LSD or Acid has some of the longest-lasting effects after consuming the drug, a lot of users report extreme hallucinations, a lot of new observations and heightened senses. It's interesting to hear and read the experiences of acid trippers because they are often very very different from the effects other drugs have.
Just like any other potent drug, acid also has very few researchers looking into it, due to restrictions and permissions. But there are some studies that do show us how it works and how it affects your mind and body. The way it works is very interesting, here is how it affects us, according to researchers -
1. It Controls Your Moods And Emotions
The first thing acid does is that it influences serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in every part of your body, from your mood and emotions to your motor skills and body temperature.
According to a 2016 study, it also causes changes in the brain’s blood flow and electrical activity. The same study also suggests it increases areas of communication in the brain.
Affecting the serotonin levels and brain activity together, it causes the classic effects of the drug - hallucinations, synesthesia, tremors, and rapid mood changes.
2. It Can Cause Psychosis
Psychosis is a disruption of your thoughts and perceptions, resulting in an altered sense of reality. It makes it hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. You may see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real.
Common in schizophrenic and dementia patients, psychosis can lead to extreme paranoia and manic actions and behaviours. But, the chances of psychosis are very slim - it has commonly happened during the acid trip and then subsided, but some people report that they had psychosis episodes after taking the drug for years together.
Acid and other substances can increase the risk of psychosis in people who already have a higher risk of psychosis than others. A large survey published in 2015 found no link between psychedelics and psychosis. This further suggests there are other elements at play in this connection, including existing mental health conditions and risk factors.
3. Acid Can Cause HPPD
Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptive Disorder or HPPD is a rare condition that involves having repeated flashbacks, which are described as re-experiencing some of the effects of the drug. They might include certain sensations or visual effects from an acid trip.
The flashbacks can be pleasant or unsettling, depending on the kind of trip you had while on the drug. But for a lot of people, these flashbacks can be disorienting and haunting. Most users report these flashbacks a day or few after using the drug, but some say that they saw flashbacks even months or years later.
With HPPD, however, flashbacks happen repeatedly. even then, it's good to remember that it is a very rare occurrence. It’s hard to really know, given that people often aren’t open with their doctors about their drug use.
The cause of the condition is still unknown. People may have a higher risk if they, or their family members, already have anxiety, tinnitus or eye floaters. Bad trips have nothing to do with it.
4. Acid May Heal Some Parts Of The Brain
A recent in vitro and animal study found that microdoses of acid and other psychedelic drugs altered the structure of brain cells and promoted the growth of neurons.
This is significant because people with mood and anxiety disorders often experience shrinkage of neurons in the prefrontal cortex. That’s the part of the brain responsible for emotions.
If these same results can be replicated in humans (only if), acid may help reverse the process, resulting in improved treatments for a range of mental health conditions. (This hasn't been tested on humans yet, so it remains a hypothesis)
Acid and its effects have been understudied, but a lot of research that has been done does reflect on the way the drug affects your mind and body - most of the effects seem long-lasting yet rare. If you already have a mental health condition or higher risks for psychosis - it's best to stay off the drug.