By Johanna Celli

Description of Drug

LSD is a drug that distorts perception of reality and produces hallucinations. It was discovered in 1938 and is one of the most potent mood changing drugs.

Its chemically based of the fungus ergot that grows on the plant Rye.

Classification of Drug

LSD is classified as a hallucinogen.

Slang Terms

Acid, battery acid, blotter, boomers, California sunshine, cid, doses, dots, Golden Dragon, heavenly blue, hippie, loony toons, lucy in the sky with diamonds, microdot, pane, purple heart, superman, tab, window pane, yellow sunshine, zen.

Ways to Ingest

LSD is in the forms of tablets, capsules, liquid, or absorbent paper. So the drug is ingested through the mouth, in ways like allowing it to dissolve on tongue.

Medical Use

It was discover in the early 1900's by a pharmacist named Albert Hofmann. He originally believed that the ergot fungus (main ingredient in LSD) could be used to purify active ingredients in pharmaceuticals. It was also thought to later be used to precipitate childbirth, but the uncertainty of dosage and effects put child in danger. LSD was later used in psycholitic and psychedelic therapy. As of today there are still studies on how this drug could be used as a therapeutic drug, but there is currently no medical use of it.

How Drug Alters Consciousness

This drug stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It specifically alters the senses and feelings someone has. It causes things like feeling many different emotions at once, rapid mood swings, delusions, hallucinations, crosses senses (see sounds, feel colors). The drug also causes extreme feelings of fear, terror, and strong flashbacks.



Long Term:

  • Flashbacks of LSD trips long after experience, depression, psychosis, no evidence causing brain damage.
Short Term:
  • Emotions shift rapidly, range from fear to euphoria, simultaneous emotions, distorted reality and sense of time, aggressiveness, distorted sense of time and space, sense of relaxation and well-being, intensified sensations, synethesias (feel colors, see sounds), hallucinations.


Long Term:

  • None

Short Term:

  • Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, heart failure, abnormal, rapid breathing, lung failure, mixed-up speech, loss of muscle control, meaningless movement, irrational actions, violent behavior, nausea and loss of appetite, chills and flushing, shaking, poor coordination, dilated eyes.

Duration of Effects:
  • LSD could take up to 30 minutes for effects to kick in, but then trips usually last 12 hours. Full tolerance to the drug can be built in 1-3 days. The flashbacks to trips can last a life time.


Research has proven there is not physical or psychological addiction/dependence to LSD. The tolerance of LSD can be built up so quickly that there is not enough of the drug that could cause the same effects.


The song by the Beetles called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is claimed to have been written about an LSD trip. In reality the title was based on a drawing that Lennon's son, Julian, named Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The drawing was of his friend Lucy Vodden in the sky with diamonds. Lennon once stated, " I did not even see the label. I never looked at the initials". Whether or not Julian was on acid at the time when drawing the portrait is still up for debate.