Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Essay by i8cookiemonstrHigh School, 11th gradeA-, September 2009

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“LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, is a synthetic drug that has been abused for its hallucinogenic properties since the 1960s.” ( It is made from lysergic acid, which comes from ergot, a fungus that typically lives on rye. It was first synthesized on November 16, 1938, by a Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hofmann. The study was part of a large research program searching for medical uses from ergot derivatives.

Its hallucinogenic properties were not known until 5 years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," gained interest and began to work on this chemical again. “While re-synthesizing LSD-25 for further study, Hofmann became dizzy and was forced to stop work. In his journal, Hofmann wrote that after becoming dizzy he proceeded home and was affected by a ‘remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness‘. Hofmann stated that as he lay in his bed he sank into a pleasant ‘intoxicated like condition’ which was characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.”

( as tablets, capsules, or in liquid form, LSD has been illegally sold on streets since 1960. Because ergot is not readily found in the United States, it is smuggled to LSD producers from Europe, Mexico, Africa, and Costa Rica. The difficulty of obtaining ergot, however, discourages many manufacturers from producing LSD.

LSD is usually found on "blotter" paper (paper torn into small squares). Liquid LSD is a clear liquid which is usually in a small container, tube or flask. LSD can also be found in thin squares of gelatin. Usually LSD is taken orally, however, gelatin and liquid can be put in the eyes for a faster and more intense trip.

LSD has unpredictable health hazards. Like any drug, the greater the amount taken, the worse the effects. The user may...