How Long Does Acid Last? What to Expect
How long does acid last?
You may begin to feel the effects of one tab of acid within 20 to 90 minutes of ingesting the drug.
Between the initial trip and the comedown, it can take up to 24 hours before your body returns to its typical state of being.
Read on to learn more about what to expect during a trip and why these effects last so long.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), or acid as it’s commonly known, is a potent, long-lasting psychoactive drug. In part, it’s derived from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.
The synthetic drug has a chemical structure similar to serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical in your brain.
When acid molecules land on serotonin receptors, they cause LSD’s well-known visual and physical effects. This includes color and shape distortions, hallucinations, and other psychedelic effects.
LSD molecules bind more strongly to serotonin receptors than serotonin itself. When the molecules nestle into the receptor pockets, amino acids within the receptor put a “lid” over the molecules. This traps the molecules in place.
The drug’s effects won’t begin to fade until the molecules are knocked off or come loose from the serotonin receptor. This can take anywhere from 6 to 15 hours.
Acid is a colorless, odorless liquid. For consumption, an acid manufacturer typically drips the liquid onto absorbent, colorful paper squares called blotter papers. Each blotter paper can have several “tabs.” One tab is usually enough to induce a trip.
LSD is also sometimes sold as capsules, pills, or sugar cubes. In each form, LSD is diluted with other chemicals or products. Potency for each LSD product varies. There’s virtually no way to know how much LSD is in any form you take.
LSD is considered a safe and nontoxic drug when taken at standard doses. LSD toxicity, or death from LSD, is rare.
You’re more likely to have a “bad trip” — a distressing psychedelic episode — than you are to experience physical harm.
For most people, a dose of 1 to 3 micrograms per kilogram of body weight is enough to produce a moderate trip.
If you haven’t used acid before, starting with a smaller dose may be a safer way to determine how your body handles the drug. Heavy doses of LSD can create intense highs that make you uncomfortable or nauseous.
Without chemical testing, it’s impossible to know how much LSD is in any product you choose to take. However, a quarter-inch tab from a blotter paper typically contains 30 to 100 micrograms.
Liquid LSD is very potent. You should avoid taking it directly unless you know how diluted it is.
LSD is a psychoactive drug. The effects of the drug often alter your perception of your environment, your body, your mood, and your thoughts. What’s real and what’s imagined become less clear during an acid trip.
The effects of an acid trip can be felt in two ways:
- how acid affects your body
- how acid affects your brain
Effects on your brain/perception
LSD creates powerful hallucinogenic effects. Your senses are heightened during a trip. Everything in your environment may feel amplified.
During an acid trip, you may see:
- brighter colors
- changing shapes
- trails behind objects
- unusual patterns
- “noisy” colors
LSD can also amplify your mood. If you take acid when you’re feeling good, you may feel more relaxed, happy, or content. You may also become unusually excited and joyful.
If you take acid while you’re upset or angry about something or someone, you may grow more upset or frustrated during the trip. Take your current mood and surroundings into account before you decide to trip.
Effects on your body
During an acid trip, you may experience:
- increased blood pressure
- faster heart rate
- higher body temperature
- dry mouth
These symptoms should subside completely within 24 hours.
If you’re interested in trying LSD, be sure to know your risks — both physical and legal —before you seek out the drug. Although many people tolerate acid trips well, bad trips and other negative side effects can happen.
If you decide to try acid, ask a friend to stay with you during your trip. They should stay sober until you fully come down from the drug. If you begin to experience any negative effects, they can help keep you safe and reassured of your reality.
You should also let your doctor know if you’ve taken or will continue to take LSD. Acid can interfere with some prescription drugs, including antidepressants, so it’s important to be honest about your recreational activity.