Promising Self-Reported Microdosing Study Indicates Significant Improvements in Mood And Mental Health After One Month of Use
- A new microdosing study reports significant self-reported improvements across several domains of psychological well-being, including enhanced emotional stability, psychomotor performance and cognition, while decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress parameters.
- The researchers followed 953 microdosers and 180 non‐microdosing comparators for approximately 30 days, before tracking endpoints. Baseline measurements were taken before participants began their microdosing protocol.
- Takeaways: Growing public intake of microdosing has outpaced evidence, requiring further prospective research from qualitative AND quantitative research designs. These findings of mood and mental health improvements associated with microdosing add to previous studies of psychedelic microdosing by using a comparator group and by examining the wide ranged consistency of these effects across age, gender, and various mental health measurements.
- Potential confounding variables: placebo effect, self-administered/self-reported, naturalistic environment
A compelling microdose study was recently published in Nature: Scientific Journal. The study looked at 1133 participants over the course of two years, where they reported their experience through a series of questionnaires in a designated App, Quantified Citizen Technologies. Microdosers reported greater improvements across the DASS domains of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (see Figure 1). This study is an extension of a previous article and further indicates that they found no significant difference in these results across genders, but interestingly, it did find that the cognitive efficacy was higher performing in people aged under 55.
Using a naturalistic, observational design, the researchers followed psilocybin microdosers (n = 953) and non‐microdosing comparators (n = 180) for approximately 30 days and identified small‐ to medium‐sized improvements in mood and mental health that were generally consistent across gender, age and presence of mental health concerns, as we all as improvements in psychomotor performance that were specific to older adults.
According to one of the primary researchers, in this initial version of the study, the participants were not specifically asked what strain of mushroom they were using, however they did gather data on a practice called stacking wherein psilocybin mushrooms are combined with other non-psychedelic substances such as Lion’s Mane mushrooms, chocolate, or niacin. “Our first study noted that about half of microdosers in our sample were stacking with a wide variety of substances, whereas our this more recent study extended these findings by noting associated improvements in psychomotor ability among stacking microdosers relative to non-stacking or non-microdosing peers”. The participants reported significant benefits to mood, mental health and cognition after one month of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms. The researchers did not provide any psilocybin mushrooms to participants, but rather observed and recorded the participants’ own “Microdose practice” involving 3 various low-doses.
These are very compelling results that further support the growing anecdotal reports on the benefits of microdosing. There is an additional study that was conducted (double-blind placebo-control crossover study, n=30) and also identified higher levels of self-reported awe in response to aesthetic experiences among microdosers relative to controls mood and functioning. However, further studies need to explore specific mechanism of action that examines HOW microdosing improves mood, cognition, and emotional stability.
The study was conducted by a team of experts in the fields of psychology and mycology: Joseph M. Rootman, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada; Pamela Kryskow, a member of the clinical advisory board of Numinus Wellness, co-founder of MycoMedica Life Sciences, and on the Scientific & Medical Advisory Board; Kalin Harvey; Paul Stamets, who founded Fungi Perfecti, LLC; Eesmyal Santos-Brault; Kim P. C. Kuypers; and Zach Walsh, a member of the Advisory Board of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada and MycoMedica Life Sciences.
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