Common health issue

What does acid do to you? The science behind the effects.


What does acid do to you?

Acid is an informal term for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, it pertains to a group of substances called psychedelics. Acid can change a person’s thoughts, feelings, and the way they acknowledge the world around them.

When a person uses acid, they accommodate disconnected from reality. They may catch, hear, and sense things that are not real. Also, they may have powerful emotions. However, acid is a strong mind-altering chemical. Acid effects can last up to 12 hours, and a person can not manage when the trip ends.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), acid is a schedule I drug. This means that it has no confirmed medical use and has a great potential for abuse.

However, there are few studies to suggest that LSD may have used as a useful treatment option for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

How does acid work?

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that acid-like DMT changes certain neural circuits in the brain. Specifically, DMT act on the circuits that use the brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as a neurotransmitter. However, serotonin supports control a person’s:-

  • Mood
  • Social changes
  • Sleep
  •  Feelings
  • Perceptions
  • Hunger
  • Body temperature
  • Sexual function

Primarily, acid affects the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which regulates mood, thinking, reactions, panic, and perception.

As well as serotonin receptors, the acid also fetters to dopamine receptors and adrenergic receptors. The dopamine receptor is a neurotransmitter concerned with movement and emotion responses. And adrenergic receptors manage critical responses to pulmonary, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems.

Short term effects

When acid interrupts a person’s brain chemistry, they will notice several effects. These effects may start 20 to 90 minutes after a person uses the drug and continue for up to 12 hours. Usually, these effects may include the following:-

  • Hallucinations: These are things a person looks, hears, feels, smells, or tastes that are not real. This thing may from acid range from exhilarating and exciting to terrifying and traumatic.
  • Mixed senses: A person may notice as though they are “looking” sounds or “hearing” colors.
  • Severe mood shifts: As a person feels hallucinations, their mind may respond with sudden, intense, and uncontrollable changes in mood.
  • Slowed or impaired muscle function: A person may slack their coordination or feel numbness, weakness, and shaking. Also, they may be unable to respond to things around them.
  • Lack of concentration and attention: After using acid, a person may not be good to think clearly, concentrate, remember things, or focus.
  • Sleeplessness: Usually, a person who has used acid will be unable to sleep up to after the drug wears off.
  • Physical changes: However, a person may have high blood pressure (HBP) levels, a faster heart rate, increased body temperature, a dry mouth, and sweating.
  • Dizziness: This can create a person to fall or lose the ability to walk.
  • Loss of appetite: Most people do not eat at all during an acid trip.

However, a person’s may feel with acid is unpredictable. It may vary depending on their mood, personality, and surrounding nature. A “good trip” may cause experiences of intense pleasure, spiritual or mental clarity, or creativity. However, it can rapidly move toward a bad trip, causing experiences of terror, paranoia, anxiety, and aggression.

Long term effects

Acid rapidly causes a high degree of tolerance to the drug’s effects. This means that a person will demand to take higher doses each time to get the same effects from it. However, it does not cause symptoms when a person stops using it.

Some evidence suggests that taking acid and other hallucinogens can also cause long-term hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). It causes visual flashbacks after using acid. A person may look at things that are not really like “halos” of light, moving objects, or flashes of colors.

When a person feelings HPPD, they will know that visual interference is not real. The interference may last for a few seconds or minutes, and it can even occur months or years after a person takes acid.

Potential health benefits of acid

Several studies have looked at taking classical psychedelics for the treatment of mental health situations. The studies may include the use of classical psychedelics for the treatment of mental health. Collectively, the seven studies observed 130 people who had depression, anxiety, or both.

The participants may feel  “immediate and significant” antidepressant and anxiolytic effects with the use of psychedelics. These anxiolytic effects lasted for several months. However, the common side effects in these studies may include headaches, nausea, slightly higher blood pressure levels, a higher heart rate, and transient anxiety.