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An increasing trend of young twenty-something tech professionals are taking tiny amounts of the psychedelic drug LSD in order to help them think outside the box and increase their productivity at work.
Microdosing is the practice of taking doses of drugs that are so low that they fall into the "sub-theraputic" category, which means that the drugs have a mild effect on the human body, but are unlikely to produce whole-body effects.
Traditionally this term referred to the study of tiny doses of drugs on humans by medical researchers, but today, the website High Existence defines Microdosing as "taking sub-perceptual doses (six-25 microgram LSD, 0.2-0.5 gram dried mushrooms, 50-75 microgram mescaline HCL) while keeping up with one's daily activities, engaging in extreme sports, appreciating nature or enhancing one's spiritual practice".
An increasing number of tech professionals in Silicon Valley are taking microdoses of LSD because it gives them an energy boost and helps them to work through complicated technical problems quicker than before.
"[You] feel a little bit of energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that you are tripping," Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies told Rolling Stone Magazine.
James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, introduced the idea of microdosing at a psychedelic research conference in 2011 when he presented the results of experiments where he took microdoses of drugs himself.
Since then, other people who have tried microdosing out have said that it can alleviate depression, migraines and chronic-fatigue syndrome, while promoting creative out-of-the-box thinking. He recommends that people who want to try this take a microdose every fourth day in the morning and then stick to their regular daily routine.
"People do it and they're eating better, sleeping better, they're often returning to exercise or yoga or meditation. It's as if messages are passing through their body more easily," Fadiman told Motherboard Vice.
"This is total guesswork, but so many different conditions that I've seen are improved, it looks like it rebalances those pistons which are not in balance. This may be in your central nervous system, it may be the brain stem, it may be that it's improving function of mitochondria. One woman who had painful, crampy periods started microdosing and when her period came, she had no problems."