Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration

This diary study investigates the “safe and beneficial” use of psychedelics in small quantities (microdosing; 10 micrograms LSD) to improve positive moods by evaluating positive and negative emotional states using the PANAS checklist and written reports. The study showed that microdosing of a psychedelic in clinical and non-clinical populations improved health habits, increased energy, and improved work effectiveness. Furthermore, smaller samples demonstrated alleviation of symptoms in migraine headaches, traumatic brain injury, pre-menstrual syndromes (PMS), shingles, and other such conditions that have not been previously associated with psychedelic use.

Abstract

Albert Hofmann suggested that low doses of LSD might be an appropriate alternative to Ritalin. Following this possibility, a systematic exploration of the effects of โ€œmicrodoses,โ€ comprising hundreds of lengthy descriptive reports, was undertaken. Based on these reports, using a psychedelic in the microdose range (10 micrograms) every three days was determined to be safe across a wide variety of individuals and conditions. Over 18 months, more than a thousand individuals from 59 countries did a daily evaluation of negative and positive emotional state using the PANAS checklist plus written reports for between one week and four months. Participant reports suggested that spaced but repeated microdoses were followed by improvements in negative moods, especially depression, and increases in positive moods. Increased energy, improved work effectiveness, and improved health habits were observed in clinical and non-clinical populations. Smaller samples described alleviation of symptoms in migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndromes, traumatic brain injury, shingles, and other conditions not previously associated with psychedelic use.

Authors: James Fadiman & Sophia Korb

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