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What is a hallucinogen?

Hallucinogens are drugs that cause profound distortions in a user's perceptions of reality. Users often see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens produce rapid, intense mood swings. Hallucinogens initiate their effects by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. The most common hallucinogens are LSD, PMA, 2 C-B, peyote, and certain varieties of mushrooms.



What is LSD?

LSD, the most potent mood and perception-altering drug known, is a clear or white, odorless, water-soluble material synthesized from lysergic acid, a compound derived from rye fungus. Oral doses as small as 30 micrograms can produce effects that last 6 to 12 hours.


How is LSD used?

LSD is initially produced in crystalline form. The pure crystal can be crushed to powder and mixed with binding agents to produce tablets known as "microdots" or thin squares of gelatin called "window panes". More commonly, it is dissolved, diluted, and applied to paper or other materials. The most common form of LSD is "blotter acid", sheets of paper soaked in LSD and perforated in 1/4-inch square, individual dosage units.


How does LSD work?

LSD's effects typically begin 30 to 90 minutes after ingestion and may last as long as 12 hours. Colors, smells, sounds, and other sensations become highly intensified. Hallucinations distort or transform shapes and movements, and they may give rise to a perception that time is moving very slowly or that the user's body is changing shape. On some LSD "trips", users experience sensations that are enjoyable and mentally stimulating and that produce a sense of heightened understanding. Bad trips, however, may include terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety and despair that include fear of insanity, death, or losing control. After 5 or 6 hours, users usually experience a "comedown", when sensations begin to subside. After about 8 hours, the trip is usually over, although residual effects may continue for several days.


What are LSD's side effects?

Users of LSD may experience some physiological effects, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, dizziness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, sweating, nausea, numbness, and tremors. LSD can trigger underlying mental problems and produce delusions, paranoia, and schizophrenia-like symptoms. Persistent psychosis and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) may also occur. Many LSD users experience flashbacks, recurrences of certain aspects of a life experience (including a previous drug trip), long after ingestion of the drug. A flashback may occur suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. LSD users quickly develop a high degree of tolerance for the drug's effects. It is not considered an addictive drug, however, because it does not seem to produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior.


What are some of the street names for LSD?

Street names may include acid, blotter, boomers, or cubes.



What is PMA?

PMA (Paramethoxyamphetamine) is an illicit, synthetic hallucinogen that has stimulant effects similar to ecstasy (MDMA).


How is PMA used?

PMA is typically administered orally in pill or capsule form. PMA powder, although uncommon, may be inhaled or injected to accelerate the response.


What are PMA's side effects?

Side effects may include increased pulse rate and blood pressure, increased and labored respiration, elevated body temperature, erratic eye movements, muscle spasms, nausea, and heightened visual stimulation. Higher doses can produce cardiac arrhythmia, breathing problems, pulmonary congestion, renal failure, hypothermia, vomiting, convulsions, coma, and possibly death.

2 C-B

What is 2 C-B?

2 C-B (4-bromo-2, 5-dimethoxyhenethylamine) is a synthetic hallucinogen similar to LSD. It is known for the strong body component of its effects. 2 C-B is considered gentler than LSD or mushrooms, and users report being less prone to "freak-outs", overwhelming panic attacks at normal recreational doses.


How is 2 C-B used?

2 C-B is most often found in either powder or pill form. It normally takes 45 to 75 minutes to take effect. The primary effects of 2 C-B generally last 4 to 6 hours.


How does 2 C-B work?

At the beginning stages of onset, 2 C-B is likely to cause anticipation and anxiety. At lower doses (5-15 mg), it produces entactogenic effects, with little or no hallucinations. Users feel "in touch" with themselves and their emotions. Erotic sensations and feelings of being "in one's body" have also been reported. 2 C-B seems to produce "pleasurable energy". At higher doses (15-30 mg), 2 C-B produces intense visual effects, such as moving objects leaving trails behind them, surfaces covered with geometric patterns that may appear to be moving or breathing, and colors that seem to appear from nowhere.


What are 2 C-B's side effects?

As reported above, perceptual changes often occur as do pupil dilation, visual patterning and movement, mental stimulation, new perspectives, feelings of insight, emotional shifts, and/or anxiety and confusion. Open-eye visual patterning, color shift, and wavering or moving vision are common for many people and more likely at higher doses. Unpleasant stomach effects, allergic type reactions, and unwanted thoughts or visions are also possible.



What is peyote?

Peyote is the common name for a small, turnip-shaped cactus native to Mexico. The active hallucinogenic material in peyote is mescaline.


How is peyote used?

The dried tops (commonly called buttons) of the cactus are eaten, brewed into a tea, or powdered and packaged into capsules. A hallucinogenic dose (about 5 grams of dried peyote) contains about 0.3 to 0.5 grams of mescaline, and the effects last about 12 hours.


How does peyote work?

Peyote alters perceptions, producing vivid hallucinations, inaccurate estimations of time, and feelings of anxiety.


What are the negative side effects of peyote use?

Peyote is not known to be physically habit-forming, but the desirable hallucinogenic effects of mescaline may cause users to seek out the drug. Impure or large doses of peyote can have toxic effects, such as nausea and depressed breathing.



What are psilocybin mushrooms?

Certain "magic" mushrooms can cause significant physical, visual, and perceptual changes when ingested. The primary effects of mushrooms come from several active alkaloids they contain; the most common are psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin.


How are mushrooms used?

All psychoactive mushrooms are ingested. Recreational doses range from 1-5 grams, depending on the species and individual strength of the specimens (dosages for wet mushrooms are approximately 10 times higher).


What are the effects of mushrooms?

The primary effects of magic mushrooms last for 4 to 6 hours, though many users continue to experience some milder effects (e.g., trouble sleeping and a noticeable difference from reality) for an additional 2 to 6 hours. As the effects of mushrooms intensify, a wide variety of perceptual changes may occur: pupil dilation, visuals, mental stimulation, new perspectives, feelings of insight, labile emotions, possible paranoia, and confusion. Closed-eye visuals are extremely common with psilocybin mushrooms. Open-eye visuals are common for some people and more likely at higher doses.


What are the side effects of "magic" mushrooms?

Many people experience nausea and/or vomiting after ingesting mushrooms, especially at higher doses. Anxiety and unwanted or frightening thoughts and visions are also possible. Mushrooms can cause strong, temporary changes in an individual's experience of life and reality. This mushroom trip can be a powerful psychoactive experience, especially at higher doses, and is significantly affected by experiences and setting. Mushrooms are neither physically addicting nor likely to cause psychological dependence.


What are some common street names for mushrooms?

Mushrooms are sometimes referred to as shrooms, cubes, or "magic" mushrooms.