LSD works just as well as morphine at reducing pain, study finds

Scientists have discovered that microdoses of LSD can significantly improve mood and increase pain tolerance in patients, minus the mind-altering side effects.

Scientists from the UK’s Beckley Foundation and the Netherlands’ Maastricht University have made a pretty remarkable breakthrough in their research. Examining the analgesic properties of LSD and its potential as a non-addictive alternative to painkillers, their tests have found that microdoses of the drug can be as effective for treating pain as clinical morphine.

The study found that a dosage of 20 micrograms can improve mood and increase pain tolerance in patients by up to 20 percent. Thus, creating the potential for LSD to be rolled out as an alternative to common clinical painkillers like morphine and oxycodone: both considered some of the most potent and addictive treatments on the market. The Microdosing Research Program is the first study to study the pain-relief potential of the drug since the ’60s and ’70s.


As most studies go; 24 healthy volunteers each received various doses of the drug, with some placebo pills thrown into the mix as well. The simple yet effective “stick your hand in a bucket of ice-cold water”* test was used to examine each subject’s pain tolerance, with their dosages analysed accordingly.

It was found that these microdoses elevated the average blood pressure, providing an analgesic effect for patients without any psychedelic reaction. Pretty trippy stuff.

Subscription medication and painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine have long been infamous for connections with substance abuse. It is hoped that this breakthrough will provide a more controlled, safer alternative to the clinical substances.

“Over 16 million people worldwide are currently suffering from Opioid Use Disorder and many more will become hooked as a result of oversubscription of pain medication,” founder of the Beckley Foundation and co-director of the Maastricht Microdosing Research Programme Amanda Fielding stated. “We must continue to explore this with the aim of providing safer, non-addictive alternatives to pain management, and to bring people in pain a step closer to living happier, healthier and fully expressed lives,” she added.

Read more here.

*Not the actual name used by the study.