Erowid (website)

From PsychonautWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A screenshot from the main page of Erowid.

Erowid is an educational website dedicating to providing unbiased, reliable information about psychoactive plants and chemicals[1] and the exploration of altered states of consciousness.

Erowid documents legal and illegal substances, including their intended and adverse effects, informed by the philosophy of harm reduction. Information on Erowid's website is gathered from diverse sources including published literature, experts in related fields, and the experiences of the general public. Erowid acts as a publisher of new information as well as a library for the collection of documents and images published elsewhere.


Erowid was founded in April 1995 as a small business; their website appeared six months later.[2] The name "Erowid" was chosen to reflect the organization's stated philosophy of education. Using Proto-Indo-European linguistic roots, "Erowid" roughly translates into "Earth Wisdom" (er meaning 'earth,' 'exist,' and 'be born' and wid meaning 'knowledge' / 'wisdom' or 'to see').

In 2005, the 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization "Erowid Center" was formed.[3] The organization is supported by donations, and its website is free of advertisements. Although its primary focus is on the website, Erowid Center also provides research and data for other harm reduction, health, and educational organizations. The organization is based in Northern California.


Online library

The library contains over 63,000 documents related to psychoactive substances, including images, research summaries and abstracts, FAQs, media articles, experience reports, information on chemistry, dosage, effects, law, health, traditional and spiritual use, and drug testing.

The site generally contains more detail in the pages listed under plants and chemicals than in other sections. It does not have comprehensive information about the specific effects of most pharmaceuticals. Such information may appear elsewhere on the site, where one can read about people's individual reactions to various substances.[4]

Experience Vaults

Erowid allows site visitors to submit descriptions of their own personal experiences with psychoactive substances for review and possible publication. The site states that they welcome all perspectives regarding personal psychoactive experience, including positive, negative and neutral. Their collection consists of more than 23,000 edited, reviewed, and published reports, as well as stating that they have another 12,700 unpublished reports undergoing review.[citation needed]


Erowid also runs, an independent laboratory pill testing program co-sponsored by IsomerDesign and DanceSafe, which monitors the quality of American street-ecstasy.

Launched in July 2001, its purpose is to collect, manage, review, and present laboratory pill testing results from a variety of organizations.[5] Tablets of street ecstasy can be anonymously submitted to a DEA licensed laboratory for testing and then photos of the tablets and GC/MS test results are published on the project's website. EcstasyData has published testing results for nearly 3,000 samples.[6] Testing costs have sometimes been covered by project funding and at other times are covered by those who submit tablets for testing.

Erowid Extracts

Erowid Extracts, the bi-annual member's newsletter of Erowid, has been published each year since 2001. It provides updates on the organization's activities, results of surveys conducted on, experience reports, new articles on various aspects of psychedelic and psychoactive plants and drugs, and information about psychedelic culture and events. New issues of Erowid Extracts are sent to members, but past issues are available on the Erowid website.[7]

Psychoactive reference library

Erowid and MAPS collaborated on two large reference database projects. Erowid has provided expertise and work developing and coordinating construction of an online psychoactive substance reference library and MAPS has published a similar collection [8]

Document archiving

Erowid Center also archives and provides access to thousands of older texts in their online and physical libraries. By collecting and making these texts available, they attempt to promote an understanding of the changing contexts surrounding the use of psychoactive substances. Major archiving projects include the Albert Hofmann collection, the Myron Stolaroff Collection, and documents from Alexander Shulgin.

External links


  1. Erowid. "About Erowid: Mision, Vision, and Crew". 1995-2017. Online edition:
  2. Erowid F. (2010). "Erowid: 10 Years of History." Erowid Extracts. Jun 2005;8:12-14.
  3. Guidestar. (2012). GuideStar Entry. Retrieved from
  4. Erowid Experience Vaults: Complete Substance and Category List. (2015).
  5. About (2010). EcstasyData.
  6. Test Result Statistics: Summary Data. (2012).
  7. Erowid Extracts. (2012). Erowid Center.