LSD Research Begins In The UK After 40 Years Of Prohibition
Finally, psychedelic research is starting to re-emerge from the dark shadows of scientific suppression.
Before the War on Drugs, LSD was held in the highest regards among psychiatrists and therapists. The drug was rapidly gaining popularity for its unique ability to deliver in just one session the benefits of years of regular psychotherapy. It was quickly understood that LSD has massive potential, but the politics of oppression have prevented the drug from being further studied. That is now slowly changing, as a new wave of psychedelic research is starting off.
One of those research project is located in the UK - and the scientists are picking up pretty much exactly where they left off before the prohibition. It is worth noting that the drug is still very much illegal under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, but special permission has been obtained to research its potential.
It is Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris that is leading the way with this new research, in an aim to assess what, if any, therapeutic applications LSD has (and we all know there are plenty). So far, using MRI brain scans, Dr. Carhart-Harris has been able to assess the effects of LSD on 6 participants, and initial results are promising.
According to the doctor, LSD appears to cause a lot of positive activity within the hippocampus, the main area of memory. If further results are similar, then it is very likely research will continue down this route.
As you can imagine, a test sample of 6 participants is pretty small, and arguably insignificant. However, it all has to start somewhere, and before larger, more comprehensive experiments take place, it is important to establish a baseline. This baseline has certainly been established, and those involved in the research are very excited about the potential future avenues they may be able to explore in more depth.
Although LSD research is only just taking off again, it is not alone in the exploration of psychedelics. There is an ever growing body of research, all testing the waters, but all finding positive therapeutic and medical applications for the substances they are testing, including psilocybin, MDMA and Ayahuasca.
Scientific studies confirming the potential of the entheogens are central to the eventual acceptance of those substances as a valid form of therapy. After all, the world psychedelic derives from the Greek for “mind-revealing”. Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, described it as being “medicine for the soul”. Let us hope that this new round of research doesn’t get trodden on and squashed by the authorities like they did last time; and that it sheds light on ways we can all benefit from the power of psychedelics, and their ability to free up the mind.