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Psychedelic Microdosing Doesn’t Meet User Expectations

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Taking very small amounts of psychedelic substances on a regular basis – called “microdosing” – may improve psychological and cognitive functioning but the effects don’t match users’ expectations, according to a study published in PLOS ONE (

Microdosing of substances like LSD and psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms) has had a recent surge in popularity, with proponents claiming wide-ranging benefits, including enhanced productivity, concentration, creativity, mood and well-being, all without the “high” of psychedelics.

In the first published longitudinal study to test these claims, Macquarie University researchers recruited 98 “microdosers” from online forums and tracked their experiences over a 6-week period. Participants reported significant decreases in depression, stress and distractibility, and increased feelings of connection to their experiences. Many felt a boost in positive attitude, but this did not generally linger beyond the first day of microdosing.

Because many people who experiment with microdosing hold strong beliefs about its positive benefits, the researchers conducted an additional study comparing both new and experienced microdosers’ expectations to the actual effects experienced by participants in the main study.

Lead author of the...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.