- Microdosing refers to the practice of regularly using small amounts of psychedelic substances that do not impair cognitive function.
- Evidence from mostly small observational studies suggests that microdosing psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, can improve cognitive function and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- In agreement with these data, a large study now shows that individuals who microdose psilocybin showed improved mood and a greater decline in anxiety, depression, and stress over a one-month period than those who did not microdose.
- Notably, these improvements in mental health and mood associated with microdosing psilocybin were also observed in individuals with mental health concerns.
A large study recently published in the journal Scientific ReportsTrusted Sourceshows that microdosingTrusted Source psilocybin Trusted Sourceresulted in greater improvements in mental health and mood than in individuals who did not engage in microdosing.
The study’s co-author Joseph Rootman, a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, said that the study was “the largest longitudinal study to date” on microdosing psilocybin and one of the few pieces of research to include a control group.
“We found psilocybin microdosing to be associated with improvements in mood and mental health, which adds to the growing body of research that suggests positive benefits of microdosing specifically in the domains of mental health and cognition.”
— Joseph Rootman, study co-author
“We hope that our findings will help facilitate the development of more rigorously designed clinical trials,” he added.
Naturally occurring psychedelic substances such as psilocybin extract from magic mushrooms and mescaline have been used for their beneficial health effects for thousands of years. The classification of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin and LSD as drugs of abuse without any medical use has, however, hindered research on the therapeutic effects of these substances.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of scientific and popular interest in the potential use of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. For instance, psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has shownTrusted Source promise in the treatment of individuals with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
These studies have generally used regular doses of psilocybin that produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. However, the use of regular doses of psilocybin can also produce unpleasant and terrifying experiences, also referred to as “bad trips”.
This has led to the adoption of a practice called microdosing,Trusted Source which involves the consumption of small amounts of psychedelic substances that do not produce hallucinogenic effects.
Most ‘microdosers’ use about 10% of the regular dose of psilocybin, equivalent to about 100-300 milligrams of dried mushrooms, between 2-5 times a week.
Source: Microdoses of psychedelic mushrooms may improve mood and mental health