What Was the First Psychedelic Drug?
Psychedelics are potent substances that alter perception, mood, and cognitive processes in various ways. Used throughout history by different cultures for spiritual reasons, entheogens connect us to divine forces within ourselves. How to buy psychedelics online.
In the 1960s, LSD and other drugs became associated with counterculture and antiwar activism. But after the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970, research on these substances virtually stopped altogether.
Mescaline is a natural alkaloid found in peyote and San Pedro cacti that produce stunning visual hallucinations dating back millennia. Mescaline became increasingly popular during the mid-20th century thanks to influential writers such as Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, and Carlos Castaneda, who wrote extensively about their experiences with peyote in several books they authored about it.
Mescaline can offer incredible opportunities for self-discovery and enlightenment. Still, its effects can often include unpleasant side effects like nausea and vomiting, making its use unpredictable – producing either elation, paranoia, elaborate visions, or none.
Researchers were transfixed by mescaline’s complex pharmacological effects, making it a popular drug among artists and philosophers such as British surrealist painter Julian Trevelyan and French writer Jean-Paul Sartre. Additionally, psychiatrists tried using mescaline to treat schizophrenia; unfortunately, it failed; eventually, it was replaced by LSD, which offered more reliable effects with minimal side effects.
Albert Hofmann was the first to synthesize LSD at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, in 1938 while being evaluated as a blood stimulant. He accidentally overdosed on LSD and experienced its hallucinogenic properties; these began around 30 minutes after oral taking and could last 12 hours or longer.
Timothy Leary popularized LSD during his academic lectures to encourage American students to ‘turn on and tune in,’ starting a counterculture movement that spread across both America and Europe. Other popular psychedelics included mescaline and magic mushrooms.
LSD recreational use declined between the 1970s and ’80s and has seen an increased revival. Now classified as a Schedule I substance – meaning it possesses the highest potential for abuse – researchers are exploring its therapeutic value, particularly as an aid for treating addiction or depression; furthermore, it may even help treat patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers began experimenting with psilocybin and LSD in the 1950s, leading Life magazine to coin the phrase “magic mushrooms” as an epithet in 1957. Unfortunately, their efforts stopped with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, which banned research into hallucinogenic drugs in 1970.
Scientists are renewing their investigation of powerful drugs to pinpoint those areas of the brain affected by psychedelics and discover how they affect our behavior and specific issues, like depression, drug addiction, or death acceptance.
They are also investigating ways to lessen the sometimes painful and disorienting side effects of psychedelics, including making them easier for users by using smaller doses over a shorter duration and decreasing the time spent taking them. They plan to conduct double-masked, placebo-controlled studies – considered medical research’s gold standard – to build greater trust that results apply across a broader group of people.
Based on fMRI studies, psychedelics are widely believed to disorganize brain activity. This allows higher-level functions like self-reflection and metacognition to take place more readily; furthermore, they create a feeling of connection with others and one’s surroundings; additionally, they can lead to altered states of consciousness associated with spirituality or personal growth.
In 1912, a German chemist synthesized MDMA, patented by Merck Pharmaceutical in 1914. It was eventually used in human research until the 1950s when the U.S. Army and CIA started employing it for experiments as part of their MK-Ultra program.
Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs indicates that MDMA can increase patient openness during psychotherapy sessions, which is particularly effective for treating those who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, it promotes deep bonds between therapist and patient that may prove integral for effective therapy outcomes. This research study can be found here.