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What Is Fake LSD And How Can You Avoid It?

Sir Tripsalot

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acid, LSD, psychedelics

Nobody wants to be lied to, but when it comes to party drugs dishonesty can be hard to avoid. Learn the tricks on how to spot fake LSD, so you don’t take some unknown, potentially dangerous research chemical.

Since the rapid expansion of the quasi-legal research chemical market in the last decade, many new drugs have made their way into the hands of people looking for a good time. Some add to the existing repertoire, while some often replace existing drugs. With heavy restrictions on the production of MDMA, other cheap amphetamine derivatives like MDA or methylone (MDMC) have found their way into ecstasy pills and molly. Replacing one amphetamine derivative has little impact on what the end-user expects out of the drug, as in the case of fake MDMA. MDA may be a little more hallucinogenic, and methylone might be a little less entactogenic, but they are similar enough in their safety profile to what they are supposed to imitate: MDMA.

On the other hand, fake LSD shares no chemical resemblance to real LSD. Fake LSD will typically last as long or longer than LSD and produce psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects, but in a completely different manner from that of LSD. More importantly, the chemicals that imitate acid can have unforeseen side effects more sinister than just lasting longer than expected.

A typical fake hit of acid actually contains NBOMe derivative (i.e. 25C-NBOMe), DOB or Bromo-DragonFLY. Essentially, any hallucinogenic phenethylamine derivative that last longer than 6 hours and is potent enough so that an active dose fits on a blotter hit can be sold as LSD.

These drugs produce unwanted physical side effects, such as vasoconstriction, and, in the case of 25I-NBOMe, caused at least 19 deaths in the United States as of 2013. The most common side effect, vasoconstriction, may cause your extremities to feel cold or numb and may make parts of your body turn temporarily blue (due to lack of blood flow). These drugs also produce a very heavy “body load” and may make you nauseous, uncomfortable and in some cases may cause diarrhea.

Fake acid is visually indistinguishable from real acid. Some say that a blotter tab impregnated with fake LSD will taste bitter, hence the saying, “if it’s bitter, it’s a spitter.” Real LSD tabs should indeed have no taste at all except for the paper because LSD is at such a low concentration it can’t be tasted. Fake LSD chemicals may be present in high enough amounts to cause a bitter taste, but not all the time. A bitter blotter is definitely not LSD, but a blotter tab without any taste could still be fake.

Objectively speaking, the best way to find out if your 10-strip of “acid” is really LSD is with an Ehrlich test kit. This chemical procedure tests for the presence of an indole ring. LSD has an indole ring in its structure, but so do many other easily obtainable chemicals, like serotonin. Some fake acid dealers have been known to throw in some serotonin pills into their blotter solution just to fool the Ehrlich test. Besides the fact that the Ehrlich test can be fooled, most drug takers usually don’t have the time or money to invest in a chemical test.

With testing and tasting almost ruled out, it seems like the best way to tell if acid is really acid is with some good old-fashioned detective work. Despite the fact that both fake acid and real LSD both make you “trip,” they do so in fundamentally different ways. Just by asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision about whether the doses in question are real or not, but you need to talk to someone who has actually tried acid.

To know what questions to ask, you need to first understand a little about the drugs. LSD is a tryptamine derivative just like psilocybin (in magic mushrooms) or DMT (in ayahuasca). These three drugs have different effect profiles, but all three of them produce a body effect (a “buzz”) that feels slightly similar to one another.

The body buzz of fake acid is reminiscent to that of MDMA and amphetamine: it feels speedy and may cause teeth grinding. Vasoconstriction can also make your muscles feel tight. Ask the person what the body buzz felt like; if they say it reminded them more of mushrooms than of molly then they may have taken real LSD.

Ask them how long it took to kick in. Real LSD starts off around 30 minutes after taking it and should start peaking around an hour later. Fake acid takes longer to kick in, sometimes almost two hours, and can last longer than 10 hours. Real LSD shouldn’t last much longer than eight hours. A real acid trip comes and goes in waves; fake acid stays constant throughout the whole experience.

Also ask about their hallucinations. LSD produces similar hallucinations and illusions in almost everyone who takes it. In the first hour, LSD makes objects around you “breathe.” Trees or walls will appear to move back and forth like they were alive. Stronger hallucinations start after 90 minutes or so and come and go in waves. Walking around doing activities normally prevents the onset of hallucinations, which only kick in strongly when you stop, sit down and focus on something.

LSD hallucinations are colorful, vibrant geometric patters that occur on surfaces like walls, faces of people or your own arms and hands. During the come-up, you may notice tracers: moving objects appear to have a blur behind them and leave a trace.

Fake acid produces hallucination in a completely different manner. It may produce vibrant colors but does not produce as many geometric patterns and does not cause tracers or breathing.

If the dealer of the doses in question or somebody who has taken it says that they do not work if you swallow the tabs and that they must be held in your mouth to be absorbed, it means they are definitely fake LSD.

For those of you fortunate enough to encounter liquid LSD, you have it a little easier than most for making sure it’s real. LSD dissolved in water should appear slightly blue in sunlight. This slight blue glow is a dead giveaway for LSD, and it cannot easily be mimicked with another chemical.  Under a blacklight, LSD solutions will glow, but this effect can be faked with other chemicals. Understandably, the blacklight trick for paper blotter does not work: most paper glows under the light anyways.

Based on a small conversation with somebody who has taken the acid in question you and your friends can make an informed decision on whether or not to invest in an unknown and potentially dangerous drug. Be intelligent in how you ask the questions; don’t lead them to answer one way or another. The questions need to bring out their own descriptions, not the other way around. Most healthy individuals can tolerate a small dose of these LSD imitators, but why test it?

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