From Hofmann to the Haight Ashbury, and into the future: the past and potential of lysergic acid diethlyamide

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014 Jan-Mar;46(1):3-10. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2014.873684.


Since the discovery of its psychedelic properties in 1943, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) has been explored by psychiatric/therapeutic researchers, military/intelligence agencies, and a significant portion of the general population. Promising early research was halted by LSD's placement as a Schedule I drug in the early 1970s. The U.S. Army and CIA dropped their research after finding it unreliable for their purposes. NSDUH estimates that more than 22 million (9.1% of the population) have used LSD at least once in their lives. Recently, researchers have been investigating the therapeutic use of LSD and other psychedelics for end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, and addiction treatment. Adverse psychedelic reactions can be managed using talkdown techniques developed and in use since the 1960s.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research* / history
  • Biomedical Research* / trends
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / psychology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / therapy
  • Forecasting
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects
  • Hallucinogens / history
  • Hallucinogens / therapeutic use*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / adverse effects
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / history
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / therapeutic use*
  • Psychological Warfare
  • San Francisco
  • Substance-Related Disorders


  • Hallucinogens
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide