for MAPS?

    I was working at the University of Miami at the time, but the protocol was not associated with them in anyway whatsoever.

    The whole microdosing thing started because I was doing underground treatments. I was basically helping out my friends who were strung out. What I noticed with a lot of junkies – and I don’t mean that pejoratively, I was a junkie and I identify with that label – a lot of drug dependent individuals don’t like to trip. They don’t want this whole huge avalanche of emotions and things that they’re supposed to process. They prefer very gradual slow changes.

    I first started microdosing myself because any time I felt cravings I would just do a really small dose of ibogaine. I don’t need to do an entire flood dose. I can just do 50mg, I can do 100mg, and you know what? The whole world is suddenly different. I feel good, all the cravings have gone away, and it’s a beautiful day today – why don’t I just go to the gym and not worry about shooting dope? What I discovered is that this worked for people who were actively doing drugs, so you could microdose down somebody’s habit.

    Ibogaine potentiates whatever molecules you’re taking, which is where you gotta be careful and take very small doses. And it decreases tolerance. So if you don’t want to take a flood dose, you can take microdoses spread across days or weeks at a time. Your habit will eventually decrease down to nothing, until you literally have the option of just stepping out of your drug dependence.

    It’s really hard for me to judge what anyone should be doing with themselves. I don’t believe everyone on earth needs to be clean. There are people who have chronic pain management issues. There are people who just have a tremendous amount of trauma. I’m more coming from a harm reduction/benefit maximization kind of paradigm. Whatever you want to do, here are the tools to make your life better. Microdosing with ibogaine can accomplish that for people who are drug dependent.

    At the time I was working for Deborah and I understood the basics – like how do you collect data, how do you do research, how do you document whatever it is that you’re doing? And that was the inception of the protocol. I worked a lot with Hattie Wells who is currently with Amanda Feilding at the Beckley Foundation, and we had one paper published by MAPS back in 2003 and the microdosing one we published in 2005. Publishing the work with MAPS was kind of seminal because that was the first publication about ibogaine microdosing.

    I don’t believe everyone on earth needs to be clean. There are people who have chronic pain management issues. There are people who just have a tremendous amount of trauma.

    Do you think anyone considering microdosing should be subject to the same kind of safety screening as someone who’s going to do a flood dose?

    Here’s the thing, I personally have never encountered adverse events from microdosing in myself or anybody that I’ve ever worked with. But that’s not to say it isn’t a valid concern, because when you keep microdosing, it essentially builds up in your body. Eventually you’re going to hit a state where it feels like you’re doing speed, at which point you should slow down and give it a rest for a couple of days before doing more of it.

    But in my opinion, yes. You should get your liver function checked, you should get a comprehensive metabolic panel test, basic bloodwork, and get an EKG – make sure your heart is okay. I would basically say to take all the same precautions that you would take if you’re going to do a flood dose even though you’re probably not going to have any problems.

    I’ve microdosed ibogaine because I want to enjoy my work more that day, or I want to have a good workout, or quite honestly because sex is great on small doses of ibogaine. But you’re not supposed to say that.

    We’ve been talking to a lot of people who’ve been involved with the ibogaine movement in different ways, who have differing perspectives on if and how it should be regulated in a medicalized framework. What are your thoughts on this?

    Well personally, I’m a libertarian and I tend to believe that if there’s anything on earth that I actually own, it’s the body that my consciousness resides within. It isn’t the government’s business what molecules I choose to attach to my receptors. I don’t want to live in a nanny state, or country, or whatever.

    But there’s a dichotomy between what my heart says and what my head says. Coming from my heart, everyone should have the freedom to do whatever substances they feel like they need to experiment with at any point in time, in a safe environment. From the head though, I think that without medicalization, without working within pre-existing regulatory frameworks, as annoying and tangled up as all of that might be, ibogaine is going to get shut down country by country. Instead of being a treatment that’s available for people who need it, it’s going to be driven underground and stay there. The most recent example of this is in Italy, who just banned ibogaine.

    On the obverse, you have Dr. Bruno Rasmussen Chaves working with it in Brazil; you’ve got New Zealand, you’ve got Canada. In Canada their response was amazing. They had a problem with an adverse event, so ibogaine got put on some watch lists; then they had another problem with an adverse event, and their response was to make it a prescription medication, which was awesome. So the reality is that now it’s a prescription drug, and if you want to do it in the underground you can go ahead and do that anyways, it’s not like the underground suddenly vanishes.

    I’ve microdosed ibogaine because I want to enjoy my work more that day, or I want to have a good workout, or quite honestly because sex is great on small doses of ibogaine. But you’re not supposed to say that.

    In countries where ibogaine is legally available, treatment can cost several thousand dollars. Recognizing that drug users sit at the intersections of the most marginalized and disenfranchised populations, how might the regulation of ibogaine impact its accessibility to those who need it the most?

    With the scenario right now, you can either afford high-end treatment or you’re on your own in the underground. So what if you’re poor? What are your options?

    The whole point with medicalization is, well, you have insurance. If you don’t have very much money, unless Trump destroys it, you have Medicare. If ibogaine is medicalized then insurance is going to pay for treatment. That’s the whole end goal. All these people who don’t have a hope in hell of ever coming up with a few grand to go to a high end clinic, and are otherwise left with information they pick up on the internet, where a typo can kill you, medicalization would make ibogaine available to this entire spectrum of people. So that would be a good thing, in my opinion.

    And no, it will not be absolutely ideal, I personally don’t want to trip in a medical environment. But having said that, as a medical procedure to end your drug dependence and reboot you, safety would be the primary concern.

    Within the context of society as a whole, having worked with ibogaine for roughly twenty years, and the perspective that comes from becoming an old guy whose been alive for nearly half a century at this point and has worked with hundreds of drug dependent individuals, it seems like the rational and reasonable [thing] to do. Make it available to anybody who needs it because obviously what we’ve got right now isn’t working. America is in the midst of the worst drug epidemic in history. As of 2017 the leading cause of death for people under the age of fifty is OD’ing on drugs.

    What would you recommend to anyone who might be considering taking ibogaine?

    Just do some research. There’s a large mountain of information available. And by research I mean don’t just go to a bunch of treatment sites whose content is mostly generated by marketing departments plagiarizing somebody else’s work which they don’t actually understand. Check out Erowid, check out the old ibogaine MindVox website, check out the non-commercial stuff, check out what ICEERS and GITA have to say.

    As with any substance, do the best that you can to educate yourself about what you’re going to take and what to expect. That’s really about it. Ultimately, getting clean is taking responsibility for your own actions. You gotta drive the bus, you can’t just get on the bus for the ride. You’re gonna have to figure out your own recovery, your own path through life, so just get as much information as you can. Everybody’s going to do whatever they’re going to do anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to have as much knowledge as possible before taking action.

    https://www.psymposia.com/magazine/patrick-kroupa-hacker-ex-heroin-junkie-microdosing-medicalization-ibogaine/



    Last edited by mr peabody; 04-01-2019 at 03:36.
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    These are the up- and downsides of my one-month experience microdosing LSD

    The concept is simple: take a sub-perceptual dose of an entheogenic substance every few days. Why not every day? The body quickly builds up a tolerance against psychedelics,
    and taking a dose every day would diminish the effects over time. Currently, James Fadiman’s microdosing protocol is considered the gold standard of microdosing.

    Microdosing of various entheogenic substances such as LSD, Psilocybin, Mesclaine, and others made its way into all kinds of different fields of application. Some people are actively treating their mental diseases, others are using it to boost their creativity and productivity, and some are exploring it out of curiosity and other interests. But why is there such a momentum for microdosing in this particular time? I sallied out to learn more about potential reasons.

    Microdosing of various entheogenic substances such as LSD, Psilocybin, Mesclaine, and others made its way into all kinds of different fields of application. Some people are actively treating their mental diseases, others are using it to boost their creativity and productivity, and some are exploring it out of curiosity and other interests. But why is there such a momentum for microdosing in this particular time? I sallied out to learn more about potential reasons.

    Unlike the recreational use of entheogenic substances, with microdosing you’re not supposed to feel any psychedelic effects. “If you’re taking a microdose and you’re feeling a little high, you’ve been taking a little too much.”, says Fadiman. The actual goal is to stay under the perceptual threshold. As I am using LSD as the substance of choice for this experiment, I’ll refer only on the particular information and handling of this substance. If a full recreational dose of LSD is 100 micrograms, a good first try for a microdose is 10 micrograms. From there on, the dose can be tweaked until the user has found their personal optimum and feels comfortable.

    LSD is usually distributed on so-called blotters. These are small strips of paper onto which LSD has been applied in its previously liquid form. Let’s say one blotter contains 100 micrograms of LSD (very important side note: always try to test your substances to be sure that you’re a) exposing yourself to the substance you intend to do and b) to know the actual amount of substance contained). Because cutting such a tiny blotter into 10 even tinier equal pieces is a challenge for most people’s fine motor skills, the easier method is dissolving the blotter in distilled water (see the headline picture).

    Dissolving a blotter containing 100 micrograms of LSD in 10 millilitres of water, leaves you with a simple ratio of 1 milliliter water = 10 micrograms of LSD. Medical syringes are convenient tools for withdrawing precise amounts of liquid from a bigger container.

    The experiment

    When I first started with this exploration of microdosing LSD, I wanted to taste for myself and not rely on any other “how to do-guides” which are broadly available in literature and on the internet. As a consequence, there were many interesting and unexpected things that I had to take in consideration for further exploration. For example, I started with initial doses of about 20 micrograms cut from blotters which I tested before and contained 100 micrograms each. As you can imagine, this is not a recommendable approach and lead to great variance in respect to dosage. However, as I was also taking another road in regards to the frequency of ingesting the substance, I would take a microdose on Mondays, Tuesdays and on Thursdays, I continued with the approach of cutting. This because I thought that over time, the tolerance would eliminate potential overdosing. Anyhow, that’s something I wouldn’t do anymore in further sequences of microdosing. The length of the experiment was limited to exactly one month and took place during a normal day to day life period which I’ve chosen consciously.

    Upsides

    After one full month of microdosing LSD three times a week, I can generally say that there’s definitely something to it. When I started reflecting on the particular layers of the experiences, I realized that labeling the subtile details is quite a challenge for me. One of the sensations which I quickly got aware of, was that I seemed to be surrounded by a bubble like thing. In other words, I found myself somewhat cut off from my environment and to be in a micro cosmos where everything was calm and balanced. Yet, I was always able to interact with outside happenings whenever I moved my focus in that direction. This sensation or phenomenon seemed very interesting to me as it allowed myself to step into a higher state of focus with an awareness which as quite resistant to distraction.

    I often observed an uplifting influence on my personal mood which had great influence on my overall perception of things and as a result, it also had a great influence on my interaction with any subject or object. In these interactions, especially with other human beings, I felt a greater connection and an even greater empathy which in most cases lead to a more constructive outcome for both sides. Moreover, the way how my brain operates clearly changed on days where I was microdosing and therefore my thought processes changed too. That’s a particular example where it is really tricky for me to properly formalize how I experienced this phenomenon. It felt like the “normal” patterns of how I process data was no longer applied but instead a more freely concept which is not tied to ordinary behavior within the brain chemistry. This enables a kind of “out of the box thinking” which may be very helpful when you work on problem-solving tasks or innovation related things where you need creativity.

    My eye sight got influenced as well and on distance I was able to identify much more precisely what I was looking at — small letters for example. This was not really new to me as I observed this effect already many times with larger doses of entheogenic substances. Another interesting effect on my system was an extremely refreshing and energizing sensation which I always first felt between 1 to 5 hours expanding from my stomach. In the first phase, it sometimes felt like a tingling but never in an uncomfortable way. Over time, the tingling faded away and what remained was an energized body and mind which lasted about 8 to 12 hours depending on the structure of my days.

    Downsides

    It actually took me quite a while to come up with something that I perceived to be more difficult to handle or irritating while pursing a day to day life. For me personally, a potentially critical thing was to commute accompanied by big masses which sometimes felt quite overwhelming. Nevertheless, I have to say that this is already often the case when I commute one hundred percent sober. Obviously, any other overwhelming situation would be critical as well as microdosing can make you more sensitive to energies in general.

    Potentially, there are many other downsides which I was or am not able to identify as these are playing out on the neurophysiological or psychological level. Long-term studies collecting data from a great number of people will someday reveal further insight into this particular aspect.

    What remains unclear

    Never underestimate the power of placebo. Having said that, some of the experiences and sensations which I had during my experiment may potential be correlating with this specific phenomenon. Numerous studies have demonstrated strong placebo effects in chronic pain and mood disorders. For example, in antidepressant drug trials, the placebo response makes up for seventy-five percent of the positive effect of the antidepressant.

    Our individual perception of reality is heavily biased by our previous experiences and our expectations. When we are microdosing, I do believe that we’re dealing with an especially strong positive expectation bias and therefore a potential strong placebo effect. A more metaphorical way of understanding this might be the following: if you got a supplement from your sports coach on a really great number of game days and you always won on these particular days, wouldn’t you start to connect the dots and interpret that there’s a correlation between this specific supplement and the outcome of the games? That’s how I encountered microdosing. I really wanted microdosing to work.

    https://medium.com/samadhi-today/these-are-the-up-and-downsides-of-my-one-month-experience-microdosing-lsd-bb256ea6166b



    Last edited by mr peabody; 14-11-2018 at 05:04.
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    Microdosing psilocybin

    Dr James Fadiman, author of “The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide” has been involved in psychedelic research for some time and carried out one of the last studies involving LSD before research bans were put in place. Fadiman is leading the way in microdosing research and is utilising somewhat of a loophole in order to gather data on the phenomena and build a clearer picture in terms of dosage and effect. He is the process of collecting testimonies from people across the world who are trailing microdosing for a plethora of reasons such as battling anxiety and ADHD all the way to seeking enhanced focus and creativity.

    The aim of microdosing is to ingest a sub-perceptual dose, a small enough amount that will not bring amount large changes in mood, perception and mindset. The feeling obtained, if any, should be extremely subtle, enabling the person ingesting the dose to go about their daily work as they would when entirely sober.

    Fadiman has stated, “Someone taking a dose this low functions, as far as the world is concerned, a little better than normal. To date, I received no reports that sub-perceptual doses have caused any social disruption, personal upset, or any form of work-related difficulty.”

    Obviously, there are variables at play when microdosing, with factors such as the body weight of the individual involved and the amount of food eaten beforehand playing a role, among other things such as the strength of the strain of mushroom or truffle.

    SCHEDULE

    A standard microdose is stated to be between 0.2-0.5g of dried mushrooms. Fadiman suggests that a person looking to experience microdosing take this amounts every fourth day. An example of this routine would look something like this:

    Sunday: take microdose
    Monday: observe residual effects
    Tuesday: day off
    Wednesday: take microdose
    Thursday: observe residual effects
    Friday: day off
    Saturday: day off

    Fadiman suggests that this cycle takes place over a period of ten weeks, with the subject observing their experience, taking notes and following their normal daily routine while doing so. Interesting changes to look out for are any modification in behaviour, outlook, emotions and energy levels. Obviously, if any negative effects are experienced that make a person feel uncomfortable, they may choose to cease their intake of microdoses.

    Fadiman has stated in his book the Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, “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’. 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’.”
    Without sufficient research in place, microdosing at this present time is really about self-experimentation in order to find out the exact dose that works with your own body and mind. People have very different metabolisms and react differently to substances that alter consciousness. For this reason, it is better to start off at the lower end of the spectrum and slowly increase the dose by tiny amounts in order to really feel out the experience.

    GROWING YOUR OWN

    If anybody out there decides that microdosing is something they may benefit from and want to try, the obvious next step in the procedure is sourcing some mushrooms to use throughout the process. With psilocybin mushrooms being classified as illegal substances in many places in the world, this may prove to be quite problematic. Perhaps the easiest way to obtain mushrooms, without having to set up some dodgy back alley deal, is to simply to grow them yourself.

    Growing mushrooms comes with an obvious risk, so be careful and aware the entire times. Grow kits can be purchased from websites such as Zamnesia that offer a wide variety of strains that grow fast and offer several flushes of mushrooms after the first harvest has occurred. Strains include the “Golden Teacher”, “Brazil”, “McKennaii”, “Cambodia” and “Ecuador”.

    DOSING

    Once your mushrooms have grown to full size and you have successfully harvested and dried them, it’s time to set up a dosing mechanism. First things first, grind up your bounty into a fine powder in order to make weighing and dosing generally a bit easier. One way to do would simply involve placing the desired amount onto a sensitive scale and using a spoon to ingest.

    However, easier methods exist to avoid having to do this each time and potentially creating a mess. For example capsules and capsule machines can be purchased to prepare all of your doses and saving you any hassle further down the line. Encapsulating each dose allows the user to easily consume a microdose when desired straight from a capsule jar.

    https://www.zamnesia.com/blog-a-guid...ushrooms-n1336


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    Microdosing psychedelics may enhance creative problem solving

    The use of minute doses of magic mushrooms and truffles containing psychedelic substances could induce a state of unconstrained thought that may produce more new, creative ideas. “Microdosing” in this way may allow people to experience the creative benefits of psychedelic drugs without the risk of “bad trips” that can come with high doses of such substances. This is according to a new study in the Springer-branded journal Psychopharmacology which is the official journal of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (EBPS). The research was led by Luisa Prochazkova of Leiden University in The Netherlands and is the first study of its kind to experimentally investigate the cognitive-enhancing effects of microdosing on a person’s brain function within a natural setting.

    Taking a tiny fraction of a normal dose of psychedelic substances is becoming a trend in some professional circles because this is thought to stimulate brain function and enhance mental flexibility and creativity. However, experimental research that moves away from anecdotal evidence is still rare.

    In this study, Prochazkova and her colleagues investigated how a microdose of a psychedelic substance affected the cognitive brain function of 36 people who were present at an event organized by the Psychedelic Society of The Netherlands. During the experimental phase, participants were set three tasks before and after they consumed on average 0.37 grams of dried truffles. The tests assessed their convergent thinking (the identification of a single solution to a problem), their fluid intelligence (the capacity to reason and solve new problems) and their divergent thinking (the ability to recognize many possible solutions). Afterwards, the researchers analyzed the active substances present in the truffles consumed by participants.

    After taking the microdose of truffles, the researchers found that participants’ convergent thinking abilities were improved. Participants also had more ideas about how to solve a presented task, and were more fluent, flexible and original in the possibilities they came up with. Microdosing with psychedelic substances therefore improved both the divergent and convergent thinking of participants.

    These findings are in line with earlier studies that found high doses of psychedelics can enhance creative performance. The fact that participants’ intelligence scores and general analytical abilities did not change suggests that the effect of the truffles is rather selective, and more to the benefit of a person’s creative domain.

    “Taken together, our results suggest that consuming a microdose of truffles allowed participants to create more out-of-the-box alternative solutions for a problem, thus providing preliminary support for the assumption that microdosing improves divergent thinking,” explains Prochazkova. “Moreover, we also observed an improvement in convergent thinking, that is, increased performance on a task that requires the convergence on one single correct or best solution.”

    Prochazkova hopes that these findings will stimulate further research into the beneficial effects of microdosing psychedelics. “Apart from its benefits as a potential cognitive enhancement technique, microdosing could be further investigated for its therapeutic efficacy to help individuals who suffer from rigid thought patterns or behavior such as individuals with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she explains.

    https://neurosciencenews.com/psyched...ativity-10087/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 04-12-2018 at 09:42.
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    Paul Austin: "LSD microdosing increases our efficiency"

    "Consumers of LSD, psilocybin or cannabis are likely to dominate the future working world. By using those substances, we think more creatively and can adapt more quickly to new situations – crucial skills in our global society," says entrepreneur Paul Austin.

    ---

    You are engaged in the microdosing of psychedelics. What does that mean?

    Microdosing psychedelics is at the act of consuming about 1/10th of a regular dose of a psychedelic, typically on a 2x per week basis. The effects are visually sub-perceptible, and
    for many people produce a slightly increased sense of touch and smell, more energy, and improved focus and creativity. In June 2015, I microdosed with LSD for 7 months, consuming a sub-perceptible amount of LSD 2x per week. From my initial microdosing experiment, I noticed an improvement in my ability to focus (flow states) and relate to other people (reduction of social anxiety). My current role in the microdosing world is as a public speaker, educator, and advocate for research and utilization.

    In concrete terms: When does microdosing help and when not?

    Whether or not microdosing helps depends on the context in which it is used and the individual using it. Microdoses, just like high doses, are non-specific amplifiers, so the impact of microdosing is informed by the intention one has in consuming. There are two reasons people microdose: to enhance their overall well-being and to address some sort of deficit, like depression or addiction. Preliminary data shows that microdosing has an antidepressant effect and helps with energy levels and creativity. Microdosing does not consistently help with general anxiety, as it can make the individual more anxious.

    How well established is microdosing already?

    Currently, 60 000 new people visit The Third Wave every month to learn about microdosing. Random House, the largest trade publisher in the world, published a book on microdosing in January 2017, and major media publications like the New York Times, the Economist, and Wired have published long-form pieces both in print and online. Jim Fadiman, the godfather of microdosing, has collected over 1600 reports for his initial study on the efficacy of microdosing that he presented at Psychedelic Science in April 2017. Because of the cultural stigma
    that still exists around psychedelics, microdosing is not yet mainstream. However, its popularity will only continue to grow due to its seeming effectiveness in a variety of areas.

    In which situations would a macro dosage be more appropriate?

    This is a big topic with a lot of active research. Studies indicate that, say, for treatment-resistant depression, or other disorders resistant to modern treatment programs, like addiction, macrodoses of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin are very promising. As with cannabis, there are a lot of people self-medicating or getting underground treatment that is effective--
    it's just that our institutions have yet to catch up and validate these tools. But that in of itself is a hurdle, because psychedelics in larger dosages are difficult to place in our current pharmaceutical model, being off-patent, and needing day-long, on-site assistance from a qualified guide.

    Why is the trend towards microdosing emerging right now?

    From a cultural perspective, the re-evaluation of cannabis combined with psychedelic research from prestigious institutions has led to a more objective dialogue around the potential usefulness of previously illicit substances.

    The trend towards microdosing is emerging because Western culture has begun to recognize that the ego's stranglehold on our consciousness (the need to control) is, in fact, responsible for much of the suffering people experience in the modern Western world. In recognizing this, we are creating work spaces that place less responsibility on the individual's place of power within a hierarchical structure, instead shifting the focus to teams that utilize collaborative and decentralized models. As our world becomes an increasingly chaotic place, the creative teams that thrive will be those who can adapt the quickest. Substances that are proven to aid adaptability (like psychedelics), and thus think outside of rigid preconceptions (divergent thinking), will be increasingly used in next generation workplaces.

    Today's use of LSD seems to support the predominant economic requirement of efficiency. Is this a good thing?

    From my perspective, people in workplaces consuming LSD is representative of a shift in priorities and belief systems. The future of work will be less about getting things done, as rote-
    thinking tasks are delegated to AI and other forms of automation, and more about using working-time in an effective and efficient manner so one can enjoy the leisurely benefits of living in the Western world. Microdosing LSD represents a reversion back towards an optimised work-life balance where creative work is amplified through pharmacological means. Additionally, while microdosing can make you more effective at your current job, it often catalyzes reflection that can lead to a desire to change your occupation in a more meaningful direction, how you execute on the demands of your work, and how you view your identity in relationship to your professional life.

    Today, we use drugs for self-optimisation. What's coming tomorrow?

    Well, we've always used drugs for self-optimisation within the industrial workplace. The foremost of these are caffeine and tobacco not to mention stimulants like Adderall and nootropics. What will likely be the future, from a pharmacological perspective, is the increased use of substances that encourage divergent thinking, as creativity, innovation, and complex problem solving will be held in high reverence in our future workplace. Psychedelics are currently stigmatized, in large part, because they threaten the existing hierarchy of our industrial society. Microdosing will act as a wedge to destigmatize, and thus legitimize, psychedelics substances, which will help our society transition from the Industrial Age into the Information Age.

    https://www.gdi.ch/en/publikationen/trend-updates/paul-austin-lsd-microdosing-increases-our-efficiency-0
    Last edited by mr peabody; 04-12-2018 at 13:34.
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    The first time I tried microdosing LSD, there were three areas in which I noticed changes.

    1. I felt more creative. I was working as a designer at the time, and the ability to notice ideas floating in my mind and act on them more efficiently felt more enhanced.

    2. I was able to focus unbelievably well. Tasks or homework that normally would have taken an afternoon, broken up by countless distractions, were much easier to focus
    in on for a few hours on end.

    3. My sociability and mood were abnormally high. While microdosing, I felt abnormally positive for a few days, and found it much easier to talk to people and think on my feet.

    -Ben

    -----

    I microdosed mushrooms and LSD once a week on Sundays last spring for about 2-3 months straight. I'd alternate, mushrooms one week and LSD the next. As far as dosage goes I went for barely perceptible, like 0.75g of mushrooms or 1/6th of a hit of acid. It seemed to help me stay in touch with what's really important in life, not get too stressed about work, care less about the thing that person said last week that's been bugging me, etc. Frankly I just felt happier in general.

    -chimpbrain

    -----

    No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. It stands to reason that the expansion of consciousness, even on a small scale, can result in substantial changes to the thought process which can produce solutions that were otherwise unavailable.

    -Einstein

    -----

    Taking LSD reinforced my sense of what was important, creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.

    -Jobs
    Last edited by mr peabody; 18-12-2018 at 09:03.
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    Only white people get away with microdosing

    Americans are increasingly vocal about the potential benefits of psychedelics. But there are few, if any, black voices contributing the conversation.

    Where any given black person draws the line between a safe, rational choice and outlandish, even or life-threatening “white people shit” varies depending, on how adventurous we feel. But we all have a line. Self-preservation dictates where each black person locates the threshold into white nonsense that they simply shall not cross, whether it’s because it will get them clowned or because it could get them killed.

    What happens, though, when what lies on the other side of that threshold has benefits at least as bountiful as its risks, or potentially more so? What if it could help end addictions, improve relationships, advance careers, treat depression, or heal trauma…but could also result in jail time? Maybe there’s a grey area for white people shit.

    If there is, microdosing is right in the middle of it. An enduring trending topic among the non-melanated, the term refers to a protocol for taking sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic drugs. The Silicon Valley biohacker community is usually credited with the explosion of the technique. Members have been actively experimenting with small amounts (1/10 to 1/20 of a regular dose) of LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics for productivity and wellness since at least 2011.

    In recent years, their ideas and practices have become popular among wider circles of… well, white people. Articles such as “How LSD Microdosing Became the Hot New Business Trip” from Rolling Stone and books such as Ayelet Waldman’s A Really Good Day (hint: it’s way different than Ice Cube’s) are furthering America’s conversation about the potential benefits of psychedelics. But there are few, if any, black voices contributing. Why?

    The way our criminal justice system is set up probably has something to do with it. Black people are six times as likely to be arrested and convicted on narcotics offenses than white people, though they don’t take drugs at higher rates. Sentencing inequities mean that a black person could serve up to twice as much jail time as a white person committing the exact same crime.

    Meanwhile, white guys are proudly dropping acid on their way to work. Some of them are even achieving accolades as a result of their illicit drug use. Some of the reported benefits of microdosing among the “rise and grind” set include increased creativity, productivity, and focus. All of these qualities are great for the techies taking the trend to the top. But in an industry that is already known for being overwhelmingly racially homogenous, it's problematic that some (read: white) people can now receive promotions by enhancing their cognitive functioning through an act for which others (non-whites) are more likely to receive harsh penalties. It’s just one example of how white privilege has evolved.

    The inequities exacerbated by the microdosing trend extend beyond the tech industry. Picked up by a growing contingent of the yoga-pant-wearing, Whole-Foods-shopping crowd, microdosing has taken on a different vibe—less utilitarian, more free-flowing. However, the underlying notes of privilege and oppression remain. This isn’t a new problem for wellness culture. As is the case with Himalayan salt spas and organic groceries, cost is a common barrier to access regarding many mind-body-spirit life-enhancing techniques. The same goes for being able to afford to microdose in a controlled environment.

    Cultural appropriation also comes into play when considering who gets to access wellness products or practices. McKee points out that, though the current American phenomenon is usually linked to Dr. James Fadiman and the aforementioned “biohackers,” taking small doses of psychoactive compounds to boost mood and perceptual ability has been done for centuries by groups like the Bwiti of Gabon. Although practitioners of the West African religion use strong doses of iboga for initiation ceremonies, they take small doses during weekly religious ceremonies to facilitate emotional connection with others and to their higher power.

    Indigenous cultures have long been attuned to the benefits of both small and large doses of local entheogens. The difference is that the goals of their use aren’t believed to be influenced by Western capitalism or individualism, but by the communal good.

    The divide between wellness and blackness is unfortunate, considering that there are many health problems in the black community that microdosing may be able to alleviate. “We have some real issues—physical issues, mental issues, emotional issues,” McKee says. “I know people on psychotropic meds, and they’re walking around like zombies. I can see where [microdosing] would benefit them.”

    And it’s not just wellness culture’s microdosing movement that lacks melanin—it’s anthropological research as well. “Across psychedelic trials from 1993 until 2017, 82.3 percent have been white," says Tehseen Noorani, a Marie Curie research fellow in the anthropology department at Durham University. He does note, however, that "the lack of safety around reporting use could skew the numbers—there might be greater use amongst non-white populations than appears to be the case from the reported statistics.” Given the increased stigma and higher risk of arrest, it makes sense that people of color may be wary about coming forward. Still, current data, as well as his own experience, suggest that psychedelic research is overwhelmingly white.

    “Inclusion and exclusion criteria [for research studies] select for whiteness in many ways—for example, demands for a college degree, good family history of mental health, being able to commit a lot of time to study participation,” he says. “None of these explicitly exclude non-white people, but intersectional inequalities conspire to ensure it is white—and male, and more well-off—people who participate most.”

    This is changing, if slowly. “I would say that scientists are working to remove the barriers, to differing degrees and with differing levels of success,” Noorani says. He suggests that "simple factors, like compensating for the monetary costs associated with participating in a scientific study of microdosing, might make a difference in participation among marginalized groups."

    Monnica Williams, a clinical psychologist and professor at University of Connecticut, is one of the scientists working to bring more diverse populations into psychedelic research. As she explained to Tonic in a previous piece on the topic, "having therapists of color involved is key. A black therapist is much more likely to empathize appropriately during research sessions with black participants," Williams says.

    Williams thinks black therapists could also help increase access for the black community after psychedelic therapies are approved. “We need more therapists who work with minority communities getting trained in this therapy so they can go back to those communities and ensure this treatment isn’t just offered to wealthy white people.”

    While the country waits for science and politics to converge in black folks’ best interest, some people are taking matters into their own hands. Brother Kilindi Iyi has been a well-known psychedelic activist in the black community for decades. So was the late Kai Wingo, an urban mushroom farmer and advocate for “mushroom medicine.”

    McKee, who co-founded an online group called Women and Entheogens with Wingo, insists that this is essential. “We need our own spaces,” she says, “just so that we’re not bombarded...by people’s lack of understanding about who we are.”

    When it comes to the healing uses of microdosing or psychoactive amounts of entheogens, McKee says there is a cadre of black people already carving out safe(r) spaces to enhance their wellness. “It’s a whole underground movement,” she says. "And no matter where an individual’s opinion falls on microdosing, it’s hard to deny that it's underground movements that have traditionally produced some of the best things in blackness."

    https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/d3bj8w/only-white-people-can-get-away-with-the-microdosing-trend
    Last edited by mr peabody; 04-01-2019 at 03:34.
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    Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity in an open-label natural setting


    Luisa Prochazkova, Dominique P. Lippelt, Lorenza S. Colzato, Martin Kuchar, Zsuzsika Sjoerds & Bernhard Hommel

    Introduction

    Major news outlets throughout the world are reporting on the growing number of professionals using small doses of psychedelics to boost their productivity and creativity at work. A prominent example is the use of small doses of LSD by employees in Silicon Valley, as a ‘productivity hack’. This emerging phenomenon is referred to as microdosing, with dosages around one tenth of recreational doses. Yet, despite the low dosages microdosing is still thought to provide a potential boost in cognition according to anecdotal reports. Moderate to large doses of psychedelics induce changes in perception, mood and overall consciousness, often described as qualitatively similar to deep meditative or transcendental states. If, similar yet milder effects apply to microdosing, this would render microdosing a potentially interesting cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals or even the basis of a treatment strategy to tackle various disorders including depression.

    Throughout the 1960’s psychedelics were extensively used at recreational doses in experimental research, clinical settings, and in creative and scientific vocations, but were made illegal in most countries worldwide as a reaction to the rising counterculture of the 1960’s and failure to establish the clear efficacy of LSD treatment. Now, after many decades of disregard, psychedelics have started to reappear as a genuine and promising area of research within experimental and clinical psychology, as well as psychiatry. Moreover, certain psychedelics, such as truffles, have regained a legal status in The Netherlands, offering researchers a particularly interesting opportunity to study its effects in a quantitative manner. This is highly desirable, as previous reports have remained anecdotal and qualitative at best, often focusing on experiences of elevated feelings of determination, alertness, and energy, improved pattern recognition, as well as strong reductions of depressive feelings. Qualitative studies based on self-reports are known to suffer from validity problems due to participants’ inaccurate memories, differences in vocabulary and verbal skills, and unintentional or willful distortions of subjective experiences.

    Nonetheless, existing research with moderate doses of psilocybin shows that psilocybin is a potent neuro-pharmacological agent with a strong modulatory effect on brain processes. Furthermore, a double-blind placebo-controlled study by Hasler et al. showed that even very low doses of psilocybin were rated clearly psychoactive by most of the volunteers, which indicates that psychedelic effects do not need high doses to be recognized.

    Classical psychedelics such as psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic truffles, exert their primary effects by directly binding to serotonin 3 2A receptors. Interestingly, 5-HT2A agonism has been reported to be associated with enhanced cognitive flexibility, improved associative learning and hippocampal neurogenesis in animals. Additionally, psychedelics have been shown to increase subjective sense of wellbeing, optimism, and openness in humans. Moreover, multiple clinical trials using moderate to large doses of psychedelics have indicated that psychedelics have anxiolytic, antidepressant, anti-compulsive, and anti-addictive properties. Consequently, the effects of psychedelic substances can be argued to target the serotonergic system, and hence be beneficial in situations where there is need for mental flexibility, or where one needs to break through rigid patterns of thought. In case that future research confirms positive effects of microdosing on brain and cognition, microdosing could become an attractive alternative due to its sub-perceptual nature possibly sparing individuals from the perceptual distortions often reported with moderate or high doses.

    Through the alleged benefits in mental flexibility, a promising behavioral target of psychedelics lies in the area of creativity. Creativity is a multilayered phenomenon, commonly defined as the ability to generate ideas, solutions, or products that are both novel and appropriate. Creativity is not a unitary function but consists of a number of subcomponents that provide different, to some degree opposing cognitive challenges. It is crucial to distinguish between convergent thinking, which requires identification of a single solution to a well-defined problem, and divergent thinking, which requires the collection of many possible solutions to a loosely defined problem. An example of convergent thinking task would be to find the one concept that can be meaningfully combined with three other concepts such as “…man”, “…market”, and “…bowl”, while an example of divergent thinking task would be to list all possible ways in which a brick could be used. It has been argued that convergent thinking draws more on the ability to focus exclusively on a given problem, while divergent thinking draws more on cognitive flexibility. However, it is important to point out that all available creativity tasks require the integration of both of these abilities to some degree. Of further importance to our present study is the fact that creative thinking is not a hardwired virtue. Several behavioral studies have shown that the processes underlying creative thinking can be systematically enhanced and impaired by both behavioral interventions, such as meditation, as well as, psychopharmacological agents as for instance cannabis, tyrosine and Adderall.

    Moreover, a recent study conducted by Kuypers and colleagues investigated the effect of recreational doses of the psychedelic brew Ayahuasca on creativity during two spiritual retreats. They found that divergent thinking performance improved under the influence of Ayahuasca compared to baseline, while convergent thinking performance decreased in comparison to baseline. Although this study may seem to provide a useful starting point, conclusions are hampered by several disadvantages of this drug and the study design. First, dimethyltryptamine, the active psychedelic compound in Ayahuasca, needs to be combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors for its effect to take place. MAOIs are known to have anti-depressant effects on their own, so they represent a possible confound in all Ayahuasca studies. Additionally, this implies that the qualitative experience induced by Ayahuasca and the underlying mechanisms of action differ substantially from those related to commonly used psychedelics, such as LSD or psilocybin. Indeed, the Ayahuasca brews used in the study of Kuypers and colleagues’ induced strong psychedelic experiences, the effects of which are unlikely to be comparable to the effects obtained from microdosing a psychedelic substance. High doses of psychedelics frequently result in disorienting effects in the user, which makes reliable assessment of psychometric task performance difficult during the peak effects of the psychedelic experience. Taken altogether, microdosing of psychedelic truffles and related psychoactive substances may thus be more suitable to assess the enhancing effects of psychedelics on human performance.

    Discussion

    The aim of this study was to explore the effects of microdosing psychedelics on creative problem solving. We observed an increase in divergent idea generation on the AUT, as evidenced by a significant increase in fluency, flexibility, and originality scores, as well as an increase in convergent thinking on the PCT after intake of a microdose of magic truffles. Given that fluid intelligence did not change between the two measurement time points suggests a specific effect on creativity performance, but not on general cognition. These findings are in line with earlier studies finding positive effects of high doses of psychedelics on creative performance. In particular, the increase in originality scores on the AUT parallels the increase in originality scores after intake of Ayahuasca reported by Kuypers and colleagues. Taken together, our results suggest that consuming a microdose of truffles allowed participants to create more out-of-the-box alternative solutions for a problem, thus providing preliminary support for the assumption that microdosing improves divergent thinking. Moreover, we also observed an improvement of convergent thinking, that is, increased performance on a task that requires the convergence on one single correct or best solution.

    The outcome pattern of the present study is consistent with the idea that microdosing psychedelic substances improves both divergent and convergent thinking. The fact that intelligence was not improved suggests that this effect was rather selective, but the possibility remains that the Raven was less sensitive to the intervention than the other measures were. It is tempting to interpret our observations on divergent thinking in the context of recent suggestions that behavior drawing on flexibility and novelty benefits from a reduction of cognitive top-down control. According to this view, creativity tasks can be assumed to draw on two distinct, presumably opposing cognitive processes: flexibility is characterized by broadening the attentional scope, which enables individuals to generate many divergent ideas, while persistence is associated with a narrower attentional scope, thus allowing individuals to focus on one creative idea at a time. Some of the previous empirical dissociations of persistence and flexibility were related to dopaminergic functioning, such as in behavioral-genetics studies demonstrating that polymorphisms supporting efficient dopaminergic functioning in the frontal cortex promote persistence while polymorphisms supporting striatal dopaminergic functioning promote flexibility. This strengthens the view that frontal and striatal dopaminergic pathways are involved in persistence and flexibility. If we assume that convergent thinking relies more on frontal persistence while divergent thinking relies more on striatal flexibility, our outcomes raise the question how an intervention can manage to improve both convergent and divergent thinking.

    Classical psychedelics, including psilocybin, belong to a group of tryptamines that are thought to exert their primary psychedelic effects through activity at the serotonergic 5-HT2A receptor. Of particular interest in this regard are findings from animal studies showing that 5- HT2A agonist activity correlates with an increase in associative learning and improvements in the ability to adapt behavior more flexibly.

    Moreover, studies in humans have shown that the administration of psychedelics is associated with an increase in the personality trait “Openness” and that psychedelics can induce a reduction in symptoms associated with rigid behavior and thought patterns observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Such findings could be tentatively interpreted to imply that psilocybin facilitates more flexible, less constrained kinds of cognition.

    The 5-HT2A receptors are widely distributed in in the brain and especially so in high-level prefrontal and associative cortex–regions important for learning and memory retrieval, this is likely to have important functional implications. For instance, postsynaptic 5-HT2A receptor activation was shown to be associated with improvements in certain aspects of cognition as well as an extinction of previously learn response patterns. However, it is important to note, that function of the 5-HT system remains ‘elusive’ given the inherent complexity of the serotonin system and more research has to be conducted in this regard to determine its function.

    While the assumption of a link between the use of psychedelics and an unconstrained brain state fits well with our findings on divergent thinking, it does not seem to be consistent with our observations on convergent thinking. Microdosing improved performance on the PCT, suggesting that it promotes convergent thinking. Note that this observation contrasts with previous findings by Kuypers and colleagues, who reported that Ayahuasca, also a 5-HT2A agonist, impaired performance on convergent thinking tasks. We believe this discrepancy could be a result of the difference in relative dosage. Kuypers and colleagues investigated participants after the intake of large doses of Ayahuasca, which is hardly comparable to the microdoses used in the present study. Previous research has shown a relationship between 5-HT2A receptor activity and goal directed behavior likely due to indirect modulation of DA release. Dopamine-related adaptive behavior follows an inverted U-shape, suggesting that smaller doses, such as the microdoses ingested by the participants in our current study, are more likely to move participants towards the most efficient mid-zone of the performance function than higher doses do. Indeed, based on self-reports, an online study by Fadiman and Krob suggests that microdosing could enhance motivation and focus, and reduce distractibility and procrastination—which seems consistent with our observation of improved convergent thinking.

    These considerations suggest that microdoses truffles, and perhaps 5-HT2A agonist in general, improve processes that are shared by convergent and divergent thinking—irrespective of the existing differences. Indeed, both convergent and divergent thinking tasks rely to some degree on persistence and top-down control and to some degree on unconstrained flexibility. While convergent-thinking tasks emphasize persistence over flexibility, and divergent-thinking tasks emphasize flexibility over persistence, they both require participants to keep in mind particular search criteria, which they need to test against candidate items in memory, and to search through novel and often unfamiliar items considered for this test. The tasks thus present participants with a dilemma, which can only be solved by finding a reasonable balance between the antagonistic skills; that is, to be persistent and flexible at the same time, or at least in quick succession. Microdosing therefore might promote is the speed or smoothness of switching between persistence and flexibility—an ability that Mekern, Sjoerds, and Hommel refer to as “adaptivity.” Taken together, whereas large doses of psychedelics might induce an hyper-flexible mode of brain functioning, and possibly a breakdown of control, microdoses may be able to drive brain functioning towards an optimal, highly adaptive balance between persistence and flexibility.

    Conclusion

    Whereas large doses of psychedelics can introduce a range of undesirable side effects, microdoses of psychedelic substances might prove to be a promising alternative that could eliminate the risks of challenging experiences while maintaining the potential benefits of psychedelic substances on human emotion and cognition. The current naturalistic study is the first to quantitatively show that microdosing psychedelics could improve creative performance, possibly by means of inducing a state of unconstrained thought allowing for increased novel idea generation. We hope that our findings will stimulate further research into the beneficial effects of microdosing psychedelics. Apart from its benefits as a potential cognitive enhancement technique, microdosing could be further investigated for its therapeutic efficacy as to slow down cognitive decline or help individuals who suffer from rigid thought patterns or behavior such as individuals with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/08/08/384412.full.pdf
    Last edited by mr peabody; 26-12-2018 at 12:08.
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    As microdosing explodes in popularity, a new look at the benefits and side effects of daily psychedelic use


    In the past three years, Google searches for the term “microdosing” have tripled, and books and articles on the subject are exploding.

    Microdosing is described as taking an imperceptible dose of an illegal psychedelic drug, typically LSD, MDMA or Psilocybin, more commonly known as magic mushrooms. It’s a fraction – roughly a tenth - of a full psychedelic dose.

    "It’s just been a constant upward trend, constantly on the rise," said a drug dealer who spoke with News 4 on condition of anonymity. He creates microdoses by taking psilocybin or "magic" mushrooms, grinding them to a powder and pressing them into pills that are a fraction of a full psychedelic dose.

    "They don’t take it to get high, they take it to be more effective," he said.

    The dealer refused to say exactly how much money he has made capitalizing on this trend but said his client base has grown to about 100 people in the metro area.

    One man who takes microdoses described what he called a transformative experience: "I wanted to do so many things, I wanted to go to so many places, started painting, started drawing that day, I read a ton - it just made me want to be the most productive version of myself."

    Some take it for other reasons. He said he has struggled with depression and anxiety, but said he that knows people in a variety of industries that are practicing microdosing "to better themselves and their careers."

    He himself uses small amounts of psychedelics at work: "I'm able to connect the pieces of puzzles I'm working on a lot quicker. I’ve gotten a couple mentions on my overall demeanor, and people have told me that it’s dramatically improved my personality," he says - all because of his intermittent use of mushrooms. “There are people I sell to in the music industry, doctors, students that use it instead of Adderall, and people in the finance industry.”

    Dr. David Nichols, a professor at the University of North Carolina, is the founding president of the Heffter Research Institute. He is one of the world’s most respected psychedelic researchers and has been studying these drugs for decades.

    "I think it’s important for people to recognize that psychedelics are not the dangerous drugs they might have heard about, and it looks like they can treat conditions that we haven't been able to treat until now," he said.

    Johns Hopkins, NYU and other institutions are studying the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat things from obsessive compulsive disorder to PTSD. The FDA has recently given breakthrough therapy designation to one study that is looking at psychedelics as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Those studies are looking at full hallucinogenic doses.

    "There have not been any long-term studies where people have taken a psychedelic daily over a long period of time, and although the doses are small, we don’t really know if there might be changes in the endocrine system or to hormonal levels - we don’t know any of that," said Nichols.

    "It’s really an important medication, and we need to draw the distinction between that and it being a recreational drug," Nichols added.

    Johns Hopkins has recently recommended the DEA reschedule psilocybin mushrooms, pending the results of clinical trials, from a Schedule I or dangerous drug, down to a Schedule IV drug, one with low potential for abuse.

    https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investiga...503881891.html
    Last edited by mr peabody; 07-01-2019 at 02:36.
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    Can microdosing make you more creative?

    It may seem like a doomed attempt to mix business and pleasure. But a growing number of young professionals in Silicon Valley insist that taking small doses of psychedelic drugs simply makes them perform better at work ? becoming more creative and focused. The practice, known as "microdosing", involves taking minute quantities of drugs such as LSD, psilocybin or mescaline every few days.

    LSD is the most well-known psychedelic drug since its popularity in the heyday of 1960s counterculture. But perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Silicon Valley also has a long history of psychedelic drug use to boost creativity: technology stars Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both famously experimented with LSD.

    At high doses, LSD powerfully alters perception, mood and a host of cognitive processes. LSD now appears to be one of the more commonly microdosed drugs. A microdose of LSD consists of about a tenth of a recreational dose (usually 10-20 micrograms), which is usually not potent enough to cause hallucinations. Instead, it is reported to heighten alertness, energy and creativity.

    Microdosing LSD also purportedly enhances overall well-being, helping to reduce stress and anxiety while improving sleep and leading to healthier habits. Although a widely reported phenomenon in the media, the lack of scientific studies on microdosing makes the prevalence near impossible to estimate. Reports suggest that what started off as an underground practice in Silicon Valley may be spreading rapidly to other workplaces.

    It is currently unknown how such low doses of psychedelics act in the brain to produce these intriguing self-reported effects on creativity. Like all classic hallucinogens, LSD produces its potent mind-altering effects primarily by mimicking the effects of the brain chemical serotonin, which regulates our mood. In particular, LSD activates 5-HT2A receptors in the pre-frontal cortex, which increases activity of the chemical glutamate in this region. Glutamate enables signals to be transmitted between nerve cells, and plays a role in learning and memory.

    In humans, two distinct effects of recreational doses of LSD have been reported. Initially, people experience psychedelic and positive feelings of euphoria. This may be followed by a later phase characterised by paranoia or even a psychotic-like state. LSD at low doses may produce mood elevation and creativity, mediated by the serotonin-mimicking effects. Actions on both glutamate and serotonin may also act to improve learning and cognitive flexibility , necessary for creativity, in the workplace. These findings could partly help to explain the microdosing phenomenon.

    Clinical evidence

    Clinical research with psychedelics is currently undergoing a major revival after having been brought to a halt in the 1960s. One of the benefits of conducting research into psychedelics is their potential to help deepen our understanding of consciousness. In 2016, researchers from Imperial College London were the first to use brain scanning techniques to visualise how LSD alters the way the brain works. One key finding was that LSD had a disorganising influence on cortical activity, which permitted the brain to operate in a freer, less constrained manner than usual.

    The results suggested that psychedelics increase communication between parts of the brain that are less likely to communicate with one another, and decrease communication between areas that frequently do. This likely underlies the profound altered state of consciousness that people often describe during an LSD experience. It is also related to what people sometimes call "ego-dissolution", in which the normal sense of self is broken down. People instead often report a sense of reconnection with themselves, others and the natural world.

    The discovery that LSD and other psychedelic drugs induce a flexible state of mind may explain their reported extraordinary therapeutic benefits. For example, psilocybin has shown benefits in the treatment of tobacco and alcohol addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and treatment-resistant major depression.

    In a small pilot study, LSD in combination with psychological therapy also led to a slight improvement in anxiety experienced by terminally ill cancer patients. Many of these psychiatric disorders are characterized by inflexible, habitual patterns of brain activity. By introducing a disordered state of mind, LSD and other psychedelics may help to break these inflexible patterns.

    Similarly, the unconstrained brain state induced by psychedelics may also help explain the reported increases in creativity. From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, a whole host of studies sought to determine if classic psychedelics could be useful for enhancing creativity. In the most notable of these studies, researchers found that LSD and mescaline could aid in creative problem-solving when used in carefully controlled settings. A recent study found that use of classic psychedelics is robustly associated with greater creative problem-solving ability.

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-...on-valley.html


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    Microdosers of LSD and magic mushrooms are wiser and more creative

    We just ran the first ever pre-registered scientific study on the microdosing of psychedelics and found some very promising results.

    We compared people who microdose — that is, who take a psychedelic substance such as LSD or psilocybin in very small quantities — with those who don’t, and found that microdosers had healthier scores on key mental health and well-being measures.

    Specifically, we found that microdosers scored higher on measures of wisdom, open-mindedness and creativity.

    Microdosers also scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality, which is very promising.

    Subtle changes, not hallucinations

    Psychedelics microdosing can mean taking five to 20 micrograms of LSD, 0.1 – 0.3 grams of dried psilocybin-containing mushrooms or very low doses of more exotic substances, like 1P-LSD, ALD-52 or 4-AcO-DMT.

    No matter the substance, microdosing implies a dose so low that the individual experiences only subtle changes, not hallucinations. People are not “tripping” on a microdose; they just go about their regular day, whether that means studying at school, going to work or taking care of the kids at home.

    There has been no published science on whether microdosing works, but despite this, microdosing for self-enhancement and mental health has hit the media.

    For example, a 2016 article in Wired magazine described young professionals in San Francisco and Silicon Valley microdosing to enhance their creativity and focus, and to gain a competitive advantage.

    Ayelet Waldman attributed her increased well-being to microdosing in A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage and My Life. More recently, Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind has further attracted mainstream attention to psychedelics.

    Higher wisdom and creativity

    No experimental study has evaluated psychedelic microdosing, and neither did we.

    Randomized placebo-controlled trials are needed to talk definitively about the effects of microdosing. In the meantime, we investigated the experiences of people who already microdose.

    Our survey investigated the relationship between microdosing psychedelics and mental health. We recruited participants online, especially from Reddit’s microdosing community.

    We asked our study participants about their microdosing patterns by having them fill in some questionnaires. As firm believers in Open Science, we have openly shared all our materials and you can find them here. Our findings are soon to be published in Psychopharmacology and you can access the preprint here.

    We found that microdosers scored higher on “wisdom,” but wisdom is a tricky thing to define. In this context, “wisdom” implies considering multiple perspectives, learning from mistakes, being in tune with emotions and people and feeling a sense of connection. Using this definition, microdosers were more “wise.”

    They were also more creative and open. If wisdom is tricky, creativity is even more so. In this case, creativity meant finding unusual uses for regular household objects: A brick and a knife. Microdosers came up with more useful, unusual and unique uses for these objects. This is a well-validated measure of divergent thinking, though certainly not the be-all and end-all of creativity.

    Microdosers also scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality. What does that mean?

    Well, dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality (aka neuroticism) are bad. Dysfunctional attitudes are beliefs such as, “my value as a person depends greatly on what others think of me” or “if I ask a question, it makes me look inferior.” Neither of these are true, and they are unhealthy to believe as they imply vulnerability to stress and depression.

    Microdosers endorsed less of these unhealthy beliefs. Likewise, high negative emotionality means a higher likelihood of having a mental health disorder, and microdosers had lower negative emotionality.

    An exciting future for clinical science

    Our results are promising. As promising as they seem, we don’t know whether microdosing actually caused any of these differences.

    Maybe people with better mental health were more likely to experiment with microdosing, or perhaps there is some unknown cause that made people both more likely to microdose and to be creative.

    At this point, we simply don’t know what caused the differences between the groups — just that these differences existed. We need to run controlled lab studies to actually find out.

    Our preliminary work also shows that people report downsides to microdosing. For example, some people found microdosing increased anxiety and mood-instability; increased aches, pains and gastrointestinal distress were also relatively common.

    The most common drawback was that microdosing is illegal. Did we forget to mention that? Yes, psychedelics are totally illegal!

    LSD and psilocybin were made illegal in the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and remain so today. The exact laws differ depending on where you live, and using analogue substances can sometimes be a legal grey area but, for the most part, microdosing makes you a criminal.

    What we need now are controlled lab experiments — randomized placebo-controlled trials of psychedelic microdosing to test safety and efficacy. Microdosing research, alongside full-dose psychedelics, promises an exciting future for clinical science and the study of human flourishing.

    https://theconversation.com/microdos...reative-101302


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    Why more and more people are leaning toward microdosing for depression

    by Deb Powers | Feb 3, 2019

    Microdosing, until now the province of trendy Silicon Valley biohackers and Reddit users, is taking on a shiny new respectability as serious scientists and researchers take notice. Over the past few years, some of the most respectable journals of science — hello, The Lancet — have published studies looking into the practice of microdosing mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, and other psychedelics. The findings are no surprise to those who have been paying attention to the anecdotal evidence. Here’s a look at some of the purported benefits of mushroom microdosing for depression.

    What Is Microdosing?

    According to Dr. James Fadiman, who has been researching psychedelics since the 1960s, microdosing is taking tiny amounts of a psychedelic — far below the level that would cause noticeable perception-altering effects — on a regular basis as a way to “rebalance” your brain. Fadiman has been collecting anecdotal reports about microdosing from people around the world. He says that people report improvements in mood and clarity, enhanced focus, more creativity, and productivity, as well as relief from the symptoms of depression and other psychological problems.

    While the term microdosing is relatively new, the concept — and the practice — are not. Dr. Albert Hoffman, who discovered LSD, was a proponent and long-time practitioner, and, as Fadiman noted in an interview with Huffington Post, indigenous people have been microdosing for thousands of years.

    Why People Microdose

    People turn to microdosing for a wide range of reasons. There are reports that it’s effective for everything from easing anxiety to relieving the symptoms of ADHD and opening them up to more creative ideas. It seems very much a YMMV type of experience. Fadiman says as much when he notes that people who wrote for help with anxiety found it helped their anxiety, those looking for something to help their productivity benefited in increased productivity, and so on. Here’s a look at some of the reasons people tried microdosing and their results:

    Janet Chang, a former Olympic speed skater, wrote in detail about her experiences during a year when she tried microdosing shrooms. She was on a quest for self-improvement during a very difficult year in her life. She experimented with varying doses of psilocybin, the psychoactive constituent in mushrooms, and kept meticulous notes. Overall, she found that microdosing made her less anxious, more creative and productive, and improved her self-perception and relationship with herself.

    Patrick Smith tried microdosing LSD after a few experiences with acid at full dosage levels. He found that microdosing LSD was a far different experience. After his first experience, he wrote that by the end of the day, he felt great. He’d found a “headspace” that allowed him a high degree of introspection and let him see how his decisions affected his anxiety and depression. He concluded that microdosing is a way of experiencing the beneficial healing effects of a psychedelic without letting go of control completely.

    James Jesso has been microdosing psilocybin and LSD for about two years. In a video on his site, Adventures Through the Mind, he compared the differences between microdosing shrooms vs. LSD. He noted that psilocybin helped him deal with trauma, made him feel more resilient, prevented him from spiraling into the depths of depression and helped him be more productive. He also found that psilocybin and LSD both helped him be more emotionally expressive. Overall, he concluded, microdosing LSD helps him be more productive and creative, while psilocybin affects emotions and self-perception more.

    What science says

    Researchers have been looking at LSD and MDMA as possible treatments for psychological disorders for decades. It’s only recently, though, that they’ve turned to studying microdoses as a method to enhance cognitive functions and ease symptoms of depression, PTSD and anxiety. Since the early 2000s, a number of small studies have suggested that there are definite benefits to taking small, sub-perceptual doses of psychedlics on a regular basis.

    In a study published in The Lancet, researchers treated 12 people diagnosed with a treatment-resistant depressive disorder with two microdoses of psilocybin, seven days apart. The researchers found that though some transient adverse effects occurred — mostly a little anxiety at the beginning of the session, some confusion and nausea during the session — there were no lasting adverse effects. The beneficial effects, however, did seem to hold up. All of the patients showed a marked reduction in depressive symptoms at one-week and three-month follow-up assessments, as well as improvement in symptoms of anxiety.

    A small study published in Psychopharmacology focused on the creative and cognitive effects of microdosing mushrooms. The researchers found that the microdoses seemed to affect both convergent and divergent thinking, but not fluidity. They concluded that microdoses of psilocybin might help balance cognitive persistence and flexibility and that further research into the precise effects is warranted. While all of that sounds very technical and scientific, it resonates with Patrick Smith’s observation that microdosing allowed him to delve into his emotional and creative processes without totally relinquishing control over his mind.

    Much of the information about microdosing is anecdotal, and what little research does exist tends to focus on how microdosing LSD or mushrooms makes you more productive, more creative or otherwise improves your “value.” That’s about to change. The Beckley Foundation has recently launched the first full study into microdosing and its effects on mood and general well-being in addition to creativity and productivity. This could be a game-changer in the field, opening more avenues of research into the possible uses of microdosing to help people fighting a range of mood regulation disorders.

    https://www.civilized.life/articles/...or-depression/


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