What will micro-dosing look like if psychedelics are legalized?

Project team
Jo Barnard, Ben Melvin, Andy Trewin Hutt
Project type
Morrama foresight

The explosion of research and discussion around microdosing this year has highlighted opportunities from mental health and ADHD treatment to creativity enhancement. Currently illegal in the majority of countries, what if this was to change?

What is microdosing?

Microdosing is the practice of taking very low quantities of a drug, regularly, over an extended period of time. Typically it’s associated with psychoactive substances such as psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD.

In 2019 the microdosing market was valued at 2 Billion USD, by 2030 this is set to increase to $10.7 billion with studies suggesting that the most common reason for people increasingly exploring microdosing is for clinical purposes, particularly to treat mood disorders. Made illegal in the majority of countries in the 80s and 90s, Morrama has been investigating what has caused this sudden re-interest in psychedelics and what might the future hold if the laws were to be relaxed.

Mood boosting

Netflix shows like How to Change your Mind have highlighted the potential benefits a large single dose of psychedelics can have on depression and anxiety, and whilst there is significantly less evidence that microdosing has the same effect, it won’t stop the 1 in 6 adults suffering from mental health problems from believing that it might make them feel better. People with ADHD are another group seeking the potential health benefits of microdosing. Even if the scientific evidence is not yet conclusive, the global shortage of ritalin and adderall is forcing many to try alternative options such as taking small doses of LSD.

Currently psychedelics are Schedule 1/Class A (US/UK) illegal in most parts of the world, however, pioneering testing taking place in London aims to shift public opinion. Clerkenwell Health are holding clinical trials on the use of psychedelic substances to support individuals faced with an array of mental health issues and UK company Compass Pathways, which went public in 2020, continually runs trials to explore the potential of psilocybin.

Despite this increase in research studies into the benefits of psychedelic treatment, most of what is assumed about microdosing is based on anecdotal evidence. Platforms such as Quantified Citizen aim to bridge the gap between hyper-controlled small scientific studies and popular opinion by capturing data on a wider scale. One microdosing study tracks cognitive performance and mental health of participants of psychedelic and non-psychedelic users (legal or illegal, no questions asked). Between 2019 and 2021 alone, over 12,000 people took part.

Whilst the intentions of these studies is to provide enough evidence that psychedelics should be de-classified, at least for medical and therapeutic use, the fact that these drugs are currently illegal is ultimately going to be a barrier to microdosing becoming a mainstream, recommended, form of self-medication any time soon.


There is a clear link between the increased uptake in microdosing and current mental health crisis. With the growing evidence that psychedelic treatment has long lasting benefits in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD etc, there is increasing pressure on governments to reassess the illegal status of psilocybin, DMT and LSD for medical purposes.

The power of (legal) mushrooms

At Morrama we’ve had discussions with brands that have been preparing themselves for a declassification of cannabis in the UK for years, and others are already thinking of how they can jump on the microdosing train if/when that also becomes legal. However with the UK Government considering moving cannabis from Class B to a Class A this year, they are either going to have to set up overseas or consider a different offering.

One such offering is natural medicine. The increasing discussion around the power of magic mushrooms to improve wellbeing is resurfacing the seemingly forgotten understanding of the power of nature in healing. Whilst liberty caps remain illegal, it’s mushrooms like Reishi, Lion’s Mane and Chaga that we will increasingly see everywhere. With the first functional mushroom tea shop opening in Selfridges, London this year we can expect to see mushroom drinks, chocolate, tinctures etc. available on the highstreet in 2023. Think the CBD trend, but for fungi.

No items found.


It’s not just their wellbeing that people are seeking to improve. There has been an increasing level of discussion in the media over the past 5 years about microdosing psychedelics for productivity. We are now given the impression that silicon valley leaders are dropping tabs every few days in an attempt to unlock a higher level of creativity and achieve something most mere mortals cannot.

The use of psychedelics as a tool for freeing the mind and accessing a higher level of consciousness has been in practice since 1200BC where the Aztecs would take peyote to enter a trance like state with “hallucinations of vivid colours, tendency towards introspection, and an impression of being one with nature and with the Gods”.

The connection of psychedelics and creativity is also not a new one. The Psychedelic era of the 60s and 70s coincided with some of the greatest leaps forwards in art, music and technological development. And as technology and society continues to transform at an accelerated speed, there is an increasing pressure to stay ahead of the competition; not just to know what’s coming next, but to define it. Entering a creative session with an altered state of thinking could provide an opportunity to not only adhere to the cliche ‘think outside the box’ but actually enable a redefinition of what that ‘box’ is. As a designer you must be a contrarian thinker and tap into the psyche most people don’t have access to, psychedelics offer an obvious way in and microdosing presents a method of doing it safely


With the accelerated use of AI in design, the opportunities are vast and only an open mind will be able to take advantage of that. Combining the enhanced creative state achieved through microdosing with the unconstrained capabilities of AI could offer a whole new chapter of innovation and technological development as we play the role of creative shamans harnessing the AI spirit.

Productization of microdosing

Jumping forwards to a world where microdosing is widely legal, it will undoubtedly end up in every form imaginable from drinks to capsules to patches. Our friends at Layer have recently put forward a vision for what this future could look like with their microdosing ‘edibles’ concept. Something important to consider, however, is that the human body very quickly builds a tolerance to psilocybin and LSD and therefore it’s best to take it once every 3-4 days. From both a product and human habit perspective this is a challenge. Dutch brand Earth Resonance requires you to cut and weigh 0.3 - 1.5g of psilocybin truffle every 2 days as part of their microdosing cycle. Whilst there is a benefit in the pause in daily activity that this encourages, it is convenience that sells. Where it is legal, expect to see custom 30 day programs in which the dose has been tailored to the individual and complimentary ingredients such as Lion’s Mane for focus or Chaga for wellness filling the days between psychedelic doses, all packaged in bespoke capsules, gummies or tisanes.

There is also potential in the cross-over of science and design to tailor an environment, mood or energy around the microdosing experience to alter the effects of the dose completely. Many still argue the benefits of microdosing are largely down to the placebo effect, but this only serves to highlight the opportunity for experiential microdosing design. With the rich cultural history surrounding psilocybin and DMT use, there is much to draw from, and we imagine shamanic ritual inspired designs, meditation linked microdosing and mushroom worshiping branding are on the horizon.


A combination of packaging and experience design has the greatest potential to maximise the power of microdosing. Drawing from the ritual and spiritual to enhance the openmindedness, positivity and relaxation that microdosing can create.

The future

The only question left to answer is whether, in this possible psychedelic future, are we all more relaxed, more creative, less depressed and generally a happy, healthier society? If you believe the likes of pioneers Terence McKenna (1946-2000) or Paul Stamets, then quite possibly the answer is yes.

No items found.

Key Summary

  • Boom in natural medicinal products on the market, particularly mushroom ingredients brought about in part by a revival of ‘mushroom as a healer’ beliefs and increased conversation around microdosing and psychedelic treatment.
  • Increasing demand for creativity focused psychedelic edibles (on the black market where it remains illegal), as both brands and individuals seek a higher level of consciousness and creativity.
  • (If it’s legalised for therapeutic purposes) ADHD and depression microdosing treatment options along with higher dose treatment sessions becoming NHS recommended.
  • Microdosing products with a strong experiential design theme and tailored dosing initially starting at high entry level price points, think Goop or Lyma.

This research was carried out by Morrama Labs as part of a deeper exploration into the future of products, packaging and user experience surrounding microdosing. All opinions are our own.

We have created all of the images on this page with the use of the latest AI technology. All images are property of Morrama.

If you are interested in continuing this conversation, please get in touch at info@morrama.com.
For our press pack, including high res images, please email: press@morrama.com.
Contact us today

A leading industrial design and innovation agency

If you'd like to work with us or see how we might be able to help you out then you can reach us here.