Addictive Potential: None
Mandatory Minimum Sentence: 5 years for 1-9 grams mixture
Mechanism of Action: partial agonist of the serotonin receptors, at the 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT5A, 5-HT5B, and 5-HT6, among others (see a more detailed discussion below)
Lysergic acid diethylamide is also known as LSD, LSD-25, or acid. It is synthesized from lysergic acid derived from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye.
LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine, especially in solution, though its potency may last years if it is stored away from light and moisture at low temperature. In pure form it is colorless, odorless, and mildly bitter. LSD is typically delivered orally, usually on a substrate such as absorbent blotter paper, a sugar cube, or gelatin. In its liquid form, it can be administered by intramuscular or intravenous injection. The threshold dosage level is around 20 to 30 µg (micrograms). Although typical dosages range from 50 to 150µg and can evoke positive effects such as therapeutic psychological reflection, closed-eye and open-eye visuals, and life-changing spiritual experiences (Erowid, 2012). Religions have even been based upon the sacramental use of LSD – namely, the League for Spiritual Discovery.
Introduced by Sandoz Laboratories as a drug with various psychiatric uses, LSD quickly became a therapeutic agent that appeared to show great promise. However, the extra-medical use of the drug in Western society in the middle years of the twentieth century led to a political firestorm that resulted in the banning of the substance for medical as well as recreational and spiritual uses. Learn more about LSD History…
LSD affects a large number of the G protein coupled receptors. The graph below (Ray, 2010) shows the affinity for forty-two receptors, arranged in order of decreasing affinity (click the image to enlarge).
As explained by Ray (2010), “The black vertical bar represents a 100-fold drop in affinity relative to the receptor with the highest affinity. As a rule of thumb, this is presumed to be the limit of perceptible receptor interaction. Receptors to the right of the black bar should be imperceptible, while receptors to the left of the black bar should be perceptible, increasingly so the further left they are” (p. 14).
|p-DMAB Reagent||Marquis Reagent||Mecke Reagent||Froede Reagent|
|LSD||Deep purple||Olive black||Greenish black||Moderate yellow green|
(Info provided by DOJ, 2014)
Here are several other LSD identification resources.
- How to Tell the Difference Between LSD and 25I-NBOMe
- LSD Identification Guide (Bunk Police)
- LSD Field Tests Differentiate LSD from 25I-NBOMe (Erowid)
- LSD Glows under Ultraviolet (UV) Light (Erowid)
Side Effects and Adverse Reactions:
The effects of LSD depend largely on the amount taken. LSD can cause a variety of negative effects including:
- dilated pupils
- raised body temperature
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- loss of appetite
- dry mouth
- panic/fear reactions
Sensations and feelings can change dramatically. Users may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large doses, LSD can produce delusions and/or visual hallucinations. The user’s sense of time and self is altered. LSD may also give the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds – a phenomenon referred to as synesthesia.
Bad Trips. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts alongside feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death. Cole (2014) examined the estimated frequency of bad trips associated with the use of LSD through an online survey of recreational users (n=2557); 1.2% of respondents reported experiencing bad trips during all of their LSD experiences, while 53.4% of respondents reported never having bad trips on LSD.
Flashbacks. LSD users can also experience flashbacks, which are recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks occur suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. In some individuals, the flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). It’s estimated that about 1 in 50,000 hallucinogen users develop HPPD.
- Literature Review on the Adverse Effects of Psychedelic Drugs
- Unfavourable reactions to LSD: a review and analysis of the available case reports
- Comparison of acute lethal toxicity of commonly abused psychoactive substances
- Self-inflicted testicular amputation in first lysergic acid diethylamide use
- Lysergic acid diethylamide: side effects and complications
- An LSD Trip into the Timeless Loop
- LSD: Lineage of a Sacrament
- LSD, Methamphethamine, Heroin, Cocaine – Where Did They Come From?
- Telepathy During an MDMA and LSD Trip
- LSD vs. DOI
- MDMA, LSD, a Foam Party, and Cops
- LSD: A Healing Trip
- Stages of the LSD Experience
- LSD: The Spring Grove Experiment
- Alcohol vs LSD Challenge
- Dancing Between Mortal Terror and Perfect Comfort
- Dandelion Thursday on Acid
- Trip on Metaphor Mountain
- More Trip Reports…
- Response of Cluster Headache to Psilocybin and LSD
- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder: what do we know after 50 years?
- Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation with LSD in Historical Perspective
- LSD and the phenethylamine hallucinogen DOI are potent partial agonists at 5-HT2A receptors on interneurons in rat piriform cortex
- LSD, Meditation, and Music
- ‘Hitting Highs at Rock Bottom’: LSD Treatment for Alcoholism, 1950-1970
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for alcoholism: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases