How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?
LSD is a widely-abused drug that is most frequently referred to as acid. Furthermore, there are a number of different factors that determine how long LSD stays in your system and successfully detecting the drug also depends on the type of drug test being used.
These lab tests – also referred to as drug screens or panel drug tests – include four basic kinds:
Because the LSD is detectable for different amounts of time with each type of drug test, let’s take a look at each of these individually.
How Long Does LSD Stay In Your Body?
LSD has a fairly short half-life of three to four hours. That means that it only takes three to four hours for the body’s concentration of LSD to decrease by 50% (or one-half). Furthermore, 100% of the LSD ingested can take anywhere from 15.13 to 28.05 hours to completely leave the body.
That being said, there have long been rumors that after consumption, the LSD is forever stored at the base of the spine or in fat cells. Consequently, there are plenty of urban legends claiming that acid flashbacks can occur months or years after ingestion. These are both totally false!
How Long Does LSD Stay In Your Urine?
When the liver breaks down the LSD molecules, it turns them into inactive chemical pieces called metabolites. The kidneys then take the metabolites and get rid of them via urine. This means that over the course of 24 hours, about 99% of the LSD in urine is in the form of these metabolites.
Consequently, LSD is detectable in urine for 2 to 5 days following consumption, which is much longer than its usual half-life. In other words, broken-down pieces of the LSD stay within the body longer than the actual LSD itself.
Furthermore, most standard drug screens do not test for LSD. Consequently, specialized lab tests have to be used to detect the LSD metabolites, including liquid-liquid extraction and UHPLC-MS/MS.
How Long Does LSD Stay In Your Blood?
The amount of LSD taken will influence how long it stays in the system.
For example, a recent study concluded that:
- 100 micrograms of LSD could be detected in the blood for up to 8 hours
- 200 micrograms of LSD could be detected in the blood for up to 16 hours
This is the average range of doses for LSD. As you can see, these amounts are proportional to one another, meaning that half the dosage takes half the amount of time.
In other words, it stays in the blood anywhere from 8 to 16 hours. This is considerably lower than urine testing due to LSD’s short half-life.
Furthermore, blood testing requires the same specialized drug tests as urine testing.
How Long Does LSD Stay In Your Hair?
This particular lab test is unique in that it can detect drugs that were consumed a long time ago, usually within the past 90 days. Furthermore, by analyzing the growth rate and the position of the drug traces within the hair shaft, it’s possible to estimate when the drug was used.
However, LSD is especially challenging to detect in hair due to its extremely low concentrations. Remember, doses of LSD are measured in micrograms instead of milligrams, meaning that the range of active doses is hundreds of times smaller than other drugs. As a result, this is not a common lab test for LSD and it’s not always entirely clear how long the LSD will be detected in the hair.
Furthermore, specialized tests are necessary to perform the analysis, although they are not really accurate. For example, a peer-reviewed paper indicated that these hair tests were able to detect LSD only 2 out of 17 times. This means that they were only accurate about 12% of the time. Furthermore, using pubic hair to detect LSD was even less reliable due to constant contamination by urine.
How Long Does LSD Stay In Your Saliva?
Saliva lab tests are also known as swab tests and are usually administered for more common drugs. Remember that LSD detection requires more specialized techniques, meaning that saliva drug screens are almost never used. However, if the saliva sample is specially tested, then the detection time would be similar to blood: approximately 8 to 16 hours.
Using this method to test for LSD is still notoriously unreliable, even more so than hair testing.
What Are Some Factors That Affect How Long LSD Stays In Your System?
The amount of time that LSD is detectable in the system is not the same for everyone.
There are various factors that influence how long it stays in the body, including:
- Overall health
- Food intake
- Liver and kidney function
- Dosage amount
Overall health is extremely important; generally speaking, healthier users have faster metabolisms. Furthermore, if a user is healthy, then their liver and kidneys will function more quickly and efficiently and the LSD will be in their system for a shorter period of time. This is especially true if they are at optimum weight and do not suffer from obesity. This also means that younger users will metabolize the drug faster than older users.
While dosage amount also matters (higher doses stay in the body for longer), LSD is different from other drugs in that it’s not usually taken daily or even regularly. Consequently, users do not develop tolerance and will not require higher doses of the drug each time it’s ingested.
Treatment For Addiction to LSD
Because LSD does not cause physical addiction, users will not suffer any withdrawal symptoms. However, professional help is needed to treat mental addiction to the drug.
Furthermore, excessive LSD use can lead to long-term mental illness with serious symptoms like:
- Persistent psychosis
- Erratic mood
- Disorganized thinking
There’s no reason to try and fight this alone. Call Bedrock Recovery Center today to start your road to recovery.
- CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics: The Pharmacology of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19040555
- Journal of Analytical Toxicology: The quantitation of 2-oxo-3-hydroxy lysergic acid diethylamide (O-H-LSD) in human urine specimens. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10774536
- Clinical Pharmacokinetics: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide in Healthy Subjects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5591798/
- Current Pharmaceutical Design: LSD Detection and Interpretation in Hair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28641537
- Psychopharmacology: Long-lasting subjective effects of LSD in normal subjects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813062/