Psychedelics and Microdosing

Psychedelics and microdosing is one of the 'psychedelics and ...' topics that we're currently making a page for. At this moment you can find all papers (in our database) on this topic below.

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Microdosing Research

Here will be a narrative, readable, summary of the research.


In our literature study we came across the following studies of note. Browse the meta, review, commentary articles for an overview. Check out the individual studies for specific experiments and observations.

The Viability of Microdosing Psychedelics as a Strategy to Enhance Cognition and Well-being - An Early Review

2020 | Bornemann, J.

This paper (2020) reviews the available evidence on psychedelic microdosing. The author concludes that the current literature, although seemingly promising, is methodologically insufficient to allow strong conclusions.

Potential safety, benefits, and influence of the placebo effect in microdosing psychedelic drugs: A systematic review

2020 | Bouso, J. C., Ona, G.

This systematic review (2020) of (mostly) observational studies on microdosing psychedelics (LSD & psilocybin) finds that it is experienced both positively and negatively by participants (n=3,619).

Microdosing psychedelics: More questions than answers? An overview and suggestions for future research

2019 | Erritzoe, D., Knudsen, G. M., Kuypers, K. P. C., Nichols, C. D., Nichols, D. E., Ng, L., Nutt, D. J., Pani, L., Soula, A.

We don't yet know much about the effects of microdosing or have even defined it rigorously. Kuypers and colleagues ask the questions and take the first step in building a framework for a more scientific study of microdosing. Microdosing is defined as the 1) use of a low dose below the perceptual threshold that does not impair ‘normal’ functioning of an individual, 2) a procedure that includes multiple dosing sessions, 3) with the intention to improve well-being and enhance cognitive and/or emotional processes.

Effects of psilocybin microdosing on awe and aesthetic experiences: a preregistered field and lab-based study

2021| Fejer, G., Hajkova, K., Kuchar, M., Lempe, P., Marschall, J., Prochazkova, L., van Elk, M.

This double-blind placebo-controlled study (n=30) found that microdosing psychedelics (psilocybin; 1.5mg; 5-7 doses) increased awe but not aesthetic experiences (e.g. viewing art). Many participants knew which group (receiving placebo or psilocybin in which timeframe) they were in ('breaking blind') and the researcher presume that expectancy-effects may explain the effects found.

Effects of varied doses of psilocybin on time interval reproduction in human subjects

2008| Hasler, F., Vollenweider, F. X., Wittmann, M.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects study (n=21) investigated the effects of psilocybin (0.84, 8.05, & 17.5mg/70kg) on time perception and found that it increased the loss rate of internal time representation even within the microdose range. This may be indicative of psilocybin's subjective effects, such as the experience of ‘time standing still'.

A quantitative exploration of the relationships between regular yoga practice, microdosing psychedelics, wellbeing and personality variables

2021| Bettinson, S., Blatchford, E., Bright, S. J., Gringart, E.

This exploratory cross-sectional survey study (n=339) investigated differences in mood and wellbeing between samples of people who either microdose, practice yoga, or engage in neither, in light of personality trait differences in openness, neuroticism, and absorption. Microdosing and yoga practices exhibited complementary effects, as participants who practiced both had the highest absorption score, exhibited higher levels of wellbeing, and had less depression and anxiety, compared to people who either practiced yoga or microdosing, and participants recruited as controls. However, participants were recruited from different population samples, which may bias self-report, and lead to significant differences in age, gender, employment, and education between the conditions.

Exploring the relationship between microdosing, personality and emotional insight: A prospective study

2021| Bright, S. J., Dressler, H. M., Polito, V.

This prospective survey study (n=24) explored the relationship between microdosing, personality change, and emotional awareness. Conscientiousness increased, while neuroticism decreased across these time points and correlated negatively with duration of prior microdosing experience. Extraversion correlated positively with both duration of prior microdosing experience and lifetime number of microdoses.

Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing

2021| Blemings, A., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Feilding, A., Kartner, L., Nutt, D. J., Rosas, F. E., Szigeti, B.

This self-blinding experiment (n=191) finds that the placebo and microdosing groups both experienced similar improvements in self-rated psychological well-being and cognitive function (e.g. mood, energy, creativity) after four weeks. This study provides more evidence that microdosing benefits can be attributed to expectancy (placebo) effects.

Positive expectations predict improved mental-health outcomes linked to psychedelic microdosing

2021| Balaet, M., Buchborn, T., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Kaertner, L. S., Kettner, H., Roseman, L., Spriggs, M. J., Steinborn, M. B., Timmermann, C.

This prospective survey study (n=81) found that expectancy effects were mostly predictive of microdosing outcomes on reductions in state anxiety, depressive symptoms (at 4-week endpoint), and positive outcomes (e.g. psychological resilience, -connectedness, -flexibility).

Microdosing psychedelics: Motivations, subjective effects and harm reduction

2019| Amada, N., Jungaberle, H., Klein, M., Lea, T., Schecke, H.

This survey study (n=525) found that the motivation for microdosing (psilocybin and LSD) was to mainly to improve mental health, personal development, and cognitive enhancement. Four out of five participants used one or more harm reduction techniques on microdosing days (e.g. not dosing when unwell, no alcohol, avoid driving).

Twenty percent better with 20 micrograms? A qualitative study of psychedelic microdosing self-rapports and discussions on YouTube

2019| Andersson, M., Kjellgren, A.

This qualitative study (n=198) of opinions on microdosing found that they were generally well-tolerated and were used for therapeutic or enhancement purposes. The study analysed 32 videos and the self-report reactions to those videos.

Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers: A placebo controlled dose-effect finding study

2020| Dolder, P. C., Feilding, A., Holze, F., Hutten, N. P. W., Kuypers, K. P. C., Liechti, M. E., Mason, N. L., Ramaekers, J. G., Theunissen, E. L.

This fourth publication on the administration of a low/micro (5, 10, or 20 µg) dose of LSD found enhanced attention, slower information processing, more positive mood, increased anxiety and confusion. Again, the results are small and quite ambiguous.

Preliminary report on the effects of a low dose of LSD on resting-state amygdala functional connectivity

2020| Bershad, A. K., Bremmer, M. P., de Wit, H., Keedy, S., Lee, R., Preller, K. H., Wren-Jarvis, J.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, a microdose of LSD (13 µg) was found to increase and decrease connectivity in various areas of the brain. One of these effects correlated positively with mood increases, but overall mood changes were variable.

Acute Subjective and Behavioral Effects of Microdoses of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide in Healthy Human Volunteers

2019| Bershad, A. K., Bremmer, M. P., de Wit, H., Lee, R., Schepers, S. T.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study (n=20) found that a microdose of LSD (up to 26 μg) elicited dose-dependent subjective effects during the 'peak' of the experience, but not at the follow-up (48 hours).

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of lysergic acid diethylamide microdoses in healthy participants

2020| Dolder, P. C., Duthaler, U., Feilding, A., Holze, F., Hutten, N. P. W., Kuypers, K. P. C., Liechti, M. E., Mason, N. L., Ramaekers, J. G., Theunissen, E. L.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study (n=23) found that 10 µg (vs 5 µg) produced psychedelic (psychotropic) effects (even more so at 20 µg), the peak effects were at 2.5h and ended at 5 hours.

Low Doses of LSD Acutely Increase BDNF Blood Plasma Levels in Healthy Volunteers

2020| Dolder, P. C., Eckert, A., Feilding, A., Holze, F., Hutten, N. P. W., Kuypers, K. P. C., Liechti, M. E., Mason, N. L., Ramaekers, J. G., Theunissen, E. L., Varghese, N.

A low/micro (20µg) dose of LSD increased neuroplasticity as measured by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels at 6 hours (n=24). The results are however ambiguous and not present at all values/times.

A low dose of lysergic acid diethylamide decreases pain perception in healthy volunteers

2020| Dolder, P. C., Feilding, A., Holze, F., Hutten, N. P. W., Kuypers, K. P. C., Liechti, M. E., Mason, N. L., Ramaekers, J. G., Theunissen, E. L.

A low/micro (20 µg) dose of LSD increased the pain tolerance of participants (n=24).

A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics

2019| Polito, V., Stevenson, R. J.

Microdosing had much smaller and different effects than participants in this two-part survey study (n=361) expected beforehand, but were generally positive.

The effects of microdose LSD on time perception: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

2018| Family, N., Luke, D. P., Polychroni, N., Terhune, D. B., Williams, L. T. J., Yanakieva, S.

This was the first double-blind and placebo-controlled study (n=48) into the effects of microdosing LSD. The topic was quite specific (time perception), but they also reported on other cognitive changes (of which there were few and at a very small scale).


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