Psychedelics are substances (natural or laboratory made) which cause profound changes in a one’s perceptions of reality. While under the influence of hallucinogens, users might hallcuniate visually and auditorily.

This is a commonly used substance with well known effects, but that does not guarantee the substance will be safe. The safety profile has been established based on usage data commonly reported by others.

Disclaimer: Psychedelic drugs offer some of the most powerful and intense psychological experiences. Additionally these substances are illegal in many places. We understand that even though these substances are illegal, their use occurs frequently. We do not condone breaking of the law. By providing accurate information about these substances, we encourage the user to make responsible decisions and practice harm reduction.

Read the full disclaimer here.

Practice Harm Reduction. Proceed with Caution.

Description

LSD Also known as:

  • (+)-LSD
  • (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide
  • (+)-lysergide
  • (8β)-N,N-Diethyl-6-methyl-9,10-didehydroergolin-8-carboxamid[German][ACD/IUPAC Name]
  • (8β)-N,N-Diethyl-6-methyl-9,10-didehydroergoline-8-carboxamide[ACD/IUPAC Name]
  • (8β)-N,N-Diéthyl-6-méthyl-9,10-didéhydroergoline-8-carboxamide[French][ACD/IUPAC Name]
  • 9,10-Didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methylergoline-8b-carboxamide
  • Blotter Acid
  • Blue Acid
  • Blue Cheer
  • Blue Mist
  • Blue Star
  • D-lysergic acid diethylamide
  • Ergoline-8-carboxamide, 9,10-didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-, (8β)-[ACD/Index Name]
  • LSD
  • Lysergamide, N,N-diethyl-
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide[Wiki]
  • Lysergsaure Diethylamid[German]
  • MFCD00135795[MDL number]
  • N,N-diethyl-(+)-lysergamide
  • N,N-diethyllysergamide
  • лизергид[Russian][INN]
  • ليسيرجيد[Arabic]
  • 麦角二乙胺[Chinese][INN]
  • (4R,7R)-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-6,11-diazatetracyclo[7.6.1.02,7.012,16]hexadeca-1(16),2,9,12,14-pentaene-4-carboxamide
  • (4R,7R)-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-6,11-diazatetracyclo[7.6.1.02,7.012,16]hexadeca-1(16),2,9,12,14-pentaene-4-carboxamide
  • (6aR,9R)-N,N-diethyl-7-methyl-6,6a,8,9-tetrahydro-4H-indolo[4,3-fg]quinoline-9-carboxamide
  • (8R)-9,10-didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methylergoline-8-carboxamide
  • (8α)-N,N-Diethyl-6-methyl-9,10-didehydroergoline-8-carboxamide[ACD/IUPAC Name]
  • [3H]LSD
  • [3H]-LSD
  • 4-25-00-00939 (Beilstein Handbook Reference)[Beilstein]
  • 7LD
  • 9,10-Didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-ergoline-8-β-carboxamide
  • Barrels
  • Bart Simpson
  • Bartman
  • Beast
  • Big F
  • Brown Dots
  • California Sunshine
  • Changrolin
  • Cherry To
  • Chief
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Clearlight
  • Coffee
  • Contact Lens
  • Cubes
  • Cupcakes
  • Dextrolysergic acid diethylamide
  • Diethylamid kyseliny lysergove[Czech]
  • D-Lsd
  • D-LSD-25
  • d-Lysergic acid dethylamide
  • D-Lysergic acid N,N-diethylamide
  • Domes
  • Ergoline-8β-carboxamide, 9,10-didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-
  • Ergoline-8-β-carboxamide, 9,10-didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methyl-
  • Fifty
  • Gelatin Chips
  • Greenies
  • Hawk
  • Haze
  • Heavenly Blue
  • Instant Zen
  • Lids
  • Lysergamid
  • Lysergate diethylamide
  • Lysergaure diethylamid
  • lysergic acid amide
  • LYSERGIDE-D10
  • Lysergsaeurediaethylamid
  • Lysergsaeurediethylamid
  • Lysergsauerediaethylamid
  • Mean Green
  • Mellow Yellow
  • Microdots
  • N,N-Diethyl-6-methyl-9,10-didehydroergoline-8-carboxamide[ACD/IUPAC Name]
  • N,N-diethyl-D-lysergamide
  • Orange Mushroom
  • Orange Sunshine
  • Orange Wedges
  • Owsley
  • p9,10-Didehydro-N,N-diethyl-6-methylergoline-8b-carboxamide
  • Paper Acid
  • Pearly gates
  • pSunshine
  • Purple Haze
  • Purple Microdot
  • Royal Blue
  • Scapes
  • Spoonies
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Sugar Lum
  • TABS
  • The Hawk
  • Trippers
  • Ubergluben
  • Wedding bells
  • Wedding Bells Acid
  • Wedges
  • White Light
  • Window Pane
  • Yellows

LSD is a popular psychedelic with a relatively long history of use and research, and as such is known to be relatively safe despite its extremely high potency. It is the archetypical psychedelic to which all others are compared, and remains in popular usage.

Summary

It is considered to be the the best known, most researched, and culturally influential psychedelic substance. It is thought to produce its psychedelic effects by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, although the precise mechanism is not fully understood. The psychoactive effects of LSD were first discovered in 1943 by Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working for Sandoz Laboratories.

In the 1950s it was distributed by Sandoz under the name Delysid for use as an experimental drug in psychotherapy and scientific research. During this period, LSD generated widespread interest from clinicians, researchers, and intellectuals and was notoriously the subject of a secret investigation by the U. S.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for potential applications in “mind control”. Recreational LSD use became a central part of the 1960s youth counterculture movement which eventually led to its prohibition in 1971. Following a 40 year hiatus, research into the therapeutic applications of LSD has experienced a revival.

It is currently being investigated for the treatment of a number of ailments including alcoholism, addiction, cluster headache, and anxiety associated with terminal illness. LSD remains in widespread illicit use for recreational and spiritual purposes. The lifetime prevalence of LSD use among adults is in the range of 6-8%.

Subjective effects include open and closed-eye visuals, time distortion, enhanced introspection, conceptual thinking, euphoria, and ego loss. LSD is commonly reported to be able to evoke mystical-type experiences that can facilitate self-reflection and personal growth. It is considered by some to be the first modern entheogen, a category which is otherwise limited to traditional plant preparations or extracts.

Unlike other highly prohibited substances, LSD has not been proven to be physiologically toxic or addictive. However, adverse psychological reactions such as severe anxiety, paranoia, delusions, and psychosis are always possible, particularly for those predisposed to psychiatric disorders. As a result, it is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.

History

However, its psychoactive properties were not discovered until five years later when Hofmann claimed to have accidentally ingested an unknown quantity of the chemical before proceeding to ride his bike home. The first intentional ingestion of LSD occurred on April 19, 1943. Hofmann ingested 250 micrograms (µg) of LSD, believing it would be a threshold dose based on the doses of other ergot alkaloids. Hofmann found the effects to be much stronger than he anticipated and was impressed by its profound mind-altering effects. In 1947, Sandoz introduced LSD to the medical community under the name Delysid as an experimental tool to induce temporary psychotic-like states in normals (“model-psychosis”) and later to enhance psychotherapeutic treatments (“psycholytic” or “psychedelic” therapy). LSD had a major impact in the areas of scientific research and psychiatry. Within 15 years of its release, research on LSD and other hallucinogens generated over 1,000 scientific papers and was prescribed to over 40,000 patients. In the 1950s, the US Central Intelligence Agency began a research program code named MK-ULTRA that would conduct clandestine research investigating LSD for applications in mind control and chemical warfare. Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public without their knowledge or consent, which resulted in at least one death. In 1963, the Sandoz patents for LSD expired. Several prominent intellectuals, including Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, and Al Hubbard began to advocate for the consumption of LSD. LSD became a central part of the youth-driven counterculture of the 1960s. Along with other hallucinogens, LSD was advocated by new proponents of consciousness expansion such as Leary, Huxley, Alan Watts and Arthur Koestler who, according to L. R. Veysey, profoundly influenced the thinking of the new generation of youth. On October 24, 1968, possession of LSD was made illegal in the United States.

The last FDA approved study of LSD in patients ended in 1980, while a study in healthy volunteers was made in the late 1980s. Legally approved and regulated psychiatric use of LSD continued in Switzerland until 1993.

Chemistry

LSD

LSD

LSD's chemical structure consists of a bicyclic hexahydroindole ring fused to a bicyclic quinoline group (lysergic acid).

At carbon 8 of the quinoline an N,N-diethyl carboxamide is bound.

LSD is additionally substituted at carbon 6 with a methyl group. LSD is a chiral compound with two stereocenters at R5 and R8.

LSD, also called (+)-D-LSD, has an absolute configuration of (5R, 8R).

The three other stereoisomers of LSD do not have psychoactive properties. LSD occurs as a colorless, odorless crystal in its pure form.

LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine (especially in solution).

Its potency may last for years if it is stored away from light and moisture at cold temperatures around 0°C or below, but will slowly degrade at normal room temperature (25°C).

Common NameLysergic acid diethylamide
Systematic nameLysergic acid diethylamide
FormulaC_{20}H_{25}N_{3}O
SMILESCCN(CC)C(=O)[[email protected]]1CN([[email protected]@H]2Cc3c[nH]c4c3c(ccc4)C2=C1)C
Std. InChiInChI=1S/C20H25N3O/c1-4-23(5-2)20(24)14-9-16-15-7-6-8-17-19(15)13(11-21-17)10-18(16)22(3)12-14/h6-9,11,14,18,21H,4-5,10,12H2,1-3H3/t14-,18-/m1/s1
Std. InChiKeyVAYOSLLFUXYJDT-RDTXWAMCSA-N
Avg. Mass323.432 Da
Molecular Weight323.432
Monoisotopic Mass323.199768 Da
Nominal Mass323
ChemSpider ID5558

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Dose Chart

Oral
Light50-100ug
Common100-150ug
Strong175-225ug
Heavy250ug+

Duration Chart

LSD Duration Data
Onset45-90 minutes
Duration9-14 hours
After-effects12-24 hours

Interactions

Caution

  1. Cannabis
    • Cannabis has an unexpectedly strong and somewhat unpredictable synergy with psychedelics.
  2. Amphetamines
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
  3. Cocaine
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences

Dangerous

  1. Tramadol
    • Tramadol is well known to lower seizure threshold and psychedelics also cause occasional seizures.

No Synergy

  1. Caffeine
  2. Opioids

Auditory Effects

Psychological Effects

  • Analysis enhancement - LSD is commonly reported to give the user the ability to analyze situations in a novel and beneficial way.
  • Anxiety & Paranoia - Anxiety and paranoia are not typically observed at low to common doses and are less likely to occur when the basic rules of set and setting are taken into account. It should be noted that these effects are vastly more likely to occur when used with cannabis.
  • Conceptual thinking
  • Cognitive euphoria - LSD is capable of producing cognitive euphoria, but it does so in a less consistent and pronounced manner than substances like MDMA, cocaine, and opioids. Unlike the aforementioned substances, the mental euphoria experienced on LSD is usually due to an enhancement of the user’s current psychological and emotional state.
  • Introspection
  • Personal bias suppression
  • Creativity enhancement - LSD is well-known for its ability to enhance creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. As a result, it has an extensive history of being used by artists, musicians, scientists, and other intellectuals starting from the 1950s.
  • Novelty enhancement
  • Focus enhancement - Focus enhancement occurs exclusively on low or threshold dosages and feels less forced or sharp than it does with stimulants.
  • Immersion enhancement - LSD powerfully enhances the user's sense of immersion in the present moment.
  • Personal meaning enhancement
  • Emotion enhancement - LSD strongly enhances the user's ability to experience emotion. This is thought to contribute to its therapeutic effect. Consequently, it is advised to not take LSD when in a low or unstable mood and to follow the principles of set and setting.
  • Empathy, affection and sociability enhancement
  • Delusion
  • Déjà vu
  • Increased libido
  • Increased music appreciation
  • Increased sense of humor - An increased sense of humor is very common during LSD experiences, particularly during the come up and peak phases. Users report suddenly finding mundane situations and actions inexplicably hilarious, which may be due to its novelty enhancement. The reason for this is unknown, but it may be related to LSD's effects on the serotonin and dopamine systems.
    • Laughter fits - Laughter fits can manifest prominently during an LSD experience, particularly during the come up phase. This often results in bouts of uncontrollable giggles and laughter that can form a feedback loop if around others who are also under the influence.
  • Memory suppression
  • Motivation enhancement - LSD produces stimulant-like motivation enhancement at low and microdoses, although in a much less prominent or reliable manner.
  • Multiple thought streams
  • Ego replacement - Ego replacement is very rare and occurs in an unpredictable manner. This effect usually coincides with delusions and may indicate the beginnings of psychosis. It is more likely to occur with high doses.
  • Personality regression - True personality regression on LSD is very rare. More commonly, it takes the milder form of the user having strong feelings of early childhood, including repressed memories.
  • Simultaneous emotions
  • Suggestibility enhancement - The user's suggestibility to external influences can become strongly enhanced on LSD. While this can be used to beneficial effect in the context of psychotherapy, it may also be abused by criminals and cult-leaders to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. Users are advised to exercise caution and be selective about who they take LSD with.
  • Thought acceleration
  • Thought connectivity
  • Thought loops
  • Time distortion - LSD can profoundly affect one's perception of time. This typically takes the form of time dilation, or the experience of time slowing down and passing much slower than it does while sober.
  • Wakefulness - LSD makes it difficult or impossible to go to sleep for up to 10 hours (or more) after ingestion.
  • Addiction suppression

Pharmacological Effects

LSD is a partial agonist for the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C and 5-HT6 receptors. LSD binds to most serotonin receptor subtypes except for 5-HT3 and 5-HT4. 5-HT5B receptors, which have not been found in humans, also have a high affinity for LSD. The psychedelic effects of LSD are thought to be mediated by agonist action 5-HT2A receptors. LSD also shows efficacy at all dopamine and all norepinephrine receptors. Most serotonergic psychedelics are not significantly dopaminergic, so LSD is unique in this respect. LSD’s agonism of D2 receptors has been shown to contribute to its psychoactive effects.

Physical Effects

  • Stimulation - In terms of its effects on physical energy levels, LSD is usually regarded as being very energetic and stimulating without being forced. For example, when taken in any environment it will usually encourage physical activities such as running, walking, climbing or dancing. In comparison, other more commonly used psychedelics such as psilocybin are generally sedating and sedentary.
  • Spontaneous bodily sensations - The "body high" of LSD can be described as prominent in comparison to its accompanying visual and cognitive effects. It behaves as a euphoric, fast-moving, sharp and location specific or generalized tingling sensation. For some, it manifests spontaneously at different, unpredictable points throughout the trip, but for most, it maintains a steady presence that rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached.
  • Physical euphoria - LSD is capable of producing a unique form of physical euphoria in certain situations. However, this effect does not occur as prominently or reliably as with substances like entactogens or opioids, and can just as easily manifest as physical discomfort without any apparent reason.
  • Perception of bodily lightness - The stimulation and energy LSD produces can cause the user to feel as if they are moving weightlessly.
  • Tactile enhancement - Feelings of enhanced tactile sensations are consistently present at moderate levels throughout most LSD trips. If level 8A geometry is reached an intense sensation of seeming to "become aware of and feel every single nerve ending across your entire body all at once" has been described.
  • Changes in felt bodily form - This effect is often accompanied by a sense of warmth or unity and usually occurs during and up to the peak of the experience or directly afterward. Users can feel as if they are physically part of or conjoined with other objects. This is usually reported as feeling comfortable in its sensations and even peaceful, compared to other substances that induce this effect like salvia.
  • Temperature regulation suppression - LSD appears to cause the body to lose some of its ability to regulate its temperature. While usually harmless, users should be careful when taking LSD in conditions of extreme hot or cold.
  • Increased bodily temperature - Potentially dangerous states of overheating have been reported to occur in certain conditions, particularly with higher doses due to the fact that LSD raises the amount of serotonin in the body. Users are advised to monitor their core temperature and be cautious if taking LSD in hot or overcrowded outdoor environments.
  • Nausea - Mild nausea is occasionally reported on moderate to high doses and either passes after the user vomits or gradually fades by itself as the peak sets in.
  • Bodily control enhancement
  • Stamina enhancement - LSD is reported to enhance the user's stamina for physical activities such as hiking, running, or dancing. Some people have also reported using small doses to improve athletic performance. However, this effect is generally mild compared to the stamina enhancement of stimulants.
  • Appetite suppression - LSD can suppress appetite in a manner similar to (although not as strong as) stimulants, especially for fatty foods. It is advised to eat a medium sized meal two to three hours before a trip to ensure one has enough energy to last through the whole trip. During the trip, it is recommended to eat snacks like fruits or nuts or smoothies instead of full meals to avoid nausea and gastric discomfort.
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased perspiration
  • Muscle contractions
  • Muscle spasms
  • Excessive yawning - LSD can induce fits of excessive yawning, especially during the come up phase.
  • Pupil dilation
  • Increased salivation
  • Seizure - Seizures are very rare but may occur in those who are predisposed to them, particularly while in physically taxing conditions such as being dehydrated, undernourished, overheated, or generally fatigued.

Sensory Effects

  • Synaesthesia - In its fullest manifestation, this is a very rare and non-reproducible effect. Increasing the dosage can increase the likelihood of this occurring, but seems to only be a prominent part of the experience among those who are already predisposed to synaesthetic states.

Subjective Effects

The subjective effects of LSD can be broken down into several components which progressively intensify proportional to dosage in a nonlinear manner.

Visual Effects

Enhancements

Distortions

Geometry

The visual geometry encountered on LSD can be described as more similar in appearance to that of 2C-B or 2C-I than psilocin, LSA or DMT. It can be comprehensively described through its variations as primarily intricate in complexity, algorithmic in form, unstructured in organization, brightly lit, colourful in scheme, synthetic in feel, multicoloured in scheme, flat in shading, sharp in edges, large in size, fast in speed, smooth in motion, angular in its corners, non-immersive in-depth and consistent in intensity. At higher dosages, it almost consistently results in states of Level 8A visual geometry over Level 8B.

Hallucinatory states

LSD is capable of producing a full range of low and high-level hallucinatory states in a fashion that is significantly less consistent and reproducible than that of many other commonly used psychedelics, specifically tryptamines like DMT or psilocybin mushrooms. These effects include:

Legal Status

Internationally, the UN 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances requires its parties to prohibit LSD. Hence, it is illegal in all parties to the convention, which includes the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe. Medical and scientific research with LSD in humans is permitted under the 1971 UN Convention, although has been reported to be difficult to actually carry out in practice.

  • Austria: LSD is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
  • Canada: LSD is a Schedule III controlled substance in Canada.
  • Denmark: LSD is a Category A controlled substance in Denmark.
  • Germany: LSD is controlled under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I), former: Opiumgesetz (Opium Act) as of February 25, 1967. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
  • Latvia: LSD is a Schedule I controlled substance in Latvia.
  • Portugal: LSD is illegal to produce, sell or trade in Portugal. However since 2001, individuals found in possession of small quantities (up to 500 µg) are considered sick individuals instead of criminals. The substance is confiscated and the suspects may be forced to attend a dissuasion session at the nearest CDT (Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction) or pay a fine, in most cases.
  • United Kingdom: LSD is a Class A controlled substance in the United Kingdom.
  • United States: LSD is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, process, or distribute without a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
  • Sources

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