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LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug derived from a substance found in ergot, which is a fungus that infects rye (grain). In 1938, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss scientist, synthesized LSD in his laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. He unexpectedly discovered its hallucinogenic effects in 1943 when a tiny amount came in contact with his skin. LSD is an extremely powerful hallucinogen, and has immense therapeutic, spiritual and cultural potential. In its pure state, LSD is a white odourless crystalline substance. However, being so potent, an effective dose of pure drug is so small it is virtually invisible. As a result it is usually diluted with other materials.

The most common form is drops of LSD solution dried onto gelatin sheets, pieces of blotting paper or sugar cubes, which release the drug when they are swallowed. LSD is also sometimes sold as a liquid, in a tablet or in capsules. It is best known for its use during the counterculture of the 1960s and in recent times it has regained popularity among researchers using LSD as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions.



Total duration: 6-12 hours

Onset: 20-90 minutes

Peak: 3-6 hours

Coming down: 3-5 hours

Hangover/after-effects: 2-5 hours



Although the effects may seem to have worn off after 8 hours, the drug is still active in your system for another 5 hours and effects may linger until you have slept.




  • Burping (during onset)

  • Euphoria

  • Closed and open-eye visuals

  • Dilation of pupils

  • Sensory enhancement (taste, touch, smell etc)

  • Unusual body sensations (facial flushing, chills, goosebumps, body energy, feeling like you have urinated on yourself or have started menstruating)

  • Increased heart rate

  • Jaw clenching, yawning when not tired

  • Perspiration

  • Behavioural harms (injury/accident)

  • Nausea (during onset) *LESS COMMON

  • Synesthesia; a sound may evoke sensations of colour *LESS COMMON

  • Hyperreflexia absent or diminished response to reflex tapping *LESS COMMON

  • Feeling of heaviness or lethargy *LESS COMMON

  • Elevated Blood Sugar *LESS COMMON

  • Saliva Production and/or Mucus Production *LESS COMMON

  • Hypothermia or Hyperthermia (difficulty regulating body temperature) *RARE


  • Sense of unity and connectedness to other life forms and the universe/multiverse

  • General sense of euphoria

  • Lack of focus

  • Unusual thoughts and speech

  • Range of emotions

  • Life-changing spiritual experiences *LESS COMMON

  • Megalomania (grandiose); Inflated sense of self-esteem including delusional fantasies of power *RARE


  • Increase in associative and creative thinking

  • Change in time perception

  • Sense of calm and serenity

  • Ego dissolution *LESS COMMON

  • Fear of death *LESS COMMON

  • Overwhelming feelings *LESS COMMON

  • Change in consciousness *LESS COMMON

  • Dissociation of mind from body *LESS COMMON

  • Confusion, disorientation *LESS COMMON

  • Anxiety *LESS COMMON

  • Paranoia *RARE

  • Out of Body Experience *RARE

Long Term Effects

  • Hallucination Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) is a rare and potentially chronic condition. There are myths that exaggerate the risk of ‘flashbacks.’

  • Psychedelic drugs may accelerate the onset of mental health issues if you are predisposed to such issues.

It is not recommended to use LSD if you have or are at risk of:

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Schizophrenia

  • Psychotic disorders

  • Other mental health issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression



Polydrug use has many possible outcomes. What could be fun for one person could be dangerous for another. We recommend you proceed with caution.


Ice and other stimulants: increased risk of psychosis

Psychedelics: can intensify trip effects, risk of challenging experience. Effects are less predictable.

Cannabis: confusion, can lead to a challenging experience. Can also trigger psychosis. Regular cannabis users often wait till after the peak effects of LSD are over before using cannabis.

Ketamine affects intensity of the trip. Can lead to a challenging experience

Alcohol: nausea, blurred experience of trip Benzodiazepines: counteracts the intensity of the trip Antipsychotics: can counteract the effects of LSD Antidepressants: can inhibit the effects of LSD



Roadside Police: LSD is not detectable by a saliva test. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any illicit drugs, including LSD and any driver may be subject to a roadside behavioural impairment test. Wait at least 24 hours before driving.

Workplace: OHS law gives employers rights to test employees for drug use. This should be contained in workplace policy, it should be reasonable, and a risk assessment should be done to determine whether testing of employees is appropriate.

Urine: up to 3 days; Blood: up to 12 hours

‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialled in Australia and is not available as a health service yet but DIY reagent testing is an option. Ehrlich reagent reacts with LSD.



‘Set’ = your mind + body. ‘Setting’ = environment. For psychedelic drugs, Set & Setting are very important and shape the experience.

  • Use around people you trust and somewhere you feel safe.

  • Wear comfy clothes, check in with yourself—Some people like to do stretching or mentally prepare for the experience.

  • Use LSD only if you feel well (physically or emotionally)—LSD amplifies what you’re feeling.

  • Have a sober or experienced safe person with you (trip sitter).

  • Eat about 30 minutes before use.

  • Have snacks and water ready for the journey

  • Always dose yourself.

  • LSD is tasteless metallic, bitter or numbing sensation—‘If it’s bitter, it’s a spitter!’

  • LSD is highly potent, as tiny doses of 75-150 micrograms (μg) produce significantly altered states of conscious-ness.

  • You can cut tabs into smaller pieces if you are unsure of potency.

  • Avoid dosing drops directly onto your tongue.

  • You can add a cube or a tab to water to split a dose evenly (mix well & keep sealed/ labelled).

  • The minimum perceptual dose is ~25 μg. Anything below that is typically considered a sub-per-ceptual “microdose.”

  • If redosing, wait at least 3-6 hours.

  • Try not to make any big decisions about life or people during the experience or until you have fully ‘landed.’

  • Research ‘Integration’ (ongoing learning process after psychedelic experiences).



  • Keep LSD away from children. Use child proof lids on your bottles and containers.

  • LSD can be absorbed through the skin (wear gloves if handling in liquid form).

  • Carrying drugs & paraphernalia puts you at greater risk of criminal charges (inc. trafficking, even if you don’t deal). Know your local laws.



This resource has been made by people who use drugs for their peers & the wider community. The role of DanceWize is to provide credible & non-judgmental info to promote health & harm reduction. In an unregulated (illegal) market you don’t know the purity or dose of any drug and there is always some risk. You can educate yourself and practise harm reduction to reduce risk. Knowledge is power. #JUSTSAYKNOW

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