While it is generally recognized that any study of the use, misuse or abuse of hallucinogens must depend initially upon exact botanical identification and then upon precise chemical understanding, the often diffuse literature frequently does not lend itself to easy consultation by any except specialists in these two fields. The authors of this text, a botanist and chemist, have devoted many years to the discovery and identification of hallucinogenic species, both in the field and laboratory, and delved into the chemical makeup of some of the best known and some of the most obscure of these plants.
Although the primary thrust of this book is directed towards the botany and chemistry of hallucinogens, other aspects, whenever pertinent, are considered… ethnobotanical, historical, pharmacological and psychological. Theories on the biogenetic pathways of many of the active principles are discussed, and information on the synthesis of some of the major compounds is reviewed in the hope of stimulating further research. The potentialities that await development from intensified interdisciplinary research are outlined.
A critically selected bibliography of more than five hundred references – many of them not commonly consulted by contemporary specialists – is provided. Chemical formulae of all compounds discussed are presented, and over eighty photographs and line drawings illustrate all of the major and many of the minor hallucinogenic plants.