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Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
“Something Strange Happened at the Lab Today”
“Innovation Turned Inebriant”
• Class Poll
• The Science of LSD
• Need/Problem Recognition, Research and Development
• Potential for LSD
• Searching for Commercialization
• Let’s Trip
• Adoption / Diffusion
• How many of you believe that LSD was a
The Science of LSD
• Need to Isolate Medicinal properties of
• LSD is actually an ergot derivative
• Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye
• Ergot had proven useful in childbirthing
Important here to discuss that much of modern medicine has been derived from plants. The reason for this is to obtain the pure form of the
medicinal property in order to eliminate impurities and control dosing during administration to patients.
Since Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye...
It is thought that ergotism (ergot poisoning) may have been
the cause for the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.
Research - 1938
• 25th version of LSD synthesized by Albert
• Laboratory testing concluded after initial
• Dr. Hoffman continued work in the ergot ﬁeld
for 5 years and made many advances
• Couldnʼt shake that LSD-25 was
Research - 1943
• April 16th, Albert Hoffman decides to
produce LSD-25 one more time and...
I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in
the middle of the afternoon and proceed home... 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 perceived an uninterrupted stream
of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense,
kaleidoscopic play of colors.
Albert Hoffman from “LSD : My Prob;lem Child”
What it might have been like...
• August 19, 1943
• First Self-Administered LSD Trip
• Dosage rationalization... 0.25 milligrams!
Important to Note that Dr.Hoffman went about this experiment extremely scientiﬁcally. He used an extremely small dosage. Made other
scientists aware of his efforts. Recorded entries in his journal.
And STILL, Tripped his face off.
A modern day equivalent
of bicycle day?
• Sandoz laboratory attains a patent for LSD-25
and begins producing a quantity for the scientiﬁc
• Animal experimentation
• voluntary (psychotherapy, psychiatry) experiments
• non-voluntary (military, covert societal) experiments
Did you know Cary Grant (yes, that Cary Grant) started LSD psychotherapy in 1958 and was so happy with the results he became an
advocate for the treatment?
• Sandoz laboratories (and the world-wide medical
community) continue to conducts rigorous trials
• Psychological, psychiatric, military studies prove difﬁcult to
• General successes of “Euphoria” conﬂict with occassional
• Some journalists begin to popularize LSD by writing their
voluntary experiment experiences in non-medical journals
The Black Market
• LSD gets out into the wild
• Psychiatric “volunteers” begin popularizing effects
• Becomes #1 recreational drug in US
• Many untrained, unethical uses
• Sandoz Labs inundated with “regulations” requests
play purple haze
The End of
• August 23, 1965 - Sandoz Labs stops
• Information requests became burden on the lab
• Patent expired in 1963... 25 years without long-
term viable commercial product
(The Good Ones)
• Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Grateful Dead,
• Peace, Love and Happiness movement
• Psychedelic Art
• 1960’s counter-culture
Consequences (The bad ones)
• Legislation to prevent misuse hindered medicinal
• Subversive government counter-culture provided
fuel for on-going “War on Drugs”
• Misrepresentation and Stereotypical attitudes
towards “Hippies”, “beatniks”, and “burnouts”
Rachmiel - “Yesterday”
video goes here
Sources and Thanks
• Slide background :
• Question image:
• Ergot and the witch trials -
• Thanks to
• the vaults of Erowid for inspiration and anecdotes as well as clinical information:
• Rick Scott and Rachmiel.org for “Yesterday”
• Albert Hoffman