Microdosing has been a popular practice for fans of psychedelics for quite some time. Many people have found it beneficial for improving their mental well-being, creativity, mood, concentration, and so on. The process involves taking small (or micro) doses of psychedelic substances like LSD or psilocybin. This promotes an improved or heightened state of mind without experiencing the effects of a full dose.
Sound interesting? According to the thousands of people trying microdosing, it is. If microdosing can have such positive effects, why aren’t more people doing it?
In addition to legal issues, microdosing hasn’t become more popular due to a lack of scientific research and evidence. Researchers haven’t studied the practice of microdosing in great depth. This leaves people wanting to explore to do the research on their own.
Despite a lack of hard scientific evidence, proponents of microdosing have been sharing their experiences for decades. Through internet channels such as reddit, mircodosers are able to share their experiences and results. These anecdotal accounts of the effects and benefits of microdosing psychedelics have formed a kind of communal report detailing how, why, when, and where newbies to the scene should try microdosing for themselves.
Why the Science Could Matter
While the anecdotal evidence and research surrounding the topic of microdosing provides an invaluable insight into the actual culture of psychedelic use and its effects on individuals, controlled clinical studies could be the key to bringing microdosing to the mainstream. Self-reported results provide accounts of personal experiences of emotional, habitual, and self-perceived psychological effects of microdosing. But they don’t reveal the entire story.
Controlled Testing for Results-Based Knowledge
In a controlled clinical trial, results from a wide range of individuals can be tested, compared, and assessed for the purposes of making firm findings. In a controlled environment, researchers are able to observe, monitor, and assess the effects of psychedelics. They would then be able to assess various groups undergoing different areas of the trial.
If, for example, a team of researchers was to assess the cardiovascular health of a group of individuals regularly microdosing with psychedelics, they would also assess the cardiovascular health of a second control group being given sugar pills or some other kind of placebo. Comparing these two sets of data would then provide important information regarding the possible impacts of microdosing on heart health.
We already know that microdosing can have incredible psychological benefits. However, without the science to back it up, it could be difficult for the use of psychedelics to receive support from government agencies, healthcare officials, or even fellow community members. The lack of scientific data pertaining to microdosing hasn’t slowed down its popularity. We are now seeing more people than ever before showing an interest in psychedelics.
Research into Microdosing on the Rise
There are more researchers beginning to explore the relative risks and rewards associated with microdosing. For example, researchers at the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society in the Netherlands have begun investigating “the cognitive-enhancing effects of microdosing on a person’s brain function,” or, in other words, whether or not microdosing can be linked to improved or heightened creativity, awareness, etc. As these kinds of studies progress, we could begin to see science-backed evidence to support the use of psychedelics for mental and emotional well-being, a use proponents of psychedelics have been touting for decades.
“Apart from its benefits as a potential cognitive enhancement technique, microdosing could be further investigated for its therapeutic efficacy to help individuals who suffer from rigid thought patterns or behavior, such as individuals with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.”—Luisa Prochazkova, Psychopharmacology