Dr. James Fadiman, one of the most knowledgeable and respected experts on psychedelic science, spoke at the 2018 Science and NonDuality conference about his ongoing microdosing research. He and his research team utilized citizen science, meaning they collected self-reported data from willing participants across the globe.
Volunteers were asked microdose with 10 micrograms of LSD every third day for a month and track any changes in their mood and behavior. The results they reported reveal many of the potential benefits of microdosing, including:
- Reduced anxiety around particular subjects like work, money, or social anxiety
- Ease in social situations, particularly for people with Asperger syndrome
- Reduced depression in individuals diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder
- Improved creativity: both technical and artistic
- Assisted healing of concussions
- Reduced use of addictive substances including coffee, cigarettes, Adderall, and other pharmaceuticals
- Alleviates icepick headaches, and may also help with cluster headaches
- Motivation to make healthier choices: greater willingness to eat healthier food, exercise, and practice yoga and meditation
- Higher focus and greater learning capacity
- PMS symptoms alleviated
- Physical skills and coordination improved
- Trauma: may help alleviate PTSD symptoms, recurrent thoughts and memories, and other symptoms
- Reduced procrastination
- Reduced stuttering
- Writer’s block and other creative blockages lifted
- Work improvements: productivity, quality, flow
- Libido and relationships enhanced
- Greater tolerance for difficult people
Along with self-reporting, Dr. Fadiman and his team did use a more standardized system to measure mood. They found that microdosing not only reduces negative emotions in many people, but can also increase positive ones. Most traditional antidepressants such as SSRI’s have only been found to reduce depression, without increasing positive emotions like happiness, excitement, or contentment. Dr. Fadiman proposes that microdosing may be an effective treatment for depression and other mood disorders due to these properties.
It is also worth noting that once the one-month period was over, most participants chose to keep microdosing at a less frequent schedule. Psychedelics are already known to be mostly non-addictive, and this seems to hold true at low doses.
Dr. Fadiman’s research team plans to continue to collect data from this pool of volunteers, with hopes of gaining insight into the long-term effects, both positive and negative, of microdosing. His team also plans to conduct more controlled studies testing specific effects one by one, in an effort to produce more reliable evidence for the treatment which thousands have already found effective.