LSD is short for lysergic acid diethylamide and is also known as LSD-25 or lysergide. It belongs to the ergoline family, which means that its structural skeleton is within a varied range of alkaloids. It’s also a psychedelic drug that uses compounds taken from natural sources like plants for starters.
Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, was the very first one who was able to successfully synthesize the drug. He did it inside the laboratories of the Sandoz company which is now known as Novartis. While it was first synthesized in November 16, 1938, it wasn’t until April 19, 1943 when it was discovered that it contains psychedelic properties.
Obviously, he didn’t synthesize it to be used as a recreational drug. He was actually looking to synthesize it to be used as an analeptic. The synthesis was shelved for 5 years and when he decided to take a second look, he accidentally exposed himself and his body absorbed LSD. He also described his experiences after accidentally taking it:
“At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”
He also said that he felt extremely restless and a little bit dizzy.
This made him more curious, so he experimented on himself three days later by ingesting 0.25 miligrams of LSD. The effects were more overwhelming this time, as he experienced extreme perception changes while hitching a ride home on a bicycle. Anxiety and paranoia then kicked in, as he immediately believed that he was being poisoned and that his neighbor was a witch. But the bad effects then turned to good, as he soon enjoyed the experience that he described as “kaleidoscopic”. This is the very first LSD trip, now known as “Bicycle Day”.
Its usage became widespread for the next couple of decades. By the sixties, the government stepped in after receiving a lot of complaints about the drug’s corruptive potential. A debate soon followed with supporters pointing out that it presents several benefits when taken in a controlled environment. But the government decided to declare it as Schedule 1 anyway. This made LSD illegal especially since the classification tagged it as a drug that has a high potential of abuse. This was the explanation given by United States Drug Enforcement Administration regarding the classification:
“Although initial observations on the benefits of LSD were highly optimistic, empirical data developed subsequently proved less promising … Its use in scientific research has been extensive and its use has been widespread. Although the study of LSD and other hallucinogens increased the awareness of how chemicals could affect the mind, its use in psychotherapy largely has been debunked. It produces aphrodisiac effects, does not increase creativity, has no lasting positive effect in treating alcoholics or criminals, does not produce a ‘model psychosis’, and does not generate immediate personality change. However, drug studies have confirmed that the powerful hallucinogenic effects of this drug can produce profound adverse reactions, such as acute panic reactions, psychotic crises, and “flashbacks”, especially in users ill-equipped to deal with such trauma.”
California was the very first state to ban LSD on October 6, 1966. The rest of the world soon followed.
What Slang Names Is LSD Known As?
Here are the most popular slang names for LSD:
- Sugar cubes
What Effects Does LSD Have?
It’s hard to pinpoint the specific effects of LSD because it’s very unpredictable. This is because it’s dependent on a lot of things. Of course, the dosage taken plays a big part in determining the effects. In addition, the environment and ambiance of the place where the drug is taken also plays a part. Lastly, the user’s current mood and his expectations when taking the drug will also determine the effects.
However, these are the most common effects that LSD has:
- A spike in the body’s temperature
- Appetite loss
- Rapid switches in emotions
- Changed perception
- A sense of seeing sounds and hearing colors
A good thing about LSD is it’s not addictive. However, long-term users have found out that they can experience flashbacks of their lives. This is a recurring experience and it still happens even after the user stopped taking the drug. In fact, some users have reported that they’re still experiencing these flashbacks more than a year after last taking LSD.
Who Makes LSD?
Compared to the past decades, very few people make LSD nowadays. This is because it’s not in demand nowadays. During the height of its popularity in the 70s and the 80s, chemists were the ones who were making LSD. But with the decreased demands, some users resorted to making their own. You don’t need to be a chemist in order to make it. But you do need to have at least college-level expertise of chemistry.
Where is LSD made?
Since making LSD involves college-level chemistry, it’s often made inside laboratories. It’s not one of those drugs that you can do in a vacant room or garage. You would need to set up that room and turn it into a laboratory. Right now, it’s still being made in underground laboratories all over the world.
What is LSD made from?
You would need lysergic acid and you can derive it from natural sources like morning glory seeds or ergot. You will also need reagents and solvents like anhydrous hydrazine and chloroform.
How to Make LSD
You would need to start with extracting lysergic acid amide from the ergot or the morning glory seeds. Once you have that, you need to dissolve it with methanoic KOH solution that has the methanol removed. It will result to a residue that you need to treat with a liquid solution of KOH. It will then be heated before several other processes like extraction and filtration are applied.
Someone familiar with the process has this to say about the whole process:
“Most of the people who make LSD are experienced organic chemists working in fully equipped laboratories. One will usually need precursor chemicals, such as lysergic acid amides, which you can pretty much only obtain with a DEA license. Or you could specifically harvest the ergot fungus and chemically extract its alkaloids, then process those into the specific amides, then finally LSD. For this you would need thousands and thousands of dollars worth of lab equipment, experience in harvesting microscopic fungi, weeks worth of time, proper growing chambers in a completely sterile environment, all the necessary chemicals, a great amount of experience in organic chemisty, etc. You cannot make LSD without a fully equipped lab (college chemical research type labs at least, for example).”
What Does LSD Look Like?
It’s often in liquid form. This is why it’s usually sold in vials or containers designed for breath freshening drops. Sometimes, especially in the past, it’s applied in blotter paper. It can also be applied in sugar cubes.
What is a Standard Dose Of LSD?
A 20 ug (microgram) dose is already an effective dose. A dose anywhere in between 25 and 75 ug is still considered light, with most users taking a dose that’s something in between 50 to 150 ug. Anything higher than that up to 400 ug is already considered as a strong and heavy dose. Just take note of the lethal dose which is 12,000 ug.
How is LSD Taken?
It is usually taken orally. It can also be injected but most users prefer to take it orally since the effects are almost as immediate as taking it by injection.
Where is LSD Taken?
The effects are often overwhelming for LSD users. This is the reason why it’s advisable that it’s taken inside homes and that’s an advice that most users follow.