Image Credit: Gdabs
83 years ago today, in 1938, a Swiss chemist by the name of Albert Hofmann first synthesised the psychedelic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, or Acid.
Five years later, on April 19 1943, Mr Hofmann became the first human to ingest the drug (250 micrograms) accidently and the first to ever experience an acid trip.
April 19 has become known across the globe as “Bicycle Day” amongst psychedelic enthusiasts. Because Mr Hofmann spent his first acid trip riding his bicycle around the town he lived in.
LSD was popularized in the 60’s by prominent individuals such as psychologist Timothy Leary, who famously coined the phrase:
Since then LSD has firmly planted itself as a part of contemporary popular culture.
However, the known history of the drug’s recreational uses is just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to LSD’s more alternative, multifaceted and conspiratorial medical history.
This history is a must know when attempting to understand the power of this psychedelic drug.
A Short History
During the late 40’s and throughout the 50’s, LSD began to be used by psychiatrists to help treat alcoholism, as well as anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer, before being outlawed in the United States in 1968.
The new drug proved to be a breakthrough, with some patients recalling the experience as being a spiritual awakening, like meeting god and something which saved their lives.
The drug was also used by the CIA in their 1953 experimental mind control program, MK Ultra.
Historically significant figures like the recently deceased cult leader Charles Manson and Lee Harvey Oswald killer Jack Ruby were theorised to be made part of the top secret government experiments.
Coincidentally, both the drug LSD and one of the more famous and revered psychedelic advocates share the same birthday.
Famous psychonaut, ethnobotanist and advocate for the responsible use of LSD, Terence McKenna, was also born on the 16th of November.
Terence famously described the LSD experience as more “Psychoanalytical” than “Psychedelic”, during one of his long lecture tours in 1999, the year before his death.
Research into the effects of psychedelics on the medicinal effects of the mind and body and increasing deregulation surrounding particular drugs has sparked what some are calling the new psychedelic renaissance.
As society seeks to find alternative treatments to depression, anxiety, psychosis and post-traumatic-stress-disorder, or PTSD, LSD alongside DMT, Psilocybin, Mescaline, MDMA and Peyote have all been pushed to the front of scientific debate once again.
On CONTX Media’s recent NAKED AND FURIOUS podcast, founder Zac Whelan sat down with Dr Stephen Bright to discuss new research being conducted in Australia on medicinal uses for psychedelics.