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Microdosing psilocybin: an introduction

By Mushly.

Published on 23 November 2022

The use of low sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics (“microdosing”) has gained popularity in recent years. Microdosing psilocybin refers to the repeated self-administration of mushrooms containing psilocybin at doses small enough to not impact regular cognitive function. Anecdotal reports claim that microdosing can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and addiction. However, there is a lack of scientific research on the effects of microdosing psychedelics. The few studies that have been conducted suggest that microdoses of psychedelics may be safe and well-tolerated, with minimal side effects. There is a need for more research to determine the efficacy of microdosing psychedelics as a treatment for mental health conditions.


What is microdosing?


Microdosing psychedelics is the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or psilocybin-containing mushrooms. The practice of microdosing involves ingesting sub-hallucinogenic amounts of a psychedelic substance (e.g. LSD, psilocybin) and observing the resulting changes in mood, cognition, and perception. Microdosing is usually done on a regular basis (e.g. once per week), in order to maintain consistent levels of the psychedelic substance in the body.


There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that microdosing may improve mood and cognitive function, and reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to support these claims. A recent clinical trial found that microdosing with dried psychedelic mushrooms containing psilocybin improved mood and reduced anxiety symptoms in people with major depression.


Why do people microdose?


Microdosing psychedelics is the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic, in an attempt to experience improved mood, creativity, and focus. Although anecdotal reports claim numerous benefits of microdosing, there is currently a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims. Nevertheless, some preliminary research suggests that microdosing may indeed be associated with improvements in mood and cognitive function.


The research on microdosing psilocybin

In more clinically oriented research, both psilocybin and LSD have shown promise as treatments for end-of-life anxiety. In a double-blind study published in 2006, patients with advanced cancer who received a single dose of psilocybin experienced significant reductions in anxiety and depression that persisted for up to six months after the treatment session. A similar study published in 2016 found that a single dose of LSD reduced anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening illnesses.


The practice of microdosing psychedelics involves ingesting sub-hallucinogenic doses of a substance like psilocybin, LSD, or DMT in order to increase productivity, creativity, and focus.


Advocates of microdosing claim that it can help with everything from depression and anxiety to migraines and chronic pain. Some people also use it as a way to boost their creativity and productivity.


There is no scientific evidence to support the claims made about microdosing, and it is not known if the practice is safe.


Findings from the research on microdosing psilocybin


According to recent research, microdosing psilocybin can have a number of benefits for mood and mental health. Psilocybin microdosers often report improvements in depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, as well as increased focus and productivity. Additionally, EEG studies have shown that psilocybin can alter brain wave activity in a beneficial way. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, the existing evidence suggests that psilocybin microdosing may be a helpful tool for managing mood and mental health.


Prospective future of microdosing psilocybin


Through this practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelics and observing the changes in mood, perception, and cognition that result, individuals are able to take a more active role in their well-being and lifestyle.


The use of low sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics (“microdosing”) has gained popularity in recent years. Although anecdotal reports claim benefits such as increased creativity, focus, and well-being, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims. A new observational study published in the journal Psychopharmacology is one of the first to examine the effects of microdosing psilocybin in a group of self-selected individuals. 


The study, conducted in the Netherlands, used an online survey to collect data from 195 individuals who microdosed psilocybin mushrooms at least once a week for 3 months or longer. The participants reported positive effects such as improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety, and enhanced concentration. However, in contrast to anecdotal reports, the participants reported no improvement in creativity and well-being.


What this could mean for the future of medicine


Microdosing psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, can have therapeutic potential according to early studies and anecdotal reports. Researchers are interested in the potential for controlled psilocybin therapy to help with performance in cognitive tasks and the treatment of mental and physical health conditions. This research and the changes we are seeing in legislation are paving the way for the medicine of the past to become the medicine of the future, today.


Disclaimer: This article is written purely for educational reasons. Mushly in no way suggests the use, sale, or ownership of any illicit substances. Furthermore, take the time to be aware of the legislature and what that means for you, as decided by the governing body of the country and city you live in.