Microdosing Psychedelics "Could Be Beneficial," Study Suggests [FEATURE]

Microdosing -- ingesting very small doses of psychedelic drugs -- has emerged as a popular pastime among Silicon Valley types and harried executives on both coasts, who have claimed anecdotally that it boosts creativity and helps them function more effectively.

A little dab'll do ya. (Creative Commons)
Now, for the first time, comes some hard scientific evidence that microdosing really can be beneficial. In a new, peer-reviewed study in the journal Chemical Neuroscience, researchers at the University of California -- Davis fed small doses of the psychedelics to lab rats and found that microdosing can have positive impacts on mental health.

"This is the first time anyone has demonstrated in animals that psychedelic microdosing might actually have some beneficial effects, particularly for depression or anxiety," David Olson, assistant professor in the UC Davis departments of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, who led the research team said in a press release.

In the study, the researchers used the powerful hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which they said was appropriate because its "molecular structure is embedded within the structures of popular microdosing drugs such as LSD and psilocybin." Every three days for three weeks, hey gave the rats one-tenth of the dose that would bring on a psychedelic trip. At the end of the three weeks, researchers found that the animals overcame their "fear response" in a test measuring anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and also seemed to be less immobile in a test measuring antidepressant effects.

"Prior to our study, essentially nothing was known about the effects of psychedelic microdosing on animal behaviors," Olson said. "Our study demonstrates that psychedelics can produce beneficial behavioral effects without drastically altering perception, which is a critical step towards producing viable medicines inspired by these compounds."

In other words, you don't have to trip to get the benefits of psychedelics.

It wasn't all good news, though. Researchers found some potential problems: Male rats who microdosed showed significant increases in body weight, while females showed signs of neuronal atrophy.

"It's exciting, but the potentially adverse changes in neuronal structure and metabolism that we observe emphasize the need for additional studies," Olson said. The changes in female neuronal structure were particularly puzzling, he said, because those changes did not occur when female rats took larger doses. That could suggest that acute hallucinogenic doses and repeated microdoses produced different biochemical and structural phenotypes, he said.

The study suggests there is indeed a biochemical basis for some of the positive effects of microdosing reported in less scientifically rigorous studies of humans, such as the study by Canadian researchers who found microdosers scored higher on measures of mental health and well-being.

"We found that microdosers scored higher on measures of wisdom, open-mindedness and creativity," reported researchers Thomas Anderson of the University of Toronto and Rotem Petranker of York University. "Microdosers also scored lower on measures of dysfunctional attitudes and negative emotionality, which is very promising."

That study recruited microdosers from Reddit communities, but did not include trials with placebos, so more research to validate the results is needed, the researchers conceded.

"As promising as they seem, we don't know whether microdosing actually caused any of these differences," they reported. "Maybe people with better mental health were more likely to experiment with microdosing, or perhaps there is some unknown cause that made people both more likely to microdose and to be creative."

But this month's UC-Davis rat study strongly suggests that it is the microdosing -- and not other variables -- that accounts for the difference.

This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Dain Bramage's picture

Oh, I am most definitely "tripping"!

Shit, watching the Republicans play-acting in their "alternative" universe is enough to blow my mind!  I'm tripping already!

Some on the political left have said, "Take heart; no matter what happens, Trump is an old man.  Nature will rid us of Trump, even if all else fails."


Not only does Trump lie,  Trump IS A LIE, INCARNATE.

Everything about Trump is a lie -- who he is, what he does, what he's worth, what he believes.. even his name is a made-up marketing slogan, and not his real name.  But wait, there's more... even his height is a lie!!

White House doctor Ronnie Jackson has magically made Trump taller!  No shit!

Dude, I'm trippin'!!  

Here's why...  What if Trump has a heart attack, and dies in office?  Would anything really change?   Would not the Republicans simply declare him alive and well and fit as a fiddle, and continue on with the business of evil, as usual?


If Dr. Jackson can do magic on his height, why not his heart?


From Bob Brigham at Raw Story, Feb 14, 2019:

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained the problem of not being able to trust White House doctors after they again lied to the American people about President Donald Trump’s height.


Last year, during his first White House physical, Dr. Ronny Jackson claimed that Trump had grown an inch to be six feet and three inches.


“Even the president’s annual physical has become weird and fantastical,” Maddow noted. “Today we have the full readout from the president’s physical on the president’s health and again, it’s just a little weird.”


“The president gained a few pounds from last year, his cholesterol ticked down, but cholesterol medication ticked up,” she noted. “And this is not the most important thing in the world, but I will draw your attention to this assertion here — height 6’3″ — this was also the president’s height according to last year’s physical results released by the White House.”


“Even that is another weird little pointless lie that we’ve all been told to believe about this president because the president may be 6’3″ in his mind, but he is not 6’3″ in his body,” she noted.


To make her case, Maddow analyzed photos of Trump standing next to people with known heights, including former President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump’s claimed height would make him taller than both men, but in the photos he is clearly shorter.


Maddow explained how the lie about Trump’s height calls into question every other claim by White House doctors.

Dain Bramage's picture

The lies are not pointless

Rachael Maddow called them "weird little pointless lies."  I don't disagree, in the context she said it.

But, actually, there is a point to the blatant, relentless, non-stop lies about all things great and small; it is an avalanche for a reason: the point is to BURY THE TRUTH ALIVE.

...Otherwise known as fascist propaganda.

Welcome to Russia, suckers!

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