LSD, also known as acid, is an illicit psychoactive drug that changes the user’s sensations and perceptions of reality for several hours. LSD can be detected on drug screening test by urine, blood and hair.
After last use, LSD can be detected in urine for 2 to 4 days, in blood for 6 to 12 hours, and in hair for up to 90 days.
What is LSD?
LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is a hallucinogenic drug and is one of the most powerful chemicals that alter the mental function for several hours. LSD is classified as a Schedule I drug since it has no recognized use in medicine. It is a highly potential substance of abuse with very powerful hallucinogenic properties, and causes changes to auditory and visual perceptions.
LSD is an illegal drug in the US and is used for recreational purposes. It is sold in different forms such as tablets, capsules and liquids. The liquid is also added to absorbent or blotting paper, which is then cut into square shapes according to different doses. These papers are also called window pane, dots, blotter acid, etc.
How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?
Users consuming LSD usually begin to experience the effects within 20 to 90 minutes. The effects may peak for 2 to 4 hours and decrease over 6 to 8 hours. LSD lingers in the body for about 12 hours and metabolism occurs within 48 hours.
When LSD is ingested orally, it gets quickly absorbed through the gastrointestinal system and mucous membranes. The substance gets carried through the bloodstream and travels to the brain and other organs quickly (about 10 to 15 minutes after ingestion). The liver processes the drug and metabolizes it into inactive metabolites.
The intensity and duration of the effects varies from person to person including:
- Body Mass Index
- Amount of LSD ingested
How Long LSD Is Detectable In A Drug Test?
The ingested LSD gets quickly absorbed into the system and dispersed through bloodstream to different organs. The liver breaks it into other inactive substances. All the substance gets metabolized and excreted within 24 hours.
Detection period depends on the type of drug test performed:
- Urine Test: LSD can be detected within 8 hours of consumption and up to 2 to 4 days after use.
- Blood Test: LSD can be detected after 8 to 16 hours of consumption based on the dose consumed.
- Hair Test: The advantage in hair drug testing is that it can detect drugs up to 90 days, but it is very difficult to detect LSD since it’s consumed in very low doses. Hence, the results may be unreliable.
Due to the unstable nature of the LSD, it gets broken down quickly by the liver. Since people only need small amounts to get the desired effect, it makes the detection more challenging. Because of the restricted detection period, the samples need to be analyzed quickly.
False Positive Testing
There are some prescription medications such as TCA, antianxiety drugs, calcium blockers, narcotic analgesics, etc., that can cause false-positive results for LSD. As a rule, the positive LSD results are examined critically and the initial positive results are confirmed by performing a second independent testing.
It is advisable to disclose any medications you are taking before going through a drug test so that the results can be interpreted accurately.
Factors That Influence Detection Time
There are many factors that can impact LSD detection in a drug test, including:
- Body Composition: Height and weight influences the time period the LSD can be detected. Drug metabolites stay in the system longer if a person has more fat cells.
- Hydration Status: The more the water content in the body, the quicker the drug gets diluted.
- Age: Metabolism and liver function decelerates with age. Metabolism in younger people is faster than old people.
- Liver Function: Liver helps in breaking down the ingested substances into various other forms. The process of LSD excretion may lengthen if you have any medical disorder(s) or taking any medications that could cause liver function impairment.
- Metabolism: The quicker the metabolism, the faster the elimination of LSD from the system.
- Amount of LSD Consumed: The detection of LSD also depends on how much of drug is consumed and how frequently it’s taken. For instance, if you have been taking LSD frequently, the more chances of it being detected.
- Time Period Between Use and Drug Testing: Because of the LSD’s unstable nature and the faster elimination rate, detection becomes challenging.
LSD Drug Test
LSD is not typically tested as part of any standard panel, but specific tests can be performed if an employer wishes or in clinical settings. There are strips available to detect LSD in urine specimen. Qualitative assay method is employed, which gives a “NEGATIVE” or “POSITIVE” result.
If a drug test is performed in a certified laboratory, the initial LSD positive result will be confirmed by a second independent testing method.
The cut-off level for LSD is 20 ng/mL. If the urine sample contains 20 ng/mL or more of LSD, then it will turn positive.
Effects of LSD
LSD when ingested causes hallucinations depending on the dosage. The hallucinogenic effect can last up to 12 hours and may also induce fear, anxiety and panic. Some people may also experience sweating, mood swings, increased heart rate, dilatation of the pupils, loss of appetite, delusions, visual hallucinations, altered cognizance of surrounding conditions, objects and feelings, etc.
Some people may even experience flashbacks or reoccurrences of certain previous drug experience.
Tolerance may build up with frequent LSD use. Users may require more amounts of drug to recreate the same level of desired effects.
LSD is an illicit substance, which alters the mind of a user by changing the audio and visual perceptions for several hours. Frequent use can affect physical and psychological condition long-term. It can impact the ability to function normally.
One should bear in mind that there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat LSD use/misuse. LSD is not addictive in nature, but has the potential to induce psychological dependence. Hence, it is advisable to not experiment with such drugs or stop using it before incurring any psychological dependence.
LSD can be detected in the urine for 1 to 3 days after consumption, but cannot be detected in blood after 24 hours. Hair specimens are mostly unreliable for LSD detection because of restricted detection period.