Tag Archives | LSD

The LSD Revelations Of The Advanced Study Foundation

Could LSD push the brains of our brightest scientists and thinkers to a higher level? The Morning News on the government funded institute which, right before it was shut down, demonstrated just this:

It was the summer of ’66. At the International Foundation for Advanced Study, an inconspicuously named facility dedicated to psychedelic drug research, an architect and three senior scientists donned eyeshades and earphones, sank into comfy couches, and waited for their government-approved dose of LSD to kick in.

The couched volunteers had each brought along three highly technical problems from their respective fields that they’d been unable to solve for months. In two hours, when the LSD became fully active, they were going to remove the eyeshades and earphones, and attempt to find some solutions…Over the course of the preceding year, IFAS researchers had dosed a total of 22 other men for the creativity study.

Here’s the clincher. The LSD absolutely…helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems.

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Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?

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Illustration: Dizzy thorns (CC)

So what do you think, psychonauts? Pretty interesting article from Adam Halberstadt and Mark Geyer in Scientific American:

What would you see if you could look inside a hallucinating brain? Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still lack a clear understanding of how hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline, and psilocybin (the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms) work in the brain. Modern science has demonstrated that hallucinogens activate receptors for serotonin, one of the brain’s key chemical messengers. Specifically, of the 15 different serotonin receptors, the 2A subtype (5-HT2A), seems to be the one that produces profound alterations of thought and perception.

It is uncertain, however, why activation of the 5-HT2A receptor by hallucinogens produces psychedelic effects, but many scientists believe that the effects are linked to increases in brain activity. Although it is not known why this activation would lead to profound alterations of consciousness, one speculation is that an increase in the spontaneous firing of certain types of brain cells leads to altered sensory and perceptual processing, uncontrolled memory retrieval, and the projection of mental “noise” into the mind’s eye…

Read More: Scientific American

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How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death

Psychedelic dingbatsThe return of psychedelics to the medical arsenal seems to be well under way. Lauren Slater writes for the New York Times Magazine about Charles Grob, “a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin — an active component of magic mushrooms — to end-stage cancer patients to see if it could reduce their fear of death”:

…When the research was completed in 2008 — (and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry last year) — the results showed that administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths.

Grob’s interest in the power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer.

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When LSD Was Legal (And Cary Grant Was Tripping)

Albert HofmannIn honor of the latest lysergic episode of MAD MEN, a look back at the time before LSD was outlawed, by Devin Faraci for BadAss Digest:

In the latest episode of Mad Men Roger Sterling, the silver-haired drunkard rascal of SCDP, attends a high society LSD party. For some 21st century viewers this seemed strange – wasn’t LSD a hippie drug? Wasn’t it all about long hairs and weird tribal imagery? Eventually that would be the case, but the early of history of acid – before it became illegal – was filled with trippers who were at the very top of the social order – the richest and most famous people in America.

LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hoffman in Switzerland, but it wasn’t until five years later that anybody knew what it did to you. That’s because it wasn’t until 1943 that Hoffman accidentally took some of the drug and embarked on history’s first acid trip.

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How The CIA Doped San Franciscans With LSD

expanded-cinema-data-garden-24Did the CIA accidentally turn San Francisco into America’s grooviest city? SF Weekly on newly uncovered details on Operation Midnight Climax, one of the absolute strangest slices of U.S. history:

Wayne Ritchie may be among the last of the living victims of MK-ULTRA, a Central Intelligence Agency operation that covertly tested LSD on unwitting Americans in San Francisco and New York City from 1953 to 1964.

There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. Recording devices were installed, some disguised as electrical outlets.

To get the guys in the mood, the walls were adorned with photographs of tortured women in bondage and provocative posters from French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 03

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In this episode of The Disinfocast I interview Peter Bebergal, who went looking for meaning and found ritual magick, punk rock and hallucinogenics instead. I talk with Bebergal about his new memoir Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood, stopping along the way to parse out the difference between magick and mysticism, the mythic power of Marvel Comics and whether or not LSD is a valid tool for enlightenment. Listen to Peter Bebergal's journey on the latest episode of The Disinformation Company's official podcast, The DisinfoCast.
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LSD Gets Another Look As Alcoholism Treatment

LSDScott Hensley reports on NPR:
You might be tempted to chuckle about some Norwegian researchers peering back at experiments done during the '60s and '70s with LSD as a treatment for alcoholism. But don't. Their rigorous analysis, combining data from six different studies, concludes that one dose of the hallucinogenic drug might just help. The past studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (another drug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidence for a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol. For what it's worth, the analysis, just published online by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was funded by the Research Council of Norway, not exactly a fringe outfit ...
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What Jennifer Aniston May Not Know About Ayahuasca

JenniferAnistonHWoFFeb2012It’s the evening of January 25, 2007, and I’m hosting my first Ayahuasca Monologues storytelling event to a packed room at Eyebeam Atelier in New York City. On stage, Breaking Open the Head author Daniel Pinchbeck, who semi-popularized the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca within the spiritual counterculture, brushes aside his disheveled hair, asking in a voice barely audible from laryngitis, “How many of you here have tried ayahuasca?” Out of 220 people, only nine hands lift in the air, and they are mostly the featured storytellers (including myself) that I’ve directed for the show that night.

Cut to February 2012, and the mega-celebrity, Jennifer Aniston, best known for playing perky girl-next-door Rachel in Friends, is tipping a bowl of ayahuasca to her lips in Universal’s newest romantic comedy Wanderlust. In just a few years, the once secret “shamans brew” of the Amazon has snaked its way into the popular consciousness, including the entertainment industry with cameos in the TV shows Weeds and Nip/Tuck and now the movie Wanderlust.… Read the rest

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The LSD Portraits: Marc Franklin Spends 25 Years Photographing ‘Psychedelic Pioneers’

BurroughsRemember the Reagan administration’s “This is your brain on drugs” ads? In response a photographer started a lifelong project of photographing all the living “psychedelic pioneers,” including Timothy Leary, Jerry Garcia, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kesey.

“I thought, ‘You know, that’s such a load of horseshit … I’m going to dismantle that poisonous propaganda lie visually… I’m going to portray these people how they are.” He started with the man who invented LSD — Albert Hoffman — on its 50th anniversary in 1988, and at one point drove over 11,000 miles in just 7 weeks (including a 26-hour drive to drink beer with William S. Burroughs).

He’s interviewed by the former editor of High Frontiers magazine (“the official psychedelic magazine of the 1984 Summer Olympics.)”, and the article includes three of his best photos. (He’s exhibiting them this month in Los Angeles). But the strangest fact of all?

He started his career taking photographs for the annual report of Mobil Oil!… Read the rest

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The Incredible Krystle Cole Trip

Vice presents the wild trip of Krystle Cole as part of its Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia series:
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested...
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