Psilocybin microdosing, a practice of consuming small amounts of mushrooms containing psilocybin for potential mental health benefits, has gained popularity despite limited research on its effects. In 2022, a longitudinal observational study was conducted with 1,112 participants who reported psilocybin microdosing to investigate its impact on mood, cognitive functioning, and physical coordination. The study revealed that psilocybin microdosing is linked to better mood and decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, particularly among individuals with mental health concerns. As such, psilocybin microdosing holds promise as a potential alternative treatment for mental health issues.
This study is unique in that it is one of the largest and longest studies to the date of publishing the study on microdosing psilocybin, and one of the few to use a control group. It is also novel in its investigation of the effects of combining psilocybin with other active substances like lion's mane mushroom and vitamin B3 (niacin), and in its exploration of potential age-related differences in the effects of microdosing.
They also discovered that microdosers over the age of 55 who combined psilocybin with lion's mane mushrooms and vitamin B3 had improved psychomotor performance. Combining psilocybin with lion's mane mushroom and vitamin B3 did not affect changes in mood and mental health.
Furthermore, the subgroup of participants who reported mental health concerns at the time of baseline assessment exhibited an average reduction in depressive symptoms that resulted in a change from moderate to mild depression following approximately 30 days of microdosing psychedelics.
This study discusses the current state of research on psilocybin, highlighting the limited number of studies examining the effects of microdosing psilocybin on mood and cognition. The authors note that prior research has mainly focused on acute effects of higher psychedelic doses of psilocybin, and the few longitudinal studies on microdosing have been small and lacked control groups. They mention previous research indicating positive effects of psilocybin on mood and reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In addition to the positive effects on mood and mental health, the study revealed that psilocybin microdosing also had a beneficial impact on psychomotor performance. However, the impact of microdosing on cognitive functioning was limited to psychomotor performance, with no discernible effect on spatial memory or processing speed.
This study on psilocybin microdosing provides valuable insights into its potential effects on mood, cognitive functioning, and physical coordination. The study's findings are generally consistent with prior research, suggesting a consistent association between microdosing and improved mental health. However, future research with placebo-controlled designs will be necessary to understand the contributions of positive expectancies and placebo effects. Furthermore, studies evaluating the potency, composition, and quantity of microdosed materials are needed to better understand the influence of these key factors. Overall, this study contributes to the growing literature on microdosing psilocybin and highlights the need for continued research on this topic.
Study Title: Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls
Study Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9246852