Does LSD Stay in Your Spinal Cord Forever?

How Long Does LSD Stay In Your System?

Every wonder how long LSD stays in your system? Despite popular belief, LSD doesn’t stay in your spinal cord forever. Out of all the myths about LSD out there, this one may be the strangest. Never has there ever been a drug that stays in your body forever and most drug detection times are short. Chemicals that stick around for a long time, like cannabinoids, are fat soluble. Anything water soluble, like most drugs including LSD, leaves the body very quickly.

Though I wouldn’t try it, you could literally be tripping your head off one day and pass a drug test with flying colors the next, as long as you didn’t smoke any weed. LSD has a half-life of around three to four hours. That means from when you’re peaking it takes around three hours for you to metabolize half of that. Drug metabolism varies from substance to substance; a substance with a short half-life may stick around in your body for a while, depending on the nature of its metabolites. If the metabolite is fat-soluble, it will take longer to be completely eliminated. In the case of LSD, all of its metabolites are water-soluble, added to the fact that its active dose is very small, on the order of micrograms or millionths of a gram.

The spinal cord myth must have started with the appearance of flashbacks. Flashbacks are described as fleeting hallucinations and sensations reminiscent of the trip, and are reported to happen sporadically for years after the trip. It’s hard to gather good evidence about how many LSD-users suffer from these flashbacks, but they may just be another Drug War myth. I know some people that have tripped upwards of 200 times and they’ve never had a flashback.

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, or HPPD, is another story. HPPD is real, and it’s not just a fleeting experience. HPPD is a fairly serious condition that can be triggered by tripping on a psychedelic. It lasts for a long time and it either goes away or people get used to it. Anti-anxiety drugs are shown to help, but they don’t cure the condition, they just treat the associated anxiety. Tolcapone and levocarb are drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and show promising results for treating HPPD. Given the mechanism of those drugs, specialists theorize that HPPD is brought on by an anomaly in a chemical process in the brain that affects sensory gating.

Given the number of people that use psychedelic drugs, HPPD is very rare. A friend of mine who has tripped a lot (and I mean a lot; sheets and sheets of acid) said hallucinogens just open your mind to the reality that our perception of the world isn’t as fine-tuned as we think it is; many neuroscientists have reached the same conclusion.

Given the fact that spinal fluid is separated from the rest of our body’s fluids through the blood-brain barrier, Drug War myth-makers must have connected the dots between flashbacks and HPPD to conclude that LSD stays in your spinal cord forever. It was a vain attempt at getting people fear that one hit of acid will stop them from ever passing a drug test, but have no fear, LSD is here to stay. Or rather, it isn’t.

  1. I have done an enormous amount of LSD back in the day. In fact for the last two years I did it (junior and senior year of HS) my schedule was literally the same every single week. Monday 1 hit, Tuesday 2 hits, Wednesday 4 hits, Thursday 8 hits, Friday skip school and sleep. Couldn’t afford 16 hits for a single trip and school without LSD was a no go. Ok so that info. Is just for experience reference. And for those wondering Friday night, Saturday, Sunday was reserved for smoking up and alcohol while letting my body and brain reset so that only 1 hit was needed to trip come Monday. In my senior year alot of times I also skipped school Monday and just did 2,4,8 Tues-Thurs for a better trip.

    Note: If you don’t know, you need more LSD to gain the same trip as the day before if you trip day after day. We always stuck with the double the hits are needed assumption so the 8 hits on Thursday was just to experience the same high as Mondays 1 hit. The double amount is obviously not 100% correct. But it was definitely close enough to make it the only reliable formula. The high between Monday’s 1 hit and Tuesday’s 2 hits would have literally no recognizable difference which is why the double amount theory started to begin with. But the trip in Wednesday with 4 hits was recognizably better then Mondays (not enough to feel like I took 2 hits on Monday thou so lets say 1.5) and the 8 hits on Thursday was basically twice as strong as if I took 2 hits on day 1. Ok onto the actual point of my comment here.

    I heard about acid sitting in your spine forever way back when I started taking it in high school. But I never heard it in the way that the author here is describing it. It was never worded in any way that would even remotely suggest that you will fail a drug test forever. In fact as far as we all knew back then LSD was not detectable via a urine test even when actively tripping and it was assumed that LSD was not detectable via blood test either (not sure why that was the theory at the start).

    Things may have changed since 1998 but I can state for a absolute fact that LSD was either impossible or required an expert and special lab to test for It in your system even while actively tripping. A friend stuck 4hits of acid in my Submarine cold cut sandwich one Sunday afternoon without my knowledge. It was summer, just graduated a few weeks back and it was my birthday. Thus it was my birthday present and meant to be a surprise.

    What my friend didn’t know was that a.) I quit doing acid the last week of my senior year. It was a great time and fun while it lasted but I knew it was time to stop. My brain fog on the days of recovery where getting a lot worse and I knew it was time to move on from this amazing drug. I of course planned to take it speratically from then on, like once every month or two for example, just not day after day endlessly anymore. And b.) that i just found out that my girlfriend that I had been with for 3 years cheated on me the day before. I was in a obviously terrible mood and had rope in my trunk with the intention of tying the guy up to my bumper and dragging him down the road if I could find him.

    Everyone that trips knows that tripping while in a bad mood = a bad trip and I was way beyond a bad mood. The first 4 hours of the trip where blacked out, no clue at all what happened. I also drank a half a bottle of vodka and smoked an entire blunt to the head of premium Christmas kiem. I never drank or smoked while tripping either, they are opposites after all.

    The first thing I remember is looking at my pager to see the time and it was suddenly 2am (30 seconds before that it was 10pm and i was still in same spot sitting). Their was suddenly about 20 friends their as well when it was just me and my one friend a blink before that. I said “screw this i gotta get up at 7am im going home” got in my car and drove home. My parents where still up and had 4 friends over all sitting at the kitchen table playing cards. I walked right by and went up to bed. Got in bed and attempted to goto sleep.

    Moments later, I started to hear and feel my heart beat. Each beat it got louder, harder and faster. Less then a minute later it was racing and felt like it was gonna jump out of my chest. I was in boxers only and pouring sweat from head to toe. I looked in the mirror and it literally looked like I just stepped out of the shower or a rain storm with no towel and my eyes where pure black with a tiny outline of white. Pupils where dialated to almost twice the diameter of my normal iris+pupil size. (I think iris is the name for the color part of your eye).

    Ill spare a lot of the details and just say that 2 hours later nothing had changed I was still pouring sweat and heart racing out my chest. My parents rush me off to the Emergency room. First thing they do of course is hook me up to monitors and fluids and then draw blood to test in order to see what im on. Although I had told them what I was on. 2 hours later its 8am and my heart rate has yet to fall below 140 according to the heart rate monitor and a nurse comes in and states that my blood is clean and that Im on no drugs and references that they are going to admit me to the psych ward for 3 days if things don’t change in the next hour. They tell my parents in private that I have no drugs in my system and clearly must be having some kind of mental disorder.

    By some stroke of luck My heart rate started coming down and I was extremely lethargic as it did so i passed out. 2 hours later my mom woke me up to get dressed with discharge papers in hand. I felt perfectly fine and was happy as could be. I got home and went straight back to bed. I woke up to a racing heart and the feeling as if my brain was shutting off non stop. For months my heart rate sat at 120-160 and 24/7 feeling as if my brain is going to just go blank if I don’t actively try to think of something nonstop.

    After about 3 months I woke up and felt fine. (Note: I did very little sleeping for 3 months. With fear of dying and a minimum of 120 beats per minute you don’t get to fall asleep. its impossible to fall asleep also when you are forcing your brain to stay active every second so it don’t go blank. I would of course pass out at some point of exhaustion every now and then for 1-3 hours and wake up in same state. So that entire day I was fine and so very thankful. Went to bed and next day woke up back to racing heart and brain shutting down feeling.

    This went on and on for a year. The amount of days of terror before I woke up feeling fine slowly shortened and the number of days I remained fine slowly lengthened. After about a year I was finally to a point where I was fine the majority of the time. But for the next 3-4 years it still persisted, with time between attacks growing and length of days they lasted shortening. After about 5 years they where almost totally gone. For a few years I would get it for a single day every 3-4 months but its been gone since.

    A decent jolt to my back has always given me the feeling of acid just kicking in. The intensity of the high has shortened from year to year and 20+ years later is extremely weak. I get a minor body high for a half a second now. Where as it started off as a full strong as an active trip body high and full on trip feeling for 45-50 seconds.

    So does acid remain n your spine forever? No clue, never actually believed it did in a pure sense and still don’t. After all acid being released into my system after being dislodged from my spine would certainly not last 45-60 seconds or less and then disappear. But I’m certainly convinced their is some form of it that remains on your spine that very very slowly leaves your system after the jolt or just becomes weaker very slowly over time. But certainly nothing to worry about when it comes to drug testing. Im sure now in days that special labs can detect LSD in your blood while your actively tripping and for a short time after but no drug test panel includes LSD and Im certain its extremely expensive to have blood tested for LSD. Like the author said, the dose amount is extremely small and the half life is extremely fast. So the test would have to be extremely precise and expensive. The dose of LSD in your system from the start is many times lower then the amount that is required to test positive for all drugs that are traditionally tested. The smaller the amount being detected the more expensive and timely it is, which is why drug tests look for a high dosage and not for a tiny trace. Hell by time a test for LSD finished their may not be any left to find lol.

    Sidenote: I 100% agree with the authors friend. I have always fully believed that LSD unlocks the barriers that our brain places on perception. I believe these barriers exist for good reason. If we walked around with our brain processing all their is to percieve all the time then it would severely impact our lives. So our brains only process the bare minimum that is required. Leaving out all the extra. When your on LSD the barriers are removed and in my opinion you truly see everything in a much more realistic manner. Even on LSD i would say you far from experience Full reality. My hypothesis comes from the fact that even on LSD, the way you see things the majority of time may be 300% more heightened then normal but sometimes you will get a few moments of extreme clarity where you see things 10x more enhanced. Those rare moments are likely close to reality but they are so rare, short and full of detail that its impossible to actually hold onto a fraction of the experience but you know it was extremely special.

    1. Holy shit dude. TL;DR. Dude left his whole life story twice. A literal novel. Also, doubt…. If your heart rate was 160bpm for 3 months you would’ve had a heart attack and be dead.

  2. After using LSD one time, I ruined my life by getting HPPD. 2 decades later, stone sober the whole time, including alcohol, weed, etc, I still have visual snow and flashbacks. I ruined my life when I was 19. I will never be normal.

    1. I have it to its not bad you just got to roll with it an acid is fun so just wing it when it kicks in an theres no need to smop smoking weed thats also a good “drug” 👍

  3. I did about 2000 hits in about 3 to 4 years and now my back is in bad shape I still get flash backs after 30 years at times I get the fell smell taste and see like I was tripping but for me it would last any where from a minute to 5 minutes each time I dont have a problem with it it’s usually funny when it happens

  4. I can guarantee you that if the acid was any good, there’s no way you would be going to a public place like school. The best acid I had made me continuously laugh for 5straight hours with the most intense visuals. Somebody would definitely call the cops and you would be detained.

  5. I took acid for over 2 months straight when I was 14-15 and it was one of the best times of my life from what I remember (there is a lot of time missing tho). It is definitely one of the best drugs to take but in moderation. There is no real way to explain the feeling it’s just euphoric but also can cause a lot of anxiety if not in a great room. I never had to deal with a “bad” trip even on magic mushrooms so I would have no clue what that feels like. But I did have some really intense trips. That could have been bad if I didn’t think I knew what was going on. It did kind of cure my depression and I’m curious if anybody else had a similar outcome to mental state. I don’t really have flashbacks just moments of time where I feel like I’m right before the trip actually starts. Like when you start to feel the high but not see anything yet. And I’ve never had to take a drug test for it so I wouldn’t know if it would show up. I just wanted to see if anyone had their depression cured from it and put my own statement about it somewhere.

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