Microdosing: A World Within a World

The progression of psychedelic research has taken a turn since the 1960’s. From court mandated LSD anger management therapy, of course within the hands of trained psychologists, to absolutely nothing. We’ve shut our eyes to a world within a world and petrified the outside. The misconceptions alone of psychedelics are fueled by propaganda-esque theories, and this is on both teams. The advocates for psychedelics and psychedelic research have their voices drowned out by the simple ‘what if’s’, as if the potential benefits don’t outweigh the potential harms. Very simply put by Pythagoras, “Educate the children and it won’t be necessary to punish the man”. We’ve taken a turn in the early 20th century, to look back at the rash decision made by men who lacked the dichotomy and competence to understand this area of research. This is exactly where microdosing has come into the picture. With more research showing long term sustainability and less adverse side effects compared to SSRI’s and placebos for depression, trialed studies showing antidepressant effects for MDD, and abilities to have a positive mood-altering effect, microdosing psilocybin provide no adverse reactions and certainly will provide preferred states of being.

To quickly eradicate any misconceptions of microdosing, it’s important to note that you do not get ‘high’. Being ‘high’ is subjective, but not with microdosing. With a typical 100mg of psilocybin, you will not experience any hallucinatory states, that being mentally, physically, or cognitively. To clean the slate of any preconceived ideas of fear around this area, it’s important to get this out the way, it is nearly impossible to overdose or die from congesting high amounts of psilocybin or microdosing thereof. “The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population) for psilocybin cubensis being consumed by a 150lbs
person is 3015g (over 6 lbs!). A 'dose is anything over an eighth of an ounce (~3.5 grams). That's quite a large difference between drug and poison'” (LD50 Psilocybin). When microdosing, you’d be taking anywhere between 50 milligrams to 150 milligrams (1000 mg= 1g). Nothing close to being able to provide a ‘high of any sort'.

To continue on the topic of psilocybin research, Robin Carhart-Harris, the head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London and founder of MyDelica, contended psilocybin with antidepressants. Carhart-Harris’s research demonstrated that, “Psilocybin therapy appears to be at least
as effective as a leading conventional antidepressant and is faster acting with a reassuring safety profile when given by professional therapists,” (PsyPost).

To further this claim, the researchers also found that patients in the escitalopram group were more likely to report side effects such as anxiety, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, and reduced emotional responsiveness compared to those in the psilocybin group. Patients in the psilocybin group reported greater improvements in the ability to cry and feel compassion, intense emotion, and
pleasure.

Now, although this was a controlled research study that took over 6 weeks to conduct, with over 50 people, it’s important to note that this is on microdosing psilocybin. There’s already thousand’s of research papers on LSD, majority of them in the 60’s and providing empirical evidence of the same or similar. For the brevity of evidence of microdosing, we’ll only be focusing on psilocybin because of its accessibility of natural sourcing, evident benefits, and ease of access.

With psilocybin becoming a part of mainstream psychological research, the endeavor to find practical use of this in therapy has taken a foothold among mental health research. A recent research study,

'Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial', has claimed, major depressive disorder (MDD) is a substantial public health burden, but current treatments have limited effectiveness and adherence. Recent evidence suggests that 1 or 2 administrations of psilocybin with psychological support produces antidepressant effects in patients with cancer and in those with treatment-resistant depression. (PubMed)

This provides a complete breakthrough for the countless anecdotal experiences of MDD or depression. With mental health at the forefront of well being, the accessibility of psilocybin and the associated benefits that follow are already within the grasps of countless who are in desperate situations.

Overall, the implications of microdosing has a wide range of varieties. It’s been discussed about the therapeutic benefits, but it’s just as significant to discuss the nootropic benefits. A nootropic is a cognitive enhancement, typically a boost for clarity, focus, and energy. Microdosing is exactly that, since the evolution of nootropics have evolved from coffee and caffeine pills to Ginko Bilboa, Lion’s mane, and many more, avid psychedelic users attest their use enhances their creativity and flow states. With many anecdotal experiences and users out there advocating and attesting their works to psychedelics, more and more people are gravitating to microdosing for the nootropic aspect. With no ‘high’ associated, the variety of users microdosing for the cognitive effects are from artists to lawyers. The possibility of this is endless and can be easily discovered with the attempt of a single, harmless pill.

With an overwhelming amount of information on the therapeutic uses of microdosing, the revolutionary shift from conventional drugs to the infamous psychedelics are right around the corner. We’ll be seeing more uses of the psychedelic-assisted therapies becoming mainstream and countless
more advocating the use for personal self growth and self-actualization. The real question is if you haven’t started microdosing, then what’s stopping you?

-JR

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2670868
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33146667/
https://www.psypost.org/2021/06/psilocybin-therapy-appears-to-be-at-least-as-effective-as-a-leading-
conventional-antidepressant-61015