Hoffman’s Potion

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Hofmann’s Potion traces D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) from its initial discovery in 1943 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann, through its heyday in the 1960s counterculture, to its present status as a banned or controlled substance in many Western countries. The film offers a sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of the chemists, biochemists, psychiatrists, and psychologists in the 1940s and ’50s who privileged the model of mental illness based on brain chemistry over and above the psychoanalytic model in vogue at that time. Stationed in Canada, the United States, England, and Czechoslovakia, these pioneers made unprecedented advancements in treating various mental illnesses with LSD. Yet despite the rigorous standards the researchers adhered to, their groundbreaking work was choked out by the negative publicity that cropped up around amateurish thrill-seekers on LSD in the 1960s.

Hoffman’s Potion, 9.9 out of 10 based on 18 ratings

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  • isnot work ing

    This link is not working. Can you repair it? Thank you.

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    Animo amigo!!!

    • http://www.documentaryheaven.com Danny

      It seems to be working now.

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  • anurse

    I greatly appreciate this site, I learn everytime I log on. The quality of your selection is great and there is a never ending well of information you bring to us from all corners of the web.

    I took LSD for the last time about 40 years ago. I knew a bit about the history but this is fascinating. I have always regretted that I did not do it, or psilocybin, mescaline or peyote for that matter, in a more spiritual and ‘managed’ way. I did do it in a loving and supportive atmosphere and have always valued the experiences I had with it and with the people with whom I shared those experiences. I would never risk it now, knowing how unlikely it would be to get actual LSD. I might consider psilocybin again but only if I could harvest the mushrooms myself as I did at 17.

    Thank you again.

  • anurse

    I greatly appreciate this site, I learn everytime I log on. The quality of your selection is great and there is a never ending well of information you bring to us from all corners of the web.

    I took LSD for the last time about 40 years ago. I knew a bit about the history but this is fascinating. I have always regretted that I did not do it, or psilocybin, mescaline or peyote for that matter, in a more spiritual and ‘managed’ way. I did do it in a loving and supportive atmosphere and have always valued the experiences I had with it and with the people with whom I shared those experiences. I would never risk it now, knowing how unlikely it would be to get actual LSD. I might consider psilocybin again but only if I could harvest the mushrooms myself as I did at 17.

    Thank you again.

    • neurodr

      It is very rare that you would NOT get “actual LSD”. There are very clear cut, distinguishable signs that separate LSD from ANY other psychedelic or psychoactive. So it is very easy to tell whether you have actual LSD versus another psychoactive.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thedietrich David Dietrich

    I had always heard about LSD before this and was made very curious about it, but I never really knew much about it. This documentary as, essentially, the history of LSD, was very interesting and answered all sorts of unformed questions as a result. However, as is so often the case, it raises as many questions again as it answers. How does it function biochemically? Is it addictive? Is it sustainable or does it fry neurotransmission? On the anthropological side of the coin, how long has it been used? By whom? How? What has been its effect on human history?

    In short, this documentary is a solid start to what could be a lifetime of study into psychoactivity in the history of mankind.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thedietrich David Dietrich

    I had always heard about LSD before this and was made very curious about it, but I never really knew much about it. This documentary as, essentially, the history of LSD, was very interesting and answered all sorts of unformed questions as a result. However, as is so often the case, it raises as many questions again as it answers. How does it function biochemically? Is it addictive? Is it sustainable or does it fry neurotransmission? On the anthropological side of the coin, how long has it been used? By whom? How? What has been its effect on human history?

    In short, this documentary is a solid start to what could be a lifetime of study into psychoactivity in the history of mankind.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thedietrich David Dietrich

    I had always heard about LSD before this and was made very curious about it, but I never really knew much about it. This documentary as, essentially, the history of LSD, was very interesting and answered all sorts of unformed questions as a result. However, as is so often the case, it raises as many questions again as it answers. How does it function biochemically? Is it addictive? Is it sustainable or does it fry neurotransmission? On the anthropological side of the coin, how long has it been used? By whom? How? What has been its effect on human history?

    In short, this documentary is a solid start to what could be a lifetime of study into psychoactivity in the history of mankind.

    • NeuroDr

      Other than extensive distribution through the 5HT-2 serotonin system, exact neurophysiological activity is not well understood (mostly due to the extreme difficulty in performing human studies because the goverment has decided they know better than scientists on what’s worth researching). It is not at all addictive, physically or psychologically, in fact, it has been shown to be quite the opposite. It is non-toxic, does not fry neurons or effect neurotransmission outside during the experience. However, as far as cases involving HPPD (flashbacks), it appears some form of a possible “learned” response has been engrained in the neural pathways which, when similar situations occur as during the experience under LSD, similar responses may occur, hence the flashback. This is my personal theory, not proven in any way, currently being studied by me :) Also, it is proven that LSD is completely removed from the nervous system and body within 48 hours, so flashbacks have nothing to do with presence of the drug in the body.
      Anthropologically, LSD has been used only since it has been discovered in 1943, though natural analogues, such as LSAs and other ergot alkaloids have long histories of use and have been thought to be one of the main ingredients of an elixir used in the Greeks Rite of Eleusis, and also due to its toxic nature (ergot fungus) is believed to be a cause of what was called Saint Anthony’s Fire.
      I think this is long enough to address as briefly and succinctly as possible for you. Hope you learned a bit. Keep learning. Psychedelics are the key to understanding ourselves.

  • Hellacia

    Beautiful substance, great doc.

  • Guillermo 24

    Great footage

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