Marijuana isn't the only Schedule II drug with claims of medical benefits. In recent years, some have claimed that taking tiny doses of psilocybin -- a practice called "microdosing" -- can boost focus, creativity and problem-solving without harmful effects.
Now, as the Silicon Valley trend spreads, so do rumors of its supposed mental health benefits.
A better anti-depressant?
40 million Americans over the age of 18 struggle with anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American. And, almost half of those who struggle with anxiety also battle depression.
While there are many methods for treating anxiety and depression, these medications often have undesirable side-effects, such as drowsiness or fatigue, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, weight gain and nausea.
New research is being conducted to substantiate whether microdosing can actually improve mental health.
Scientists in the Netherlands conducted several tests that seemed to deliver promising results. The researchers tested subjects taking 0.33 grams of psilocybin. A normal dose is about 3 grams.
The results showed evidence that these small amounts of psilocybin improved the participants' convergent thinking skills, allowing them to find more alternative solutions to problems in a shorter amount of time. A Dutch study found similar results. However, several flaws in the conduct of the research have been reported.
Psilocybin in America
Unlike other countries, the legality of psilocybin in the United States makes it almost impossible for researchers to test legally.
Even taking microdoses of this substance in the US can lead to serious ramifications. In Illinois, the possession of any amount up to 200 grams of psilocybin mushrooms or up to 15 doses of another form of LSD can result in a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years jail time.
If you or someone you know is facing drug charges, it's important to take these potential consequences seriously. Gaining the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney may help you devise a successful offense.