Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a well-known semi-synthetic hallucinogen. The drug takes effect between 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion and effects peak around two to four hours after consumption. A ‘trip’ is usually felt for about eight hours up to half a day – how long it lasts depends on how much LSD is consumed.

The liver processes LSD very fast. In addition, LSD tends to be consumed in small doses, so the drug’s inactive metabolites occur in very low concentrations too. As a result, LSD is relatively difficult to detect in drug screenings, and testing for it is expensive. In fact, the drug is not one of the substances included in standard five-panel and ten-panel drug tests

According to a 2017 study, LSD has an elimination half-life of approximately 2.5 hours. Other sources suggest that the half-life is around five hours. This means that half the drug is removed from the system fairly quickly.

How Long Does LSD Stay in Your Urine?

Detecting the substance in urine is possible between 1 and 5 days after consumption. Urine tests are the most widespread method of screening for drugs, but in the case of LSD, commercial tests and instant results are not available.

Lab tests need to be conducted to find the drug or its byproducts in urine samples that have been protected from light. Various types of tests can use urine samples to find LSD. These include Abuscreen tests and EMIT tests which work with immunoassay.

How Long Does LSD Stay in Your Blood?

Although it can be smoked or injected, LSD is mostly taken orally. When this happens, the drug enters the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract before making its way into the bloodstream. This process takes about 15 minutes. 

LSD can be found in blood plasma within3 hours of consumption. This duration can extend to 16 hours if a 200 mcg dose is taken, but clearly there is a very short window of detection to work with. 

How Long Does LSD Stay in Your Saliva?

Oral fluid tests are not the most common means of testing for drugs. They are, however, good for checking recent drug use. But LSD does not show up on regular saliva tests.

The saliva test would need to be administered in a lab within 3 hours of consumption.

How Long Does LSD Stay in Your Hair?

In general, drugs and their metabolites are detectable in hair for about 3 months. Drugs can start showing in hair between 5 days and 2 weeks after the last time they’re taken.

It takes approximately one month for hair to grow by 0.4 inches. So, the newest 1.2 inches of hair can be an effective way to ascertain drug use in the previous 90 days. 

LSD is not the most stable drug and a hair sample is the least practical and reliable means of testing for it. There have been cases of false positives, as well as false negatives where consumption did actually take place.

LSD & Lab Tests

Tests for LSD are not easily accessible and use specialized methods like liquid-liquid extraction, and liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Thus, testing for LSD can only be done in lab settings at present. 

To summarize, LSD can typically be detected within these windows:

  • Blood  – up to 12 to 16 hours
  • Saliva – 0 to 3 hours
  • Urine – 1 to 5 days 
  • Hair – up to 3 months

Factors that Affect How Long LSD Stays in Your System

Most people should be able to clear their systems of LSD within 24 hours and heavy users should be wholly rid of the substance after 72 hours. But the window of detection can also be affected by aspects that are unique to each individual. Factors that affect excretion from the body include:

  • Metabolism
  • Overall health
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Dosage
  • Potency or purity of drug
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use – LSD metabolites can accumulate in the body
  • Presence of other drugs in the system
  • Tolerance
  • Genetics
  • Age – older individuals tend to take longer to metabolize drugs
  • Weight and body fat levels
  • Hydration levels
  • Urine pH – acidic urine speeds up excretion

Treatment for LSD Addiction

On its own, LSD is not a highly addictive substance, withdrawal symptoms are rare and overdoses are not fatal. Having said that, chronic use and high doses can have negative effects on the body and brain.

LSD is mind-altering which can lead to erratic behavior. Users can accidentally self-harm or pose a danger to others. Psychosis is also possible in those with a history of mental health issues.

Frequent LSD use can impact a user’s ability to lead a productive and social life. If this describes you or a loved one, seeking treatment is the best way to move forward. Outpatient and inpatient rehab options are available. 

For starters, therapy can address the underlying issues leading to substance abuse and psychological dependence. While there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat LSD misuse, other drugs may be prescribed to treat mood disorders contributing to overconsumption. Call Spring Hill Recovery Center and start your recovery today!

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