What is LSD?

Known by most as LSD or acid, lysergic acid diethylamide is a potent psychedelic drug. First synthesized in 1938 by Swiss Scientist Albert Hofmann in Basel, Switzerland, it was only years later that its psychedelic effects were noticed.

After Hofmann discovered LSD acid, research into its potential therapeutic effects began in earnest in the 1950s. Hofmann had noted the strange psychedelic effects after some LSD got onto his skin.

After acid found its way onto the counterculture scene of the 1960s, it gained new stigma and illegal status after it was widely used and sometimes abused. Eventually the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified LSD as a Schedule 1 drug, and it still is today.

However, promising medical and therapeutic research is challenging this thinking once more. Partially the result of the popularity of microdosing, LSD has resurfaced as a potential therapeutic drug.

Is LSD Natural?

LSD is a synthetic chemical made from a natural substance, ergot. This rye fungus is natural, but LSD itself is synthesized.

What is in Acid?

what is LSD -- molecule

Acid is lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD, its own chemical compound, known in scientific circles as C20H25N3O. There is typically nothing else in acid drugs.

LSD Effects: What is LSD Like?

Mindset, dose, personal chemistry, setting, time, place, and other factors all contribute to the LSD experience, and each individual journey is unique. There is no way to predict exactly how an acid trip will go. However, there are some common effects and experiences that LSD tends to induce you can be aware of.

How is LSD Used?

There are numerous LSD uses, depending on who you ask. Here are some of the highlights of the LSD effects you can expect:

  • Enhanced sensory perception (greater appreciation for music, desire to touch soft or squishy items, or a improved sense of smell and taste)
  • Synesthesia, in which senses blend—for example, you “hear” colors or “taste” a smell.
  • Vivid hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, including seeing things like a spiderweb or checkerboard pattern and bright, swirling colors.
  • Change in consciousness
  • “Time stretch” or lost time
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Strange speech and thoughts
  • Unusual, wide-ranging emotions

LSD and Medical Use

Here are some common medical uses of LSD:

  • Self-exploration and spiritual/personal growth, improved outlook on life
  • Some studies indicate LSD may help treat depression and anxiety
  • Some research indicates LSD and other psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca may be used to treat PTSD
  • Other studies indicate LSD may be useful in treating alcoholism and other forms of substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Some research also seems to indicate that LSD helps regions of the brain communicate more freely and increase associative and creative thinking
  • Sense of unity, ego dissolution, and connectedness to other life forms
  • In various studies involving individuals with life-threatening diseases, LSD assisted psychotherapy was shown to have long-term, positive effects on anxiety, quality of life, and social relationships.

And although some experts question what is driving the relationship between psychedelic use and spirituality, it appears to be a symbiotic relationship between wanting spiritual growth, seeking it out, and actually benefiting from effects from LSD.

What is a Bad Trip?

Acid can, under the wrong circumstances, cause effects that—while not dangerous—feel very uncomfortable, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Fear of death
  • Other overwhelming emotions

How Common is LSD Usage?

LSD usage is on the rise in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Back in 2010 the US government estimated that there were about 23 million lifetime LSD users in the US in 2010; since that time use of LSD has sharply increased.

What Does LSD Stand For?

LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide.

LSD vs Acid: Are LSD and acid the same thing?

Yes, basically. Acid and LSD are basically interchangeable terms. Of course other drugs beyond LSD/acid are psychedelic, such as the psilocybin found in magic mushrooms, but there is no difference between LSD and acid.

Are There Different Types of LSDs?

Not exactly. LSD itself is a specific compound. But there are various kinds of hallucinogenic drugs, and different forms of LSD, such as LSD tabs, a kind of absorbent paper with LSD liquid on it, dried. Bigger sheets of LSD paper are usually broken up into smaller acid tabs like LSD strips or LSD stamps. Generally, though, these all have the same active ingredient: lysergic acid diethylamide.

How Do You Take LSD?

How to do acid sort of depends on the person. The best way is not always the same—in fact, the best way for you might be kind of awful for me, and vice versa. The effects of using acid drugs are very personalized.

But some basic rules apply to everyone:

  • Pay attention to set and setting. The right place varies from person to person, but you need to feel and actually be safe.
  • Have help. Especially if it’s your first time, make sure you have backup ready—and that they know what you’re doing.
  • Keep it low-key. At first, clubbing all night is probably less than ideal. Be at home or outside in nature.
  • Don’t panic! Remember, even if you have a bad experience, it will pass.

Where to Buy LSD

LSD is illegal in almost every country around the world. Check local law before you attempt to buy LSD.

LSD: Other Names

Street names for LSD include acid, blotter, dots, tabs, lucy in the sky with diamonds, mellow yellow, yellow sunshine, micro dots, lucy mae, mind detergent, etc. Many other names for LSD exist, but it is all the same compound.

Final Thoughts on LSD

Are you ready to get started expanding your mind with acid? It can be an exciting experience! And if you’re careful and you do it right, an extremely positive one.