Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as LSD or acid, was once the subject of extensive research by both independent scientists and the American government. Interestingly, when Swiss chemist, Albert Hoffman, first synthesized the drug in 1938, he thought he created a possible treatment for respiratory conditions. But by the time the hallucinogenic was patented in 1947, it was being marketed as a potential medicine for the mentally ill.

American intelligence agencies experimented with LSD for their chemical warfare program, in which they secretly tested the drug on employees of the CIA, military personnel, foreign officials and local prostitutes in order to study their volatility to the substance. Yet, fear that the drug had become a powerful component of the '60s counterculture led to the United States discontinuing its LSD research and ultimately outlawing the drug in 1968.

Several decades after research was officially discontinued in the US, foreign researchers still have faith in the drug as an effective medicine, specifically for treating anxiety and depression in patients suffering from terminal diseases. In a recent study, published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, researchers found that LSD assisted patients in coping with their impending deaths by allowing them to step inside the trap door of their emotions.

Lead researcher Peter Gasser recently told Newsweek that although the experience was emotionally taxing for the patients, none of them suffered from bad trip side effects like psychosis or suicidal tendencies. And while Gasser’s study was small, the results are impressive: One year after receiving a single 200 micrograms dose of LSD, all of the patients were still alive and reported a significant decrease in anxiety.

Recently, other studies have emerged suggesting that psilocybin, a natural psychedelic compound often referred to as “magic mushrooms,” could be an effective treatment for helping cancer patients handle the post traumatic stress like effects brought on by a fear of death. Researchers found that patients treated with psilocybin displayed a better psychological state that helped them overcome bouts of anxiety, depression and hopelessness that are often experienced by patients during cancer treatment.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.