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 Dr. Stanislav Grof. The Czechoslovakian doctor made some interesting observations on 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 behavior. 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 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 in the world.

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) antidepressants should never be taken alongside LSD and other psychedelics (including Ecstasy/MDMA) as the combination can provoke severe physical effects. You can find more information here.

Can doing LSD destroy your reproductive system?

No. This is a myth, which originates from 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, can cause chromosonal breaks -- including aspirin, caffeine, antibiotics and artificial sweeteners -- the majority to a greater degree than LSD. You can read an examination of the study here.

However, like all drugs, LSD should be avoided during pregnancy. Ergot, the fungus from which LSD is synthesized, can induce uterine contractions.

Is it safe to take LSD during pregnancy?

Absolutely not. 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 characterized 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. See our bad trip guide.

What should I do to help someone having a bad trip?

Change something, like the music, the setting and/or 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 analyzed samples of street LSD. The argument often is that there is not enough space on an 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, weeks 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.

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 1960's, psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Cohen surveyed a sample of 5000 individuals who had taken LSD twenty-five thousand times. He found an 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 1960s in which scientists exposed cells in a Petri dish to massive concentrations of the drug. In the same experiment, caffeine and aspirin caused greater chromosonal damage.

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 might 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 chances 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, LSD is not an addictive drug. 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 psychologically addicted to LSD rather quickly for these reasons. And if you're doing it twice a week or every weekend, it will become difficult to relate to the "real world" in many ways.

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 be channeled 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. See our bad trip guide.

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. Repeated doses of LSD 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?"

How is an LSD blotter tab physically taken?

Most users swallow it with distilled water, not tap water, as even small amounts of chlorine can destroy LSD.

Can LSD put holes in your brain?


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 a 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?

Numerous home-testing kits marketed to suspicious parents, like this oneexist and are readily available.

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