New Study Suggests Expectations May Drive Effects of Microdosing Psilocybin

According to the results of a recently published double-blind study by researchers affiliated with the University of Buenos Aires, the positive effects of microdosing of psilocybin may be driven by the anticipation of people taking the drug.

Author of a study published last month by the journal translational psychiatry, Note that microdosing of psilocybin has gained popularity in recent years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that practices involving the ingestion of small, sub-hallucinogenic doses of the psychoactive compounds found in magic mushrooms have several benefits. People who take psilocybin microdoses often say the drug can improve focus, mood, creativity, and cognitive function. There is none.

“A wealth of anecdotal evidence suggests that microdosing can improve mood, well-being, creativity, and cognition, and recent uncontrolled, open-label observational studies support these claims with several We provide empirical evidence.” the author wrote“While encouraging, these studies are also susceptible to experimental biases such as confirmation bias and placebo effects. Because we create self-selected samples with reasonable expectations.”

To conduct the study, researchers recruited 34 participants who already had a plan to start a psilocybin microdose regimen using their mushrooms. I agreed to adapt the dose and schedule to the recommended protocol.

Participants were studied over 2 weeks. Over the course of a week, he received two doses of 0.5 grams of dried psilocybin mushroom capsules. On other weeks, participants were given a placebo of the same preparation and weight. That is, neither the participants nor the researchers knew which doses contained psilocybin and which were placebos.

Participants completed a questionnaire self-reporting the acute effects they experienced at each dose, such as temporal and spatial distortions, and completed psychological measures such as anxiety, positive and negative effects, well-being, and stress. . They also completed several tasks measuring creativity, perception, and cognition, and were given EEGs to measure brain activity. reported expectations of how mental states would change in

Higher effects among people who knew they were taking shrooms

Results of a self-reported questionnaire revealed significantly greater acute effects of psilocybin compared with placebo. However, the effect was significant only among participants who correctly identified whether they were taking psilocybin or placebo, suggesting that the subjective effects of the drug were influenced by their expectations.

Although EEG test results showed changes in electroencephalographic rhythms, the study did not find psilocybin to have any positive effects on creativity, cognition, or self-reported mental health. The observed trends suggest that psilocybin intake may have interfered with participants’ performance on specific cognitive tasks. He pointed out that this is consistent with previous research that has found that it can interfere with some cognitive functions, such as and decision-making.

In a discussion of the study, the study’s authors noted that public perception of the benefits of microdosing may be impacting the experience of people trying low-dose psilocybin therapy.

“The reported acute effects were significantly stronger with the working dose compared to placebo, but only in participants who correctly specified the experimental conditions,” they wrote.

Overall, the findings did not support anecdotal evidence that microdosing of psilocybin improves well-being, creativity, or cognitive function. We identified several limitations of this study, such as the lack of They also noted that the study cohort consisted of healthy subjects, and that microdosing may have the strongest effects on people with mental health problems. It recommended further research to determine whether microdosing of sucrose provides mental health benefits.

The study, “Psilocybin Mushroom Microdosing: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study,” was published in a peer-reviewed journal in July. translational psychiatry.

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