Last reviewed by Miljan Krcobic on August 28th, 2018.
What is LSD? Is LSD natural or synthetic substance?
LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is an extremely potent hallucinogenic substance that was accidentally synthesized in 1938, by Albert Hofmann, from ergotamine, a chemical derivative of ergot alkaloids.
It is a semi-synthetic substance which is produced from lysergic acid that can be found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD is produced in a form of crystals and then mixed with solvents or diluted as a liquid for getting ingestible forms. It is colorless, odorless and has a slightly bitter taste.
It is sold in tablet form, as a small tablets known as Microdots, but also as a Sugar Cubes – gelatin squares which are commonly known as Window Panes, but most commonly LSD is formulated as a blotter paper which is sheets of absorbent paper that is impregnated or soaked in with LSD, covered with designs or artwork with different colors, and perforated into one-quarter inch square, which is actually individual dosage unit.
Is LSD a controlled substance?
In the US, LSD is categorized as a Schedule I controlled-substance, which means that it has no accepted medical indications for regular use and there is a lack of safety associated with its use. However, LSD belongs to the group of the least addictive drugs, and is currently under studying as a therapeutic agent for cluster headaches, alcoholism, anxiety associated with terminal cancer, and management of pain.
What are LSD effects?
LSD effects are generally unpredictable. Usually, effects begin after 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion. It has intense effects. The user may feel several different emotions at once, experience extreme changes in mood or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If large doses are taken, LSD produces delusions and visual hallucinations and states similar to schizophrenia.
The physical effects may include: higher body temperature, sweating, dilated pupils, nausea and loss of appetite, increased blood sugar, increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, dry mouth and tremors.
Abuser may also experience impaired time perception and depth, with distorted perception of the shapes and size of objects, their movements, sound, color, touch and own body image. Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. Those sensations are known as phenomenons of: Synesthesia, Chromesthesia, Kaleidoscopic view, Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and Flashbacks.
These changes can be very frightening and may cause hard panic attacks, especially in those who are taking LSD for the first time and if they are alone. Some LSD users may also experience severe phobias, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death.
An experience with LSD is known as a “trip” and acute adverse reactions as a “bad trip”. These experiences can last pretty long, and higher doses may last for 10 to 12 hours.
How long does LSD stay in your system – Urine, Blood, Saliva, Hair, Spine
The duration of an LSD actions or LSD “trip” typically last from 6 to 12 hours, however it is individual thing and varies on numerous factors such as: age, body weight, dosage, and tolerance. Older findings suggested that the half-life time of LSD is 2 hours and 45 minutes, but the newest studies found that LSD half-life is nearly 5.1 hours.
This actually means that in most cases, 50% of the LSD ingested amount will be eliminated from the body after just 5 hours. If both finding are taken into account, it means that 100% of LSD will be eliminated from the body in inaccurately 15 – 28 hours. Although LSD is eliminated quickly from the body, it is important to know that different metabolites may stay for a longer time.
There are myths that traces of LSD may incorporate into spinal cord and stay here forever, and such persons may experience LSD effects for a very long time. There are no studies and scientific evidences to prove that. Most data suggests that effects disappear when the drug has been eliminated from the blood.
What factors may influence on how long LSD stays in your body?
Many factors may have an impact on LSD elimination from the body. Those factors can be following:
- Age: Younger individuals usually absorb and metabolize LSD more efficiently than the elderly (ages 65+).
- Height / Weight: Individuals who are taller and heavier may process LSD quicker than individuals who are shorter and lighter. Other factors that may influence the time that LSD stays in your system include: amount of lean muscle and body fat percentage.
- Food intake: If LSD is taken with food it will be poorly absorption than if it is taken on an empty stomach. The more food person takes before using LSD, the worse is the absorption.
- Genetics: Some people are known to be “fast metabolizers” of drugs while others are “slow metabolizers.”
- Liver function: Suboptimal or damaged liver function is linked with poor clearance of various drugs. A person with impaired liver function, especially those with hepatitis or cirrhosis will have a problem to metabolize and eliminate adequate amounts of LSD – which could result in toxicity.
- Stomach and urine pH: The stomach pH level may have an impact on the absorption of LSD. Also, individuals with acidic urine tend to excrete drugs quicker than those with highly alkaline urine.
- Taken dose of LSD: A majority of LSD users usually ingest between 20 mcg and 80 mcg, whereas frequent users typically takes between 100 mcg and 200 mcg per “trip.” Studies showed that 100 mcg of LSD may be detected 30 hours after ingestion, 200 mcg after 35 hours, 400 mcg after 40 hours. LSD metabolites also increase with greater doses and they are detectable in urine typically between 34 hours and 120 hours.
- Frequency of use: Heavy and frequent use of LSD will result in a greater degree of metabolite accumulation in the body. Those who take LSD more frequently will clear this drug at slightly prolonged rate compared to recreational users.
- Taking other drugs or substances: Some drugs may inhibit the liver’s ability to metabolize LSD, possibly causing LSD to stay in body longer than it should be. Also some drugs may alter LSD absorption. Those who are on a therapy with antidepressive drugs such as SSRI or MAO inhibitors drugs should never take LSD together with them, because there is a serious interaction that may cause serotonin syndrome.
- LSD purity: The purity of LSD has an impact on how well the substance is absorbed and metabolized and excreted from the body. Purity depends on how the LSD is stored but also if it is legitimate LSD original lysergic acid diethylamide or whether is some impure LSD analogue (a drug similar to LSD). Air-tight brown glasses are the most effective way to store LSD for a long-term in order to retain full potency. Different LSD analogues, depending on their specific pharmacokinetics, may be cleared from the body more or less faster.
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