Microdosing—is it just the latest craze or does it offer real hope for people struggling in today’s challenging world? You may have read about the promises of microdosing. Reports of heightened creativity, getting into flow states, and even alleviating depression and PTSD. Is microdosing the panacea that it’s being made out to be or just another quick-fix scheme? The answer is: it depends. Let’s begin with what is meant by microdosing.
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing is the ingestion of small amounts of psychedelic substances that do not bring about an altered state of consciousness or visionary experiences.
Microdoses are said to be sub-perceptible as there are no classical psychedelic effects, including hallucinations. A microdose is about 1/10th to 1/20th of the amount of what most consider to be a “full” dose for recreational or therapeutic intentions. The two most common psychedelic substances for microdosing are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin mushrooms. A microdose of LSD lies in the range of 5 to 7 micrograms and with psilocybin mushrooms, the range is 0.1 to 0.3 grams. Successful microdosing requires a gradual and careful calibration of the optimal substance and dosage specific to you. Since the premise of HowToRelieveStressNaturally.com is natural products for stress relief, this discussion is geared more toward psilocybin mushrooms that grow in nature.
Psychedelics are not magic bullets; Western culture relies on medications to tend to problems of anxiety and depression. While there may be value in this approach for some, the current medical model does not adequately require self-reflective soul work that brings about personal transformation. The paradigm shift of relying on external based healing to unlocking an internal power source is key for soul malaise we collectively face.
Microdosing a psychedelic substance provides a window of opportunity for you to gain insights into yourself. Microdosing allows you to get an “intuitive hit” on what constructive changes you could make to improve your life and get into alignment with your true Self. Microdosing can unlock the potential that is within you but it is only a catalyst for change. It’s up to you to incorporate new behaviors and self-reflective practices uncovered by microdosing in order to achieve lasting transformation.
People microdose to feel better, gain a creative edge, relieve pain, meditate more deeply, and increase their well-being.
“Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non‑microdosing controls” 1.
The truth is that there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of microdosing and some claim that microdosing creates only a placebo effect.
Real-world evidence suggests otherwise.
Real-world evidence suggests otherwise.
Rootman, J.M., Kiraga, M., Kryskow, P. et al. Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls. Sci Rep 12, 11091 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-14512-3
Mental Benefits of Microdosing:
- More Creativity
- Increased problem-solving ability
- Improved concentration
- More balanced moods
- More positive outlook
Physical Benefits of Microdosing:
- Improved sleep
- Increased levels of energy
- Decreased pain levels
- Enhanced sense perceptions
Spiritual Benefits of Microdosing:
- A renewed sense of awe and curiosity
- Increased sense of oneness
- Deeper emotional connection to self and others
- Increased awareness
- Deeper meditative states
People microdose to feel better, gain a creative edge, relieve pain, meditate more deeply, and increase their well-being. The truth is that there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of microdosing and some claim that microdosing creates only a placebo effect.
Real-world evidence suggests otherwise. Psychedelics have been safely used around the globe since time immemorial. Psilocybin mushrooms grow naturally around the globe including the Pacific NW, North, Central, and South America, Europe, Mexico, Nordic regions, and beyond. It is important to recognize that traditional cultures understood the safe use of psychedelics.
Psychedelics have been safely used around the globe since time immemorial.
Knowledge about sacred medicines and their safe use was handed down from one generation to the next. The teaching chain of Shaman to apprentice has been broken in the Modern world, however, link by link it is being restored by visionary leaders and those experiencing direct knowledge (gnosis). Dr. James Fadiman is one such visionary leader; he is the author of several books on psychedelics and transpersonal psychology and is considered the “Father of microdosing.” In a recent journal article entitled: “Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration,” Fadiman reports on the remarkable results of microdosing.
“There is no science, just worldwide use”Dr. James Fadiman
Fadiman reports the following:
“Participant reports suggested that spaced but repeated microdoses were followed by improvements in negative moods, especially depression, and increases in positive moods. Increased energy, improved work effectiveness, and improved health habits were observed in clinical and non-clinical populations. Smaller samples described alleviation of symptoms in migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndromes, traumatic brain injury, shingles, and other conditions not previously associated with psychedelic use.”
Fadiman J, Korb S. Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2019 Apr-Jun;51(2):118-122. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1593561. Epub 2019 Mar 29. PMID: 30925850.
Another prominent psychedelic and microdosing advocate is Paul Stamets, author, inventor, Director of Research at fungi.com. Stamets concludes from his research study that:
“This is one of the most potent studies ever in the annals of medical clinical studies. We were shocked. None of our researchers expected the data to be this good. We thought we’d see a little bit of an improvement, but not that high of an improvement over the baseline. We now know that psilocybin mushroom microdosing works. It is indisputable that there are benefits.”
Psychedelics, even in microdoses, are not without their risks.
Microdosing affects people differently.
While one person may feel calmer and more relaxed another may have increased anxiety.
Everyone is different and microdosing isn’t for everyone.
Even with microdosing, it is wise to take an assessment with a professional psychedelic coach or health care clinician to screen out major contraindications.
It is imperative that you take complete responsibility for doing your own research. Psychedelics are not for everyone. Some of the adverse effects of microdosing include:
- Legal implications; psychedelics remain prohibited substances in most jurisdictions
- Heightened anxiety
- Greater fatigue
- Drug interactions
- Feeling off
- Muscle cramps
- Sleep disturbance
- Heart risks for certain people (especially long-term use)
Do not microdose if you are taking a lithium medication, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Everyone should consult with their healthcare provider.
Start low and go slow. This advice is important to follow and it means that if you choose to begin to microdose, start with the lowest dosage and gradually increase it over time. I highly recommend going through an assessment process prior to starting your microdosing practice. Psychedelics are not for everyone.
For more information, a free assessment, and a 30-minute Zoom discovery call connect with Anne Taylor, Ph.D.