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Micro-Meditation Study

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Are you curious if and how microdosing affects your meditation process?
Participants
Participants:
Recruiting
Time Commitment
Time Commitment:
3 months (5-10 min per day, 45-60 min once a month)
Study Type
Study Type:
Observational Study
LED BY
Beckley Foundation
FUNDED BY
Beckley Foundation
Why We Are Doing This Study

Meditation

You are being invited to take part in this study on the potential effects that microdosing psychedelic substances have on meditation practice. ‘Microdosing’ means the practice of taking psychedelic substances (e.g. psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide; LSD) in small, sub-perceptual amounts on a regular basis. 

You are being invited to take part in this study on the potential effects that microdosing psychedelic substances have on meditation practice. ‘Microdosing’ means the practice of taking psychedelic substances (e.g. psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide; LSD) in small, sub-perceptual amounts on a regular basis. 

‘Enhancing Mindfulness’ was reported as the most widely endorsed motivation for microdosing in the largest microdosing study to date, which was conducted by our collaborators at Quantified Citizens between 2019 and 2020, and comprised over 10,000 participants. Yet, no research to date has specifically assessed the effect of microdosing on meditation practice. In this study, we aim to shed some light on the effects that combining microdosing with meditation have on regular meditators ‘practice. There are many reports online, on blogs, and in books, on the effects of but there are few research studies about microdosing. The effects of microdosing on cognitive performance and mental health is not well known. This study will gather data from both a microdosing and non-microdosing group.

The results of this study will help guide future research and improve understanding of the effects of microdosing. Ideally, this will lead to better safety and insight into potential benefits.

Team

Amanda Feilding                

Amanda Feilding

Founder and Director of the Beckley Foundation, Co-Investigator        

linkedin                

 

Marco Schlosser

 

Marco Schlosser

Former researcher at UCL, now fully committed to his contemplative practice, Designer of the study

https://www.marcoschlosser.com/

 

Valerie Bonnelle 

Valerie Bonnelle

Scientific Officer at the Beckley Foundation, Co-designer of the study

linkedin    

 

Otto Simonsson                  

Otto Simonsson

Researcher at the Karolinska Institute and Meditator, Principal Investigator

linkedin             

 

Carla Pallavicini

 

Carla Pallavicini

Neuroscientist from the University of Buenos Aires, Principal Investigator

google scholar

 

Enzo Tagliazucchi

 

Enzo Tagliazucchi

Professor of Physics and Neuroscience at the University of Buenos Aires, Co-Investigator

linkedin 

Consent

By agreeing to participate in this study, you acknowledge that all of your questions pertaining to the current study have been answered. A copy of this consent form is available through the app at any time for your reference. Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time. If you DO NOT CONSENT to participate, please exit the study app.

Prior to consenting to take part to the study, please read the notice below:

You are advised not to microdose if you meet any of the following risk factors. By accepting this consent document, you acknowledge that you are proceeding at your own risk if you choose to microdose.

  • History, family history (first or second-degree relative) or active diagnosis of psychotic disorders or other severe psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, major affective disorder, etc.)
Privacy

All information obtained during the study will be entirely anonymous. All digital data collection will be self-administered. You will get a unique, randomly generated username and your identity will remain anonymous. Please write down this username and keep it in a secure location. You will need it to login into the app should you lose your phone as well as to access your individual data summary and aggregated data. If for any reason you no longer have access to your QC account, and you do not remember your username, QC will not be able to regenerate your account.

You will never be asked to provide your real name, address, or date of birth. Averaged group data may be published or publicly presented, but it will not be possible to identify individual participants from this data. The Quantified Citizen app will not have access to any of your personal identifying information. Quantified Citizen will only access IP addresses from server logs for security and quality control and will delete them every 48 hours to limit indirect identifiers. Only authorized QC staff can access server logs based on their role and a need-to-know basis in order to fulfill their duties. IP addresses are not included in the data that will be analyzed in this study.

All of the data you enter into the Quantified Citizen app will be encrypted and stored in perpetuity on servers located in Canada. Anonymous data will be accessible to all researchers involved with this study. The data may be accessible to other researchers in the future. Any data you have previously entered into the app regarding the microdosing study will be used in addition to any data you enter in the future.

Data will be kept for 5 years following publication of the research at which point the data on the external hard drive and university’s server will be wiped clean.

Updates

Check back for updates soon!

Resources
FAQs

What is the purpose of this study?

You are being invited to take part in this study on the potential effects that microdosing psychedelic substances have on meditation practice. ‘Microdosing’ means the practice of taking psychedelic substances (e.g. psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide; LSD) in small, sub-perceptual amounts on a regular basis. 

‘Enhancing Mindfulness’ was reported as the most widely endorsed motivation for microdosing in the largest microdosing study to date, which was conducted by our collaborators at Quantified Citizens between 2019 and 2020, and comprised over 10,000 participants. Yet, no research to date has specifically assessed the effect of microdosing on meditation practice. In this study, we aim to shed some light on the effects that combining microdosing with meditation have on regular meditators ‘practice. There are many reports online, on blogs, and in books, on the effects of but there are few research studies about microdosing. The effects of microdosing on cognitive performance and mental health is not well known. This study will gather data from both a microdosing and non-microdosing group.

The results of this study will help guide future research and improve understanding of the effects of microdosing. Ideally, this will lead to better safety and insight into potential benefits.

Who is funding this study?

The study is funded by the Beckley Foundation, a UK-based think-tank and UN-accredited NGO founded and directed by Amanda Feilding since 1998.

Quantified Citizen and its staff will be providing technical support, software services, and consultation on the study. They have no control over data analysis or publication of results. Quantified Citizen, Otto Simonsson, the Beckley Foundation and Carla Pallavicini, Enzo Tagliazucchi and his research team will have access to the anonymized data. The data may be accessible to other researchers in the future.

Are psychedelics provided?

You will not be provided with psychedelic substances, or with instructions on where to obtain them or how to use them. If you are self-selecting into the microdosing group, you are already familiar with the practice and would be doing so regardless of being in this study.

You do not need to use psychedelics at any dose to take part in this study.

Can I join the study if I do not microdose?

Yes, the study is opened to people who do not microdose.

Who can participate in this study?

Eligibility criteria:

  • You may participate to this study if you have an established and regular practice of meditation (at least 3 times a week)

If you meet any of the following criteria, you will not be able to participate in this study:

  • Under the “age of majority” in your place of residence (e.g. 18 years of age in British

Columbia)

  • Not fluent in English
  • Not able to give adequate informed consent
  • Females of childbearing potential: pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant during the study period.
  • You will need secure access to a personal mobile device (cell phone or tablet) to run the app on.
  • If you meet any of the following criteria, you may still participate in the study. However, microdosing is not advised. You will be asked to acknowledge that you are proceeding at your own risk if you do choose to microdose:
    • History or active diagnosis of psychotic disorders or other severe psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.)
    • Family history (first or second-degree relative) of psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia, or major affective disorder)

What am I being asked to do?

You do not need to use psychedelics at any dose to take part in this study. We are interested in observing those who are microdosing, and those who are not. You will not be provided with psychedelic substances, or with instructions on where to obtain them or how to use them. If you choose to be in the study, you will be asked to download the Quantified Citizen app Microdose.me v2.0, onto your phone and complete an intake questionnaire. This includes basic demographic information (age, sex, level of education, employment status), basic medical history (major health concerns, mental health diagnoses, head injuries, neurological conditions, and pre-existing issues with visual acuity, color discrimination, hearing), self-reported use of psychedelics, as well as questions about your meditation practice. You will then be asked to complete a set of self-administered personality and mental health assessments. This entire intake process will take about 30 minutes.

Regardless if you are microdosing or not, you will be asked to go about your normal daily routines for up to 3 months. Completing brief daily questionnaires about your meditation practice and microdosing schedule that should take you about 5 to 10 minutes each day. You will be asked to repeat the battery of assessments (same as the baseline) on a monthly basis. That should take you about 20 minutes each time. Finally, at the end of 3 months, or whenever you decide to finish, you will be asked to complete a short closing survey that will take about 5 minutes. This study asks for about 9 hours of your time over the 3-month study period. Throughout the study, if you turn on notifications, you will be reminded to complete the daily questionnaires and monthly battery of assessments. Once you have completed your assessment or questionnaire, the notifications will stop.

You will also have the option to allow Quantified Citizen to access your Apple Health or Google Fit data. Within the app, a pop-up will ask you if Quantified Citizen is allowed to access your Apple Health or Google Fit Data. This is not required to participate in the study. You may turn this off at any time in the “settings” function on your phone. There are no known additional risks to opting in to this option. None of the Apple Health or Google Fit data collected will include any personally identifiable information. Data collected is limited to Sleep, Steps, Heart rate, and Mindfulness minutes.

The QC app is free. After you have completed the study, you may keep the app on your phone to be informed of future studies. You may also delete it. If you delete the app, you will still be able to access the summary of your results and aggregated data on the Quantified Citizen website with your username.

Will I be paid for participating?

No, you will not be paid for participating.

What are the risks of participating?

Psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and MDMA, are controlled and illegal substances in Canada and many other countries. Participating in this study does not make them legal. There is some risk relating to admitting to using illegal substances, especially in relation to crossing international borders. You are responsible for conforming with the laws of your jurisdiction and understanding the risks of crossing borders where laws may differ. If you are choosing to microdose, you are already familiar with the practice and would be doing so regardless of your participation in this study.

No data will be stored on your phone while the study is ongoing. As soon as you complete a survey or active task, your data are securely sent to encrypted QC servers. Should there ever be a security access concern to your phone, no study data are accessible to you or any third-party. The QC app is also password-protected. This adds an additional layer of security.

The study is opened to people who microdose and those who do not, and therefore downloading the app on your phone will not ‘label’ you as a user of psychedelics.

There is little known about the positive or negative effects of microdosing. Some research suggests that some people experience beneficial effects such as improved mood and focus. Negative effects such as physiological discomfort and increased anxiety have also been reported.

Some of the questions asked in this study examine topics of a personal nature (e.g. mental health and psychedelic use). You do not have to answer all of the questions if you do not want to. If you do not feel comfortable with the content of the study, please do not participate. If feelings of discomfort or sensitivity arise for you during the study, remember that you may stop at any time without explanation or penalty. If required, please seek additional support in your area.

What are the benefits of participating?

There are no other direct benefits to you being in this study. However, you may gain an increased awareness of how microdosing affects various aspects of your meditation practice and well-being or how aspects of your practice and well-being fluctuate over time. By participating in this study, you may help increase the current scientific understanding of the effects of psychedelic microdosing on meditation.

Will my information be kept confidential?

All information obtained during the study will be entirely anonymous. All digital data collection will be self-administered. You will get a unique, randomly generated username and your identity will remain anonymous. Please write down this username and keep it in a secure location. You will need it to login into the app should you lose your phone as well as to access your individual data summary and aggregated data. If for any reason you no longer have access to your QC account, and you do not remember your username, QC will not be able to regenerate your account.

You will never be asked to provide your real name, address, or date of birth. Averaged group data may be published or publicly presented, but it will not be possible to identify individual participants from this data.

The Quantified Citizen app will not have access to any of your personal identifying information. Quantified Citizen will only access IP addresses from server logs for security and quality control and will delete them every 48 hours to limit indirect identifiers. Only authorized QC staff can access server logs based on their role and a need-to-know basis in order to fulfill their duties. IP addresses are not included in the data that will be analyzed in this study.

All of the data you enter into the Quantified Citizen app will be encrypted and stored in perpetuity on servers located in Canada. Anonymous data will be accessible to all researchers involved with this study. The data may be accessible to other researchers in the future. Any data you have previously entered into the app regarding the microdosing study will be used in addition to any data you enter in the future.

Data will be kept for 5 years following publication of the research at which point the data on the external hard drive and university’s server will be wiped clean.

Can I say “no”?

Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary. You may decline to enter or withdraw from the study at any time without any consequences or explanation. Should you choose to leave the study, you will be given the option to complete a final assessment and then be logged out of your account. No new data will be collected. Data that has already been collected will still be used in the study and cannot be deleted because it will already be anonymized and encrypted.

If you choose to stop the study, you will be presented with the following message: “Thank you for your participation to date. We’re sorry to see you go, but we understand and respect your choice.

You are invited to complete a final questionnaire, which is optional. Please note that all data you have previously entered can not be deleted because it has already been anonymized and encrypted.”

What if I have questions about the study?

If you have any general questions about the study, please contact the Beckley Foundation at microdosingstudy@beckleyfoundation.org. If you have questions about the Quantified Citizen app, please email studies@quantifiedcitizen.com. If you ask a question, we will be able to view your email address. However, your email address will not be linked to your data in any way. If you have concerns about your privacy and wish to ask a question, please create an anonymous email address at protonmail.com. This service is free, anonymous, and encrypted.