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The Bright Future of Microdosing Psychedelics for Depression

By Asim Janjua   ✺   Writing  ✺  Articles  ✺  Research
  ✺   2 min read

The research suggest that microdosing psychedelics could have a significant impact on the field of psychiatric treatment, offering a novel approach to managing affective disorders.

The Bright Future of Microdosing Psychedelics for Depression


Explanation Of Terms And Acronyms

Microdosing psychedelics involves the regular consumption of very small quantities of substances such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or psilocybin, typically around one-tenth of a recreational dose, to improve mental health, creativity, or overall well-being without producing significant psychoactive effects. LSD and psilocybin are known for their ability to alter perception, mood, and cognitive processes through agonistic action on serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptors. This practice has gained attention for its potential therapeutic benefits, especially in treating affective disorders like depression, despite the lack of extensive scientific validation.

Why Did They Do It?

The motivation behind this research lies in the pressing need for alternative treatments for affective disorders, which traditional medications often fail to adequately address. The exploration into microdosing psychedelics is driven by anecdotal reports of their benefits in improving mood and cognitive flexibility, along with preliminary scientific findings suggesting their safety and efficacy in controlled settings. This study aims to systematically review existing experimental research to assess whether microdosing could offer a viable therapeutic avenue for depression and other affective disorders.

What Did They Do?

To investigate the therapeutic potential of microdosing psychedelics, the review focused on analyzing controlled experimental studies involving low doses of LSD and psilocybin in both healthy volunteers and patient samples. The literature search aimed to compile evidence on the cognitive and affective impacts of microdosing, including any improvements in mood and cognitive processes, as well as its safety and tolerability.

How Did They Do It?

The methodology involved a comprehensive literature search in PubMed and MedLine databases for studies on low-dose LSD and psilocybin. Criteria for inclusion were controlled experimental designs that examined the effects of microdosing on cognitive and affective outcomes. The review meticulously evaluated the selected studies to determine the consistency of findings related to therapeutic benefits and safety profiles.

What Did They Find?

The review highlighted that microdoses of LSD (10–20 mcg) and psilocybin (<1–3 mg) have subtle, yet potentially beneficial effects on cognitive functions and mood, with reports of increased cognitive flexibility, positive mood shifts, and enhanced creativity. Additionally, these low doses were found to be well-tolerated with minimal to no adverse physiological effects, suggesting a promising safety profile for therapeutic use.

How Will This Advance/Impact The Field?

The findings from this review suggest that microdosing psychedelics could have a significant impact on the field of psychiatric treatment, offering a novel approach to managing affective disorders. By potentially enhancing cognitive flexibility and mood, microdosing presents an alternative therapeutic strategy that could complement or serve as an adjunct to traditional treatments. Further research, especially placebo-controlled clinical trials, is essential to fully understand the therapeutic value of microdosing psychedelics and its mechanism of action in treating depression.

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