If you have been following the trends lately, you might have noticed a considered increase in the number of people microdosing on psychedelics regularly. Several stories have come out about how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs microdose on psychedelics regularly and how it is supposedly good for enhancing creativity, improving mood, focus, and general productivity. But is microdosing psychedelics good for you?
A story broke recently about a CEO of a Silicon Valley-based startup that was fired for microdosing on LSD at work daily. Whether that was the right thing to do or not remains to be seen, as research on the benefits and dangers of psychedelics continues. Despite the debate, however, one thing is for sure, microdosing on psychedelics like LSD and magic mushrooms is becoming a popular performance enhancer at work, especially among the younger generations.
This article explains what microdosing is, the popular myths about it, and where the research is on the subject.
What is microdosing?
According to a recent study by Thomas Anderson and Rotem Petranker titled ‘Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges: an empirical codebook,’ microdosing refers to the practice of consuming very low amounts of hallucinogenic compounds like LSD and psilocybin found in magic mushrooms.
Microdosing has grown a lot in popularity, with internet chat rooms making it easier for users to share best practices and get more people interested in trying it out. For example, there are over forty thousand users signed up to the Reddit subreddit on psychedelic microdosing. According to the Reddit community members, microdosing has helped them increase their focus on work, creativity, output, and productivity. Other community members have expressed a decrease in their levels of anxiety and an improvement in sleeping patterns.
If the Reddit community is to be believed, there are virtually no downsides to microdosing, and we should all start right away. However, despite their articulate and sometimes well-researched perspectives, few of the members are scientists researching the field. This means that we need more research to alleviate the lack of factual information on the subject.
What are the benefits of microdosing, according to research?
In the study by Anderson and Petranker mentioned above, 278 participants of an online chat room dedicating to microdosing were surveyed on their use of psychedelics to establish a codebook on which later research into the field could be based.
According to the participants in the survey, the most popular effect of microdosing on either LSD or magic mushrooms is the improvement in the individual’s mood. 26.6% of respondents said that they felt their moods improve regularly after microdosing. The subsequent three most popular benefits in order of popularity are improved focus (14.8%), creativity (12.9%), and self-efficacy (11.3%).
On the other hand, the downsides of microdosing that most respondents highlighted had more to do with the legality of the hallucinogenic substances and less to do with the actual side effects of the drugs themselves. 30% of the respondents cited illegality as the main barrier and source of discomfort for them while microdosing.
However, recent research has emerged suggesting that the effects of microdosing are nothing more than a placebo effect for users, though the study calls for more research to be done for conclusive results to be found. So while the culture of microdosing is picking up socially, science still has a long way to go before it can confirm most of the benefits proclaimed by the microdosing community.
Is Microdosing Psychedelics Good for You?
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