How microdosing helped me kick my internet habit
March 2, 2016 9:37 AM   Subscribe

 
"Can very small doses of LSD make you a better worker?"

And with this question, the spirit of the 1960s is finally, inexorably dead.
posted by crazylegs at 9:42 AM on March 2, 2016 [421 favorites]


This was also the theme of by far the weirdest episode of Reply All, where cohost PJ Vogt serrupticiously microdosed for about a week, and then accidentally just dosed and had an LSD trip.
posted by maxsparber at 9:44 AM on March 2, 2016 [15 favorites]


What could possibly go wrong
posted by dersins at 9:45 AM on March 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Can very small doses of LSD make you a better worker?"

Turn on, punch in, clock out?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:46 AM on March 2, 2016 [109 favorites]


I don't know, but it got my sister through high school.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:50 AM on March 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Can very large doses of LSD make you a better furry? I decided to find out.
posted by USER X at 9:51 AM on March 2, 2016 [80 favorites]


I suspect that once you notice the oneness-of-all and the crying need for universal compassion and kindness, that you might tell the Bobs to fuck right off.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:55 AM on March 2, 2016 [14 favorites]


Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really well.
posted by USER X at 9:57 AM on March 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


I've tried this. I think I had a small improvement in productivity and sense of well being. Mostly I attribute that to the stimulant effect.

I like that the article concludes that we need a rigorous study. Too often the discourse on psychedelics consists of cautionary morality tales versus ecstatic conversion narratives. It is fertile soil for bullshit.

Mercifully, the DEA is now starting to permit clinical trials of LSD. It's still the disease-treating rather than mind-enhancing or spiritually-awakening paradigms, but it's a start.
posted by andrewpcone at 10:05 AM on March 2, 2016 [25 favorites]


The walls of the internet were practically breathing with praise

Great line
posted by slogger at 10:08 AM on March 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


I've also tried this myself, albeit with mushrooms. A friend of mine and I did it to see if it would make us think more creatively in a given period of time. The results were disappointing, although I imagine that in such a case you might be searching for a placebo that is either generated by your doubt or you belief in it working. With mushrooms, you're dealing with some heavily mounting resistance, as well. That certainly interfered with any potential practicality. At least the tiny amounts didn't really make us nauseous.
posted by constantinescharity at 10:08 AM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Microdosing seems to be the latest thing with the cool kids. I'm really hopeful, though, that it will eventually be allowed as a treatment for severe depression.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:25 AM on March 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


The constant withdrawal sounds awful.
posted by lokta at 10:25 AM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


On my second day of microdosing, my work involved interviewing a guy who wanted to smoke weed while we talked. (I was working as the pot critic at the alt-weekly, so it's not that odd.)

Okay, I just love that microdosing LSD allowed this guy to do his job of being a pot critic more easily.
posted by xingcat at 10:25 AM on March 2, 2016 [75 favorites]


A long time ago I used to regularly enjoy fairly large doses of LSD. I guess you could say I grew out of it when I got married and found a serious career. In the decades that have past, I wouldn't say I miss the intense party weekends... but in all honesty I would try this in a heartbeat, if only I could safely purchase reliably pure and dependably metered LSD.

As no one in my admittedly tiny social circle is even remotely interested in street drugs I have absolutely no clue how one would go about finding such a source.
posted by The Correspondent on the Continent at 10:28 AM on March 2, 2016 [16 favorites]


As no one in my admittedly tiny social circle is even remotely interested in street drugs I have absolutely no clue how one would go about finding such a source.

Yeah, it definitely seems like that's one of the side benefits of being a pot critic.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:30 AM on March 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I kinda want to try this (I'll avoid ranting about the stupid logic behind typical treatments for clinical depression; I think I've used up my quota for this week).
posted by iffthen at 10:34 AM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was also the part of the story that stood out to me; who can get acid, these days? How do you make it, anyway? Maybe mefi should whip up a big batch, then we can all microdose and post in MeTa about it.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:35 AM on March 2, 2016 [19 favorites]




but, but, but... what's the point without Giant Friendly Multicolored DinoLizards flying around the room???
posted by sammyo at 10:45 AM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Correspondent on the Continent:

The issue with LSD today, unlike, say, 30 years ago (not that I think you're that old, necessarily), is that there are so many very rough analogues that people sell because they are cheaper or easier to produce and procure. They're usually intense psychadelics like 25I-NBOMe or other 2C-likes that have the potential to incur far more serious side affects than LSD. Many manufacturers and retailers of these drugs operate on the premise that your average psychadelic-user is too young to have tried real LSD, and they correctly anticipate that a lot of users won't be able to differentiate the two.

You can buy field test kits, however they only test for presence. Luckily, as far as I understand it, there's no real point in cutting genuine LSD with other things.

If you're feeling brave, you could probably pay for a P.O. box in cash, and then order something off a Silk Road successor. Just remember to order domestically, in order to reduce the odds of the package being checked.
posted by constantinescharity at 10:45 AM on March 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh! I've never gotten to do this: eponysterical.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:55 AM on March 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


The issue with LSD today, unlike, say, 30 years ago (not that I think you're that old, necessarily), is that there are so many very rough analogues that people sell because they are cheaper or easier to produce and procure. They're usually intense psychadelics like 25I-NBOMe or other 2C-likes that have the potential to incur far more serious side affects than LSD. Many manufacturers and retailers of these drugs operate on the premise that your average psychadelic-user is too young to have tried real LSD, and they correctly anticipate that a lot of users won't be able to differentiate the two.

An interesting development recently is that some of the RC people have started to sell lysergamides - actual LSD analogs. So if you've taken acid lately there's a solid chance it's something like this that - i.e. not the same but really pretty close.
posted by atoxyl at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Are mushrooms close enough to LSD? It seems to me that mushrooms would cover the reliability of source issue and make for easier micro-portioning. I never tried acid.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:06 AM on March 2, 2016


Maybe it worked for this guy, but I work with the public. NOT EVEN ONCE.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:07 AM on March 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


I was disappointed when I discovered this article wasn't written by a cop.
posted by item at 11:15 AM on March 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


All I know is that when I take mushrooms (I have taken LSD in the past), all of my mental health issues disappear for the 5 or 6 hours the drug lasts and I feel like a well adjusted, complete version of myself. This has NEVER happened with any of the anti-depressants I've been prescribed and I've been prescribed nearly all of them. If they could just figure out how to take the mental health effects of mushrooms and separate then from the 'wow, the universe is so beautiful I just want to stare at this blade of grass for an hour" effect, I think we'd have a magic bullet for depression. If I was Bill Gates that's where I'd be putting my money.
posted by spicynuts at 11:26 AM on March 2, 2016 [17 favorites]


with this question, the spirit of the 1960s is finally, inexorably dead

Obligatory Danny
posted by flabdablet at 11:26 AM on March 2, 2016


The problem with dosing at work is that you are at work.
posted by mikelieman at 11:27 AM on March 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've heard good results from guys who take microdoses of Iocaine Powder to be a better pirate.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:30 AM on March 2, 2016 [52 favorites]


I would like to see a clinical study on microdosing LSD as compared to mindfulness meditation. I know meditation takes more effort, but I couldn't help but notice how many of the effects the author felt were, by his own admission, similar to those of practicing meditation.

mikelieman: Check out the pull quote from the Reply All episode linked upstream. Brings new meaning to the expression "If you love pour your mind through new, unfathomable dimensions of your job, you'll never work a day in your life."
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 11:46 AM on March 2, 2016


Of course, the danger is that these are purely subjective reports.

How does he make that realization and then never fucking bother to do anything different? Where is the "hey friend I had coffee with, did I seem like a better listener that day?"?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:48 AM on March 2, 2016


I chuckled that his method of dose control was just snipping off a small piece of blotter.
posted by achrise at 11:50 AM on March 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


All I know is that when I take mushrooms (I have taken LSD in the past), all of my mental health issues disappear for the 5 or 6 hours the drug lasts and I feel like a well adjusted, complete version of myself.

I've known tons of people who've had this experience-- and even more who've gotten there while or after using DMT.

Alas, last time I had a psychedelic, I got the exact opposite effect. For hours and hours and hours. Shudder.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:56 AM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe it worked for this guy, but I work with the public. NOT EVEN ONCE.

I teach High School and totally agree. I worry that microdosing might strip away my ability to appreciate my teenage students thin veneer of humanity and see them for the horrific hormone riddled creatures they are.

Too close to bat country for that noise.
posted by JimmyJames at 12:08 PM on March 2, 2016 [31 favorites]


Civilization is the hallucination.
posted by USER X at 12:12 PM on March 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


The prevailing social/ moral position with regard to these psychoactive compounds has impeded our ability to scientifically measure their effects and determine safety and efficacy a cross a wide range of possible benefits.
posted by humanfont at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Can very small doses of LSD make you a better worker?"

And with this question, the spirit of the 1960s is finally, inexorably dead.


[caustic, grinding guitar line from "Dazed and Confused"]
posted by clockzero at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, have you ever really looked at a TPS report? I mean really looked at a TPS report?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:19 PM on March 2, 2016 [45 favorites]


the spirit of the 1960s is finally, inexorably dead

If Philip K. Dickian nightmare worlds are a part of the spirit of the Sixties, then this coming from Vox dot com seems to qualify pretty well. UBIK is safe and even productivity-enhancing when used in microdoses!
posted by RogerB at 12:21 PM on March 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I suspect that once you notice the oneness-of-all and the crying need for universal compassion and kindness, that you might tell the Bobs to fuck right off.

No, you have it backwards. We embrace the Bobs, it's the Pinks that can fuck right off.
posted by sourwookie at 12:31 PM on March 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've read a bit about about the possibilities of LSD and other drugs for treatment of depression and other mental health issues. I wish there was more research being done on it. It makes me wonder if back in my youthful days I accidentally warded off the depression that seems to run in my family by my few times a year LSD or mushroom party nights during my twenties and in my early 30's once a year mushroom fun.

Both parents and both sisters starting in their late teens and especially during their twenties dealt with it. I assumed that I had just escaped the curse until it started hitting me around 35 and really hit bad around 37. Until then I had no problems. I haven't touch anything beyond pot since I was 33 or 34. When I found out about the possibility I asked my sisters if they had ever done anything and they both said no.

No way to prove a link of course but it does make me wonder. Especially since one of the things that I always said about doing it is although the 'hangover' part sucked it always felt that the cobwebs had been cleared out and my brain felt refreshed.
posted by Jalliah at 12:46 PM on March 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I touched on my experience with microdosing in a previous thread ....

yeah, I'd say it influenced me in mostly positive ways (and continues to).

Word of warning though. LSD has, among other things, a stimulant effect. Indeed much of what I was using it for was extending my useful waking hours. Problem is, eventually the body says enough. Maybe you don't burn out like a coke fiend after a 92 hour bender, but you do burn out. At least I did. Low level chronic fatigue which only really reconciled once I took a full on holistic approach to getting my personal biosphere back in order (diet, exercise, regular sleep cycle etc).

Which leads to a little hard-earned wisdom. You really can't fool nature. Artificial energy is artificial energy. You will pay for it eventually, with interest.

posted by philip-random at 12:54 PM on March 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh friend constantinescharity I am indeed that old and alas I fear not so brave as to go through the apparently extensive exercise of using Tor and Bitcoin to order something off a Silk Road successor. The world isn't the same place it was back in the day... the penalties are harsher and I, while I truthfully have less to lose what I have is dearer to me.
posted by The Correspondent on the Continent at 1:08 PM on March 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


Infinitely dearer.
posted by Chitownfats at 1:10 PM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel like the experiences of the pot critic at a local alt-weekly may not be typical. Just, like, in general.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:12 PM on March 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Q: Does MDMA make you a more productive worker?

A: I love you. No, I really love you. Do you have any gum?
posted by 1adam12 at 1:24 PM on March 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I prefer the - I think Shulgin's - phrase 'museum dose', as the sub-trip level that promotes different perceptions and insights without preventing social interactions. It really does make experiencing museums and art galleries so much more enthralling and enriching, and does that ineffable trick of showing new ways to look at things, ways that continue to work thereafter even if you never drop another touch.

I think that's called 'education', a concept in general I approve of.
posted by Devonian at 1:45 PM on March 2, 2016 [19 favorites]


I really hate articles that rave about drugs that aren't available unless I'm willing to break the law and take the risk of ingesting pharmaceuticals with no quality control.
posted by zipadee at 2:08 PM on March 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Can a raise and paid sick time make me a better worker? My boss won't let me test this hypothesis.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2016 [27 favorites]


Employee reviews become flashbacks.
posted by Chitownfats at 3:15 PM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've also tried this myself, albeit with mushrooms. A friend of mine and I did it to see if it would make us think more creatively in a given period of time.

I did this in high school with pot, to 'enhance creativity' for a drama class project.

The only thing we were creative about was finding doritos.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:23 PM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I prefer the - I think Shulgin's - phrase 'museum dose', as the sub-trip level that promotes different perceptions and insights without preventing social interactions. It really does make experiencing museums and art galleries so much more enthralling and enriching, and does that ineffable trick of showing new ways to look at things, ways that continue to work thereafter even if you never drop another touch.

If you were to have a physiology like mine, all you would need to do would be to eat a lot of 100% rye crackers -- Rytak was my drug of unwitting choice, and it took me years to figure out why I was having so many flashbacks.

Cogito Ergot some.
posted by jamjam at 4:46 PM on March 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


One day, when I was a teenager, my friends and I went to smoke up, and we encountered a van full of hippies on their way to Further. As we didn't have a lot of pot to share, and I happened to have five dollars, I bought a hit from the random hippies. While I had taken acid before, this stuff was something special. The next day, still tripping, still haven't slept, I got called into my waitressing job. I dropped a bowl of soup and burst into tears. They sent me home. So, no, LSD did not improve my job performance. LSD was the hardest drug I ever did, and it's been almost 20 years, but oh man, I miss it. Now I just nod sincerely when my 14 year old tells me about how she's straightedge.
posted by Ruki at 5:19 PM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


bonobothegreat: Are mushrooms close enough to LSD?

Not at all, imo. And without some lab tests or a lot of faith in your provider, you're on your own as far as figuring out what a "micro" dose would be.

I thought that shouldn't go unanswered.
posted by sneebler at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


It really does make experiencing museums and art galleries so much more enthralling and enriching, and does that ineffable trick of showing new ways to look at things...

Did you ever know that the Louvre is made entirely of the most amazing marble, that contains within its grains and veins fabulous vistas depicting all of Humankinds jaunty endeavors, thoughts, experiences, hopes and dreams -- in lush swimming animated panoramas? I think there might be some paintings and stuff, too.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:23 PM on March 2, 2016 [17 favorites]


...then I heard of USER X, the man with the cure - just watch the television, yeah, you'll see there's something going on.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:53 PM on March 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even though I am really freaked out at the idea of hallucinating and I've never done so much as smoked pot in my life, somehow these weird LSD experiment articles really intrigue me, especially the ones about depression (ditto 'shrooms). It's a shame we can't study these better and uh, legally.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:52 PM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't know about this, but I do know that macrodosing led to me running butt naked through the active training area of the 1st Armored Division in Germany. I called it caveman day, and while it was a once in a lifetime experience, I would not recommend it to others. No sir, I would not.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:21 PM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


butt naked through the active training area of the 1st Armored Division in Germany

I really want to hear more about this, now.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:26 PM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Caveman day reminds me of the time I went to Burning Man and my ex tried LSD and spontaneously decided he had to be a tiger crawling across the playa.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:33 PM on March 2, 2016


Sticky - I could tell you some seeeerious shit about the lichens on the walls of Longleat, but that's another story (involving the future Earl of Bath, a mad duchess, the American Ambassador (dressed as Uncle Sam), Reservoir Dogs, a pair of Marigold gloves, a Roman centurian ambushing me at the urinal, and waiters with guns. Perhaps another day).

I refer rather to rules of composition, proportion, geometry and light: how we see representations as real; what people see when they look at each other; and how to paint a grape. That sort of thing... and so much more. It really changed how I look through a camera lens and how I watch movies... and that's for starters.
posted by Devonian at 5:42 AM on March 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Reply All, where cohost PJ Vogt serrupticiously microdosed

I found that episode extremely frustrating. Vogt clearly doesn't have experience in the matter, so he does what a lot of newbies do when they first try LSD/Shrooms/Pot/Etc., which is spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on the "Oh my goodness, I'm doing the drugs!" aspect that it overwhelms everything else. Even worse, he starts having anxiety about people knowing that he might be on drugs to the point that completely interferes with his work in a way that if far disproportionate to the actual effect of the microdose. I kept wanting to grab PJ by the shoulders and just say, "Dude, chill."

When Vogt made his confession at the end of the show to Alex Goldman, who has done acid before, it felt like a complete vindication of my frustration. Goldman basically said, your experiment was silly, you didn't seem as strange as you thought you seemed, and you should actually go do a bunch of acid so you know what the actual experience is like, which will give you perspective if you ever do try this again.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:27 AM on March 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: terrified by nothingness as your ownmost possibility.
posted by cake vandal at 12:41 PM on March 3, 2016




I've also tried this myself, albeit with mushrooms.

Why I Take Psychedelic Mushrooms For My Health
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on March 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


reading homunculus' article makes me think that this may be the pharmacological equivalent of those toe-shoes I bought several years ago. Made kind of sense in a way, started out well, ended not-so-well, but was ultimately very educational.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:03 AM on March 7, 2016


Are mushrooms close enough to LSD?

Yes and no. On lower doses the effect is quite different in respect to the type of hallucinations, the body feel, changes in mood, etc. However, nearly all true psychedelics are roads to the same place (not sure I'd describe MDMA as such, at least not by itself), and at higher doses, superficial differences still exist, but the underlying existential experience is not very different. LSD has been described as the purest expression of the psychedelic experience, which seems like a good description to me, except DMT might also be described that way.

I am not sure if micro dosing shrooms and LSD would be significantly different for the same person, but I'd imagine there would be differences. For one thing, the effects of LSD last usually 8-12 hours compared to 4-6 hours for shrooms.

BTW, you can smoke shrooms, which tastes like fish (not great but not really horrible if you're ok eating them), and the effects peak and decline much faster.

It seems to me that mushrooms would cover the reliability of source issue and make for easier micro-portioning. I never tried acid.

This is kinda tricky with shrooms but possible. You can even grow them yourself (spores are not technically illegal in the US), which provides better quality control. Shrooms can be ground up, weighed, and portioned into capsules, which isn't 100% reliable in providing a super accurate dose, but it does a decent job. Just make sure to grind up stems and caps together.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:32 PM on March 11, 2016


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