Microdosing vs Macrodosing
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Macrodosing vs Microdosing

Psychedelics are either microdosed or macrodosed. What differentiates the two?

Psychedelics are also known as hallucinogens and are categorized as a Schedule I drug. Some more well-known hallucinogens include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, Ecstasy, and ketamine. Psychedelic compounds have been used for thousands of years in spiritual rituals and sacred ceremonies. The first synthetic hallucinogen, LSD, was created by Sandoz Laboratories in 1938. However, there is still not a lot of formal research conducted about the drug and other hallucinogens. 

Microdosing Vs. Macrodosing

What is Microdosing? 

Microdosing is a term that denotes when a very small amount of LSD or other psychedelics such as Psilocybin Mushrooms are consumed. Typically, this dosage is about one-tenth the full dose of a psychedelic drug. 

The effects of such consumption include improved mood, energy, and creative thinking. Most users report that they microdose the substances to relieve their symptoms of depression, PTSD and anxiety. (It is important to note, specifically with LSD, there is a high risk that the individuals form a dependence and addiction to the substance.)

Microdosing is a term used to describe when a very small amount of LSD or other psychedelics such as Psilocybin Mushrooms are consumed.

There are many claims of the transformative benefits of microdosing. However, these claims  are from users and will be inherently biased. The few studies that have been conducted suggest that overall thought performance improved after a non-blinded microdose. Conclusions from this study can only be labeled as hypotheses . 

Continued research and studies will need to be conducted in order to fully test and determine factual evidence of microdosing’s cognitive influences. 

Those who microdose psychedelics claim that the benefits include: 

  • Improve mood
  • Improve focus 
  • Increase creativity 
  • Improve energy 

On the other hand, users claim that microdosing can lead to: 

  • Physiological discomfort 
  • Impaired energy 
  • Impaired focus 
  • Anxiety surrounding the the illegality of the substances and the possibility of prison time

What is Macrodosing? 

Macrodosing is exactly what it sounds like– consuming a large dose of a psychedelic. A “trip” is the desired outcome when taking a macrodose. Generally, a trip lasts about 4-6 hours but can be as long as 8-10

An experience such as this temporarily alters one state of consciousness and reality. Emotional distortions, philosophical experiences outside of normal reality, and changed perceptions are all typical occurrences during a psychedelic experience. 

The substance being taken and the amount taken determines the intensity of such experiences. Individuals macrodose for a variety of reasons. Some of these include: 

  • To feel my open in social situations 
  • To experience a spiritual or mystical awakening 
  • To gain greater insights into life and themselves    


Typical occurances during a macrodose: emotional distortions, philosophical experiences outside of normal reality, changed perceptions.

Combating Addiction 

What Are the Dangers of Microdosing and Macrodosing? 

 Regardless of why one is microdosing or macrodosing psychedelics, there are always risks involved. A full-dose trip can be incredibly overwhelming and there are possibilities of triggering psychosis, schizophrenia, or other underlying mental conditions. Psychedelic clinical studies typically exclude individuals with such disorders to avoid the possibility of aggravating potential side effects.

As previously mentioned, psychedelics can cause someone to experience effects outside of their normal consciousness. These effects can lead one to being incredibly unaware of surroundings. 

This is a physical hazard to not only the user, but to those around them. Those who attempt to drive, use heavy machinery, or attempt to complete simple physical tasks can become a liability. 

As with all other illicit drugs, deadly substances can be laced into psychedelics. The substances are unregulated, leaving little room to be certain of safety, purity, and potency. Inaccurate dosing, which is a common mistake, can lead to a very unpleasant and possibly dangerous experience. It is common for hallucinogens to be mixed with other drugs such as alcohol, narcotics, or stimulants. 

It is hard to gauge the effects of the drugs when mixed; this can be very dangerous both physically and psychologically.

A full-dose psychedelic trip can trigger psychosis, schizophrenia, or other underlying mental conditions.

Where to Turn if You are Struggling with Micro- or Macrodosing Addiction

Self-medicating with potent illicit-drugs is always risky. When used to treat mental health disorders or physical ailments, these powerful substances can leave its user with a multitude of long-term side effects. Prolonged expert care can be offered to treat symptoms due to drug use, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. A healthy and supportive environment encourages control of stress or other underlying mental and physical hindrances. 

The Northern Arizona Center for Addiction offers varying levels of treatment programs and treatment plans. A variety of resources are made available to those open to help and support. Receiving help is only a phone call away.