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Largest international study into microdosing psychedelics very valuable

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2021-12-1-Largest international study on psychedelic microdosing very valuable

The UBCO one of the world's leading universities in Canada investigated microdosing psychedelics, such as psylocybin or LSD, to treat anxiety and depression. The results are very valuable.

The study, recently published in Nature: Scientific Reports, showed fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and a greater sense of well-being in individuals who reported taking small amounts of psychedelics compared to those who did not.

Given that this is the largest study on psychedelic microdosing published to date, the results are encouraging, says UBCO PhD candidate and lead author Joseph Rootman. “In total, we tracked more than 8.500 people from 75 countries using an anonymous self-report system – about half were on a microdosing regimen and the other half were not,” Rootman explains.

Microdosing reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression

“When comparing microdosers and non-microdosers, there was a clear association between microdosing and fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress – which is important given the high prevalence of these conditions and the significant suffering they cause.” This study is also the first to look at combining or stacking different substances to see if they reinforce or counteract each other. Rootman works with Dr. Zach Walsh, a psychology professor at UBCO's Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. dr. Walsh says it's an exciting time for research in this area.

“These findings highlight that adults microdosing or use substances to treat their mental health problems and improve their well-being — instead of just getting high," says Dr. walsh. “There is an epidemic of mental health problems, with existing treatments not working for everyone. That is why we follow patients who take alternative initiatives to improve their well-being.”

citizen science

Study co-author Kalin Harvey is the chief technology officer of Quantified Citizen, a mobile health research platform. He says this study highlights the potential of citizen science. “Using citizen science allows us to explore the effects of behaviors that are difficult to study in the lab due to regulatory challenges and stigma associated with the now-discredited war on drugs.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians personally experiences a mental health problem or illness each year. This is one of the many reasons why Dr. Walsh says innovative psychological research is imperative.

“These cross-sectional findings are promising and highlight the need for further research to better determine the effects of factors such as dosing and stacking,” explains Dr. Walsh out. “While the data is growing on how high-dose psychedelics can help treat depression, anxiety and addiction, it's also important to explore how smaller doses might work.”

Read more news.ok.ubc.ca (Source, EN)

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