Are There LSD Drug Tests?

Third Wave · September 16th, 2015

You recently took LSD, or are planning to do so, and you’re worried about possible detection in a drug test. So, naturally, the first thing you’re curious to know is how long LSD remains in your body after ingestion. Are there LSD drug tests?

Good news #1: LSD breaks down quickly. Its half-life is about 3.6h, so 50% of it will be eliminated from your body after this time. This means that (depending on the dose and your metabolism) after some 22h, there should only be trace amounts of it present in your system. After two to three days, there will be virtually nothing to screen for.

Not-so-good news #1: When we say virtually nothing, we’re referring to LSD. However, when it starts breaking down, it creates a metabolite called 2-Oxo-3-hydroxy LSD (O-H-LSD), which has a much longer half-life. Research has shown that it can be detected (only) in urine at 16 to 43 times higher concentrations than LSD.


Drug tests happen for these reasons:

  • Mandated by probation
  • Pre-employment screening
  • Random or specific purpose workplace drug tests
  • Health care provider warranted drug test
  • As part of a police investigation or court case
  • Military requirement


  • Blood – these tests are rarely used in the workplace, and more commonly as part of an investigation. They typically screen for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, nicotine, and alcohol.
  • Saliva – these tests are sometimes used in the workplace, as they are cheap and non-invasive, involving only the collection of a saliva sample via a mouth swab. They are typically used to screen for amphetamines, cocaine and its metabolites, opioids such as morphine, methadone and heroin, and for cannabis. However, their window of validity isn’t very long – they can only test for drug use in the past few hours up to a few days. Also, their reliability isn’t the highest, as substance concentrations in saliva can be relatively easily manipulated. This is why they’re not too common.
  • Urine – urinalysis is the most common workplace substance test. It can test for a wide variety of substances, including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, methaqualone, opiates, phencyclidine, methadone, propoxyphene, buprenorphine, oxycodone, tricyclic antidepressants, quaaludes, and more. It’s cheap, convenient, non-invasive, and the detection window is up to one week for most substances except marijuana.
  • Hair – hair tests aren’t common in the workplace, as results processing for large numbers of employees can be quite a financial burden on the company. They can test for a wide array of substances, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and others with an impressive 90-day window. However, studies have shown that they are not very reliable.
  • Breath – these tests only check for blood alcohol levels via the breath.


Good news #2: as you can see, typical substance tests don’t normally check for LSD, nor its metabolite 2-Oxo-3-hydroxy LSD. Even quite comprehensive 13-panel drug tests (not commonly used in the workplace) don’t screen for it. This is because:

  • LSD is usually taken in low amounts (40 to 150μg)
  • Its half-life is very short, so the window of detection is small
  • 2-Oxo-3-hydroxy LSD testing, a more viable alternative for LSD detection, has not been widely embraced
  • LSD is not a physiologically addictive substance, and is therefore not considered a threat like many other substances

Not-so-good news #2: all this said, if there is a reasonable cause for suspicion that a person has taken LSD quite recently, there are a few specialized tests that can be carried out. They need to be explicitly and specifically requested by the ordering party (employer, military, probation officer, or police). These are:

  • Abuscreen – Screens whole blood, blood serum, urine, and stomach contents for LSD and its metabolites
  • EMIT – Different series of tests carried out to detect LSD, again testing levels in blood serum and urine

GC-MS – Gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, testing for LSD levels in urine


On the off-chance that you are planning to take LSD the day before a drug screening or are just coming down from it with an LSD drug test in store for tomorrow, here’s a few factors to consider that can influence the rate of breakdown of LSD (in the absolutely minimal probability scenario that you are even tested for it):

  • Age – younger people have faster metabolisms than older people and will break LSD down quicker;
  • Physical condition – people who exercise regularly metabolize what they ingest faster. Taller people are also likely to have faster metabolisms;
  • Nutrition – the lack thereof will speed up the elimination of LSD, as breaking down food along with LSD will take more time;
  • Liver health – the healthier, the better! Liver is the main mechanism for breaking down ingested matter;
  • Frequency of use and quantity – obviously, if you take a “heroic dose” of LSD, it will take more time to eliminate it. Also, if you take it often, odds are that you’re taking higher doses;
  • Interaction with other substances – anything you ingest that speeds up or slows down metabolism will influence how quickly LSD is metabolized;

So, if you recently took LSD,  the recipe for getting it out of your system quickly is: exercise, don’t eat too much, eat only foods that speed up your metabolism, and, of course, drink plenty of water.



Reader Interactions


  1. AvatarFelix says

    I am a chronic pain patient who gets urine tested once a month from my PCP. My doctor wants to cover his ass because of the new War On Patients (opiates) so in order to get my refills, I have to pee clean. This has not been any issue for me, as I take my medicine as prescribed – although I do feel it is a form of discrimination! I am also a medical cannabis patient. Thankfully my doctor approves, so I have that base covered as well. However, I would like to try LSD microdosing to help with motivation and creativity. I was just wondering if I am doing a daily microdose, if anything would be found in a standard opioid pee test?

    • AvatarRebecca says

      I just took lsd last night and have a Dr appt today to get my RX for Xanax. They popped me with a drug screen freaked me out. Because I took it at 6pm on Sunday and Dr appt was Monday at 9am. It did not show up on a general pee test. Happy tripping ???✌

    • AvatarKyle says

      Old comment but didnt see a reply so. The awnser to your question is no, lsd requires a very specific and very expensive set of tests to be found so no one does it unless they already know someone is using. For piss tests you need an extremely high amount of lsd in your system to be found, micro dosing will not get you anywhere near the amount. If you are still sketch about it just stop dosing 48 hours before your test and like 90 percent of the lsd will be out of your system. Good luck.

      • AvatarRyan says

        You need to ask if the test was emit (antibody) or gs/Mc (device that looks for specific mass and color) emit tests are notorious for false positives I took Benadryl once and I came up as some weird antipsychotic I guess is abusable. Lsd is what is called an indole alkaloid, there isn’t much that will show a false positive for but a few things such as a lot of headache specific medication, like ergotamine, which as a Dea agent you probably know is it’s precursor. Either way ask for a gcms of your original sample. If they can’t provide this you can provide reasonable doubt that it was a false positive as gcms is the only thing that tells without a shadow of a doubt it was substance in question. If gcms comes back positive you either were using LSD or dosed against your will which I doubt since you would probably be aware you are on a trip or you are using. Lot of careers were ruined in the 90s because of false positives for THC provided by ibuprofen. This is why most drug test in the military and civilian court use Emit first cheaper and a positive is confirmed by gcms.

  2. AvatarPam says

    I have never in my life taken any illegal drugs. I worked for thirty years with the DEA
    I had been shot and an over by there vehicle I have to take many prescriptions but only 7.5 Norco twice a day and I had to take a urine test yesterday and it showed that I had LSD in it. The bottle they gave me was nothing like the clear ones I have used before. My urine came out very dark which just proved a point that something fishy was going on. I had already been to two other Dr.s before that one. One when i left there. I have a badly burned had and arm. I know one thousand % that the Nurse Practitioner is a lied. Is there any medication that LSD could show up?

  3. AvatarCasey says

    The last time I took what I think was real LSD 25 was in 1976. At that time i used LSD for spiritual experiences. I was following Richard Alpert, and Timothy Leary. Baba Ram Das, Be Here Now. Was also reading books from Carlos Castaneda, on becoming a Toltec warrior. I have not run across any windowpane since that year. I tried a variety of blotter, barrel, and purple microdot since that time. Mostly found during grateful dead concerts none of these does came even close to comparing to the clear light (or windowpane) LSD I experienced. my question is does anyone still make windowpane and if I were to look for it where would i have to start. Mushrooms, peyote, don’t even come close to the spiritual experience and I would like to share that experience with a few people who I believe would help them in their evolution. LSD with the right people taken the proper way does no harm. Please help.

    • AvatarAmazingJake says

      1-cP-LSD will give you the windowpane-like experience you seek, my friend

      first synthesized in July or August of 2019

      Look into it…

      you’ll see!

  4. AvatarMarla says

    I have been micro dosing for over 9 moths and the last 8 years been a participant in research for Frontal Temporal Dementia which is from a genetic mutation that runs in our family. There has been a breakthrough in some biomarkers to detect an oncoming of symptoms. Up until now there has not been a drug to help prevent symptoms. A new drug is approved to be tested on humans with the genetic mutation. (This is me. Only two in Toronto are part of this research). I started micro dosing for the benefits of brain health but could not disclose this to my neurologist due to the fact that when the topic was brought up as a question if he heard of it, He tabooed it perfusly. Therefore I could not tell him I was micro dosing. Very frustrating. I have been searching for a Doctor to discuss this topic with and keep coming up empty. I question if the micro dosing can help bypass the atrophy of other brain dysfunctional areas and am afraid to try this research drug because I don’t know if the 1P-LSD is my solution. I so want someone to open research on the brain and microdosing. I have reached out to Phycology residence students at U of T actively involved in phycodelic research for addictions and phycological problems but not for the betterment of the healthy brain. I fear if I miss out on this
    FTD research drug and it can help me in the near future. Because this drug may not be approved for public use by the time I may need it 5/10 years from now. So many questions and no one to talk to. Anyone know of a neurologist involved with microdosing??????? Please direct me. Thanks for reading through this long quest for help.

    • AvatarDys says

      damn. i really hope you are successful in your search. the notion of missing out on a drug that could improve your life because you are currently using another drug to improve your life is ridiculous.

  5. AvatarDavid Dansen says

    The information in the article is dated. There are several inexpensive, widely available, multi-panel urine dip stick tests that cost under $20 and test for LSD. Generally, the specs on these are 1 to 3 days at 99 percent accuracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *