People microdose for many reasons; ranging from increasing their productivity and creativity to finding relief from pain, or to combat specific medical complaints. From the early days of Microdosing Institute, our team has been mapping the benefits of microdosing. Since 2017, we have been coaching and guiding people during their microdosing journeys and have assisted scientists in their microdosing research.
Throughout that time, we’ve seen first hand many of the reported benefits in our community of microdosers. This has helped deepen our understanding of how and under what circumstances these benefits can be obtained. We’ve also learned a lot about some unwanted effects that might occur while microdosing.
We always 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. It’s also important to note that the benefits reported below won’t always apply to everyone all the time or with all microdosing substances.
It is important to recognize that microdosers experience greater benefits when microdosing with proper preparation, intention, and integration. In all cases, the responsibility to actively integrate the gained insights into our lives lies with each one of us but a (microdosing) coach can certainly help with that process.
Below, we’ve compiled the most commonly reported mental, physical, and spiritual benefits experienced by microdosers.
Mental Benefits of Microdosing
- Improved concentration and focus
- Getting into the flow more quickly—at work, hobby, or study
- Increased creativity
- Increased productivity
- Improved problem-solving capabilities
- Increased overall awareness
- More balanced mood
- Better decision-making abilities
- More positive mindset
- Decrease in depression (in a range from mild symptoms to clinical depression)
- Less procrastination
Spiritual Benefits of Microdosing
- Increased emotional awareness
- Greater emotional connection with people
- More presence
- Increased openness
- Increased sense of wonder
- Increased sense of belonging
- Increased sense of unity
- Increased connection with spirituality and/or life mission
- Increased gratitude for life
Microdosing and the placebo effect
Skeptics attribute the benefits of microdosing to the placebo effect. Matthew Johnson, a researcher who works with psilocybin and other hallucinogens at Johns Hopkins University, states that 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.”
Scholars like Dr. James Fadiman argue that Johnson is a conscientious skeptic for thinking that microdosers may have a placebo-like reaction, but agrees that further research is necessary. Fadiman believes that the benefits from microdosing are more than just a placebo after analyzing over 1850 microdosing reports he has received. The majority of these microdosers have reported major benefits—physically, mentally, and spirtually —and their experiences are very similar to one another. These people come from all over the world, have never spoken to each other, nor have they influenced each other in their experiences. For him, this is enough proof that the benefits of microdosing are more than just a placebo effect.
Read more on our blog: Microdosing and the Placebo-effect — What do we really know?
What are the disadvantages of microdosing?
Out of the more than 1850 reports Dr. James Fadiman and Sophia Korb have analyzed for their published paper “Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration”, 75 people (less than 4% of reporters) expressed not to have had a positive experience with microdosing. The potential negative or unpleasant effects of microdosing mentioned in these reports include:
- Fatigue – potentially because of a change in physical needs or as an indicator to address underlying emotional and/or physical needs
- 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 tolerance when microdosing every day instead of following one of the established microdosing protocols
- Dealing with changes in your consciousness and your sensitivity can be challenging
- Other risks of microdosing include nausea, headaches, or increased anxiety
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
- Fadiman, J, Korb, S (2019). Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration. J Psychoactive Drugs. Apr-Jun 2019;51(2):118-122. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2019.1593561. Epub 2019 Mar 29.