The discovery of psychedelic substances as LSD and psilocybin in the 20th century made a big impact on the scientific community. By 1965 over 2000 papers had been published describing results of over 40.000 patients successfully treated for e.g. anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression and alcoholism. However, when most psychedelic substances were made illegal during the second half of the 1960s, these same therapists and scientists were forced to abandon their research. Psychedelic research came to an end as quickly as it had come to life.

The lack of control groups, proper subject screening and follow-up studies made it hard to draw any hard, scientific conclusions. However, the tide has turned, thanks to the efforts of organizations like MAPS, the Beckley Foundation and the Heffter Research Institute. Since the beginning of the 1990s, psychedelic research has been carried out in accordance with contemporary scientific standards. Although the results of these studies look promising and many scientists working with these substances believe psychedelics to have a great potential, the subfield of psychedelic science has remained quite unknown to the general scientific community.