Microdosing Mushrooms Clinical Trials

What is Microdosing Mushroom?

Mushroom microdosing is a practice in which an individual takes doses of psilocybin mushrooms for which perceptual effects are not apparent. Microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms typically range from 0.1 to 0.3 grams of dried mushrooms, not 5-30 mcg/70 kg of body weight. (1)

Dr. James Fadiman described the microdosing protocol as a starting guide for new microdosing users. It consists of a microdose every three days for a week to months. (2)


Mushroom intake as part of mystical procedures was common in different antique cultures. Subjects who participated in those practices experienced several effects resulting from the hallucinogenic power of their active compounds.

Research on psychedelic substances, including psilocybin mushrooms, has been conducted independently of Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD, which was not initially related to the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. He was accidentally exposed to a minimum amount of the substance and experienced its hallucinogenic effects.

Later in the 50s, psychedelic drugs were tested to address their potential benefit for treating psychiatric disorders. Research into psychedelics, including psilocybin, was curtailed in the late 20th century due to legal and regulatory restrictions, but earlier research did explore their potential psychiatric benefits.

In the last decades, researchers have focused on the potential benefits these drugs pose in treating psychiatric disorders and for many other described uses. (3)

What is the Purpose of Microdosing Mushrooms?

Microdosing Mushrooms Clinical Trials

Microdosing Mushrooms Clinical Trials – What is the Purpose of Microdosing Mushrooms?

In the 50s, scientists hypothesized that psychedelics could be used to treat psychiatric conditions such as alcohol-related disorders, anxiety related to life-threatening diseases, depression, and opioid addiction.

Recently, some studies have focused on the potential benefit of microdosing mushroom practices on mood, cognition, and performance in daily life activities.

Studies on microdosing motivations, including those by various authors, have found that individuals microdose psilocybin for reasons such as mental health improvement, enhanced creativity, and better focus, but attributing these findings to a specific study by Rootman et al. without proper citation may be inaccurate.

The same study depicted that the levels of self-perception of anxiety and depression were lower for those who microdose.

What is the Mechanism of Action of Psilocin?

The exact mechanism of action of psilocin is still under active research. It is believed that psilocin acts on brain serotonin receptors, activating them, a process known as agonism.

Serotonin is a well-studied neurotransmitter involved in several functions such as sleep cycles, mood regulation, metabolism, cognition, and gastrointestinal physiology. Many disorders are associated with dysfunction of serotoninergic pathways, including depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, addictive disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and gastrointestinal issues. (5)

Is it safe?

The safety of medical practices is always a concern. Several studies have appraised this question and found that, in general, using these kinds of drugs under the mentioned regimen is safe.

Reports of adverse effects include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

While some studies on psychedelic substances have reported adverse effects, attributing specific findings of severe adverse reactions to a study by Fuentes et al. without accurate citation may be inaccurate. However, in those cases, patients had a prior history of such conditions, and it was understood that they resulted from individual predispositions to those disorders.

Seemingly, patients with chronic heart conditions were not involved in the studies mentioned above, as it was hypothesized that exposure to psilocin was unsafe for patients with such disorders.

In Actuality, What are the Clinical Trials on Mushroom Microdosing Investigating?

A search was performed on clinicaltrials.gov for the terms “psilocin.”

The number of recruiting and not yet recruiting clinical trials related to psilocybin or psilocin in the US can vary over time. It should be verified through current searches on clinical trial registries. Four are enrolling or about to enroll healthy individuals to address the effects of several dose regimens, safety, route of administration, and diagnostic imaging changes in the brain during consumption of psilocin.

The rest of the clinical trials will address psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, mood changes and disturbances, sleep disturbances, and toxicity. (6)


Microdosing mushrooms is a technique used primarily for mood and cognitive enhancement. Several clinical trials, to date, have addressed the effects on psychiatric conditions, yielding positive effects, especially in alcohol-related disorders.

Although some studies have reported severe adverse reactions such as epileptic seizures and psychotic disorders in predisposed individuals, most have concluded that microdosing mushrooms are usually safe. Several ongoing clinical trials aim to address and clarify missing data about psilocin, its effects, and potential health benefits.

See Also

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Randomized Clinical Trials

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Melanoma Clinical Trials

Current Version
September 23, 2022
Written By
Franco Cuevas, MD
March 18, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

1- Kuypers KP, Ng L, Erritzoe D, Knudsen GM, Nichols CD, Nichols DE, Pani L, Soula A, Nutt D. Microdosing psychedelics: More questions than answers? An overview and suggestions for future research. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2019 Sep;33(9):1039-57.

2- Fadiman J. The psychedelic explorer’s guide: Safe, therapeutic, and sacred journeys. Simon and Schuster; 2011 May 18.

3- Fuentes JJ, Fonseca F, Elices M, Farré M, Torrens M. Therapeutic use of LSD in psychiatry: a systematic review of randomized-controlled clinical trials. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2020:943.

4- Rootman JM, Kryskow P, Harvey K, Stamets P, Santos-Brault E, Kuypers KP, Polito V, Bourzat F, Walsh Z. Adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers. Scientific reports. 2021 Nov 18;11(1):1-1.

5- De Deurwaerdère P, Di Giovanni G. Serotonin in health and disease. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020 May 15;21(10):3500.

6- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ [accessed on September 23, 2022]

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