People microdose for many different reasons, ranging from increasing productivity and creativity to decreasing specific medical complaints. From the beginning of the Microdosing Institute, our team has coached and guided people during their microdosing journey and has assisted scientists in their microdosing research. Throughout that time, we’ve been mapping the benefits of microdosing.
We want to highlight that microdosing is not a magic bullet but a tool you can use to accelerate your process of awareness, maximize your healing, and take charge of your own life. Additionally, because psychedelics are so-called ‘non-specific mental amplifiers’, the benefits reported below will not apply to everyone all the time or with all microdosing substances. Some benefits of microdosing are now scientifically investigated, but microdosing is a tool but certainly not a solution to all your problems. In all cases, you are the one that has to actively integrate the insight into your life, however a (microdosing) coach can certainly help with that.
Mental benefits of microdosing:
- Improved concentration and focus—particularly in ADHD
- Getting into the flow more quickly—at work, hobby, or study
- Increased creativity
- Increased productivity
- Improved problem-solving capability
- Increased overall awareness
- Improved mood
- More balanced mood
- Better decision-making ability
- Making more conscious choices about health, lifestyle, well-being
- More positive mindset
- Increased emotional awareness
- More emotional connection with people around
- More presence
- More openness
- Decrease in depression (in a range from mild symptoms to clinical depression)
- Less procrastination
- Increased sense of wonder
- Increased sense of belonging
- Increased sense of unity
- Increase connection with spirituality and/or life mission
- Increase gratitude for life
Physical benefits of microdosing:
- Improved sleep
- More physical energy
- Enhanced sensory perception
- Reduced premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Less stuttering
- Quitting smoking and other addictions
Microdosing and the placebo effect
Skeptics attribute the benefits of microdosing to the placebo effect, stating that the stories about the benefits of microdosing are due to people thinking it affects their productivity or creativity and, therefore, become more creative. Matthew Johnson, a researcher who works with psilocybin and other hallucinogens at Johns Hopkins University, states the scientific basis that microdosing is more than a placebo effect isn’t very solid right now; “the reported benefits of microdosing are credible and very interesting. But the claim that everything coincides and goes well and you’re in a good mood, and you’re in the right flow, well, we all have those kinds of days. Even without pharmaceutical help”, he adds. “If you expect to get days like that, you’re more likely to get that’ he continues. ‘It’s actually not that different from the feeling you get from a very low dose of amphetamine or some other stimulant”.
According to Dr. James Fadiman Johnson is a conscientious skeptic who thinks microdosers may have a placebo-like reaction but thinks further research is necessary. He relies on the more than 1850 reports he has received. The majority of them mention similar effects and experiences. However, these people have never spoken to each other, nor have they influenced each other in their experiences. For him, this is enough proof that microdosing should be more than a placebo.
Embrace the placebo effect
It’s well known that your expectations influence the outcome. The placebo effect is widely used in the medical world. The suggestion that microdosing would only be a placebo effect weakens the strength of the placebo effect itself. It only proves how powerful the mind is. This works both in a positive and a negative sense. So now that you are aware of this, we suggest fully embracing the placebo effect and using this insight to drive a positive outcome in your life—with or without microdosing.
What are the disadvantages of microdosing
Out of the more than 1850 reports Dr. James Fadiman has received so far, 75 people claim not to have had a positive experience with microdosing (that’s less than 4%). The reasons mentioned most often that led to the quitting microdosing were consequences of the positive effects. The disadvantages of microdosing mentioned include:
- Fatigue (probably by living a more active life or by processing more impressions)
- Tolerance (needing more of the substance each time to get the same effect. It has not been scientifically proven yet, but Fadiman’s findings show that people report it when microdosing every day instead of following one of the microdosing protocols)
- Some people with color blindness report seeing slight hallucinations and rays or “after-images”.
- Dealing with changes in your consciousness and your sensitivity can be challenging.
- Mild nausea. Ginger can then help with that
- Some people can sweat more
Regardless if you experience negative effects from microdosing, we recommend taking a break from microdosing after four to ten weeks. It’s necessary to (re-)experience life and daily life without a “microdosing tool”. After a break, you can always start again or consciously choose to do so when you feel the need. Read more about the risks of microdosing
Participate in microdosing research
- Szigeti, B., Kartner, L., Blemings, A., Rosas, F., Feilding, A., Nutt, D. J., & Erritzoe, D. (2021). Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing. Elife, 10, e62878. ISO 690