What Would Happen If I Ingested 1 Pound of LSD?

I was re-reading Albert Hoffman’s account of his early LSD experiments in his book, My Problem Child . He got the first dose by unknowinigly getting a little bit on his finger and then touching his lip. Result:


It apparently made the bicycle ride home that day a little more interesting than usual.

The amount of the substance that it takes to trigger a reaction is very, very small - the amounts are measured in micrograms.

What would happen if, by some freak of…well, freaks…I was to ingest a pound of the stuff? Let’s say I’m walking backstage at the first concert that The All-New Grateful Dead Touring Band and Showing, Featuring the Resurrected Jerry Garcia is playing on the moon, and I’m thirsty. There’s some orange juice - and I love orange juice. I proceed to drink a gallon of the stuff, not knowing that the ghosts of Albert Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and Aldous Huxley, and the very much still alive Owsley Stanely have all tweaked the juice so that there’s now the equivalent of 1 pound of LSD in it. I also have to assume that I’ll just ignore the fact that the bottle of orange juice is positively glowing.

Would my body absorb as much as it could tolerate and excrete the rest? Would I care? How much could my body tolerate?

You’d probably die. In fact, you’d almost certainly die. According to this MSDS, the intravenous rat LD50 is 50 mg/kg. Even allowing that oral ingestion likely has a higher tolerated dose, ingesting a pound of the stuff exceeds that by several orders of magnitude.

I suspect that unless you are a very large person, you’ll die. LD50 stands for “Lethal Dose, 50% of the population.” You determine it by administering a controlled dosage (proportional to each animal’s mass) of the chemical in question to a population of animals and recording at what dosage half of them are dead from overdose.

The LD50 for LSD-25 is reported as, variously:

  • 46, 16.5, .3 milligrams per kilogram of mass (mice, rabbits, rats, respectively)
  • The same values, cited by Abbie Hoffman himself with anecdotes
  • 12,000 ug/kg for humans :eek: which I doubt was ever verified experimentally.

Nonetheless, I suspect that a shot-glass of pure LSD would be more than enough to kill you. If the Erowid estimate is even remotely close, and you weigh 100kg, then you would have a fifty-fifty chance of dying after ingesting 1.2 grams of the pure liquid.

Only LSD fatality I can find: http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_history4.shtml

And that wasn’t even 300mg.

Of course, that page points out that it may not have been the LSD that killed the elephant; it might have been the 2800mg of Thorazine or the “unspecified quantity of pentobarbital sodium [injected] directly into a vein.” Alas, poor Tusko…

I can’t vouch for the lethal dose but suppose the previous posters are right. I just am curious to know what the street value of a whole pound of LSD would be. If this is a hijack, my apologies but I am rather curious.

You mean Albert, of course. I’m sure Abbie came close but never quite discovered the lethal dose (For humans) of LSD.

If a ‘hit’ of LSD is about 200 micrograms, then a pound is what? 2.27 million hits? I think it took Jerry Garcia almost 5 years to consume that much! :wink:

So what would the pharmacokinetics of a lethal dose be? Aside from the impaired sensory centers in the brain, does LSD have side effects that would cause renal railure, heart attack, etc.? Or would your brain be so freaked out it would be unable to maintain your body’s systems?

If my previous math is correct, and the street value of LSD is about $8 a hit, a pound would have a street value of 18.181 million $US. I doubt anyone would waste that much on plnnr’s OJ. :slight_smile:

From the MSDS I linked to:

I would agree as long as we define “very large” as being smaller than the moon but larger than a blue whale. :wink:

That was the real gist of my quesiton - I knew that I’d probably die (or at least wish that I had), but I was more curious about the physical repercussions.

Respiratory failure and hyperthermia are also the results of ingesting too much Ecstasy (IIRC - I’ve never tried it, but seem to remember reading as much). I supppose they must act in a somewhat similar fashion.

Very large: adj.: That’s no moon!


As a comparison, I’m guessing that ingesting a pound of pure salt would kill you, too.

I have no cite on this, but a highly educated and sophisticated acidhead once told me that LSD works by dissolving one of the neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (forget which one – there are more than a hundred neurotransmitters, I think). The “trip” is the process by which your brain adjusts itself, over several hours, to work without that neurotransmitter. Then, over the course of about a week, your brain produces enough of the missing neurotransmitter to bring it back up to a normal level. Therefore:

  1. It’s really impossible to trip more than once a week. If you drop acid the day after a trip, it will have no effect on you. The crucial neurotransmitter is already gone.

  2. A large amount of LSD won’t get you any higher than a small amount. All you need is just enough to completely dissolve the neurotransmitter; more is a waste, just a way of enriching your urine.

I have never heard this from any other source and have no idea if it’s true.

You’d greenlight every Kevin Costner movie.

I never touched the stuff, but there’s a girl I went to high school with in the Sixities, whose younger brother took it. (He died in 1998 at the age of 44.) He suffered from bad trips. :frowning:
Remember the “Blueboy” episode of Dragnet in 1967?
Early in the episode Friday says “LSD is so potent that a single kilo of the stuff–2.2 pounds–could turn every person into L. A. County into a total psychotic. The [1966] population of the county: seven million people.”
What’s seven million–or rather, 14 million plus–times worse than being a total psychotic?
Police Chemist Ray Murray (Olan Soule) tells Friday and Gannon–who don’t have any LSD laws to enforce yet–“From the number of cases [of LSD users] coming in here they’d better give you people something to work with damn soon.”

Isn’t LSD normally a liquid? What would a pound of it be, a frozen block?

American Abbie Hoffman (of Chicago 7 fame) spelled his last name Hoffman.

Swiss Albert Hofmann (of LSD fame) spells his last name Hofmann.

Just wanted to clear that up. The other Hoffman in the Chicago 7 trial was the judge, Julius Hoffman, who according to Abbie Hoffman looked and sounded like Mr. Magoo. Abbie taunted him in Yiddish.

I can tell you from personal experience* that it’s more like 48 hours. So while it’s true the next day it won’t work, the day after that it will. Certainly not a week.

Again I can attest that if you’re coming down and you take another drop, you’re back up again. IOW, if you space out (heh) a larger amount it will certainly get you higher.

Beyond question the most hilarious dipiction of drugs ever put to film. And I’ve seen Reefer Madness.
[sub]*I wouldn’t say I’m proud of my younger days, but I don’t regret them either, if that makes sense.[/sub]