LSD is a powerful psychoactive drug that alters your perception of reality. It has been used by humans since the late 1950s, and is a semi-synthetic lysergic acid in which lysergic acid is synthetically made from lysergic acid amides. You’ve all have probably heard of the infamous “lsd trips” from people growing up in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. In fact, there has been many stories and movies that also explore or story tell of the LSD acid trip. But what do you really know about LSD? Did you know it’s not addictive and can last up to 12 hours after ingesting it? As newbies to acid, we didn’t initially know these things either. So here we are, we wanted to create a guide to understanding the lsd trip (acid trip). This article will help learn more about what LSD is, what an LSD trip is like , how long it will last, what is the come down like, and a bad trip vs a good trip. Let’s dig into the experience.
What is LSD
LSD is lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic drug that alters your sensory perceptions and distorts the world around you (psychedelic effects). It contains lysergic acid which can be found in natural substances such as ergot fungus and morning glories. LSD was discovered by Albert Hofmann in 1938 when he accidentally ingested it and experienced its mind-altering effects. He conducted clinical research on himself with LSD on the hypothesis that it was a tool that can be used for mental health and to treat symptoms of mental illness. His study showed that lysergic acid diethylamide was not toxic in moderate doses. He also detailed his acid trip experience as well. In total, part of his LSD overall studies became the foundation of modern psychiatry.
He’s famously quoted (also in our about us page):
“Instead of all of this energy and effort directed at the war to end drugs, how about a little attention to drugs that will end war.”
It has the molecular formula C20H25N3O and has 27 atoms of hydrogen, 19 atoms of carbon, 3 atoms of nitrogen and 6 atoms of oxygen in it’s chemical make-up.
LSD is often taken orally or can be injected intravenously. If taken through injection with a normal dose, it is often called lsd-25. Some types of lsd can also be inhaled or rubbed into the eye, but these are different – lsd-25 was used for clinical trials that required lsd to be administered by injection. LSD is odorless and colorless with a slightly bitter taste. It has no real flavor, so it could easily be mixed into food or drinks without being noticed.
How does LSD work
LSD produces its effects by latching onto a serotonin receptor in the brain and mimicking serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates mood and sensory perception. The drug’s impact on serotonin levels leads to feelings of euphoria, empathy, distortion in time and body image, and dreamlike or ‘psychedelic’ visual effects. LSD’s immediate effects include pupil dilation, raised body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating and sometimes a loss of appetite.
LSD’s psychological effects are unpredictable, based on factors including lsd dose, whether lsd is used alone or with others, the user’s personality and mood, expectations, drug history and how lsd was obtained. The user can experience terrifying thoughts and feelings during an ‘bad trip,’ in which lsd can present a distorted, lopsided view of reality. We include more on that “good trip vs bad trip” below.
LSD starts to work about 30 minutes after taking it, and can last up to 12 hours. Hallucinations are usually the first effect to hit someone under lysergic acid diethylamide, usually starting within an hour of ingestion. Users may experience other side effects including dilated pupils, nausea, feeling hot and sweaty, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness and tremors.
Tell me about the Acid Trip
Depending on how you approach an acidic situation each person may have a different psychedelic experience. Some trips may be light and others can be scary. Some trips might be bad trips (negative experience), some trips might be good trips (dream like and highly enjoyable). Those are the great trips and why people take LSD! The acid trip can last up to 12 hours. On average, the timeline expected is approximately 8-12.
On an LSD trip, users often experience visual hallucinations; their senses are enhanced; they can become frightened easily; they can have anxiety attacks; and they may feel as if their mind is racing quickly. These are all a part of the overwhelming feelings (good and bad) that can be attached to an acid trip.
Visual distortions and hallucinations in acid trips
A hallmark of the LSD experience is a perceived distortion of the perceptions around you or people. In fact visual distortion is the most frequently reported type of LSD sensory distortion. A number of hallucinations occur during an acid trip: static objects appearing to move. People taking acid are generally aware that what they see is part of their drug experiences but it can still be harder to distinguish whats actual and not real. At the same time, most users that take acid, even for the first time, are aware that hallucinations are a part of the acid trip. Depending on dosage, experience and the person physical and mental status, it all depends on the level of distortions and hallucinations you can experience. We encourage you to chat with those that have experienced Acid Trips before to get first hand knowledge of what to expect. Personally for us as the Magical Mushroom writers, we’ve had many great trips, and a few not so great trips. Of course, LSD is a serious drug and needs to be taken in moderation and safely. Drug abuse and the drug’s effects of LSD need to be throughly understood.
Coming down from a trip
When LSD starts to wear off, there can be some unpleasant side effects called “the come down” which can last for about 24 hours after the trip has ended. Food (when appropriate) and water with a company of calm and familiar people who are not judgmental can help ease the feeling of being taken off an acid trip. We can’t stress this last point enough. Being in a comfortable and familiar place with friends or a family member is a great way to combat any come down effects. Maybe try some soothing music as well. LSD use might cause some sweat so users need to drink plenty of fluid to rehydrate. User should try to relax and get to sleep before leaving the house a good night rests is important for recovering from a trip.
While it depends on the user, dosage, and trip experience for the person, the come could potentially come with unpleasant symptoms. This could include exhaustion, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping because of nightmares (sometimes can be vivid) or insomnia. People can also experience anxiety and paranoia during this time period as well. Some LSD users may also suffer from flashbacks where they’re re-experiencing the highs and lows of their drug trip.
Thank you for visiting us here at Magical Mushrooms! We hope this article has been enough to give you a better understanding of lsd and lsd trips. As always, we’d love to hear from our readers in the comments section below.
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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 Corey Riley.