Too Far Out: Studies Touting Health Benefits From Microdosing Psychedelics Are ‘Patchy & Anecdotal,’ Scientists Warn
Author: John Anderer
LONDON — The notion that mind-altering drugs, more specifically psychedelics such as LSD or magic mushrooms, have a positive impact on creativity, mood, and productivity has been around for centuries. A bit more recently the practice of “microdosing” psychedelics, or only taking very small, repeated doses in order to maintain a somewhat level head while also experiencing the drug’s benefits, has picked up steam in certain circles. However, very little scientific research has actually been performed to back up these anecdotal claims, and experts warn that recent studies touting these drugs’ mental health benefits are too unreliable.
So, researchers at Imperial College London and Maastricht University set out to examine the practice of microdosing, and lay the groundwork for future research that will hopefully answer important questions regarding its safety and effectiveness.
LSD and psilocybin (the psychedelic found in magic mushrooms) are often cited by artists, musicians, and writers as great sources of inspiration, and many others have claimed that experiences they’ve had while on these drugs have helped them view their surroundings and life in completely different, more positive terms. The problem, though, is that all of these claims are just that: claims, and claims don’t cut it when it comes to the scientific community.
“Despite so much interest in the subject, we still don’t have any agreed scientific consensus on what microdosing is – like what constitutes a ‘micro’ dose, how often someone would take it, and even if there may be potential health effects” explains senior author Professor David Nutt in a release.
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