Microdosing, The New Health Trend

Microdosing, The New Health Trend

It seems that some illegal drugs are having a kind of renaissance. These drugs which have been associated with health risks, community upheaval, violence, and even death are being re-evaluated by scientists. This re-evaluation is to determine if there is something valid to a ‘less is more’ approach. Maybe, instead of taking drugs to get high and tune out, smaller doses may actually help people struggling with various disorders. 

Microdosing is becoming the new health trend which, under the guidance of a medical professional, involves consuming minuscule amounts of such taboo drugs as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). 

Scientific American describes microdosing as, 

“…the “productivity hack” popular among Silicon Valley engineers and business leaders. Microdosers take regular small doses of LSD or magic mushrooms. At these doses, they don’t experience mind-bending, hallucinatory trips, but they say they get a jolt in creativity and focus that can elevate work performance, help relationships, and generally improve a stressful and demanding daily life.”

Call it the result of an era consumed with immediate digital gratification mixed with anxiety driven social media and microdosing may be the new meditation in a pill.

Nothing New

We have seen microdosing before. Maybe not in such minuscule amounts but certainly under the guidance of a medical professional. One of the most famous cases involved the film star Cary Grant during the late 1950s. Grant dropped acid (LSD) over 100 times in his psychotherapist’s office with the intention of working through past demons. After his “treatment” Grant was reported as saying, 

“During my LSD sessions, I would learn a great deal, and the result was a rebirth. I finally got where I wanted to go.”

Currently, microdosing is happening with marijuana as the CBD (cannabidiol) craze takes America by storm. Containing less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind altering compound found in conventional marijuana) CBD is reported as benefitting people in many ways. This includes improving sleep, relieving anxiety, and reducing inflammation. 

Pioneering Microdosing

The microdosing studies show a variety of results. Overall, this type of experimentation is fairly safe but needs strict guidance. In the 1960s Dr. James Fadiman, an American psychologist, writer and co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (which later became Sofia University), was one of the first researchers known to use LSD and other drugs on participants in a laboratory setting. These were the last tests of hallucinogens before they became a scheduled drug outlawed by the federal government which is still in effect today. However, Dr. Fadiman maintained writing and exploring the effects of LSD right up until he pioneered microdosing. With each dose only containing a small amount of the drug, in many cases, it falls below the radar of being illegal. 

As reported by The Huffington Post, 

“You take a very small dose of either LSD or psilocybin (roughly one-tenth to one-fifth of a normal dose), on a regular schedule. Fadiman recommends dosing in the morning, once every three days. The dose isn’t enough to “trip,” but for some users, it can lead to subtle yet profound internal shifts. Many microdosers report experiencing improvements in mood; enhanced focus, productivity or creativity; less reactivity; and in some cases, even relief from depression or cluster headaches.”

Dr. Fadiman commented, “What it seems to do is rebalance people,”

Observational Reports

The Swiss chemist, Dr. Albert Hoffman, discovered LSD and, taking a page out of Dr. Fadiman’s book, microdosed right up until his death at 102. 

Dr. Fadiman reports of the wide range of responses patients have had from microdosing which includes,

  • People who use it for learning, improve their learning.
  • One Ivy League student said he was using microdosing to get through the hardest math class in the undergraduate curriculum, and he did wonderfully in the class. 
  • A young man used it for severe stuttering.
  • Many use it for social anxiety.
  • One young woman, an art historian, found it regulated her periods and made them painless.
  • A number of people, by the time they’ve finished a month, say, ‘I’m sleeping better, I’m eating more healthy food, I’ve returned to yoga and I’m doing meditation.
  • Helps people reduce pharmaceuticals for PTSD and other psychotic challenges

Although these are not results from a double-blind placebo controlled study, they are observational reports that should be considered. This is especially true given the highly taboo subject and how premature it is in the laboratory. 

As more people seek natural remedies, microdosing may be the next breakthrough. Although not completely natural (LSD and MDMA as well as other considerations like mescaline are synthesized in the lab), but drugs like psilocybin and marijuana are naturally produced. Either way, these drugs are far from the manipulative pharmaceuticals that can wreak havoc on other systemic functions. Microdosing may evolve and it just could be a matter of time before you are prescribed these, more beneficial, remedies to experience some seriously significant natural results.