Microdosing psychedelics appears to hold promise in enhancing mindfulness among adults diagnosed with ADHD

Introduction: Recent research featured in Frontiers in Psychiatry sheds light on the potential benefits of microdosing psychedelics in enhancing mindfulness among adults grappling with ADHD or severe symptoms. This groundbreaking study propels us toward a deeper understanding of the therapeutic effects of microdosing and calls for further research in controlled experimental settings.

The ADHD Challenge: Millions of adults worldwide face the challenges of ADHD, characterized by difficulties in focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Seeking alternatives to traditional treatments, many individuals have turned to microdosing—administering low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychotropic substances. While studies suggest microdosing’s positive impact on behavior and mindfulness in the general population, its specific effects on those with ADHD remain less clear.

Mindfulness and Personality Traits: Mindfulness, encompassing present-focused attention and non-judgmental reactions to thoughts and feelings, is a key aspect of mental well-being. People with ADHD often exhibit differences in personality traits, including neuroticism and organizational aspects. To bridge gaps in knowledge, a recent prospective naturalistic study explored the impact of microdosing on mindfulness and personality traits in adults diagnosed with ADHD or experiencing severe symptoms.

Microdosing Insights: Led by Eline C. H. Haijen, a PhD candidate at Maastricht University School of Medicine, the study delved into the effects of microdosing—repeated low doses of psychedelic substances—on ADHD symptoms and overall health. The research focused on adults with ADHD, a departure from studies solely involving older volunteers.

Study Methodology: Participants, recruited online, provided informed consent and underwent psychological examinations. Data collection occurred at baseline, 2 weeks post-microdosing initiation, and 4 weeks into the study, including daily surveys. Most participants reported microdosing with psilocybin-containing mushrooms.

Results and Findings: Microdosing for 2 and 4 weeks revealed heightened mindfulness levels compared to baseline, with notable improvements in observer, describer, act with awareness, non-judging, and non-reactivity facets. Haijen observed that while all facets initially improved, only the aspects of Description and Non-judging inner experience remained elevated after four weeks.

Personality Trait Changes: Microdosing demonstrated a marked reduction in neuroticism and increases in conscientiousness and extraversion after four weeks. However, these changes weren’t statistically significant and were unaffected by other factors. The study suggests a positive evolution in mindfulness and personality traits, but controlled studies are essential for verification.

Study Limitations and Future Research: The study acknowledged limitations, including a high dropout rate and potential bias due to participants not having uniformly pleasurable experiences. Controlled laboratory studies are needed to standardize drug amounts and dosages. Future research should explore the long-term impact of microdosing on mindfulness and personality traits through extended follow-up measurements.

Conclusion: Eline C. H. M. Haijen emphasized that while this naturalistic study provides valuable insights into microdosing practices, more controlled studies are necessary for conclusive evidence. As microdosing gains popularity, understanding its effects on individuals experimenting with various doses and regimens becomes crucial. This study marks a preliminary step in a promising direction, paving the way for further exploration of microdosing’s effects on ADHD and mental well-being.