Psychedelic microdosing

This study examines how and why people in Denmark use microdoses of psychedelic drugs to handle every day stress and relieve conditions such as depression, chronic headaches etc.


This research project aims to investigate the emergence of psychedelic microdosing in Denmark. We aim to generate knowledge on potentially new forms of self-care that are emerging and existing outside the national healthcare system in Denmark. Consequently, the project intends to also explore those areas where the healthcare system potentially fails to accommodate people in contemporary society, who either refuse available prescribed treatment or fail to qualify as patients.


While much existing drug research has focused on recreational ‘party drugs’ and addictive drug use, drugs for enhancement is a relatively new topic of growing concern, as an increasing number of young people use drugs to perform better and manage societal pressures. Most research on enhancement focuses on non-medical use of pharmaceuticals, leaving the growing use of psychedelics relatively unstudied. Recent evidence suggests that microdosing is used both as performance enhancement and to self-manage stress, anxiety and minor depressions in the everyday life. Psychedelics have a long history of therapeutic use by indigenous groups for medicinal and religious purposes, and in psychiatric experiments in the 1950s and 60s. A renewed scientific interest in psychedelics has sparked current developments in medical research that are showing promising preliminary results of treating psychiatric conditions with psychedelic substances. The psychedelic revival, and in particular microdosing, seems to be spreading rapidly into non-medical realms, taking part in the everyday life as a form of problem solving. Currently, a multitude of guides, testimonials and courses on microdosing are available online, and several Internet discussion forums, also in Denmark, bear witness to extensive knowledge-sharing and discussions of perceived effects connected to using microdoses of psychedelic drugs.

The study

The datacollection in this project is based on:

  • ethnographic interviews
  • digital text mining
  • online survey

The study takes a point of departure in online Danish Internet forums where members seek or share information about microdosing practices. While text mining analyzes secondary data, data created by and for the microdosing community itself, the survey and interviews create primary data; data created specifically for research purposes. Combining these two forms of data collection offers a unique methodological opportunity for studying a “hard-to-reach” population, and for deepening current understandings of and insights into micro-dosing practices. The survey will function as a recruitment method for carrying out the ethnographic interviews.
In the interviews we will explore these questions:

  • What effects do microdosers experience and what problems do they hope to resolve?
  • How do microdosers perceive the Danish healthcare authorities and what health issues do microdosers present to healthcare professionals?
  • What sources of information are used and what role do these sources play in their micro-dosing practices? What are the social, economic and health consequences of microdosing practices?

The research runs from January 1st 2020 to December 31st 2022