How long does LSD stay in your system, is there any way to get rid of it quickly, and what kind of drug tests will detect it?
Let’s find out.
How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a very unstable compound. If you have ever tried to store LSD tabs or liquid over the long term, you will have some first-hand experience of this.
It tends to degrade very quickly, and it’s a similar story inside your body.
The half-life of LSD is just 3.6 hours, which means it takes a little over three and a half hours for half of the drug to be cleared from your bloodstream.
In other words, while your LSD trip is peaking, your body has already eliminated most of the substance from your blood.
Between 6 and 12 hours after use, all traces of the substance are removed from your blood.
This doesn’t mean that you will immediately stop feeling the effects, though. An LSD trip can last for up to 12 hours and there can also be an afterglow that lasts for several days and even a couple of weeks after the experience.
Three or four days later, there will be none of it left in your body. Technically, there is an exception that means it can remain detectable for up to 90 days, but this is usually not something you need to worry about.
Does LSD Show up on a Drug Test?
It’s a tricky question to answer.
First, let’s consider whether LSD can actually be detected if someone was looking for it.
The answer to this question would be “yes, but not easily”.
Technically, LSD can be detected in your urine for a few days after use. It can also remain in your hair for up to 90 days after use.
Your age, weight, fitness levels, diet, and even your level of hydration will all impact how long LSD stays in your body. The dose and frequency also play a massive role. If you take one small dose, it should be eliminated from your body much sooner than if you were to take a series of large doses over the course of a couple of weeks.
Now for the most important question: Will standard drug tests detect LSD?
Drug testing only works if they are actually looking for the substance you have consumed.
The fact that LSD is hard to detect and generally not associated with substance abuse means it’s rarely even considered.
The same is true for psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs.
It’s fairly easy to detect when someone is high on these drugs, and if that happens, a specific blood test can be conducted. If not, and if the drug was used a week ago when they weren’t at work, no one cares.
With that said, let’s assume that your employer is using very sensitive tests that actually detect LSD:
Can Urine Tests Detect LSD?
Urine tests are the most common type of drug test. They are cheap, widely available, and capable of detecting recent use and chronic use. They can also detect many different substances, including LSD…to an extent.
Some urine tests are very ineffective at detecting LSD more than a day or so after use, and all of them will struggle to detect the drug after 4 days.
Can Blood Tests Detect LSD?
Blood tests are useful for detecting when someone is high on drugs at the moment of the test, and for a number of hours afterward. This makes them the preferred option if an individual is suspected of operating heavy machinery under the influence. They may also be used in a healthcare setting.
However, blood tests struggle to detect LSD use after 8 hours have passed and will be useless after 12 hours.
Can Hair Tests Detect LSD?
Hair tests are expensive and rare, but they are very good at detecting chronic drug abuse and will paint a picture of all substance use over the last 90 days.
Hair testing works by detecting LSD metabolites that are absorbed into your blood and then deposited into your hair.
These tests are not perfect, though. Firstly, the rate of hair growth means they can’t detect drug use that has occurred within the last 5 to 7 days. Secondly, they are not very effective at detecting LSD.
Hair tests are more commonly used to look for drugs such as marijuana, amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and opioids.
Is There A Way To Remove LSD Faster?
As LSD detection methods are pretty weak, you likely don’t need to worry about failing a drug test. If your LSD use falls within the testing window, however, then it might help if you stay hydrated and get plenty of exercise.
This could help your body to flush the LSD out, but there’s no guarantee. And even if it does work, it may only narrow that window by a few minutes or hours.
The only way to guarantee that you won’t fail a drug test is to avoid taking any drugs.
What Shows Up On A 10-Panel Drug Test?
A 10-panel drug test is a urine test that looks for the most commonly abused illicit drugs, including:
- Barbiturates (including phenobarbital, amobarbital, secobarbital, and phenobarbital)
- Opioids (including morphine, codeine, and heroin)
- Benzodiazepines (including Valium, Ativan, and Xanax)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
What Shows Up On A 12-Panel Drug Test?
A 12-panel drug test covers all of the above in addition to oxycodone/hydrocodone and MDMA, creating a list that looks like this:
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
- MDMA (Ecstasy)
What Do 15-Panel Drug Tests Test For?
A 15-panel drug test covers all of the above in addition to a few other opiates and prescription drugs. These tests may also include alcohol.
Summary: LSD and Drug Testing
If you’re subject to random drug testing and suspect that you might be tested in the coming days or weeks, you should refrain from using any illicit substances.
It’s just not worth the risk.
If, however, you have recently used LSD and you’re reading this guide after learning about an impending urine test (probably after some frantic Googling) you should be okay.
Not only is it hard to detect, but most routine drug tests don’t look for it and it is eliminated very quickly from the body.