We love to keep up to date with all the advances in psychedelic research. Whether its studies that show that psilocybin is more effective than the standard Big Pharma anti-depressant, or others that investigate the usage of psilocybin to treat the burnout suffered by our essential healthcare workers, it’s all a fascinating ride into the future of mental healthcare. It will trigger changes of legislation, tear down prejudices, and transform the lives of those afflicted with disorders that until recently had no really effective cure.
The Research Continues…
And, the studies keep coming and they don’t stop coming. Today however, we are going to look at a few upcoming psilocybin (and some of its other psychedelic siblings such as LSD) trials that we have a good feeling about. And they are watertight — double-blind, placebo controlled — the full monty. So let’s check them out!
Psilocybin Microdose for Persistent Depressive Disorder
In January this year, Filament Health, a psychedelic company announced a Canadian collaboration with the University of Toronto. A Phase 2 clinical trial on the effect microdosing psilocybin has on Persistent Depressive Disorder. Scheduled to begin the latter portion of the year, this will be one of the first properly controlled studies we will see regarding microdosing as a treatment for depression.
If the study finds that microdosing can successfully treat depression, it will be excellent news for the millions across the world who take antidepressants, including 13% of all Americans. Though the trad pharmaceuticals do work for a portion of sufferers, for many they do not. And for some, the side effects are not worth the pain.
This specific trial recruited 50 patients with Persistent Depressive Disorder. Half the group will be given 2mg of psilocybin, and the other half a placebo. This will happen once a week for 4 weeks. After this period of the trial is over, all of the patients, including those who had received the placebo, will receive the treatment for another 4 weeks. Fingers crossed, some data from this trial will be within our reach before the end of 2023.
LSD Microdose for Adult ADHD
Psilocybin microdosing has for a while been touted as a promising support for adults with ADHD. However, this trial from the company MindMed, announced in December 2021, will use LSD for its microdose. It is a world first — a Phase 2 trial to treat ADHD with a psychedelic. A growing number of adults are receiving ADHD diagnoses as more about the condition begins to be understood.
Luckily, the reported effects of microdosing psychedelics chime exactly with what those with ADHD struggle with. For example, many adults with ADHD have difficulty concentrating or focusing — exactly one of the things microdosing is supposed to help with. The mood enhancing and calming power of a microdose can also help to allay the restlessness of edginess often suffered by those with ADHD.
These are just a few of the hypotheses that this study is hoping to prove. It is also hoped that if successful, this trial will pave the way for LSD to be used as ADHD medication — a welcome alternative to traditional ADHD medications which are often stimulants with a potential for addiction.
52 adults with ADHD will take part in the study. They will receive 20 micrograms of LSD or a placebo 2x a week for 6 weeks. The first data from this trial is expected in the latter half of 2023.
The Ongoing Microdose.me Project
We have namechecked Microdose.me before — after all, it’s the world’s largest mobile microdosing study! The app, powered by Quantified Citizen, can be used simply to log your microdosing routine and its effects. However, with psilocybin heavyweight Paul Stamets, and medical researchers such as Dr, Pamela Kryskow and Dr. Zach Walsh as part of the team, the data they collect in collaboration with the app’s users will be used to make strides in microdosing research. And, they already have. Since the study began at the end of 2019 over 20,000 participants spanning 84 countries have joined up, and many findings have already been released. In fact just a few months ago they released a paper based on the app’s data.
Published on nature.com on the 30th of June, the research showed that the users who microdosed psilocybin for 30 days had greater improvements in mental health, mood, and psychomotor abilities compared to those who did not microdose. The improvement in psychomotor abilities was especially significant in the microdosers who were over 55 (relative to the non-microdosers.) This highlighted a huge potential for new research into psilocybin to treat neurodegenerative diseases, for which more research will surely follow.
A New Paper Within a Matter of Weeks
The great thing about microdose.me is that they are able to publish papers while the ongoing research continues. Modern technology eh?! And more findings are coming very soon, as Paul Stamets revealed to Doubleblind Magazine. A paper is to be submitted in “…two weeks or so to two peer-reviewed journals.” He also teased us with the tantalizing quote;
“This is one of the most potent studies ever in the annals of medical clinical studies. We were shocked. None of our researchers expected the data to be this good. We thought we’d see a little bit of an improvement, but not that high of an improvement over the baseline. We now know that psilocybin mushroom microdosing works. It is indisputable that there are benefits.”
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Yeesh! We love psychedelic research. It’s the gift that just keeps giving. And you can depend on us to keep giving you those updates as they come!