Saskatchewan

Did you know Saskatchewan is 'psychedelic'?

Saskatchewan is the birthplace of medicare, and is the breadbasket of Canada, but did you know the term 'psychedelic' was also coined in this province?

Term 'psychedelic' coined in the province

Aerial oblique of Saskatchewan Hospital at Weyburn, no date known. (Saskatchewan Archives R-A 11, 784-2)

Saskatchewan is known for Roughriders football, for being the birthplace of medicare, and being the breadbasket of the world. But did you know it's also the birthplace of the term 'psychedelic'?

Recently Erika Dyck, a medical historian with the University of Saskatchewan, spoke to CBC Saskatchewan's Blue Sky about the renaissance of research on psychedelics.

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.- Humphry Osmond, British psychiatrist, former superintendent of the Weyburn Mental Hospital

She says the superintendent from the Weyburn Mental Hospital, British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, coined the term in 1956.

At the time, Osmond was in Weyburn, conducting experiments with hallucinogenic drugs. He was friends with famous writer Aldous Huxley. 

Huxley and Osmond were trying to find a word to describe the sensations associated with the reaction to LSD. 

Huxley wrote: "To make this trivial world sublime, take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Osmond countered: "To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic."

She says in the last 18 months, there has been renewed interest in psychedelics and different researchers from around the world have contacted her looking for information about how Osmond's experiments were conducted.

Read more here.

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