Some hallucinogens kick in after just a few minutes and last for less than half an hour (DMT, salvia). Others stay with you all day, and you may still be feeling the effects the following day (ibogaine). But where does lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) fit into all of this?
How long does an LSD trip last?
How Long Does LSD Last?
You should start feeling the effects of LSD within 20 to 90 minutes of ingestion. From there, the experience can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
There is no fixed period, as it largely depends on the dose, tolerance levels, psychology, and physiology. You also won’t go from “tripping” to “sober” one second to the next. It’s a very slow and gradual process, and when it’s over, you may experience a comedown (more on that below).
What are the Effects of LSD?
The LSD experience varies from user to user, and it can also differ greatly depending on where you are and what kind of mindset you’re in. Taking LSD is not quite the same as taking opioids and cocaine.
If you’re feeling run down, anxious, depressed, and you’re surrounded by people you don’t like, taking opioids will probably make you feel better and it’ll also make your situation more bearable.
Cocaine will lift your mood and energy levels, and then you have drugs like benzodiazepines that will help with depression and anxiety.
With psychedelics, a bad mindset and a difficult situation can lead you toward a very uncomfortable journey. This is where bad trips are born, and that’s why it’s important to get your “set and setting” right (a reference to your mindset and environment) before a trip.
Some of the psychological effects you may experience after taking LSD include:
- Changes in light
- Distorted images
- Mood swings
- Fear and panic
- Intense emotions
- Changes in sounds and sensations
- A feeling of detachment
- A blending of your senses (known as synesthesia)
You may also experience some physical effects. These will likely be most pronounced when the drug first takes effect and you’re more aware of the changes, but they can be present throughout the trip:
- Changes in body temperature
- Tingling in the extremities
- Flushed skin
- High blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
How to Come Down From LSD
Generally speaking, the comedown from LSD is not as unpleasant as the comedown from MDMA and a couple of other drugs.
You’ll feel the residual effects of the drug, including some visual and auditory hallucinations. These usually aren’t as intense or as enjoyable as the ones experienced during the height of the trip.
Many users experience an afterglow effect after using LSD. The drug’s effects have worn off, but they still experience a markedly improved mood and outlook for the next week or so. These prolonged effects are the main reason why LSD has shown promise in treating depression, anxiety, drug abuse disorders, and other mental health issues.
If you’re using LSD for the first time, consider what you will do the day after the effects. Prepare for an altered mood, fatigue, and even confusion as you think about your experience.
Plan for a day of rest and relaxation. Keep your schedule clear and don’t do anything that is too mentally or physically taxing.
It’s a good excuse to spend the day watching films, listening to music, or playing video games. If that’s not your sort of thing, then go for a walk and get close to nature.
What Should I Do If I’m Having a Bad Trip?
There isn’t much you can do to speed up a bad acid trip. Just try to ride it out and get to the other side.
Go somewhere safe, away from noise, distractions, and other stimulations. Play some calming music, recite a mantra to yourself, and surround yourself with people you love.
It’s important to remember that the experience will pass. It’s hard to grasp that concept when you’re in the middle of a bad trip, but if you keep telling yourself that you’re okay, nothing bad will happen, and you’ll be fine in a few hours, the negative effects should subside.
Should I Take Other Drugs With LSD?
No, you should refrain from taking any other drugs while using LSD. It can be tempting to reach for some sedatives if you’re having a bad trip. You may even think it’s okay to drink a little alcohol or smoke some cannabis, but it’s not recommended, especially if you’re an inexperienced user.
LSD is safe. The risk of overdose is very low, so much so that we don’t really know what the lethal dose is. It’s also less likely to produce severe adverse reactions than other substances. But it’s definitely not to be taken lightly, and if you start adding other drugs to the mix, the risk of experiencing negative effects increases exponentially.
How Long Does LSD Stay in My System?
The length of time that LSD remains detectable in your body will depend on a number of factors, including your physiology, stomach contents, tolerance level, and dose.
The biggest factor is the type of drug test used to detect the substance.
Blood tests can detect LSD for up to 12 hours after use, but these tests are rare. Urine drug tests are the most common, and LSD can be detected for up to 4 days in a urine sample.
If more than a week has passed since you used the drug, you’re not technically in the clear just yet. Hair follicle tests can detect most drug use for up to 90 days after use. However, hair follicle tests are expensive and rare.
It’s worth noting that the above only applies if the drug tests being used can actually detect LSD. Most tests don’t look for LSD and other psychedelics.
Summary: The Length of an Acid Trip
A typical LSD trip will last for around 6 hours, but the effects may linger for several more hours and lead to a comedown that extends into the next day.
If you want the best possible experience, make sure you’ll be free of responsibilities and hassle throughout that time, and consider tripping with people that you know and trust.