Microdosing Doesn’t Do Anything

Recreational drugs are hard to study, because when you apply for a grant, funders are all like, “I’m picking up really sketch vibes.” And in general, it’s just pretty frowned upon to experiment on humans. But people are gonna do drugs, and we should probably know what’s up. So when I came across a paper from researchers at Imperial College London about the effects of psychedelic microdosing, I was all like, “Well, hello there.”

These researchers wanted to figure out if microdosing actually improves your mood and your creativity, but you can’t just go around giving people LSD. So, they put out a call on the internet looking for people who microdose routinely and asking if they would want to be a part of this BYOD (bring your own drugs) study.

The internet showed up! In the end, they got 191 people who were randomly assigned to four weeks of either microdosing, placebo, or half and half. But all participants, regardless of whether they were microdosed or placebo-ed, felt happier and more creative.

So, you don’t need to take small amounts of psychedelics to have a good day. You just need to think that you did.

Reference: “Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing.” eLife 2021.

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