It might just be because of my social circles or pages I tend to follow, but an ever increasing amount of information about microdosing seems to be finding it’s way into my consciousness, and the overwhelming majority of it is hugely positive.
My understanding of microdosing is the practice of taking a very small amount of a normally psychoactive substance such as LSD or psilocybin (magic mushroom), on a regular basis, with the intention of improving mood, reducing anxiety, and increasing productivity. The theory is that the amount consumed is so tiny that it has no noticeable psychoactive effects such as causing a ‘trip’, but instead works on a deep subconscious level to heal and overcome emotional and mental issues.
I see it commonly compared to as the drug from the movie ‘Limitless‘, a life enhancer with seemingly no downsides. It’s described as a miracle cure by many lifelong anxiety and depression sufferers, and I’m having a tough time finding any negative reports besides the inevitable speculation of skeptics about the lack of scientific research behind it.
The problem is that due to the illegality of the substances, it’s near impossible for scientists to conduct comprehensive studies, resulting in a catch 22 situation; if they were allowed to research and prove the benefits people speak of, it would be very difficult not to legalize and let the planet reap the healing properties of the practice.
Unfortunately, because of these legal limitations, most evidence for the benefits of microdosing is anecdotal or underground. Despite this, The Harm Reduction Journal has conducted a study of 278 participants, of which 26.6% reported improved mood, amongst other benefits such as memory, focus, and self-efficacy. The side-effects reported were minimal and short term, such as headaches and lack of sleep.
It would be extremely interesting to see what sort of information could be obtained from widespread research on people suffering from long term depression or anxiety conditions. It’s hard not to speculate that a lot of the push back on this may have something to do with the impact this would have on pharmaceutical companies profit margins in the likely scenario of anti-depressant sales plummeting.
For now I suppose it’s something that will remain somewhat underground. With the relative freedom of information the internet provides (although this seems to becoming more and more censored), information does seem to be spreading and reports of attentive parents and successful entrepreneurs microdosing to miraculously improve seemingly all areas of their lives and cure them of long-term mental conditions is extremely encouraging.
Whilst I’m currently on a journey of recovering from prescription medications, and working on overcoming anxiety disorders and depression in a way that’s non-reliant on any substances, the idea is extremely tempting to me, and it’s comforting to know that, if things don’t go as planned, there are bright alternative options available.