Recovery Center Blog

How Long Does LSD (Acid) Stay in Your System?

Written By Recovery Centers - March 29th, 2022
How Long Does LSD (Acid) Stay in Your System?

LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, is an illegal psychedelic drug that causes vivid auditory and visual hallucinations. Often referred to as acid or lucy, LSD is a common drug of abuse in the party scene.

LSD is a schedule I drug, which means that it has no medicinal uses. This drug is not considered to be addictive, however, this does not mean that it doesn’t pose any danger. Acid is known to cause intense effects that may lead to lasting physical and psychological consequences.

While many people believe that LSD cannot be tested for, this hallucinogenic drug is detectable by urine, blood, and hair tests. If you or a loved one abuses LSD, understanding how long LSD (acid) stays in your system can help prevent you from taking too much at one time.

How Long Does it Take to Feel the Effects of LSD?

LSD may be swallowed as a capsule, ingested or absorbed into the skin as a liquid, and absorbed in your mouth in a paper square.

Typically, the effects of acid begin to take effect anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes after you ingest it. After about two to four hours, the effects of LSD will be at their peak. Usually, the effects will begin to die down six to eight hours after ingestion.

The effects of LSD may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Delusions
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Paranoia or intense euphoria
  • Sleepiness
  • Rapid mood swings or emotional shifts
  • Changes in sensory and visual perception
  • Not understanding the concept of time
  • Feelings of insanity, despair, or loss of control

If you take LSD frequently you may develop a condition known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). HPPD causes flashbacks of hallucinations or delusions you experienced during your acid trips. Unfortunately, this could cause significant stress on your mental health and ability to function in your day-to-day life.

Effects of LSD

LSD Effects: Timeline

LSD effects timeline infographic

How Does Your Body Metabolize Acid?

When you take LSD, it is absorbed in your digestive tract. Once absorbed, your liver will begin to break the acid down into inactive metabolites of LSD known as 2-oxy-LSD and 2-oxo-3-hydroxy LSD. The metabolite that is most commonly detectable in urine is 2-oxo-3-hydroxy LSD.

According to research, the reason that you experience hallucinations while on LSD is because of how it binds to serotonin receptors. The serotonin 2A receptor has been proven to be involved in the formation of hallucinations and cognitive impairment associated with LSD use.[1]

The half-life of LSD is 3.6 hours. This means that about half of the dosage of LSD that you take will be out of your bloodstream in 3.6 hours. In other words, your body naturally will rid your bloodstream of LSD in 7.2 hours.

LSD Drug Detection



How Long is LSD Detectable in Your Body?

24 hours after you ingest LSD, your body will have metabolized and excreted most of the substance. According to research, up to 13% of LSD will be metabolized into 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD. This metabolite of LSD is considered to be 16 to 43 times more detectable in urine than LSD itself.[2]

While LSD is detectable by urine, blood, and hair tests, the rapidness with which it is metabolized creates some challenges for detection.


Typically, acid can be detected by a urine drug test 8 hours after you ingest it and for up to 2-4 days after use. Urinalysis drug testing is the most common form of drug detection used.


Depending on the amount of LSD you take, it may be detectable in your system through a blood test for 8 to 16 hours. If you take a larger dose (200mcgs), your blood test can come back positive for up to 16 hours. Smaller doses of LSD (100mcgs) may only be detectable for up to 8 hours.

Because blood tests provide such a short window of LSD detection, they are rarely used.


Hair drug testing is relatively rare, as it is the most expensive way to test someone for drugs. However, careers in government or law enforcement may require hair drug testing upon employment.

Hair tests can detect LSD for up to 90 days. However, hair tests are considered to be unreliable for acid detection as low doses are difficult to spot in research and forensic settings.

What Affects Drug Testing Detection Times of LSD in Your System?

Drug testing depends on the way your body metabolizes specific substances. Because of this, certain factors may affect how long LSD is detectable in your system.

For example, if you are underweight you may have a fast metabolism. This can cause substances to leave your body faster than normal, affecting the overall detection time.

Other factors that affect the detection times of LSD include:

  • Weight
  • Hydration level
  • Purity of the LSD
  • Additional substances you took
  • Metabolism
  • Age
  • Liver function

Getting Help for LSD Abuse

If you or a loved one frequently abuse LSD, you could be facing an array of harmful physical and psychological effects. For example, long-term acid use is linked to the development of mental health conditions like psychosis and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.

Attending a professional addiction treatment program could prevent you from developing the lasting effects of long-term acid abuse. Contact us today for more information on how to find help for LSD abuse.