It is 116 years since the birth of Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD

The January 11 in 1906 the renowned scientist was born Albert hofmann in Baden, Switzerland, noted for his original and unprecedented work with chitin, the synthesis of which led him to discover lysergic acid and to experiment with its effects.

Hofmann completed his studies and doctorate in Zurich, where he began working with the chitin degradation. This substance is found in the composition of the shells, wings and claws of insects, crustaceans and other animals.

In 1929, Hofmann began working in the chemical-pharmaceutical department of Sandoz laboratories, now Novartis. The decision to practice their profession there was based on the desire to operate with natural products, unlike most of these establishments.

In 1938 managed to synthesize chitin, being the first person to do so in history. Years later, he began experimenting with this compound to lead to a new concentrate called LSD.25.

The discovery of the psychotropic effects occurred while purifying and crystallizing LSD-25. By touching the substance he was able to perceive a series of atypical sensations. In his notes he described the effect of this drug as dizziness, non-unpleasant intoxication, overstimulated imagination. He wrote the visualization of fantastic drawings, shapes with kaleidoscopic dynamics.

Three days later Hofmann decided to consume 250 micrograms of LSD, which led to experiencing effects of a greater degree. On this occasion, he felt great difficulty speaking and required that they accompany him home to arrive safely.

That day he was able to perceive a remarkable distortion of your sight. He observed wavy shapes in any object that caught his attention. Hofmann did not understand what was happening and those who accompanied him described the moment as worrying. He was assisted by a doctor who was able to verify that he did not suffer any complications in his health.

Hofmann continued his studies with LSD between 1950 and 1960 in different university departments of Psychology, among which was the University of Berkeley, where he worked alongside Timothy Leary until the government banned LSD.

Hofmann continued his studies of natural derivatives at Sandoz, ventured into new elements for the discovery of hallucinogenic substances and worked with Mexican mushrooms and plants used by the Mexica and Mayans, until in 1958 managed to synthesize psilocybin.

Hofmann also showed interest in Rivea corymbosa, whose seeds have a psychoactive structure similar to LSD, called D-lysergic acid amide (LSA).

After the discovery of LSD, Hofmann used this substance hundreds of times and called this event the best thing he had done in his life. However, in his studies he stressed the importance of respect for this powerful asset, since misuse could be dangerous.

Hofmann passed away in Basel on April 29, 2008. He was appointed to the Nobel Prize Committee, the World Academy of Sciences, the International Society of Plant Research, and the American Society of Pharmacognosy. The British newspaper The Telegraph awarded him the first place in the ranking of the 100 greatest living geniuses of 2007.

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It is 116 years since the birth of Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD