Quote: Albert Hofmann (January 11, 1906 – April 29, 2008) was a Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize, ingest and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
Hofmann was also the first person to isolate, synthesize and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin.
He authored more than 100 scientific articles and numerous books, including LSD: My Problem Child.
In 2007 he shared first place, alongside Tim Berners Lee, in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses, published by The Telegraph newspaper.
Quote: Though LSD was first synthesized in 1938, it was not until 1943 that the first human LSD trip was recorded. Albert Hofmann, a chemist at Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland, had synthesized several derivatives of ergot, a fungus found on rye, in search of a new stimulant pharmaceutical to induce childbirth. After accidentally absorbing a small amount of his 25th derivative during synthesis, Hofmann noticed some strange effects, and felt:
“… affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”
Three days later, on April 19th 1943, Hofmann decided to intentionally ingest 0.25 milligrams of his LSD-25 to confirm the true effects of the new drug. He believed this tiny amount to be a threshold dose, but soon realized he had underestimated the potency of his discovery. Within an hour, Hofmann was experiencing the radical mental perception shifts of humanity’s first acid trip. Since wartime restrictions prevented the use of motor vehicles, he asked his lab assistant to escort him home by bicycle, and hence the date became known as “bicycle day”. Once home on his couch and assured by his physician that he was not fatally poisoned, Hofmann began to enjoy his “trip”:
“… little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux…”
Quote: LSD was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 from ergotamine, a chemical derived by Arthur Stoll from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye.
The short form "LSD" comes from its early code name LSD-25, which is an abbreviation for the German "Lysergsäure-diethylamid" followed by a sequential number.
LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine, especially in solution, though its potency may last for years if it is stored away from light and moisture at low temperature. In pure form it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless solid.
LSD is typically delivered orally, usually on a substrate such as absorbent blotter paper, a sugar cube, or gelatin. In its liquid form, it can also be administered by intramuscular or intravenous injection. LSD is very potent, with 20–30 µg (micrograms) being the threshold dose.
Hofmann discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD in 1943.
It was introduced commercially in 1947 by Sandoz Laboratories under the trade-name Delysid as a drug with various psychiatric uses and it quickly became a therapeutic agent that appeared to show great promise.
In the 1950s, officials at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) thought the drug might be applicable to mind control and chemical warfare; the agency's MKULTRA research program propagated the drug among young servicemen and students.
The subsequent recreational use of the drug by youth culture in the Western world during the 1960s led to a political firestorm that resulted in its prohibition.
Currently, a number of organizations including the Beckley Foundation, MAPS, Heffter Research Institute and the Albert Hofmann Foundation exist to fund, encourage and coordinate research into the medicinal and spiritual uses of LSD and related psychedelics.
New clinical LSD experiments in humans started in 2009 for the first time in 35 years.
Quote:In recent years, medical and public attention to patients' end-of-life and palliative care has been on the rise. Against that backdrop, the U.S. government has begun to ease its longstanding resistance to the exploration of drugs such as LSD as a means to ease what some have called "existential anxiety."
Research on the therapeutic potential of other drugs known for their popularity on the street -- including the psychoactive agent in psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA, or Ecstasy -- also is getting the federal government's go-ahead. In addition to several studies using MDMA along with psychotherapy for treatment of end-of-life anxiety, the drug is under study -- and has shown promise -- as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
No flashbacks or other prolonged effects were observed, and only six adverse events -- including illusions, emotional distress, and feeling cold or abnormal -- were reported by subjects during their experience, but those were resolved quickly as the drug's effects wore off.
Quote: George Martin released an album of Beatles cover songs in 1998 titled In My Life. The album features a re-recording of "I Am the Walrus" with actor and comedian Jim Carrey providing the vocals and keyboards. As might be expected, Carrey injected some of his own comic flair into the inflection of the lyrics.
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