Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a hallucinogenic drug consumed in very small doses, often in liquid or blotter form. Doses are measured in micrograms, as opposed to milligrams or grams, and there are several different varieties out there.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the most common forms of LSD and show you how to recognize them and consume them.
How Is LSD Created?
LSD or “acid” is often considered to be a purely synthetic drug, one created in a lab. And that’s true. But its primary ingredient, lysergic acid, is derived from ergotamine, an alkaloid found in ergot.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because ergot is the grain-infecting fungus thought to be responsible for numerous mass poisonings. It infects grain, gets into the food supply, and causes chaos (despite being derived from ergot, LSD does not produce the same effects or toxicity).
In its pure form, LSD is crystalline, but the doses required to achieve an effect are so infinitesimal that those crystals are simply not practical.
As a result, LSD is often dissolved into liquid, allowing for easier and more practical dosing.
What Does LSD Look Like?
LSD is odorless and colorless, so LSD liquid just looks like water. It is also tasteless, although it may have a very slightly bitter taste.
The drug can be sold in a variety of forms:
What is Liquid LSD?
Liquid LSD is the purest form of this drug. It can be taken by placing drops underneath the tongue or adding it to a beverage.
What Is LSD Blotter?
When most people think of LSD, they think of small colorful squares placed under the tongue. These squares are known as “tabs” and they are created by soaking absorbent blotter paper in liquid LSD.
The paper is perforated, and each little square (around 1/4 inch) constitutes a dose.
The designs printed on this absorbent paper can vary greatly, but they usually feature something bright, colorful, and distinctive.
The dose of LSD tabs typically falls between 100 and 200 μg, but it can vary greatly from one batch to the next.
What are Window Panes and Sugar Cubes?
Window panes are produced by mixing LSD with gelatin and then forming the mixture into sheets of small squares, with each square constituting a dose.
Liquid LSD can also be dripped onto sugar cubes.
Can You Smoke LSD?
In the Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt’s character is given an acid-dipped cigarette that he eventually smokes, leading to a very trippy, explosive, and unexpected finale.
Heat deactivates LSD—the hotter it gets, the less effective it becomes. As a result, smoking LSD in this manner is unlikely to produce any effects.
It’s another movie myth, although some Tarantino fans have argued that the drug was actually PCP, one that can produce some of the effects experienced by Brad Pitt’s character.
How Much Does LSD Cost?
A single tab of LSD costs between $10 and $20. It’s generally not an expensive drug, especially when you consider that an LSD trip can last for up to 6 hours.
But of course, it all depends on supply and demand. If you live somewhere remote, you could pay up to $50 for a single dose.
Do You Swallow LSD?
LSD is often consumed sublingually, which means the liquid or blotter paper is placed under the tongue. This allows for rapid absorption, ensuring the drug gets into the bloodstream as quickly as possible.
Many users will leave blotter paper under their tongues for a few minutes and then swallow the tab, ensuring that every microgram is consumed.
What is Pure LSD?
LSD is usually sold in a pure form. The fact that such a low dose is required and it’s sold by the “trip” means it’s not as commonly adulterated as other illegal drugs.
It’s not all good news, though. As with all other recreational drugs, it’s not uncommon for sellers to pass off another drug as LSD. Oftentimes, they’ll use novel hallucinogens like 25l-NBOMe and DOx.
How Much LSD Should You Take?
A standard dose of LSD is usually around 100 to 200 μg, but some users go as low as 25μg.
If you’re taking LSD tabs, it can be difficult to know what you’re getting. Tabs are soaked in LSD liquid and the exact concentration can vary greatly from one batch to the next. Unless you know who manufactured the tabs or they were prepared in a clinical setting, you likely won’t know the exact dose.
The good news is that there is no known lethal dose. There are several stories of users mistaking LSD for other drugs, taking dozens and even hundreds of times more than the recommended dose and surviving. The bad news is that taking such a large dose will increase the risk of a bad trip and can make for an extremely unpleasant experience.
Can LSD Be Absorbed Through Skin?
The psychedelic community is seemingly torn on whether or not LSD can be absorbed through the skin.
There are a lot of anecdotal reports out there from people who claim to have tripped after getting liquid acid on their skin. But there are just as many claims from people who say that it’s nonsense and LSD isn’t absorbed through the skin.
So, what’s the truth?
Well, it’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B.
There haven’t been many studies on transdermal LSD, but there’s no reason to believe that it can be absorbed through the skin. There are also anecdotal reports from people who have manufactured and studied LSD and claim that they have never tripped from getting it on their skin.
Does that mean everyone who says otherwise is lying? Not entirely. LSD doses are measured in micrograms, so very small amounts are needed to feel the effects.
If you drop LSD liquid on your finger and then rub your eyes, touch your lips, or even brush your nose, there’s a chance it could find its way into your bloodstream.
It could even get into your body through open wounds.
How Many LSD Users Are There?
The golden age of psychedelics was during the 1960s when it seemed like everyone was using LSD and magic mushrooms. Those years ground to a screeching halt following prohibition in the 1970s, but they have experienced a resurgence of sorts in the last decade.
In one study, it was suggested that as many as 4% of the US population was using hallucinogens in 2019, an increase of over 400% since 2002. It’s a similar story in Europe, where it has been estimated that over 4% of young people have used LSD at least once.
How to Consume LSD Safely
LSD is a safe drug with an unknown lethal dose and very little risk of addiction and abuse. However, LSD experiences can be intense and even dangerous, so the drug needs to be treated with respect.
Before taking LSD, make sure you have considered your “set and setting”, a term used to describe your mindset and physical setting prior to a psychedelic journey. A bad acid trip can be terrifying, but if you’re somewhere safe and with someone you know and trust, it can be an enlightening experience.
The average dose range is between 100 and 200 μg, which usually consists of a single LSD tab or window pane, but you can also try a much smaller dose if you’re anxious about the experience. In such cases, you can just rip the tab into smaller pieces and treat it like you would a tablet or joint, taking only what you are comfortable with.