It was a trip out of my comfort zone that prompted me to jump on the microdose train. I was in another state covering a cannabis conference, far away from my quiet office and laptop, when an old friend showed up with a gift: 100 micrograms of LSD. “Take one tenth of the tab each time,” my friend advised. “It’s not super trippy, but it’ll take you out of your ordinary mind.” I folded the tab into a piece of paper, slipped it into my wallet, and flew home the next day.

I had done acid a couple of times back in college and admit to enjoying it immensely. Beyond the usual wavy lines and tree halos, I could both see and sense the yogic imagery of chakras—not as abstract concepts, but real and palpable objects in all their crystalline, rainbow glory. I sensed the aliveness of each thing—animate and not—and was truly, though temporarily, one with the universe. 

Microdosing LSD is nothing like that. 

The Fadiman Protocol

For my microdosing experiences, I’ve followed the Fadiman protocol. Where the old LSD movement was headed by radical psychedelics pioneers like Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Ken Kesey, and Abbie Hoffman, the contemporary face of LSD advocacy and tutelage is psychologist and author, James Fadiman

Fadiman’s protocol involves a four-day cycle: On day one, you dose with anywhere between five and fifteen micrograms of LSD. Following my friend’s advice, I choose ten. On day two, you generally experience only residual and subtle effects from the previous day’s dosing. On day three, you reset without psychedelics in order to become more aware of your baseline mood and functioning. And on day four, you dose again. 

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