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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 236, Issue 2, pp 731–740 | Cite as

Microdosing psychedelics: personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers

  • Thomas AndersonEmail author
  • Rotem PetrankerEmail author
  • Daniel Rosenbaum
  • Cory R. Weissman
  • Le-Anh Dinh-Williams
  • Katrina Hui
  • Emma Hapke
  • Norman A. S. Farb
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rationale

Microdosing psychedelics—the regular consumption of small amounts of psychedelic substances such as LSD or psilocybin—is a growing trend in popular culture. Recent studies on full-dose psychedelic psychotherapy reveal promising benefits for mental well-being, especially for depression and end-of-life anxiety. While full-dose therapies include perception-distorting properties, microdosing mayprovide complementary clinical benefits using lower-risk, non-hallucinogenic doses.

Objectives

This pre-registered study aimed to investigate whether microdosing psychedelics is related to differences in personality, mental health, and creativity.

Methods

In this observational study, respondents recruited from online forums self-reported their microdosing behaviors and completed questionnaires concerning dysfunctional attitudes, wisdom, negative emotionality, open-mindedness, and mood. Respondents also performed the Unusual Uses Task to assess their creativity.

Results

Current and former microdosers scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes (p < 0.001, r = − 0.92) and negative emotionality (p = 0.009, r = − 0.85) and higher on wisdom (p < 0.001, r = 0.88), openmindedness(p = 0.027, r = 0.67), and creativity (p < 0.001, r = 0.15) when compared to non-microdosing controls.

Conclusions

These findings provide promising initial evidence that warrants controlled experimental research to directly test safety and clinical efficacy. As microdoses are easier to administer than full-doses, this new paradigm has the exciting potential to shape future psychedelic research.

Keywords

Microdosing Psychedelic LSD Psilocybin Creativity Dysfunctional Attitudes Wisdom Open Mindedness Negative Emotionality Preregistered 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Human participation was voluntary under informed consent, in accord with the Declaration of Helsinki, and was non-remunerative.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughScarboroughCanada

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