Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls

This naturalistic microdosing study used the Quantified Citizen app to assess the effects of microdosing psilocybin (n=953) compared to non-micrdosers (n=180). Small- to medium-sized improvements in mood and mental health were observed over the 30-day period. In older microdosers, combining psilocybin, lion’s mane mushrooms and niacin was associated with psychomotor improvements. These results should be taken lightly as the study lacked an adequate placebo control and all participants were unblinded.


“Psilocybin microdosing involves repeated self-administration of mushrooms containing psilocybin at doses small enough to not impact regular functioning. Microdose practices are diverse and include combining psilocybin with substances such as lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus; HE) and niacin (vitamin-B3). Public uptake of microdosing has outpaced evidence, mandating further prospective research. Using a naturalistic, observational design, we followed psilocybin microdosers (n = 953) and non-microdosing comparators (n = 180) for approximately 30 days and identified small- to medium-sized improvements in mood and mental health that were generally consistent across gender, age and presence of mental health concerns, as we all as improvements in psychomotor performance that were specific to older adults. Supplementary analyses indicated that combining psilocybin with HE and B3 did not impact changes in mood and mental health. However, among older microdosers combining psilocybin, HE and B3 was associated with psychomotor improvements relative to psilocybin alone and psilocybin and HE. Our findings of mood and mental health improvements associated with psilocybin microdosing add to previous studies of psychedelic microdosing by using a comparator group and by examining the consistency of effects across age, gender, and mental health. Findings regarding the combination of psilocybin, HE and B3 are novel and highlight the need for further research to confirm and elucidate these apparent effects.”

Authors: Joseph M. Rootman, Maggie Kiraga, Pamela Kryskow, Kalin Harvey, Paul Stamets, Eesmyal Santos-Brault, Kim P. C. Kuypers & Zach Walsh

Summary of Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls

Psilocybin mushrooms have been used to enhance health and well-being for centuries, and have reemerged outside of their traditional indigenous contexts as a therapeutic agent to treat mental illness and enhance well-being. Microdosing is a popular trend, and involves regular self-administration of psilocybin mushrooms in doses small enough to not impair normal cognitive functioning.

Few prospective studies have evaluated microdosing. The first longitudinal study of microdosing found acute transient improvements across broad domains of psychological functioning on microdosing days, but supplementary analyses suggested that these positive effects may be attributable to expectancies.

In the few published studies that have attempted to use placebo in the context of psychedelic microdosing, improvements in emotional well-being were observed among microdosers, but authors acknowledged the potential confounding effects of breaking blind, as two-thirds of participants accurately guessed their condition.

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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.

Paul Stamets
Paul Stamets is a mycologist (the study of fungi) who is known for his advocacy for the usefulness of mushrooms, amongst those also with psilocybin. He also owns a company and can be found speaking about fungi at places like TED.


Institutes associated with this publication

Quantified Citizen
Quantified Citizen is enabling large-scale correlational studies of which one is focussed on microdosing.

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