New York Magazine

THE EVERYTHING GUIDE TO: Microdosing’s Micromoment

Consuming crumb-size amounts of psychedelics—not to get high but to feel more focused and creative and present—has moved a tiny bit mainstream.

AS OF ONE MONTH AGO, I knew of just one friend who microdosed; my friend, who is a musician, said he was taking 0.1 grams of mushrooms a few mornings a week so he could finish up an album that had been taking him years. Then, a few weeks later, I was at a different friend’s house when he walked into his kitchen, took a teeny-tiny, shriveled-up mushroom stem out of the freezer, snapped off a minuscule amount, and popped it into his mouth, a thing he now does regularly to feel “more open” while on the many work calls he has throughout the day. This was while telling me about another friend, who’s devised a way to, as precisely as possible, dilute liquid LSD into 10-microgram doses. That guy uses it for painting.

It’s been quiet but also quick: Microdosing, which usually means taking tiny amounts of psychedelics (one-20th to one-tenth of a recreational dose) has spread from San Francisco to New York and around the country. People say they are using it not to escape their everyday lives but to enhance them: If you’re microdosing, you might even forget you’re doing drugs in the first place. The amounts are sub-perceptual, without the seeing-stuff side effects. They’re still themselves, users say, only a little better.

Recent reports show that millennials are drinking less and less interested in drugs like cocaine. But in a strange turn of events, they’ve taken up LSD and mushrooms in the way someone else might pop an Adderall. The most common self-reported benefits include improved mood, better eating and sleeping habits, and less of a need for caffeine. And, really, what could be more millennial than rebranding some of the most potent drugs out there as illegal vitamins that combine the feel-good-ness of self-care with the possibility of gaining a competitive edge on colleagues?

Drug dealers I surveyed have reported an uptick in microdosing requests: “Maybe 10 to 15 percent of my clients plan on microdosing, which is definitely up from when I first started selling mushrooms,” says one Brooklyn dealer. Another says that while she’s noticed more people buying mushrooms and LSD, return customers are consuming them more slowly. One dealer even brings around his scale for microdosers who want to measure out smaller amounts; another creates tinctures of diluted LSD. And a growing number of posts on Reddit devoted to the subject indicates that people are microdosing all sorts of things, from ketamine (for depression) to cannabis (for pain management).

Between 2010 and 2013, microdosing began to gain steam in Silicon Valley coder circles, thanks in part to the preachings of LSD researcher James Fadiman. The appeal of a drug regimen that allows for hours of uninterrupted focus and concentration

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