LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug derived from a substance found in ergot, which is a fungus that infects rye (grain). In 1938, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist, synthesized LSD in his laboratory in Basel, Switzerland. He unexpectedly discovered its hallucinogenic effects in 1943 when a tiny amount came in contact with his skin. LSD is an extremely powerful hallucinogen, and has immense therapeutic, spiritual and cultural potential. In its pure state, LSD is a white odourless crystalline substance. However, being so potent, an effective dose of pure drug is so small it is virtually invisible. As a result it is usually diluted with other materials.
The most common form is drops of LSD solution dried onto gelatin sheets, pieces of blotting paper or sugar cubes, which release the drug when they are swallowed. LSD is also sometimes sold as a liquid, in a tablet or in capsules.It is best known for its use during the counterculture of the 1960s and in recent times it has regained popularity among researchers using LSD as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions.
Know Your Body & Mind — ‘Set’
Know Your Environment — ‘Setting’
Know Your Drug — Practice Harm Reduction
Sublingual (under the tongue) or swallowed is most common.
DURATION OF EFFECTS
Total duration: 6-12 hours
Onset: 20-90 minutes
Peak: 3-6 hours
Coming down: 3-5 hours
Hangover/after-effects: 2-5 hours
Although the effects may seem to have worn off after 8 hours, the drug is still active in your system for another 5 hours and effects may linger until you have slept.
Roadside Police: LSD is not detectable by a saliva test. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any illicit drugs, including LSD and any driver may be subject to a roadside behavioural impairment test. Wait at least 24 hours before driving.
Workplace: OHS law gives employers rights to test employees for drug use. This should be contained in workplace policy, it should be reasonable, and a risk assessment should be done to determine whether testing of employees is appropriate. Urine: up to 3 days; Blood: up to 12 hours
‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialled in Australia and is not available as a health service yet but DIY reagent testing is an option. Ehrlich reagent reacts with LSD.
[See photos of testing results here > verbinding.110110]
Effects vary from person to person.
Taking drugs is never without risk. In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any drug. ‘Dose’ depends on the form a drug is in (liquid, powder, pill, crystal) and how you have it (snort, eat, inject).
- Use around people you trust and in a safe environment where you feel comfortable.
- Plan ahead before using LSD. Consider cutting a tab with scissors and sampling a quarter in advance of a session (+48 hours / you become tolerant to LSD quickly and won’t feel the same effects if redosing the next day).
- LSD is highly potent, as tiny doses of 75-150 micrograms (μg) produce significantly altered states of consciousness. An optimal dose for experiencing the typical range of psychedelic experiences is usually between 100-200 µg. A single tab, cube or drop usually contains this dose range. Always ask about the dose when you get it- but be aware that people would usually only be estimating.
- Wait at least two hours for it to have effects.
- The minimum perceptual dose in humans is about 25 μg. Anything below that is typically considered a sub-perceptual “microdose.”
- If redosing, wait at least until the peak experience is over (3-6 hours)
- Burping (during onset)
- Closed and open-eye visuals
- Dilation of pupils
- Sensory enhancement (taste, touch, smell etc)
- Unusual body sensations (facial flushing, chills, goosebumps, body energy, feeling like you have urinated on yourself or have started menstruating)
- Increased heart rate increase
- Jaw clenching, yawning when not tired
- Behavioural harms (injury/accident)
- Nausea (during onset)
- Synaesthesia; a sound may evoke sensations of colour
- Hyperreflexia- absent or diminished response to reflex tapping
- Feeling of heaviness or lethargy
- Elevated Blood Sugar
- Saliva Production and/or Mucus Production
- Hypothermia or Hyperthermia (difficulty regulating body temperature)
- Sense of unity and connectedness to other life forms and the universe/multiverse
- General sense of euphoria
- Lack of focus
- Unusual thoughts and speech
- Range of emotions
- Life-changing spiritual experiences
- Megalomania (grandiose); Inflated sense of self esteem including delusional fantasies of power
- Increase in associative and creative thinking
- Change in time perception
- Sense of calm and serenity
- Ego dissolution
- Fear of death
- Overwhelming feelings
- Change in consciousness
- Dissociation of mind from body
- Out of body experience
For psychedelic drugs, set and setting are very important in determining the nature of the experience. ‘Set’ is the mindset a person brings with them and includes the physical, emotional and spiritual condition of the person, their expectations about the drug’s effects and how they will react to it. ‘Setting’ is the environment that a person is in, including the social environment, who you are with and the physical surroundings, e.g. at home, at a festival or an unfamiliar location.
- LSD is tasteless, more physically harmful substances such as the NBOMBe series are sometimes sold as LSD. Follow the mantra “if it’s bitter, it’s a spitter” and remove the tab from your mouth if it has a bitter, chemical taste it is likely your tab isn’t LSD.
- Try to use in a safe environment with friends and people you trust – somewhere you feel comfortable. It is best to have a sober friend or experienced user present (trip sitter), especially when it is your first time
- Eat something and wait 30 minutes before using
- Have snacks and water ready for the journey
- Wear comfy clothes, check in with yourself – Some people like to do stretching or meditate to prepare for the experience.
- Always dose yourself. This way you know how much you are taking • You can cut tabs into smaller pieces to make smaller doses if you are unsure of potency.
- Avoid dosing drops directly onto your tongue. You may accidentally put more drops which cannot be adjusted or undone.
- You can add a cube or a tab to water to split a dose evenly (mix well & keep sealed/ labelled).
- It is better not to take LSD if you don’t feel well (physically or emotionally). LSD can enhance these feelings
- Do not attempt to get in the car and drive. Make sure you find a safe alternative.
- Try to make sure you haven’t got anything important to do the next day – You may need some recovery time from the experience
- Try not to make any big decisions about life or people during the experience or until you have fully ‘landed’
- Research ‘Integration’, which is an ongoing process afterward to translate your psychedelic experience to have a positive impact in your life.
LONG TERM EFFECTS
- Hallucination Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) is a rare and potentially chronic condition. There are urban legends that exaggerate the risk of ‘flashbacks’.
- Psychedelic drugs may accelerate the onset of mental health issues if you are predisposed to such issues.
- Carrying LSD puts you at risk of criminal charges including trafficking, even if you don’t deal. Know your local laws e.g. the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld), the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 (Vic).
- Keep LSD away from children. Use child proof lids on your bottles and containers.
LSD can be absorbed through tiny cuts in the skin (wear gloves when handling the substance).
It is not recommended to use LSD if you have or are at risk of:
Sleep deprivation • Schizophrenia • Psychotic disorders • Other mental health issues • Anxiety • Depression.
Possible outcomes. What works for one person may not work for another. We recommend you proceed with caution.
- Tramadol – Can lower seizure threshold and psychedelics also cause occasional seizures.
- Ice and other stimulants: Increased risk of psychosis
- Cannabis: Confusion, can lead to a challenging experience. Can also trigger psychosis. Regular cannabis users often wait till after the peak effects of LSD are over before using cannabis.
Low risk effects
- Alcohol – Can increase chances of nausea, vomiting & blurred experience of trip. Alcohol can also decrease the desired effects of lsd.
- Benzodiazepines, GHB/GBL – Can decrease the desired effects of lsd.
- Antidepressants, SSRIs – Can inhibit the effects of lsd.
- Psychedelics (LSD, DMT, Mescaline, 2C-x, DOx, 5-MeO-xxT) – Although being low risk combinations, be mindful that they can intensify trip effects and increase the risk of challenging experience. Effects are less predictable.
- MDMA, Ketamine, Nitrous, MXE, DXM – Effects can intensify the trip.
- Antipsychotics – Can counteract the effects of LSD
Check out the TripSit drug combinations chart here for info on other combinations.
Call 000 if experiencing adverse effects, feel unwell or concerned in any way
This educational resource has been developed collaboratively by healthcare workers and people who use drugs for their peers and the wider community. The role of Hi-Ground is to provide practical, evidence-based, unbiased information to assist you to make educated choices and to promote harm reduction, community care, and wellbeing.
In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any substance. Taking drugs from an unregulated market carries its own risk, and you can educate yourself and practice harm reduction to reduce this risk.
Knowledge is power.
This resource is produced by DanceWize & Hi-Ground