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LSD Educational Resources

someone putting drops of LSD onto pills

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was first synthesised in 1938 by Albert Hoffman at the Sandoz AG Pharmaceutical Company in Basel, Switzerland LSD was the 25th lysergic acid derivative developed by Hoffman during a discovery project for pharmacologically active derivatives of lysergic acid which would act as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant.

LSD became widely used as a recreational psychedelic drug before being banned in the 1960s. This history in popular culture has hindered research into LSD as it is the most recognised and stigmatised of the classical psychedelics. However, investigations into LSD are currently in development at research centers around the globe.

We have collated the most important information relating to the pharmacology, history, and law regarding LSD in the modules below.

History & Current Law

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was first synthesised by Albert Hoffman in 1938 at the Sandoz AG Pharmaceutical Company in Basel, Switzerland, during a discovery project for pharmacologically active derivatives of lysergic acid. 11 years later, the entire chemical structure of LSD was resolved and confirmed, with Sandoz filing for patent in 1943. Over the next 20 years, the wave of psychedelic research was heavily focused on LSD. When the patent expired in the early sixties, recreational use of LSD grew increasingly popular until it was made illegal in the US forcing research and clinical use to end. In this module, you will learn the full timeline of LSD, and how it is classified in current law.


This module takes a deep dive into the neurology and pharmacology that underpins LSD. You will learn how LSD is synthesised, it's key properties, how it operates in the human body, its metabolism, and interactions with the body and brain. We will cover all the important mechanisms by which LSD augments psychedelic and therapeutic affects, including tolerance, safety profile, and risks. We hope that this information supports the revival of LSD research, which has experienced the greatest scientific blackout in history. 

About these modules

The production of these slides was a collaboration between Drug Science and Small Pharma.

Led by an experienced team committed to making a difference for people suffering from mental health conditions, Small Pharma believes that together, as a community, we can help unlock cutting edge science and bring new therapies to treat mental health disorders.

Small Pharma is a virtual biopharmaceutical company on a mission to improve mental health by progressing psychedelic therapies to the clinic. At Small Pharma, they have identified the field of psychedelic medicine as an exciting and unexplored area of drug discovery, with the ability to completely transform our understanding and approach to mental health. As compounds neglected by risk averse traditional pharma, the Small Pharma team are passionate about becoming the R&D leaders of psychedelic drug discovery and development.

Small Pharma funds clinical trials of DMT and related psychedelic compounds as a tool to augment psychotherapy for the treatment of depression and other mental health conditions. Their current focus is to unlock the exciting potential of DMT therapy as a treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.

These slides are primarily for use in medical education settings but have been carefully designed to ensure that they are accessible for a wide range of people. They will therefore provide a rapid overview for medical students and other healthcare professionals. They are free to use; the aim of both organisations is to optimise dissemination of research into practice, so if these slides are of use to you, please use them.

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