MICRODOSING: How Psychedelics Are Changing The Way We View and Treat Our Own Mental Health

Microdosing was a far cry from being a mainstream phenomenon back in 2018. Fast forward three years, and it seems to have shifted drastically from the underground world of Silicon Valley biohackers where it first gained notoriety to a broader circle of progressive wellness enthusiasts – and with the effects of the pandemic now looming on our population, more and more people are taking it upon themselves with a sense of urgency to self-educate and self-manage their own care.  The question of why people are turning to psychedelic-assisted treatments becomes much more lucid at a time when mainstream adoption via expansion of clinical research, forging of new regulation and easing of access are all being expedited because the science is telling us this is something big. The why almost becomes a forethought, instead people are motivated to learn how as a matter of self-preservation and because time is of the essence.


The results indicated that, at least from the perspective of respondents, the practice of microdosing elicited positive mental health effects. As the researchers report, “Forty-four percent of all respondents perceived that their mental health was much better and 35.8% perceived that it was somewhat better because of microdosing.

– Lea, T., Amada, N., Jungaberle, H. et al. Psychopharmacology 237 Feb 2020


What used to be a hushed way for driven tech entrepreneurs to squeeze a little more genius out of their days has gradually made its way into post-yoga class conversations among the trend-minded and beyond – conversations that are permeating through post-secondary institutions, major medical establishments, contact sports and corporate environments around the world.

It’s interesting as we look back at how the psychedelic phenomena that was once dismissed as one of many drugs used by spaced out hippies in the 60’s or thought to be some nefarious treatment for psychosis and deemed a danger to our society with no known medical benefit (conclusions that not only hindered the progress of psychedelic research for a generation but now appear to be greatly exaggerated or flatly inaccurate according to research published within the NCBI/NIH archives) has risen from its ashes to resemble a psychedelic renaissance that is being touted as potentially having as much significance in the treatment of mental health as a cure would be for Cancer.


With the rapid spike in popularity, media coverage of microdosing has increased as well over the years. This wellness trend has been covered on several major outlets, including Vice, Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Marie Claire. In short: It’s been labeled a hot social topic. Which is all well, considering the history of media’s coverage of anything psychedelic related were mostly fraught with bad stereotypes or sensationalized plots referenced solely for entertainment value. In the age of social media and podcasts, that has all changed.

So as superficial as being a hot social topic may sound, it is nonetheless right for this moment and working as it should to promote awareness – thereby allowing people to reprogram any preconceived ideas they may have had about psychedelics or mental health therapy in general. These honest discussions taking place among social circles are quickly becoming a place of learning, compassion and support for one another. More so today than ever before, people’s desire to maintain and improve their psychological well-being through the use of microdose psychedelic-assisted therapies are being viewed through the lens of self-managed care – and society in its natural evolution is beginning to embrace rather than shun; to empathize rather than stigmatize; and to give hope to the possibilities rather than resort to fear of the unknown. People from all social backgrounds whose lives have been changed are feeling empowered to tell their stories, of which there are many – and those stories are profoundly compelling.


While the psychedelic movement barrels forward setting its sights on accessibility, decriminalization and funding important clinical research. Practitioners through changes they’ve observed within their own patients are beginning to realize they may have a therapy at their disposal with the ability to treat serious diseases such as PTSD, Addiction, Alzheimer’s Disesase, Dementia, Depression and Anxiety; conditions that have in the past been difficult to treat within the confines of conventional medicine with increased risk for some medications to yield side affects that are ultimately counterproductive to the patient’s health over the long term. The very prospect of finding an alternative break-through in psychedelic-assisted therapies such as the use of psilocybin is for many a benefit that far exceeds the risks and long overdue. In actuality, many who have already adopted these therapies within their daily lives or have seen the power of what they can do are simply waiting for Science to confirm to the world what they and some cultures dating back a millennia have already known and still truly believe.




We’ve explored at length the potential applications of psychedelic-assisted therapy relating to the more serious conditions that are affecting a growing number of the population which have been deemed medically important for implementation of psychedelic therapy and rightly so. However, what does that mean for people who don’t suffer from the extremities of any one condition? What if some of us just need that extra boost ever so often; some pep in your step as they call it. Can psilocybin-assisted therapeutics play a roll in the everyday lives of everyday folks?

Psychedelic treatments may not work for everyone and studies of magic mushrooms will tell us it is not a panacea. Psychedelics are unique in that they can only offer us a degree of possibilities to explore our own consciousness through a journey of introspection and in turn present us with perspectives and insights that are meant to help us see the many different aspects of our lives in a different light; including how we interact with our environment and the people around us. The potential of how those experiences can heal us or how they further define us relies on the individual and their intent.


To enhance general wellbeing was the most common primary reason given by respondents who used Magic Mushroom in the last year, followed by coping with worries and getting relief from a psychiatric condition.



According to Dr Monica Barratt, a professor at Australia’s RMIT University and a co-author of the recent study as part of the 2020 Global Drug Survey, findings show that while health regulators around the world debate whether or not to legalize the therapeutic use of drugs like LSD, MDMA and psilocybin, demand among users is increasing and “may end up being filled outside of the medical setting”. Of the 110,000 worldwide respondents to the 2020 Global Drug Survey, 6,500 (just under six percent) reported adopting a self-managed mental health treatment. These included cases of people microdosing alone with LSD or magic mushrooms, as well as cases where people took psychedelics under the supervision of another person in a self-managed setting. While these supervisors were most commonly reported as being friends and partners, these settings also included psychedelic retreats and traditional healing groups.


The findings suggest there are many people with common preexisting conditions for whom existing treatment modalities are either insufficient or unattractive to engage with.


Avid microdosers who have been posed questions of why will generally express that the freedom to adopt a self-managed framework in pursuit of a more balanced, enjoyable lifestyle centered on presence of mind and the richness of our everyday human experiences are in essence the new definition of wealth.


The whole point of technology is to do less work. There’s a narrative that still circulates that ties hustle to success and of course success to financial wealth. I think one of the keys to building a better business future is to break that narrative. The concept of wealth is being redefined in front of our eyes. Wealth is not just about numbers in a bank account anymore. Wealth is about experiences; wealth is about enjoyment – wealth is about presence.



Silicon Valley’s famed exploitation of psychedelics simply as a tool of productivity and creativity will forever be ingrained in the lexicon of the psychedelic movement forever. It is legendary in its telling and makes for an easy story to digest but to discount the by-product of that ambition would be no different as discounting the music contributions of spaced out hippies like Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana or The Beatles during the 60’s and the subsequent generations that they may have inspired through their passion of music. Look past the shenanigans in the headlines and I wonder how they would have answered if asked: What role did psychedelics have in shaping their experiences; their music; their well being; their relationships; their struggles and their own mental health?

It may have taken 60 long years for us to realize or admit youth of the 60’s counterculture might have moved humanity forward with their music and there’s a good chance psychedelics may have played a pivotal role directly or indirectly. The same could be said about Silicon Valley and Technology. The impact of this psychedelic infused industry may still be unrealized in its totality at this moment but when Steve Jobs so famously said that taking LSD was “two or three most important things” he ever did in his life. We should wonder why a visionary who has lived such an extraordinary life, albeit not without its struggles, would rank his LSD experiences among his top 3 of most importance.

It remains to be seen if microdosing psychedelics may indeed have some role to play in impacting the vastly unknown frontier of our mental health – just like it did with the psychedelic music genre of the 60s or the tech achievements of the information age. What is clear is that a growing number of the population for the sake of their mental health, have made the conscious decision to not wait another 60 years to finally figure it out.

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