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Less is More – What are the Benefits of Microdosing?

July 3, 2023

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It’s no secret that psychedelics have captivated scientists, researchers, and medical professionals alike – these hallucinogenic substances have the potential to change the way we help treat those who suffer with mental illnesses. 

Before psychedelic research was halted for a period of time, there were thousands of early studies that uncovered the potential benefits that psychedelics possess. Now, many years later, the revival of psychedelic medicine is well and truly under way. 

Some of the benefits of psychedelics that have been studied include relief of severe and chronic psychiatric conditions (depression, anxiety, and PTSD), reduced stress levels, and an increase in overall happiness.  

A recent study found that milder mental health concerns may be treated by lower, recurring doses of psychedelic substances. This is known as microdosing. 

What is microdosing? 

Essentially, microdosing involves ingesting a very small amount or dose of a psychedelic substance into your system, such as LSD, MDMA, or psilocybin-containing mushrooms. 

While there aren’t any formal definitions put in place for the guidelines around how to properly microdose using psychedelics, the ratios can range from 1/5 to 1/20 of a recreational dose of a psychedelic substance. 

Microdosing allows most people to feel the benefits of the psychedelic, without experiencing the crazy ‘trip’ – hallucinations, sense of detachment, change in sensory inputs – that typically occur when a normal does is consumed. 

It is important to note that the practice of microdosing is still illegal, and these hallucinogenic substances are not yet regulated. 

However, microdosing continues to grow in popularity, even though scientific research has been minimal on this practice.

Is it safe to microdose? 

Since common psychedelic drugs like LSD, DMT, Mescaline (Peyote), Psilocybin (mushrooms), MDMA, Ketamine, and Ayahuasca are not monitored or controlled in any way, there are certain safety risks associated with consuming unregulated substances. 

Generally, people are microdosing psilocybin-containing mushrooms in low doses which have been used for centuries by Indigenous peoples. With that said, those who do practice microdosing must ensure that the psychedelic is coming from a trusted source.

One of the biggest risks with microdosing is that it can be difficult to be sure of the correct dosage and substance you are consuming, as there is nothing put in place to monitor the recreational use of psychedelics. It can be very harmful to overdose on these substances (or mistakenly take another unknown substance), so be wary if you are considering microdosing.

What are the benefits of microdosing?

Early research on microdosing suggests that taking microscopic amounts of psychedelic substances can lead to:

  • An improvement in overall mood
  • Enhanced focus 
  • Reduced stress levels 
  • Increased energy and creativity

Overall, research has found reductions in depressive symptoms for those who regularly microdose with psychedelics. This may not come as a surprise, as many studies have shown the potential of psychedelics to demonstrate long-lasting improvements in mental health.  

Some other interesting benefits for microdosing include an improved outlook and appreciation of life, optimism, spiritual insights, and being more in touch with your emotions.

What does the future look like for psychedelics?

Psychedelic research is paving its path for a place in the medical felid, with psychedelic medicine gaining more traction as research expands.  

With more knowledge on how these hallucinogenic substances interact with the human body and mind, proper guidelines can eventually be put in place for public use. This could mean that (one day) scientists will know enough about microdosing psychedelics and will be able to suggest safe ways to practice this method.

Psychedelic drugs are slowly on their way to becoming better understood, and more research is advancing to help us learn about the healing properties these substances possess.

Until psychedelics are monitored and regulated, err on the side of caution when considering microdosing. 

Megan Binder

B.A Psychology

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