Chronic pain is an unwelcome companion for millions of people worldwide, often leading to a reduced quality of life and debilitating side effects from conventional pain medications, including addiction.
Additionally, the mental toll of chronic pain cannot be overlooked, with many sufferers grappling with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as a result.
In the pursuit of alternative approaches to managing chronic pain, a recent survey study conducted by The Beckley Foundation in collaboration with Maastricht University has unveiled intriguing insights.
This study sheds light on the potential of classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin and LSD, to alleviate pain in specific conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Hope for chronic pain sufferers
In this comprehensive survey conducted by The Beckley Foundation, chronic pain patients were surveyed about their experiences with psychedelic use, comparing the efficacy of conventional treatments, full psychedelic doses, and microdoses.
The study analysed data from various conditions, including fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, tension-type headache, and sciatica.
The survey results revealed that participants reported superior pain relief with psychedelics compared to conventional medication, except in the case of sciatica.
More specifically, full psychedelic doses outperformed conventional medication, while microdoses delivered significantly better relief for migraines and comparable relief for the remaining conditions.
While research into the use of psychedelics for chronic pain is still in its infancy, there are some other promising studies emerging.
One such study at Imperial College London is currently exploring the administration of psilocybin for fibromyalgia, offering hope to those living with this painful condition.
Moreover, a series of observational studies have suggested that psychedelics may offer potential to relieve chronic pain.
Additionally, this case study describes how 6g of magic mushrooms relieved debilitating joint pain caused by Lupus.
Microdosing psychedelics for pain relief
The study builds upon the results from the Beckley Foundation and Maastricht Microdosing Research Programme, initiated in 2020 to investigate the effects of LSD microdoses on mood, cognitive function, and pain management.
Notably, this earlier research demonstrated that a mere 20 microgram dose of LSD led to significant reductions in pain perception compared to a placebo.
Speaking to PsychedelicHealthUK, Amanda Feilding, Founder and Director of The Beckley Foundation, expressed optimism about the potential of microdosing psychedelics for chronic pain management, particularly in cases of migraine.
With clinical research underway, it is her hope that migraine sufferers, who number one billion individuals globally each year, will soon gain legal access to these much-needed treatments.
The emerging research on the use of psychedelics for chronic pain management offers a ray of hope for individuals who have long struggled with the debilitating effects of persistent pain.
The survey conducted by The Beckley Foundation provides compelling evidence that psychedelics, particularly full doses and microdoses of substances like psilocybin and LSD, can offer superior pain relief compared to conventional medications for various chronic pain conditions (with the exception of sciatica pain).
While the field is still in its early stages, promising studies suggest that further research in this area may yield even more beneficial insights.
In a world grappling with the opioid epidemic and the limitations of conventional pain management, the potential of psychedelics to reduce chronic pain offers hope and an exciting avenue for further exploration.
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