A new study by The Beckley Foundation is hoping to understand the impact of microdosing low doses of psychedelics on meditation skills.
The Microdosing and Meditation Study, led by Beckley Foundation in collaboration with Psychedelic Data Society and Quantified Citizen (QC), seeks to observe how meditation skills evolve over three months of regular meditation practice. In a large-scale survey, researchers found that adults who microdose psychedelics report having lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than non-microdosers. Enhancing Mindfulness was reported as the biggest reason for microdosing in the study, the largest to date, yet no research to date has looked at the overlap between meditation and the use of psychedelics.
Director of the Beckley Foundation, Amanda Feilding, said: “In my opinion, psychedelics can be used as tools to get into a higher state of awareness, which, rather like a farmer preparing the ground for seeding, can help achieve a more fertile ground for either meditation or creative thinking.
“No research has been conducted so far on the effect of microdosing on meditation practice, and I am very curious to find out if regular meditators do experience measurable benefits from microdosing.”
Those wishing to take part in the study are asked to take an intake questionnaire (10 minutes), a set of assessments at the beginning of the study, after each month, and at the end of the study (for a total of 4 times, 20 minutes each). Participants will also be asked to complete a daily questionnaire that will take about 5 to 10 minutes each day.
People taking the study will not be provided with psychedelic substances, or with instructions on where to obtain them or how to use them. Nor do participants need to be actively microdosing psychedelics or using them at any other dose to take part in the study.
Speculation about the actual benefits of microdosing remains high. While many people claim it can boost mood, improve creativity, and sharpen the mind, detractors claim it is nothing more than a placebo.
In a study published in 2021, researchers from Imperial College London endeavoured to investigate how the effects of microdosing compare to a placebo drug in nearly 200 participants who were already microdosing LSD.
The participants were instructed to muddle up envelopes containing either LSD or placebo capsules so that they did not know which they took. Although the results showed that microdosing did improve psychological wellbeing and life satisfaction, as did the placebo drug – and researchers found no significant differences between the effects of the two.
People wishing to take part in the study into microdosing and meditation can enrol in the Microdose.me study on the Quantified Citizen app. Microdose.me shares standardised assessments with the Microdosing and Meditation Study to avoid repetition. After this first step, you will unlock the Microdosing and Meditation onboarding process.