Sophia Korb, PhD & James Fadiman, PhD
Microdosing: Unexpected results of crowd-sourced research: medical, social, scientific. Implications of widespread use.
Microdosing psychedelics (primarily LSD and psilocybin) have had considerable media attention. However the idea of microdosing dates back to a neglected suggestion by Albert Hoffman. We have been involved, both in supporting and reporting on the recent trend. As microdosing first emerged, we asked the psychedelics communities to let us know about their own experiences. Letters, hand-written journals, emails and even art poured in. We found ways to systematize what we were learning, and then to ask basic scientifically useful questions, revising our ways of asking as we went. Early on, we found ourselves bumping up against the limitations traditional psychological and medical research, very different than the limitations found in exploring high-dose experiences. Faced with on the wide range of findings from our correspondents (over 4000 people from 51 countries), and given the wide variation in age, education, conditions, substance and almost every other variable in our sample, how did we find any generally useful information in our data? How did we choose groups for follow up? How did we design appropriate follow up questions for participants with radically different experiences and even those with stigmatized medical conditions? How did we determine that we had valid information to share outside the traditional double blind experimental model? By describing some of our major findings as well as our most unlikely ones, we will highlight the advantages of “search” as a precursor to research, and consider some of the possible cultural disruptions, already appearing, caused by the growing acceptance of microdosing
Sophia Korb received her masters and Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. She has clinical experience with children and families with trauma, individuals with chronic psychiatric disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, veterans, people using substances, and people who are formerly incarcerated.
Her research interests include psychedelics experiences, harm reduction, trauma-informed therapies, applying machine learning to social science contexts, and evidence based policy and therapies. She has been working with Jim Fadiman as a co-researcher on projects related to psychedelics use for the last several years. She is passionate about collaboration with members of affected groups in anti-oppressive research. Sophia lives in Washington DC.
James Fadiman, PhD., began his psychedelic research in the 60's. He has run his own management-consulting firm, helped found a commune in New Mexico, and taught in several universities. He co-authored a textbook, now in its 7thedition, written a few professional books, a self-help book, a psychedelic novel, and The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys. He also had a play produced, had several solo photography exhibitions and is the co-founder of The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University. He has been a pioneer in exploring the effectiveness of microdoses and recently completed a book, (with Jordan Gruber) Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are. He is married to a gifted filmmaker and lives in Menlo Park, California.