Microdosing and Meditation

Observing Microdosing in regular meditation practitioners: Perceived effects on wellbeing and meditation practice

Thank you for your interest in this study!

We are studying how meditation skills evolve over three months of regular meditation practice, and whether, how, and for whom microdosing (i.e., the use of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin or LSD, in small, sub-hallucinogenic amounts) may impact these skills.

Your identity will remain anonymous and confidential throughout the whole study

Enhancing mindfulness is one of the most widely endorsed motivations for microdosing (Rootman et al., awaiting publication), but it is still unclear to what extent, if at all, microdosing has this effect. In addition, mindfulness itself is a construct comprised of multiple components, such as present-moment awareness and non-judgement, which may be differentially affected by microdosing.

Beyond training mindfulness, the cultivation of other skills, such as compassion, loving-kindness or the capacity to disidentify with the content of experience (e.g., thoughts, feeling, body sensations), also forms an important aspect of many types of meditation practice.

In this study, our aim is to observe, in depth, the perceived impact of repeated microdosing on multiple skills involved in meditation practice. We will also investigate the degree to which person-related factors (e.g., personality, expectations) and practice-related factors (e.g., types of meditation) shape the perceived effects of microdosing on meditation.

FAQ

Why should I take part?

Taking part in this study will help you (whether you microdose or not) engage in a useful self-reflexive process, where you can evaluate, through a protocol carefully designed by a psychology researcher and meditation expert, the ways in which your meditation practice evolves over time, and whether, and in what way, microdosing interacts with this practice. 

There are also indirect benefits of participating in this study: Your personal experience will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between meditation practice and psychedelic use. This knowledge could, for instance, be used to develop intervention studies of the combined effects of meditation practice and microdosing and thus help inform microdosing protocols for meditators and clinical research.

Who can take part?

 

  • You may participate to this study if you have a regular practice of meditation (at least 3 times a week).
  • You do not need to use psychedelics at any dose to take part in this study. We are interested in observing meditators who are currently microdosing and those who are not.
  • You will need secure access to a personal mobile device (cell phone or tablet) on which to run the app.

 

If you meet any of the following criteria, you will not be able to participate in this study:

  • Under the “age of majority” in your place of residence (e.g. 18 years of age in British Columbia)
  • Not fluent in English
  • Not able to give adequate informed consent
  • Females of childbearing potential: pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant during the study period

 

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may still participate in the study. However, microdosing is not advised. You will be asked to acknowledge that you are proceeding at your own risk if you do choose to microdose:

  • History or active diagnosis of psychotic disorders or other severe psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Family history (first or second-degree relative) of psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, or major affective disorder)

 

How can I take part?

If you are interested in enrolling in this study, please download the Quantified Citizen app at

 

What will happen if I decide to take part?

If you choose to enrol, you will not be asked to change your behaviour. Rather, you will be asked to download the Quantified Citizen app (free of charge), complete a consent form, and answer questions about your basic demographic information, medical history, and self-reported experience with psychedelics and with meditation. You will then be asked to complete a set of self-administered cognitive performance and mental health assessments. These will be repeated after each month and at the end of the study period (3 months). These assessments will take about 20 minutes. Each day, you will be invited to complete a short survey on your day’s meditation and microdosing practice, which will take between 5 and 10 minutes. All digital data collection will be self-administered.

You will not be provided with psychedelic substances, or with instructions on where to obtain them or how to use them. If you are self-selecting into the microdosing group, you are already familiar with the practice and would be doing so regardless of your participation in this study.

Your identity will remain anonymous and confidential.

You will also be provided with the option of allowing Quantified Citizen to access some of your Apple Health or Google Fit data. This is not required to enroll in the study. You may turn this off at any time in the ‘settings’ function on your phone. 

 What if I want to withdraw from the study?

Enrolling in this study is strictly voluntary. You may withdraw at any time without explanation or penalty. Should you choose to leave the study, you will be given the option to complete a final battery of assessments and then logged out of your account. No new data will be collected. Data that has already been collected cannot be deleted, as it will already be anonymised and encrypted.

What happens at the end of the study?

After you have completed the study, or have chosen to withdraw, you may keep the app on your phone to be informed of future studies; you may also delete it. If you delete the app, you will still be able to access the summary of your results and aggregated data on the Quantified Citizen website with a unique, randomly generated username.

Are there any risks in taking part to this study?

No data will be stored on your phone while the study is ongoing. As soon as you complete a survey or active task, your data are securely sent to encrypted QC servers. Should there ever be a security access concern to your phone, no study data are accessible to you or any third-party. The QC app is also password-protected. This adds an additional layer of security.

The study is opened to people who microdose and those who do not, and therefore downloading the app on your phone will not ‘label’ you as a user of psychedelics.