LSD: My problem child

LSD: My problem child

Jonathan Ott, Albert Hofmann

Language: English

Pages: 99


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Albert Hofmann, who died in 2008 aged 102, first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938, but the results of animal tests were so unremarkable that the chemical was abandoned. Driven by intuition, he synthesized it again in 1943, and serendipitously noticed its profound effects on himself. Although his work produced other important drugs, including methergine, hydergine and dihydroergotamine, it was LSD that shaped his career.

After his discovery of LSD's properties, Hofmann spent years researching sacred plants. He succeeded in isolating and synthesizing the active compounds in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, which he named psilocybin and psilocin. During the 60s, Hofmann struck up friendships with personalities such as Aldous Huxley, Gordon Wasson, and Timothy Leary. He continued to work at Sandoz until 1971 when he retired as Director of Research for the Department of Natural Products. He subsequently served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee, and was nominated by Time magazine as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

In 2007, Albert Hofmann asked Amanda Feilding if she could publish his Problem Child, and shortly before his death he approved a new and updated translation of his autobiography (first published by McGraw Hill in 1979). It appears here for the first time in print.

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given to someone without his or her knowledge. This was demonstrated in an episode that took place soon after the discovery of LSD, during the first investigations with the new substance in the Zurich University Psychiatric Clinic, when people were not yet aware of the danger of such jokes. A young doctor, whose colleagues had slipped LSD into his coffee as a lark, wanted to swim across Lake Zurich during the winter at -20!C (-4!F) and had to be prevented by force. There is a different danger

and saints, but also many more ordinary people than one generally supposes, experience such blessed moments, but that most do not recognize their importance and, instead of regarding them as promising rays of hope, repress them, because they do not fit into everyday rationality. 11. LSD Experience and Reality Was kann ein Mensch im Leben mehr gewinnen Als dass sich Gott-Natur ihm offenbare? What more can a person gain in life Than that God-Nature reveals himself to him? —Goethe I

dosage difficult. But if the active principle is available in pure form, it becomes possible to manufacture a stable pharmaceutical preparation, exactly quantifiable by weight. With this in mind, Professor Stoll had elected to study plant substances of recognized value such as the substances from foxglove (Digitalis), Mediterranean squill (Scilla maritima), and ergot of rye (Claviceps purpurea or Secale cornutum), which, owning to their instability and uncertain dosage, nevertheless, had been

enters on the way beneath the Earth. He knows the end of life as well as its divinely granted beginning.” Cicero, also a famous initiate, likewise put in first position the splendor that fell upon his life from Eleusis, when he said: ” Not only have we received the reason there, that we may live in joy, but also, besides, that we may die with better hope.” How could the mythological representation of such an obvious occurrence, which runs its course annually before our eyes—the seed grain that

L-lysergic acid diethylamide (L-LSD), and L-isolysergic acid diethylamide (L-iso-LSD). The last three forms of LSD showed no psychic effects up to a dose of 0.5 mg, which corresponds to a 20-fold quantity of a still distinctly active LSD dose. A substance very closely related to LSD, the monoethylamide of lysergic acid (LAE-23), in which an ethyl group is replaced by a hydrogen atom on the diethylamide residue of LSD, proved to be some ten times less psychoactive than LSD. The hallucinogenic

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