Bicycle Day – Everything You Need to Know About This Psychedelic Holiday
Bicycle Day – Everything You Need to Know About This Psychedelic Holiday
Every April 19th, psychonauts around the world celebrate Bicycle Day. This holiday commemorates the day in 1943 when Dr. Albert Hofmann first took LSD with the intention of experimenting with the drug.
But what exactly is Bicycle Day, and who is Dr. Albert Hofmann? Why does this holiday have so much significance? We’ll break this down and more in this quick history lesson in psychedelic history.
Who is Dr. Albert Hofman?
Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, is well known for being the first person to manufacture, ingest, and learn about the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethyl amide. He was born on January 11th, 1906. (also known as LSD). Hofmann was also the first to isolate, synthesize, and label the psychoactive mushroom chemicals psilocybin and psilocin.
Hofmann began his chemistry degree at the University of Zürich when he was 20 years old, and completed it three years later, in 1929. Albert’s godfather paid for his schooling because of his father’s limited salary. Hofmann’s major focus was plant and animal chemistry, and he went on to do important research on the molecular structure of the common animal component chitin, for which he was awarded a doctorate with honors in 1929. Hofmann produced over 100 scientific papers and many books.
Hofmann began working in the pharmaceutical/chemical department of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, where he worked with professor Arthur Stoll, the pharmaceutical department’s founder and director. As part of a mission to purify and synthesize active ingredients for use as medications, he began investigating the medicinal plant Drimia maritima and the fungus ergot. His key contribution was to deduce the chemical structure of the Scilla glycosides’ shared nucleus (an active principal of Mediterranean squill).
Hofmann initially synthesized LSD on November 16, 1938, while exploring lysergic acid derivatives. By attaching this functional group to lysergic acid, the major goal of the synthesis was to acquire a respiratory and circulatory stimulant (or analeptic) with no effects on the uterus, similar to nikethamide. It was put away for five years, until Hofmann decided to revisit it on April 16th, 1943. He accidentally absorbed a little bit of LSD via his fingertips while re-synthesizing it and found its strong effects.
Hofmann purposefully swallowed 250 micrograms of LSD three days later, on April 19, 1943. However, he said that individuals around him looked to become demons, that furniture morphed into horrible animals, and that he felt demonically possessed. Because he began to experience the affects of the drug while riding his bike home, this day has become known as “Bicycle Day.” This was my first time taking LSD on purpose. Hofmann continued to consume LSD in modest amounts for the rest of his life, hoping to discover a use for it. He referred to it as a “holy substance” in his memoir.
What is Bicycle Day?
Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist, dropped acid and rode his bicycle home on April 19th, 1943. Hofmann initially synthesized LSD in 1938 while working in the pharmaceutical section of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel. He was attempting to build a stimulant to treat respiratory and circulatory disorders. He had no clue the substance had psychedelic properties, and tests on sedated animals gave no observable results, so he put it away.
Hofmann wanted to revisit his invention five years later. He made another batch of LSD on April 16th, 1943. He got into “a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, marked by a highly active imagination” after accidently absorbing a small quantity into his skin this time. He decided to test the compound’s effects on himself with a deliberate dosage, and around 4:20 p.m. on April 19th, he swallowed 250 micrograms of the chemical. He quickly realized the trip would be exhausting and requested his aide to accompany him home. Due to wartime limitations, vehicles were not permitted on Basel’s streets, thus residents had to rely on bicycles, which is why April 19th is today known worldwide as Bicycle Day.
Hofmann was dubbed the scientist-godfather of psychedelics after that famed dizzying experience, a phrase invented by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond based on the Greek terms for “mind-revealing.” Hofmann felt that, when taken appropriately, psychedelics may enhance the inborn faculty of visionary experience that we all have as children but lose as we grow older, according to journalist John Horgan of Scientific American.
In a book about his contributions to psychedelic chemistry, Hofmann called LSD his “problem child.” He was also a pioneer in the field of magic mushrooms, being the first to isolate, synthesize, and label the hallucinogenic chemicals psilocybin and psilocin. He told Horgan about a psilocybin trip he’d undergone that concluded with him in a deserted village deep down. Hofmann stated, “Nobody was there. I had the feeling of absolute loneliness, an absolute loneliness. A terrible awful feeling!” Hofmann was overjoyed when he returned to this plane and saw his friends again. “I had a strange feeling of being reborn! To see again now! And see what wonderful life we have here!”
[Quote sources: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/5724.Albert_Hofmann]
Why is Bicycle Day So Significant?
The commemoration of lysergic acid diethylamide is likely always going to be known as Bicycle Day (LSD). It honors the finding that tiny dosages of LSD (and later psychoactive drugs) may cause major alterations in consciousness. As a result, it is one of the most significant advances in the history of employing the chemical as a psychiatric aid, both recreationally and in other contexts.
As a result, fans of all ages, as well as folks seeking another cause to add a little color to their life – although in a more safer context — celebrate the day in a variety of psychedelic societies. Bicycle Day is a worthy celebration that may be appreciated by anyone, given the importance of scientific discovery, not least its indirect influence on later discoveries.
LSD was the focus of considerable medical research during the 1950s after Hofmann’s discovery, although it is perhaps best known for its usage as a recreational drug. Although LSD has long been a popular drug among psychedelic circles, popping a few pills is definitely not the best way to celebrate Bicycle Day. Instead, people are taught to reproduce the psychedelic experience without using drugs. In most countries, LSD is still illegal, while there are notable exceptions in different areas and countries.
Bicycle Day may be a lot of fun if it is done safely. Even better, there’s no big relapse, allowing for a quick return to normalcy.
The hallucinogenic substance LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic compound. The drug is commonly used for recreational purposes, but it is increasingly being investigated for its medicinal potential.
LSD appears as thin, odourless white crystals in its purest form. However, because of the tiny therapeutic dosage, it is usually heavily diluted before being applied on gelatin squares or small paper blotting sheets, which are then dissolved or ingested.
In the 1930s, attempts were made to replicate physiologically active components of the fungus ergot. Chemist Albert Hoffman’s 25th attempt developed a substance that induced test animals to get stimulated by randomly mixing the pathogen’s lysergic acid’nucleus’ chemical with other chemical groups.
Years later, as a result of his tests, Hoffman became the first human to experience the hallucinogenic effects of LSD while testing it on himself.
LSD appears to attach to receptors in the brain that would ordinarily respond to neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in pleasant experiences. The chemical’s particular receptors and reactions also play important roles in mood regulation, sensation of connection, and sensory experiences.
LSD has a wide spectrum of psychological and physiological consequences due to its affect on the brain and peripheral nervous system as a psychedelic chemical.
Lower dosages may cause alterations in visual perception similar to those seen with optical illusions, a skewed sense of time, and a heightened sensation of pleasure and excitement, depending on the individual’s physiology. Many people also have trouble controlling their temperature and have disturbed bowels. These effects usually appear within an hour after dose and can persist for up to 15 hours.
Higher dosages have been linked to an increase in visual hallucinations, a change in one’s sense of self and connection to people and their environment, and an increased chance of significant side effects such heart palpitations and muscular tremors.
Extremely high dosages don’t appear to have the same overdose mortality risks as many other medications, yet they don’t appear to be pleasant experiences based on the few cases that have been documented.
Extremely small’microdoses,’ on the other hand, are being investigated for their possible involvement in affecting feelings and behaviors on a more delicate level that is difficult to detect. Early results show that enhanced attention, lower pain perception, and overall improved cognitive health are possible outcomes.
Are There Benefits to LSD in Modern Times?
While the dangers of LSD are low in contrast to other recreational drugs, there are major effects that can be dangerous. Most authorities throughout the world consider the hallucinogen to be illegal. Its possession is a misdemeanor in certain nations, while it is a regulated or forbidden substance in others, with fines or even jail time for possession or trafficking.
Doses cannot be guaranteed to be pure or exactly concentrated because they are an uncontrolled chemical. In medical words, the effects of LSD vary greatly from person to person, and even depending on the time and location of usage. A terrible trip is when an event causes worry and negative moods, as well as unpleasant impressions.
Sleep can be particularly difficult during these periods, which can add to tension and weariness. In the worst-case scenario, it might lead to paranoia or panic attacks. Short-term usage might impair sensitivity, necessitating higher dosages to be effective. Long-term heavy usage can increase the likelihood of persistent hallucinations and psychosis.
LSD, on the other hand, might offer a range of mental and other medicinal advantages at modest, controlled dosages. Combinations with other drugs, such as MDMA, may assist to mitigate the negative effects of LSD. LSD has also been shown to synchronize the operations of different parts of the brain, which might help with mental health and conventional therapy.
Microdosing psychedelics has been documented since at least the early 16th century, when a Spanish monk saw Aztecs using tiny dosages of psilocybin, the psychedelic element in so-called magic mushrooms, to treat fevers and rheumatism. Following the discovery of LSD in 1943, psychedelic research became widespread. According to some sources, LSD aided the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, as well as other key scientific achievements. Steve Jobs, the late Apple founder, acknowledged that the chemical had a significant part in his life and accomplishments.
Despite rising evidence that using psychedelics can boost aspects of creativity and cognition, research in the topic has stalled due to regulatory limitations over recreational drug usage concerns. There is little to no statistically significant scientific data to support or refute the use of psychedelics or microdosing for beneficial health effects as of now.
Microdosing LSD is taking little dosages of the drug that do not produce psychedelic effects, drunkenness, or have a major impact on awareness. Psychedelics are usually taken in tiny dosages on a regular basis, such as every few hours or days for a long length of time. When microdosing, there is no predetermined amount of LSD that one should take. However, the dosage is usually one-tenth to one-twentieth of what is used recreationally.
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