It all started after reading this post on The Hustle: Silicon Valley Tech Workers Are Taking LSD to Increase Productivity. Could it be true? Could acid actually make me work harder and be happier? Since I’m not one to buy into the hype without seeing for myself, I decided to spend 14 days microdosing.
For some background, I’m an entrepreneur in my mid-20s living in San Francisco. I’d never tried LSD before and have only occasionally tried pot. I’ve taken modafinil to focus on a particular task, and have had good results; that’s really the only drug I’ve ever done.
The rules to my experiment were simple: I’d take ~1/10th of a typical LSD dosage every day for four days, followed by one day off, for 14 days. A typical dosage of LSD is 100mcg, so I planned on taking between 5mcg and 20mcg.
Now, a lot of people have asked how I planned on getting the drugs. The answer to that is quite simple: the dark web. Most people are unaware of this, but getting drugs online is amazingly easy. I wrote a step-by-step article about it here. Long story short, you can easily buy LSD online, using bitcoin instead of cash and a P.O. box instead of your home address.
Now let’s get to it. Here’s a summary of my 14-day experience:
The drugs arrived today. I had to purchase them with bitcoin, which made the process not as smooth as Amazon, but it was still quite simple. When the drugs arrived I didn’t even realize it as the inconspicuous envelope they were in looked like any other piece of mail. The acid tabs were inside a small tin foil pouch that looked like a SIM card package.
I also ordered an LSD drug test kit to make sure the drugs were legit. The substance inside the SIM card tested positive for LSD.
After unpacking the tabs of acid, I cut each tab into 10 tiny strips using an X-ACTO knife. I then placed each strip into a small pipette (basically a shot glass) that was filled with water. I put everything in the fridge and let it sit overnight.
Having left the mixture in the fridge overnight, I took one pipette’s worth of the mixture (~5mcg) and put it on my tongue, swirling the mixture around in my mouth a bit. After an hour I didn’t notice any difference (apparently it’s supposed to take 30 minutes to work), so I took another pipette worth (~10mcg in total). I still didn’t notice much of an effect but went about my day as normal. I did my typical day’s work and didn’t feel different at all. I was a little disappointed.
Today I tried 3x pipettes’ worth (~15mcg). Again, I didn’t feel much, so I took one more pipette (~20mcg total today). I soon felt it ‘hit’ me. It wasn’t a hard slap, but like a gentle touch. Just a slightly different state of consciousness. I was in the middle of work when it happened. Seeing as this was the first time I have ever felt this feeling, I took some time away from my desk to walk around for 30 minutes. Afterward, I went back to work. I felt motivated, as if everything was going well. Speaking to my roommate, they said I seemed generally more talkative. I’m normally very quiet. Today felt good.
I took ~20mcg worth again today. Later in the day, I found myself walking around with a permanent smile, like I literally couldn’t stop smiling; not in a manic way, but I just felt happy. I didn’t feel like I was drunk or high – just like I was having a good day, like the first day of summer vacation from school. I didn’t have much work to do today, so after getting it done I started browsing the internet. I noticed I wanted to chat with more friends online and read more articles than normal.
Yesterday felt great. I went to bed in a good mood and woke up happy. So, I tried taking ~30mcg today to see if upping the dosage would increase the happiness. I did not feel great afterward. It felt like being drunk, as if I chugged a beer or two. Except I felt more in control than when I’m normally drunk. So I was more aware of my current state, but I still felt a little disorientated. I didn’t get much, if any, work done as I couldn’t focus. Tomorrow I will not take as much.
I took today off. I didn’t feel strong effects from the previous day, but still felt something.
I took 20mcg again. Life is good. I don’t feel drunk, nor high. I just feel… right. I think I prefer this dosage. The day went by fast because I was having a good time. I also noticed that I had more energy and felt more awake.
Taking 20mcg again today; I only noticed slight effects. It’s not super noticeable. I went to dinner with my friend and told her halfway through about my experiment, she asked me “are you on LSD now?”; the effect that it’s had on me is not extremely noticeable to people apart from those I’ve already told who spend a lot of time around me (for example, my roommate).
I ran out of my first batch of LSD. Thankfully I had second batch of micro-dosing drugs ready. This batch was called ‘Liquid Psilocybin Mushrooms.’ Instead of having to mix the tabs with water, the product was premixed.
As these are liquid, I didn’t need to go through any of the previous diltuion processes that I had to with LSD. I just dished out the amount that I’d received. The bottle of liquid that I received contained what would be equivalent to about 2g of ‘magic mushrooms’ (a standard dose). For a microdose, I took 0.2g-0.5g worth.
I took 0.25g to start and didn’t really notice anything, so took another 0.25g.
I measured about a quarter of the bottle into my mouth using the pipette and held the liquid under my tongue. The liquid mushrooms don’t taste great; kind of like vodka, I guess. In fact, the liquid pretty much felt like it was burning my tongue. I swallowed it when the bubbling/burning sensation stopped.
I didn’t notice anything. I felt happy, but not like I was on drugs.
Today I took 0.5g. I didn’t notice any difference in my attitude, so I took 0.5g more (1g total). I definitely felt something then. As I walked down the hallway, I had less balance and coordination. I certainly felt happier and laughed more. But this was not a good state for productivity; I basically felt drunk and couldn’t get any work done until the effects wore off after about 5 hours.
Today was an off day. I didn’t feel any effect from the previous day, but apparently microdoses of LSD are supposed to carry over for a few days. I didn’t notice any benefits carry over today. I started to notice it wearing off the night before, and this morning didn’t notice any carry over effect.
After taking 0.5g I went to work. It was as if nothing happened. I began to look at my diary from when I tried this same test with modafinil. Frankly, the effect of the modafinil was much more profound than both the liquid mushrooms and LSD, in terms of increasing my focus and productivity.
I took 0.5g of the liquid mushrooms again today. After the experience of 1g making me feel drunk, I don’t think that I’ll do that dosage again anytime soon, especially if I need to work that day. 1g is definitely too high of a dosage to take if you’re doing this to be more productive, as I was. For going to a party it’d be great as I felt buzzed and talkative.
Taking 0.5g of the mushrooms again. I’ve noticed that the liquid mushrooms are not nearly as profound as the LSD tabs.
Last day micro-dosing on the mushrooms. You don’t get as much for your money with liquid mushrooms vs. LSD (at least with what I bought). This was $20 per 2 grams (so if I’m taking 0.5g per micro-dose, that’s only 4 doses), so $5 per dose. The LSD that I got was closer to like ~$2 a dose. Again, I’m noticing some effects, but not as pronounced as during the LSD experimentations.
Was it worth it?
I found microdosing with LSD to be pretty awesome. But surprisingly, I found its effects to be less noticeable than small doses of the prescription drug modafinil (which is usually prescribed to people who work night shifts and pilots who need to stay awake).
Overall, I’d use modafinil when I want to be more productive and have a deadline that I have to hit. Tellingly, I took modafinil before writing up this article and procrastinated on writing it when I was microdosing on mushrooms.
I did, however, find the experience of microdosing to have a side effect that I didn’t expect. I felt way happier, more open and talkative. For a (sometimes grumpy) introvert like me, those are pretty awesome side-effects.
I found LSD and liquid mushrooms’ effects to be similar, but the LSD microdose effects were more profound and also more cost effective.
Whilst I’m not a doctor and can no way recommend what you should do (I don’t know what health conditions you have. I am healthy), for me personally, I am planning to continue doing microdoses of LSD long-term; I just need to work out the exact dosage and schedule.
Overall – who wouldn’t want to be happier and more communicative?
A note from The Hustle: Every morning at 9am Pacific, we send an email with the top news stories in business and tech. It's kind of like if your friend read the internet all day then told you the important stuff in a fun, easy to understand way. Join the club and impress your coworkers with how smart you are.