Pharmacokinetics of LSD-like substances
As noted above, since all the hallucinogens act on serotonin receptors, their effects are very similar. However, these drugs vary greatly in their effectiveness, duration of action, and other pharmacological parameters. The most powerful drug of this class is LSD. For the manifestation of its action enough 25 mg.
The drug sold on the street, packaged in the range of 75-250 mg is either paper soaked with a small amount of LSD solution (“mark”, “napkin”), or gel, or a pill. LSD is quickly absorbed and a noticeable effect occurs within 20-60 minutes after ingestion. The drug is quickly spread throughout the body and, overcoming the blood-brain barrier, enters the brain. The action of LSD lasts from 8 to 12 hours, it is quickly processed and removed from the body. Even with the most powerful equipment, traces of LSD or its metabolites can be detected no later than 72 hours after ingestion. Although the hallucinogens found in the seeds of the bindweed (ergin and isoergin) are completely identical to LSD, their action is much weaker – about 5-10% of the strength of the LSD action.
Psilocybin is usually taken orally: either by eating mushrooms, or in the form of a drink made from the same mushrooms. It is very difficult to determine the dose of this substance, because different types of mushrooms contain different amounts of psilocybin. Usually, 5-10 g of mushrooms containing from 10 to 20 mg of psilocybin are consumed. Thus, the effectiveness of psilocybin is about 1% of the effectiveness of LSD. Duration of action is approximately 4 to 6 hours. Just like all other serotonergic hallucinogens, psilocybin develops tolerance and exhibits cross-tolerance to all members of this group. Mescaline is usually taken in the form of peyote “pads”, as described above. As a rule, from 5 to 20 of these “pads” are eaten, containing about 200-800 mg of mescaline. Mescaline is about 3000 times weaker than LSD, its minimum effective dose is 200 mg. Duration of action from 8 to 12 hours.
Much less is known about other serotonergic hallucinogens, but most of them resemble those described above. The exception is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is contained in the bark of the tree Virola and is used in the form of powder or smoked. Its action occurs within a few minutes, but it lasts only about 30 minutes.