The Age of Alchemy

in Culture

Bicycle Day falls on 420 eve each year on April 19 to commemorate the pivotal 1943 discovery of the effects of the most potent hallucinogen known to humankind—lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann is the first person on record to trip on LSD, and the first scientist to note its profound effects on the mind. Hofmann eventually put together lab notes, documents and other data to publish LSD – My Problem Child in 1980. In it, he recorded the discoveries of LSD in great detail—providing some fascinating insight into a beautiful accident that eventually transformed culture as we know it. Other books Hofmann co-authored include Plants of the Gods and LSD and the Divine Scientist, which includes personal insights previously only known to his family.

The Albert Hofmann Foundation is kept online as a historical artifact, being hosted and managed by Erowid Center. The Foundation “has not been active in the last decade,” a representative from Erowid Center told High Times. Erowid Center, however, stores a database of LSD information, complete with user-provided photos of the chemical in many forms.

Originally, LSD was available from researchers as a tablet, but today, LSD is found in tiny stamps of blotter paper, geltabs, microdots or in liquid form. Its mystical effects on the mind are difficult to explain to someone else.

“Albert Hofmann himself was a mystic,” Founder and CEO of Third Wave, Paul F. Austin told High Times. “So, he had that first Bicycle Day experience in 1943, but it wasn’t just that first experience—he continued to work with it and gave it to close colleagues at his research institute. What they experienced, over the next four to five years, in 1943-1948, was significant in terms of the breakthroughs that they had.” Twenty years later, Hofmann’s focus shifted to psilocybin …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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