Microdosing increases focus and reduces depression, stress and anxiety, study finds

According to an article on Australia’s ABC, Drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms are well-known for creating hallucinations and an altered state of mind.

Yet, microdosing these drugs has become a trend among biologists, software engineers, and mathematicians in Silicon Valley who have said it helps them perform better at work and become more creative and focused without hallucinating. “What we wanted to do was to see if the effects of microdosing were comparable to those of yoga,” Edith Cowan University’s Dr Stephen Bright told Hack.

We found that microdosing had similar benefits to yoga – we saw similar levels of increased openness, decreased depression, stress, and anxiety and an ability to focus on the present moment so an ability to concentrate. “We also found that with people who microdosed there was also an increase in… neuroticism, however if people engaged in microdosing and yoga it seemed to mitigate that affect so the levels of neuroticism weren’t increased so much.”

Researchers spoke to 600 Australians in the study, which is only the third study in the world looking into microdosing. “Microdosing involves taking a psychedelic drug but using it at a very small dose so you don’t get the psychedelic effects and people take a tenth of the dose of LSD,” Dr Bright said.

“Microdosing has been around for quite a long time but it’s really taken off in the last few years, there’ve been whole sub-reddits created on the topic of microdosing.

“These anecdotal reports coming out that microdosing has certain benefits… the idea is they don’t get any psychoactive effects from the dose at all but rather by taking this on an ongoing basis it’s suggested people get benefits from the certain behaviour.”

Don’t get too excited yet, microdosing can also be really unpredictable. Josh, 23, has been microdosing twice a week for about two months but it didn’t start off so smoothly.

“I just assumed how much it would be but when I had it, it was much more than I thought,” he told Hack. “The dose is very, very specific – the difference between one and the other is me getting work done or me being distracted all day.

“The subtle differences are insane.”

Josh usually microdoses on his days off to help him study and once he did it before work.

“The best way I can describe it, is like having a really good day when you’re just on top of everything you need to do, you’re super focused, patient and can understand everything,” he said.

On the flip side, if things don’t go your way it might seem worse than it is – it amplifies how you feel.
Obviously, these drugs are illegal in Australia at the moment and Dr Stephen Bright said that means they’re not regulated either – so you may not know what you’re getting.

“We don’t know whether the drugs people are taking are actually LSD and there’s a plethora of drugs that have emerged over the past few years, some that are quite dangerous compared to LSD,” he said.

“And if it’s not a regulated market you’re kind of guessing what a tenth of a dose is. “So there’s the potential someone might take more than they think they’re taking, head to work, and all of a sudden have a total psychedelic experience which could have implications for their full time employment.”

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About the author

For the last 20+ years, Damion has been an international touring DJ, promoter, touring agent, label owner, magazine editor and producer. He is currently the Group Editor and Managing Director of Decoded Magazine. Hear more at https://soundcloud.com/damionpell-1