Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, popularly known as LSD is a potent mood-changing chemical. It is illegally produced in crystal form and converted to liquid for easy distribution. Some people use it because of its ability to disconnect you from reality.
It is illegally sold on the street in the form of a small tablet, gelatin square, capsule, and sometimes added to absorbent paper divided into tiny squares and decorated with cartoon character design such as the loony toons. (1, 2, 3)
How Long Does LSD (Acid) Stay in Your System – infographic
Picture 1: LSD in the capsule form.
Photo Source: drugfreeva.org
Photo 2: LSD tablet form, which is considered a party drug.
Image Source: s1.ibtimes.com
Popular Street names of LSD
- California Sunshine
- Looney toons
- Purple Heart
- Superman (3)
What are the effects of LSD on the body?
The effect of LSD varies from one person to another. It also has something to do with the amount taken. The effect can be felt 30 to 90 minutes after taking LSD. You will be able to observe the following:
- The pupils become dilated.
- Low/high body temperature along with high/low blood pressure and heart rate.
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Visual disturbances (4)
- Mood changes
- Difficulty to differentiate fantasy from reality
- Intense bliss (mistaken for enlightenment)
- Delusion and visual hallucination (when taken in large dose)
- LSD users experience flashbacks.
- Sense of time and identity are distorted
- Depth perception is impaired
- Panic attacks
- Psychosis (if the patient is severely addicted to LSD) (2)
How long does LSD stay in your system?
How long the LSD stays in your system primarily depends on the amount you take and your body’s ability to flush out drugs and toxins from the body. About 50% of LSD leaves the body five hours after ingestion. For the remaining 50%, it would take more than 24 hours before it could be completely eliminated from the body. (3, 4, 5)
Want to know How long does Cocaine stay in your system?
How long does LSD stay in the blood?
It is one of the most accurate ways to detect LSD in the body. LSD stays in the blood for six to 12 hours after ingestion. (5, 6)
How long does LSD stay in the urine?
LSD can be detected in the urine for up to eight hours after the last intake. Once you ingest LSD, it breaks down into 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD, a metabolite excreted in the urine and it can linger in the body for a long period of time. The metabolite of LSD can be detected in the body for up to five days after the last ingestion. (6, 7)
How long does LSD stay in the hair?
It is less commonly used for drug testing because it is a bit expensive. However, it can detect LSD and other varieties of drugs for up to 90 days after the last ingestion. The metabolite of LSD can be detected in the hair using the process gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as well as a high-performance liquid chromatography. (5, 6, 7)
What are the factors that can significantly affect the detectability of LSD in the body?
- The type of test used – There are a variety of ways to check for LSD in the body and the type of test can greatly affect the detectability of the drug.
- Age – Younger people can metabolize the drug faster than older people. Hence, elderly LSD users have a longer window of detection than young adults.
- Height and Weight – The person’s height and weight can greatly affect the body’s ability to metabolize LSD. Fat and tall people can break down LSD faster than short and skinny people.
- Dosage and frequency of use – A heavy dose of LSD cannot be easily removed from the body. More so, if you have been using LSD for a long period of time. The higher the dose and the more frequent you take LSD, the harder it is to be completely eliminated from the body.
- Food intake – LSD, when taken with food, takes longer to eliminate from the body than taking the drug on an empty stomach.
- Function of the liver – The liver is the organ primarily responsible for the breakdown of drugs and other substances. A healthy liver can efficiently breakdown LSD while an unhealthy liver may take some time for the drug to be eliminated completely.
- Drug interactions – If you take LSD along with other substances, it would be impossible to eliminate the drug the soonest time possible. However, there are a few substances that can help speed up the elimination process such as taking LSD with tobacco. It is one of the reasons why many drug users are smokers too. (7, 8, 9, 10)
What are the best ways to check for the presence of LSD in the body?
The typical drug testing method cannot accurately detect the presence of LSD in the body. It is the reason why many LSD users can get away and are not caught on random drug testing (blood, urine, and the likes). However, if there is a reason to believe that you did take LSD, special testing procedures called Abuscreen and EMIT are used.
- Abuscreen – It checks everything such as the blood, urine, serum, and the content of the stomach.
- EMIT – It is a series of test that checks the blood, urine, serum, and stomach content.
LSD is a psychedelic drug. It is illegal to use such drug because of the negative effects it causes to the body. Not to mention, the life-threatening effect of LSD. However, the use of LSD cannot be easily detected using the random drug testing. Which is why it is important to carefully observe the demeanor of the person and perform the tests mentioned above when deemed necessary.
It is also important to make sure that the drug testing center has the latest state of the art testing equipment to be able to come up with the most accurate results. (3, 6, 8)
Disclaimer: LSD is an illegal drug and should not be used by any means. The purpose of this article is to draw awareness and information about LSD and its effects on the body. We do not sell or promote the use of LSD or any other illegal drugs. The sole purpose of this article is for education and awareness. Let this article be a guide to come up with healthy life choices. Illegal drugs are bad for your health and could even cause your life and your significant others. Avoid illegal drugs by all means.