Sandoz LSD: no better than modern acid?

Friday 17 November (2006)

In January of this year 2006, there was a symposium in Basle, Switzerland. It celebrated the 100th birthday of a very special man, and the discovery of a remarkable chemical. The man was Albert Hofmann, and the chemical was LSD-25.

And shit, me and my friend Tom were gonna go. But then we ran out of money, and it was hard explaining to our parents exactly why we wanted to go to a conference in praise of an illegal drug. So we didn’t go.

And then I read this.

Jesus H. Christ!! I mean I knew there’d be acid floating around the event, but I had no idea that someone would turn up with Sandoz acid! For those who don’t know much about LSD, here’s the rundown: Albert Hofmann discovered it when working for the Sandoz pharmaceutical company in Switzerland. Once the effects of the drug were known it was distributed worldwide to psychologists under the brand name ‘Delysid’ with the suggestion that it mimicked states of psychosis. Of course it was far too much fun for the doctors, and in the sixties the drug escaped the labs and hit the streets, predominantly in San Francisco. By 1967 it was illegal, and Sandoz were forced to stop producing it. As of that point in time, acid was driven underground.

Ever since then, some old hippies have been saying “Ah, the acid you kids get these days is crap. You should have tried that Sandoz stuff! My God, that was acid.” One of my favourite authors, Hunter S. Thompson, talked about using pure ‘Sandoz’ in such a way as to imply that anything else just isn’t good enough. Of course, no one could ever prove them wrong or right, because the Sandoz acid was long gone by the end of the seventies.

Until 2006. When someone, some unknown genius, brought some Sandoz Delysid from 1951 to the event and said: “Hey guys! Let’s trip on the real fucking deal!

The results are interesting. You can read them for yourself here, but the rub is this: Sandoz acid is pretty much the same as the acid you can buy from your dealer today.

What does this mean? Well, for one thing it means that LSD is just as good as it ever was, and that’s definately a good thing. But how could this misconception have been brought around in the first place?

Well personally I think it’s down to two things. The first is that the strength of the doses has steadily decreased since the sixties. Back then it was common to get 300 micrograms from a single blotter, but these days it’s more like 50 micrograms (I would know – I once had some acid where I had to eat five blotters just to hit mild effects) – so any old hippie who tripped his face off on two blotters in 1965 would probably think that two 1980’s blotters were ‘worse’ acid than the sixties stuff.

The other reason is that you become very… suggestable, when on acid. If you take it with the subconscious belief that what you’re taking isn’t as good as the stuff forty years ago, you’ll invariably end up experiencing that.

What’s my point? I don’t know. I’m just pleased that the concensus now is that LSD = LSD. Go forth and trip.


58 Responses to “Sandoz LSD: no better than modern acid?”

  1. Timothy Weary Says:

    Does anyone know where to get some good doses in the boston area?
    I had some ta bs from bonaroo but it was a tease.

    • lalalalaboston Says:

      yeah mate, look around Newton… might seem like a shit town, but the school has some kids who know were to get good shit… North kids are usually thieves so dont bug with em, late response is late lmao

  2. Nicholas Says:

    this is a really interesting topic. But i feel allot better now that i know the acid I’m taking is just as good as the Sandoz acid from he sixties.

  3. Adam Says:

    The thing is, the typical lsd dose in the 60s was around 400mics, and now its about 100. So your acid is probobly as good, but you need to buy 4 hits instead of 1 😦

  4. Luke Says:

    So in other word the hippies are right, the acid nowerdays is nothing compared to the acid in the 60s. not because of the lsd itself, but because of manufacturers putting less in the tabs… its like saying X today is nothing compared to 15-20 years ago, which is true, not because of a downgrade in the quality of the MDMA, just because the dose per pill is less. Personally i thought this would be obvious, since a chemical doesn’t just get weaker as the years go on, its the same lsd-25 isnt it?

  5. marc Says:

    Sorry I’m a little late to this party.

    I haven’t done acid since the early eighties so I can’t comment on what’s available today. However, my very first trip in the mid-1960s was with Sandoz LSD-25. It came in a tiny tablet wrapped in extremely thin aluminum foil.

    Nothing I had after that, including a massive dose of Owsley’s Sunshine in crystal (pre-tableted) form, came even close. The Sandoz was that incredible.

  6. Howard Says:

    I’ve taken acid well over 150 times (different occasions) since 1970. I took 4-way windowpane about 1972 that was absolutely the strongest, longest, and meanest trip ever. No blotter or microdot since came close to that experience. I also took Purple Haze and that ran a close second. While I’ve had decent trips in the 1990’s and early 2000s (it’s been a few years — hard to locate anymore…), I have to say the early acid was better. I mean, one could take 1/4 of a windowpane and be gloriously happy for hours; I’ve done 6-8 blotters over the course of the evening and it hardly registered. Good luck out there, brothers and sisters…

  7. nealumphred Says:

    Two points: I first did acid in 1970 and last did acid, well, not too long ago. Night and day difference. Modern street acid is milder (significantly smaller doses per hit: Owsley and other ‘underground chemists’ normally tabbed 250-500 mics while much of today’s acid is 1/10 that amount) but cleaner (less additives and impurities: 250 mics of LSD laced with God knows how much speed packed an extraoridnary wallop).

    A single tab of barrel Orange Sunshine in 1971 (which could be had for less than $3)would get two people off, launching them like a rocket that ignored gravity (it was usually during the first cuppla hours that bad trips took root, as the “getting off” period could overwhelm even experienced trippers), keeping them eight miles high for 8-12 hours, and leaving a most wondrous afterglow through the next day.

    Point 2: If, in fact, the Sandoz that showed up in 2006 was from 1951, the deterioration of the acid must have been considerable. . .

    Hope this helps. Thanks for the inspiration to write and please keep posting intreresting observations.


    • George McKinley Says:

      Oh yeah. I had some of that Orange Sunshine barrel acid in 1970–and it was the best. There was also some Purple Double Dome and Blotter Acid then that was also mind-boggling.

      This was an interesting article, but paint me one of those “old hippies” who believes the modern stuff ain’t shit to a tree. For one thing, you don’t see colors–I took 20 modern paper tabs and got fucked up, but didn’t see colors.

      Not the same nowadays, man [:-{0>

      • Lsddude Says:

        Not true sir, I am 21, I enjoy acid on a normal basis and when I get I n a certain level I see.colours. Lsd is just as good as it’s ever been.

      • Bill Says:

        The colours were caused enhanced by strychnine. That is rat poison in the tab enhanced the effect of LSD. Double done blue microdot was a very vivid example. Sunshine was based on a yellow valium pill so more tranquil. The basic LSD was mixed with various substances which altered the effect… for better or worse.

  8. jazzy Lord Hexamine Says:

    I concur the deterioration must have been significant.

    However, I believe street acid is generally as good as the 60’s stuff. I think set, setting, dosage and rose tinted glasses are the major factors in this v interesting debate.

  9. Nick Says:

    i think it all depends on whos making it. but it’s cool to know that the quality is the same. i think alot of chemists limit the doseage to save money. it makes sense. i’ve had acid that was really weak but then again i’ve also had shit that sent me to a whole different dimension.

    • Jasonmeirs Says:

      I used to do street lsd but stopped due to risks unknown dosage eg try 1p-lsd it’s a research chemical blotter looks and tastes exactly like the real thing because it is the real thing came on in half hour most intense visuals for 5 hours cost £5 for 150mcg varying strengths up to 450 mcg 150 was stronger than most street stuff I seen before had a bad trip for first time was too intense couldn’t tell what was real what wasn’t closed eyes saw massive kaidelescopes lasts 8-10 hours can sleep after ten hours next day get the afterglow never going to illegal dealers again too much uncertainty got a reputed vendor so trust him with my trips

  10. starchild Says:

    So, it’s safe to get the stuff these days off the street? How do you know before taking it that it’s weak? I last took it in the 70’s and I would probably be able to say as a result of that experience “this is too weak” and just take more. Is that what’s being recommended?

    • KreiderJr Says:

      Meh, not necesarily “safe” to get it today… in addition to some having lesser mcg’s than in the 60s, there are more fakes going around today. Also, don’t go with the just take more way of thinking all the time either because some of the fakes take longer to kick in and you could end up dosing yourself way too much then with a drug other than LSD.

      • max Says:

        only LSD is so strong in this amount there is no other drug that is use full at 100 ug and there is no fake acid you got LSD or you don’t you can not make an LSD that works after 2 hours it just depents on what your doing and wat you have been eating… and people don’t talk bull shit

        if been there, done it, and now i’m quiting

      • Khkjbdkjbf Says:

        Max is wrong. There are plenty of “research chemicals” available that have similar effects to LSD and can be harmful if taken in excess. Wait at least 2 hours before dosing more. And always try to keep benzos on hand. They will abort a trip should it go bad.

      • cleftintwain Says:

        There’s not a lot of fake acid going around today. There is very few chemists producing it and almost all are dedicated heads who are trying to put out a great product. Twenty years ago,when the Grateful Dead was still around,there was lots of crap circulating. Now that demand is way down and only Burning Man types and ravers eat acid,the is consistently very good.

  11. Richard Thompson Says:

    I am 54 years old and have done all the big name brand acid back in the late 60-70s ( I stull maintain that 7-8th grade are the best ages for tripping) while Sandoz and Owsley and Purple haze and microdot were all good stuff it was acid and was a matter of who made it and how fresh and pure it was.

    When in 7th grade my buddies brother got some Blue dot out of NYC, it was a regular sized saccharing tablet dyed blue with a dot of liquid LSD in the center that was still wet enough to transfer. That was the strongest and cleanest acid I ever did bar none.

    I am sure if anyone had any 40-50 year old acid it would be pathetic regardless of how it was stored.

  12. Justin Says:

    I think it has very little to do with the actual quality of the acid, and more to do with how abused and mistreated the spirit of LSD must feel after all these years. LSD is a very useful tool in the understanding of how things come together and work in this universe, but with popularity began not the degradation of quality, necessarily, but more so moral and spiritual understanding and awareness of the agent. Wouldn’t you be pissed if you were being used for the wrong reasons by the wrong people? The legal status might also play a key role, seeing as LSD has proven, at least the many times I have taken it, to be a very free-spirited molecule. For such a life-changing, eye-opening, and useful entheogen to be treated like a party drug or a criminal – referring to the legal status – is in every way a reason for LSD to degrade in quality. If LSD were treated like the entheogen it really is, the quality would naturally be better. Lysergic acid diethylamide should be created in a lab by people who wish to see this entheogen take it’s course in the evolution of our kind, while the legal status should be limited to those who are drawn by the spirit of the acid, and are not just looking to have a good time – though I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun with it. ^^ Who says America can’t have designated “shamans” who study and apply the very arcane world of the LSD experience to the world we live in apart from it? For such a powerful and not-well-understood tool to be discarded as though it were some kind of disposable garbage – though it has continuously proven itself to be very helpful in the advancement of many forms of art – is nothing more than hardcore evidence of the ever-increasing closed-mindedness of the vast population of people in this world, who are apparently only moved by things that are physically and scientifically “real”; though if these people were only to try it, they would learn how irrelevant time and space really are. In the earliest stages of LSD research, the media blew up and over-exaggerated the negative effects, suggesting that it had nearly no uses whatsoever, which would be like disowning and banishing a young child for getting into a cookie jar and spilling its bowl of cereal. It is children like that who most often grow up to be crazy mass murderers because of all the neglect they have felt. Now put yourself in the place of LSD… How do you feel?

  13. gonsalo Says:

    any chemist around here?

  14. […] psychédélisme et du LSD récréatif comme Timothy Leary. Les recherches que Hofmann mène pour le laboratoire Sandoz intéressent rapidement les services spéciaux américains qui procèdent à des essais sur cobayes […]

  15. Taz Delaney Says:

    just googled sandoz LSD and found this page. wow, wish i’d been at that symposium! i haven’t found decent acid since 1998 and miss it sorely. i understand that for $20,000 a gram can be had in amsterdam.

    i first did LSD at atlanta pop festival in 1970, where i saw hendrix for the 2nd time. i didn’t know how much to take and ate it like M&Ms. 16, got stark naked and have no idea how i made it bck to durham, north carolina, days later. i’d been warned that i would never be the same again and thank god they were right!.

    in 1972 at a festival at duke with mountain and beach boys, bought a celophane-wrapped tablet of the legendary sandoz which had been in a freezer for years. it was just plain unbelievable.

    sad that kids today think they’ve done LSD when they’ve barely done a dose. will add, however, that there are websites where you can legally purchase such still-legal hallucinogens as salvia divinorum. the heavy extracts are indeed quite powerful. the reason some are legal is that their chemistry is uncovered by the laws. but better hurry, the drug warriors are on the attack with their beer bottles.

    anyone got any?

    • Khkjbdkjbf Says:

      The guys who made like 90% of the acid in the world were busted in 2000, so since then, it’s been nearly impossible to find. Combine that with the fact that more mainstream drugs are better for profit and the rise of research chemicals and drug analogs, chemist don’t waste their time with a dangerous and difficult synthesis.

    • Dan Says:

      I took a lot of street acid in the 70s and 80s, some good, some mediocre. Best visuals i ever experienced was when I ate several fresh picked psilocybin cyenesens. Things were growing out of the walls and carpet. Just incredibly strong visuals. I also liked that I could sleep on the shroom and not be jacked for hours like acid. Last acid was 1990. Set and setting were not optimal and it was a heavy experience that took about a year to recover from.

  16. Buck Says:

    Enjoyed Richard Thompson’s comment immensely “I still maintain that 7-8th grade are the best ages for tripping”. I agree that young people may be better equipped to handle hallucinogens, despite the ads. (-:

    For those who want a trip down memory lane visit this LSD dose gallery

    The most powerful acid I ever encountered was Clear Light, AKA Windowpane, circa 1972. Erowid has a picture but it doesn’t really do justice to what I had (multiple times).

    Windowpane was, reputedly 1200+ mics (I’ve heard numbers up to 2000). It was mindblowingly powerful stuff. We examined our doses under a microscope (No, not while we were tripping! ha ha) and it was manufactured much more precisely than the erowid pic shows. Each dose was a perfectly square 3/16th” chip of gelatin.

    A light purplish amoeba shaped stain was visible on top, which I imagine contained the acid. Because this was irregular in shape we didn’t cut doses with a razor (some friends did) and just put the whole thing under the tongue.

    An amazing substance.

    • Buck Says:

      PS – They came under a piece of scotch tape on a plain white piece of paper. If you dropped one of these things you would never, ever find it…to small and too clear. To handle them you moved them with a pin.

  17. Tom Earnest Says:

    Ahhh Clearlight…. Was paying 33 cents a dose in 1974-76.
    My supplier reckoned they were 200 mikes each. Occasionally he would have retangle dose at 400 mikes.
    Something cool about them was as they aged and/or were not stored in a cool dark place, they would slowly turn from
    clear to amber to dark brown. And also get speedier as they darkened. Remeber shag carpet? if you had a spill just whip out a blacklight and bang there they were. I was born in ’56 in
    Orange County Ca. And recall when I was just around 13 years old hitch hiking to Laguna and scoreing Orange Sunshine at the local Taco Bell and then walking the beach all night tripping our happy young brains out. After a couple of years of that I grew bored with it till Window panes entered my life via a girlfriends older
    brother years later… Good times. Still do shrooms every time I make it to Holland. Once a Prankster…….

  18. liquid neon sky Says:

    im thinking over here is there not some hippy guy whit a sandoz bottle and put some of his liquid acid in it … i do not thing 40 or 50 years in a bottle do much good to acid you know if its exposed to light the partecals will brack down…
    but i can say like every one how tried acid its goooood stufff
    i just say he he smoke weed every day 🙂

  19. judge69 Says:

    If is anything like the stuff we usta do in the late 60’s WOW

  20. […] et du “LSD récréatif” comme Timothy Leary. Les recherches que Hofmann mène pour le laboratoire Sandoz intéressent rapidement les services spéciaux américains qui procèdent à des essais sur cobayes […]

  21. psycoactivated Says:

    im wondering if enybody knows the deatails behind the aledged story of timothy leary and the 25,000 hits of blue sandoz lsd ive heard this mentioned in a terence m. interview but never got the deatails?…

    • largeal Says:

      it was on an interview on art bell coast tu coast in 1998. I had posted it on youtuble 5 years ago but they took down most of it
      o think its in Batavia Il

  22. mike Says:

    Does anybody from the flint MI area know of any good cid still circulating?

  23. Thanks for sharing this blog with us. Keep it up.

  24. teciel Says:

    Several decades ago a friend happened upon a hundred or so amps of Delysid. IV injections had little effect and lasted only a short while. IM and orally was the go!

  25. A big factor is also that the ratio of receptors in the brain changes with age, so as you get older the rate at which the molecules are processed changes. The same applies for caffeine, amphetamine and many other substances. A 17-year old dropping two decent hits of, say, 1983 Superman, would experience markedly different symptoms from that same person dropping two Window Panes, aged 32.

    • ryno Says:

      Interesting! I havent dropped in about 18 years (Im 40 now). But I feel like this could be my last chance before I go over the hill. Problem is, I dont run in those circles anymore. Even the people I did this with in my youth dont do it anymore. And the last thing I want to do is go to the clubs to find it. I remember “the old guy” at every club I went to. Nobody was sure if he was a cop or just weird.
      If anyone has any ideas about where I can get some in the Atlanta area it would I would be most appreciative!.

      • Ian Miller Says:

        Never say never. I hadn’t done any in about 20 years, and then in 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I met a German guy who gave me some. “It’ll clean out the cobwebs,” he said. I had a wonderful night and watched the sunrise on the Lunar New Year of the Dragon.

  26. Mairi Says:

    Anyone know where to get in the western part of Australia? I’ve tried one which was quite fine

  27. Carlos Recinos Says:

    Were would I be able to get some

  28. Ramesh Says:

    Having learned this subject, it is unbelievable fact, i surprised, what a wonderful product on Earth. At least one time if i use this very very Micro-Quantity what will be done in the mind and body i love to know by research practically.
    Of course, Finally i think, before living the soul from the body, it is better to take happily at the lost moment.
    why because, living on earth with critical old age with more health troubles is most dangerous than to take LSD.

  29. Eat it. Says:

    if you have to eat 5 blotters to get sorted, you bought old And/or poorly stored acid. That has nothing to do with how dosages were stronger or not in the sixties..
    In the end it costs just as much time and effort to produce a blotter sheet of strong stuff or weak stuff.. But the weak stuff won’t last long and that’s not the name of the game.
    But there ain’t a steady production and distribution of it.. so people end up with long and irregular supply lines.. which causes the acid to go weak.

    That’s the reason why the dosages are often low.
    Those who are close to the source won’t have that problem.

  30. charlie Says:

    Ah…the good ol days….I remember doing orange sunshine ..summer of 70 ..I was 15…going out to this big field on top of a mountain…tripping our nuts off …listening to electric ladyland on the 8 track tape player in the car…who could ask for anything more?

  31. […] the spirit of Garage Rock with a giant splash of polluted river water containing runoff from Sandoz Industries. Sky Saxon had more girlfriends on any one night from 1965 to 1970 than the entire Grateful Dead […]

  32. An Old Hippy Says:

    O.k., I feel kind of funny replying to this as I haven’t done any LSD in years. However, with that being said…

    I noticed that I am not the only one to mention “Clear Light” in this string of responses.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the different forms of LSD back in the 60s and 70s, let me give you a short explanation of one form of LSD you may or may not have heard of:

    “Window Pane” was a type of LSD that resembled a very, very small, thin, square piece of glass, usually amber in color. It was usually very, very potent, and if you wanted to cut it in half you needed a razor blade to do it with and inevitably the half you cut would go flying across your room never to be found again. Window Pane would also quickly dissolve on your tongue when taken.

    “Clear Light” looked just like Window Pane only it was completely clear (just like glass) as the name suggest.

    The only way to really see the stuff was to shine a black light on it (and every hippy had one back in those days) and then it would glow so you could see it to either handle it or attempt to cut it with a razor as described above.

    I don’t know who the manufacturer of Clear Light was, or how many mics were in a single hit, but I do know that it was by far the strongest LSD I have ever experienced.

    I took one hit around 7:00pm in the evening. I was awake the entire night, was tripping my brains out the entire next day, and it did not wear off until the next evening (that’s right – 24 hours).

    Since then I have frequented various hippy gatherings, rainbow festivals, mad zapper parties, etc. where I have occasionally consumed more than 15 hits initially (your “initial” dose is the one that will hit you the hardest during your trip) and have still never experienced anything like that one hit of Clear Light.

    Remember what I said at the beginning of these remarks about not using any LSD for years? Well, if some of that Clear Light were to come around again, I might just reconsider that. 🙂

    • Dan Says:

      Interesting information, especially the long duration of the high. I was in Germany in 1981 and bought 2 hits of black barrel acid. I took them Friday night. I was in the military at the time. I was still high on Sunday and got concerned we would have an inspection on Monday and my giant pupils would be a concern. Fortunately it wore off on Monday. I don’t remember any stateside acid lasting that long.

  33. Ian Miller Says:

    In 1977 or ’78 I was given some tablets that had Sandoz imprinted on them. They were coated and looked similar in shape to a round Advil tablet of today. I don’t know if they were really from Sandoz, but it was the only LSD I’ve ever had where I fell asleep while peaking. I was told they were 50 mcg each and that I should take seven of them, which I did (350 mcg.) I was really tripping strongly and I remember laughing as I was falling asleep, thinking, Oh, my God, I’m so stoned and I can’t even stay awake for it! Other than cannabis, I had not taken anything that would have made me sleepy.

  34. Burt Says:

    I bought some Strawberry Fields Acid in the village in 1968 or 1969. I was told it was from Sandoz lab. The visuals were amazing. Everything became liquid, trees breathed, mosquitos had huge aura’s around them. I realized then that sight was a creation of mind, an interpretation of the data received, not a true vision of reality. Nothing is solid, everything flows.
    I also had a few sugar cubes that were beyond the ordinary as well as LSD 25, 4-way blotter, and window pane which were all wonderfully clean. The most potent trip though was from some “Orange Owlsley”. We felt nearly an immediate response. Within 15 minutes we were very high. We escaped to a forest and spent the next 16-18 hours in that location. We had an alien encounter (5 of us) and an extreme peak which appeared more like a near death experience. We were never the same after that night. We came out of the woods, still blazing, chanting “I am alive”.
    We had bought 50 hits (also in the village) but were afraid to sell it for fear of someone loosing their mind (1 of the 5 freaked out). We buried the 45 hits at that location and never found it again. We found out later it was STP.
    I haven’t visited those realms again since early dead shows but I carry that acquired knowledge from inside my head ever since.
    May you all joyfully embrace the divine dance that is life.

  35. Rainbow Says:

    Used to have a direct connection with Capt. Clearlight and used to get plastic vials with 100 hits in it. 250 mcg each tab. If you were in a rush you could put the gelatin square in your eye and get off in 15 minutes. . .ate 4 once and realized there is a point where you really can’t get much higher. In 2010 I got accidentally dosed with a sheet of “LSD” (long story) but I swear it wasn’t, some analog that was going around. . .took three days to get right. . .

  36. Gary Bridgmon Says:

    Well nothing for nothing I still would love to get some window pane,but if you can get some good peyote your in that class what I wouldn’t give to get some window pane I’m 66

  37. neil Says:

    not many people know this and its probably for the best because they would abuse it, but peyote is 100% legal in canada, it is usually shipped in the mail from bc

  38. Jim Says:

    Half life of drugs are all different but I’m sure the half life of the sandoz was met years ago if made in 1951 just saying strength goes down and that’s the only way you can judge the strength 300ug is that but if it is old not the same as new just a scientifically proven fact it’s how all drugs are judged

  39. Zeke Says:

    LSD 25 is a chemical if it is pure LSD 25 it is no better or worse than any other batch of LSD 25.

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