What is Acid?

Updated: Mar 5

Acid or LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug derived originally from ergot and a fungus found growing wild on rye and other grasses.

It is produced in a crystal form which is then converted into a liquid which will then be dropped/sprayed onto blotting paper. This paper is then separated into smaller sections known as tabs.


LSD was first discovered in 1938. Research chemist, Albert Hofmann, was working to produce new medicines, and in 1943 he underwent the first-ever LSD trip by mistake when experimenting in his lab. It wasn’t until the 1960’s people started experimenting with acid as a way of getting in touch with themselves, others and their surroundings. In 1966 it became illegal in the UK.


Today, acid is still used socially and recreationally, with people hoping for a good trip to gain better spiritual awareness and understanding of themselves. The trip is totally unpredictable, and there's no way of knowing how you're going to feel once you've taken it.

Nicknames/Street names

Blotters, dots, liquid acid, trips, tabs, paper mushrooms, stars, smilies, rainbows.


How is it used?

Acid is usually sold as small squares of paper, a liquid, or pellets (micro-dots). The tiny pieces of paper have been infused with acid. Acid is odourless and colourless.

You place the acid under your tongue, and it absorbs into your bloodstream.

The effects of acid often start 30 to 45 minutes after using the drug, and they could last for 4 to 12 hours. When planning to take acid, it’s important to know that hallucinations could last for 48 hours, so keep this in mind if you plan to take acid. (Wikimedia.com)

Can you have a permanent trip (a permo) after taking acid?

No. What can happen are you experience flashbacks from your trip. During these flashbacks, you might see some pretty upsetting things that you witnessed during your trip. You almost have memories of what you saw, as it seemed real to you at the time. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be lying in bed at night having flashbacks from an acid trip.


The Effects and Risks

You will experience physical and psychedelic effects (it can affect your 5 senses) when taking acid but what kind of trip you will experience is always a gamble. The effects vary from person to person and can vary each time you take acid. To keep yourself safer, It’s always best to take acid in a safe place with people you trust and in an environment known to you.


Some people choose to take acid because they enjoy the effects such as intensified senses (smell, sounds and sensations), increased feeling of closeness to others, distorted sense of time and environment, out of body experiences, hallucinations and feeling of euphoria. Still, it can also result in some less enjoyable effects. These less enjoyable effects can be:

  • Paranoia and delusions

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety, panic and fear

  • Rapid heartbeat and higher blood pressure

  • Increased body temperature, flushed skin and sweating

  • Tingling in the fingers and toes

  • Dry mouth

  • Dizziness and blurred vision

  • Loss of appetite and nausea


The Comedown

This is the after-effects of taking drugs which you may feel for several hours or even days. Comedowns will differ from person to person, but the symptoms can be both physical and emotional.

Coming down may include symptoms like:

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Feeling low or depressed

  • Aches

  • Experiencing flashbacks from your trip. This could involve some pretty upsetting flashbacks if you’ve had a bad trip.


Remember that a comedown won’t last forever. It’s just the drugs leaving your system, so look after yourself and (if possible) hang out with people that make you feel good.


Harm Reduction

  • Start low and slow with smaller doses and learn what your tolerance is.

  • Single doses can vary even in visually identical acid.

  • Avoid mixing with other drugs.

  • Try to use with people you know and trust around you.

  • Acid should be used in a safe environment, where you feel comfortable as this can affect your trip.

  • Avoid places that may trigger negative feelings.

  • Don't try acid if you are not in a good mindset and feel a bit down. You shouldn't take any drug when you feel low, but taking trippy drugs could lead you down an unpleasant and unwanted trip.

  • If you don't plan on taking Acid - don't touch it. Acid can be absorbed into the skin, and you can find yourself feeling the effects.



Overdose signs and symptoms

An overdose is when a toxic amount of the drug or a combination of drugs overwhelms the body. Signs and symptoms of an acid overdose can be anything from intense paranoia to some serious hallucinations that may require medical attention. Overdosing on acid can result in a loss of identity. Many people who take large doses of the drug believe that reality doesn’t exist and experience terrifying thoughts and illusions. A bad trip can cause acid users to behave violently or dangerously. Users may have suicidal thoughts, act impulsively, or believe they have superhuman powers. These symptoms can lead to accidental fatalities, suicide, or violence towards others.

If you are worried about someone, you can:

  • Call an ambulance (you won’t get in trouble for doing this, even if drugs are involved)

  • Keep an eye on the person and try and keep them calm and away from danger

  • Stay with the person until paramedics arrive

  • If you can, tell the paramedic as much information as possible (the drug taken, the dosage)



Useful links and further reading

Below are some useful websites with further information if you want to find out more about acid:

LSD | Acid | Effects of LSD | FRANK (talktofrank.com)

LSD – DrugWise

LSD: Effects, Risks, Tips, and More (healthline.com)

LSD | Release

LSD | Acid | Complete Harm Reduction Guide | Drugs and Me

LSD: Myths, Effects, Risks, and How to Get Help (verywellmind.com)

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder: Symptoms and Causes (verywellmind.com)

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