What microdosing psychedelic drugs does to your brain.
Long advocated by people who claim that a teensy daily dose of LSD helps them with their high-pressure jobs, microdosing has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms and stress while boosting focus and levels of neuroticism, according to research published in the academic journal PLOS ONE last week.The study, which contained two distinct experiments, was the first rigorous analysis of the effects on people’s moods and productivity.
“Over the last few years there has been intense media interest in microdosing,” Vince Polito, a researcher at Macquarie University who worked on the study, told PsyPost. “There are thousands of news stories and personal accounts online that describe a wide range of benefits associated with microdosing but there is very little scientific evidence on the topic. We wanted to see whether these claims were justified or whether the effects of microdosing could be explained by expectations or placebo.”
For the first part of the study, researchers tested 98 people on attentiveness, mood and sense of agency while microdosing various psychadellic substances for six consecutive weeks.
Citing several positive but subtle short-term effects, participants reported heightened levels of contemplation, creativity, connectedness, wellbeing, focus, happiness and productiveness on days they microdosed. Some of the long-term effects included a decrease in feelings of depression and an increase in overall attentiveness. Despite these two encouraging finds, researchers also noted that feelings of neuroticism had also slightly increased in participants once the six-week-trial concluded.