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The psychedelic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was misunderstood, ridiculed and cast from the world of medicine, proper treatments and practices. Quite shortly after its first synthesis it had been demonized and portrayed to be the drug to make you go crazy or commit suicide. But how did it gain such a bad reputation? As usual, due to influence and propaganda, millions have formed opinions about the drug without understanding its effects and benefits. More than likely, if you were to ask a random person today about LSD they’d look at you with an awkward eye. They surely wouldn’t know the drug’s ability to relieve anxiety, suppress alcohol/drug addiction and even reduce pain/fear of death in terminally ill patients. Now, I don’t mean to chalk LSD up to be the panacea for modern illnesses, but it does seem to have significant use in medicinal aid, and it hasn’t been allowed to reach its full potential.

History

Before we can submerge into the benefits of the drug, we should first recognize what it is and how it came about. With light research, you’ll find that LSD is typically described to be “one of the most potent, mood-changing chemicals” or “an extremely powerful hallucinogen” and those narratives do fit the drug but only to some degree. LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide, is derived from a chemical in rye fungus known as ergot (which also has a curious history in medicinal use and assistance in childbirth). It was not until 1938 that Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman experimented with the lysergic acid (ergoline alkaloids) in hopes to find a respiratory/circulatory stimulant, an analeptic. In short, Hoffmann was looking to synthesize a new pharmaceutical, and he did, it just didn’t have the effects he was fishing for.

Impression

Because of the complexity of the drug, the effects are different for everyone, without exception. As farfetched as it may sound, LSD is associated with life-changing and spiritual experiences. It can be hard to fathom that any substance could have that power, but we can count it as another benefit of the drug. Its effects can be divided into a few distinct categories though.

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS

As the effects can differ from person to person, there isn’t always an exact or measurable response to the drug; however, there are a few primary physiological outcomes, being pupil dilation, reduced appetite, and alertness. The three of which are far more apparent than the others.

Other physical effects include but are not limited to:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Hypothermia or Hyperthermia
  • Elevated Blood Sugar
  • Goose Bumps
  • Heart rate increase
  • Jaw clenching
  • Perspiration
  • Saliva Production
  • Mucus Production
  • Hyperreflexia
  • Tremors
Keep in mind that most of these effects depend on dosage, and Set and Setting. Physiological effects are secondary and can hardly be noticed next to the sensory and psychological planes of an LSD trip.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL EFFECTS

Now, this part is sure to either intrigue or discourage your involvement/opinion of the drug, and that’s okay. You are entitled to your opinion but at least know the facts, the truth. Within the Psychological impressions of LSD lie three divisions that cover positive, neutral and adverse effects.

Positive:

  • Increase in associative and creative thinking
  • Closed and open-eye visuals
  • Ego dissolution – click here for more detail
  • Sense of unity and connectedness to other life forms
  • General sense of euphoria
  • Life-changing spiritual experiences

Neutral:

  • Change in consciousness
  • Lost track of time
  • Lack of focus
  • Unusual thoughts and speech
  • Range of emotions

Adverse:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Fear of death
  • Overwhelming feelings
  • Flashbacks
Keep in mind that at low to moderate doses, the positive and neutral effects are almost always to be expected. Although, as the dose increases, negative psychological effects begin to increase. This is informally known as a “bad trip.”

 

SENSORY EFFECTS

LSD is famously known to be a hallucinogen which often gets translated into, “it makes you see things that aren’t there.” but what truthfully happens after dosing with LSD is an increase in sensory perception. Many users report an enhanced appreciation for music, a sharper sense of smell and more developed sense of taste and a strong desire to touch soft items as well as other human beings via a sense of unity and connectedness to other life forms. Another unique property of both LSD is synesthesia, or when senses merge, as in hearing/tasting colors or seeing sounds.

Each of these effects, whether physiological, psychological or perceptual all vary and are dependent on the amount of LSD dosed and also an individual’s reception of the drug.

 

PSYCHIATRIC COMPLICATIONS & LONG TERM EFFECTS

Of course, the most pressing questions to answer after all are, Is LSD deadly? Are there long-term effects? Is it addictive? And truth-be-told, common knowledge about LSD would point to yes for every claim. However, I’m am delighted to expose the truth in that FUCK NO, LSD is not ever, ever, ever going to kill anyone, there’s no way or reason to overdose on it. There are NO LONG TERM EFFECTS, and you will NEVER gain a physical addiction to LSD. In fact, tolerance (the decrease in the responsiveness to a drug), develops with LSD after an average dose. You’d have to wait a full three days before the drug has the same effect it did initially. There is no substantial proof suggesting that any undesirable impacts of the drug are permanent. Studies and research are widely available online (you have to pick through the propaganda). Nonetheless, of the various studies and research experiments conducted on the drug, participants have found very few complications regarding the use of LSD. It is true that scientific research has been arrested on account of the drug’s illegality. Still, there is no conclusive data to suggest that LSD can elicit any mental health issue, latent or absent.

In 2015, an extensive study (~130,000 people) was conducted in the United States that found no association between psychedelic use and mental health disorders, psychological distress, suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety.

In any case, the medicinal benefits and spiritual advantages of LSD are genuine. Then, what are they? I spoke earlier about LSD’s power to relieve anxiety & suppress alcohol/drug addiction, two viable uses of the drug that so many Americans can benefit from. A study was conducted where researchers took 12 volunteers living with life-threatening illnesses, mainly terminal cancer, (all of them scored high on tests measuring anxiety, six were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.) they were divided into two groups—one to receive LSD and the other to receive a placebo. The experiment yielded excellent results, and at a two-month follow-up, the researchers found significant reductions in anxiety in the LSD group compared with the placebo group, reductions remained at the 12-month follow-up.

The nature of LSD is not nearly as ominous as it has been portrayed. The volunteers in that study were able to come to terms or find peace within themselves that wouldn’t have been obtained otherwise. It’s hard to explain the type of impact LSD has and how these emotional or spiritual breakthroughs can occur, but there is a video on YouTube that I think does a fine job of displaying the drug at work. In the documentary, Cheyenne, a man with Asperger’s Syndrome experiences a 700μg (700 micrograms) trip. It’s a joy to watch and comes close to capturing the essence of the drug & what it’s like to experience it. A real treat.

 

 

LSD has come a long way, but there is still a lot of negativity surrounding it. Government programs like D.A.R.E. and the DEA have spread misinformation about the drug and kept it in the shadows. LSD—psychedelic drugs, in general, are in a completely different class, away from your painkillers, alcohol, and even marijuana. It’s a drug that stimulates the mind, and it’s cognitive function, perception, and your well being—for the better. It helps the individual to understand duality and innermost secrets kept from oneself. As of now, LSD is still an illegal substance and Schedule I, which means it’s in the “most illegal” category, right beside marijuana and heroin (among others). This is the criteria a drug must meet in order to be classed Schedule I:

  1. High potential for abuse. (LSD strictly cannot be abused because tolerance builds after one use)
  2. No accepted medical use. (Studies show its capacity to relieve anxiety and cure depression)
  3. Lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. (Studies have been performed under medical supervision)

Concerning LSD, all three of these are highly questionable. What seems even more bizarre though is the DEA’s understanding of “potential for abuse” as benzodiazepines, e.g., Xanax, which is physically addictive and can kill you through withdrawal/overdose is Schedule IV, meaning it is considered to have a much lower potential for abuse… yea, right. Aside from the benefits, I want to point out that LSD has no concrete reason to be outlawed and definitely not classed as a Schedule I drug. Perhaps a substance that induces such a free, thought-provoking/insightful perception has no place in America. LSD is so much more than a psychedelic or hallucinogen. It deserves another chance. In the same respect, it should be treated as the potent and powerful drug that it is. LSD is the furthest thing from a party drug. It should be used under supervision,

REFERENCES

TRIPSIT – “Harm reduction techniques and positive support.”

The Third Wave – “Change the way in which mainstream culture perceives psychedelic substances.”

Erowid– “We imagine a world where people treat psychoactives with respect and awareness”

 

CHARTS

 

A ROUGH DESCRIPTION OF LSD EFFECTS BY DOSAGE

20μg Threshold. Some slight euphoria and body high.

30μg Threshold, same as 20 micrograms.

40μg Obviously feeling Lucy’s effects a little bit but again no visuals.

60μg The typical low-quality blotter. Body-high with “underwater like feeling.” Lights are brighter, colors are slightly enhanced and some after imaging and trails. This dosage makes for a good time, even though it isn’t considered tripping. Lasts longer and is similar to a gram of shrooms.

90μg Bright colors, surfaces start to move. Confused or reminiscent thoughts. You begin to think more. Change of short-term memory leads to regular distractive thought patterns. Your brain starts to speed up, and you become more aware of everything.

110μg A hit of some really good LSD. Visuals are getting a lot more obvious now. “ripples” overlaying your field of vision. Patterns from all different cultures seen on walls, surfaces, faces, etc. Closed eye hallucinations become more apparent.

150μg This is the main dosage people try to shoot for if they are not that experienced to get LSD’s effects without freaking out. This dose is usually 1-2 hits of good, legit LSD.

200μg This is where things can get powerful. Your mind is racing. Beautiful colors are everywhere. Closed eye visuals are very apparent at this point. Life changing, spiritual experiences or realization can happen at this dose. If you are a newcomer to LSD, this dose is simply too high for you. Many people can handle it quite well, but some may freak out. ALWAYS USE LSD WITH A TRIP SITTER. TRIP RESPONSIBLY.

250μg This dose is the dose Albert Hoffman, the creator of LSD tried when he first dosed himself to see what LSD’s effects were like. The peak of a 250 mic acid trip can be VERY intense or even scary but like any LSD trip once the peak effects ware off, the more comfortable the trip is. When the comedown started, he was fine, and he became a rock star. Closed eye visuals are amazing at this dose.

300μg You’re getting into heavy territory. Still not considered by most to be a heavy dose, but that’s only because they know where most people including themselves draw the line if they are experienced. It’s a lot like 250 micrograms.

400μg Most people would never take this much unless they knew the acid they had in their possession and wanted to get pretty far out there. This is why you don’t see 200+ microgram hits around. There is some confusion of the senses (i.e., seeing sounds as colors, etc.) Time distortions and moments of eternity, body movements become difficult and disorienting. There is a heightened sense of awareness of one’s feelings and drive. People usually report this dose as thought-provoking and life-changing. For some, their ability to discern is somewhat thrown off. More likely to respond to suggestive stimuli. It is recommended that there be a sitter to watch over the tripper just in case he/she would do something that could be a potential hazard.

500μg Strong hallucinations and visuals. Objects morphing into other objects (both closed and open eye visuals). Destruction or multiple splitting of the ego. (Things start talking to you, or you find that you are feeling contradictory things simultaneously) Some loss of reality. Time becomes meaningless. Pretty much where even some of the most experienced people draw the line. Your vision is almost completely enveloped by fractal patterns, and if you were to stare at some pavement or something, it looks like you can see to the end of eternity. Miles and miles of visual depth. There are many subtypes of these: Mandelbrots, spirals, wave interference patterns, etc.

700μg Out of body experiences and extra-sensory perception type phenomena. Blending of the senses. Visuals containing imagery from Hindu, Aztec, Mayan, Native American, Indian and African cultures are quite common. This is also where “more acid” becomes less important because the effects are very similar to an even higher dose.

1000μg Most people will never go this high. Only shamans and those who seek will go this high. If you had a “two hits and you are floored” type of LSD, or 100 micrograms, and up hits, this is where a ten strip would put you. You basically can’t see anything but visuals, your mind as a whole is infinitely connected with its self and your external environment. Amazing things happen on this dose no matter what if you use LSD as an entheogen. It would scare most people to death because they are not ready for that dose. Some people will think they are dying. Many would end up dialing 911 if they were alone and could read the numbers on the phone.

1500μg Very few people have used this much LSD. It is VERY psychologically dangerous for some people to do this dose. You can no longer see your hand in front of your face. Your cognition and vision are both bathed in the same light. Some people forget to breathe frequently, and I’d imagine a lot of people would pass out. You will lose your ego, but you will meet many organizers of human cognition in this egoless place. They are much smarter than human beings. “they” *are self-conscious neurology. They are the mathematicians behind consciousness and even the visuals themselves. Total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way. Total loss of ego. Merging with space, other objects, or the universe. The loss of reality becomes so severe that it defies explanation. The earlier levels are relatively easy to explain regarding measurable changes in perception and thought patterns. This level is different in that the actual universe within which things are normally perceived, ceases to exist! Satori enlightenment (and other such labels).

A dose 700μg and above will show anyone some very profound things. Doses like 500μg and above have changed many lives in both positive and negative ways.

ALTERNATIVE NAMES

  • Acid
  • Lucy
  • Mellow Yellow
  • Battery Acid
  • California Sunshine
  • Cid
  • Doses
  • Dots
  • Golden Dragon
  • Heavenly Blue
  • Hippie
  • Loony Toons
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
  • Microdot
  • Window Pane
  • Purple Heart
  • Superman
  • Tab
  • Window Pane
  • Yellow Sunshine
  • Zen

Bicycle Day

Bicycle Day is an international holiday that commemorates the date that Dr. Albert Hofmann first tripped on LSD and bicycled home from his lab in Basel, Switzerland on April 19th, 1943. Hey, it’s right before 4/20!

 

TRIP SITTER

Trip sitter, or sometimes a sober sitter or co-pilot, is a term used by recreational or spiritual drug users to describe a person who remains sober to ensure the safety of the drug user while he or she is under the influence of a drug; they are especially common with first-time experiences or when using psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. This practice is qualified as a means of harm reduction.

A trip sitter is sometimes called a psychedelic guide or guide, although this term is more often used to describe someone who takes an active role in guiding a drug user’s experiences, while a sitter merely stands by to discourage bad trips and handle emergencies, but otherwise does not take on an active role.”

Always use a trip sitter when dosing psychedelics. Trip responsibly.