How You Can Participate in Psychedelic Clinical Trials
Support psychedelic science by taking a legal trip
When LSD was accidentally discovered by Sandoz chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, it sent shockwaves of excitement through the research community, especially among the neuroscience field, which was still in its infancy. These pioneering scientists quickly took interest in the new wonder drug and its naturally occurring cousins like psilocybin and mescaline, hoping that psychedelics would not only aid in understanding consciousness, but offer new treatment options for mental illness. Dozens of promising studies in the United States tragically ground to a halt when most psychedelics were criminalized in 1970, but scientists did not forget about their therapeutic potential. Now psychedelic research with human subjects is making a comeback after decades of prohibition, and the number of active studies is growing every year. If you are over 18 and interested in participating as a subject in a psychedelic clinical trial, it is easier than ever to find opportunities.
What is a clinical trial? Clinical trials, also known as experimental studies, are performed to investigate the impact of a pharmaceutical treatment or medical procedure. They can be done for many reasons, including to understand the pharmacology and effects of a drug, the general safety of a treatment, or an intervention’s efficacy for a specific disease. Psychedelic trials may be small or large, and involve a wide variety of subjects with specific conditions or backgrounds. In the 1990s, Rick Strassman’s historical study on DMT was the first clinical trial where a psychedelic was administered to human subjects since these drugs were prohibited in the 70s. The small-scale study evaluated the subjective effects of the drug on 60 healthy volunteers, and helped contribute to development of the Hallucinogen Rating Scale, which is commonly used in psychedelic research today. In comparison, a larger scale Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) study testing the efficacy of MDMA for PTSD has already included hundreds of subjects across multiple locations in several countries, and is still ongoing.
Clinical trials may include healthy volunteers or individuals with a condition, such as depression or cancer. Some subjects may…