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Trip Down Memory Lane: Lysergic Acid And Bicycle Day [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 20, 2017 06:51 PM EDT
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Lysergic acid
Lysergic acid caused its creator hallucinations, while riding on his bicycle after experimenting the drug on himself 74 years ago. (Photo : Getty Images / Tim Boyle)

Before 4/20 became a thing, there was a commemoration that happened every Apr. 19 that was known as Bicycle Day. The day had little to do with the mode of transportation and instead, honors the day Albert Hoffman rode his bicycle while under the influence of lysergic acid some 74 years ago.

What Is This Drug?

Lysergic acid is a derivative of an ergot fungus, which had been previously used as a migraine medicine. He was first exposed to the synthesized compound when he accidentally touched the tip of his finger to the sample and experienced a dream-like state, where he reportedly felt an intoxicated-like condition. A few days later, he would experiment on himself - taking 250 micrograms of the drug and experienced first-hand how it felt, as he went home on his bicycle, EurekAlert reported.

Effects And Study Results

Researchers from the University of Sussex and the Imperial College London found that as lysergic acid and its hallucinogenic derivative, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) took hold of the neurons in the brain, there was an increase in brain activity. The researchers noted that it appeared that the subjects were experiencing a heightened state of consciousness. The scans supported their findings when they showed that the most affected part of the brain was the region related to perceptions, as the participants felt weird sensations similar to floating and inner peace, The Guardian reported.

After its much maligned usage in the 1960s, when it was used as a hallucinogen for psychedelic trips, lysergic acid is now making its case as a drug treatment for psychiatric ailments. The drug was used as part of therapy and meditation a few decades ago in Switzerland but the status of LSD as an illegal drug stopped that practice.

Microdosing

Now in the US, LSD is making a comeback in the form of microdosing or the intake of the drug in barely detectable levels, that is said to improve mood swings and boost work performance and creativity. It is said to be prevalent in Silicon Valley, where they believe microdosing helps them stay focused and sharpen concentration.

However, authorities caution on the effects of microdosing, as there is no data on how it will affect the body in the long term, not to mention it is still illegal.

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