Science now knows why acid trips last so long – Quartz


For over 50 years, LSD has fascinated both users and scientists with its often transcending, sometimes dazzling, widely varied hallucinogenic effects.

As with other drugs (including alcohol), the body can filter out lysergic acid diethylamide from the bloodstream in a matter of hours. But LSD lasts much longer than an alcohol buzz: people have reported acid trips lasting eight, 12, and 16 hours, and sometimes for days on end. For the first time, scientists have figured out why: advanced atomic imaging shows that acid bonds with brain receptors and then changes their structure, so that they keep the drug trapped in the brain till long after it’s been flushed from the blood.

The brain picks up LSD with receptors that normally grab the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects mood. But when these receptors latch onto acid instead, they change shape to prevent the drug from…



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