Psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin are often used to treat mental health conditions such as depression. More recently, however, people have experimented with microdosing them for a variety of reasons including improving clarity and focus, increasing creativity, and elevating their happiness quotient. They also report that the practice can reduce their symptoms of depression, anxiety and/or PTSD.

The microdosing vancouver study examined the impact of a variety of psychoactive substances on mental well-being through a bespoke mobile application that allows for anonymous participation, self-enrolment and assessment over time. The naturalistic examination of large cohorts is a strength, and the inclusion of a control group absent the premise of blinding allows for assessment of direct effects of the intervention as distinct from potential indirect effects such as study engagement, practice effects and regression to the mean.

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The results of the present study support a strong relationship between microdosing and improved mental wellbeing. In addition, the results are consistent with a number of previous studies that have found microdosers to be more engaged in healthy lifestyle activities, and less likely to engage in problematic substance use than non-microdosers. Moreover, the finding that microdosers are more likely to abstain from the use of nicotine is congruent with the fact that more than 25% of respondents endorsed the reduction of problematic substance use as a motive for starting to microdose. This finding is important because it highlights the possibility that a more holistic and integrated approach to mental wellbeing may be possible using the psilocybin-based microdosing model.

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