The first controlled LSD study in over 40 years was recently published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The study consisted of 12 participants who suffer from “anxiety, depression, as well as unresolved family and relationship issues” resulting from life-threatening illness. To no surprise by many of our readers, the study observed a significant drop in anxiety levels among the participants, many having a lasting effect.
The study focused on individuals who had no alcohol or drug dependence and who were facing serious life-threatening illnesses. The vast majority of the participants had never tried psychedelics. The clinical trial was a “phase 2 double-blind, active placebo-controlled, randomized and had a limited sample size.” Researchers also noted that it was “sufficient for a study primarily focused on safety and feasibility.” “Researchers reported that neither the experimental dose (200 µg of LSD) nor the active placebo (20 µg of LSD) “produced any drug-related severe adverse events, that is, no panic reaction, no suicidal crisis or psychotic state, and no medical or psychiatric emergencies requiring hospitalization.” These results are quite polar to the anti-psychedelic propaganda portraying these substances as dangerous.
The small list of adverse effects that participants experienced were “feeling cold, feeling abnormal, illusion, gait disturbance, and anxiety.” Participants experienced more anxiety with the placebo, likely Ritalin as used in many other psychedelic studies, than with the LSD itself. This observation gives weight to the simple idea of knowing one is taking a psychedelic drug can produce anxiety. This is the result of the negative wrap psychedelics get in the media that warn of people jumping from windows or playing in traffic.
The researchers report that “Patients with life-threatening illnesses confront an existential threat from shortened life expectancy that often causes periods of suffering, pain, and anxiety. Congruent with earlier studies (Pahnke et al., 1970), the results in the experimental dose group show a significant reduction in state anxiety, as experienced on a daily basis.” When regrouping with the participants a year later, the researchers also observed a lasting effect in the participants.
LSD is said to allow an inward experience of self-study. Observing one’s thoughts and learning what is projecting them can help many come to terms with their state of mind. Realizing our selves as a point of awareness that has a choice in deciding what thoughts are had can dramatically help people to begin healing by acceptance, a deeper connection to the maintenance of the body, and adding a spiritual dimension to one’s life that is often reserved for the devout meditator or mystic.
The study concluded that “further study is warranted into the potential of LSD-assisted psychotherapy” in helping to reduce anxiety in patients facing terminal illness. This is one more step in the right direction of allowing these medicines to aid in self-healing and psychotherapy.
Watch The Kyle Kulinski Show cover the study: