LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that can be used recreationally or for spiritual purposes. LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, was first synthesized in 1938 by a Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann who had been studying the ergot fungus as part of his research into developing treatments for various psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and depression. LSD has since gained popularity among people looking to experience altered states of mind and, along with psilocybin mushrooms, it is one of the classic psychedelics. However LSD does have its downsides; it can lead to increased heart rate, nausea, panic attacks, and even psychotic episodes if taken too often or not the proper dosage. LSD dosage is important because LSD affects each user differently depending on their body weight and sensitivity level so there’s no way to know how your LSD will affect you until you take it. If you’re wondering what LSD does to the brain or how much LSD should you take for your desired effects, then this article will answer all of your questions.
What is LSD?
LSD, also known as LSD-25 or acid, is a semi-synthetic drug of the ergoline family. To take it, LSD is typically applied to small squares of blotting paper and taken orally. It does come in many forms, however, the most popular ones are the aforementioned blotter paper but it also can take the form of microdots on a piece of paper, liquid poured over sugar cubes, and in clear gelatin which is called window panes. There is also a liquid form that is the most potent. To that point, LSD is tremendously potent; it’s active in doses as small as 25 micrograms with effects manifesting within an hour of ingestion on average but lasting longer than 12 hours depending on the dosage ingested.
What are the effects of LSD?
Most people take LSD recreationally for the psychedelic experience. The psychedelic effects for LSD include visual and auditory distortion which can include anything from seeing geometric patterns or hearing sounds that are not there and euphoria. LSD users may also experience synesthesia where they see certain colors in response to sound so music might be perceived as being a different color. You may also feel very introspective about yourself, some people have even experienced ego deaths which means they disassociate from themself. There may be a closeness to others around you and nature or the universe as a whole. A distorted or altered sense of time is also common. For these reasons, LSD has been used to induce mystical experiences. Many LSD experiences have been described by the user who experienced them as ‘trips’ because of their introspective nature. Tripping is the slang term for being high on LSD. There can be good trips and bad trips and they are very dependent on the person and situation.
Besides psychological, there can also be some physiological effects too. Some of the physical effects LSD users may experience are increased body temperature, sweating, nausea, pupil dilation, and vomiting. Some LSD experiences are pleasant while others can be terrifying depending on the person’s state of mind but these effects vary from user to user.
Bad trips are usually induced by the negative psychological effects of LSD. Higher dosages can induce LSD psychosis which is when people experience delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there), disorganized thoughts, mania, panic attacks, paranoia, severe confusion, feelings of impending doom/death along with other symptoms. This is why it is very important to check your “set and setting” before you trip. This means making sure you have a positive mindset and are comfortable with your setting. Hallucinogenic drugs can exacerbate already existing mental disorders so it is important for a good trip to be in the correct mind frame. Being in a comfortable setting includes both your environment and the people around you because the more comfortable you are the less likely you are to have a negative experience. If possible, it is also recommended that you use LSD with an experienced user if it is your first time.
What does LSD do to the brain?
LSD affects serotonin production in the brain by activating certain receptors that LSD binds with called serotonin receptors. LSD’s effects are agonistic to these serotonin receptor cells which means that LSD stimulates them in the same way serotonin would but it does so at a much more potent level than what is naturally produced by your body. This receptor activation and overload of serotonin can create changes in mental states and moods depending on levels of serotonin production which may be why LSD has been used to treat conditions like depression. LSD is also similar to psilocybin, also called magic mushrooms and shrooms, in that they both mimic serotonin and activate the same receptors which explain why LSD has psychedelic properties.
LSD Dosage; What is a normal dose of LSD?
A “normal” dose of LSD is subjective but it’s generally accepted as being between 75-150 micrograms. Others will tell you it is between 100-200 micrograms. As noted above, LSD is often sold in “tabs” or small squares of paper that may have LSD on them and the standard amount per tab/paper ranges from 50-100 micrograms for a single dose but it can be more concentrated at certain doses so always take care when taking LSD. It is important to know how much you are taking of any drug before taking it. If you are unsure we recommend you do not take it.
Can LSD be harmful to you?
It’s difficult to say whether LSD can be harmful to you or not because of LSD’s subjective effects on people. LSD is a research chemical, which means it has only been researched in small controlled studies so the long term side effects have yet to be determined but there are some theories based on what we do know about LSD that may indicate LSD could cause problems with your brain chemistry if used long term. LSD has a high potential for abuse and dependence meaning that it can be addictive so LSD should only be used in moderation. LSD is not physically addicting but does have psychological addiction properties because of the effects users experience when taking it which makes LSD difficult to quit using if you become addicted, therefore making LSD as potentially harmful as any other drug. LSD also has the possibility of being fatal if you have a bad trip and injure yourself or become so delirious that you cannot get help in time because LSD lowers your inhibitions which can lead to irrational behavior. You also run the risk of flashbacks and hallucinogenic persisting perception disorder or HPPD. Flashbacks occur when you are not taking the drug but you experience or see things from when you were high on the drug. HPPD is when you permanently have some of the effects of the drug but it is usually very mild. It manifests itself most often as visual snow, or tiny circles or bubbles in your vision, or as palinopsia, which means you see images of objects after they have been taken away and trails on moving objects.
LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that was discovered in 1938 but had a renaissance during the 60s as a recreational drug. It is taken for its hallucinogenic effects which include visual and auditory hallucinations, euphoria, and a distorted sense of time. There are physical effects too like increased body temperature, pupil dilation, and nausea. There are positive and negative effects too, and these are usually psychological. The positive effects include a oneness with yourself or nature, introspection, and ego death. There can be negative side effects unfortunately and these include paranoia, fear, and delusions. The onset of psychoactive effects is usually within an hour and can last over 12 hours, which is a long period of time. To help negate the chances of a bad trip, always be aware of your set and setting before taking any psychedelic drug, know your dose. and don’t take psychedelics if you already have a mental illness without consulting a doctor first. A normal dose of LSD is subjective to the user but what is considered normal by most standards is to be between 75-150 micrograms although some may claim a normal dose may be as high as 100-200 micrograms. LSD can be very beneficial to you but with the wrong dose or a bad trip there can be permanent adverse effects like flashbacks. Be careful when taking any drug and if you have any further questions please check our other articles.
References, Research and Sources:
- Genetic influence of CYP2D6 on pharmacokinetics and acute subjective effects of LSD in a pooled analysis – Scientific Reports
Fact Checked and Editorial Process
The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.
Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine