LSD, the Benefits and Dangers.
You think you know LSD? You have no idea.
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
Never in my 33 years of life did I think I would try LSD let alone write an article about it’s many possible benefits. Yet here I sit, a well educated, active, successful business owner, sipping my coffee, editing photos, listening to Beethoven Sonata No.14 and reflecting on my many experiences with LSD and the massive amounts of research I have done on the topic over the years that led me here. Let me preface this article by saying I in no way condone the use of legal or illegal drugs.
I am not suggesting anyone go out and try LSD but rather reporting on the information I find intriguing. To be honest I have never been into drugs nor am I interested in taking LSD just for fun. No, what interests me is the possible health, wellness, and spiritual benefits of microdosing and creative problem solving at higher dosages. Viewing the world from a different perspective without the ego. The fact is 200,000+ people will use LSD for the first time this year and many more are thinking about it. Not all but hopefully most of these people will do their research before diving into the world of psychedelics as everyone should and when they do I hope they come across this article and it sheds some light on the topic.
If you think LSD is just for hippies, trippers, and burnouts, think again. Fact is billionaires, celebrities and countless other game changers have openly discussed their LSD use and it’s positive effects on their lives. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, The Beatles, Joe Rogan, George Carlin, and Jack Nicholson just to name a few. And more recently a growing number of young professionals in Silicon Valley claim that taking small doses of LSD known as “microdosing”, which involves taking minute quantities of the drug (8-15 micrograms every 4 days) simply makes them perform better at work – becoming more creative and focused, (as a designer and photographer this in particular intrigues me) with enhanced overall well-being, reduced stress and anxiety while improving sleep and leading to healthier habits. Just to name a few.
Ayelet Waldman (mom of 4) and Author of “A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life” resorted to microdosing after years of physical and mental suffering. Severe depression with years of drugs given to her by her doctor came with countless side effects but no relief. It wasn't till she tried microdosing for 30 days that her mood, marriage and life changed for the better.
Business professionals, software engineers, biologists and mathematicians - say that microdosing aids lateral thinking and encourages more empathetic interpersonal relations and women have reported less cramps when it’s that time of the month.
So what's my experience been like? Well, on average when I have about 200-300 mcg "1-3 tabs" I have no hallucinations, loss of ego, or dark feelings. I do however feel a sense of overwhelming peace, loss of anxiety, boost of creativity, and experience a dream like state yet my mind is clear. All noise from everyday problems vanish for 8-12 hours and meditation is never better. I feel a new appreciation for nature and others. A Oregon Coast sunset never looked so good. All that being said, there's a caveat. and that is, everyone has a different experience. Just because mine was great doesn't mean yours will be. If trying LSD for the first time don't do more than 1 tab as it may be too much to handle. Look at it like a hair cut. You can always try more in the future but once ingested there is no going back. Also make sure you don't have a family history of mental illness before taking LSD. If you do LSD should be avoided.
Bad Trips. If you experiment with psychedelics long enough you will at some point have a bad trip. This could be your first time or your 6th time. In my many experiences with psychedelics I've had 2 bad trips. Both times were because I broke the rules I mention in this article. My very first experience with psychedelics was mushrooms and I had what I thought at the time was a very bad trip (fear, unease, helplessness, loss of time, loneliness, paranoia) Here's why: 1st. I had way too much, 2nd. I was camping at a location we backpacked 2 miles into. No way out. 3rd took them way too late, it got dark an hour after the shrooms set in and we didnt have wood to make a fire. Also it was very cold and uncomfortable where we were. As you can see I broke many rules and when you do you can have a bad trip. That being said looking back I only remember the good conversations and laughs we had. It was'nt all bad.
My 2nd bad trip was much worse. I made the big mistake of breaking rule number one: Dont mix drugs. About an hour into my trip on LSD my roomate at the time thought it would be a good idea to give me THC butter. ( I don't smoke weed, he smokes a ton of weed) Well mixing had no effect on him but oh boy it did for me. When the THC kicked in I had an awful panic attack that lasted for hours and extreme paranoia. I just sat alone in my room and rode it out but there was nothing good about that experience. I learned not to have anything else in my system while on LSD and have never had a bad trip since. :)
Dr James Fadiman, Author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide says "What you get with microdosing is the best parts of Adderall with none of the side effects. You function better physically and mentally. You find the office prick bearable and you're more compassionate about the flaws of others"
"It helps me think more creatively and stay focused. I manage my stress with ease and am able to keep my perspective healthy in a way that I was unable to before"
Lily, startup publicist
On his website Fadiman offers guidance to participants on how often to dose and, in return, asks them to keep a journal of observations. Fadiman has reports from 125 participants, with 80 more on the way. In addition to this, he receives many requests for advice each month from people looking to try it safely.
"It is no longer a fad. It is being accepted as a very different way to more safely benefit from psychedelics without any 'psychedelic effects'," he says. In such low doses, psychedelics should be viewed more like anti-depressants and cognitive enhancers. Alex, a biologist at Edinburgh University says "With a microdose you don't get the overwhelming rush of emotions and feelings. You don't get hallucinations nor do you feel sleepy." However, Alex will also take up to a third of a full dose when he is seeking to solve complex problems.
As Portland rapidly grows I foresee the experimentation with microdosing blowing up among the huge number of young entrepreneurs here trying to get an edge on the competition. And I am among them.
Recently, universities around the world have begun testing LSD for addressing PTSD, mental health problems, treatment-resistant depression, removing end-of-life anxiety in terminal cancer patients, ending nicotine addiction, and more. Roland Griffiths, phD, a professor at Johns Hopkins medical school, shares a typical upshot from one early study: “Most of the 36 volunteers looked back on their experience with higher doses of LSD up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the 5 most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives. “For volunteers with children, the experience was often put above, or on par with the birth of their first child.
It should be noted that a normal trip today would range anywhere from 100 mcg to 200 mcg of LSD and 400 mcg and up for a mystical experience or “the feeling or the awareness that you are connected not only to other people but to other things and to living systems.” At this dose or higher it is critical to have qualified supervision in the form of a guide.
Remember “If you are going to take a mood-altering drug there will always be an element of risk, particularly if you have an underlying mental health condition. But compared to the risks attached to other drugs, this is at the lower end of the scale," says Harry Shapiro, director of UK charity DrugWise.
Warnings: If taking LSD it is crucial that you get it from a trusted source, test it before use and make sure to be in a safe clean setting with people you love and trust. Make sure your mindset is positive and open. Make sure you are in a good place in life and generally positive. If you have a history of mental illness DO NOT TAKE LSD. A dose can last 12 hours, make sure you stay in one place whether that’s at home or in nature (Camping is great). Make a list of questions you want to answer before you trip. Have a plan and purpose. Always have a trip sitter. ( more on this in The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide ) And finally, although there has never been a recorded incident of a fatal overdose of LSD, nor is it addictive, nor is there a link between psychedelics and psychosis, bad trips are very real and can happen. It can be terrifying but it will pass and you will be fine. Flashbacks from bad trips have been reported with excessive use but they are very rare.
Look, Life is short, why not expand your mind? Lose the ego. See life from another perspective you can’t even imagine. To achieve this with a safer legal alternative to LSD you can try meditation or a float tank. I suggest THE FLOAT SHOPPE http://www.floatshoppe.com/ in Portland. Or Float Om Healing Center http://float-om-isolation-tanks.com/ in Eugene. Thanks for reading now join the discussion. Have you tried LSD? How was your experience? Was it good or bad? Would you do it again? Should it be legal? Did this article in anyway shift your view on the drug itself? Let us know in the comments below.
Microdosing: People who take LSD with breakfast - BBC News
How Do Psychedelics Effect The Brain?
Can LSD make you a billionaire?
Have A Good Trip | Official Trailer | Netflix
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports LSD statistics and facts saying more than 200,000 people use LSD for the first time each year.
Books: A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
by Ayelet Waldman
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
by James Fadiman
Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss
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