Microdosing Research Data

Microdosing Research Data

Microdosing of psychedelics continues to be a growing trend where very small sub-perceptual amounts of Microdosing XP Truffles and other psychedelic substances are taken. A large-scale global study was conducted in 2018 in which they asked participants to report the advantages and disadvantages of microdosing.

Microdosing of psychedelics continues to be a growing trend where very small sub-perceptual quantities of Microdosing XP Truffles and other psychedelic substances are ingested. This is usually done according to a specific microdosing protocol, or microdosing schedule, for 1 or 2 months.

Last year, a large-scale worldwide study was conducted in which they asked the participants to report which advantages and which disadvantages they experience while microdosing. 

Team Microdosingtruffles spoke to Toby Lea, one of the researchers, during the annual Microdosing Seminar of the Microdosing Institute platform in 2018.

We asked him about the advantages of microdosing and what disadvantages people reported. 

The three most commonly reported advantages were:

  • a better mood,
  • more focus
  • more creativity

The three most common challenges (disadvantages) were:

  • illegality in many countries (except for the Netherlands)
  • physiological discomfort
  • other concerns such as the unknown risk profile of microdosing
  • forgetting to take a regular dose.

What is microdosing?

When people microdose, they are consuming approximately one tenth of a recreational dose of a psychedelic substance such as the microdosing XP truffles, although the doses do vary from person to person. The dose is sub-perceptual; people who microdose are not "tripping". Microdosers live their daily life while microdosing. So they take the truffles during their daily routine.

We recruited 909 participants from all over the world using online forums like reddit and Microdosing.nl. In part of our survey, 278 participants told us about the three main benefits of microdosing for them, and the three main challenges they faced.

If you are curious about everything people reported, the data is available here. We are making the data public, free of charge, as part of our commitment to Open Science. Or check out Toby Lea's presentation at the bottom of this blog

More confident, motivated and productive

The benefits reported by our participants are largely consistent with what people have reported anecdotally. They reported that microdosing helped with mood, focus, creativity, self-efficacy, energy and much more. These findings, like creativity, coincide well with our earlier research.

Our approach was to take individual reports and divide them into categories. In this way, we got an idea of how common each of these reports was, which helped us direct future research towards the most promising avenues.

26.6 per cent of people reported improved mood. Improved mood is therefore the most potential area for future research. Creativity is another benefit that needs to be explored more, as many people also reported this as a side effect.

What is also worth noting is that many people who microdosed felt more confident, motivated and productive.

Only 4.2 percent of people reported reduced anxiety and several reported increased anxiety, so it's not recommended to microdose if you suffer from anxiety attacks. This is what James Fadiman also mentions when presenting his Microdosing research data.

However, it should be mentioned that these data are collected on 'observed results' and do not indicate confirmed effects. Clinical research is therefore needed to further investigate these observed results.

Illegality of microdosing Substances is a challenge

The most common challenge or disadvantage was illegality. This was mentioned in almost a third of the reports. This was an international studyIn our coding of responses, illegality was about the black market, the social stigma surrounding the use of illegal substances, and the difficulty of using the correct and pure dosage. That is why your legal Microdosing XP truffles are such a godsend for many people. 

This disadvantage is not so much due to microdosing itself as it is to the social policies and norms in the country you come from. As research into psychedelics grows, these substances may eventually be decriminalised or legalised, which could remove the most common challenge in our sample.

The next step was physiological discomfort: in 18 percent of the reports, participants described headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, insomnia and other unwanted side effects of microdosing. This was mainly due to excessive microdosing. 

Research should examine these potential side effects and how they compare to the profiles of the many legal substances available, such as anti-depressants, which also cause side effects. 

Participants also mentioned other concerns, such as not knowing if there could be harmful interactions between psychedelics and other medications, and the lack of research evidence on the long-term effects of microdosing.

What's next for microdosing research?

It could be that microdosing of psychedelics was not related to many of the benefits and challenges that participants reported. People often feel better or worse even when taking placebos, such as sugar pills. This is commonly known as the placebo effect.

Randomised placebo-controlled trials are needed to determine the true results of microdosing.

Our data suggest that people who microdose get a lot out of their use of psychedelics, while negative reports focus on social and physiological problems. In general, participants reported fewer disadvantages than advantages, and they reported that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.

There are still more unknowns than knowns when it comes to microdosing: does microdosing cause any of these effects, or is it all placebo? Could there be long-term negative consequences to microdosing? Are certain people more likely to experience specific benefits or challenges?

This study creates a great guideline for researchers to investigate. We encourage researchers to test whether these benefits and drawbacks occur in a clinical setting. Microdosing is and will remain 'research in motion'!



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