Listen to “Rising Trend – Microdosing Psychedelics”.
Microdosing involves the regular ingestion of tiny quantities of psychedelic substances. The practice has had a rapid increase in popularity in recent years. Microdosing has become especially popular in the Silicon Valley sphere, with many workers consuming crumb-size amounts of psychedelics not to get high but to feel more focused and creative.
After decades of being stigmatized, feared, and criminalized, scientific researchers and psychotherapists are finally renewing studies into the healing potential of psychedelics.
Microdosing drugs include LSD or other hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms, also known as “magic mushrooms”. The amount taken is roughly one-tenth of the dose that would induce a psychedelic high so that it is too little to trigger hallucinations but enough, its proponents say, to sharpen the mind.
‘Magic mushrooms’ contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. They can be eaten, brewed into tea, or coated with chocolate. Psilocybin microdosers report that the mushrooms can increase creativity, calm anxiety, decrease the need for caffeine, and reduce depression.
The growing popularity and media visibility of microdosing was brought into prominence by James Fadiman (2011), followed by an ever-growing online community. The dominant motivation for microdosing appears to be a desire for positive changes in mood, general well-being and cognitive enhancement, without acute subjective intoxication and associated behavioural disruption.
The scientific interest is driven, in part, by numerous reports over recent years that psilocybin might have antidepressant or anti-anxiety effects that could guide the development of better psychiatric drugs.
The main concern with microdosing is that many of the potential harms and side effects are generally unknown. Many of the ongoing studies are conducted by systematically tracking the experiences of people who are already microdosing using an anonymous online system. This makes it more difficult to control the substance use of participants and get accurate results. Instead, results rely on the accuracy and honesty of participants’ reports.
How microdosing feels: About an hour or two after ingesting the microdose, people notice increased focus and energy. Many users find that it helps with weaning off — and staying off — antidepressants. In addition, Microdosing can help reduce the side effects of withdrawal and even mitigate depression.
Many speak to the drug’s ability to increase empathy, too. People frequently report improvements in mood such as greater happiness, peace, calm, well-being, reduced depressive symptoms, optimism, and a better outlook on life.
Perhaps science will catch up with the culture in perspective.
“It’s a very plausible question whether microdosing has antidepressant activity,” says Matthew W. Johnson, a Johns Hopkins psychologist who has published psilocybin studies. “If that was true, that could be a novel treatment to one of the world’s biggest medical disorders.”
Psilocybin is illegal almost everywhere, so it’s been nearly impossible to conduct large-scale scientific studies. However, that is beginning to change, as the Netherlands and other countries effectively decriminalize it.