What Is Fake LSD And How Can You Avoid It?

acid, LSD, psychedelics
Photo by Getty Images

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?

  1. A few things wrong with this. I have never seen a confirmed case of someone adding indoles or as you call it “serotonin pills” to a solution with another active drug. Show me a case of this really happening. There are lots of test results from Boom festival in Portugal and Energy Control and the pill testing websites, and reddit I have never seen an actual confirmed case of this. It’s almost a rule that if there is LSD on the paper then there is nothing else. It seems counter intuitive to mix it like that too, it would fool a test kit but not my tongue, it’s still bitter. If this were happening there would be people getting purple test results but still reporting bitter taste, I follow people online who test and see no one reporting this. It could be done, but is it really happening? I see no evidence.

    “Fake acid” is not one drug or even one class of drugs. While DOx class drugs take a few hours to kick in the nbome/nboh class do not, they kick in in 45 minutes almost exactly the same as LSD and last around same amount of time. The only way to distinguish between LSD and these drugs based on effects is to take LSD for comparison. You can’t differentiate by describing the effects to someone who never did LSD, it’s too subjective. I am sure you haven’t tried every nbome/nboh/dox drug so you actually can’t say with certainty that none of them could cause a walls breathing hallucination. How do you know one of those drugs doesn’t cause geometric pattern hallucinations either? There are quite a few drugs that will fit on a blotter, no way you are an expert on all of them. It’s actually frowned upon (or against rules) most drug message boards to ask people to guess what I took based on me describing effects, because no one can do that, its impossible. But you are acting like you can ask the right questions and not get nbombed, that’s crazy. If someone wrote MDMA lasts 4 hours and if you get a 6 hour trip its fake molly, or tried to describe how the effects of methylone are different than MDMA as a way to tell them apart it would be laughed off the internet. No one ever encourages people to think they can tell MDMA from fake XTC based on effects. It’s bad, it’s dangerous, it poor practice. But since it’s LSD it’s okay? You need a test kit. My aim was to say in this post you need a test kit at least three times. You should live but people have died from two blotters of fake acid, maybe they were allergic, maybe you will be too. I consider Nbome drugs to be evil, I hate them. And I never even tried one. Test kit.

    You can’t really ask any useful questions to your friends who took blotter before you besides “was it bitter?”. There is not a single good question other than that. Asking someone if the trip came in waves is just silly. Yeah if it was an 18 plus hour trip you likely got some weirdo chemical, but no way you can call a 10 hour trip for sure not LSD because your last one was 7 hours. LSD trips vary greatly. 8-12 is considered the norm, telling someone 10 means it’s fake is bad info. It’s not correct. 12 hour trips are as normal as 8 hour trips. Most fake acid out there is nbomes which is similar trip length to real acid. DOx is rarer and bromodragonfly is almost unheard of. Trip length is not a good way to guess what you took because it only eliminates a small percent of possible substances. .

    Nearly everything you describe is subjective to you personally. For instance I don’t need to sit down to feel it. I have never even heard that before, I think that’s just you. Go take 800 mics, you won’t be able to stop it by walking. There are not nearly as many universals to LSD as you seem to think, your 100th trip can be massively different than your 10th. All the different dosages have different effects too, even increasing or decreasing by 50 mics changes it. I like the fact there is no standard LSD trip.
    Just get a test kit, the worst thing you can do is sit there wondering what you took, it ruins trips. Buy one from these dance safe people they do good work.

    1. hey i was just wondering since you seem so knowledgeable, can fake acid produce good trips? I have taken what i was told is acid a few times and this article made me feel like i took the real deal. but your comments is making me question it again lol but i havent tripped bad yet (i was getting close with a gel tab i was told contained 300 mics) but never freaked out. thanks in advance

  2. The answer to the title of this article is simple.

    It is not necessary to write a long-winded, self-serving epic tome about it.

    Fake LSD is a square of blotter paper.

    You can avoid it by not buying blotter acid sold by people.

    There. That wasn’t so hard now was it?

    1. So real LSD can’t be on blotter? What if you watched them drop White Dimond Fluff on blotter for you, would it still be fake?

      1. I never said real LSD can’t be on blotter.

        But if your drug-addled mind wants to believe so, more power to you.


  3. some things wrong and therefore lacking in the article:

    nbome starts working very quickly as well. after a half hour one is already at the peak.
    nbomes are also orally active.
    and “fake acid” can also produce geomatric patterns etc.

    1. I don’t know why no one has pointed that out yet lmao 25-i was kicking my ass in <20 mins and i spit it out after like 5 mins. wayyy too many generalized statements. at least say “however some can start to effect you in under 30 mins” or “while others can produce very vivid visuals without a strong effects on mindset”

  4. Let me guess; those silly fools who were dropping up to 30 doses of “liquid acid” at the music festival I was at this last weekend were not dosing with “real” LSD 😉 . . . .
    There was a lot of them “tripping” but unlike those on real acid, these folks had to share that they were tripping. Kids . . . .
    Don’t get me started on “festival Molly” . . . .

  5. i got all my first several 100 doses from Nick sand so i know it was real and the fake stuff i tried doesnt give me any body feeling it gives good visuals but next to no high feeling or the feeling i get with acid or shrooms when i laugh its like im letting bubbles out, in my opinion the fake stuff was like i dropped acid but super weak acid i just take one if i dont feel the wave then i know its not acid all acid thats real will cause this feeling but if its not acid but you think it is only weak and you take a couple more your sure to throw up , i think the best question to ask is how long ago did you do your first trip , if it was 25 years ago i ask them did they like the wavy feeling ? if they say no then i ask them did the recent stuff cause that feeling they did not like , if they say no its fake and in general if you take to 20 people who all dropped at least a 250 micro gram hit if its real acid there will be a high percentage of people that say it was to overwhelming , i have never heard fake stuff be overwhelming and of my buddies that dont like acid as much as me most of the ones that are light weights when it comes to dropping all say they really liked the acid they did the other day and it was fake and thats cuz it doesnt ,make you get high enough to regret it , if nobody says it was to much then its straight up fake

    1. I think the best thing to say would just be get a test kit because the only things that I’ve been hearing other peoples opinion on LSD except for the one person that said get a test kit and these people so great to test kits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Read More

The Real Sticky Icky Icky

Snoop Dogg talks about the new hemp-infused beverage Do It Fluid, his smoking routine, and what he loves about cannabis.
Read More

The Library of Cannabis

HendRx Farm Nursery works to preserve the great works of ganja with their genetic preservation library.