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DRUG INFORMATION THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Drug INFORMATION homeLSD | The Basics | Effects | Dangers
Addiction & Tolerance | Mixing With Other Drugs | FAQ/ Frequently Asked Questions | Drug Tests | Legality | Helpful Links |

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body, use your head.


LSD
The most powerful mind-altering substance known to man.


Basics: What it is;
LSD is a synthetic psychedelic, derived from ergot fungus, and the most powerful conscious-altering substance known to man.
Does of LSD are measured in micrograms (ug) or millionths of a gram. One ounce of LSD contains enough doses for 300,000 adults. Two suitcases of the stuff would be enough to dose the entire population of the USA.
LSD is colourless, tasteless and odourless and usually comes soaked into blotters - squares or sheets of paper decorated with kooky designs (sunflowers, strawberries, rockets etc). They cost about £5 per 'tab'.
Very rarely you may find it as small pills (or 'microdots'), gelatine sheets, or as liquid. Common during the 60s, these forms are super-rare now.

Brands?
A lot of mythology surrounds certain 'brands' of LSD. "Oh Sunflowers and Rockets are really powerful" you may hear. Dealers may claim their product is "200 micrograms".
In fact, since LSD degrades rapidly on exposure to light, air, and heat and the amounts involved are microscopic, you can never be sure how much LSD you are taking.
In the UK, LSD is class A drug. In the US, it is categorised under Schedule 1 along with magic mushrooms, cannabis, and heroin.

Effects / After-Effects
The LSD effect is described as a 'trip' because it is a long (8-12 hours) and powerful experience which takes you beyond normal perception and then back again.
Simply put, it profoundly alters and expands consciousness by loosening or - at higher doses- completely erasing the normal filters and screens between your conscious mind and the outside world.
With these filters down, more information rushes in. You sense more, think more, feel more. You became aware of things normally filtered out out by your mind, visual, auditory, sensory, emotional. The intricate details on surfaces, the richness of sound, the brightness of colours, and the complexity of your own mental processes.
At higher doses, the rush of information becomes a flood and your sense actually begin to merge and overlap (syntheasia) until you can see sounds or smell colours.


Going Up
The effects begin to be felt between 20 minutes to two hours after ingestion. The first signs are a sense of euphoria and expectation, along with a tingling body feeling.
Once started, the effects usually take between 30-45 minutes to reach their peak.
It is common to feel some nausea during this stage. It can be reduced by having an empty stomach.
Peak
The peak effect lasts from two to five hours. A clear symptom is rich visual hallucinations. Colours seem more vibrant. Surfaces may ripple and shimmer. You may notice tiny details on objects. Music sounds richer and louder.
At the same time, you may feel blissful, have flashes of insight into yourself or the world, experience severe time-distortion, or feel yourself dissolving or see objects merging into one another.
Coming down
The trip wears off gradually after 8 to 12 hours, although you may continue to feel tender and altered until you get a full night's sleep.
After-Effects
Physically you will feel tired and drained of energy right into the next day.
Psychologically, any insights or feelings you had during your trip will stay with you. A positive experience can give you a glow lasting hours, days, or even weeks afterwards. A negative experience - or 'bad trip' - can leave you traumatised for the same length of time. But it fades.

Psychedelic effects and the four levels of psychedelic intensity:
The effects below describe the common physical, mental and emotional effects which comprise the psychedelic experience.
This information has been compiled from two sources: the decades of observation and study by psychiatrists in a clinical setting before LSD and other psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s; and books and anecdotal trip reports written by users. See here for a list of sources.
The most important thing to realise is that no two trips are the same. The intensity and effects of a drug like LSD vary dramatically from person to person. If different people take the same amount in the same circumstances, each will have a distinctly different experience. If the same person takes LSD repeatedly, each experience is usually completely different in its flavour and content. (1)
The nature of the psychedelic experience is strongly determined by set and setting. Set is your mindset (how you're feeling, issues in your life, your psychological makeup) when taking the drug; setting is where you are - that includes who you're with and how relaxed you feel. Dosage and previous experience with the drug also have a part of play.


If you take LSD, you will experience some or none of the effects on the following scale:

Baseline
how you feel before taking a drug
Off Baseline
Very mild effect. Relaxation. Giggling. Like being stoned but with enhanced visual perception: colours may seem brighter, patterns recognition enhanced, colours and details more eye-grabbing.
Physically, a feeling of lightness and euphoria, and a slight tingling in the body. Energy. A sense of urgency. Music sounds better.

Off Baseline Plus one (+1)
Stronger visual hallucinations. Radiant colours. Objects and surfaces appear to ripple or breathe. Coloured patterns behind the eyes are vivid, more active. Moments of reflection and distractive thought patterns. Thoughts and thinking become enhanced. Creative urges. Euphoria. Connection with others, empathy. Ability to talk or interact with others however slightly impaired. Sense of time distorted or lost. Sexual arousal. "Flight of ideas" and "ambitious designs". You're tripping.
plus two (+2)
Very obvious visual effects. Curved or warped patterns. Familiar objects appear strange as surface details distract the eye. Imagination and 'mind's eye' images vivid, three dimensional. Geometric patterns behind closed eyes. Some confusion of the senses.
Distortion rather than deterioration of mental processes. Some awareness of background brain functioning: such as balance systems or auditory visual perception. Deep store memory becomes accessible. Images or experiences may rise to the fore. Music is powerful and can affect mood. Sense of time lost. Occasional trance states. Paranoia and distortions of body image possible.
Physical symtoms may include: stiffness, cramp, and muscular tension. Nausea, fever, feeling of illness.
You're loaded.

Plus three (+3)
Lying down. Difficult to interact with other people and 'consensus reality' in general. You should really be somewhere safe.
Very strong hallucinations such as objects morphing into other objects. Tracers, lingering after-images, and visual echoes.
Intense depersonalisation. Category enscramblement. The barriers between you and the universe begin to break down. Connection with everything around you. Experiencing contradictory feelings simultaneously. Some loss of reality. Time meaningless. Senses blend into one. Sensations of being born. Multiple splitting of the ego. Powerful awareness of mental processes and senses. Lengthy trances often featuring highly symbolic, often mythical visions when eyes are closed. Powerful, and sometimes brutal psycho-physical reactions described by users as reliving their own birth. Direct experience of froup or collective consciousness, ancestral memories, recall of past-lives, and other mystical experiences. Ecstasy.
Music extremely powerful, perhaps overwhelming. Emotionally sensitivity increased (often massively). Crying or laughing, or both simultaneously.
Tremors, twitches, twisting movements, sweating, chills, hot flushes - all common.
You're out of it.
Plus four (+4)
A very rare experience. Total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way. Total loss of self. Transcendental experiences of cosmic unity Merging with space, other objects, or the universe. Out of body experience. Ecstasy. "Entity contact". The loss of reality becomes so severe that it defies explanation. Pure white light. Difficult to put into words.sources
- LSD Psychotherapy, Stanislav Grof M.D (Hunter House 1980)
- The Varieties Of Psychedelic Experience, Robert Masters Ph.D & Jean Houston Ph.D (Park Street Press, 2000)
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25). A clinical-psychological study. Savage C Amer. J. Psychiat., 1952; 108:896
top | back to good drugs guide home

Dangers/CAUTIONS
LSD is remarkably non-toxic, has no known adverse physical after-effects, other than fatigue and a lingering sensation of mind-expansion.
However, LSD is a powerful mental amplifier. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, sick at the world, at the quality of modern television, at rampant consumerism, at life in general, do not take LSD
LSD's effects and your reaction to them are strongly determined by set and setting. Set is your mindset when taking the drug; setting is where you are.
The LSD effect makes you enormously sensitive to your environment. You should always be in a safe, comfortable environment, preferably with a friend you trust. The higher you fly, the safer must be the landing arrangements. Many users recommend being outside, in a beautiful setting in nature.
We cannot reinforce this enough: this is not a drug to be taken arbitrarily.

Bad Trips
The most notorious peril from taking LSD is the 'bad trip' when the experience turns frightening and traumatic. You can find out more about bad trips and how to avoid them on our page here.
Of all psychedelic drugs, LSD probably has the highest potential for creating bad trips, thanks to its sheer power and the impossibility of judging the dose of street LSD. Also, LSD can bring buried and repressed unconscious material into conscious awareness. This can be traumatic and frightening if unexpected.
Most people who have experienced a bad trip do not touch the drug again. Experienced users and 'hard heads' accept that bad trips as part of the territory.

Dosage
Street LSD varies massively in quality. Heat, air and light all degrade LSD and there is no way of telling how much you're getting on a single blotter.
On average, today's tabs carry between 40 (low dose) and 150 micrograms of LSD (medium dose).
IMPORTANT: Always wait at least two hours before deciding the LSD is not working. The come-up period can take this long. Do not take another tab. You may well end up in a dimension not of your choosing.
Don't Do LSD Alone
Tripping alone for the first time is not recommended. An experienced and trusted friend should either be your tripping partner, or should abstain and act as a sober sitter or guide to be around and help you if you get into troubled waters.

Be in a nice place
If you're going to trip, please do it in a pleasant and serene environment. No phone calls. No visitors. Be near to nature or surround yourself with attractive plants, pictures, fruit, and other such décor. Have a selection of beautiful music within reach to enhance the mood and help you relax.
If you are dosing with friends, ensure you all take the same amount, at the same time, in full view of everyone else. This will decrease any chance of paranoia and ensure you are all on the same level.
Flashbacks
Flashbacks or the random reliving of aspect of a psychedelic drug experience are often cited as a common side-effect of hallucinogenic drugs, especially LSD. Physicians now refer to this as a condition known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). HPPD only appears to manifest in a small percentage of (perhaps heavy) users.
The main symptoms are persistent 'visuals': trails, geometric shapes, flashes in the peripheral vision, after-images and halos around objects. It can last for weeks even years after the drug.
For more detailed information, please visit this support site.

Addiction & Tolerance
LSD has zero physical addiction potential. It is not physically addictive and it is not a drug that you will want to immediately do again.
However, as with many drugs, users can (and do) become psychologically dependent on LSD. Its pyrotechnic effects and dazzling high can become a distraction, perhaps even an escape from reality for some people. It can become very hard to function in "consensus reality" if you are taking LSD on a regular basis. That, by the way, is an understatement.
Tolerance
Builds up rapidly with LSD. The same amount the next day gives a noticeably diminished effect. This wears off after three days to a week. There is also some cross-tolerance with other drugs of the same 'tryptamine' chemical family (magic mushrooms, DMT).


Mixing with other drugs: known risks;

LSD is powerful and unpredictable. As a rule, do not mix with other mind-altering drugs, especially if you are inexperienced or far from home.
Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Alcohol - Takes the edge off the effect and can help you to relax; drunkenness disappears during the trip; large amounts increase the nausea; drinking on the comedown is not recommended
Amphetamines - Not really recommended; LSD has a speedy effect
Cannabis - Dulls the experience in the come-up; heightens the peak; brings back the effect during comedown
Ecstasy (MDMA) - Known as 'candy-flipping'; the E good feeling can reduce the chance of a bad trip but pay attention to E's safety requirements
Heroin - No information available
Mushrooms - Cross tolerance usually present; not much point in taking other psychedelics at the same time
Tobacco - Up to you, no dangers, but you may be more aware of the damage it's doing to your lungs
Tranquillisers -The police and medical staff are fond of administering Valium and other sedatives to bad trippers; its depressant effects can reduce panic in those experiencing deep anxiety; watch the dose; do not combine with other drugs with depressant qualities: alcohol, GHB, ketamine, heroin.

Drugtests: Detection Times  
LSD is not usually tested for in standard or advanced drug tests.
Because of the tiny amounts involved and its rapid removal from the body, it is very difficult to detect.
LSD usually disappears from the urine within 24-48 hours


Legality:The UK and US

In the UK, LSD is a class A drug. In the US, it is categorised under Schedule 1 along with magic mushrooms, cannabis, and heroin


. 

FAQ: Fequently asked LSD questions;

» Should I take LSD?
» Is LSD poisonous?
» Can a urine drug test detect if I've used LSD?
» Will LSD make me want to jump out of a window?
» I'm on anti-depressants - is there any danger?
» Can doing LSD destroy your reproductive system?
» Is it safe to take LSD during pregnancy?
» What's a 'bad trip' and how do I avoid one?
» What should I do to help someone having a bad trip?
» Is it true that LSD is often mixed with stuff like strychnine?
» What are flashbacks?
» Can LSD make you insane?
» Doesn't LSD cause chromosomal damage and other genetic effects?
» Can you become perma-fried if you take LSD too much?
» What is the addiction potential of LSD?
» On LSD I occasionally get body shakes / twitches. Is this normal?
» What happens to a person when they use LSD every single day for about one year? Are there any long term effects?
» What is the correct way to use an LSD blotter tab?
» Can LSD put holes in your brain?
» Will an alcohol blood test detect LSD use?

» What is the most common way to test for LSD??


» Should I take LSD?
A very good question. The decision is not one to be taken lightly. LSD is no arbitrary street drug. It was used for nearly two decades in experimental psychotherapy in clinical conditions. One of the pioneers of this LSD Psychotherapy in the sixties was the Czechoslovakian Dr Stanislav Grof. He made some interesting observations of the responses of different people to LSD. This may help your decision.

Grof observed that people who react badly to LSD are often:
“ in their everyday life…constantly concerned about maintaining perfect control over their feelings and behaviour. They are afraid of temporary or permanent unleashing of instinctual energies, especially those of a sexual or aggressive nature, and of involuntary emotional outbursts. There is frequent preoccupation with the issue of loss of control and fear of social embarrassment, blunder and public scandal resulting from the ensuing behavior.”
LSD Psychotherapy, Stanislav Grof (Hunter House, 1980) p. 55
Most dangerous however are those with who feel they have “few alternatives left in life” and are gripped with a “potentially dangerous eagerness and strong motivation to have a psychedelic session”. He explains:
“ They find themselves in a subjectively unbearable situation of intense conflict associated with great emotional distress and tension. Typical characteristics include serious questioning of the meaning of life, toying with suicidal fantasies, and a careless and risky approach to various life-situations in general…In their fantasy LSD becomes the magic tool that will give them instant relief, either by mediating a miraculous cure or by precipitating self-destruction.”
LSD Psychotherapy, Stanislav Grof (Hunter House, 1980) p. 56

» Is LSD poisonous?
No. LSD is one of the least toxic chemicals known to man. It is less poisonous than aspirin and vitamin C.

» Can a urine drug test detect if I've used LSD?
LSD is not usually tested for in standard or advanced drug tests. Because of the tiny amounts involved and its rapid removal from the body, it is very difficult to detect. It stays in the urine for 24-48 hours.

» Will LSD make me want to jump out of a window?
No LSD will not make you think you can fly. This is a myth. However, LSD is a very very powerful conscious-altering drug and if you are ill-prepared or in a strange environment, you may experience panic attacks, extreme anxiety, paranoia, or even feelings that you're about to die. A bad trip, basically. See our guide to avoiding a bad trip.

» I'm on anti-depressants - is there any danger?
Studies show that selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type anti-depressants such as Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Zoloft (Sertraline) decrease the effects of LSD.
Trycyclic antidepressants (such as Tofranil or Norpramine) increase LSD effects.
Mono-amine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antipressants should never be taken alongside LSD and other psychedelics (including Ecstasy/MDMA) as the combination can provoke severe physical effects.

» Can doing LSD can destroy your reproductive system?
No. This is a myth, which originates in a study dating back to the LSD hysteria period (1967) which showed that LSD caused "chromosonal breaks", or damage to DNA, and it was inferred that LSD could cause birth abnormalities.
The study failed to mention that nearly *all* drugs, legal or illegal, cause chromosonal breaks - including aspirin, caffeine, anti-biotics, and artificial sweetners, the majority to a greater degree than LSD. You can read an examination of the study here (long)
However, like all drugs, LSD should be avoided during pregnancy. Ergot, the fungus from which LSD is synthesised, can induce uterine contractions.

» Is it safe to take LSD during pregnancy?
Absolutely NOT EVER!!. LSD can induce uterine contractions.

» What is a bad trip and how do I avoid one?
A bad trip occurs when the euphoria of an LSD trip changes into something more sinister and frightening. It can be triggered by a threatening or adverse environment, the surfacing of difficult unconscious memories or material, a sense of being overwhelmed by the power of the drug and by attempting to resist its effects, or by problems between you and anyone you may be sharing the experience with. People hostile to LSD are more likely to have bad trips.
Bad trips are characterised by intense feelings of paranoia, sensations of dying, fear, and anxiety. This maybe accompanied by threatening or frightening visual hallucinations: spiders, blood, insects, monsters, skulls etc. It is a deeply uncomfortable and traumatic state but can be avoided or changed by taking careful precautions. See our bad trip guide.

» What should I do to help someone having a bad trip?
Change something. The music, the setting, the lighting. Reassure them that they have taken a drug and the effects will wear off. Give them a time scale and a sense of when it will end. Above all be calm and do not panic. See our bad trip guide for more details.

» Is it true that LSD is often mixed with stuff like strychnine?
This is a myth. Strychnine is not a by-product of the synthesis of LSD. Strychnine has never been discovered in over 2000 analysed samples of street LSD. There's not enough space on a LSD blotter to contain enough strychnine to poison you.

» What are 'flashbacks'?
Flashbacks are the involuntary reliving of an LSD trip or state of mind days, week, or even months after an experience, usually after some auditory or visual clue triggers a passing memory of the experience. They are, however, very rare, despite what anti-drugs organisations say.

» Can LSD make you insane?
There is evidence that underlying mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, can be 'activated' by LSD use. Therefore people with any history of mental illness should avoid LSD.
However, when used clinically in the 60's, psychatrist Dr Sidney Cohen surveyed a sample of 5000 individuals who had taken LSD twenty-five thousand times. He found and average of 1.8 psychotic episodes per thousand ingestions, 1.2 attempted suicides, and 0.4 completed suicides. 'Considering the enormous scope of the psychic responses it induces,' he concluded, 'LSD is an astonishingly safe drug.'"

» Doesn't LSD cause chromosonal damage and other genetic defects?
This is a myth, originating from a single flawed study in the 60s which exposed cells in a petri dish to massive concentrations of the drug. In the same experiment, caffeine and aspirin caused greater chromosonal damage. But that isn't mentioned.

» Can you become perma-fried if you take LSD too much? Is there a limit to how many times you should take it?
There doesn't seem to be a set limit to the amount of LSD an individual can take, physically or psychologically. "Acid casualties" from the 60s and 70s do seem to suggest that repeated chronic use of LSD can have long term effects on your brain and your mental well being. At the same time, however, practitioners like Dr Timothy Leary took LSD over one thousand times in their lifetime with no apparent long term physiological damage. Although, if you read his later books you may disagree.
Perhaps what is important is less how much you take, but more how you take it. People like Leary were very careful about 'set' and 'setting' when taking LSD, ensuring their environment and people around them were relaxing to guarantee a pleasant trip and to lessen the chance of "freaking out".
If you take LSD a lot (like every weekend) you may find it increasingly difficult to come back to normality, or may become increasingly isolated from those in your circle who do not take it. As always, moderation is recommended. See our LSD guide for more details.

» What is the addiction potential of LSD?
Physically speaking, virtually zero. The typical amount of LSD ingested is microscopic (100 millionths of a gram) and tolerance builds up quickly - you have to wait 3 or 4 days before LSD will work on you again.
However, like any drug, you can get captivated by the way it makes you feel and the insights you may have under its influence. It is possible to become psychological addicted to LSD. And if you're doing it twice a week or every weekend, it will become difficult to it relate to the 'real world'.

» On LSD, I occasionally get body twitches and uncontrollable shakes. I am curious as to why this happens and if it is a problem / harmful?
There are two possible reasons why this may be happening. Many users of LSD report energy surges or ripples in their body when tripping, often accompanied by psychological 'flashes' or 'insights' or sensation of deep relaxation. If you're interested, Eastern mind-body systems like Yoga call this energy 'prana' and through practice, it can channelled and controlled. LSD can sometimes make you aware of this energy.
Alternatively, another explanation is that these shakes are a symptom of distress or fear - a warning sign that you may be getting into deep water.

» What happens to a person when they use LSD every single day for about one year? Are there any long term effects?
First you couldn't use LSD every day. Tolerance builds up rapidly and lasts for three to seven days. Two or three times a week is possible but that is seriously heavy LSD use. LSD has very few short or long term physical side effects, bar fatigue. Repeated doses however can have a profound psychological effect, leaving you detached from normal reality, especially if taken in a recreational, rather than therapeutic setting. You may want to ask yourself: why am I taking LSD so often?

» What is the correct way to use a LSD blotter tab?
Just swallow it, preferably with distilled water not tap water as even small amounts of chlorine can destroy LSD.

» Can LSD put holes in your brain?
No.

» Will an alcohol blood test show up LSD use?
It is unlikely that an alcoholic test would be extended to cover LSD. LSD is rarely tested for in urine or blood test unless specifically requested. It is also difficult to detect, due to the microscopic amounts usually ingested.

» What is the most common way to test for LSD?
There used to be a product available from online Dutch smart shops which tested for LSD and other tryptamine-family chemicals (i.e. psilocybin and DMT) but we are unable to find it anymore. You may be able to locate it if you search around Google.com. The alternatively is one of the numerous home-testing kits marketed for suspicious parents.

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Some resource Links that may be useful:
http://www.lindesmith.org
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/

University of Amsterdam Center For Drug Research  http://www.cedro-uva.org

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