Lsd And Its Potential Benefits

Psychedelic substance awareness until recently has been in the dark. Lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD was first developed by a Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938. LSD is widely known for it’s psychedelic side effects, users often think profoundly and positively disassociate themselves. In the United States, currently it is considered to be a schedule I drug meaning it is comparably worse than Meth, OxyContin, Fentanyl, ect. LSD is widely misunderstood and should be considered to be a practical medical outlet.

The effects of LSD are ultimately subjective, as the experience can be unpredictable. In a controlled setting, LSD acutely induced bliss, altered meaning of perceptions, derealization, depersonalization, and mystical experiences. LSD increased feelings of closeness to others, openness, trust, and suggestibility. LSD increased the emotional response to music and the meaning of music. The drug has is generally quite unpredictable resulting in slightly different interpretations in different studies. To provide more context, according to another source, “Controlled administration of LSD in healthy subjects increased optimism and trait openness 2 weeks after administration and produced trends toward decreases in distress and delusional thinking”. It has quite a peaceful tone but despite it’s positive effects on users it remains a schedule I drug.

LSD is considered typically safe, though it is almost entirely dependant on the specific user’s mindset and well being. The risks from LSD are dependent on set and setting and differ from other types of drugs, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates, which produce relatively predictable physical and psychological effects. LSD is considered to be one of the least toxic drugs used non-medically. Recent results from epidemiological studies have shown lower rates of mental health disorders and suicide among people who have used psychedelics like LSD. It is quite important to note that an individual who has the genetic code for psychological disorders such as Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder should likely stay away from these drugs as they can oftentimes set a psychological “trigger” which sets off the disorder due to trauma.

LSD itself is a relatively new psychedelic drug when compounds such as Psilocybin and Ayahuasca are taken into account. Psychedelic properties of specific plants have been used for centuries by indigenous cultures to induce expanded states of consciousness and spiritual experiences (Grof 2).

There are many ways to benefit from LSD, one popular method worthy of mention is called microdosing. Microdosing is a practice that has gained much interest recently that involves regularly taking doses of LSD too small to cause noticeable changes in consciousness (around 5-10 micrograms) to enhance creativity and problem solving. The doses are too small to inspire visual enhancements, but large enough to enhance a sense of cognitive ability and mental flow. In one study conducted by Vince Polito and Richard J. Stevenson, they reported:

We tracked the experiences of 98 microdosing participants, who provided daily ratings of psychological functioning over a six week period. 63 of these additionally completed a battery of psychometric measures tapping mood, attention, wellbeing, mystical experiences, personality, creativity, and sense of agency, at baseline and at completion of the study. Analyses of daily ratings revealed a general increase in reported psychological functioning across all measures on dosing days but limited evidence of residual effects on following days. Analyses of pre and post study measures revealed reductions in reported levels of depression and stress; lower levels of distractibility; increased absorption; and increased neuroticism. 

The evidence from the study says that microdosing increases psychological functioning across all measures on days where the microdose was taken, but no further effects on days where the microdose was not taken. What this suggests is that LSD is a powerful chemical, with the widespread benefits for a microdose of only 5-10 micrograms to be beneficial to wellbeing, mystical experiences, personality, creativity, and sense of agency as previously stated.

LSD and other psychedelic drugs are often times used by patients with terminal illnesses. Patients who are taking the LSD are doing so in hopes to come to terms with death.

To conclude, LSD is a widely misunderstood drug and should be used in treating specific disorders and the terminally ill. The drug is a psychedelic, which is a class of drugs that have been used for in many different fashions for thousands of years. Psychedelic drugs such as LSD may be beneficial for patients with PTSD, anxiety and depression 

16 December 2021
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