- Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, and it does not contain information about how to actually perform the experimental procedure of synthesis of LSD or any drug, which should NOT be attempted at home.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, and colloquially called acid is a psychedelic drug which was first synthesized on November 16th, 1938 by a chemist called Albert Hofmann . LSD was discovered in Switzerland, but it was not until 1943 that the special properties of the compound were found. You probably knew this, but also you probably don’t know much more about its discovery and synthesis. That’s what we are going to fix in this article, it is a very interesting story and of course a very remarkable synthesis! Keep reading:
When it was discovered by Sandoz Laboratories, its purpose was supposed to be to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant, preparing and investigating organic compounds obtained from the fungus ergot and the medicinal plant squill.
LSD is well known for its psychological effects, which can give rise to closed and open eye visual hallucinations, alter the thinking process and the sense of time or, in a nutshell, induce abnormal psychic states, but as we have already told, all of these properties were found no less than five years after its discovery, by the same guy who first synthetized it, Albert Hofmann. He was the first person to ingest and experiment the effects of the drug. The Telegraph newspaper placed him on the first position in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses . The discovery of its properties was a bit of a coincidence, since the Swiss chemistry accidentally absorbed a very small amount of the compound (the threshold dose is only about 20 micrograms) through his fingertips, finding the psychoactive effects by himself. He also described how he was felling: