The Atlantic

A New Chapter in the Science of Psychedelic Microdosing

A study on rats offers the first biological evidence that small doses of hallucinogenic drugs could have therapeutic benefits.
Source: Mark Metcalfe / Getty

The purported benefits of microdosing psychedelics are as numerous as the research is sparse. The technique, which involves ingesting small amounts of LSD, mushrooms, or other hallucinogenic drugs every three or four days, has made headlines for its popularity as a “productivity hack” among the Silicon Valley elite. But anecdotal endorsements of microdosing claim that the routine can lead to a whole variety of benefits, including heightened emotional sensitivity, athletic performance, and creativity; and relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and chronic pain—all without resulting in any sort of trip.

In a lab setting, meanwhile, these effects have hardly been studied. Microdosing straddles a line between homeopathic remedy and experimental biohacking as a promising tool that hasn’t yet made its published Monday in the journal provides the first biological evidence that psychedelic microdosing could have unique therapeutic effects that differ from the effects of a full dose.

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