Adrenochrome is an oxidation product of adrenaline (ephinephrine, norepinephrine). The effects and classification of this drug is said to be controversial because it is debated whether is has any psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects, although some test subjects compared the adrenochrome experience to mild psilocybin and LSD experiences. Psychoactive effects of adrenochrome may include euphoria, confusion, a change in train of thought, lack of judgment, poor insight and inability to concentrate.
Author Hunter S. Thompson mentions adrenochrome in his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In the book the drug comes from a living donor's adrenal gland and therefore it is deemed exotic and intense. In the DVD commentary, director Terry Gilliam admits that his and Thompson's portrayal is fictional.
“Adrenochrome,” he said. “You won’t need much. Just a tiny taste.”
I got the bottle and dipped the head of a paper match into it.
“That’s about right,” he said. “That stuff makes pure mescaline seem like ginger beer. You’ll go completely crazy if u take too much.”
“Jesus! What kind of monster client have you picked up this time? There’s only one source for this stuff….”
“The adrenaline glands from a living human body,” I said. “It’s no good if you get it out of a corpse.”
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Chapter 5, Page 131