Drug Testing & LSD & 1P-LSD: There's a Lot of Bad Information Out There

Note: We believe LSD testing remains infrequent. Read What Drugs Are Tested for by Employers for more information.

There have been many posts on social media that claim LSD and 1P-LSD cannot be detected by urine tests, or that such tests are prohibitively expensive. As demonstrated below, an inexpensive test accurately tests for LSD at 30 hours, and had mixed accuracy up to 50 hours of last ingestion. 1P-LSD shows up reliably at 24 hours, and we had mixed results testing beyond 24 hours.

Companies like NarcoCheck sell a simple to use LSD specific urine testing stick that cost around $7.00. They sell a multi-drug panel test kit for under $20.

When it was first released, it claimed to be effective in testing for LSD between 24 hours and four days. The specifications on the website now read that it is effective for between “1 to 3 days” after consumption.

When the initial claim of up to four days after consumption was made, we were highly suspicious, but intrigued. We believed it to be highly unlikely that the test would be effective much beyond 48 hours. So we purchased a bunch of tests, and administered our own experiments.

The first surprise was reading the instructions. While the online spec had been 24 hours to 4 day detection period when we purchased the kit, later revised to 1 to 3 days online, the paper instructions clearly indicated 1 to 2 days.

We then put the test to the test.

Testing the Test on LSD

We found four people who intended to take LSD. Two women (24 and 32 years old) and two men (40 and 55 years old). Each procured their own LSD, and each dose of LSD was tested using a DanceSafe.org Ehrlich reagent test. Three used blotter LSD with non-matching blotter art, one used liquid LSD.

Findings: With four test subjects, all tested positive for LSD from 10 hours to 30 hours). At 44 hours, two subjects tested negative. At 50 hours, three subjects tested negative. At 54 hours, all subjects tested negative. See below for details.

Each subject was tested until they received two negative tests.

Each ingested the LSD as follows:

W24: Friday, 11 am: 125 ug. Friday 1 pm: 105 ug re-dose

W32: Friday, 11 am: None taken. Friday 1 pm: 105 ug first dose

M40: Friday, 11 am: 150 ug. Friday 1 pm, 200 ug re-dose

M55: Friday, 11 am: 150 ug Friday 1 pm, 200 ug re-dose

We then administered the following urine tests (all times plus or minus 10 minutes):

Friday 11 pm (10 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Tested positive for LSD

W32: Tested positive for LSD

M40: Tested positive for LSD

W55: Tested positive for LSD

Saturday 9 am (20 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Tested positive for LSD

W32: Tested positive for LSD

M40: Tested positive for LSD

W55: Tested positive for LSD

Saturday 7 pm (30 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Tested positive for LSD

W32: Tested positive for LSD

M40: Tested positive for LSD

W55: Tested positive for LSD

Sunday 9 am (44 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Tested positive for LSD

W32: Tested negative for LSD

M40: Tested positive for LSD.

W55: Tested negative for LSD

Sunday 3 pm (50 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Tested negative for LSD

W32: Tested negative for LSD

M40: Tested positive for LSD.

W55: Tested negative for LSD

Sunday 7 pm (54 hours after last ingestion)

W24: Not re-tested

W32: Not re-tested

M40: Tested negative for LSD. Retested negative again at 11 pm, 54 hours after ingestion.

W55: Not re-tested

Note: We’ve been told from a variety of sources that LSD tests are still rarely administered. We have no independent knowledge of how often these tests are administered. Our sole purpose here is to confirm that the tests exist, are inexpensive, and appear to be effective for at least 30 hours after ingestion.

Testing the Test on 1P-LSD

We found three people who intended to take 1P-LSD. One man, a college student, and two women, each in their early twenties. Each procured their own 1P-LSD. We did not oversee the testing (we did for the LSD tests), and relied upon self-reporting for test results.

Findings: With three test subjects, all tested positive at 24 hours. One subject (male) tested negative at 48 hours. The two women both tested positive at 48 hours. Each of the two women tested negative at 60 hours.

Because we had a limited number of test kits, we did not re-test once a negative test result was obtained.

Unused stick

Unused stick

Single Red Bar in Test Zone: Tested positive for LSD

Instructions included with test kits

More on testing for LSD from Erowid (as of 5.2.2019) is below:
TEST TYPES 
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Urine Testing

It is possible to test for the presence of LSD in urine, but it is a difficult and expensive test to run and is quite uncommon. Unless there is a particular reason to be looking for it, as in the case of an autopsy...it is extremely unlikely that most people will ever run into this test. It is not one of the SAMHSA-5 standardly tested for in the basic drug test, nor is it included in the extended drug tests. It is not chemically similar to any of the drugs tested for, so should not trigger the tests as another substance.

An LSD metabolite created by the body called 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD has a somewhat longer half-life than LSD itself and is one of the main metabolites used to test for LSD use. Although most LSD-specific tests only test positive for less than two days, the metabolite tests for 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD are effective for 3-4 days after LSD ingestion.

Military

Beginning in the early 2000's, some parts of the military began testing for LSD. However, the Feb 18, 2008 Army Times reported that the Department of Defense has stopped most LSD testing military wide. Reportedly this was because only four positive LSD tests were found out of more than 2 million test conducted over a three year period. This cost-benefit analysis resulted in the military ceasing LSD testing as part of their standard panel. As recently as November 2012, however, we have had reports of occasional Army tests including LSD. (Or at least "LSD" being included in the list of drugs that the testee is informed they will be tested for. Whether or not the testing actually takes place is unknown.)

LSD is no longer included in the standard "DoD Illicit Drug Testing Panel", as published in the "DoD instruction 1010.16 published Oct 10, 2012".

We have been told that the Air Force will court martial airmen on the basis of a single positive test for LSD.

If you know anything else about the military's handling of drug tests, let us know.