‘New Terrain’ In Science: Effects Of LSD Microdosing Will Soon Receive First Trials

A college in London wants to find out if extremely small amounts of the drug LSD can enhance productivity, creativity, treat depression, or possibly achieve all three.

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A college in London wants to find out if extremely small amounts of the drug LSD can enhance productivity, creativity, treat depression, or possibly achieve all three.

Anti-depressants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, an array of different pharmaceuticals are used to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental roadblocks a human being might face when trying to function within the standards of everyday life.

But what if an answer to some of those problems came in the form of an extremely small hit of LSD?

The practice is called “microdosing.” Microdosing is being used by a number of people in the digital technology field in California as a popular means to enhance focus. It’s been a popular method of getting through the routine of everyday life for years now and that popularity is spreading.

There are only two issues.

LSD is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States and completely banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Vox states that LSD sits alongside heroin, quaaludes, marijuana, and ecstasy as, “Substances defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The other issue is that there is no scientific evidence to back up the usage of LSD microdoses as a means to treat or cure any medical condition. But soon, the latter issue may be off the table.

According to a report from The Guardian, the effects of microdosing LSD are set to begin placebo-controlled trials on Monday, September 3, 2018, at the Imperial College in London, England. The study will include those already using LSD for regular microdosing and researchers conducting the experiment will have the user put their current means of LSD delivery into a capsule, which they can swallow like a pill.

Some of those participating in the experiment will have those capsules switched out with an identical capsule containing no LSD. None of the participants will know which capsule they are taking: the one with LSD, or the placebo. Researchers hope to determine whether or not any benefits may be found by microdosing LSD, but don’t expect the study to be anywhere near the final say on its effects. However, if the experiment yields results worth looking into, the study leader, Balazs Szigeti, states that further trials should be carried out.

Psilocybin mushrooms, aka ‘magic mushrooms’ are also used by a number of microdosing, but researchers at Imperial College in London are only looking into the effects of microdosing in LSD. Trials begin Monday, September 3, 2018. Eskymaks / Shutterstock

Szigeti is excited to begin the trials, as he says this is largely uncharted territory for the world of science and deals with a subject many are swearing by.

“I was interested in this and looked at the scientific literature. To my great surprise I found there were zero studies on microdosing. If you go online there are hundreds and hundreds of people expressing very positive outcomes but this is completely novel terrain in scientific literature.”

Regardless of the outcome of scientific findings, the FDA is under no obligation to remove LSD from its list of Schedule I controlled substances. According to Medical News Today, marijuana has been found in trials to be beneficial in the treatment of depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and addiction, among other medical uses. To date marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, despite a number of states moving toward legality.