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How big is a milligram?
Q: I have had trouble finding a milligram scale, and my friends insist on the fact that they can eyeball a correct milligram dosage, or divide from a milligram. My question is if you could post a picture about how big a milligram is in relation to a small standard object like say a penny, and say it would be like the size of his eye or what have you.(I'm Guessing) It would be a great service to keep people from on the newer things like 2C-T-7 and such.

A: Your friends are sadly (and dangerously) deluded if they think they can eyeball a milligram, or even 10 milligrams. A milligram is an incredibly tiny ammount of powder. The difference between 10 milligrams and 30 milligrams is not very much, visually, and there is simply no way the human eye is capable of doing this.

Posting a picture such as you mention would not help in any way. Why? First of all, different chemicals have different molecular weights. A milligram of cocaine would look very different from a milligram of 2C-T-7. Second, different substances have different crystalline structures which can lead to more or less 'fluffy' powders, different volume per mass, depending on how they are crystalized when produced. Third, different samples of the same chemical will also look different owing to differences in particle density. A solid crystal of 2C-T-7 will look very different from loose powdered 2C-T-7. Any given sample of a chemical is likely to contain particles of all different sizes and densities, making it impossible to evenly divide it based on appearance.

Most people who think they can eyeball accurate doses are wrong. It may be possible to divide up hundred milligram samples of a powder by eye and be within a reasonable margin of safety, but one of the primary issues is the required accuracy. It is a lot less important to be within a few mg of the targeted dose with Cocaine than it is with many psychedelics. If you're trying to accurately measure a substance with doses under 50 mg, a scale or liquid measuring technique should be used.

Asked By : Tripoli
Answered By : murple/fire
Published Date : 2 / 17 / 2001
Last Edited Date : 2 / 17 / 2001
Question ID : 2282

Categories: [ Dosage ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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