Chasing a brain boost through psychedelic microdosing? Scientific support is ‘patchy, lacking’, review says

nym microdosing x
Image: Bob Doherty/New York Magazine

The practice of taking small, regular doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, or productivity lacks robust scientific evidence.

Now, an international group of researchers, led by Imperial College London and Maastricht University, has approached the issue in a wide-ranging review paper, published [July 15] in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, to tackle some of the key questions – including what is microdosing? Is it safe? Is it legal? 

Regarding safety, they claim evidence for long-term, repeated dosing of psilocybin is lacking in humans and animals, and that there is some evidence to highlight cardiovascular risks.

Similarly, the authors describe how data on the behavioural effects of microdosing, such as increased concentration or creativity, remain patchy. 

Beyond the scientific issues, the legality and regulation of substances remains a significant barrier, say the researchers. Despite the renaissance in the science of psychedelic research, the drugs in the field – chiefly psilocybin, LSD and DMT – remain Schedule 1 Drugs.

Related article:  Psychedelics have ‘extraordinarily potent’ anti-inflammatory power. Is there a place for them in mainstream medicine?

They write “rigorous, placebo-controlled clinical studies need to be conducted with low doses of [psilocybin] to determine whether there is any evidence for the claims of microdosers”.

Read full, original post: Science of microdosing psychedelics ‘remains patchy and anecdotal’, says review

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