As more and more people report health benefits of Microdosing- Canada and science say it may well be the way forward for your mental health.
Microdosing is contentious. That is more than evident. Many mainstream media and health outlets would like consumers to believe that there are few benefits to this practice, and next to no evidence to support the claims that it could possibly even be beneficial. Yes, even in Canada, where the nation has seen impressive gains in GDP and reported mental health since legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016. Showing ostensibly that maybe these historically villainized drugs aren’t as devilish as once believed.
However surprisingly, these negative beliefs surrounding microdosing aren’t supported by science. There have been a few studies exploring the possible benefits of using hallucinogenic drugs, in sub-hallucinogenic doses, to treat chronic mental health issues. Despite the good efforts of many, most of these trials have been shut down or defunded- but some recent reviews on what little evidence does exist may provide a better perspective on how microdosing psychedelics could be the at-home mental health care we’ve all been waiting for. Some experts in biotechnology and microdosing in Canada focus their experiences on the development of natural and biological products aligned with existing legislation. Leading for some to push for friendlier legislation for microdosing.
Canada, as well as some other nations, seem to be on board.
A Brief History of Microdosing
In 2019, the world saw a marked increase of individuals taking their mental health into their own hands- through microdosing. Microdosing is the practice of taking very small amounts of psychoactive substances; like LSD, psilocybin, or DMT. These three substances may sound familiar to you- especially if you’re familiar with illicit drugs, as they are the main components of acid, magic mushrooms, and the South American ayahuasca. Despite their familiarity to anyone who spent some time in a rave scene, these drugs are not being used to get high.
Instead, the doses are so small, that whoever is taking them doesn’t get any of the psychoactive properties. Microdosing patients are taking these drugs for a wholly different purpose- to improve mood, concentration, and decrease anxiety. And they’re having some pretty interesting results.
Scientifically, microdosing has potentially been around since the 1950s, beginning with researchers like Alexander Shulgin, who did groundbreaking biochemical work with substances like MDMA, mescaline, DMT, and psilocybin. Often referred to as the “Godfather of Psychedelics” Shulgin worked with a multitude of psychoactive substances in his lifetime, hoping to promote their efficacy for use in controlling mental health issues. Despite his hard work and expertly compiled research, Shulgin is often disregarded by the scientific community for his offbrand personal commentary.
However, in the last year, microdosing has resurfaced with vigor. With rising mental health crises across the globe, difficult to access or expensive healthcare schemes, combined with the interconnectivity and information available thanks to the internet- microdosers in Canada and all over the world are vying to make their claims heard. And science is responding.
The Current Research of Microdosing Canada
Since 2019, over 200 different scholarly articles and inquiries have been published on PubMed- a database devoted to providing search engine-like access to life science and biomedical research. While a scant few have been published in Canada itself, no one country is a resounding voice amongst the masses.
Each of the first ten results proclaimed that there was not near enough case studies performed to make a reassuring assessment of the benefits of microdosing, however, most contend that more research is desperately required, because microdosers may well be onto something. One such study concluding that “[self-reported microdosing] findings provide promising initial evidence that warrants controlled experimental research to directly test the 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.”
Suggesting that not only could this layman’s regime prove effective, but also more affordable and accessible than other existing forms of traditional mental health medicinal schedules, even in countries with nationalized healthcare. Providing a genuine alternative to expensive and often dangerous medications, like benzodiazepines or SSRI’s. These drugs have been shown to have unreliable and devastating side effects, or a high potential for abuse, yet are still prescribed regularly.
The Reported Benefits of Microdosing: Canada and Beyond
While microdosing has been rumored to be useful in a number of widely varied applications for general well-being; perhaps the best researched or reported benefits were those revolving mental health and addictions.
Microdosing substances like psilocybin and DMT have been seen as having value for people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and alcohol or cigarette dependencies. In most studies and self-reported microdosing regimens, amounts of 1/20 to 1/10 of what would be required to induce euphoria or hallucinations are given. These doses are usually administered on a strict schedule, which varies depending on the person taking the substance, their reactions, and what they expect to achieve.
Anecdotally, researchers have utilized self-reporting methods from a number of sources to come up with a number of possible benefits from microdosing, often collating data from hundreds of sources at a time. Some of the most abundant anecdotes suggest genuine benefit in treating or addressing the symptoms of things like:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Trauma and PTSD
These are just a few of the main points that researchers seem to want more information for, begging communities for empirical evidence regarding these reports. This is largely because of the outpouring of positive reports. People, microdosing in real-time that is seeing the genuine benefit for issues that they feel have been dismissed by traditional healthcare structures.
Supporters contend that microdosing is not only a safe alternative to more common pharmaceuticals, as the thresholds required for overdosing on these substances are far above what anyone would take while microdosing, but also that the effectiveness is astounding. One study found that nearly half of the assessed 1102 respondents reported an improvement in mental health. Giving further credence to the idea that microdosing can greatly improve your mental health. Whether you’re at home in Canada or abroad.