Monday, 22 October 2012

The Effects and Symptoms of LSD

“In the 1960s, people took acid to make the world weird.
Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.”

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, is a semi-synthetic drug made of lysergic acid.  Also known as Lysergide or LSD-25, it is a colourless, tasteless, odourless, crystalline substance which is soluble in water or alcohol.  It is a chemical that alters a user's mood, thoughts or perceptions.  For this reason, LSD is grouped into a class of drugs known as hallucinogens or psychedelics.  These drugs can cause auditory, visual or somatosensory hallucinations, paranoia or dream-like states.
LSD is a very powerful drug - a dose as small as a single grain of salt (about 0.010 mg) can produce some effects.  Psychedelic effects are produced at higher doses of about 0.050-0.100 mg.
LSD was first synthesized from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.   In 1938, Albert Hofmann working in the Swiss pharmaceutical company called Sandoz, produced LSD for the first time.  He was hoping that this new drug could be used to stimulate circulation and respiration.  However, the tests he conducted were all failures and he forgot about LSD for 5 years.  In 1943, Hofmann accidentally ingested (or somehow absorbed) a bit of LSD and experienced some of the psychedelic effects of this chemical: dizziness, visual distortions and restlessness.  A few days later he prepared 0.25 mg of LSD in water and drank it.  He again experienced the mood and thought altering effects of LSD.  This he documented in his book “LSD – My Problem Child”.  He died on April 29, 2008.  He was 102 years old.

The street names for LSD are Acid, beast, blue cheer, blue heaven, dot, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, cid.    Common illegal forms of LSD include:
·         blotter paper
·         mini tablets (‘microdots’)
·         capsules
·         gelatine sheets

The effects of LSD
The effects of LSD strongly depend on the mental state of the user and the circumstances in which the drug is used. Therefore, the same dose can produce good and bad ‘trips’ in the same person, depending on the circumstances in which the drug is used.
Tolerance to the effects of LSD develops quickly and users must increase their intake of LSD to get the same effects. The exact neural pathways that are affected by LSD are not completely known. LSD has a chemical structure that is very similar to the neurotransmitter called serotonin. It is thought that the effects of LSD are caused by stimulation of serotonin receptors on neurons, perhaps in the brain area called the raphe nuclei. However, it is still not clear what produces all the effects of LSD.
The sought-after effects of LSD are:
·         changes in mood and sensory perception
·         ‘mind expansion’ as a key to quasi-religious transcendental experiences  
·         feelings of empathy and increased sociability.
The possible short-term effects of LSD are:
·         a distorted perception of depth, time, and the size and shape of objects
·         hallucinations  
·         heightened senses of sight, sound and touch
·         psychological or emotional effects such as anxiety, depression, dizziness, disorientation and paranoia
·         physical effects such as dilated pupils, lowered body temperature, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, rapid heart rate; and convulsions
Many users experience flashbacks, a recurrence of certain aspects of a person's drug experience without the user having taken the drug again.  
The possible long-term effects of LSD are:
·         a growing tolerance to the drug, which disappears quickly after use of the drug is stopped
·         flashbacks which can occur days or even months after the last dose has been taken, leading to disorientation, anxiety and distress
·         prolonged anxiety and depression after use of the drug is stopped.
The physical dangers of the long-term LSD use are unknown.

Symptoms of LSD use
The severity of symptoms produced by LSD depends on dosage, state of mind at the time of ingestion and environment. The mildest symptoms have been reported as a feeling of well-being, mild hallucinations and perceptual disturbances and heightened sensitivity to pleasant stimuli. Other people have reported extreme terror, fear of death, inability to interact socially and unpleasant tactile hallucinations, such as a crawling sensation on the skin. Impairment generally lasts from four to 12 hours, although symptoms may last longer depending on the dose.
Most aspects of the LSD experience are subjective and difficult to measure.  Physical symptoms associated with LSD mimic the actions of the nervous system, similar to those caused by some stimulants. The most distinguishing symptom of LSD intoxication is the hallucinogenic effect, which does not usually accompany most stimulants. LSD shares many of its effects with other hallucinogens, so a user may have difficulty determining which hallucinogenic drug he took.  Only a laboratory analysis can determine this with certainty.
Someone who has taken LSD may show these symptoms:
·         increased heart rate
·         rapid breathing
·         increased body temperature
·         increased blood pressure
·         increased tear production
·         salivation
·         loss of appetite
·         nausea
·         sweating
·         sleeplessness
·         dilated pupils
·         tremors
·         change in visual perception or visual hallucinations
·         auditory hallucinations
·         synesthesia (combined sensory perception such as hearing colors or tasting sounds)
·         tactile hallucinations or magnification of touch
·         delusions of grandiosity
·         distortion of time
·         terrifying thoughts and feelings
·         despair
·         fear of losing control
·         fear of insanity and death

Legal information
LSD is listed in Part III of Schedule 2 of the South African Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, 1992 (Act No 140 of 1992) as an Undesirable Dependence - Producing Substance.  However, from a pharmacological point-of-view it is not considered as being dependence producing.
LSD is a Schedule I drug in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.  Schedule I includes drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted use in medicine. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 in the USA states that the mandatory penalty for possession of 1 gram of LSD is 5 years in prison.
LSD is a Class A drug under The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in the UK which is intended to prevent the non-medical use of certain drugs.   Maximum penalties under the Misuse of Drugs Act are 7 years plus a fine for possession and Life plus a fine for supply.


  1. LSD, hey that's one I never tried lol Tried plenty of other things that all were suppose to make the pain go away. Problem was it always came back once the drug went away. Then i had the additional problems the drugs caused.

    1. Me neither haha - no I seriously did not experiment with hard drugs thank God - the effects of alcohol are bad enough!