Just saying “LSD” makes most people imagine rainbows, hippies, and peace signs, but did you know lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was initially created during research in 1938 on how to stop postpartum bleeding? The Swiss scientist, Albert Hofmann, developed LSD and it sat on the shelf untouched for years. It wasn’t until Hofmann accidentally ingested LSD through his skin that the hallucinogenic properties of the drug were discovered.
Upon synthesizing a second batch, he suddenly experienced a state of vertigo and felt as though he were in a dream. Colors glowed, objects skewed and took on unusual dimensions. His perception of self and time changed and when his eyes were closed, pictures flew by like a quickly changing kaleidoscope. After a few hours, the experience left as quickly as it had come and he had no idea LSD was the cause of it all.
While this story of accidental discovery of its properties is true, many others are not, and distinguishing the facts from the myths about LSD can be challenging. Exactly, what was the “big deal” with using it, and was it considered a dangerous drug, and is it medically beneficial to some extent? We’re going to go over LSD’s facts and myths in detail and see just what all the hype has been since its creator accidentally ingested it all those years ago.
LSD: 4 Myths Debunked
Myth #1: LSD Is One of the Most Dangerous Drugs to Abuse
It has been reported time and again that LSD is one of the most dangerous drugs with a high potential for abuse. Some even said it causes serious brain damage, but the evidence indicates otherwise.
One study that calculated and weighted average harm scores (out of a total score of 100) for commonly used illicit and legal substances reported that alcohol was given the highest harm score (72), followed by crack cocaine (55) and heroin (54).
LSD ranked 3rd lowest (7) on the scale, ahead of Buprenomorphine and Psilocybin. With that said, there are side effects to LSD use. Some LSD users did report craving the hallucinations and high LSD provided, and more of the drug was required over time to sustain the same effect, indicating rising tolerance over time.
Myth #2: LSD Always Produces an Enjoyable High
LSD can produce an enjoyable high, however the experience of a “bad trip” is always a possibility. LSD is considered to be a “club drug” since it’s used primarily at parties and nightclubs. Because it’s supposed to produce a euphoric high, many people ingest it at parties. However due to many environmental factors such as the surroundings, company etc, that can lead to overstimulation, it does not always equal an enjoyable experience. Many people reported feeling intensely anxious and paranoid, which a party environment is likely to exacerbate.
Myth #3: Frequent LSD Use Will Cause You To Go Insane
LSD is a short-term drug that wears off and leaves no lasting effects. Due to its chemical makeup, LSD is quickly metabolized and broken down by the body into inactive compounds before being passed.
Lifetime use of LSD has not been found to be linked to increased risk of mental illness or of suicidal ideation or actions, depression, or anxiety. More research is needed to conclusively explore the psychopharmacology of the substance, but existing research has found no link between mental illness and LSD use.
Myth #4: LSD Will Help You Discover Your Innermost Self
This is probably the most common myth of all. LSD provides a different experience for everyone. Many believe it produces an intense psychedelic look into your inner being that helps to uncover your deepest self and promotes a surreal level of self-discovery.
Every experience is subjective, and there is no guarantee that one will discover their true self through their trip. This is not to say that discovering things about yourself will not happen under the influence, but it is not guaranteed, and expectations should be realistic.
Fact #1: There Are Several Uses for LSD
Scientists are now considering psychedelic drugs like LSD to be possible treatments for a broad range of psychiatric ailments such as alcoholism, schizophrenia, depression, and autism. Also, recent studies have shown lower suicidality rates and other mental health disorders among people who have used psychedelics.
LSD is in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which means the US government deems it as having a high potential for abuse with no currently accepted medical use. However, where LSD is concerned, there is a tremendous amount of evidence to the contrary, but it will likely be many years before government bodies budge on the issue, as we have seen with the fight for legalization of cannabis.
Fact #2: You Cannot Prevent a Bad Trip
It has long been said that having a friend to guide you on your LSD experience can prevent you from having a bad trip. While having a sober friend along for the ride to help guide you through it sounds good in theory, there is no sure way to prevent a bad trip. Researchers have found that external factors such as the setting you are in can have an effect on the experience. While taking precautions to influence a trip positively can be helpful, they are not guaranteed.. Having a bad trip is a risk you take when you use LSD.
Fact #3: Orange Juice Will Not Prematurely End A Trip
Many things have been tried to reduce or reverse the effects of taking LSD. Some have said a glass of orange juice or a shot of vitamin C will stop the effects of the drug. The truth is, by the time the LSD starts working, your body has already metabolized the compounds. The high you experience is the result of after- effects on your brain, and reports of improvements felt after having orange juice are just coincidences or the placebo effect. Time is the only thing that will end your trip.
Fact #4: Microdosing Can Enhance Creativity
Experiments between 1954 and 1962 with low doses of LSD indicated that microdosing could aid in problem-solving. More recently, a team of neuroscientists in London who have been studying LSD have shared findings that support the theory that LSD enhances creativity and problem-solving abilities, and have made strides toward figuring out the biological mechanisms behind its effects.
Expand Your View of Existence
mangu.tv is an online distribution platform for conscious and regenerative films.
mangu.tv films celebrate regeneration and are paradigm challenging and consciousness expanding, covering not only spirituality, eastern philosophy, yoga, and meditation, but also economics, politics, philosophy, sexuality and all aspects of the human existence.
All our films are hand picked by Giancarlo Canavesio, mangu.tv’s founder and curator.
Sign up for Giancarlo’s selection and get a free film today!