First Ever Trials on the Effects of Microdosing LSD Set to Begin

Sarah Boseley, writing for The Guardian:

[Microdosing is] illegal. So how many people are microdosing is unknown and there is only anecdotal evidence of the effects and any downsides. In a bid to learn more, the Beckley Foundation, which was set up to pioneer research into mind-altering substances, and the unit it funds at Imperial College London, will launch the first ever placebo-controlled trial of microdosing on Monday, 3 September 2018.

This is very exciting news. The first ever microdosing study is going to start in a couple of days. But is it really the first? Psychedelic Press begged to differ in this tweet:

First ever? Not really. We have a little surprise publication coming out very soon dealing with this. Stay tuned #microdosing

Microdosing has been criticized for being difficult to study, and this trial will involve volunteers self-administering their own LSD. So how will the researchers keep the participants from knowing whether they are taking an actual microdose or an empty pill? Simple—the study will get around that problem by employing an innovative technique.

It will be unique, says Balázs Szigeti, the study leader. The cost and the illegality of LSD would make a conventional study prohibitively expensive. So he has hit on a way of running it by inviting those who already microdose to join a “self-blinded” study. They will take either what they usually use in a capsule or an identical dummy capsule instead, without knowing which is which. They will complete questionnaires and tests and play cognitive games online, and only at the end will they learn whether they were happy and focused because of LSD or because they thought they were using LSD.

Even if this isn't the first microdosing study ever conducted, it's the first time I've ever heard of a self-blinded study. What an elegant and creative solution.