Psilocybin and ADHD: Can Microdosing Help Manage ADHD Symptoms?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Awareness, Research | 0 comments

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While there are various treatments available for ADHD, some people may not respond well to traditional medications or therapies. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of psilocybin, a psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms, as a potential treatment for ADHD. In this article, we will explore the potential of psilocybin as a revolutionary treatment for ADHD.

What is Psilocybin?

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in certain species of mushrooms. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, meaning that it is illegal to possess, distribute, or use psilocybin without a license or prescription. However, there is growing research that suggests that psilocybin may have therapeutic potential for a variety of mental health conditions, including ADHD.

How Does Psilocybin Work?

Psilocybin is known to interact with serotonin receptors in the brain, which are involved in regulating mood, cognition, and perception. Psilocybin can produce altered states of consciousness, including changes in sensory perception, thought patterns, and emotional experiences. These effects may be due to psilocybin’s ability to increase the activity of certain neural networks in the brain, which may lead to improved brain connectivity and communication.

Psilocybin and ADHD: Potential Benefits

While there is limited research on the use of psilocybin for ADHD specifically, there are some studies that suggest that it may have potential benefits. For example, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that psilocybin may improve cognitive flexibility and creative thinking, both of which are impaired in people with ADHD.

Another study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that psilocybin may have antidepressant and anxiolytic effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression, which is a common comorbidity of ADHD. The study also found that psilocybin increased activity in the default mode network, which is involved in self-referential thinking and mind-wandering, suggesting that it may improve introspection and self-awareness.

Microdosing Psilocybin and ADHD: Potential Benefits

In addition to the potential benefits of traditional psilocybin use for ADHD, there is growing interest in the potential benefits of microdosing psilocybin. Microdosing involves taking very small amounts of psilocybin on a regular basis, typically every few days, with the goal of achieving sub-perceptual effects.

While there is limited research on the use of microdosing for ADHD specifically, some people with ADHD have reported that microdosing psilocybin has helped to reduce symptoms such as distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. In addition, some people have reported that microdosing has improved their creativity, focus, and mood.

Risks and Limitations of Psilocybin Use

While psilocybin may have potential benefits for ADHD, there are also risks and limitations to its use. For example, psilocybin can produce intense and unpredictable effects, including hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety. It can also have negative interactions with certain medications or medical conditions.

In addition, psilocybin is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, meaning that it is illegal to possess, distribute, or use without a license or prescription. This makes it difficult for people with ADHD to access psilocybin legally and safely.

Conclusion

While the research on psilocybin and ADHD is still in its early stages, there is growing interest in the potential of this compound as a revolutionary treatment for ADHD. While there are risks and limitations to its use, some studies suggest that psilocybin may have cognitive and emotional benefits for people with ADHD, and that microdosing psilocybin may be a safe and effective way to reduce symptoms. Further research is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for ADHD, but the early findings are promising and warrant further exploration.

If you are interested in exploring psilocybin or microdosing for ADHD, it is important to consult with a qualified medical provider and to follow all regulations and guidelines set forth by the state or country in which you live. It is also important to understand the potential risks and benefits of psilocybin use, and to carefully consider your individual medical history and needs before deciding to pursue this treatment option. With careful consideration and informed guidance, psilocybin and microdosing may offer new hope and relief for people living with ADHD.

Sources:

  1. Vollenweider, F. X., & Kometer, M. (2010). The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(9), 642-651.
  2. Carhart-Harris, R. L., Bolstridge, M., Day, C. M. J., Rucker, J., Watts, R., Erritzoe, D. E., … & Nutt, D. J. (2018). Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(5), 356-362.
  3. Johnson, M. W., Garcia-Romeu, A., & Griffiths, R. R. (2017). Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 43(1), 55-60.
  4. Anderson, T., Petranker, R., Rosenbaum, D., Weissman, C. R., Dinh-Williams, L. A., Hui, K., … & Kometer, M. (2019). Microdosing psychedelics: Personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers. Psychopharmacology, 236(2), 731-740.
  5. Nichols, D. E. (2016). Psychedelics. Pharmacological Reviews, 68(2), 264-355.
  6. Tupper, K. W., & Wood, E. (2017). Yawning at the abyss: Current knowledge and future directions in the study of psychedelics and anxiolytic effects. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 30(5), 363-372.
  7. ADHD Institute. (2021). ADHD prevalence. Retrieved from https://adhd-institute.com/burden-of-adhd/prevalence/.
  8. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adhd-in-children/symptoms-causes/syc-20350889.