LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogen that is commonly referred
"acid". It is manufactured from lysergic acid which
is made from a fungus (ergotamine tartrate) that grows on rye and other
grains. Pure LSD is a white, odourless and slightly bitter crystalline
powder. It is very potent- pure LSD the size of a small pill is enough
for approximately 3,000 doses.
On the street LSD can be sold as a powder in capsules or tablets.
LSD powder may also be sold as miniature powder pellets called
More often, the LSD crystals are dissolved into liquid which can be
sold in small breath freshener droppers or applied to sugar cubes,
gelatin squares (
"window panes"), gum, candy, cookies or
even postage stamps. However, the most common form of LSD, is called
"blotter acid"- small squares of LSD-soaked blotting paper (absorbent paper)
each containing one individual dose of LSD. Blotters are often printed
with colourful illustrations or cartoon characters.
Also Known As: acid, back breaker, blotter acid, blotters, boomers, cid, dot, dots, mellow yellow, barrels, California sunshine, cube, domes, flats, frogs, lids, wedges, microdot, purple haze, hits, sid, tabs, trips, window pane, yellow sunshine.
Generally, LSD is taken by mouth and held on the tongue or swallowed, but there have been a few reports of people inhaling or injecting LSD. The absorption from the gastrointestinal tract occurs rapidly. LSD diffuses into all tissues of the body including the brain. The effects of LSD are felt gradually within 30-60 minutes after taking LSD, peak within 2 to 4 hours and gradually diminish within 10-12 hours. The first 4 hours are often referred to as a "trip".
The way that LSD alters perceptions in the brain are unclear. Research
suggests that LSD acts on serotonin (a neurotransmitter) receptors
in two major parts of the brain. One area (the cerebral cortex) is
involved in mood, cognition and perception; the other area (the locus
ceruleus) is described as the
"novelty detector" because
it receives sensory information from all parts of the body.
The effects of LSD on a person are unpredictable. It is different for everyone. The way a person feels after taking LSD depends on many factors:
The effects of LSD are unpredictable. Individual reactions to the
drug vary widely, even within one single episode. People may experience
anything from a sense of well-being, joy and wonder to fear, panic,
aggression, confusion and severe anxiety. When the effects are uncomfortable
and frightening, this is often referred to as a
LSD affects the senses, mood, thoughts, and causes perceptual distortions
(how a person perceives him/herself and the world around him/her).
It changes what a person hears, tastes, feels and smells. Sounds, shapes
and color of objects may be distorted. The senses seem to
that people may hear colours and see sounds.
LSD produces vivid visual effects. These visual effects are referred
"pseudo-hallucinations" because users are aware that
they are not real. True hallucinations are visions that are perceived
as real. Hallucinations on LSD rarely occur, and can be frightening.
Occurrence of hallucinations appears to be dose-related.
Previous positive experiences with LSD do not guarantee subsequent positive "trips". "Bad trips" are not predictable and are not related to dose, but often associated with a person's predisposition, setting and circumstances.
Other psychoactive effects may include:
Physical effects of LSD may include:
No deaths have exclusively resulted from an overdose of LSD. Accidental fatalities have been reported resulting from perceptual distortions leading to accidental death (e.g. believing one can fly or can walk through traffic).
Long-term effects of LSD can include:
"flashback" is the spontaneous and unpredictable re-occurrence
of LSD visual distortions or emotional experiences during a previous
episode of LSD use. Only some people who take LSD experience flashbacks.
Flashbacks do not appear to be related to the dose of LSD taken previously
and can develop after one single use of LSD. Medically, flashbacks
"Hallucinogen Persisting Perception
Disorder". This condition is typically persistent and there is
no established treatment for the disorder.
Long-lasting psychosis can develop and persist after LSD use has stopped. It is similar to paranoid schizophrenia and characterized by hallucinations, delusional thinking and bizarre behaviour. This has been reported after single-use and in regular users. Psychosis may last for years and can affect people without a history or symptoms of psychological disorder. It is unclear whether LSD causes the psychosis or precipitates it in individuals with underlying mental disorders.
While these effects can occur within a few months after LSD was taken and decrease over time, they may continue for years.
LSD does not cause physical dependence. People who use LSD regularly do not experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop. However, it can be psychologically addictive. Some people who take LSD repeatedly feel the need to take it and the drug can take on an exaggerated importance in their lives.
Tolerance to the drug's effects occurs very rapidly. Often after repeated use for three or four days, no amount of the drug can produce the desired effect. Normal sensitivity to LSD generally returns if the drug is not used for 3 to 4 days.