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LSA
Health
by Erowid
NOTES #
LSA has had very little study of its effects on the human mind and body. As with most psychedelics, the primary health concerns with LSA use relate to its psychological effects rather than risk of physical damage to the body or brain. Extreme temporary changes in thoughts, beliefs, and perception can occur after consumption of LSA. Choices made while under the influence may very be different than the choices the same individual would have made if sober. The use of a "sitter", a non-inebriated third party (preferably someone personally familiar with psychedelics) who watches over the person(s) under the influence, can help avoid unhealthy and/or unsafe decisions.

However, details related to the possibility that LSA can effectively treat cluster headaches can be found within the 2008 article "Unauthorized Research on Cluster Headache" by R. Andrew Sewell, MD, as well as within his poster (co-written by Kyle Reed and Miles Cunningham, MD, PhD) "Response of Cluster Headache to Self-Administration of Seeds Containing Lysergic Acid Amide (LSA)", presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

Health Issues Due to Source Materials and Extraction Processes.
LSA-containing seeds sold on the commercial market may occasionally be treated with pesticides or fungicides, though the idea that seeds have at any point been coated with poisons specifically to discourage consumption is very likely urban legend. Some vendors specifically market organic/non-treated seeds to avoid this issue.

Some extraction methods used on LSA-containing seeds involve the use of potentially harmful chemicals. The most common of these are non-polar petroleum-based solvents, such naphtha or diethyl ether. If these chemicals are not handled properly, or if they are not entirely removed from the extracted material, they can be harmful.

DEATHS #
We are unaware of any deaths directly linked to the consumption of LSA. As with most psychedelics, the risk of death from recreational LSA use, particularly use accompanied by a sober sitter and in people who are not predisposed to suicidal thoughts, is quite low.

WARNINGS #
  • Precipitation of Psychosis. Some psychedelic substances have been implicated in triggering mental disease in those who are predisposed to such conditions. Although no research has been done to link LSA specifically to this phenomenon, LSD and other substances have been shown to have this potential. The studies connecting triggered psychotic conditions with psychoactives face many difficult variables. The most prominent of these is the fact that schizophrenia and other mental diseases often initially show symptoms around the same age in a person's life as it is common for individuals to begin experimenting with psychoactive substances. Although no research has proven LSA to be a trigger, individuals with a family history of mental illnesses should be cautious if using LSA or any other psychoactive substance.
  • HPPD. Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptual Disorder (HPPD) has been reported by individuals who have taken LSA. This has nearly exclusively been reported as lasting effects in the person's visual field. "Long lasting after effects" is a better-suited title for this warning, because a majority of people who experience these effects are untroubled by them. HPPD is not diagnosed medically until the "after effects" interfere with an individual's ability to function normally. See the HPPD Vault for more information. While persistent visual effects have been reported by some people after using LSA, it should be noted that many of these individuals have also used other psychoactive substances, often within a short time period of their LSA use. This makes it difficult to distinguish the degree of after effects that resulted solely from their LSA use.
  • Other Warnings. Additional categories of warnings included on Erowid's LSD (Acid) Health Vault include Precipitation of Depression, Dangerous Interaction: Lithium or Tricyclic Antidepressants, and Reduction of Response to LSD when Taken with SSRI and Possibly MAOI Drugs. It is unknown to what degree these warnings may similarly apply to LSA, but based solely on the similar chemical structure of the two compounds, it seems worthwhile for readers to also visit this page (linked above).
CAUTIONS #
  • Dramatic Changes in Thinking. Part of the LSA experience is an altered thought process. These changes are often what individuals seek when taking the substance. The altered mind state, however, can result in poor or dangerous judgment. Having a sober individual present during the experience is a simple and effective way to safeguard individuals from potentially negative consequences due to their impaired decision-making abilities.
  • Hangover/Afterglow. Some people have reported the effects of LSA to mildly linger for 24 to 72 hours after administration of the substance. The effects most often reported to last are: brighter colors and other visual alterations, feelings of detachment from "real life", and unusual thought patterns. Most reports of this extended afterglow are not of a negative nature, but individuals should plan appropriately for this possibility if choosing to use LSA.
  • Pregnancy. Chemicals structured similarly to LSA are known to cause uterine contractions, which may be problematic or dangerous during a pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding. Although LSA is metabolized fairly rapidly, it is likely that LSA can be stored in breast milk until it has left the individual's system. While one day may be sufficient time for LSA to exit an individual's system, it is recommended that LSA users wait three to five days before resuming breastfeeding, in order to insure that none of the substance is passed through breast milk into a nursing baby.
  • Other Cautions. Additional categories of cautions included on Erowid's LSD (Acid) Health Vault include Hyperthermia/Overheating, Anxiety/Panic Reactions, PTSD, and No Potential for Physical Dependence (Addiction). It is unknown to what degree these cautions may similarly apply to LSA, but based solely on the similar chemical structure of the two compounds, these same cautions may apply to LSA.
BENEFITS #
  • Positive Effect on Mood and Life. Users of LSA may feel that their use has had a positive effect on their lives, from simple recreational fun to profound life-changing spiritual experiences.
  • Insights into Self, Others, and World. Many individuals have reported increased philosophical contemplation while using LSA. Such contemplation may include thoughts about oneself, societal interactions, and/or humankind as a whole.
  • Medical Uses. User reports by people with a severe form of migraine-like headaches called cluster headaches include descriptions of nearly complete blocking of these painful experiences through the use of LSA, LSD, psilocybin, and related compounds. In addition, some users report that--following such use--the frequency with which they have these headaches dramatically diminishes. Research into this arena is ongoing. For more information, see the 2008 article "Unauthorized Research on Cluster Headache" by R. Andrew Sewell, MD, as well as his poster (co-written by Kyle Reed and Miles Cunningham, MD, PhD) "Response of Cluster Headache to Self-Administration of Seeds Containing Lysergic Acid Amide (LSA)", presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Headache Society. In addition, considering the historical use of LSD in psychotherapy, addiction treatment, and to reduce end-of-life anxiety, it seems at least possible that LSA could have similar medical applications in these arenas.