Can LSD Alleviate Pain? Expert Views Shed Light on the Controversy


Pain, an unpleasant sensory and emotional phenomenon, varies in its perception from person to person.  It’s deeply subjective, and an individual’s self-report remains the most reliable gauge. The degree of pain might vary from mild to severe.


Various strategies exist for pain management, with ongoing research exploring innovative avenues with the potential use of LSD. While traditionally recognized for its recreational properties, LSD now garners attention for potential therapeutic benefits. 

Can LSD Alleviate Pain?

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Key Takeaways:

  • The earliest study on pain is by Dr. Eric Kast, who suggested that LSD might have the potential to address not only physical pain but also its emotional toll.
  • Low doses of LSD can enhance pain tolerance, notably at a dosage of 20mcg.
  • The analgesic potential of LSD, facilitated by its 5-HT1A/2A agonism, demonstrates intriguing advantages over opioid receptor stimulation upon repeated usage.

Traditional Way to Manage Pain: Chronic or Acute

Most experts advocate for a stepwise strategy in pain management by beginning with acetaminophen or NSAIDs, followed by a gradual escalation to weak opioids, and, if necessary, transitioning to stronger opioids. 


While these options can provide relief, many express concerns about the associated side effects. Opioids are notorious for their addictive properties, which can contribute to the cases of death and overdose in Canada.

Exploring Alternative Treatment Through LSD

The Rise of LSD

During the heyday of psychedelic exploration in the 1960s, LSD garnered significant attention within scientific circles, particularly due to its surprising analgesic properties. Among the trailblazers in this field, researcher Eric Kast stands out for his extensive contributions, with over a dozen papers delving into the connections between LSD and pain perception.

Dr. Kast’s initial exploration into LSD’s potential as a pain-relief agent began with his groundbreaking research publication in 1964. His theory posited that pain encompasses not only physical sensations but also intricate psychological and emotional dimensions, often intertwined with the brain’s allocation of attention. 

Based on LSD’s capacity to affect attention and induce dissociation, Dr. Kast suggested it might serve as an innovative pain relief option.

His study on pain and LSD inspired scientists to resume where he left off and explore the correlation between psychedelics and pain.


Current Pain Studies:

Testing the Pain Response:

A study detailed in the Journal of Psychopharmacology sheds light on LSD’s intriguing impact at low doses. Conducted in The Netherlands, the study involved 24 healthy volunteers. 

Participants received either three low doses of LSD or a placebo. They submerged their hands in near-freezing water at two intervals following dosing: 90 minutes and five hours. It allowed researchers to gauge their pain tolerance.

The findings of the study, particularly observed through the “Cold Pressor Test,” unveiled that 20 micrograms of LSD led to a notable increase in participants’ ability to withstand exposure to cold water (3°C). It also corresponded with a reduction in their perceived levels of pain and discomfort.

Less Negative Side Effects:

The journal Pain featured a case series detailing the experiences of three individuals grappling with chronic neuropathic pain. These individuals turned to low-dose psilocybin as a means to alleviate their symptoms. 

The study authors noted the positive outcomes associated with microdosing, its minimal side effects, and its potential to reduce reliance on traditional analgesic medications.

Heightened Psychological and Emotion Effects:

A small subset of individuals who engage in self-medication with psychedelics reported a reduction in pain both during the psychedelic experience and for a duration of up to five days post-treatment, after which their pain levels reverted to baseline.

The most notable findings from these interviews center around the enduring psychological and emotional impact of psychedelic use among participants. They recount experiencing heightened resilience, enhanced body-self-awareness, and increased psychological flexibility that resulted in a sense of acceptance, agency, and hope.

Pathway of Pain and LSD

The analgesic action of LSD via the descending noxious inhibitory control system, as well as cortical processing, presents a strong case for considering the potential to manage chronic pain. 

The analgesic effect of 5-HT1A/2A agonism shows promise with repeated administration than with opioid receptor stimulation, which often leads to receptor upregulation and diminished therapeutic efficacy over time. The diminished therapeutic efficacy can result in a need for increased dosage, which can potentially lead to opioid overdose or addiction.

Neuroimaging studies employing fMRI shed light on the low entropy state observed in an overactive default mode network (DMN), characterized by depressive rumination and heightened self-awareness, prevalent in individuals with chronic pain. 


The use of psychedelics causes the brain to exhibit increased states of entropy. These high entropy states provide a range of cognitive and perceptual functions that enable a balanced mixture of interoceptive processing in the person.

LSD Products You Can Explore for Pain Management

Earthly Delights – Candy Flip Chocolate Bar 350 mcg | 50 mcg per Segment Classic Chocolate
Osmosis – Micro Light LSD – LSD Microdose Mints Mint Tabs 200 mcg | 5 mcg per Piece Mint
Osmosis – Micro Light LSD Tabs 5 mcg per Tab None
PRISM – LSD 25 Tabs 100 or 200 mcg None


The benefits of LSD could help scientists study its impact on pain management more thoroughly. With a broader scope of research, individuals grappling with pain, along with healthcare professionals seeking alternatives to highly addictive medications, may consider LSD as a viable option. Such advancements can also open avenues for improved accessibility to the substance through online psychedelic dispensaries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to know the authenticity of my LSD product?
  1. Find out if your 10-strip of “acid” is LSD with an Ehrlich test kit. This procedure involves a chemical test to detect the presence of an indole ring. While LSD contains this characteristic ring in its structure, it’s worth noting that other readily available chemicals also share this feature.
  2. Another method to determine the authenticity of acid is through traditional detective work. Genuine LSD initiates its effects approximately 30 minutes post-ingestion, with peak effects occurring about an hour later. Counterfeit acid often exhibits delayed onset, sometimes nearing two hours, and may endure for over 10 hours.
What do I have to know about LSD gel tabs and blotters?

The only variation lies in the composition: gel tabs employ a gelatin base to encapsulate LSD, whereas blotters rely on a specific absorbent paper known as blotter paper. Blotters have garnered popularity as the preferred dosing method for LSD due to their user-friendly nature.

Are LSD products suitable for people with mental health problems?

Yes. Many studies explored the potential implications of LSD in managing depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. A study from the Journal of Pharmacology suggests that LSD and other classic psychedelics may have a long-lasting impact with fewer undesirable effects reported. 

Are there LSD products made for microdosing?

Some online dispensaries provide tabs or blotter paper with small doses of LSD. When labeled as a microdosing product, you can rely on its intended purpose. Another method is to verify the dosage by ensuring each contains 5 to 10 micrograms, indicative of a microdosing product.


Are there LSD products I can smoke?

It is challenging to come across LSD products intended for smoking. This is primarily because LSD is highly sensitive to heat, which can render it ineffective when exposed to elevated temperatures. As such, to smoke LSD is improbable to yield any desired effects due to its thermal vulnerability.

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