Acid vs. LSD: Exploring the Differences and Effects

Dive into the differences between acid and LSD, and understand the drug effects of both substances. Explore the role LSD may have played in famous incidents of infamous madness.

My Experience of The Effects of Acid

What is the difference between acid vs. LSD? And what are the drug effects of acid? Of microdose LSD? This short episode covers all of this and the role LSD may have played in famous incidents of infamous madness.

Episode Guests

Episode Resources & Additional Reading

READ: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. You’ve heard of this book for a reason. The stories rapturously written by Tom Wolfe portray the wild time LSD can deliver. 
LISTEN: Post Play: Wormwood. Three-part BTS podcast about the Netflix docudrama Wormwood, a six-episode series about the CIA’s notorious LSD-for-mind-control-program MK Ultra. 
WATCH: Although the 1960s video is in black & white, a woman on LSD for the first time is seeing in technicolor – and feeling oneness.

More Episodes from the Podcast

Podcast Episode Full Transcription

0:00:01.0 April Pride: Hey, and welcome to The High Guide. I’m your host, April Pride. You may have missed us or me the last couple of Fridays, thanks for your patience while I personally took a beat and caught my breath. And with today’s episode, we’re both back on track and kicking off a new limited bonus series covering entheogens. But before we get into our first entheogen, which is a chemical substance typically of plant origin that is ingested to produce a non-ordinary state of consciousness for religious or spiritual purposes, I’d like to thank you all, our audience, for experimenting with me for nearly a year. It has been almost year.

0:00:39.7 April Pride: And welcome to my creative process. It’s rare that I create a brand in the open, but that’s exactly how The High Guide has evolved. And we are so excited to bring you season three starting March 18th, and featuring Natasha Lannerd as our High Guide for this season, who’s going to integrate three sister trippers, including [0:01:00.3] ____ Saint Just, an incredible vocalist and songwriter who just wrapped up a tour in France just in time to come home and trip with us. Before the next season, we’re going to drop six of these short episodes on Fridays and Mondays. And I’m not working with an audio editor, so while I’m gonna try to be perfect from start to finish on the show, I probably won’t, [chuckle] and that’s how we’re gonna get to know one another. Thanks for listening and letting me just have fun with this series while I’m also producing and writing the next season. So thanks for listening, even when I’m more human than I previously let on.

0:01:40.3 April Pride: One person who knows the extent of my humanity or humaneness is my dad, who as recent as this weekend he and I were talking about the bad acid, the bad acid he and his friends would get from time to time, and how the last bad trip he had was his last trip. My dad and I have talked about this before, because this story is the reason I steered clear of LSD until about five years ago, when I knew enough to know how to do it low dose, and how to get it from a trusted source. And check out our show notes for this episode for more on just that.

0:02:20.7 April Pride: You may have deduced that the word of the week that we’re covering in today’s show is LSD. So what is it? Is it acid? LSD, more commonly referred to as acid, lysergic acid diethylamide, is a potent psychedelic compound derived from the ergot fungus, which is a parasite that preys on wild grasses and grains. And it’s now known that this fungus is the source of burning disease, which popped up throughout history. And repeatedly its victims experience strange symptoms consisting of stomach pains, temporary madness, convulsions, and gangrene. But the most troubling side effect were the hallucinations of horrible creatures and fiery worlds that cause people to jump out of windows and scream through the streets. In Medieval times, these dark visions and demonic convulsions were blamed on supernatural causes, yet the true source of all this madness is the plant-borne ergot fungus. [chuckle] In fact, historians believe that the Salem witch trials may have been linked to the consumption of wheat or rye contaminated with this fungus.

0:03:37.3 April Pride: The organic psychoactive substance was originally synthesized by chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938 to study its medicinal benefits. His discovery came in his laboratory where he first felt LSD’s mind-altering effects. In the 1960s, this psychedelic compound found mainstream popularity, thanks to professor turned prankster, psychologist Timothy Leary, who led a research study at Harvard to study the effects of LSD. And once the ramifications of LSD, hippie culture, and anti-Vietnam War movement went, this did not go unchecked by the government, and so Richard Nixon promptly declared war on drugs in 1971. In actuality, for nearly two decades, the US government had been experimenting with LSD and mescaline, heroin, barbiturates, methamphetamine, psilocybin, and finally MDMA, or Ecstasy, Molly, as the kids call it, also the love drug. And that episode is coming out conveniently on Monday, which is Valentine’s Day, and we’re gonna cover that, like I said, a special episode on Valentine’s Day, Monday.

0:04:53.2 April Pride: Okay. So the US government had been experimenting with all these drugs as related to mind control since 1953. And later on the show, I’ll share a great Netflix series about the CIA-run MK-Ultra program. So, what transpired over the remaining 20th century? I think it’s been fairly poetic, right? A medicine that can madden the mind is also capable of healing it. A medicine to control the mind is the same medicine that can free one’s mind. Okay, so what can I tell you about LSD that’s useful for your next trip? The effects. An acid trip is marked by hallucinations, mind-opening shifts in perception, heart-opening sense of oneness, transcendence of space and time. While both spiritual and recreational in its use, LSD is regaining popularity for its medicinal applications and psychotherapy for those struggling with depression and treatment-resistant depression. Nicotine and alcohol addiction, lots of success there. Anxiety, end-of-life distress, and other mental health issues.

0:06:07.4 April Pride: So, to dose this, okay, 100 micrograms is like a typical dose. To microdose LSD, you would consume about 20 micrograms, typically administered via a liquid dropper or on blotter paper, also known as a tab. When I go dancing, 20-40 micrograms is like, it’s perfect, and don’t maybe have a beer or something. The duration, it lasts longer than mushroom, so it can last six to 12 hours. And there are some risks.

0:06:42.6 April Pride: When you put chemicals in your body, sometimes there are risks, LSD should not be consumed if one has family or personal history of psychosis, bipolar or schizophrenia, brain tumors, renal problems, high blood pressure, or cardiac issues, you’re taking lithium or other Tricyclic or SSRIS. And I kinda laughed when I started listing that, but it’s true, you need to make sure that if any of these apply to you, should probably steer clear, not just of LSD, especially when it comes to family mental health history. Even weed, not good. And definitely talk to your doctor, do more research if you think you fall into that camp before you try psychedelics or before you do them anymore. [chuckle] So what should you be reading? There are lots of books on neuroscience that you can trip out to, there are lots of books that are about Be Here Now and That movement, but about 15 years ago, I read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, and it’s really good.

0:07:57.5 April Pride: Read this book. You’ve heard of it. You may not have read it. It’s worth a read. Okay, and I told you that we would cover this Netflix series that it’s called Wormwood, and there’s a podcast post-play, which is a Netflix podcast, and they go behind the scenes in three episodes about this Netflix docudrama called Wormwood, [chuckle] a six-episode series about the CIA’s notorious LSD for mind control program, MK Ultra, which also happens to be a weed strain that you should definitely check out. Okay, so what should you watch? And all of this, you can… We’ve linked to in the show notes, so you can just check those out linked to ’em directly, but you need to see this 1960s black and white film of a woman sitting in a dress in a chair across the table from a television host on LSD for the first time, and she’s talking about what she’s seeing and how she feels, and she’s definitely feeling it and you gotta watch it, it’s about six minutes and it’s totally worth it, so if you haven’t taken LSD and you’re thinking about it, I feel like this would not scare you from trying it sometime, at least a micro dose of LSD.

0:09:19.3 April Pride: Okay, I found us quote from Betsey Johnson, who is a women’s fashion designer, who said, “In the 1960s, you could take LSD, but you couldn’t wear a pant suit.” I think I might have liked the 1960s a little bit more, and I still think pant suits are more dangerous than LSD. If you’re a new listener or have been loyal each week, please follow, subscribe and review The High Guide wherever you listen to podcasts. It really helps more people find the show, and while our third season is taking shape, we’d love to hear from you, please drop us a line, dm us on IG, send us an email at [email protected], leave us a voicemail on SpeakPipe, so that’s, all one word. And let us know your thoughts.

0:10:09.1 April Pride: I’m your host, April pride, looking forward to bringing you next… Well, Monday’s episode of The High Guide.

Episode Credits

Producer & Host: April Pride Audio Engineer: Nick Patri, Cloud Studios Theme music: Cheri Dub, Morris Johnson

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