By Kai Teo
Disclaimer: The writers at Buddha Mag are law-abiding citizens who just happened to consume certain substances because someone put something into our drinks at some bar during some point of our lives. We do not encourage the purchase, possession, or the use of these illegal substances. That’s why we’re really into this whole legalisation thing. And while we know that LSD is illegal, you might still encounter some stranger at a rave who would offer you some. When that happens, here’s our take on it.
If you’re one of those who still classify LSD as a harmful drug because it’s illegal, good, then this article is just for you. We already know that the law doesn’t always protect the rights of common people like you and me. I mean, slavery was once condoned by the law, and interracial marriage wasn’t fully legal in the U.S. until 1967, just to paint a picture of how “right” the legal system is.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), commonly called acid, is a chemical first synthesised in Switzerland by Dr. Albert Hoffman in 1938 during research for a stimulant for blood circulation. The chemical’s psychedelic properties were discovered only a few years later when he accidentally ate it (just like us). Medical institutions started studying its use in psychiatric treatments for depression, anxiety and addiction. The CIA also did its own “research” for the more sinister purpose of mind control (but of course, the law protects us).
When the use of LSD spread to the hippie counterculture of the 60s, it was banned because users exhibited “uninhibited love, a high penchant for peace, and a general distrust in the political system”. Taa daa! And to prevent further “deterioration of the moral fibre of America”, which was (and still is today) also pro-war, the love potion was (and still is today) put into the same drug class as Heroin.
Saying LSD is dangerous is kinda like saying a pair of scissors can kill someone. Well, it can be. For some people, the substance has the potential to trigger psychosis, cause people to jump out of buildings, make them say stupid shit, or even believe in crystal healing. You know, if you’re on other psychoactive medications, you might want to be a little more careful before venturing into psychedelics. Just like how, in the wrong hands, a pair of scissors can easily sever fingers, arteries, and even friendships. So use it responsibly and it’ll be nice to have someone experienced with you.
And no, don’t do your first time at a big party, it’s best to start in a comfortable setting, like a forest lodge, or your own room, with the bathroom, food, drinks, snacks, nature documentaries, Netflix, cosy blankets, an amazing sound system, close to you.
How much is too much?
LSD is so powerful that it’s measured in micrograms. If you haven’t been listening in school, that means one gram divided by a million.
So, the usual dose that an evil person might put in your unattended drink is about 100–130 micrograms. That amount will probably give you the experience that I am about to describe. And if it’s your first time, maybe drink half your spiked drink first, give it about two hours or more, see how you feel, then drink the other half if you think you’d like more.
With LSD, strong doesn’t mean good. Not for everyone. At about 200 micrograms, your vision might reveal only a colourful kaleidoscope, the entire landscape might turn into a turbulent ocean, and your thoughts might race at light speed towards nowhere. So don’t chase that, not just yet.
When it first hits
“My tummy feels a little funny, and I feel a little farty.” That’s normal. You ate that shit, so it’s natural that it says hello to your spaghetti and meatballs you had for dinner. Because it’s gonna show them something they’ve never ever seen before…
Breathing starts to feel fucking good. Take deep breaths. And you’d start to understand what the yoga teachers have been talking about. Yes, feel every breath you take. The air that you take in somehow also fills you up with a warm, tingling, slightly orgasmic sensation that seems to spread outwards from your chest. And you’ll start feeling thankful for your lungs. And feel guilty that you’ve been smoking those cigarettes, giving money to huge tobacco companies, just so that you can fuck up the wondrous result of evolution and give cancer to your lungs. But don’t dwell on that. I mean, now that we know that we should be thankful for having lungs, let’s move on.
“Wait, why do the colours on this poster look so bright? They’re almost neon!” Colours start becoming more intense, lights seem to glow with a slow, pulsating flow. And holy shit! The paint is crawling out from the painting! Yep. Go touch it. It’s just all in your mind.
And unless you’re listening to Avicii or One Direction, your music, or whatever background sounds, will sound a lot more, melodic. Every layer of the song, every instrument, every beat, creates an image, writes a story, or paints you an entire fairy tale. Close your eyes, let it take you to where you want to go. Remember: it’s all in your mind. It’s your trip, so let your spaceship bring you to places that exists only in your imagination.
At this moment, you might also experience getting revelation after revelation. Some can be fucking meaningful, others are utter nonsense, but everything sounds like universal truth and you’d probably feel like you’re the smartest person on Earth. “How come no one has thought of how the concept of cooking was discovered? So long ago, people used to eat their meat raw, after seeing what the tigers have done, and then what? The only buffalo of the tribe accidentally ran into a fire and they were like, “Oh fuck, now we will die unless we eat this barbeque!” and then suddenly they were like, “Oh, this is tasty!” It must be like that. Wow, I have just unlocked the secrets to our evolution.”
But here’re some of the more, weirdly, universally shared revelations during LSD trips (that’s crazy too, I mean, why do we all come to the same conclusions?).
1. Nature is sacred. A high guy would look at a tree and see it breathing the same air as us, see its branches moving like fingers of Mother Nature, see its leaves as the most advanced form of technology that humans have yet to duplicate. And then the high guy would say, “Fuck, nature is beautiful, why are we killing it?”
2. Humans are so small and insignificant. Look into the skies, see the stars, the moon, and let your mind wander far out to the other planets. And then there’s our universe, and other universes. Then you wonder: And I still think that being late for work is like the biggest disaster in the world? We’re kinda insignificant in the grand scale of things. I mean, humans are fucking useless in terms of sustaining the planet’s life. Then what’s the meaning of life?
3. We don’t know. But really, if you think that you’ve figured that shit out, give yourself a pat on the back. No, the meaning of life is definitely not about your career. Maybe it’s about life itself. Honouring life, living life to its fullest, and in the process, helping other living beings do the same.
4. I’ve been an asshole. LSD makes many people feel guilty about the shit they’ve done. You laughed at a fat person for being fat last week. Now you’re gonna feel judgmental, shallow, and evil. That’s good. Again, don’t dwell on it. It’s where we go from here, after realising that we’re shit, that really matters. Don’t guilt trip yourself. It’s pointless. Just take steps to become a better person and we’ll be good.
5. We are all connected. You’ve heard all the hippies say this shit. You kinda want to believe them, but you couldn’t take their dreadlocks seriously. So when this revelation comes to you during your trip, it’s like god herself whispering in your ear, “You should make some pancakes.” Well, not really. But the feeling of connectedness to other humans and living beings would probably make you realise that we’re all one. We’re all children of Mother Nature. And we all share the same home.
6. God is you and me and everything else. The religions have taken the whole concept of god a little too far and personified it to become some dude with a big hipster beard. If there’s a god, it’s probably the collective wisdom, memory and knowledge shared by the entire existence across time. And that’s manifested in physical form in you and me, and your pet rock, Fernando Coco Garcia.
7. Aliens exist. Look, the universe is so fucking big, and we’ve only managed to go to one other planet, how can we say that extra-terrestrial life forms don’t exist? But hey, they don’t look like the shit you see on TV. They might not even be detectable by our very limited five senses. They could very well exist only in energy form and live happily, having alien raves everyday on the moon. We never really find them though, because our eyes are only open to the ones that “look like us”.
Other revelations include, but are not limited to: Your job sucks. Working sucks. The money system is bullshit. Freedom is the greatest value. There are assholes in every rung of society. Justin Bieber still sucks. Unicorns are awesome. Electronic music producers are also musicians. Veganism is great but being a vegan doesn’t make you a better person.
How your trip can turn bad
When you start thinking bad thoughts and refuse to let go of them. Cops! People are judging you! Your friend is talking shit about you! Your heart is beating too fast! Your body temperature is too high! You can’t breathe properly! Your mind is not working normally! Your brain will be fried! Cops!
HELLO! YOU’RE OK!
You’re a lot more sensitive to everything when you’re on acid. So if you can hear your heart beating, it’s probably because you have superhuman hearing. It’s normal. Nothing bad is gonna happen to you. Talk to a friend, drink some water, and watch cat videos. You’ll be fine.
Fun activities that you can engage in
Everything that you do with love will be great. Just staring at the ceiling can be a life-changing experience in you fill your mind with wonderment and joyous thoughts. Dancing comes very naturally. Sex is fucking amazing. Oh, and showers and baths! Heavenly! And yes, taking a shit. Wow.
After 6–12 hours…
Depending on your body, and depending on how much you’ve taken. A usual trip can last anything from 6 to 12 hours, or even more. No matter how long you continue feeling your acid, don’t panic. And know that it will come to an end.
Your trip wouldn’t go away just because you wish it. Relax, drink some warm tea, lay in bed, listen to relaxing music. We recommend this:
Don’t force yourself to sleep. Just acknowledge that your brain is still very happy and will slowly get tired too. Enjoy the music, drift into the magical world of Totoro and just, relax.
If you still can’t sleep after what seems like forever, give up on sleeping and watch a movie or an animal documentary. You’ll get sleepy eventually, even if it’s the next evening, and you’ll somehow, kinda fall asleep. You might have weird dreams, but hey, it’s just the aftereffects.
The day after
Most of the lessons that you’ve learnt the day before will stay with you and affect how you are as a person for the rest of your life. You’ll probably become a better person if you consciously try to live your everyday according to love.
And nope, not much of a hangover, unless you’ve only slept like 3 hours, you’ll be a little tired. Or if you’ve been drinking, the alcohol hangover might set in.
An acid trip is not something you’ll easily forget. The substance itself is not addictive. But the state of mind (if you’ve been using LSD as an escape) might be. Everything in moderation, and mindfulness. LSD is not a means of escape, it’s a powerful tool to help you see life in a different light. Just once can be enough to change your outlook. I quit smoking because I decided that during one of my trips.
If you choose to take it again, remind yourself of the purpose of your trip, and see what lessons you can take away this time.
Don’t take our advice
What? After all that bullshit? You’re telling us not to take your words for it? Well, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of taking acid, don’t take it. Don’t let anyone pressure you into taking any substance. It has to be on your own free will, if not, you’d probably not have a very good time.
With that said, turn on, tune in, and drop out.
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