After two weeks, individuals microdosing with standard ADHD medication exhibited lower mindfulness scores compared to the non-medicated group. Nevertheless, a four-week microdosing period leveled the playing field, resulting in comparable enhancements for both groups.
In the last five years, the popularity of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms has surged. Individuals ranging from high-level executives to moms and enthusiasts continue to report enhancements in mental health, creativity, and focus. Clinical trials are underway to validate these claimed benefits, yet a persistent debate questions whether the positive outcomes of microdosing are merely a result of the placebo effect.
Despite the challenges and debates surrounding microdosing, many have turned to this practice to alleviate ADHD symptoms. A recent study delving into real-world psychedelic microdosing for ADHD has the potential to reshape our understanding and treatment of this condition.
The consumption of small, sub-hallucinogenic doses appears to positively impact mindfulness and personality traits in adults struggling with ADHD. Remarkably, these improvements persist even when individuals combine microdosing with traditional prescription medications. Interpreting these findings suggests that adopting a ‘both-and’ approach could present a comprehensive ADHD protocol that combines the benefits of psychedelics with the reliability of pharmaceuticals.
Exploring an Alternative Method for ADHD Management
While pharmaceuticals like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta effectively address symptoms for many ADHD patients, they primarily target impulsivity and hyperactivity. Unfortunately, these medications often fall short in aiding adults with ADHD in aspects such as present-moment focus, non-judgmental thinking, emotional stability, and negativity compared to neurotypical individuals. Moreover, ADHD medications may contribute to increased anxiety and stress.
Exploring a psychedelic perspective, microdosing emerges as a potential alternative, offering novel options for managing the comprehensive spectrum of ADHD challenges.
The Research: Approach and Anticipated Outcomes
Mindfulness and Personality Traits in a Microdosing ADHD Cohort: Insights from a Prospective Survey Study.
This microdosing investigation, featured in the Frontiers in Psychiatry Journal, gathered data from 233 individuals through an online naturalistic prospective design, most of whom had an ADHD diagnosis or reported severe symptoms. Approximately one-third of participants used daily ADHD medication.
Throughout the study, a majority (77.8%) of participants microdosed psilocybin mushrooms or truffles at an average dose of 722 mg. Twelve individuals opted for novel lysergamides (e.g., 1P-LSD, ALD-52) at 17.5 μg, while the remaining participants consumed standard LSD at 12 μg.
It’s noteworthy that the average psilocybin dose of 722 grams exceeds the widely accepted microdosing range of 0.1 to 0.3 grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms. Any amount above 0.5 grams typically results in more pronounced psychedelic effects. The Psychedelic Spotlight team suggests potential influencing factors on the average dose, such as interactions with substances like Adderall and variables like psilocybin sensitivity and developed tolerance. While further exploration of these influences is intriguing, let’s return to the core of the study.
The survey evaluated mindfulness and personality traits initially, followed by assessments at two and four weeks into the protocol. Participants utilized validated measures to report their experiences.
Researchers posited that microdosing would enhance “trait mindfulness,” fostering awareness and attentiveness to present-moment thoughts, feelings, and sensations without overreacting. Additionally, they anticipated improvements in conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and openness, coupled with a reduction in neuroticism
Transformations in Mindfulness and Reduction of Neuroticism
Some findings were consistent with researchers’ predictions, while others proved unexpected.
By the end of four weeks, individuals with ADHD who engaged in microdosing more closely resembled the general population averages. They demonstrated heightened mindfulness, particularly in terms of acting with awareness and non-judging of inner experiences. Additionally, their scores for neuroticism, or emotional instability, were notably lower.
At the two-week mark, those using conventional ADHD medication scored lower in mindfulness compared to their non-medicated counterparts. However, the scales were balanced after four weeks of microdosing, with equal improvements observed regardless of pharmaceutical use.
Remarkably, the presence of comorbid diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD did not hinder the overall progress of microdosers.
Contrary to initial expectations, certain participant personality traits, such as agreeableness and openness, remained largely unchanged. This suggests the possibility of ceiling effects in these aspects of personality.
Exploring the Consequences: A Deeper Insight
The absence of personality changes raises inquiries about the potential of microdosing to bring about substantial improvements in managing ADHD challenges.
Nevertheless, the outcomes hold significance on multiple fronts. Firstly, they indicate that microdosing has the potential to instigate alterations in typically stable traits such as mindfulness and neuroticism.
Moreover, the independence of these changes from ADHD medication suggests that microdosing might offer unique therapeutic avenues, supplementing the existing treatment paradigm.
This revelation opens the door for more personalized treatment approaches—potentially incorporating a ‘both-and’ strategy that integrates traditional medications and psychedelic therapies.
Moving Forward with Care
While acknowledging the study’s limitations in establishing conclusive proof, it marks a modest stride towards validation that can be attained through placebo-controlled research. Despite this, it introduces fresh possibilities for investigating comprehensive strategies in ADHD management. The study also emphasizes the existence of safe, experimental alternatives that individuals might not have previously contemplated—an aspect worth celebrating.