Can Microdosing Psychedelics Improve Your Mental Health?

When you hear the term "psychedelic" you probably think of hallucinogenic and mystical experiences. Popular psychedelics include LSD, a magic mushroom that contains the psychedelic psilocybin, and DMT, all of which can cause an intense psychological experience known as "journey". 

However, there is a push within the scientific community to study this well-known recreational drug as a treatment for psychiatric disorders that is potentially more effective and has fewer side effects than traditional psychiatric drugs.

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Psychedelic interest in psychedelics is not new: in the 1960s, thousands of patients were experimentally given various psychedelics to treat alcoholism and other mental disorders. After nearly 40 years of absence in this work, scientists began to continue this research. 

Significant studies have shown that LSD and psilocybin, respectively, improve mood and anxiety in patients with various life-threatening illnesses for up to one year after treatment, and more research is underway.

Along with the renewed interest in psychedelics is an increasingly popular approach known as microdosing. Microdosing is when a patient takes a dose of a psychedelic that is too low to cause a noticeable effect, usually between 5 and 10% of the standard dose. 

Despite small amounts of the drug being taken by mouth, there is evidence that micro-dose can still produce some of the benefits seen with full-dose treatment without causing intense and sometimes negative hallucinatory experiences. However, some scientists are skeptical whether these results are wrong or, worse, that microdosing could even be harmful.

It is known that psychedelics primarily affect serotonin, a chemical messenger that helps nerve cells communicate with other cells in the body.