Psychedelic Microdosing: Prevalence and Subjective Effects

Lindsay P. Cameron, Angela Nazarian, David E. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anecdotal reports suggest that the administration of sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelic compounds on a chronic, intermittent schedule–a practice known as psychedelic microdosing–is becoming increasingly popular among young adults due to its purported ability to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving cognitive function and promoting social interaction. Using an anonymous online survey, we collected data from 2347 people to 1) assess the prevalence of psychedelic microdosing and characterize the demographics of microdosers, 2) determine whether microdosers associate the practice with changes in mood, cognitive function, social interaction, or physiology, and 3) investigate frequent motives for discontinuing the practice. Fifty-nine percent of respondents (N= 2183) reported familiarity with the concept of psychedelic microdosing, with 17% (383 respondents, NT = 2200) having engaged in this practice. Microdosers attributed psychedelic microdosing with improving their mood, decreasing their anxiety, and enhancing their memory, attention, and sociability. The most frequently cited reasons for quitting microdosing (N= 243) were the risks associated with taking an illegal substance (24.28%) and the difficulty of obtaining psychedelic compounds (22.63%). Overall, our findings suggest that psychedelic microdosing is relatively common and is subjectively associated with a broad spectrum of socio-affective, cognitive, and physical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • LSD
  • microdosing
  • Psychedelic
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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