LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938, but it wasn’t until April 19th 1943 that he discovered its psychoactive properties. After accidentally spilling the compound onto his skin, he began to experience powerful changes in consciousness, before getting on his bicycle and embarking on a psychedelic journey that would change the world. During the 1950s and 60s LSD opened the door to a new era of consciousness research, and helped scientists gain new insights into the workings of the human mind as well as showing promise in treating a wide range of psychological disorders. Yet research ground to a halt when the substance was outlawed for its role in inspiring a countercultural revolution, and it has taken us half a century to finally bring LSD back in from the scientific cold.

Our Research with LSD

In 2016, The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme published the world’s first images of the human brain on LSD,  revealing some of the key mechanisms behind its profound consciousness-altering effects. Collaborating with world-class researchers and universities, the Beckley Foundation has also produced studies into the effects of LSD on anxiety, synesthesia, ego dissolution, vision and music perception, and are currently looking at the effects of the compound in both micro- and macrodoses on mood (including depression, anxiety, and vitality), cognitive functions, creativity and general wellbeing, as part of our Beckley/Maastricht and Beckley/Brazil collaborations.

Future Research

While psilocybin is currently attracting much of the attention, as of 2022, Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation are exploring funding options for a new, exciting, international research programme, in collaboration with leading research institutes, which will provide the most comprehensive exploration of LSD and its effects to date.

Research Highlights

Ongoing and Planned Studies

Published Papers of Completed Studies