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How does Time of Day Influence LSD Microdosing? New MindMed Study Hopes to Find Out

  • 21/11/202121/11/2021

“Our goal is to provide insight on key parameters that may impact and explain the mechanisms behind low-dose treatments,” says MindMed Executive President Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli.

A new study will measure how the time of day during consumption influences the effects of LSD microdosing.

Announced by biotechnology company MindMed today, this study will evaluate and compare daytime and evening administration of repeated low doses — also known as microdoses — of LSD.

Low dose psychedelics expert and Associate Professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Dr. Kim Kuypers, will lead the study.

Her team of researchers will be using digital measurements devices and software to evaluate the effects of LSD microdoses on neuroplasticity markers such as BDNF plasma levels and various measures of sleep, mood, cognitive performance, regulation of emotions, quality of life, and immune system response.

“Research into the practice of taking repeated low doses of psychedelics starts with the basics, looking at whether there is a time of day that influences the impact of these treatments,” Dr. Kuypers explained.

“We are investigating whether the repeated intake of lower doses could lead to a realignment of patterns of thinking that would enable individuals to access levels of self-awareness that can provide an enriched experience of life.”

In recent years, an emerging trend in the psychedelics space has been microdosing  — consuming a small fraction of what is considered a recreational dose of a psychedelic substance, usually LSD or psilocybin. The doses used are so small that they do not induce hallucinations.

To date, there is anecdotal evidence from leading tech entrepreneurs to parents who claim microdosing can boost creativity and productivity, and reduce anxiety.

However, microdosing’s potential is not fully understood due to a lack of evidence. In fact, a recent study from Imperial College London demonstrated that microdosing might be nothing more than a placebo. Researchers concluded that participants’ belief they were taking a microdose was more influential in improving their mental health than the microdose of a drug itself.

Many first-of-its-kind studies evaluating microdosing are currently underway in a bid to scientifically validate anecdotal claims about its effectiveness.

This includes an Australian analysis using neuroimaging to understand microdosing’s effects on the brain and a New Zealand study exploring how LSD microdosing may help cancer patients experiencing end-of-life distress. MindMed hopes that its new study will add much-needed evidence to support and explore the safety and benefits claimed about microdosing.

“With our innovative study design, integrating digital medicine measurement techniques with more traditional self-reporting and cognitive tasks, our goal is to provide insight on key parameters that may impact and explain the mechanisms behind low-dose treatments,” said MindMed’s Executive President Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli.

“This regimen could provide new tools to deal with various pathologies, helping to unblock pathological ways of thinking by shifting an individual’s perspective, catalyzing insights and ultimately changing problematic and habitual mindsets and behaviours.”