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Question: why do some fungi make you hallucinate?
Asked by a mum to Hannah on 19 Mar 2020. This question was also asked by a dad.
answered on 19 Mar 2020:
Hello! Some fungi produce psychedelic chemicals or precursors (a chemical that can produce something else) that can turn into a psychedelic form.
Binuraj commented on 19 Mar 2020:
Hi Mum and Dad,
I know this was asked to Hannah. Sorry i am just trying to add a different interesting story onto it (from my background in pharmaceutical chemistry).
Though people noticed the hallucinating properties of mushrooms or Fungi for long time, it was Lysergic acid (or known as LSD) the active hallucinating ingredient first isolated form a particular fungi (ergot fungus that grow on rye). A swiss chemist Albert Hofmann working in the Sandoz (now Novartis) at that time synthesised this compound in 1938 and self tested it before his way back home on a bicycle. You might have heard about Bicycle Day. It is actually related to this incident.
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