Your Brain on LSD and Acid


LSD, also known as acid is a psychedelic drug famous for altering your perception and creating hallucinations. But how does it actually works and what is the effect on your body and more importantly, your brain? Lysergic acid diethylamide was first synthesised in 1938 from the fungus that grew on rye. In 1943, the inventor Albert Hofmann accidentally touched some to his mouth, got high and became the first person in the world to learn about psychedelic properties of LSD. Research on the drug took place in the 50s and 60s, but as recreational use began to spread, psychedelic drugs were made an illegal Schedule I drug in the US and research programs were haulted. While other drugs are dosed in grams, a single dose of LSD is measured in one 100,000th of a gram, which is one 10th the mass of a grain of sand. LSD affects multiple brain receptors such as the dopamine receptors, adrenergic receptors, and glutamate receptors. But most research is on the stimulatory serotonin receptor 5H2TA LSD hits the receptor at an unexpected angle causing it to fold over the LSD creating a lid. The LSD is then trapped which makes this receptor continually fire, causing you to hallucinate. Your body responds by sucking the 5TH2A receptor into the cell in order to degrade the LSD, but this can take up to 12+ hours to happen which is why the high can last so long. Recently, LSD research has seen a revival and using contemporary neural imaging techniques, researchers found that the drug causes parts of your brain to communicate in unique ways, especially in the visual cortex potentially explaining the vivid and complex hallucinations There’s also decreased blood flow in the default mode network, correlating to strong changes in consciousness, characterized as ego-dissolution, described as a feeling where the boundary that separates you from the rest of the world dissolves. Many people report this feeling brings a sense of reconnection with themselves, others, and the natural world. In fact, a study on 20 healthy volunteers receiving 75 micrograms of LSD saw that 2 weeks after being dosed, they scored higher for the traits of optimism and openness, with increased creativity and imagination. This has lead researchers to consider LSD as a therapy for patients with death anxiety and life-threatening illnesses. Researchers found that 12 months after treatment, patients reported a reduction in anxiety and rise in quality of life, as the drug helped them restructure their habits and worldview. It is also why the trend of microdosing is emerging, where a person takes one 10th of a recreational dose of LSD, attempting to skip the hallucinations and instead experience heightened alertness, energy, and creativity. Although LSD is non-addictive and researchers rate it as significantly less dangerous than other drugs like cocaine and heroine, there’s still an extreme lack of scientific studies to the explain the widespread microdosing trend and even experienced hallucinogen users sometimes experience bad trips producing irrational fears, paranoia, and panic attacks. LSD can also cause flashbacks, where months after the drug has worn off, it can feel as though you’re experiencing the effects of the high all over again. In some extreme occasions, people have developed Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, which is like a never-ending trip. Thinking that LSD can lead to psychosis and the risk of suicide are overstated. The 14% of participants in the US national survey who had done psychedelics in the life had no increased risk of developing psychosis, depression, or suicide attempts, but the new research around LSD’s potential positive effects is also very young. So this might not be a trip you want to take. Wanna learn more about your brain on drugs? Check out our playlist that covers many other substances and how they affect you, and subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday.

100 comments

  1. Watch and learn People. LSD is very powerful. You can only take it 1-2 Times /month. Taking microdoses to stimulate doesnt work at all, its just a myth, Coffee is way better for that.
    If you not sure if a person have Taking LSD or not….you will not miss it!

  2. One time I did a VERY small dose of lsd just to see what itd do, and an hour later if I looked at something for more than a minute it started to move in a wavy motion

  3. Hmmm. This video is great, but the presentation of flashbacks is flawed to me. They mentioned HPPD which they should, but that's as close to real "flashbacks" as you can get.

  4. I did it. It was fun, but the high was wayyyyy too long. I was definitely not me though. I have no intention of doing it again. Glad it's not an addictive substance.

  5. The only "flashbacks" are from HPPD. And it won't cause any mental illness. It may just catapult whatever you already have.
    Although I love how this video isn't perpetuating a negative stigma

  6. Its not actually possible to get stuck tripping it more or less fades in and out through your days and condition improves indefinately

  7. That guy definitely wasn't the first person in the world to feel the effects of LSD. The first documented maybe, but this stuff has been harnessed by humans for hundreds if not thousands of years.

  8. If you are a already aware person, and you do enough psychedelics, that is a guaranteed route to inevitably becoming a hippie. That shit changes you. It’s definitely not something anyone should do daily, but monthly or yearly it’s amazing and has no side effects, unless you are counting a bad trip.

  9. LSD had ppl getting naked n shii n there’s one where the guy was naked n his guts where hanging out his stomach I’m pretty sure lsd don’t make ya love ppl

  10. The entire planet should take lsd on the same day at the same time. Just imagine literally not a single person not tripping on acid. We’d have world peace in no time ahahaha

  11. Lsd is wonderful. Music becomes so much more than just sound. Your mind literally opens up, your imagination increases, you think about things no human has thought about before. It connects you with nature, other people and fills you with love. The only bad part about lsd are the bad trips but if you do it in a nice environment with a good tripsetter, youll be fine.

  12. hello friends, if you are thinking of trying LSD, i suppose it is definitely worth it. it will completely expand your mind and ultimately open your soul up to transcension && enlightenment <3 just please make sure you do it in a controlled environment, to lessen the risk of a “ bad trip “ , also! have a trip sitter dudes! :”) in case anything gets out of hand, they are there for you. have fun && have a gr8 trip! peace && love 2 you!!

  13. people made lsd seem really scary for me. But when i tried it last night it was amazing and then dropped another tab.

  14. I did acid 6 times, every time I would do 2 Tabs, man I miss being on acid, too me it’s waaaaay better than shrooms, shrooms have no effect on me.

  15. good video, but the last part about HPPD and never-ending trips is pure bullshit. HPPD lasts in the worst cases for a mont or so and it’s not like an LSD trip, it’s more like standing up too quickly, but more often.

  16. I’ve taken lsd 4 times and each time is only 100mg. I haven’t had a bad trio and 3 of the trips were with other people on lsd and recently, my 4th trio I did it alone at night in my room. I wanted to get some answers, find out more about myself and I sure did 💪🏻 It didn’t feel like I was in my room at all 😂 it felt like I had 5 different trips in the matter of 4 hours

  17. LSD is not bad honestly, you should just always be safe doing them and be around people you can trust. It’s like when u drink too much

  18. Here because my friend offered me some. I’m scared to try new drugs as just one hit from a wax pen sends me going crazy. I want to try it but want to make sure I know what I’m getting myself into

  19. There’s this really good tv show called explained: the mind and an episode called psychedelics the show is on Netflix. these drugs are really not bad for you.

  20. Rather than just affecting brain with its pineal gland, the whole nervous system around the whole body is affected, the etheric astral aura.

  21. I can never understand what people are saying and sometimes songs don’t make any sense. one time my bf and i were walking down his barracks hallway (yes we were trippin shit on a military base lmao) and the hallway felt like it went on forever and i was so high i thought i was stuck in the hallway and it was going on forever

  22. HPPD isn’t like a never ending trip. from what i’ve heard the visuals can come back for a time but your not gonna feel any other effects. you’d need acid for that

  23. Anyone get head pains now? I never had them before I used. Its alot like pressure feeling in the front near my eyes. When I trip it goes away. Then comes back.

  24. Took my first tab yesterday and mixed it with weed. Best day of my life. Literally feel like it cured my depression, I can't even explain how crazy that is. I feel so light and happy and casual, and I'm so motivated to do all kinds of good things for myself now. Finally picked up my viola and started practicing again, as well as my piano. The guitar's next.

  25. If you take any hallucinogen, the one who supplied you with it, who secretly hates you and wants to destroy you, will succeed.

  26. My first and last trip of LSD I had taken 250+ugs which is basically 2 and a half tabs or more in one dose. Since it was a Gel tab the affects took action much more quickly. I realized it had taken affect when I listened to a song that I loved. The energy going from high to calm was so extreme to me that I began crying because of how beautiful the song really was. You really get to truly appreciate the beautiful things in life in a way that you wouldn’t be able to without LSD. HOWEVER!!! I strongly recommend that you do not take this drug if you panic easily. The trip was great for me but I was at the brink of a panic attack at least 5 times that day. LSD makes you extremely sensitive to literally ALL STIMULI ranging from something as simple as lights turning off and on. I shit you not I almost got a panic attack from my friend playing with his flashlight on his phone. Everything on LSD can get extremely overwhelming if you’re trying to focus on everything at once like you normally would. So if you are going to try LSD I recommend you take things slow and just have a good time and don’t worry about what it’s doing to you and just enjoy it while it lasts. It really is a positive experience and helps you realize that a lot of the shit that we stress ourselves out about never mattered that much to begin with.

  27. Don’t tell people to look past the potential risks as what you do while on the drug can still be dangerous. I may be biased because I have a personal experience but a kid at my high school shot himself in the head while on acid and another kid did develop psychosis and had to go to a rehab center for like 6 months. Again maybe that’s just a rare occurrence but you should still know that there’s always risks

  28. I’m just coming off a trip, but this was the 3rd time and again it was GREAT, like pure euphoria but no real hallucinations or anything like that so idk why everyone says it’ll make you see shit and stuff🤷‍♂️ Again 3rd and just euphoria each time which is great, don’t get me wrong but I’ve done weed, shrooms and LSD and I haven’t seen anything out of reality or the “norm” so I’m starting to think all that is lies, I don’t think you can ever just see something that not there

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