The Internet is Reviving LSD Research


by Andrew Arnett

LSD research is experiencing a renaissance, with an influx of financing coming from internet crowdfunding sites like Walacea, Indiegogo, and Reddit.

On London-based Walacea, the Beckley Foundation for Psychedelic Research has raised £48,804.00 for a study dubbed “The World’s First Study of the Brain on LSD.” This research will use MRI scanners to determine how LSD influences creativity and problem solving in the human brain.

Due to overwhelming response, the Beckley Foundation has doubled the original pledge goal to £50,000.00. Those interested still have until April 18 to donate.

The results of the study could have an impact on a wide range of mental disorders. In previous brain imaging studies, the Beckley Foundation discovered that psilocybin, the main ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, positively affected the Default Mode Network (DMN), an area in the brain which plays a role in depression, Alzheimer’s, autism, and OCD. The current study will determine if LSD has a similar effect upon the brain.

The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has already run three successful fund-raising campaigns on Indiegogo, one of which netted $130,000 for researching the medical benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.

Earlier this year, MAPS won $82,000 from reddit.com users after being voted into their top ten favorite charities.

Brad Burge, director of communications for MAPS, told NBC News “It’s probably the best time in history to be doing psychedelic research.”

The non-profit organization EmmaSofia has just launched a fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo for the purpose of making MDMA and psilocybin available at no charge for medicine, therapy, and research. Backers of the campaign have been promised first priority to access these psychedelics.

“I treated my alcohol issues and PTSD with MDMA and psychedelics, now I want to help others,” say’s Pål-Ørjan Johansen, co-founder of EmmaSophia.

With his wife Teri Krebs, Pål-Ørjan has conducted the first meta-analysis of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism as well as a large population study of mental health in people who have used psychedelics.

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