Microdosing is more popular than ever, but we still don’t really understand how it works and what it does. There has been a recent groundswell of journalism on the topic, but there is almost no scientific evidence for the effects of this practice.
Our team of psychologists and psychiatrists recently completed one of the first-ever studies on microdosing psychedelics, using an online sample. This pre-registered, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional study drew on a large sample size of nearly 1000 participants from 29 countries. We obtained some encouraging results (for example, microdosing’s relation to higher creativity and open-mindedness), but they only tell us so much: in this case, we can’t infer causality from a correlational study.
That’s why we’ve designed a longitudinal crossover washout RCT (randomized control trial): to demonstrate the empirical psychological effects of microdosing. We will be measuring nearly ten discreet constructs (including creativity, well-being, mindfulness, and intelligence), the length of time it takes microdoses to cause these effects, and how long it takes for the effects to subside. This study will compare microdosing psilocybin (the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms") to placebo on a variety of cognitive, emotional, and creativity tasks.
Your support towards our GoFundMe will make this study possible, allowing us to compensate our 100 participants. This is our best chance to determine if the correlations we found are caused by microdosing, and how they might affect real-life situations.
Some of the anecdotes people reported in our online survey include "While microdosing you have a broader perspective and little problems don't worry you" ; "I started my microdosing experiment with psilocybin mushrooms and therein got relief from depression and alcoholism" ; and "[M]y psychiatric problems (depression, anxiety and drug mis-use) were diminished. [I] stayed sober, active, happy and created a lot". These responses are exciting, but anecdotes can't replace science; what we're trying to do is replace the anecdotes with science. Our lab study will put these anecdotal reports to the test so that we can confidently discover what microdosing can (and can't) do.
Our research will be pre-registered and publicly shared (as was our past research ), contributing to the scientific community at large and making the scientific knowledge fully accessible, the way science was meant to be. People are using these substances and they have incredible potential; we need to see what's really out there to inform the general public, policymakers, and clinicians.Safety
: One thing we know with confidence from numerous studies is that psychedelics are safe at full ("macro") doses. That means that our research on microdosing will be safe, and judging from anecdotal reports could dramatically improve many people's well-being.
The money we are raising in this project will be pooled with funding we are collecting from other philanthropists and grants we are seeking from public institutions. While some people have quickly realized that this research is important and were happy to add their resources to ours, we have also met with some reluctance from more traditional academic funding outlets. By helping us fund this research you will be making your voice heard and contributing to a scientific endeavor that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people across the world.Backer Rewards:
We didn't realize that the GoFundMe terms and conditions prohibit giving away back rewards. We will honor the rewards already earned but cannot offer further rewards. Rotem Petranker
is a Clinical Psychology PhD student in York University (Toronto, Canada). His main research interests are sustained attention, emotional regulation, and creativity, all of which are ostensibly affected by microdosing psychedelics. Thomas Anderson
is a Cognitive Neuroscience PhD student at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada). Thomas is a strong proponent of open science and the open sharing of scientific findings. He has shared our research findings and presentations on ResearchGate and keeps an active account on Reddit to communicate publicly about this research.Norman Farb
is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and head of the Regulatory and Affective Dynamics Laboratory (RADLab) at the University of Toronto, Mississauga campus. He has published numerous papers, chapters, and reviews, including important neuroscientific research on meditation.
Our previous work on Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Microdosing-Psychedelics
Our published paper: https://rdcu.be/bffhp
Thanks to Amy G for helping with everything and Yuval Aberman for the original music.