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What is Microdosing and is it Beneficial?

What is Microdosing and is it Beneficial?

What is Microdosing and is it Beneficial?

These days, many mental health treatments are available that can help reduce adverse symptoms like anxiety, depression, stress, and more. One fascinating way to minimize these symptoms that keep coming up in conversation is microdosing. This article will explore whether microdosing is beneficial for those coping with mental health conditions. 

**This article contains gendered language as indicated in the research material. 

What is Microdosing?

Microdosing is when a person takes a very low dose of a popular psychedelic hallucinogen or other drugs. In essence, the dose of the psychedelic is small enough that it won’t create a “trip” or any hallucinations. 

A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology defines a microdose as a dose that is only 1% of the active dose. On the other hand, this definition can be vague as it does not offer a defined numerical value. As a result, an accepted definition for microdosing is a small dose that does not create any intoxication or major alteration of consciousness.

According to anecdotal evidence, people will take a small dose and then take it regularly or semi-regularly for a certain amount of time. The duration is different depending on the individual. 

Is Microdosing effective?

According to a recent study, by using smaller quantities of psilocybin repeatedly, users can find an improvement in mood and mental health.

In addition, researchers discovered that people who microdose psilocybin experienced “small- to medium-sized” improvements in their depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms during a 30-day follow-up.

This observational study was published in Nature-Scientific Reports. It featured 900 people who microdosed psilocybin for a month and a control group of 180 people who did not. 

What are The Basics of Microdosing?

The Third Wave, a group that educates people about microdosing and are challenging mainstream views about psychedelics, reported the most commonly microdosed substances are the following:

LSD: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogenic drug derived from a chemical in rye fungus.

Psilocybin Mushrooms: Psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) refers to more than 180 species of fungi containing psilocybin (or psilocin).

People who microdose take such a tiny amount of these drugs that there rarely are hallucinogenic effects. When it comes to taking a microdose, you take a small dose every three days for one or two months. For LSD, a microdose is generally between six and 20 micrograms (approximately 1/16th and 1/5th of a single tab). For psilocybin mushrooms, it’s around 0.1g of dried, powdered mushrooms.

Other Drugs That People Use to Microdose 

Some people may microdose by using other psychedelics, like N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), or the cactus peyote. However, these drugs aren’t as popular or easy to access. h

Other substances that people may use as a way to microdose include:

  • ketamine
  • cannabis
  • methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA)
  • methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • nicotine
  • iboga

However, LSD and psilocybin, are the most commonly used and have the most research to back them.  

What are some of the health benefits?

The study Harm Reduction determined various possible benefits of microdosing as reported by microdosers. These benefits include the following:

  • an improvement in focus, concentration, and mindfulness
  • more energy, wakefulness, and stimulation
  • various cognitive benefits, like better problem solving
  • better social skills
  • less anxiety
  • more creative 
  • stress reduction
  • better mood and life appreciation
  • an improvement in body functioning
  • more self-efficacy, like better ambition, productivity, and motivation

What are the Effects of microdosing psilocybin?

The previously mentioned study featured 953 microdoses using psilocybin and the 180 people not microdosing. The study participants then completed various questionnaires and tasks on their mobile devices at the beginning of the study and one month after recruitment.

These assessments were self-report questionnaires to identify mood and any mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, and stress. In addition, the researchers conducted an assessment of cognitive function and psychomotor ability, referring to physical movements needing cognitive processing.

The Results of the Study

The researchers determined that microdoses showed more significant improvements in mood and more considerable reductions in depression, anxiety, and stress over the study. 

In addition, these positive effects were noted in all participants, no matter what combination of drugs they used. Microdosing psilocybin, in particular, showed similar improvements in mental health and mood over various age groups, genders, and individuals with or without mental health concerns.

One exception was female microdoses, with more significant reductions in depressive symptoms than males.

In addition, the researchers discovered that older microdoses showed more extensive improvements in the psychomotor test, but not in cognitive function. This effect was mainly due to older participants over 55 using psilocybin, lion’s mane, and niacin.

Overall, the results of this study contribute to the evidence on the positive effects of microdosing psilocybin on mental health. 

How to Safely Microdose

There can still be risks with undergoing microdosing. The most significant risk is taking an illegal drug, like any illicit substance. In other words, sometimes, you may not know where the drug is coming from or where it is being sourced. 

To safely source psychedelics, you can work with a professional group that offers microdosing services. At LGBTQ and All, our database features many practitioners who work in diverse fields. In addition, you can find microdose providers on our site to safely undergo the process and get started safely.  

In addition, microdosing may not be for everyone. While it can cause mood enhancements and other benefits that we previously mentioned, it may have the opposite effect for some people. For example, many people who try it may not enjoy its effects. In addition, some people may be susceptible to the compounds in hallucinogens. They reported side effects while microdosing, such as:

  • less focus
  • not as energetic 
  • higher anxiety
  • a worsened mood
  • uncomfortable feelings


As psychedelic research advances, there is more and more evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits of microdosing. However, even with all the potential benefits, this treatment still needs more research. In other words, well-designed studies can help advance psychedelic therapies to mental health and medical clinics without stigmatizing these compounds again. 

If you are interested in microdosing, you can talk to a mental health professional today. Browse our listings at LGBTQ and All so you can connect with a like-minded mental health practitioner that can help with symptoms like depression, anxiety, and more. 

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