LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), Psilocybin.

Street name: LSD – acid, trips, wedges, windowpane, blotter, microdot. Psilocybin – mushies, blue meanies, magic mushrooms, gold tops.

Signs and symptoms: trance-like state, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia.

Potential problems: visual hallucinations may produce anxiety and fear, confusion and lack of coordination can result in greater risk of injury, self-inflicted injury, violent behaviour, paranoia, depression, anxiety and unpredictable flashbacks.

LSD was discovered in 1938 and is one of the most potent mood and perception altering drugs. Synthesised from lysergic acid, LSD is initially a clear or white crystalline substance. It is also odourless and soluble in water. LSD is highly potent and only very small doses are required to produce a hallucinogenic effect.

Psilocybin is a chemical with hallucinogenic properties that is found in certain species of mushrooms colloquially referred to as ‘magic mushrooms’. These mushrooms are indigenous to tropical and sub-tropical regions of South America, Mexico and the US.

They typically contain less than 0.5 per cent psilocybin, as well as trace amounts of psilocin, another hallucinogenic substance. When consumed, psilocybin is metabolised by the body into psilocin.

In Australia, there are approximately 20 species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Grown in the forests of Victoria and New South Wales and parts of Queensland, the most common varieties consumed are ‘gold tops’, ‘blue meanies’ and ‘liberty caps’.

This page was last reviewed in February 2014.