Psychedelic substances have long been a legally sensitive topic, although people had been using them long before they were classified as illegal. Nowadays, however, many people start to explore the long-forgotten effects they have on the mind, paying special attention to the medical benefits.
There’s a strong debate on why psychedelics became illegal in the first place, and whether they should be kept illegal, and many have become proponents of the idea that they can be indeed very useful.
One example of the possible benefits of psychedelic substances on the human mind is the LSD Microdosing self-treatment which has even received its special spot in Ayelet Waldman’s book A Really Good Day – How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life.
The book tells Waldman’s story of how she fought depression off using this self-treatment method, which, although legally risky, turned out to be safer than the commonly-prescribed antidepressants.
Microdosing involves the taking of very low doses of LSD (between 1 and 10 micrograms, which is below a tenth of the regular dose) so that the user does not feel the trippy effects and yet receive the intended mental boost.
As Waldman recalls in the book, the most reassuring advice she received was that of David Presti, a professor of neurobiology at University of California, Berkley, and an expert on the effects of drugs on the brain.
“I really think there’s something going on with microdosing,” he told her. “I think when people do get around to researching it, it’s going to be relatively easy to demonstrate positive effects that are better than conventional antidepressants, which are awful.”
He assured her that LSD Microdosing is much safer than taking anti-depressants, explaining to her that besides the numerous side-effects, the medical world is still not exactly sure what they are doing to the brain.
And in favor of truth, it’s still unknown how much LSD a person needs to take in order to suffer fatal consequences, as no one has taken enough to find out. The main difference between LSD and antidepressants is the clinical trials, which are lacking in the case of LSD.
And when it comes to antidepressants, there is evidence that they simply don’t work for a lot of people who are suffering from depression and may cause such nasty side effects that even can lead to suicides.
In the case of LSD, it’s true that some very bad trips have been reported, but they end when the effects of the drug wear off. And when it comes to microdosing, the doses are so low that hallucinations and feeling ‘high’ are not expected, or may be inconsequential.
Of course, the most important question is: Does LSD Microdosing work?
According to Waldman’s experience, it does. Although no government-approved studies have been made, the volume of anecdotal evidence is substantial. Many people have reported overwhelmingly positive results from this self-treatment method.
James Fadiman and Sophia Korb, researchers with Sofia University, have found, people who have tried microdosing have reported health and personal benefits. Their aim is to find out more about people’s experiences with microdosing with psychedelic substances and have set up a website that allows everyone with such intake to report on their experience.
The largest obstacle that lies on the path of discovering more about the positive effects of microdosing is money. Clinical trials are expensive and time-consuming, and neither pharmaceutical companies nor governments are willing to fund research in this field.
However, crowdfunding and philanthropy are starting to fill the gap that has been preventing proper research to take place and truly learn more about how psychedelic substances can be used to treat depression and other mental disorders.