The substance that makes acid is a fungus. LYSergic acid diethylamide can last up to 12 hours.

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LSD is a potent, long- lasting drug. It is derived from a fungus that grows on grains.

The synthetic drug has a chemical structure similar to serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical in your brain.

Acid molecule land on the Serotoninergic acid diethylamide, which causes the well-known effects of LSD. This includes color and shape distortions, as well as other effects.

The molecule nestles into the pockets of the receptor and the amino acids put a lid on it. The molecule is trapped in place.

The drug’s effects won’t begin to fade until the molecules are knocked off or come loose from the serotonin receptor. This can take anywhere from 6 to 15 hours. It all depends on the potency of the drug, your size, and any other medications you might be taking.

How long will it be detectable?

If you’re asked to complete an LSD screening or drug test, traces of acid or its byproducts may be detectable in your urine for 1.5 to 5 days. The doctor may order a blood test, which has a shorter detection window. In rare cases, a doctor may test for LSD using your hair follicles.

These amounts are highly dependent on the timing of the test. Compared to other substances such as cocaine or cannabis, LSD metabolizes quicker in the liver, affecting detectability on drug tests. In addition, a person typically only consumes a small amount, which also makes LSD harder to detect. Standard drug testing, typically as a urine sample, does not detect LSD.

You may begin to feel the effects of one “tab” of acid within 20 to 90 minutes of ingesting the drug.

Although the average acid trip can last anywhere from 6 to 15 hours, most trips won’t last more than 12 hours. After your trip is over, you may experience “afterglow” effects for another six hours, which are the lingering effects of happiness, anxiety, or a feeling of “lightness” in life.

Between the initial trip and the comedown, it can take up to 24 hours for your body to return to its typical state of being.

Acid is odorless. Someone making or selling acid usually puts the liquid onto absorbent, colorful paper squares called blotter papers. Each paper has several tabs. One tab is enough to get you to go.

It is also sold as pills and sugar cubes. In each form, the substance is mixed with other substances. The potency of each product is different.

LSD is a psychoactive drug. The effects of the drug often alter your perception of your environment, your body, your mood, and your thoughts. What’s real and what’s imagined become less clear during an acid trip.

The effects of acid trips can be felt in two different ways.

  • Acid affects your body.
  • Acid affects your brain.

Effects on your brain/perception

The hallucinogenic effects of LSD are powerful. Your senses are heightened. Everything in your environment is amplified.

During an acid trip, you may see:

  • brighter colors.
  • Changing shapes.
  • trails behind objects
  • Unusual patterns.
  • Loud colors.

You can also feel better with the help of LSD. Acid can make you feel more relaxed, happy, or content. You may become more excited and joyful.

If you take acid while you are angry or upset, you may be more upset during the trip. Take your current mood into account before you travel.

Effects on your body

You may experience some things during an acid trip.

  • Increased blood pressure.
  • The heart rate is faster.
  • higher body temperature.
  • nausea
  • The mouth is dry.
  • Anxious.
  • insomnia

The symptoms should go away in 24 hours.

LSD is considered a safe and nontoxic drug when taken at standard doses. LSD toxicity, or death from LSD, is rare. You’re more likely to have a “bad trip” — a distressing psychedelic episode — than you are to experience physical harm.

For most people, a dose of 1 to 3 micrograms per kilogram (mcg/kg) of body weight is enough to produce a moderate trip.

“If you haven’t used acid before, starting with a smaller dose may be a safer way to determine how your body handles the drug. Heavy doses of LSD can make you feel unwell.”

Often, an LSD gelatin or “window pane” may contain slightly more acid per piece than a blotter paper tab. However, without chemical testing, it’s impossible to know exactly how much LSD is in any product you choose to take.

It is difficult to know how much of the drug is in a single dose, so it is a good idea to not use it.

If possible, allow a more experienced person to use it first and then take a smaller dose. It is best to use LSD in a safe space and have a plan in place to account for unsafe behaviors.

Liquid LSD is also very potent. You should avoid taking it directly unless you know how diluted it is. In addition, though the risk of death and severe consequences from LSD is low, negative side effects are possible.

These include:

Bad trip. During a bad acid trip, you may feel scared and confused. You may experience hallucinations that leave you terrified and distraught. Bad trips can last as long as good ones, and there’s no way to stop the trip once it begins. You can expect the effects to linger for up to 24 hours after the bad trip begins.

Tolerance. Tolerance to acid develops quickly. Repeated acid use may require larger doses in order to reach the same effect. However, this tolerance is short-lived. If you stop using acid for a period of time, you’ll lower your threshold for what’s necessary to trip.

Flashbacks. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder is rare. It causes sensory disturbances similar to what you experience during a trip. These “flashbacks” can occur days, weeks, or even months after your last acid trip.

Psychotic issues. LSD use may trigger schizophrenia in people who are predisposed to the condition. However, this connection remains unclear.

Legal troubles. In the 1960s, U.S., state, and federal governments declared LSD an illegal, controlled substance. It remains such today. That means if you are caught with the drug, you may face fines, probation, or prison time.

Before you try out the drug, be sure to know your risks, both physical and legal. Bad acid trips can happen, even if people tolerate them well.

If you decide to try acid, you should ask a friend to stay with you. They should stay sober until they are drug free. If you begin to experience negative effects, they can help keep you safe.

You should also let your doctor know if you’ve taken or will continue to take LSD. Acid can interfere with some prescription drugs, including antidepressants, so it’s important, to be honest about your recreational activity.

Healthline does not endorse the use of any illegal substances. We recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using. If you or someone you know might be living with a substance use disorder, we recommend learning more and consulting a healthcare professional to get additional support.