Silicon Valley has been singing the praises of microdosing for years — and it seems the mainstream is now catching on to the trend.
In a fascinating new story by The Guardian, a number of women in the United Kingdom make the same claims as those tech execs: taking small amounts of psychedelic drugs — not enough to “trip” — is improving their concentration and creativity, as well as helping them address the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
“You don’t feel high, just… better,” Rosie, a mother of two, told The Guardian.
The women interviewed by The Guardian each discovered microdosing in their own way — Rosie tried it after hearing about a study in which it helped lower participants’ stress and depression levels, while 40-year-old university lecturer Lindsay Jordan started after reading a book about the practice.
The women say they draw different types of benefits from microdosing. Rosie says it helps her cope with her depression and life as a mother, telling The Guardian that “it definitely doesn’t impair my ability to parent. If anything, my awareness is sharpened.”
Jordan, meanwhile, sees microdosing paying off in her professional life.
“My job used to be a struggle,” she told The Guardian. “I used to not enjoy teaching, and my students did not enjoy learning. Now I can teach in a hot stuffy room for hours and look out across a sea of smiling faces.”
Just like microdosing is apparently starting to make the transition to the mainstream, so too is the formal study of psychedelics, which were relegated to the realm of fringe science for nearly 80 years after chemist Albert Hoffman first discovered LSD’s psychoactive properties.
In April, Imperial College London launched the Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research, the world’s first center for the study of psychedelics, and scientists have undertaken a number of studies on microdosing in recent years, many with promising results.
Amidst all this news of their growing health benefits, some jurisdictions are even considering laws to decriminalize psychedelics, which would eliminate what Rosie sees as the major danger involved in her microdosing.
“It would be much safer if it was legal, so you could openly seek expert advice,” she told The Guardian, before adding, “I’ve taken antidepressants with lists of side-effects as long as my arm. Now I’m taking something with no known side-effects and it’s working.”
READ MORE: ‘It makes me enjoy playing with the kids’: is microdosing mushrooms going mainstream? [The Guardian]
More on microdosing: First Rigorous Study: Microdosing Fights Depression, Improves Focus