Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was born in a lab in Basel, Switzerland in 1938. Dr. Albert Hofmann worked at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals when he synthesized LSD while intending to create a blood stimulant. It was several years later that he discovered its hallucinogenic properties. For the next couple of decades, psychiatrists used LSD to study behavioral and personality changes and to treat addiction, depression, and psychosomatic disease. The government took an interest in LSD’s potential as a truth serum, and the CIA performed their own experiments. However, researchers didn’t unlock this psychedelic drug’s full potential before the U.S. government banned its use in the late ‘60s.
Retreating to the underground, LSD — or acid, for short — became a popular drug that left a massive imprint on Western culture. Over the last several years, psychedelic use is surging for its touted wellness benefits. Research is beginning to show that there may be a medicinal component to psychedelics, and scientists, writers, researchers and psychonauts are all chiming in. Explore the following LSD Resources and discover books, movies, studies and more related to LSD.
Reality Sandwich Articles on LSD
Below is a list of articles relating to LSD published in Reality Sandwich since 2010:
- Navy Use of LSD on the Dark Web
- LSD Specialist William Leonard Pickard Released From Prison
- How LSD is Made: Everything You Need to Know
- Having Sex on LSD: What You Need to Know
- Cary Grant: A Hollywood Legend on LSD
- A Drug That Switches off an LSD Trip
- Babies Are High: What Does LSD Do to Your Brain
- Albert Hofmann: LSD — My Problem Child
- Jan Bastiaans Treated Holocaust Survivors With LSD
- What Happens if You Overdose on LSD
- 1P LSD: Effects, Benefits, Safety Explained
- Microdosing LSD & Common Dosage Explained
- LSD Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
- The Man Who Turned on the World: Nick Sand, Orange Sunshine Chemist, Dies at 75
- Queen of Hearts: An Interview with Liz Elliot on Tim Leary and LSD
- LSD and Spiritual Awakening
- LSD, Lilly and Me Floating in a Tank
- Francis Crick, DNA & LSD
- “Now I know why fairy tales are full of jewels.” Anais Nin’s 1955 LSD Trip Report
- LSD as a Spiritual Aid
- LSD and the Evolution of Consciousness
Clinical Trials and Studies
Though LSD was once used to study psychological behaviors, its perfect medical use was never fully discovered. Now, scientists and researchers are taking another look at the science behind this drug. The renewed interest in the potential uses of LSD in pharmacology has many universities and hospitals performing in-depth studies with participants looking to treat depression, reduce alcohol use, and even study LSD’s effects on the experience of listening to music.
University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
The city where LSD was born is still just as interested in the pharmacological benefits of LSD and its effects on the human brain. The University Hospital is currently conducting many trials, including the following:
- LSD Therapy for Persons Suffering From Major Depression (LAD) — This study began in 2019 and is running until 2023. Sixty people have volunteered to participate in this study that will use randomized, double-blind, active-placebo-controlled trials. The measurable outcomes will show whether or not there is a change in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and general psychopathology.
- Direct Comparison of Altered States of Consciousness Induced by LSD and Psilocybin (LSD-psilo) — This study began in 2019 with 30 participants and was estimated to conclude in April 2021. Its purpose is to compare the functionality of LSD and psilocybin when it comes to waking consciousness and brain activity. While the drugs are similar in their effect, this clinical trial aims to study the effects of both substances side by side as pharmacological tools for the field of neuroscience.
John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research
Known as the leading psychedelic research institute in the U.S., the John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research has published over 60 peer-reviewed studies in many scientific journals. Their research focuses on a wide range of psychedelic drugs and their therapeutic uses for several conditions, such as alcoholism and treatment-resistant depression. Some of their articles include:
- Cessation and reduction in alcohol consumption and misuse after psychedelic use — A 2019 study showing how alcohol use decreased in study participants after taking a dose of LSD. This was evidenced by the 83% of participants who no longer showed signs of alcohol use disorder (AUD) after the trials. Furthermore, the participants claimed the experience was significant and insightful.
- LSD enhances the emotional response to music — A study intent on discovering whether or not LSD has the ability to affect the human response to music. Ten volunteers consumed LSD and/or a placebo and listened to multiple tracks of music. The participants who consumed the LSD reported feelings of “wonder,” “transcendence,” “power” and “tenderness.”
This list includes historical books about the creation and use of LSD and personal viewpoints of the culture surrounding LSD, and touches on other psychedelics.
- The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert
- LSD: My problem child by Dr. Albert Hofmann
- Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge by Terence McKenna
- The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
- A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life by Ayelet Waldman
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
- The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
- Summer of ‘69 by Todd Strasser
- Owsley and Me: My LSD Family by Rhoney Gissen Stanley
- Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain
Documentaries and Videos
- Ergot: The Story of a Parasitic Fungus — A 1950s documentary delving into the history of ergot, including its medical and commercial use. This fungus contains lysergic acid, the known precursor to LSD.
- History of the Hallucinogen LSD ACID — Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Films takes an interesting look at the history of LSD, and even highlights how little science understood this drug, bringing to light some of the original propaganda surrounding LSD.
- The Sunshine Makers — The story of Nicholos Sand and Tim Scully, the manufacturers behind Orange Sunshine, one of the most famous kinds of LSD ever made, further fueling the 1960s drug culture.
- Inside LSD — A 2012 National Geographic documentary that dives into new research on LSD and what kind of positive results are being discovered.
- Hofmann’s Potion — A 2012 documentary looking at LSD’s troubled past for medicinal use, while exploring where it could provide a hopeful future for medicine.
- Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics — Netflix released this star-studded 2020 documentary that shares funny, insightful, and sometimes mind-blowing stories about psychedelic use with substances such as LSD.
- The Art of Acid — A documentary exploring The Institute of Illegal Images at Mark McCloud’s home. McCloud holds the world’s largest collection of LSD blotter art.
- The Substance: Albert Hofmann’s LSD — A 2011 documentary that covers LSD, spanning from its inception up to the date of filming. The film explores how perceptions of LSD have evolved, and how ideas about the benefits of LSD have changed over time.
- Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines — A 2013 documentary featuring interviews with researchers, writers and psychologists about the potential medicinal benefits of five powerful psychedelic drugs, including LSD.
- Psychedelics and the History of LSD — A brief video explaining the history of LSD, how it was discovered and initially used, and what it became in the following decades.
Retreats and Integration Therapists
Currently, LSD is illegal in most countries and there are no publicly known LSD-specific retreat centers. However, many resources are available for those who have used LSD and are looking for beneficial integration tools. Among them are the following:
- ERIE: Entheogenic Research, Education, and Integration
- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Psychedelic Integration List
- Zendo Project
For a complete list of psychedelic resources made available by author Michael Pollan, visit his resource guide. Do you have any LSD resources that have been helpful in your journey? Drop a comment below and let us know what to include. Subscribe to the Reality Sandwich newsletter and never miss a bite of psychedelically inspired news.
Disclaimer: LSD is potentially categorized as an illegal drug. Reality Sandwich is not encouraging the use of this drug where prohibited. However, we believe that providing information is imperative for the safety of those who choose to explore such substances. This guide is intended to give educational content and should in no way be viewed as medical recommendations.