- /Miles Acquaviva
25 April 2018
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or acid, is a drug famous for its psychological effects. It’s a United States Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical purposes. It’s used for recreation and for spiritual reasons. Addiction isn’t much of a problem amongst LSD users, but people can build a tolerance to it. If this happens, the user should visit a counsellor to find other ways of relaxing.
in 1938, Albert Hoffmann, a Swedish chemist, made LSD for the first time. He used ergotamine, derived from the ergot fungus. He named it LSD after the initials of lysergic acid diethylamide in German, Lyserg-s”ure-di”thylamid. He was looking for a blood stimulant. He worked for a 5 years later, Hoffmann consumed a little bit and discovered its hallucinogenic effects. In the following decades, use of LSD skyrocketed when pharmacies gave out free samples. In the 1940s, LSD was a medication known as Delysid. This was before scientists knew that LSD doesn’t have any medical uses. In 1951, the US government tried to use LSD as a chemical weapon. They thought they could render hundreds of people "indifferent to their surroundings". They would also try to use it to control the minds of people, and change the personalities of foreign intelligence targets. In the 1960s, bands would use it for inspiration for their music. For example, The Beatles wrote songs like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967), talking about tangerine trees, marmalade skies and kaleidoscope eyes.
While some people were making music with LSD, others had delusions of immortality. The drug began to get a bad reputation after thousands of people thought they could fly. Most of them ended up dead or in a mental hospital. Use of LSD reached a new high in the 1970s, but has decreased ever since then. It is still in use today. Even though average use has decreased, use in high school students has increased. In 1989, 4.9% of seniors at the University of Michigan said they use LSD. Two years later, 5.1% said they use the drug. It has not completely disappeared from modern popular culture either. The album Vide Noir (2018) talks about being "black-brained to death" and the when the "mind leaves the body". This references the effect the drug has on your brain, and the psychedelic effects it has, to the point where you experience your mind leaving your body.
Some people claim to have more spiritual experiences when on LSD. They say they have an insight into nature, and strong feelings of love and happiness.
LSD is commonly put in the body through a patch put in the tongue. Only a few milligrams are needed to experience its effects. Other than the psychedelic effects, some side effects are increased blood pressure and heart rate, elevated temperature, insomnia, dizziness, and excessive sweating. Once the user starts to experience the effects of the drug, the serotonin production in the amygdala is affected. Some users say they can smell colors and see sound. One user described an experience where he saw orange ripples in his vision and tasted something crunchy when he heard a crackling sound in a song. Another said he saw orange cones coming out of his headphones when they were playing music.
Not all of the effects that the user experiences are pleasant. LSD is a difficult drug to make, and the people who make it are far from professionals. If something goes wrong during the process, it can affect the user’s experience with the drug. An experience with LSD is called a trip. A bad experience is a bad trip. A bad trip can include panic attacks and terrifying hallucinations. It can create violent tendencies and convulsions too.
LSD is commonly mixed with alcohol to produce an additive effect. When LSD starts to wear off, there’s a unpleasant feeling. With alcohol, the feeling is lessened. Ecstasy is another common hallucinogenic drug. Ecstasy and LSD are commonly mixed to produce a synergistic effect. This is called ‘candyflipping’. Separately, these are two powerful, dangerous drugs. Together, they produce very powerful effects. The world begins to change, and everything seems hyper realistic. In some cases, effects can be as much as 900% as one of the drugs by itself. There haven’t been any drugs found to create an antagonist effect with LSD.
I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.