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    placebo effect microdosing psychedelics ICEERS study efecto placebo microdosis psicodélicos

    Influence of the Placebo Effect in Microdosing Psychedelics


    Potential safety, benefits, and influence of the placebo effect in microdosing psychedelic drugs: a systematic review

    Genís Oña, and José Carlos Bouso

    Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews



    About the study

    The increased interest by Western societies in microdosing with psychedelic drugs, especially LSD and psilocybin, lies primarily on its mood-enhancing effects, as well as an improved creative thinking and the relief of various psychological disorders.

    In order to summarize the current evidence on microdosing and help future studies, this study presents a systematic review exploring issues like the safety of microdosing, main reported benefits, and what aspects of these benefits might be attributed to a placebo effect.

    To conclude, the authors state the limitations of the available evidence and directions for future research. In terms of risks and benefits, several contradictory results were found, but they could be the result of the different study designs used.



    Rationale: Microdosing psychedelic drugs — that is, taking sub-behavioral doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or psilocybin — is a growing practice in Western societies. Taken mainly for creative or mood-enhancing purposes, thousands of users are increasingly being exposed to (micro)doses of psychedelic drugs.

    Methods: In this systematic review, we searched the available evidence from human studies, focusing our results in terms of three main axes: efficacy, safety, and the influence of the placebo effect in microdosing practices. While the available evidence has some strengths (e.g. large sample sizes, robust methodologies) there are also remarkable limitations (e.g. gender bias, heterogeneity of dosing schedules and drugs used).

    Results: Highly contradictory results have been found, showing both the benefits and detriments of microdosing in terms of mood, creative processes, and energy, among other regards. This review provides a general overview of the methods and approaches used, which could be useful for improving future studies.


    Link to the article


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    Photo by Sonika Agarwal on Unsplash.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Psychedelics
    Tags: placebo , study , LSD , psilocybin , psychoactive , psychedelics , hallucinogens , microdosing