LSD begins its life as a crystal, and from there is distributed in a consumable form. In the 60s, “microdots” (tiny pills) and gelatin pills (window panes) were often distributed, along with blotter. Today, blotter paper is the main form in which acid is distributed, although liquid and gel tabs are sometimes encountered as well. Regardless of the ultimate form it’s distributed, LSD is first dissolved in a solvent, typically either ethanol (Everclear) or a mix of ethanol and distilled water. It is then made into a paste with binding agents and put in a mold to create microdots, has gelatin added to it to make window pane (gel pills), added to blotter paper to make tabs, or sold in liquid form.
Many people who use LSD regularly prefer liquid acid to all other forms, because when properly stored, it can last for many years, absorbs quickly and is easy to effectively split.
Most people prefer to have some food in their stomach, but only a light snack. It is important to avoid drinking tap water, as the chlorine and certain other chemicals used in municipal water supply will destroy LSD on contact. Even bottled water may contain these chemicals, so avoiding drinking water for an hour or so before tripping may be advised.
The simplest way to take liquid LSD is to apply a drop to a sugar cube or on a spoon, place in one’s mouth and keep it there as long as possible to allow it to absorb through the skin. LSD is rapidly absorbed under the tongue (sublingual), and sublingual absorption eliminates any concern around having food in the stomach that might slow absorption. Or worse, having chlorinated water one’s stomach, destroying the LSD.
One should avoid putting liquid LSD directly from the bottle to your mouth to avoid ending up with two drops or zero drops, as it can be surprisingly challenging to see drops. Dispensing onto a medium such as a sugar cube or onto a spoon reduces error. We always have two people watch when we distribute a dose, especially if re-dosing while intoxicated.
There is no standard potency of a drop of liquid LSD. A single drop typically ranges from 75 ugs to 300 ugs, but could be lower or higher.
The manufacturer of liquid LSD will determine the potency of each drop, by controlling the ratio of crystalline LSD to the alcohol/water solvent used. For example, if a manufacturer wants a 125 ug dose from a single drop and one assumes a standard dropper bottle dispenses 0.05 ml per drop of LSD (this is a commonly used assumption), then one must mix a concentration of 125 ug of LSD per 0.05 ml of final solution.
If preparing 10,000 drops, one would need 1,250,000 ug of LSD (125 ug x 10,000 units = 1,250,000 ug, or 1.25 grams). One would also need enough solvent to produce 500 ml of final liquid. In this final solution, each 0.05 ml drop of solution contains 125 ug of LSD. (As an aside, the density of LSD is 1.2±0.1 g cm−31.2±0.1 g cm−3, and therefore 1.25 grams of LSD is around 58 ml. So one would use 442 ml of solvent for 1.25 g of LSD to produce 500 ml of LSD solution).
The key fact is that a single 0.05 ml drop of solution from a dropper bottle consists of a specified amount of LSD and the rest is an inactive solvent. The strength of the LSD dose can be changed by increasing the ratio of LSD to solvent in the solution.
To get a desired dose, two conditions must be true: (i) the LSD solution is at the desired concentration (e.g., 125 ug per 0.05 ml), and (ii) the dispensing device consistently distributes the desired amount of liquid (e.g., 0.05 ml per drop).
When considering methods of dispensing liquids, like a dropper bottle, “accuracy” refers to getting the desired amount of liquid on average. For example, if we want a 0.05 ml drop, but our dropper gives out five drops: a .03, a .04, a .05, a .06 and a .07 drop, its average is exactly 0.05 ml, and it is therefore an accurate dropper.
“Precision” refers to getting the same amount of liquid each time, whether or not it is the actual desired amount. So the dropper in the example is not precise, but it is accurate.
Ideally, we would want our dose of LSD to always be the exact dose we want. In other words, in our case we want every drop to be exactly 0.05 ml; a drop that is both accurate and precise.
If the LSD solution were correctly prepared, so that each 0.05 ml drop contained 150 ug of LSD, the dose of LSD would also then be exactly what we want (and be both accurately and precisely dosed).
Getting the “Right” Dose
In a perfect world, we would get the exactly correct dose every time, with the LSD solution having the correct concentration and the dosing method (e.g., a dropper bottle) dispensing the correct amount of liquid.
Unless one either: (i) has crystal LSD and makes the solution themselves, (ii) buys from a source that is both highly competent and honest, or (iii) or one has access to sophisticated laboratory testing to determine the concentration of LSD in the solvent, it is not possible to calculate the exact concentration of the liquid LSD.
In other words, we can not calculate an accurate dose, because without knowing an accurate concentration we can never know how much LSD is in any dose. And that turns out that’s totally fine…
We probably won’t know how much LSD is in a dose and therefore we won’t have an “accurate” dose (or at a minimum will have no way to know whether we have an accurate dose). However, we can have a “precise” dose every time by using liquid LSD of a consistent (but unknown) concentration and measuring the identical volume of liquid for each dose every time.
While we may not know what the actual dose is, we can take the identical dose every time. Or we can increase the dose by a percentage and know how much we are taking relative to the other times we took it. This, it turns out, is plenty of information. Simply imagine a world where you had one very large bottle of LSD, and you had never even heard of mics/ug’s. You would simply talk about doses as “a half a drop”, “one drop”, “two drops”, etc. And this would be all the information you’d need. If you knew how strong an experience you’d have with “one drop”, you wouldn’t care how many ug were in the drop. So the best way to get an “accurate” dose, is to have a significant supply of LSD, and store it so it does not degrade. The second best way to gauge doses is to have a single supplier who is skilled at dosing.
Erowid and other sources provide the following guidance on doses:
Light Dose: 20 – 75 ug
Common Dose: 50 – 150 ug
Strong Dose: 150 – 400 ug
Heavy Dose: 400 + ug
The ranges are very broad, and the descriptions very vague. It just gives the most basic of information. A starting point for a new user, but otherwise not very useful. However, once a user has taken a precisely measured trip, they have established a “baseline trip”. They have no idea of the actual amount of LSD they have ingested, only the actual volume of liquid they have ingested. They can then adjust dose higher or lower to obtain a more or less intense LSD effect.
One need never know how much LSD is actually ingested, and instead only know that the dose is the same as the baseline, 10% higher than the baseline, 20% lower, etc. So with precise measurements, one gets all the information they need. The actual amount of LSD ingested is essentially irrelevant after the first time. Only the amount taken versus other trips in the critical information.
We have prepared this article on the phases/stages of an LSD trip, which also includes a more detailed description of the effects of different doses. This article has been vetted on every major message board, and comments from literally hundreds of users have been incorporated. It is re-submitted every year on Reddit for public comment (the past few years it has received almost universal approval for being accurate, with few suggested changes. And therefore we believe it to be the best guide available on LSD doses and the stages of an acid trip.
1 Bottle, 2 Bottles, 3 Bottles, 4 Bottles