LSD & Acid Overview

Read our lsd & acid overview to learn about the origination of LSD, the effects of acid use, and medicinal uses for LSD. It is important to understand the immediate mental effect of LSD use, as well as the long-term psychological problems acid can cause.


One of the most dangerous drugs, especially in terms of mental health, is LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), or "acid". Our LSD and acid overview found that LSD is one of the most famous amongst the drugs known as hallucinogens. LSD is very potent, and is a drug for which the body can build a tolerance. The good news is that addiction to LSD is not very common. However, the long lasting and terrifying effects that LSD can have on the body and, especially, the mind should give one pause before even experimenting with the drug.

LSD & Acid Overview: Origins

The Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann is credited with first synthesizing LSD in 1938. LSD was referred to as LSD-25, with the 25 being the sequential designation following its name in German (Lysergsäure-diethylamid). The lysergic acid used in the making of LSD comes from ergot. Ergot is a fungus that usually grows on rye. The research was done in an effort to see what sort of medicinal purposes could be derived from ergot.

Originally, the idea was to use acid as a stimulant for the respiratory and circulatory systems. However, the drug did not show promise in these areas. Five years later, in 1943, the psychedelic properties of LSD were documented when Hofmann gave himself a large dosage. He went on a “trip” that included feelings of paranoia and fear, as well as hallucinations of fantastic proportions.

LSD history indicates that research in the 1940s regarding LSD focused around the effects of the drug on the brain. The United States government researched LSD in the 1950s and 1960s to determine the effects of acid. The British government conducted secret tests of the drug as well in the 1950s. When this secret testing by governments came to light later, there was an uproar.

LSD was marketed by Sandoz Laboratories as a therapeutic drug. LSD was used legally as a psychiatric drug for a number of years. However, during the 1960s and the 1970s, LSD gained in popularity beyond therapeutic circles. It became a recreational drug. The widespread abuse of LSD led to its outlaw in the United States. Even though it is considered a Schedule I drug, and LSD is not even used for medicinal purposes in the U.S. However, there area some organizations that still fund the research of LSD for medicinal purposes.

LSD & Acid Overview: How Acid is Used

Even though it is illegal, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that more than 200,000 new users begin abuse of acid each year. LSD is usually taken from a blotter paper or as part of a sugar cube. It can also be eaten in gelatin. Capsules, tablets and liquids can also be used to deliver acide to the user. LSD is colorless and odorless, and has a taste that is slightly bitter (hence the use of the sugar cube or gelatin).

Because it can be absorbed so easily, it is delivered through skin or orally most often. It is sometimes even delivered through the eyes, by putting a small blotter or gelatin on the whites. However, acid dissolves quickly and can be taken in drink or through injection. When properly stored, LSD can retain its potency for several years. However, it is sensitive to chlorine, oxygen and ultraviolet light. All one needs to feel the psychoactive effects of acid is a dose of between 20 and 30 micrograms.

LSD & Acid Overview: Effects of LSD

The effects of acidcan take about 20 minutes to manifest. Peak effects are reached within 30 to 45 minutes of taking the drug. Effects can go on for two to five hours. However, it is important to note that flashbacks from LSD (acid flashbacks) use can occur years later, and the mental effects of LSD use can last longer than the original “trip.”

The types of effects that LSD has on a person often depend on the following factors:

  • Personality of the user.
  • Dosage of the drug.
  • Environment in which the LSD is abused.

LSD affects different people in different ways. No two people ever have the same acid experience.

Some of the physical effects of LSD include:

  • Pupil dilation.
  • Increased body temperature.
  • Higher heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Sweating.
  • Tremors.

Additionally, acid use can have the following psychological effects when abused:

  • Fear of insanity.
  • Frightening feelings and thoughts.
  • Fear of death.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Long-term psychoses (including severe depression and/or schizophrenia).

It is important to realize that someone who is taking LSD needs help. And while there usually isn’t a great deal to overcome in terms of physical addiction (although that is a factor), the larger issue will be overcoming the mental health issues associated with LSD or acid abuse.

Related Article: LSD Abuse Warning Signs >>