Ann Shulgin Biography

Ann Shulgin

   Photo ©Greg Manning

Ann Shulgin, born Laura Ann Gotlieb, was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and grew up in the village Opicina outside the Italian city Trieste; her father was U.S. Consul in these places, in Trieste for six years before World War II. Later in her childhood she lived in the US, Cuba, and Canada. She studied art and became an artist, married an artist and had a child, and they later divorced. She had two more marriages ending in divorce and had three more children. Ann went back to work as a medical transcriber, and met Alexander Shulgin ("Sasha") in 1978; they were married on 4 July 1981 in their backyard.

Ann Shulgin is an American author and the widow of chemist Alexander Shulgin, with whom she authored PiHKAL and TiHKAL. They developed a systematic way of ranking the effects of the various drugs, known as the Shulgin Rating Scale, with a vocabulary to describe the visual, auditory and physical sensations. She also contributed to the books Thanatos to Eros: 35 Years of Psychedelic Exploration, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, Ecstasy: The Complete Guide, The Secret Chief Revealed, Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics, and Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality.

Ann Shulgin worked as a lay therapist with psychedelic substances such as MDMA and 2C-B in therapeutic settings while these drugs were still legal. In her writings she stresses the potential of these drugs from a Jungian psychoanalytic perspective, as well as their use in combination with hypnotherapy. She often appears as a speaker at conventions, and has continued to advocate the use of psychedelics in therapeutic contexts.

Ann Shulgin co-founded Transform Press in 1991 with her husband, Sasha Shulgin, out of their shared passion and commitment to an uncensored examination of psychoactive compounds. Since Sasha’s passing, Ann serves as the advising authority on the Shulgin research legacy and the Shulgin estate. She continues to write and give talks within the psychedelic community.