“Everything You Need to Know About LSD”

First created in Switzerland by a scientist named Albert Hofman back in 1938, nobody knew that LSD was going to get so many people addicted. But the truth about this drug is that it is not physically addictive.

It strikes you with psychological effects instead.

Hofmann had hoped to produce medicine from the chemical ergotamine, but his creation did not produce the desired effects. It would take years before he discovered the intoxicating properties of LSD. Only when Hofmann accidentally absorbed some through his skin did he realize that the drug he made had some psychedelic effects.

He had delusions of being able to stop time—but this only happened upon taking a significantly bigger dose of LSD. Little did he know this was only the beginning of a trend that would get the whole world hallucinating.

In the 1960s, authorities went so far as to prohibit the drug because of its rampant recreational use by the youth, particularly in the Western world. Nowadays even more people are hooked on LSD, and so it’s only fitting to try and learn more about it.

What is LSD?

Everyone has heard of LSD before, but not many people question what the acronym stands for. In fact, not many people know why it’s called LSD when it stands for lysergic acid diethylamide. The truth is that the name LSD is taken from its modern laboratory name, which is derived from the German “Lyserg- säure-diäthylamid”.

LSD is a psychedelic drug that is most popular for its psychological effects. Unfortunately, most of its adverse health effects also affect the human mind—something we will discuss further later on.

This drug is also known as “acid,” and the high you get from it is called an “acid trip”. Users experience altered perception of their surroundings, also described as pseudo hallucinations.

But there is nothing “pseudo” about the fact that acid trips are completely unpredictable. Every person experiences it differently. The only commonality is that users feel extreme euphoria, and have a heightened awareness of the world around them. They may be able to sense things they’ve never sensed before. They may “feel” colors, “hear” textures, or “see” sounds.

A person on LSD is also shown to have higher brain activity, according to a new study.

This higher level of consciousness, does not give the user any significant advantage, and scientists say their brain activity is simply less predictable. In fact, during the 1950s, officials at the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried to test if the drug could be used for mind control or chemical warfare. It was used on students and young servicemen, but no results were found.

LSD is usually swallowed or held under the tongue using blotter paper. It may be sold in sugar cubes, gelatin, or blotter paper itself. LSD can also be injected. And because a small amount can already cause an intense high, the drug is very cheap and accessible. This is the reason people abuse it despite the drug not being addictive.

LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine, making blotter paper somewhat necessary. In its pure form, this drug is both clear and odorless. Just a few micrograms would produce the desired effect.

It does not physically make you want it. Instead, LSD strikes on a psychological level, in which it produces feelings of paranoia, anxiety, and delusions.

Aside from these effects mentioned above, LSD has other ways of affecting the people who abuse it.

Medical Uses and Effects

LSD has no approved uses in medicine, despite what Albert Hofman originally intended. It is being studied for therapeutic purposes. However, it may take a lot of time before it is developed into a therapeutic drug, given that its highs are unpredictable. Even long time users have to be wary of bad trips, which produce terrifying images instead of the usual joyful experience. Right now there’s no way to tell whether an acid trip would be a bad trip.

The effects of LSD can last up to 12 hours, meaning a bad trip could be downright traumatic.

A single “tab” of blotter paper can send someone into an intense trip of vivid hallucinations. LSD is not something to be taken lightly.

On a physical level, LSD causes pupil dilation, reduced appetite, and a sense of wakefulness. However, other physical effects vary from person to person. Some commonly reported symptoms are nausea, hypothermia, hyperthermia, numbness, perspiration, and tremors.

LSD also attacks the mind, creating illusions and making the person paranoid of their surroundings. Bad trips can also produce irrational fears, panic attacks, anxiety, and other negative emotions. People are likely to experience rapid mood swings, intrusive thoughts, and even suicidal ideation.

While good trips can be incredibly euphoric, the exact opposite can also happen at any time.

If abused, LSD can impair mental functioning. It is reported to play a role in precipitating the onset of acute psychosis, even in otherwise healthy individuals. The risk is higher if the user comes from a family with a history of schizophrenia.

Resisting LSD is difficult because of all its psychological effects. Treatment and rehabilitation is still necessary, but the first and most important step is still being willing to seek help.