LSD

May 05, 2014
Image of LSD 3D Image of LSD

LSD is familiar to anyone who remembers the 1960s. It is formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide or lysergide, but during its heyday it was simply called “acid”.

A. Stoll and A. Hofmann synthesized LSD in 1943 from ergotamine, which was derived from the grain fungus ergot. Hofmann also discovered its psychedelic properties, and for a while LSD was investigated as a psychotherapeutic drug. Its binding to serotonin receptors causes its psychedelic effects.

But along came the 1960s and Timothy Leary, who urged young people to take an acid “trip” to “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. The drug became widely abused; and in 1968, the US government made its possession illegal. Since that time, it has had little psychiatric use; but recently research into its uses has increased.

Chemical Abstract Service - a division of ACS

Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.

Molecule of the Week needs your suggestions!

If your favorite molecule is not in our archive, please send an email to motw@acs.org. The molecule can be notable for its current or historical importance or for any quirky reason. Thank you!

Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve

Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.