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Hallucinogens. by MacKenzie Donnelly, Lisa Martino, and Evan Hughes. Hallucinogens. Substances whose primary effect is to cause perceptual and cognitive distortions without producing a state of toxic delirium Most are synthesized by plants or have plant derived compounds

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by MacKenzie Donnelly, Lisa Martino, and Evan Hughes


  • Substances whose primary effect is to cause perceptual and cognitive distortions without producing a state of toxic delirium

    • Most are synthesized by plants or have plant derived compounds

  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), mescaline, psilcybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and 5-methoxy-dimethyl-tryptamine (5-MeO-DMT)

  • These drugs are called psychedelic by recreational users


  • found the crown of the peyote cactus

    • mescal button or peyote button

      • administered per os, chewed or cooked

    • The powder can also be extracted

  • found in Southwest United States and northern Mexico

    • used for religious reasons by Native Americans

  • mainstreamed in 1953

  • not readily available because of high costs and lack of want


  • psilocybin is the main compound found in hallucinogec mushrooms

    • adminstered mainly per os

  • psilocybin is converted to psilocin after ingested

  • use of psilocybin goes back to 3500 B.C.

Dmt and 5 meo dmt
DMT and 5-MeO-DMT

  • both are found in plants in South America

    • ayahuasca

      • drink with two different hallucinogenic plants in it

    • sold in powder form nad smoked

    • taken orally

The discovery of lsd
The Discovery of LSD

  • First synthesized in 1938 by Albert Hofmann in Switzerland.

  • Extracted from ergot

    • Alkaloid

    • Produced by the fungus Claviceps purpurea

  • Effects of ergot

    • The toxicity causes ergotism; common in the Middle Ages and caused the deaths of 40,000 people in 944AD.

    • Produces contractions of the uterus.

Discovery of lsd cont
Discovery of LSD cont.

  • Hofmann took lysergic acid from ergot alkaloids and combined it with other compounds.

    • 25th synthesized substance was d-lysergic acid diethylamide

      • LSD-25

  • LSD-25

    • Initially thought to be an analeptic.

    • Upon reexamining the drug Hofmann underwent the world's first known LSD trip.

      • Restlessness, dizziness, extremely stimulated imagination, dream-like state.

Discovery of lsd cont1
Discovery of LSD cont.

  • Hofmann later injested a small amount of synthesized LSD

    • Even more severe symptoms than the first time.

  • Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company

    • Marketed LSD in 1947 as Delysid

      • Helped neurotic patients uncover repressed thoughts/feelings.


  • PerOs

  • Large amounts of the drug are dissolved in water

    • Droplets of this water are applied to a blotter

    • Blotters are divided into squares

Uses of lsd
Uses of LSD

  • Psycholytic Therapy

    • Patient underwent drug induced psycholysis.

    • LSD first administered at low doses then dose is increased to promote the release of repressed memories and feelings.

  • Psychedelic Therapy

    • Patient given one high dose of LSD

    • Promoted insight into patient's problems via a drug-induced spiritual experience.

  • Psychological Weapon

    • United States CIA ULTA

      • Studied LSD as a mind control agent.

Uses of lsd cont
Uses of LSD cont.

  • Recreational use

    • Hallucinations

    • Altered Sensory Perception

      • Synesthesia: combination/blending of senses

        • See smells, hear colors, etc.

  • Adverse Effects

    • Tremors

    • Increased Heart Rate/Blood Pressure

    • Neusea

    • Sweating

    • Dry Mouth

    • Numbness

Restrictions to lsd
Restrictions to LSD

  • 1965: Federal Law restricted research on LSD

    • Sandoz stopped distributing LSD for research purposes.

  • 1967: LSD Banned Nationwide

  • Now

    • Research has started back up

      • MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) promotes research on potential psychotherapeutic applications of hallucinogens.

Psychopharmacology of hallucinogens
Psychopharmacology of Hallucinogens

(insert table 14.1 on page 352)

  • Depending on dose LSD and Mescaline effects begin within 30-90 minutes, and last between 6-12 hours, were as psilocybin dissipates sooner.

  • DMT effects within seconds, and only lasts for an hour. Peaks between 5-20 minutes.

Lsd responses
LSD Responses

  • "Trips" (state of intoxication) has 4 main parts

    • Onset: begins 30 minutes after taking drug. Colors intensify, patterns occur when eyes closed

    • Plateau: next 2 hours, time slows, more intense sensations

    • Peak:lasts for 2-3 hours. In another world with no time. Images appear; either good or bad trip.

    • Come-Down: 2-3 hours, user comes out of the hallucinogenic state, though it may take a day to feel normal.

Structure of hallucinogenic drugs
Structure of Hallucinogenic Drugs

  • These drugs either have a serotonin-like, (indoleamine) or catecholamine-like structure.

  • Indoleamines

    • LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT

  • Similar to Serotonin structures

  • Catecholamines

    • Mescaline

    • Similar to NE, and amphetamine

Lsd receptor sites
LSD receptor sites

  • LSD antagonizes the action of Serotonin however they are 5-HT(subscripted 2)

  • LSD binds to 8 different receptor subtypes, but only 5-HT(subscript 2A, and 2C) are the key receptor site for hallucinogens.

  • No other NT is used to cause the hallucinations

  • Complete tolerance can occur in 4 days, however there is an unknown complex system to gain this tolerance