CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital recently launched its first psychedelic clinical trial using LSD to treat anxiety disorders, the most common psychiatric disorders in the U.S.

The efficacy, durability, and safety of LSD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder is the focus of the dose-finding study for patients who have not benefited from prescribed medications.

Patients would be monitored for 12 hours while dosed in the double-blind, randomized, clinical trial sponsored by Mind Medicine Inc. An anxiety assessment is scheduled after four weeks of participation.

“Eventually, one day down the line, we’re looking to see if LSD could be approved by the FDA as a treatment for anxiety,” said Dr. Brian Barnett, co-director of the Treatment Resistant Depression Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic.

The trial is currently enrolling patients, to the excitement of those beyond Ohio’s border hopeful for positive results.

“I’ve used psychedelic plant medicine to help me grow spiritually and emotionally,” said Julie Barron, president of the Michigan Psychedelic Society. “I’m all for it. I’ve personally used it. I’ve seen improvement. I would use it again.”

Barnett reports this psychedelic study is one of two in the state currently underway. Ohio State University is also researching the benefits of psychedelic use. The university is examining the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s this combination of this spiritual and insight experience that seems to be related to the improvement that people are experiencing in the days and weeks and months after these treatments,” said Alan Davis, the director of the Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education at OSU. “People are talking about how these new realizations and insights have helped them make different choices in their life.”

Psychedelic treatments have a complicated history.

“A lot of baggage tied to it historically,” said Barnett. “A lot has changed in the last 50 years since it became illegal, but in the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used as a treatment for a variety of psychiatric conditions and addictions and there were very promising data … and now we’re picking up that work.”

Some patients will receive higher doses of LSD than others and some will get a placebo. Barnett said a “full-on psychedelic experience” can vary from patient to patient. Some have previously reported a profound religious or spiritual presence while dosed.

“Patients can experience changes in their perception, changes in their mood. Memories can come up that might have special meaning for them,” he said.

Depending on its results, the study could establish a game-changing framework for the psychedelic treatment of anxiety disorders.

“Might present an opportunity to get treatment more episodically,” said Barnett. “Maybe a couple of times a year because results of other psychedelic trials have shown sustained benefits.”

To sign up to participate in the trial, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website.