Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or acid, is notorious for its trips. Since it’s a hallucinogen, people who take acid can experience hallucinations. In addition to that, acid trips typically cause sensory changes and rapid emotional shifts. On the flip side, some acid users report having bad trips. Bad trips are typically characterized by negative feelings. That means scary thoughts and feeling fearful. Some users will also experience elevated blood pressure, dizziness, and numbness. Whether it’s because you don’t want your acid trip to end or you’re having a terrible time and want it to be over, you may be wondering how long does an acid trip last?

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How Long Does LSD Last?

An LSD or acid trip lasts between 6-15 hours, according to a study

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) says you’ll start feeling the effects of hallucinogens (like acid) within 20-90 minutes after ingestion. 

The time it takes to feel the effects of acid generally depends on how much acid you ingest and the method. However, whichever method you chose, the duration of effects is roughly the same.

Below is a table created from information by American Addiction Centers regarding dosage, time taken to feel the effects, the method used, and how long the effects last. 

DoseMethodTime Taken to Feel EffectsPeakDuration of Effects
100-250 microgramMouth30-45 minutes1 hour-2.5 hours9-12 hours
100-250 microgramIntramuscular injection15-20 minutes1 hour9-10 hours
40-180 microgramIntravenous injection3-5 minutes1 hour9-10 hours
20-60 microgramIntraspinalLess than an hourWithin an hour9-10 hours
Table created with data compiled from American Addiction Centers

It’s worth noting that you may not feel like yourself until about 24 hours after ingestion. We inferred that based on a study that advised participants who were given LSD to abstain from driving for 24 hours after. That implies that LSD could still impair the participants during that time. 

Why Does LSD Last So Long?

That’s a great question. 

The reason that LSD lasts so long has to do with its interaction with the serotonin receptor. According to a study done, “LSD dissociates exceptionally slow from both 5-HT2BR and 5-HT2AR—a major target for its psychoactivity.”

Brian Roth, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and senior co-author of the study talked to Medical News Today about this interaction.

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Roth told Medical News Today, “Once LSD gets in the receptor, a lid comes over the LSD, so it’s basically trapped in the receptor and can’t get out.”

He further explained, “LSD takes a really long time to get on the receptor, and then once it gets on, it doesn’t get off,”

Your acid trip will end when your brain eventually recruits LSD and the receptors inside the cell are broken down according to Medical News Today. 

How Long Will LSD Show Up on a Drug Test? 

It not only depends on the test but according to American Addiction Centers:

  • Dose
  • Age (of the patient)
  • Overall health
  • Weight

If you’re taking a blood test, LSD will typically show up for 6-12 hours after last use.  In the case of a urine test, LSD shows up for 2-4 days after last use. Finally, with a hair test, LSD can be detected for up to 90 days after last use. 

How to Stop an Acid Trip 

Maybe you’re having a terrible acid trip and you want to know how to stop it. Unfortunately, according to Very Well Mind, you can’t stop an acid trip. 

On the bright side, Very Well Mind has some tips to help you navigate your acid trip until it eventually passes:

  • Avoid danger and ignore your impulses – Under the influence of acid, things that may have seemed risky in the past, may not seem risky now. Ignore the impulse to do whatever that is. Very Well Mind also says, “Stay in familiar territory, away from heights, traffic, water, and other hazards.” In addition to that, employ the buddy system when venturing outside. Your buddy should ideally not be under the influence of anything. 
  • Speak with someone nonjudgemental – Talking with someone while you’re having a bad trip may help you feel better. Whether it’s a trusted friend or a helpline is your choice. Very Well Mind suggests calling DanceSafe at 888-MDMA-411. The people who will pick up are experienced with callers who have negative drug experiences. 
  • Listen to music – Music can be soothing and calming for you. 
  • Eat – Having low blood sugar will not make you feel any better. Opt for something your stomach can handle whether that is ice cream, pudding or your favorite meal. 
  • Avoid taking any more drugs – Whether it’s more acid, alcohol, or anything another drug. Very Well Mind says more drugs will only make you feel worse. 

There may be times you’re having a bad trip and feel like you need medical attention. Please seek it and don’t simply try to ride it out. While overdose is unlikely, the drug could have been contaminated. 

Conclusion

How long does an acid trip last? The time varies but you can expect it to last between 6-15 hours. The reason why the effects last so long are because LSD binds to the serotonin receptor for a long time, therefore causing you to feel the effects. If you’re having a bad trip and want to shorten the effects, there isn’t much you can do. However, there are ways to feel better as you wait on the eventual wearing off of the effects.

Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?

Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you! 

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