Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration

J Psychoactive Drugs. Apr-Jun 2019;51(2):118-122. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1593561. Epub 2019 Mar 29.

Abstract

Albert Hoffman suggested that low doses of LSD might be an appropriate alternative to Ritalin. Following this possibility, a systematic exploration of the effects of "microdoses," comprising hundreds of lengthy descriptive reports, was undertaken. Based on these reports, using a psychedelic in the microdose range (10 micrograms) every three days was determined to be safe across a wide variety of individuals and conditions. Over 18 months, more than a thousand individuals from 59 countries did a daily evaluation of negative and positive emotional state using the PANAS checklist plus written reports for between one week and four months. Participant reports suggested that spaced but repeated microdoses were followed by improvements in negative moods, especially depression, and increases in positive moods. Increased energy, improved work effectiveness, and improved health habits were observed in clinical and non-clinical populations. Smaller samples described alleviation of symptoms in migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndromes, traumatic brain injury, shingles, and other conditions not previously associated with psychedelic use.

Keywords: LSD; Psychedelics; microdosing; psilocybin.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Hallucinogens / administration & dosage*
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / administration & dosage*
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / pharmacology
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Hallucinogens
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide