Microdosing psychedelics: personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers

This study used a questionnaire (n=909, 65% of which microdosed) which included the Unusual Uses Tasks as a proxy for divergent creativity. They found that people who microdosed psychedelics (mostly LSD (65%) and psilocybin (28%)) were more creative (p < 0.001, r = 0.15).

Abstract

Rationale Microdosing psychedelics—the regular consumption of small amounts of psychedelic substances such as LSD or psilocybin—is a growing trend in popular culture. Recent studies on full-dose psychedelic psychotherapy reveal promising benefits for mental well-being, especially for depression and end-of-life anxiety. While full-dose therapies include perception distorting properties, microdosing may provide complementary clinical benefits using lower-risk, non-hallucinogenic doses.

Objectives This pre-registered study aimed to investigate whether microdosing psychedelics is related to differences in personality, mental health, and creativity. Methods In this observational study, respondents recruited from online forums self-reported their microdosing behaviors and completed questionnaires concerning dysfunctional attitudes, wisdom, negative emotionality, open-mindedness, and mood. Respondents also performed the Unusual Uses Task to assess their creativity.

Results Current and former microdosers scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes (p < 0.001, r = − 0.92) and negative emotionality (p = 0.009, r = − 0.85) and higher on wisdom (p < 0.001, r = 0.88), openmindedness (p = 0.027, r = 0.67), and creativity (p < 0.001, r = 0.15) when compared to non-microdosing controls.

Conclusions These findings provide promising initial evidence that warrants controlled experimental research to directly test safety and clinical efficacy. As microdoses are easier to administer than full-doses, this new paradigm has the exciting potential to shape future psychedelic research.”

Authors: Thomas Anderson, Rotem Petranker, Daniel Rosenbaum, Cory R. Weissman, Le-Anh Dinh-Williams, Katrina Hui, Emma Hapke & Norman A. S. Farb

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