hemp studied
If you want to use drugs, read this first
What's addictive?.

LSD was discovered by Albert Hofmann, he carefully documented his experiences;

It is my desire in this book to give a comprehensive picture of LSD, its origin, its effects, and its dangers, in order to guard against increasing abuse of this extraordinary drug. I hope thereby to emphasize possible uses of LSD that are compatible with its characteristic action. I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonder child.

You can download "LSD, my problem child" here (outside link)

Generic name for the hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide-25. Discovered by Dr. Albert Hofmann in 1938, LSD is one of the most potent mind-altering chemicals known. A white, odorless powder usually taken orally, its effects are highly variable and begin within one hour and generally last 8-12 hours, gradually tapering off. It has been used experimentally in the treatment of alcoholics and psychiatric patients. (Where it showed some success.) It significantly alters perception, mood, and psychological processes, and can impair motor coordination and skills.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, LSD experimentation was legally conducted by psychiatrists and others in the health and mental health professions. Sometimes dramatic, unpleasant psychological reactions occur, including panic, great confusion, and anxiety. Strongly affected by set and setting.

Slang names

Acid, sugar.
Drug Slang Terms (NB: many of these refer to the carrier, ie, "Blotter" or "Sugar Cubes". Often the local names will refer to patterns printed on the blotter, eg, "Blue unicorn".):
Acid, 'Cid, Sid, Bart Simpsons, Barrels, Tabs, Blotter, Heavenly blue, "L", Liquid, Liquid A, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Microdots, Mind detergent, Orange cubes, Orange micro, Owsley, Hits, Paper acid, Sacrament, Sandoz, Sugar, Sugar lumps, Sunshine, Tabs, Ticket, Twenty-five, Wedding bells, Windowpane, etc.

Addiction potential:

Zero physical addiction potential. Not something that makes you want to do it again immediately.
Essentially zero psychological addiction potential.

Rarely people use it to escape in a negative way or as part of "polydrug abuse" behavior or pattern of behavior. Usually in this case other drugs are causing more harm, and the fundamental problem is a personal difficulty; the escapism/distraction is a symptom.

Bad trips:

The most common adverse reaction is a temporary (less than 24 hours) episode of panic --the "bad trip". Symptoms include frightening illusions/ hallucinations (usually visual and/or auditory); overwhelming anxiety to the point of panic; aggression with possible violent acting-out behavior; depression with suicidcal ideations, gestures, or attempts; confusion; and fearfulness to the point of paranoid delusions.

A person on LSD who becomes depressed, agitated, or confused may experience these feelings in an overwhelming manner that grows on itself. The best solution is to remove disturbing influences, get to a safe, comforting environment, and reassure the tripper that things are alright. It may comfort those who fear that they are losing their minds to be reminded that it will end in several hours.

Authorities are fond of administering injections of anti-psychotic drugs. Recovery in the presence of authorities, in hospitals or police stations, is not pleasant. Sedatives or tranquilizers such as Valium may help reduce panic and anxiety, but the best solution is calm talking.

Remember that odd bodily sensations are normal and not harmful. "The distinction between psycholytic and psychedelic doses of LSD is used in many scientific publications but seems to be ignored by popularizers who either preach the "LSD utopia" or warn of the "decline of the West."
A psycholitic dose, generally 75 or 100 - or at most 200 - micrograms, causes a rush of thoughts, a lot of free association, some visualization (hallucination) and abreaction (memories so vivid that one seems to relive the experience).
A psychedelic dose, around 500 micrograms, produces total but temporary breakdown of usual ways of perceiving self and world and (usually) some form of "peak experience" or mystic transcendence of ego. "Bad trips" usually occur only on psychedelic doses."

Reactions that are prolonged (days to months) and/or require hospitalization are often referred to as "LSD psychosis," and include a heterogenous population and group of symptoms. Although there are no hard and fast rules, some trends have been noted in these patients. There is a tendency for people with poorer premorbid adjusment, a history of psychiatric illness and/or treatment, a greater number of exposure to psychedelic drugs (and correlatively, a great average total cumulative dosage taken over time), drug-taking in an unsupervised setting, a history of polydrug abuse, and self-therapeutic and/or peer-pressure-submission motive for drug use, to suffer these consequences.


1. LSD does not form "crystals" that reside in the body to be "dislodged" later, causing flashbacks.

LSD is a crystalline solid (though it is unlikely that one would ever have enough to be visible to the naked eye) but it is easily water soluble, thus cannot form bodily deposits. Furthermore, it is metabolized and excreted in hours. The bogus "loosened crystal" description in not necessary to explain flashbacks, which are psychological phenomena (see FLASHBACKS).

2. LSD does not cause chromosome damage.

In Science 30 April 1972, Volume 172 Number 3982 p. 431-440 there was an article by Norman I. Dishotsky, William D. Loughman, Robert E. Mogar and Wendell R. Lipscomb titled "LSD and Genetic Damage - Is LSD chromosome damaging, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic?". They reviewed 68 studies and case reports published 1967-1972, concluding "From our own work and from a review of literature, we believe that pure LSD ingested in moderate doses does not damage chromosomes in vivo, does not cause detectable genetic damage, and is not a teratogen or carcinogen in man."

Well, there's the study by Sidney Cohen which was cited here recently, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 130, 1960. The following is from Jay Stevens' Storming Heaven: "Cohen surveyed a sample of five thousand 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.'"


Purely psychological hazards, not harmful to body. May release latent psychosis or exacerbate depression, leading to irrational behavior. There is also a danger of foolish or incautious behavior, e.g, misjudging distances or thinking one can fly. Physical overdose is not a hazard, though one may easily ingest more than one may be able to handle psychologically.


Quoted without permission from 'Licit and Illicit Drugs,' written by Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports. ISBN: 0-316-15340-0

A simple explanation of LSD flashbacks, and of their changed character after 1967, is available. According to this theory, almost everybody suffers flashbacks with or without LSD. Any intense emotional experience--the death of a loved one, the moment of discovery that one is in love, the moment of an automobile smashup or of a narrow escape from a smashup--may subsequently and unexpectedly return vividly to consciousness weeks or months later. Since the LSD trip is often an intense emotional experience, it is hardly surprising that it may similarly "flash back."

A typical minor and pleasant flashback is the following:

... Frequently afterward there is a momentary "opening" ("flash" would be too spastic a word) when for maybe a couple of seconds an area one is looking at casually, and indeed unthinkingly, suddenly takes on the intense vividness, composition, and significance of things seen while in the psychedelic condition. This "scene" is nearly always a small field of vision -- sometimes a patch of grass, a spray of twigs, even a piece of newspaper in the street or the remains of a meal on a plate
(Cohen 1970[1965], pp. 114-115)

Here are two more troublesome examples:

For about a week I couldn't walk through the lobby of A-entry at the dorm without getting really scared, because of the goblin I saw there when I was tripping.
(Pope 1971, p. 93)

A man in his late twenties came to the admitting office in a state of panic. Althought he had not taken any drug in approximately 2 moths he was beginning to re-experience some of the illusory phenomena, perceptual distortions, and the feeling of union with the things areound him that had previously occurred only under the influence of LSD. In addition, his wife had told him that he was beginning to "talk crazy," and he had become frightened ... He was concerned lest LSD have some permanent effect on him. He wished reassurance so that he could take it again. His symptoms have subsided but tend to reappear in anxiety-provoking situations.
(Frosch et al. 1965, p. 1237)

Flashbacks are most likely to occur under emotional stress or at a time of altered ego functioning; they are often induced by conditions like fatigue, drunkenness, marihuana intoxication, and even meditative states. Falling asleep is one of those times of consciousness change and diminished ego control; an increase in the hypnagogic imagery common at the edge of sleep often follows psychedelic drug use and can be regarded as a kind of flashback.

Dreams too may take on the vividness, intensity, and perceptual peculiarities of drug trips; this spontaneous recurrence of psychedelic experience in sleep (often very pleasant) has been called the high dream (Tart 1972). Marihuana smoking is probably the most common single source of flashbacks. Many people become more sensitive to the psychedelic qualities of marihuana after using more powerful drugs, and some have flashbacks only when smoking marihuana (Weil 1970). In one study frequency of marihuana use was found to be the only factor related to drugs that was correlated with number of psychedelic flashbacks (Stanton et al. 1976).

How common flashbacks are said to be depeds on how they are defined. By the broad definition we have been using, they occur very often; probably a quarter or more of all psychedelic drug users have experienced them. A questionanaire survey of 2,256 soldiers (Stanton and Bardoni 1972), leaving the definition to the respondents, revealed that 23 percent of the men who used LSD had flashbacks. In a 1972 survey of 235 LSD users, Murray P. Naditch and Sheridan Fenwick found that 28 percent had flashbacks. Eleven percent of this group (seven men in all) called them very frightening, 32 percent called them somewhat frightening, 36 percent called them pleasant, and 21 percent called them very pleasant. Sixty-four percent said that their flashbacks did not disrupt their lives in any way; 16 percent (4 percent of the whole LSD-using group) had sought psychiatric help for them (Naditch and Fenwick 1977). In a study of 247 subjects who had taken LSD in psychotherapy, William H. McGlothlin and David O. Arnold found 36 cases of flashbacks, only one of which was seriously disturbing (McGlothlin and Arnold 1971). McGlothlin, defining flashbacks narrowly for clinical purposes as "repeated intrusions of frightening images in spite of volitional efforts to avoid them" (McGlothlin 1974b, p. 291), estimates that 5 percent of habitual psychedelic users have experienced them.


Insomnia occurs frequently after the trip. A mild, over-the-counter sleeping aid can help, and these antihistamines do not produce adverse interactions. Also, some people like to consume a small amount of alcoholic beverage to "smooth the jitteries". The usual precautions about sleeping aids if alcohol has been consumed apply of course.


Acquired rapidly, within 3 days. Tolerance dissipates equally rapidly, without withdrawal, craving, or symptoms of addiction. Cross-tolerance can and is developed between other indole hallucinogens, eg, DMT, LSD and Psilocybin.

Related compounds

Related compounds are the indole hallucinogens including DMT (dimethyl-tryptamine), DET (diethyl-), etc.; psilocybin; lysergic acid. DMT is very fast acting, lasting less than an hour. Psilocybin, found in hallucinogenic (aka magic or mexican) mushrooms, has effects similar to LSD but they work for approximately half the duration.

While LSD is semi-synthetic, DMT and psilocybin are found in nature.

Drug testing

No risk. Its not looked for, hard to find, and transient.

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