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Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (lsd)

Essay by   •  December 24, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,222 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,054 Views

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Born in Basel, Switzerland, which is now Novartis, on January 11, 1906 and still lives today. He attended the University of Zurich and studied the chemistry of plants and animals. He later did research on the chemical structure of the common animal substance chitin, for which he earned his doctorate. Known as the father of LSD, it is Dr. Albert Hofmann the creator of LSD, the discovery of the two substances, psilocybine (tetraphosphoryloxy dimethyltryptamine) and psilocine (tetrahydroxyl dimethyltryptamine) isolated from Psilocybe mexicana also know as the "magic mushroom" and the discovery of the active principles of the ololiuqui seed This paper will out line his life after college and a small portion of his extensive research

After college Dr. Hofmann joined the pharmaceutical-chemical department of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel and studied the medicinal plants, squill and ergot for a part a program to purify and synthesize active constituents for use as pharmaceuticals.

During his research of ergot, he found the central shared component of ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid. From this he synthesized LSD-25 in 1938. It had been about five years later when Hoffman was repeating the synthesizing of the almost forgotten substance when he got only a few micrograms of the substance on his fingers and rubbed his eyes and got it in his conjunctival sacs, and thus discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) a very very powerful drug. At first Hofmann had no idea what had caused this feeling. He first suspected that it had been something that had been in the laboratory and he was correct but he did not know exactly what it was his first suspicion was that it was caused by the solvent that he had used at the end of the experiment, dichlorethylene, something like chloroform, so he tried the solvent and nothing happened. Then he turned to the substance itself. Being cautious he tried 250 micrograms, which is a very low dosage, and expected no affect, but he was wrong. With the substance being so active he actually took a very high dosage. He explained the effects in this quote "Everything in my surroundings changed - the colors, the forms, and also the feeling of my ego had changed. It was very strange!" He then thought he had taken too much and asked an assistant to go home with him on theirs bikes. He then explains the bike ride home "During this trip home on the bicycle - it was about four kilometers - I had the feeling that I could not move from the spot. I was cycling, cycling, but the time seemed to stand still". After the "trip" Hoffman knew that the drug would be of some importance in psychiatry, but he never thought that it would be used just for pleasure. Hofmann then had to prove the effects of the substance to the head of the Chemical Department, Professor Stoll, and the head of the Pharmacology Department, Professor Rothlin, so he ran an experiment on two of Rothlin's assistant. After the experiment he sent a few samples to Dr. Stoll, who later studied the use of LSD in clinical cases. He outlined almost all of the uses that LSD could have had in Psychiatry and wrote a paper describing how LSD could be used as an adjunct to psychoanalysis and a therapeutic tool to deepen psychotherapy. The first ten years had had a positive reaction and everything was ok. Then in the early 1960's LSD became a drug of abuse. People then began to use the drug recklessly and all kinds of things began to happen. LSD then went from Hofmann's "Wonder child" to his "Problem Child".

After the "Problem Child" Hofmann became aware mushrooms that were used in a ritual way by the Indians and seemed to produce an LSD-like effect. After Hoffman's success with LSD the mushrooms were attracted to his lab. To test the mushrooms he used animals and recorded no effects and the labs pharmacologist thought that they had the wrong mushrooms, so Hofmann decided to make a self-experiment. He took exactly 2.4 grams of the mushrooms and had an exact replica of the LSD experiment. After his experiment he began to isolate the active principles of the mushrooms. He took about five or six steps and came with a very small quantity of a substance and then used a paper chromatogram

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