How and why people ‘microdose’ tiny hits of psychedelic drugs

published on August 4, 2018 by Ilina Ghosh in CBC News

Illegal, underground and said to be brimming with health benefits — the practice of microdosing psychedelic drugs is growing increasingly popular, yet it remains relatively unstudied and its reported benefits unproven.

A group of Canadian researchers is hoping to change that with new data that begins to shed light on how and why people microdose, and what they say are its effects and drawbacks.

Microdosing is the practice of taking minute doses of hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin (the active compound in so-called magic mushrooms) for therapeutic purposes. The amounts are too small to produce a high but large enough to quell anxiety or improve mood, according to users.

Researchers at the University of Toronto and York University collaborated on the study, which they say is the first of its kind.

Reports of improved mood, increased focus

The team targeted microdosing communities on Reddit and other social media channels with an anonymous online survey last year. They received 909 completed responses from current and former microdosers as well as others who had no experience with the practice.

The survey yielded information about how much and how often people microdosed: typically 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD (about one- or two-tenths of a tab) or 0.2 to 0.5 grams of dried magic mushrooms, about once every three days or once per week.

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