Microdosing Psychedelics as a Promising New Pharmacotherapeutic

This book chapter (2021) discusses the state of the art regarding microdosing psychedelics. Microdosing is well tolerated and produces subtle effects that can be beneficial in specific domains. But studies are currently only done with very small sample sizes and healthy volunteers. Double-blind studies with patient populations (including those with ADHD) are needed.


Microdosing psychedelics, the repeated use of small doses of substances such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide, has gained popular and scientific attention in recent years. While some users claim microdosing psychedelics has therapeutic value, to date only a handful of (placebo-controlled) experimental studies in human volunteers have been conducted testing the effects of low doses on physiological, subjective state, and performance measures. This chapter aims to answer, based on the scientific knowledge we have so far, whether microdosing psychedelics has therapeutic potential. Reviewed studies demonstrated that low doses were in general well tolerated. Single doses produced subtle, beneficial effects on selective performance measures and subjective states. The fact that most studies were conducted in small samples of healthy (young) volunteers hampers generalization to other populations. However, the observed cognitive and affective effects might be of help in some psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression. Future placebo-controlled studies in patient populations are needed to conclude about the (therapeutic) potential of microdosing psychedelics.

Author: Kim P. C. Kuypers

Study details

Topics studied

Study characteristics
Book Chapter


Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Kim Kuypers
Kim Kuypers is a researcher at Maastricht University. Her work is concerned with understanding the neurobiology underlying flexible cognition, empathy, and well-being. One of the main ways she does is with the use of psychedelics.


Institutes associated with this publication

Maastricht University
Maastricht University is host to the psychopharmacology department (Psychopharmacology in Maastricht) where various researchers are investigating the effects of psychedelics.