Can You Really Develop a LSD Tolerance?

Table of Content (Jump to a section): What is LSD, Effects of LSD, How does LSD work on your brain

LSD is one of the most controversial drugs in history. LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic drug that has been used for both therapeutic and recreational purposes since it was first discovered by Albert Hofmann in 1938. It can be known by other names like acid, window panes, mircrodots, or a number of other slang terms. LSD along with psilocybin mushrooms are the two classic hallucinogens  and are the most common still used today. In the article below, we will discuss acid, its effects, and if you can build up a LSD tolerance.

What is LSD?

LSD is a drug that is derived from lysergic acid, which is found in LSD-containing fungus called ergot that grows on rye or other grains. LSD was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 and its psychoactive properties were discovered soon after when he accidentally ingested some of the drug. LSD is a drug that alters perception and creates hallucinations in the user with LSD trips lasting up to 12 hours. Typically, the effects start within 15 minutes but can take up to an hour. LSD has been used for both therapeutic and recreational purposes since it was first discovered, but its popularity declined in the 1970s due to LSD becoming more associated with counterculture movements like hippies instead of being part of psychiatric research studies.

How does LSD work on your brain?

The LSD molecule is very similar to serotonin, which is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our bodies that helps to coordinate actions like mood and sleep. This similarity allows LSD to mimic serotonin’s effects by acting as a partial agonist, or something that starts a physiological response in your body when combined with a receptor, at some receptor sites while also competing for other receptors. The main theory behind LSD’s effects is that LSD trips, or the effects you feel when high on acid, are a result of LSD acting as an agonist at serotonin receptors in the brain.

Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a potent psychoactive substance that is commonly classified as a hallucinogen or psychedelic drug. In this video, I discuss our understanding of LSD’s effects on the brain.

By stimulating serotonin receptors acid causes an effect similar to what you might experience on psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms. The high for LSD is different though and is noted for being more cerebral and faster-paced. How high a person gets on LSD can vary from person to person depending on how much they take, their mood at the time, and other factors such as where they are when they take it and who else is around them. One thing we know for sure about LSD is that there’s no way of knowing how it will affect each individual user until after their first trip. LSD trips can be very intense and they last for hours, so many people do not enjoy them.

What are the effects of LSD?

LSD is known to cause a number of effects that can be positive, negative, and can also cause physical responses in the human body. The most common positive effects of acid are:

  • auditory or visual hallucinations
  • distorted sense of time
  • euphoria
  • closeness with others
  • understand of nature and the universe
  • ego death, or loss of the sense of self

These are just some of the most popular psychedelic effects that it has been known to have when taking it. It is also known to induce religious or mystical experiences and has been used in religious ceremonies for this reason.

There are also physical responses to LSD and the most common include:

  • dilated pupils
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased body temperature
  • reduced appetite
  • sweating
  • ability to stay awake

These are most of the common physical side effects you would experience from LSD but not all of them. You may experience some, all, or none of these effects as they vary from person to person.

Negative side effects from LSD due occur and almost all are psychological. The most common negative side effects are:

  • fear
  • panic
  • anxiety
  • delusion
  • paranoia
  • fear
  • panic
  • anxiety
  • delusion
  • paranoia

It is important to note that your setting for doing psychedelic drugs is important in minimizing the negative effects. To reduce the chances of these effects, we suggest that you only do psychedelics when you are in a comfortable setting with people you trust.

lsd tolerance
Understanding the Acid Trip – VeryWell Mind

Can you develop a tolerance to LSD?

Yes, the development of tolerance is possible with acid. The more consistent and frequently you use it, the more you have to take to feel the effects of tripping. There is a cross – tolerance between psilocybin, acid, and mescaline as well. This means that if you use the other drugs, they will also boost your tolerance for LSD. It is believed that after two weeks of not using psychedelics that your tolerance goes back to its base, or resets, although some people argue this happens only after a few days.

For an in-depth scientific research, check out this article here: Tolerance to Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: Overview, Correlates, and Clinical Implications

How long does it take to develop a tolerance?

As stated above, you can develop a tolerance very quickly to LSD. The only thing it requires is consistent use. If you took acid a few days in a row, the amount required for the effects you felt on the first day would be considerably more, if you can even achieve those effects again at all. The best way to ensure the best effects when you trip is to only take psychedelics after a break from your last trip.

What are the symptoms of withdrawal from LSD?

Acid is not a drug that you can get physically addicted to. This means that if you take acid over a period of time and stop your body will not have any negative reactions. You can, however, develop a psychological addiction to hallucinogens like LSD though. This means you feel the need to take it in certain circumstances out of habit or to try to recapture certain feelings. In most cases, because there is such a low chemical dependency on acid people who want to quit simply stop taking the drug. It may also help if you are psychologically addicted to remove yourself from the circumstances where you feel the need to trip.


LSD is a drug that is derived from the fungus ergot that was accidentally discovered in 1938 by a Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann. LSD works by pretending to be serotonin and tricking your brain to use it as a partial agonist on your receptors. This can cause a number of effects, both positive and negative. Some of the most positive effects are euphoria, visual or auditory hallucinations, and a oneness with the world. LSD can also create a physical effect on the body and the most common include pupil dilation, increased body temperature and increased heart rate. Unfortunately, there can be negative side effects too which include fear, anxiety, and paranoia amongst others. Be sure to monitor your setting and who you are tripping with to give yourself the best opportunity for a good trip. If you take LSD consistently, you can develop a tolerance. This tolerance can be reset if you abstain from psychedelics for a period of time. There are no physical withdrawal symptoms from LSD although in certain circumstances you may be psychologically addicted to the drug. Because of its low chemical dependency, most people who want to stop doing LSD simply just stop taking the drug. We hope this article answered your questions, should you have any more or think you are addicted to LSD we encourage you to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

References, Research and Sources

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.

Published by Corey Riley

Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine

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