November 16, 1938: LSD First Synthesized

On this day in 1938, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in Basel, Switzerland. Both the medical and illegal drug communities have had a bizarre relationship with LSD ever since.

Liquid LSD BottleOn this day in 1938, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in Basel, Switzerland. Both the medical and illegal drug communities have had a bizarre relationship with LSD ever since.

Short for lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD was synthesized by Hofmann as part of a large research effort to determine the medical benefits of the chemical compound family known as ergot alkaloids. Hofmann accidentally ingested LSD five years later and learned of its hallucinogenic effects and psychedelic benefits. In the years that followed, LSD was released on the market as a psychiatric drug, used in CIA experiments and embraced by psychologist Timothy Leary and thousands of other individuals.

LSD was outlawed in the United States in 1968, but exploration of its effects continued until the early 1990s. In recent years, the international medical community has determined that the potential of LSD is too great to ignore and studies on the drug are beginning to pick up all over the world again.

Note: I thought “Breaking Bad” was an amazing, but if the drug of choice had been LSD instead of meth, the show would have been even more complex. 

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