A Brief Introduction to Psychedelics, pt. I: The Chemistry

Frontiers of the Mind

"Eclipse Engaged" by Android Jones “Eclipse Engaged” by Android Jones

If you’ve heard the term “psychedelic” before, chances are you’ve heard it in connection with the hippie subculture of the late 1960’s and the artistic style that bloomed within it. You may also be familiar with the fact that a certain family of mind-altering drugs and their effects on users played a key role in the formation of the hippie movement. Despite knowing this, you may still be wondering: just what does “psychedelic” refer to?

Today, the term is generally used to refer to one or all of the following:

  • Psychoactive (mind-affecting) drugs with hallucinatory and “consciousness-expanding” effects
  • A visual art movement that started in the mid-1960’s, distinguished by vivid colours, intricate patterns and surrealistic images
  • A musical movement that originated in the rock scene of the mid-1960’s and later grew out into several different genres; distinguishable by hypnotic and experimental soundscapes
  • An international culture (also referred to as psychedelia) that spawned in the mid-1960’s and includes all of the…

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