A New Psychedelic Microdosing Study – Phase 1 Complete!

Thank you to everyone who participated. We have closed phase 1 of the study and are not currently accepting further participants. The data collected so far will be published in a scientific journal Q3 of 2020 (initially we aimed for Q2, but due to the pandemic we have been slowed down). If we do raise further funds for the study,  we will launch  v2.0  later in 2021.

The Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme launched a collaborative study on psychedelic microdosing. The Naturalistic Self-Blinding Microdose Study is designed and led by Dr. Balázs Szigeti and Dr. David Erritzoe MRCPsych of Imperial College London, in partnership with Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation.

Psychedelic microdosing is a growing phenomenon, with tens of thousands of personal stories existing online. These range from entrepreneurs trying to improve workplace efficiency, to individuals struggling with mental health issues. Despite the growing popularity of microdosing, there is only anecdotal evidence for many of its apparent benefits. The Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Research Programme, which in 2016 produced the world’s first fMRI images of the human brain on LSD, is now undertaking the first placebo-controlled naturalistic study into psychedelic microdosing.

This study will also be unique in our use of an entirely novel self-blinding protocol. Voluntary participants who are currently, or are planning to start microdosing will track their progress on their own initiative – but in a development from other microdosing surveys, the participants will set up their own placebo control. This ‘self-blinding’ design will allow us to investigate for the first time whether the purported benefits of microdosing are due to the placebo effect, or the pharmacological action of the psychedelic.

The placebo control will be implemented by placing both microdoses and empty capsules into sealed envelopes, which will be labelled (with QR codes) and then distributed according to a particular schedule. Participants won’t know whether their capsules contain a microdose or an empty placebo until the end of the study.

The central hypothesis of our study is that psychedelic microdosing can increase psychological well-being and may also enhance certain cognitive functions. Throughout the experiment, participants will be required to complete computer-based tasks designed to measure cognitive performance (e.g. attention, memory, reasoning). Participants will also fill out questionnaires designed to assess their emotional state.

By collecting data from a naturalistic environment, with the support of hundreds of self-blinded participants from within the microdosing community, this design will enable us to identify the power of psychedelic microdosing, and understand what role, if any, the placebo effect plays.

Dr. Szigeti and Dr. Erritzoe are working together with Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation on this study, and we hope that together we will pave the way for establishing whether microdosing has therapeutic benefits. Significantly more rigorous than the current, anecdotal evidence, this study will provide valuable information in advance of the Beckley/Imperial LSD microdosing study led by Amanda Feilding, which will be carried out within a controlled laboratory setting later this year.

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This observational study was only eligible for people microdosing on their own initiative with their own existing supply of blotter-based psychedelics. Please do not contact us asking to provide you with psychedelic drugs or other materials.