hallucinogenic drug(LSD) is one of the most commonly used ‘psychedelic’ or ‘hallucinogenic’ substances. It comes in a variety of forms, but is virtually always taken orally. Today, LSD is most commonly found in the form of small squares of paper called ‘blotter’ (full sheets of paper are decorated with artwork or designs, perforated, then soaked in liquid LSD solution and dried). Other forms include pills, gelatin sheets or shapes (pyramids, cubes, etc), liquid, liquid sugar cubes, and powder. Blotter is most common because it is easily produced, easily concealable and the format allows for few adulterant chemicals.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as LSD or acid, is a highly potent hallucinogenic drug. It is made from lysergic acid, which is derived from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.1
LSD is typically sold in the form of small tablets, capsules, or liquids. A solution of liquid LSD is commonly added to blotter paper and divided into decorated squares.1
LSD is almost always taken orally, but it may also be used via other routes, such as being dropped into the eye. Over the years, various street names have been used for the drug, including blotter acid, dots, Mellow Yellow, Window Pane, and Yellow Sunshine. 2,3,4
How Is It Metabolized?
LSD is completely absorbed in the digestive tract. The liver quickly breaks it down into 2-oxy-LSD and 2-oxo-3-hydroxy LSD—both inactive byproducts of LSD metabolism (metabolites). Other metabolites include LAE, nor-LSD, 13- and 14-hydroxy-LSD, lysergic acid ethyl-2-hydroxyethylamide, trioxylated LSD, and di-hydroxy-LSD.
The half-life of LSD is 3.6 hours, which means it takes about that amount of time for half of the dose to be cleared from the bloodstream.4
How Long Do the Effects Last?
The onset of LSD effects, and the duration of those effects, depend on the dose and how the person takes the drug. In experimental settings:
- A 100-250 microgram dose taken by mouth will produce effects within 30-45 minutes, with peak effects occurring between 1 hour and 2.5 hours and lasting 9-12 hours.
- A 100-250 microgram dose taken by intramuscular injection will produce effects within 15-20 minutes, with peak effects occurring within 1 hour and lasting 9-10 hours.
- A 40-180 microgram dose taken by intravenous injection will produce effects within 3-5 minutes, with peak effects occurring within 1 hour and lasting 9-10 hours.
- A 20-60 microgram intraspinal dose will produce effects in less than an hour, with peak effects occurring within an hour and lasting 9-10 hours.4