People who take microdoses of psychedelic drugs consistently report that it results in improved mood and creativity, while having few side effects, according to new research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Study author Rotem Petranker, director of the Canadian Centre for Psychedelic Science, and his colleagues noticed a growing public interest in taking sub-threshold doses of LSD or psilocybin to enhance cognitive or emotional functioning. But scientific research on the issue is scant.
“I’ve always been curious about mind-expansion: I’ve been meditating formally since I was 19, have had periods of extensive lucid dreaming training, and have had a near-death experience. Psychedelics seem to be in the same vein, and so anyone who is interested in mapping out consciousness would be wise to consider psychedelics as a useful paradigm,” said Petranker, who is also the associate director of the Psychedelic Studies Research Program at the University of Toronto and a PhD student at York University.
“When I started doing this research, it was with the notion that while the study of psychedelics has returned to the mainstream in the 21st century and the results look promising, there are still many gaps in our knowledge. When I started, there was no published research on microdosing and so I thought that this is a good way to establish legitimacy in the field.”
“We didn’t have any funding or other support, so my colleague Thomas Anderson and I just used our previous knowledge about building surveys for research purposes to get an idea of what people who microdose experience, and whether they are different from non-microdosers on a few key dimensions like mental health and creativity,” Petranker said.
The researchers’ previous work, based on 278 self-identified microdosers, found that people who took very small doses of psychedelic substances commonly reported improved mood, focus, and creativity