Today's topic: Lysergic acid diethylamide: It's not just for hippies anymore.
First of all, it doesn't remain in your system years after you take it. Let's get that out of the way right off the bat. A lot of crap hangs out in your spinal fluid, but LSD isn't one of them. Besides, that rumor is boring anyway. Reality is far more interesting.
First synthesized by Albert Hofmann in Basel, Switzerland on November 16, 1938. Over 23 million people in have done it in the US alone, and the majority of users are white males, 18-22.
...So basically, they're the same demographic as bronies.
How It Works
LSD is cool, unlike the other drugs I've covered so far, when it comes to how the stuff works, we don't actually KNOW exactly. No one has actually looked at what it does to the brain. (For the record, I volunteer to run this test. Someone give me money, equipment, and a lot of drugs. We have science to do. And test subjects! Lots of 'em! You don't expect me to test it on myself do you? That'd just be silly.)
When taken orally, it goes to work almost immediately, and general physical symptoms include obvious pupil dilation and changes in how awake or hungry one feels. After that, effects seem to depend on the individual. Then things get trippy. You think differently, and while you may not see things that aren't really there, you process what you are seeing differently. Your perception of reality, in all senses, is changed until the trip is over, and 12 hours can seem like a lot longer if you think time is running backwards.
In addition to the changes in perception, your thoughts change as well. People report their minds "being opened", thoughts running out of control (for better or for worse), intense introspection (and the occasional analysis and restructuring of their own personality) and even ego death.
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- LSD use has been linked to decreased end-of-life anxiety in cancer patients, there are currently no reported negative side effects for it's use in this context.
- LSD has also been shown to be effective in fighting cluster headaches.
- Although there have been claims that LSD use can help alcoholics, these claims seem to have been greatly exaggerated.
How It's Made
Sandoz (now Novartis) used to own the patent for LSD, but they stopped making it, citing a lack of regulation. Pfft. Like that was going to stop anybody. Up until 1965 people could just make it themselves, legally. The How Stuff Works article actually has a really interesting writeup on how to do it.
- Acquire a source of lysergic acid. (Good luck, btw, you'll probably need a DEA license for everything, actually.)
- Acquire the appropriate solvents and reagents. (It's important to do preparation before cooking, darlings. Every good chef knows that.)
- Acquire blast shield and a dark room.
- Make iso-lysergic acid hydrazide.
- Cool it, mix with an acid and a base, then evaporate it.
- Now you can drop it on things, or dissolve it in alcohol and making blotting paper in delicious Obama flavors. Or you can inject it, like they do in some therapeutic applications, but that's not really necessary, given the extremely rapid uptake from oral ingestion.
And Now For Some Additional Bits
- The CIA once dosed an ENTIRE FRENCH TOWN with acid. They drugged the baguettes.
- Bicycle day is the anniversary of the day Mr. Hofmann dosed himself with 250 micrograms of the stuff to find out what it would do. The experience was so intense and introspective, that he stated he could not imagine anyone ever wanting to use it recreationally.
- Among those who have spoken highly of their experiences: Steve Jobs, Aldous Huxley (died high), aaaand everyone on this page, this page and this page.
- Also some dudes killed an elephant.
Also, here, have a video of some lovely British gents using the stuff.
"I say, Nigel! Pip pip, wot?"