The practice of microdosing has become very popular in recent years, this consists of a very low, almost imperceptible dose of some psychoactive substance.
There are many psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin from hallucinogenic mushrooms, mescaline from the peyote cactus, DMT extracted from plants or toads, lysergic acid (lysergic acid diethylamide), better known as LSD, or MDMA.
However, the microdoses of psilocybin and LSD are the most common and studied.
All these psychoactive substances are molecularly very similar to each other and at the same time very similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is mainly responsible for regulating our emotions and moods.
Although they are very similar, their effects are different between each of them, although this difference is not as noticeable during a microdose compared to a full dose.
Due to the illegality of these substances in many parts of the world, their controlled study still presents many challenges, which is why most of the information available today is from anecdotal reports and anonymous surveys carried out in different forums in Internet. Although, since the last decade, there are already some regulated institutions conducting research in this regard.
In 2021, the results of a survey carried out through the microdose.me platform with 8,703 participating people of 84 different nationalities were reported . 46.5% of the participants practiced microdoses of both LSD and psilocybin and the other 53.5% were the control group without microdosing. Both groups answered a comprehensive survey regarding their reasons for microdosing or not, their state of mental health, productivity, and their experience with the practice.
Among the most common reasons for microdosing was the search for mindfulness, improving their mood and/or emotional well-being, as well as improving their cognitive abilities such as creativity and learning.
I don't know which substance to choose...
Interestingly in the same study, 85% of people microdosed with psilocybin and only 11% microdosed with LSD. Although so far there are no concrete studies on the differences at a neurological level between LSD or psilocybin in the practice of microdosing, there are several anecdotes of people who do notice differences between these two substances.
One possible explanation for why there are more participants microdosing mushrooms is perhaps because LSD presents a higher level of complexity for this practice due to its illegality and synthetic nature . This makes it difficult to obtain and know its level of purity, so it can be easier and safer to microdose with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Again, anecdotally, LSD would seem to be more related to an experience to work creativity, problem solving or productivity, as reported by several entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.
On the other hand, psilocybin seems to be more related to working on emotional processes and introspection, perhaps due to its uses and spiritual background in Central America. However, both substances seem to show positive results in improving symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other mental disorders, as well as boosting creativity and helping productivity.
Placebo or medicine?
With the little serious research that exists today, the benefits of microdosing seem not to be that far from the placebo effect, so many people think that its effects are just that.
Although this could be true, it has also been seen in MRI scans how psilocybin and LSD do activate certain areas of the brain, even at very low doses such as microdoses, it has also been observed that serotonin receptors continue to be activated at these low concentrations.
This suggests that perhaps there is an effect at the neurological level and, as the objective of this practice is, it acts in a very subtle and almost imperceptible way. In addition to the fact that the positive effects of microdoses are normally observed over time and are also closely related to the intention and personal work that is carried out during the exercise of this practice.
It is clear that we still need more data from scientific studies to have an accurate conclusion, however, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence collected for more than 40 years, among others by the researcher and psychologist James Fadiman, with very positive effects regarding this practice. and there are more and more people who share this same experience and who support the idea of its real effect as opposed to a placebo.
But if you still have any doubts, you can try our psilocybin microdoses for yourself here . The first step is for you to select your intention, depending on what you seek to achieve with this form of medicine.
- Murray et. to the. (2021) . “Low doses of LSD reduce broadband oscillatory power and modulate event-related potentials in healthy adults” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34613430/
- Hutten et al. (2019). “Motives and Side-Effects of Microdosing With Psychedelics Among Users” https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/article/22/7/426/5509881?login=true
- Stamets et al. (2021) . “Adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers ” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01811-4
- Bershad et al. (2022). “Preliminary report on the effects of a low dose of LSD on resting state amygdalar functional connectivity” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7150630/