Psych Lounge

Capturing the science of the mind

Bicycle Day and the Roots of Psychedemia

Photo: Stefan PangritzThe Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) will be holding its 2nd Psychedelic Science conference this week featuring more than 100 researchers from 13 countries. Research for medical uses of LSD is known as "psychedemia." So how did it all begin?

Seventy years ago this week, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally ingested a compound he was working on and described the next two hours as "an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors." Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was the substance, derived from the ergot fungi that grow on rye plants.

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