These Are The 12 Effects Of LSD To Expect During A Psychedelic Trip

These Are The 12 Effects Of LSD To Expect During A Psychedelic Trip

The effects of LSD are many and varied. When taking LSD, the drug can lead to significant bodily, perceptual, emotional, and cognitive changes. One trip with LSD can also lead to many insights, which may lead to transformative, long-term changes in your life.

Before taking an LSD dosage, you should be aware of the most common effects to expect during your psychedelic journey. By being aware of the effects of LSD, you will understand that everything you experience is normal, which should make you feel more at ease during the trip.

The Bodily Effects Of LSD

1. Pupil Dilation

A universal physical effect of LSD you should expect, as with many other psychedelics, is pupil dilation. Your pupils will certainly appear larger than normal. So don’t be alarmed if someone you’re with notices this or you notice this when looking in the mirror. (Looking in the mirror on acid can be an intense experience, but if you do it, expect to notice pupil dilation.)

2. Physical Energy And Stimulation

LSD is known to be a physically stimulating drug. When you take it, you should expect to experience an increase in energy and a desire to move around. The effects of LSD are not sedating like psilocybin mushrooms. You may continue to experience the stimulating effects of LSD when the other effects subside. So, if you struggle to fall asleep at night because of this, don’t worry, it’s common.

3. Loss Of Appetite

It’s perfectly normal to lose your appetite after taking LSD. During the trip, you may not want to eat meals as you normally would, and there will probably be certain foods you have no interest in eating. You can find yourself fully engaged in the experience for the whole day without really thinking about the need to eat.

However, as typical as it is to lose your appetite due to the effects of LSD, it’s still important to eat at some point — before, during, or after the trip — in order to maintain your energy and positive mood. While tripping on LSD, many people like to stick to simple foods and snacks, like fruit and nuts.

The Perceptual Effects Of LSD

4. Changes To Visual Perception

The perceptual effects of LSD can be strong and highly impressive. One way LSD changes your perception is in terms of how the outside world appears. You may experience the following.

  • Color enhancement
  • Objects appearing more vivid
  • Objects morphing and “breathing”
  • The appearance of geometric patterns on surfaces
  • In high enough doses, visual hallucinations

5. Changes To Auditory Perception

LSD can change the way that things sound as well. When hearing music, other people’s voices, or noises in the outside world, you may experience the below.

  • Reverberation
  • Echo effects
  • Changes in pitch

As well as these effects of LSD, in high enough doses, you can experience auditory hallucinations, like hearing music that isn’t being played.

6. Changes To Time Perception

Time distortion is a common effect of LSD. Many people will experience time dilation, where experiences seem to last much longer than usual. An hour can feel like several hours. With more significant changes to time perception, you may have the sense of eternity, with the present moment feeling eternal. You might also lose your sense of time completely, with the whole notion of time becoming meaningless.

For some, time dilation or the experience of timelessness can be unnerving. For others, it is a fascinating and enriching experience. At the very least, it’s a unique and unusual experience. When changes to time perception occur, it’s important to embrace it and “go with the flow”.

The Emotional Effects Of LSD

7. Intense Positive Emotions

You can experience a range of positive emotions on LSD. Often, you will experience these emotions to an intensity that you haven’t felt before. You might also experience some of these emotions rarely in your normal, day-to-day life, which is why many people find the LSD experience to be enlightening and therapeutic. These positive emotions may include the following.

  • Euphoria
  • Joy
  • Bliss
  • Ecstasy
  • Peacefulness
  • Contentment
  • Awe
  • Gratitude
  • Self-compassion
  • Compassion for others
  • Hope
  • Optimism

8. Intense Negative Emotions

You should be prepared for the possibility of experiencing negative emotions on LSD — and sometimes in an intense way. While many people may be afraid of experiencing these emotions, or would prefer to have a wholly positive trip, there can be great value in the negative side to our emotions.

They can teach you how to deal with challenging moments: through mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion. The negative emotions you might experience during your LSD trip include the following.

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Dread
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Despair
  • Pessimism

9. Swings In Emotions

One of the other common emotional effects of LSD is a swing in emotions. You might find yourself transitioning from an intense positive emotional state to a negative one, like feeling extreme joy and elation while listening to music in one moment, then feeling anxious and uncomfortable about something external or internal the next moment.

This is nothing to worry about. It’s a perfectly normal aspect of the experience. Embrace this aspect as part of the ride.

Often, your environment can play a role in these swings in emotions. Influential factors include the below.

  • Changes to music
  • Moving from one room to another
  • Going from inside to outside (and vice versa)
  • The people you’re tripping with
  • The conversations you have
  • Changes in the weather
  • Going from an urban environment to somewhere in nature
  • Going from somewhere loud and busy to somewhere quiet and peaceful

LSD Changes The Way You Think

10. Introspection

The LSD experience can be deeply introspective, which many people find to be meaningful and insightful. During your trip, you may find yourself closely examining your thoughts and feelings. You may come to a new understanding of yourself and your patterns of thinking and feeling.

Many people find that LSD has helped them to better understand what their personality is like and what their core values are, as well as how life events have shaped them into the person they are today.

During an LSD journey, you might also re-evaluate your assumptions and attitudes about yourself, others, society, and the world at large.

While the introspective nature of the LSD experience can be positive, it does have the potential to be challenging as well. It’s common for people to say that the acid mindset is prone to overthinking and overanalyzing.

If you find yourself thinking in this way and it’s making you uncomfortable, it’s important to let your thoughts arise and pass, without resisting them. The experience will pass, and you may even find it valuable, helping to shed light on how you get stuck in certain patterns of thought.

11. Enhanced Creativity

Many people find that microdosing LSD enhances their creativity. This can manifest in various ways, including the below.

  • An increased desire to create art
  • Drawing or painting in new and unusual ways
  • Coming up with different solutions to a problem
  • Thinking about ideas and concepts in a new way (e.g. comparing, contrasting, or combining separate ideas)
  • Coming up with funny ideas, images, or scenarios

12. Changes To Your Philosophical Views

Finally, LSD has the potential to radically alter metaphysical beliefs in a person. This is especially the case in higher doses when you can experience things such as the following.

  • A feeling of eternity
  • Existing outside of space and time
  • A sense of the sacred, holy, or divine, which may be interpreted as “God”
  • Ego Death: the loss of your sense of personal identity
  • The dissolution of boundaries between you and the outside world (which often accompanies ego loss)
  • A feeling of oneness or interconnectedness (again, this is associated with ego loss)
  • A feeling of confronting ultimate reality or gaining insights into the nature of reality

These sorts of experiences may change how you think about the below.

  • The nature of space and time
  • The existence of God or a supernatural reality
  • The fundamental nature of reality (i.e. whether it is ultimately physical or mental)
  • The nature of consciousness
  • The nature of the self
  • Existential questions relating to death, meaning, connection, and freedom
  • Your place in the universe

It should also be stressed that LSD won’t necessarily help you arrive at any clear answers to these sorts of questions — or about anything, in fact. While it is true that many people find LSD provides clear insights about themselves, life, and reality, the experience can also create more questions than answers.

Two effects of LSD might be a mysterious feeling, or that there is so much more that you don’t know. This can be quite a humbling experience.

In Closing

These 12 effects of LSD you should expect are not exhaustive. There are many other changes that could occur during your experience, but we believe this list covers the most common, predictable, and important effects that you should be aware of.

In general, you should expect LSD to produce a powerful change in the way you perceive the world, how you feel, and how you think. Moreover, even when the acute subjective effects of LSD subside, the memory of them can still inform the way you think.

By integrating your LSD experience into sober reality, which means applying the insights and lessons you gained, you can steer many aspects of your life in a more positive direction.

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Sam Woolfe

View all posts by Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's description of the mescaline experience in The Doors of Perception. Since then, he has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.

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