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Microdose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy Volunteers

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 28 Aug 2020 13:10
Microdose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersMicrodose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersShutterstock

Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, could be used as an effective pain reliever when taken in tiny doses, new research has found.

A study testing the pain-relieving effects of the drug is believed to be the first of its kind since the 1960s, and the results are promising.

The research team, from the Beckley Foundation and Maastricht University, administered small, non-psychedelic doses of LSD to participants, as part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, with 24 healthy subjects.

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Microdose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersMicrodose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersPixabay

They used three different LSD microdoses – five, 10 and 20 micrograms – in four different experimental sessions, separated with at least five days in between.

Researchers then tested the pain tolerance of the volunteers by conducting a Cold Pressor Test at two different points in time, 90 minutes and five hours after dosing. The subjects had to submerge their hands into cold water for as long as they possibly could. Afterwards, they were asked to rate the level of pain they experienced during the test.

The results of the Cold Pressor Tests were said to be ‘remarkable,’ with researchers explaining:

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The current data consistently indicated that LSD 20 µg significantly reduced pain perception as compared with placebo, whereas lower doses of LSD did not. LSD 20 µg significantly increased pain tolerance (i.e. immersion time) by about 20%, while decreasing the subjective levels of experienced painfulness and unpleasantness.

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As results were shown at both points in time, the study suggests the pain-relieving effect caused by the LSD was just as prominent five hours later as it was within the first 90 minutes.

Interestingly, the analgesic effect seen with the 20-µg LSD group seemed to match the results seen during the same pain test using oxycodone and morphine – pain relievers that are commonly administered by medical professionals all over the world.

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While it’s unclear whether we can expect to see LSD used as an official medical pain relief method any time in the near future, Robert Dickins, founder and editor of Psychedelic Press, said more official testing on its pain-relieving effects are welcome.

Microdose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersMicrodose Of LSD Decreased Pain Perception In Healthy VolunteersShutterstock

‘Slightly increasing the dose in future studies will reveal whether a direct physiological action, or the psychological effects of the psychedelic experience, is the determining factor in pain relief. Amongst swathes of anecdotal data though, promising gold standard scientific studies on microdosing are very welcome,’ he told UNILAD.

The full study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Health, Cold Pressor Test, Drugs, LSD, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, Pain Relief, Science

Credits

Journal of Psychopharmacology
  1. Journal of Psychopharmacology

    A low dose of lysergic acid diethylamide decreases pain perception in healthy volunteers