What Are the Effects of LSD?

LSD Molecule
Molecular makeup of LSD. © Getty images

Question: What Are the Effects of LSD?

Answer: By altering how the neurotransmitter serotonin works in the brain and affecting other brain functions, LSD can cause users to experience hallucinations. Users can see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem to be very real, but actually do not exist.

Users can also experience impulsiveness and shifts in emotions that occur so rapidly some users report that they seem to experience several emotions at the same time.

One problem with using LSD is the effects are unpredictable. Users never know if they are going to have a good "trip" or a bad one.

Specific Short-Term Effects of LSD

Long-Term Effects of LSD

The long-term effects of using LSD can include persistent psychosis (disorganized thinking, hallucinations) and flashbacks. Users can experience these long-term consequences sometimes after only one exposure to the drug.

For more extensive information about the effects of LSD, please see What Are the Effects of Hallucinogens?

Back to: Hallucinogens FAQ


National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs." Research Report Series Updated January 2014

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