Dropping a small dose of LSD before work on a Monday morning might not sound like the best of ideas, but an increasing number people are doing just that. Proponents of "microdosing" argue it holds all manner of benefits for the mind and body, whether it’s sparking creativity and boosting your day-to-day energy levels or even relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, when it comes to the lofty claims of microdosing, it’s hard to decipher where fact ends and the placebo-effect begins, as there is very little scientific research into the matter.
With that in mind, the Beckley Foundation and Imperial College London have announced the first-ever placebo-controlled trial for LSD microdosing with the hopes of uncovering whether this novel technique has any consequences on a person’s psychological well being and cognitive function, and they're looking for volunteers.
Depending on their results, the researchers hope this work will get the ball rolling with more serious scientific research into psychedelics, science, and medicine.
Microdosing is the act of taking tiny amounts, usually around a tenth of an active dose, of a psychedelic drug on a regular basis. The most commonly used types of drugs are LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The "sub-perceptual” dose is not strong enough to feel high or blow your mind with a mind-altering trip, but many people report a subtly enhanced sense of well-being and a boost of vitality. Others have even claimed it helped them overcome depression and other mental health problems.
Over a period of four weeks, the study will ask participants with some experience of microdosing or using psychedelics to take part in a unique approach they call “self-blinding.”
“Microdoses will be placed into non-transparent gel capsules and empty, placebo capsules will be prepared the same way. Thus, participants will not know if a capsule contains a microdose or if it is an empty, placebo capsule at the time of taking,” the researchers explain.
They, however, will be able to track which capsules contain the drug. The participants will be asked daily questions about their mood and play online games created to measure cognitive performance. The results should be published next summer.
You can sign up to join the study right here. However, bear in mind, the researchers won’t provide you with the drugs.
“It is important to recognize that our study is neither a conventional clinical trial nor plain personal experimentation. Rather it is somewhere in between and as such the strength of the resulting evidence will be also somewhere in between,” the researchers write.
“If we find promising effects above placebo, then such results can be used to apply for further research at medical and scientific agencies.”