Rationale: Microdosing psychedelics - the practice of consuming small, sub-hallucinogenic doses of substances such as LSD or psilocybin - is gaining attention in popular media but remains poorly characterized. Contemporary studies of psychedelic microdosing have yet to report the basic psychiatric descriptors of psychedelic microdosers.
Objectives: To examine the practices and demographics of a population of psychedelic microdosers - including their psychiatric diagnoses, prescription medications, and recreational substance use patterns - to develop a foundation on which to conduct future clinical research.
Methods: Participants (n = 909; Mage = 26.9, SD = 8.6; male = 83.2%; White/European = 79.1%) recruited primarily from the online forum Reddit completed an anonymous online survey. Respondents who reported using LSD, psilocybin, or both for microdosing were grouped and compared with non-microdosing respondents using exploratory odds ratio testing on demographic variables, rates of psychiatric diagnoses, and past-year recreational substance use.
Results: Of microdosers, most reported using LSD (59.3%; Mdose = 13 mcg, or 11.3% of one tab) or psilocybin (25.9%; Mdose = 0.3 g of dried psilocybin mushrooms) on a one-day-on, two-days-off schedule. Compared with non-microdosers, microdosers were significantly less likely to report a history of substance use disorders (SUDs; OR = 0.17 (95% CI: 0.05-0.56)) or anxiety disorders (OR = 0.61 (95% CI: 0.41-0.91)). Microdosers were also more likely to report recent recreational substance use compared with non-microdosers (OR = 5.2 (95% CI: 2.7-10.8)).
Conclusions: Well-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of this practice in clinical populations and to test claims about potential benefits.
Keywords: LSD; Psychedelics; microdosing; psilocybin; substance use.