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What exactly is LSD?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic compound derived from a molecule found in rye-infecting ergot fungus (grain).

LSD is a member of the class of chemicals known as psychedelics. It can create minor changes in perception, emotion, and thinking when taken in low amounts. Larger doses may cause visual hallucinations and space-time abnormalities. 2

Sometimes, compounds advertised as LSD are actually NBOMe or members of the 2C family of medications (part of the new psychoactive substances). Due to their variable quality, these can be quite hazardous. A number of fatalities have been attributed to the over consumption of these other substances.

What it looks like

LSD is a colourless, odourless, crystalline material in its purest form. In contrast, LSD is so strong that an effective dose of the pure substance is so minute that it is practically unnoticeable. Consequently, it is typically diluted with other substances.

When consumed, drops of LSD solution dried onto gelatin sheets, blotting paper (LSD paper), or sugar cubes release the drug. LSD is also occasionally offered in liquid, pill, and capsule form.

Also known as Acid, trips, tabs, microdots, dots, and Lucy.

How does LSD work?

LSD is typically ingested or dissolved under the tongue, though it can also be snorted, injected, or smoked.

Results of LSD

There is no amount of drug use that is safe. Any drug use includes inherent danger. It is essential to use caution when taking any form of medicine.

LSD can affect each individual differently, depending on:

size, weight, and well-being

whether the person is accustomed to the medication, whether other drugs are used concurrently, the amount taken, and the drug’s potency (varies from batch to batch).

The effects of LSD often begin within 30 minutes and persist between 8 and 12 hours. The following are possibilities:

  • Exhilaration and wellbeing
  • Changes in perception, such as visual and aural hallucinations, are caused by pupil dilation.
  • Headaches caused by disorientation and problems concentrating
  • Nausea irregular heartbeat or body temperature increase
  • Rapid respiration, vomiting, face flushing, perspiration, and chills.


It is more likely that LSD will have negative consequences if a large dose is consumed. Dial triple zero (000) immediately if you or someone else exhibits any of the following symptoms (ambulance officers do not need to contact the police):

Psychosis risk increased with fear and paranoia.

Bad trips

A person may occasionally endure a “bad trip” characterised by frightening hallucinations. This might result in panic and dangerous behaviour, such as crossing the street or trying self-harm.

Getting lower

In the days following LSD use, the following symptoms may manifest:

insomnia tiredness body and muscle aches depressive symptoms

Long-term outcomes

Some individuals who use LSD frequently may eventually experience flashbacks. This is the recurrence of an LSD experience, typically a visual distortion involving perceptual or emotional shifts.

Flashbacks may occur weeks, months, or even years after the last use of a substance. When a frightening event or hallucination is recalled during a flashback, they can be distressing. 1, 2

Flashbacks can be triggered by stress, fatigue, exercise, or the use of other substances. They often last one or two minutes. 2

LSD and Psychological Aspect

LSD use can cause or exacerbate mental health issues such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and psychosis.

Those with a history of these problems should avoid LSD.

However, research on the safe, therapeutic administration of LSD at a controlled dose has demonstrated its efficacy in treating depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety in patients with life-threatening diseases.

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