Scientists from the pharmaceutical company, MindMed, have announced the beginning of Phase 1 clinical trials to test Schedule 1 drugs MDMA and LSD. The trial will commence in Basel, Switzerland, later this year, and is the first robust clinical trial to investigate how the two drugs work together.
For the study, the researchers will recruit 24 healthy subjects to undergo four different experimental sessions. In one session, participants will be dosed with 100 micrograms of LSD mixed alongside an MDMA placebo. In another, they will receive an LSD placebo and 100 milligrams of MDMA. In the last two, they will receive placebos both for LSD and MDMA, and 100 micrograms of LSD accompanied by 100 milligrams of MDMA.
Alongside each combination's subjective effects, the researchers will also assess measures, including heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Until now, they suspect that the two drugs may work synergistically to deliver better therapeutic outcomes than when taken alone.
Although MDMA and LSD have both been known for some time now for their therapeutic potential- with MDMA, in particular, receiving attention from ongoing trials of the drug and psychotherapy, there is currently very little research showing how the drugs may work in tandem.
While LSD is known to induce feelings of ego dissolution that can result in introversion and anxiety, MDMA is known to enhance feelings of comfort and wellbeing. As such, the researchers suspect that MDMA may be able to 'take the edge' off of LSD.
"The potential of MDMA-LSD is to create a psychological state that may have the benefits of both substances and have longer-lasting effects than standalone psilocybin or LSD," says Dr. Matthias Liechti, a professor at the University of Basel and lead researcher of the study.
"Inducing an overall primarily positive acute response during psychedelic-assisted therapy is critical because several studies showed that a more positive acute experience is linked to a greater therapeutic long-term effect in patients."