The benefits and challenges of microdosing


There are many people who say they benefit from microdosing, but what are actually the benefits and challenges of microdosing? Very little official research has been done on this, so it is not possible to say for sure what the advantages and disadvantages are. But research has been done on what users themselves report experiencing as a result of microdosing, and that provides interesting insights.

What is known about microdosing?

Psychedelics have a distinct effect on the brain. Besides causing you to hallucinate, using mind-altering drugs can also bring benefits. For example, it can give you deep insights, can help with anxiety and trauma, and can have a positive effect on your mood. But not everyone wants to trip with psychedelics. Microdosing does allow you to benefit from the positive effects of psychedelics without tripping.

When you microdose, you take only a very low dose of a mind-altering drug. Usually psilocybin truffles, mushrooms or LSD are used. The dose is so low that you will not notice any obvious change in your consciousness (i.e., you will not hallucinate). It is common to take at most one-tenth of a normal recreational dose. For dried mushrooms, for example, it is 0.2 grams. The dose can be adjusted as needed.

Unfortunately, almost no scientific research has yet been done on the effects of very low doses of psychedelics. So we don’t really know the benefits and challenges of microdosing. In 2019, Anderson and Petranker conducted research on the experiences of people who microdose regularly, which will hopefully be built upon with new studies to gain more insights.

In this paper, researchers report the top 3 benefits and the top 3 challenges faced by people who microdose with LSD, psilocybin or both. 278 participants participated and provided more than 1,400 reports.

The benefits of microdosing according to users

The most frequently reported benefit of microdosing was its positive impact on mood. More than a quarter of users experienced this benefit. People noticed they were happier, had fewer depressive symptoms and a more positive outlook on life. Users also felt calmer, more optimistic and more appreciative of the little things in life.

This is consistent with previous research showing that people who microdose are less neurotic and dysfunctional than those who do not.

The next frequently cited benefit was improved concentration. People also feel more mindful and engaged. Since psychedelics are stimulants, it makes sense that this will have an effect on concentration. Furthermore, people find that microdosing makes them experience more creativity, including changing perspective, divergent thinking and curiosity. This is also evidenced by previous research, which found that microdosers are more open-minded, more creative and wiser.

Improved mood, concentration and creativity are thus the most commonly reported benefits experienced by microdosers. But other benefits also emerged, such as increased self-confidence, feeling more extroverted, greater empathy and higher productivity. But in addition to benefits, microdosing can also present certain challenges. We discuss those below.

What challenges do microdosers face?

Given that people also microdose in other countries and this research took place in America, the fact that magic mushrooms and other psychedelics are not legal there was the biggest challenge. As a result, users must seek out these drugs on the black market and they are also less readily available. This causes fear and shame and causes people to have to keep microdosing a secret from others. Fortunately, we don’t suffer from that in the Netherlands.

But there are physical challenges associated with microdosing as well. Insomnia is reported, especially if the dose is taken too late in the evening. Also mentioned are decreased appetite, headache, abdominal pain and tingling. These are obviously annoying side effects and are a good reason to do more research on the challenges and benefits of microdosing.

Users report the following concerns about the risks of microdosing, especially in the long term. In itself, it is reassuring to know that the use of many psychedelics, especially magic mushrooms, in normal doses is safe. Mushrooms and truffles are one of the safest mind-altering substances and are not addictive. A very low dose such as you use in microdosing will most likely have no harmful effects. But with prolonged use, it is natural for people to worry about it. Little is known about this either.

What is the conclusion?

Overall, for most users, the benefits of microdosing outweigh the challenges. This is especially true for people who microdose with magic mushrooms. There were also more advantages mentioned than disadvantages. At the end of the study, participants were allowed to give an open-ended answer about what their opinion is about microdosing. 93% reported that microdosing had a positive effect on their mood.

This is not a scientific study, where a drug is examined in a laboratory setting. When people can give their own opinions, it does not give reliable results from which we can draw conclusive conclusions. Nevertheless, this study provides insight into experiences and can guide future research and where it can be focused. Consider the impact of microdosing on mood, focus, creativity and whether it has benefits for anxiety, concentration and mood problems.

If you want to try microdosing yourself, we have several brands and types of microdosing truffles to choose from.

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