Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms May Improve Mental Health and Mood

Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms May Improve Mental Health and Mood

When it comes to psychedelics, microdosing involves consuming psychedelic substances in amounts too small to impair daily functioning. The dosage may vary but could be taken 3 to 5 times per week.

The 2021 Global Drug Survey (GDS) found that 1 in 4 people who used psychedelics reported microdosing psilocybin mushrooms or LSD in the past 12 months. These two substances are the most widely used for microdosing, but the survey also found that about one-third of people who used psychedelics microdosed another psychedelic substance.

Although most people have a sense of a microdose as being very small, Dustin Hines, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said one challenge for this kind of research is accurately defining the size of that dose.

“In establishing a microdose, people are looking to have normal cognitive functioning — they can still carry out their work duties or other responsibilities without noticing a negative impact,” he said, adding that the appropriate microdose may vary from person to person and situation to situation.

In the new study, participants reported on their recent use of microdosing psychedelic mushrooms and completed a number of assessments on their mood and mental health, noting a number of improvements.

Possible psychomotor benefits

In addition to studying mental health outcomes, researchers took a smartphone finger-tapping test that has been used to assess psychomotor symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s diseaseTrusted Source and Multiple Sclerosis.

People 55 years or older who microdosed psilocybin experienced improvements in psychomotor performance, as measured by this tapping test.

Researchers also assessed whether combining psilocybin with a non-psychedelic substance, a process known as “stacking,” changed the outcomes.

Combining psilocybin with lion’s mane (a non-psychedelic mushroom) and niacin (a B vitamin) did not affect the changes in mood or mental health, the researchers found. However, older individuals who microdosed and combined psilocybin with both of these substances were more likely to have improved psychomotor performance.

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