U.S. News


Experts weigh in on microdosing psychedelic mushrooms

Psilocybin is being used to help treat major depressive disorder, and it might have some benefits.
Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 02, 2023

Major depressive disorder has been ranked as the third cause of the burden of disease worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. 

Disease burden looks at the impact of a health problem by its mortality and money losses. 

The burden is also prompting people to look at new ways to cope. One of those is microdosing psychedelic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin. 

“When you're working with a microdose, you can drive, go to work, you can parent and do all the typical roles and responsibilities of your daily life,” said psychotherapist Brooke Novick.

How a Chicago duo is bringing the mushroom trend to your table

How a Chicago duo is bringing the mushroom trend to your table

A Chicago business is an example of how fungi can be used as an ingredient or replacement in many different meals.


Although some users are reporting it makes them feel more present, some doctors say there is not much research on the effect of microdosing psilocybin. 

Most studies that show the drug may help treat depression focus on a single large dose. Doctors add there are indications that repeated use could cause heart problems.

”The science is is yet to catch up with this practice that people seem to be doing quite a lot out there in the world,” said Dr. Natalie Gukasyan, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic Research. 

Gukasyan said the drug has the potential to treat disorders from depression to Alzheimer’s. She added it could be a better option for some people than other medications.

But she stressed more research is needed.

Three girls sit on their phones.

CDC: Suicidal thoughts among teenage girls at highest rate in a decade

The Youth Risk Behavior Study measured the state of teen behavior from 2011 to 2021 and found feelings of "sadness or hopelessness" increased.


“But right now, we're still working on getting that the data from all these larger studies that shows that yeah, on average over a large number of people, this is indeed safe and effective relative to the risks that might be involved,” Gukasyan said.

She cautions that if you’re microdosing, there is a risk of taking too much, which could impair your daily tasks.