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Breaking Down the Top LSD Street Names


Discovered in 1938 by Swiss chemist, Alfred Hofmann, the synthetic chemical known as d-lysergic acid diethylamide is now most commonly referred to as Acid. Hofmann accidentally ingested acid, and he quickly discovered it’s powerful, mind altering effects. He continued to use Acid for self-research purposes, however he did not advocate the drug’s use recreationally.

LSD has the potential to be very damaging to the mind, especially when abused or taken repeatedly over a prolonged period. It works by disrupting the communication between neurotransmitters — serotonin and dopamine — and the nerve cells in the brain. The outcome is a drastic change in sensory perception and experience.

While LSD is not physically addictive the way cocaine and heroin are, many people develop a psychological dependency with the drug. The more someone takes acid, the more tolerance they build towards the effects, usually leading the person to take higher and higher doses. This puts people at risk for an LSD overdose, and drastic long term effects such as psychosis, depression and schizophrenia.

Acid has been around for a very long time and over that period it has developed multiple names on the street. We’ll cover some of those names in this article and some very important information regarding the effects of taking LSD.

Dangers of LSD chemicals

Prior to 1965 it was actually legal to make LSD after the original company which held the patent ceased production due to fear of its potential effect on the public. LSD is a chemically synthesized drug, as such it requires a strong organic chemistry acumen. The Drug Enforcement Agency closely monitors several of the specific chemicals that are used as part of the compound. Therefore it’s not only illegal to make LSD, it’s also troublesome to handle the adjacent ingredients.

Morning Glory seeds

These seeds contain a major component of LSD called lysergic acid amide, which on its own can instill a minor high. These seeds are often sold with toxic coatings to prevent people from consuming them.


Ergot is what most LSD starts from. It’s a type of fungus that grows on rye and other similar types of grain. Ergot is very toxic and when chemists extract the ergot alkaloids they have to be very careful. This is a good time to remind yourself that acid is forged from toxic bacteria, so naturally it’s not a friendly substance for you body to ingest. The next steps involve solvents and reagents which are used to incite chemical reactions. These solvents and reagents are extremely volatile — some are even explosive and carcinogenic. Another common chemical used is chloroform. Chloroform is cancerous and can cause damage to internal organs — just another reason acid’s chemical makeup is extremely harmful. After this addition of toxic chemicals, the compound is heated, mixed and cooled, ultimately producing LSD.

LSD Street Names

LSD was popularized in the 60’s with the rise of hippies, rock & roll, and free spirits. People began to take the synthesized drug recreationally, in either pill form, liquid or dissolved on a small piece of square paper. The 60’s was so synonymous with acid that it is rumored that the Beatles song “Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds” is written about taking LSD. Despite the common initials, John Lennon denied that this was the case. Some of the older names which have for the most part fizzled out include:

  • Mellow yellow
  • Purple haze
  • Yellow sunshine
  • Blue cheer
  • tabs
  • Blotter
  • Blotter acid
  • Electric cool-aid
  • Hits
  • Dots

Although you may not hear many of those names anymore, there are plenty of current street names such as:

  • Blaze
  • California sunshine
  • Cid
  • Doses
  • Flash
  • Fry
  • Gel
  • Golden Dragon
  • Hawk
  • Hippie
  • L
  • Lighting
  • Loony Toons
  • Lucy
  • Paper mushrooms
  • Pyramid
  • Stars
  • Smilies
  • Superman
  • Trips
  • Window
  • Window pane
  • Zen

When acid comes as a dissolved liquid on a small piece of paper, the paper is often decorated with some kind of graphic or image. Here are some common names which take after those graphics:

  • Star
  • Sunshine
  • Heart
  • Jesus
  • Line

LSD Slang

There’s also some slang words that are used specifically for taking LSD. For instance, people will refer to taking acid as ‘dropping’ acid. Additionally they will refer to their high as a ‘journey’, ’trip’ or ‘flashing’. It should be noted that most people do acid in a group, and since the drug has such wildly different effects, people usually coin their own slang and their own names based on the group’s collective experience.

Street names for LSD Users

As with other drugs, persistent users of LSD have nicknames of their own. These nicknames usually stem from the specific behavior that a drug elicits. For example, marijuana smokers are often called burn outs, while crack-cocaine addicts may before referred to as tweakers.  Here are some common names of Acid users:

  • Acid head
  • Acid freak
  • Cheerleader
  • Flasher
  • Tripper
  • Day tripper

Drug Combination Names

Frequent drug users will usually try to circumvent their tolerance and maximize their high. One common method of this is combining two different drugs to increase and diversify the effects. Here are some common names of drug combinations with LSD:

  • Sheet rocking or outer limits – LSD & crack cocaine
  • Troll or candy-flipping – LSD & MDMA (methylenedioxyamphetamine)
  • Frisco special or Frisco speedball – Any combination of LSD, cocaine & heroin
  • Black acid – LCD & PCP (phencyclidine)
  • Banana split – LSD & 2C-B (a psychedelic drug sometimes call nexus)

Effects of LSD

LSD is a very potent drug — just 30 micrograms, which looks like the circumference of a pencil eraser head, can create powerful effects that last up to 12 hours. Users may experience increased blood pressure, trouble regulating body temperature, sweating, and reduced coordination.

The most common and notorious symptoms are sensory and perception related. Users may lose their sense of time, feeling like it’s ticking very slowly, or very quickly. Above all though, acid’s main symptom is that it creates a false sense of reality in the form of sensory hallucinations. Colors seem brighter, shapes and patterns appear that aren’t there, tactile senses are enhances, and in some cases people have even reported experiencing synesthesia — where the senses are swapped. For instance, you may smell sounds, or hear colors. Of course, these effects would fall under what people would consider a good trip.

Good Trip

During a good trip, LSD users will claim that they felt enlightened due to an overwhelming sense of joy and euphoria. When high, they have a renewed sense of wonder, like everything is beautiful and magnificent. Scientifically speaking, this is only good on the surface level, because inside the brain the pleasure centers are being tricked into releasing excess amount of serotonin and dopamine, which is very detrimental long term. But for those experiencing a good trip, they can feel as though they are having a spiritual awakening. This is why people tend to do acid in groups, because it provides a sense of shared comfort.

Bad Trip

LSD also has a very ugly side to its high. There’s no way to predict exactly when and if someone is going to have a bad trip because it affects people on a chemically unpredictable level. Many factors play into having a bad trip: medical history, mental state, environment, stress, etc.

Some of the symptoms of a bad trip include: impending sense of doom, loss of identity/sense of self, anxiety, increased heart rate, loss of control, and psychosis. In the event that a bad trip occurs, some people may find themselves in the hospital, however other than some mild anxiety medication, the only real cure is time, making the bad trip feel like it’s never going to end.

In some cases users may think everything is fine, but in reality their judgment and decision making is drastically altered, leading to dangerous behaviors. When people lose control of common sense and rationale, accidents happen.

LSD Long-term Effects

Regardless of whether or not you have a good trip or bad trip, on a molecular level, damage is still being done to the body.

One of the most dangerous, and less talked about risks of taking LSD, is that sometimes you may not be taking LSD at all. Drug dealers will cut corners and create a synthetic form called 251-NBOMe. This chemical can be very toxic and even small doses may cause serious illness.

Naturally, the frequency which you take LSD greatly affects the long term physiological outcome. Especially if abuse has taken place. The most common and frightening LSD symptom is largely considered to be ‘flashbacks’. Flashbacks can occur days, weeks, months or even years after taking acid. It’s triggered by a sound or sight that briefly takes you back to the original high. Users are taken back in the form of a hallucinations or emotional disturbance. If your high was negative, flashbacks can mean a lifetime of anxiety. In some serious cases people develop HPPD. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.

Serious Risks of LSD Abuse

We mentioned flashbacks before, but there is a more serious and extreme version of that called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. HPPD is a rare but long-term condition where a user will experience flashbacks on a regular basis. It can be a highly debilitating condition characterized by disturbing psychosis, feelings of terror, paranoia and loss of identity.

The psychoactive effects of LSD can cause damage to the brain’s central nervous system and emotional centers, leading to temporary/permanent severe depression, schizophrenia or psychosis.

Self Harm is also a major risk. Due to its psycho-altering properties LSD abuse has a strong propensity for causing self-harm. Users become delusional and their uninhibited thought patterns lead them to make irrational decisions. For instance, there are plenty of urban legends which mention people taking LSD, believing they can fly and then jumping from great heights. While it’s hard to confirm the validity of each specific story, there are several reported cases of bodily harm caused by LSD use (i.e., drowning, operating machinery, automobile accidents, etc).

LSD Addiction

LSD addiction has a special name — hallucinogen use disorder.

It’s not technically called an addiction because as of now there is no evidence to show that LSD causes cravings the same way cocaine and heroin does. Rather, LSD addiction comes in the form of compulsive learned behavior. At a chemical level, users are not developing addictions, but rather they are acquiring a dependence through positive reinforcement — every time they take the drug, they have a good experience. People with stressors, or negativity in their life are more at risk to become psychologically addicted to LSD because it serves as an escape.

As with any drug, excessive use can take a toll on your personal life and career. Here are some signs that you may have an addiction to LSD:

  • Tolerance has increased so you are taking higher doses than before
  • Your social and work responsibilities have suffered due to LSD use
  • Pairing LSD with other substances in order to increase your high
  • Purchasing LSD has become a financial priority
  • Finding excuses or justifications to use
  • LSD is more often a drug that people take in a group setting. If your usage started out in a group setting but now you find yourself taking it alone, this can sometimes indicate a problem.


Successful recovery from acid use relies on the extent to which the drug was abused. Extensive abuse may lead to long-term psychological problems, ultimately producing a lifelong battle, even after the habit has been kicked. With proper treatment info and help, it’s definitely an “easier” dependency to overcome than cocaine or heroin. While it may not cause chemical or physical addictions, it does still cause several other forms of mental and physical damage. Its synthetic roots are founded by toxic ingredients, and no matter which way you slice it, LSD is harmful to your body. To put it in perspective, there are not many chemical substances called ‘acid’ that should be ingested by humans on a regular basis.

Contact Luminance Recovery today if you or a loved one is experiencing an LSD addiction. Our Orange County rehab center provides close assistance and a professional staff to help any addict go back to living a clean and normal life.

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