The discovery of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) happened via an accident when a scientist gave himself an ergot poisoning and intense hallucinations while working with a fungus that grows on a rye seed. From there, this substance has been circulating all over the world in various forms such as a tablet, sugar cube, liquid LSD, and blotter paper.
As a highly potent hallucinogen, LSD is an illegal substance that can affect a person’s mind and perceptions for a short duration. Because it can provide a pleasurable feeling, some people use this substance for recreational purposes.
Because of today’s rampant use of drugs and illegal substances, drug testing has become a requirement when applying for various jobs and other institutions. So, how long does LSD stay in your body?
LSD Drugs Effects
Although the exact mechanism of action of LSD is unknown, several studies revealed that it affects the release of brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate. As a result, the drug affects a person’s state of mind for up to 12 hours after intake.
Tripping is the term used for taking LSD. The drug’s effects can be either good or bad. For most people, they experience a good trip wherein they feel pleasurable sensations. For some, they may have a bad trip wherein they feel a nightmarish experience. A bad trip can happen to anyone and no one knows why this occurs.
With that, one may experience short-term effects of LSD within 30 to 90 minutes after intake. The drug’s effect is different from each person. Nonetheless, most people have experienced the following psychological effects:
- Euphoria or an overwhelming feeling of pleasure and happiness
- Hallucinations or terrifying thoughts
- Mood changes
- Trance-like state
- Blurred vision
- Tactile sensations
- Time distortions
- Loss of smell
- Anxiety, panic, and delusions
- Identity distortion
In addition to psychological effects, people have also experienced physical effects such as:
- Loss of depth perception or the ability to determine the distance between objects
- Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
- Increase in body temperature
- Irregular breathing
- Involuntary muscle movement
- Insomnia or restlessness
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
LSD can also bring forth several long-term effects, especially when taken in multiple doses and for a long period. These effects may last for a couple of days to years. The long-term effects are:
- Drug tolerance
- Mood swings
- Lack of interest, enthusiasm, and motivation
- Communication disorders
- Irrational thinking
- Hallucinations or difficulty in identifying a fantasy from reality
- Depression and suicidal thoughts or tendencies
- Anxiety and panic attacks
The most common long-term effect people experience is flashbacks. Experts speculate that it is due to the remaining LSD in the cerebral spinal fluid that gradually goes to the brain, which causes vivid memories of the LSD experience.
How Long does LSD Stay in Your System?
LSD does not stay long in the body. Unlike other drugs, it quickly leaves the body once the effects start to decline and disappear. Typically, this drug and its metabolites will be completely out of your body for about 24 – 36 hours after your last intake.
Nonetheless, it is important to consider the short and long-terms effects of this illegal substance before taking it even though it quickly leaves your system.
Other Drugs Stay in Your System (How Long):
|Alcohol||3 to 5 days||10 to 12 hours|
|Amphetamine||1 to 3 days||Around 12 hours|
|Barbiturates||2 to 4 days||1 to 2 days|
|Benzodiazepines||3 to 6 weeks||2 to 3 days|
|Cannabis||7 to 30 days||2 weeks|
|Cocaine||3 to 4 days||1 to 2 days|
|Codeine||1 day||12 hours|
|Heroin||3 to 4 days||12 hours|
|MDMA (Ecstasy)||3 to 4 days||1 to 2 days|
|3 to 6 days||24 to 72 hours|
|Methadone||3 to 4 days||24 to 36 hours|
|Morphine||2 to 3 days||6 to 8 hours|
Most drugs will permanently stay in the hair strand. However, technicians follow a standard procedure for hair testing. For this reason, the hair test can only detect the presence of these drugs for up to 3 months after the last ingestion.
Factors that may Influence How Long LSD Stays in your System
Typically, the drug will leave quickly out of your system. However, some factors may influence the length of time the drug will stay in your body, which includes the following:
A person’s age can affect the body’s ability to process LSD. Typically, young people have a fast metabolism and a highly efficient body compared to the elderly (65 years old and above). For this reason, the drug will leave quickly in younger people.
- Height and Weight
The weight and height of a person can have a significant influence on how the body absorb, break down, and eliminate various substances. Typically, a person who is taller and heavier will be able to process more LSD. Thus, the drug will be out of their body faster compared to people with a petite physique. The amount of lean muscle and body fat of a person can also affect the drug processing timeline.
- Food Intake
For drugs taken orally, the absorption occurs in the digestive tract. If you take this medication with food, the body will take some time to process the drug. The size of the meal will also affect the absorption rate of LSD. However, if you take the substance on an empty stomach, you will feel its effects sooner and the drug and its metabolites will be out your body quickly.
- Metabolism and Liver Function
The liver is the main organ that breaks down various drugs, including LSD. The health condition of the liver will affect its efficiency to process this drug.
People with liver dysfunctions will have a difficulty breaking down the drug, which results in LSD staying longer in the body. In a worst-case scenario, it may lead to toxicity.
Some people also have a fast metabolism due to their genetics and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Thus, these people can process LSD quickly and eliminate it quickly.
- Dosage and Frequency of Use
Most people take about 20 to 80 mcg of LSD. For some people, especially those who have already developed drug tolerance, they take about 100 to 200 mcg of LSD. There will be a difference in these two groups. The drug will stay longer in people taking high doses because their body will take some time to process that much amount.
Typically, a urine test can detect the presence of LSD and its metabolites in the urine for up to 34 to 120 hours after intake for those taking higher doses.
- Taken with Other Substances
Taking LSD with other substances can greatly affect its absorption, metabolism, and elimination rate. Keep in mind that some substances such as grape juice can slow down the liver’s ability to process LSD by decreasing the activity of the enzyme CYP450. Tobacco, on the other hand, has an opposite effect. Thus, combining this drug with tobacco may hasten the elimination process.
Always remember that taking LSD with other substances at the same time may alter the effects of the drugs. It is best to avoid mixing several substances. Doing it will only endanger your health.