Adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers

Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 18;11(1):22479. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-01811-4.


The use of psychedelic substances at sub-sensorium 'microdoses', has gained popular academic interest for reported positive effects on wellness and cognition. The present study describes microdosing practices, motivations and mental health among a sample of self-selected microdosers (n = 4050) and non-microdosers (n = 4653) via a mobile application. Psilocybin was the most commonly used microdose substances in our sample (85%) and we identified diverse microdose practices with regard to dosage, frequency, and the practice of stacking which involves combining psilocybin with non-psychedelic substances such as Lion's Mane mushrooms, chocolate, and niacin. Microdosers were generally similar to non-microdosing controls with regard to demographics, but were more likely to report a history of mental health concerns. Among individuals reporting mental health concerns, microdosers exhibited lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress across gender. Health and wellness-related motives were the most prominent motives across microdosers in general, and were more prominent among females and among individuals who reported mental health concerns. Our results indicate health and wellness motives and perceived mental health benefits among microdosers, and highlight the need for further research into the mental health consequences of microdosing including studies with rigorous longitudinal designs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation / drug effects*
  • Psilocybin / administration & dosage*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Hallucinogens
  • Psilocybin
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide