A 2020 review published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology counted 14 small experimental studies, most of which found that microdosing of LSD or psilocybin resulted in subtle positive changes in the emotions and thought processes associated with problem solving.
Reviewers noted that some users did feel anxious or overly euphoric. Since all studies were done on healthy people, it is unknown if regular microdosing can benefit people with mental health issues.
Microdosing helps to stop the internal monologue in order to feel more comfortable.
You don't have to take a day off or have someone to look after you [to make sure the trip doesn't get intimidating]." Many microdozers find this helps them get the job done.
Dusty, a 40-year-old sound engineer from Philadelphia, says that a small dose of LSD, which he takes once a week, increases his productivity, willingness to cooperate and creativity at work. For example, when setting up sound systems for live concerts, “there are a million little problems to solve every day, and there is not always a good roadmap,” he says. On the days when he microdoses, he noticed that he "has a little more desire to solve the problem in a way that leads to long-term solutions, and not just make it work here and now."
Others take microdoses for self-treatment of mental illness. Karen Gilbert, a 69-year-old retired nurse from Lopez Island, Washington, hopes that microdosing with psilocybin, which she began in November, will help her cope with the depression that has plagued her for more than two decades. One of Zelfand's patients, Gilbert, says she noticed the difference almost immediately.
"For the first time in a long time, I'm excited about the projects I want to take on that feel more like opportunities than obligations," she says.
Zelfand herself tried microdosing several times, but she did not like the effect. “I feel bad when I do this. It seems to make me a little irritable,” she says.
Some of Zelfand's patients had similar unwanted experiences. "People with general anxiety disorders, and especially those with bipolar disorder, should probably avoid microdosing as it can lead to agitation or exacerbation," she says.