The Working Man's Guide to Microdosing
Illustration by Oliver Hibert - Photograph by Tetra / Alamy

The promise of microdosing is tantalizing: Take a mini-hit of a mind-altering substance, and you can be more creative, less stressed and anxious, and even work harder, all without rendering yourself intoxicated.

If pop culture is any testament, the promise delivers. This winter, bestselling author Ayelet Waldman described how tiny doses of LSD helped alleviate her depression and save her marriage in A Really Good Day. Meanwhile, outlets from Mic to Maxim have covered how microdosing marijuana could boost focus and creativity. And high-profile biohackers, including Bulletproof Coffee mogul Dave Asprey, claim that cognitive-enhancing pills like modafinil can double productivity. Best, you're not using, you're microdosing. That linguistic spin aligns you with high-achieving Silicon Valley entrepreneurs instead of jobless couch-surfers.

Intriguing, indeed. But how do you get started? Is it safe? How much of which drug should you take? What kind of severance package can you expect after getting busted for being high at work? (Asking for a friend.)

I sifted through the research, spoke to top experts, and tested each of three common microdosing go-tos at the office. The result? This guide. Much of the advice is illegal, of course, so we feel compelled to say: We are not telling you to do drugs. We're just a curious and wanted some answers. Maybe you want some, too.