In addition to many overall wellbeing benefits, positive medical applications of microdosing have also been reported. Depression, ADHD, and cluster headaches are perhaps the most significant of them. Dr. James Fadiman’s research, the most positively satisfying results were reported in the following complaints/disorders:
- ADHD and ADD
- Cluster headache
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorder
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Hair loss
- Recovery from stroke
- Social anxiety
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Hormonal imbalance (menopause, PMDD)
This is anecdotal evidence. Clinical studies into the medicinal effects of microdosing in patient groups (randomized double-blind with a control group) are needed for more accurate data.
Microdosing and depression
Several participants in Dr. James Fadiman’s study reported that microdosing relieved their depression. Depression is a mood disorder that can be described as feeling persistently sad with a loss of life’s joy. Additionally, a study from Toby Lea, Ph.D., clearly showed that many people benefit from microdosing to battle their depression.
One person who had Parkinson’s disease described that after a month of microdosing LSD, his Parkinson’s symptoms didn’t improve, but his underlying depression did. However, Fadiman emphasizes that the data his subjects came up with is based on only one month of microdosing. It has not been shown whether microdosing can relieve depression in the long term; thus, it needs further investigation.
Microdosing and cluster headaches
Microdosing shows very promising to be medically applied for cluster headaches, which is often described as an unbearable headache that feels more intense than example, childbirth or kidney stones. James Fadiman quotes a patient who managed to get rid of her “ice pick headache” through microdosing LSD in his research. She was able to achieve the same result several times over the next few months. Since then, her cluster headache has stayed away.
However, Clusterbusters, a platform for cluster headache patients, takes the lead in research into psychedelics as a potential treatment. While all other treatment has been u unsuccessful, many patients (~80%) have found significant relief from their cluster headaches through LSD, 1cP-LSD, magic truffles, or magic mushrooms. The doses were generally a bit too large to be considered a microdose, yet there is sufficient evidence that microdoses can also be effective.
Luckily, scientific research on treating cluster headaches with microdosing is starting in the US and Canada. This is expected to definitively demonstrate the effectiveness of (microdosing) psychedelics as a remedy for this terrible disorder.
Microdosing and ADHD/ADD
As microdosing psychedelics can positively impact one’s focus, it might be a suitable substitute for ADHD medications and other pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers. A participant in Fadiman’s study reported that microdosing helped him to phase out his use of Adderall. Adderall is a notoriously addictive ADHD drug that, like Ritalin, is also used by college students for all-night study. Albert Hofmann said that if LSD had been legal, it would be a side-effect-free substitute for Ritalin or Adderall. Nowadays, many people with ADHD and ADD who microdose use the legal variants of LSD; 1P-LSD & 1cP-LSD.
Are there any risks to combining microdosing with medication?
Fadiman’s research team has compiled a list of medications and supplements that have not caused any adverse side effects when combining them with microdosing so far. This data comes from their fieldwork research in which 1850 people who microdosed on their own initiative voluntarily shared their findings. The psychoactive substances used for microdosing were LSD, 1P-LSD, or magic mushrooms.
Research into the medical applications of microdosing is desperately needed
There are still a lot of people for whom the existing treatments for their complaints are not sufficient, and for many microdosing is a solution. In addition, patients very often experience many side effects of regular medicines. There is no doubt that the medical applications of microdosing should and need to be clinically studied by the (medical) scientific community. That is the first step to make these resources (legally) available to authorized doctors and health practitioners.
There are various mental and physical health areas in which microdosing shows promise and could potentially significantly improve people’s lives around the world. Despite the illegal status of psychedelic substances, we believe that patients who have found microdosing to be an effective treatment for their health problems such as ADD/ADHD, cluster headaches and depression should at least be able to use it in a safe and legal way.
Your experience matters!
- Avey, E. (May 4, 2017. Why I’m Microdosing LSD. Medium.com. Retrieved from: https://ericaavey.medium.com/why-im-microdosing-lsd-e5e6289bb8e5
- Lea, T., Amada, N., Jungaberle, H., Schecke, H., & Klein, M. (2020). Microdosing psychedelics: Motivations, subjective effects and harm reduction. International Journal of Drug Policy, 75(), 9-Doi : 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.11.008