Psychedelic Microdosing is Trendy, But Studies Are Lacking

Microdosing psychedelics is quickly becoming a trendy new mental and physical wellness event that athletes, celebrities, and everyday business people are doing it as a daily ritual that is sometimes even encouraged by their bosses

In fact, the very term “microdosing” is working into common usage as just another way of saying you tried some thing, or attended some event, or ingested some substance—but just not a lot of it.

The term came into play as a common part of the work of drug researchers and scientists who measure what could or what should be an allowable, safe and effective dose of any psychedelic for human consumption, focusing mainly on psilocybin but inclusive of other psychedelics. 

The term actually comes from pharmacological drug development and guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Scientists report that, in the case of LSD and MDMA, psychedelic microdosing would be 5–10 percent of a usual psychoactive dose. Typical doses can be as small as one-twentieth of a typical recreational dose, sometimes even less. 

For example, a microdose of LSD might be 6–25 micrograms, or a microdose of psilocybin might be .1 to .5 grams of dried mushrooms.

To be sure, consuming a microdose of psychedelics combined with coffees or teas is also becoming popular—but just not the tested and approved coffees and teas you can get online or in any store. You have to actually get your psychedelic substance du jour from whatever trusted (illegal) source you have, and mix your own versions of a what you hope to be a measured, safe and effective microdosed concoction.

Yes, there are psilocybin microdose products (magic truffles) available in some countries, such as the iMicrodose kit from Red Light Holland (OTC: TRUFF), growing their truffles in Holland and selling kits in other countries where it is allowed. 

There is also Earth Resonance, a company also based in the Netherlands, also selling packages of microdoses of magic truffles that they recommend taking in the morning blended in a smoothie, chewed raw or put in morning tea.

But what’s going on in this country where psilocybin, LSD and MDMA are still illegal? It’s a do-it-yourself, wait and see attitude, with entrepreneurs lining up and ready to go. 

One example: The CEO of Denver-based CBD coffer maker Strava Coffee, Andrew Aamot, announced that they were envisioning bringing microdosed psilocybin-infused coffee and tea products to market. This was in July 2019, just months after the decriminalization of psilocybin was approved in Denver in May, 2019. But since that announcement, no updates have been published.

There are the important practicalities of microdosing to be better understood. When you are doing your own microdosing, be careful. There are still a lot of unknowns. There are many different kinds of psychoactive mushrooms with different strengths of hallucinogenic qualities. One study stated that the effects of microdosing “remain anecdotal,” and in the absence of quantitative research on microdosing psychedelics, “it is impossible to draw definitive conclusions on that matter.”

Another study found that, while most anecdotal reports focus on the positive experiences with microdosing, “future research should also focus on potential risks of (multiple) administrations of a psychedelic in low doses. To that end, (pre)clinical studies including biological (e.g. heart rate, receptor turnover and occupancy) as well as cognitive (e.g. memory, attention) parameters have to be conducted and will shed light on the potential negative consequences microdosing could have.”

And there is yet another study that showed that the effects of microdosing psychedelics versus using a placebo were about the same. In other words, participants in the research believed they felt better mentally even without taking the psychedelic substance that was being studied. 

What researchers are saying is that you’re taking some serious health chances doing your own microdosing until they can do more studies and figure microdosing out—as the psychedelics renaissance proceeds full steam ahead. 

So OK—it’s likely that the evolution of the revolution will soon reveal a solution to your motion for a potion. Microdosing is a full-fledged consumer trend introduced and promoted by the hip and connected that is slowly but surely trickling down to the everyday citizen as the psychedelics industry picks up momentum and broadens its appeal. 

The message today seems to be microdose at your own risk, but let the researchers hash out the details for a safer experience tomorrow—if you can wait that long.

Dave Hodes

David Hodes is a business journalist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He has contributed feature articles to several cannabis and psychedelics publications, as well as general business/lifestyle publications, on a variety of topics. Hodes was selected as 2018 Journalist of the Year by Americans for Safe Access. He is a member of the National Press Club, and the deputy booking agent for the National Press Club Headliners Committee.


  • Marcie

    June 30, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    We’ll never know b/c our government can’t stop fighting.


  • Charles H. Finnie

    July 1, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Mr. Hodes has not done his homework. There is a large and growing collection of peer-reviewed medical studies that show enormous mental health benefits from psychedelics-based therapies. The most rspeected medical institutions — including Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Mass. Genereal Hospital — have launched psychedelics research centers because the research has been so positive. The New York Times published a big piece last week saying that top Veterans Administration doctors are not waiting for legalization, because they know the most effective therapies for PTSD are psychedelics-based.
    This stuff is safe, effective, and badly needed. Listen to the experts.


    • Debra Borchardt

      July 5, 2022 at 8:28 am

      This is specifically referring to just microdosing. Mr. Hodes has written numerous articles about psychedelic research, but he is correct there have been very few studies on people who microdose over a long period of time.


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