how to test lsd

How to Test LSD

If you’re curious about exploring the benefits of LSD, more formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, for mental wellness, it’s important to know how to test LSD since it is very difficult for an individual user to be 100% certain what’s in any given dose due to the fact it currently illegal and therefore not regulated. While LSD is considered physically safe and non-addictive, with no recorded deaths due to overdose, tabs that are sold as LSD may contain other, more harmful research chemicals. Whether for a full-dose experience or for microdosing, testing your LSD is crucial for practicing harm reduction and ensuring that you are safe when exploring this psychedelic substance.

Why You Should Test Your LSD

The 25x-NBOME series is a class of research chemicals that are psychedelic phenethylamines which are often misrepresented and sold as LSD. Unlike LSD, this series of psychedelic substances has been linked to many deaths, and overdose effects typically including a dangerously high heart rate, blood pressure, hyperthermia, and significant vasoconstriction. There’s a common saying regarding LSD blotter tabs “if it’s bitter it’s a spitter”. This is because genuine blotter tabs of LSD should have little to no taste, whereas psychedelic research chemicals such as the 25x-NBOMe series carry a “metallic” or “bitter” taste that results in numbness to the mouth. However, testing with a reagent before consumption is a much safer route to determine if what you have is indeed, LSD, and not a more harmful alternative.

Luckily, test kits are both legal to purchase and very affordable. sells a variety of different drug identification kits. Today Frshimnds will be showing you how to test LSD using the Ehrlich Reagent.

Note: The methods listed below aren’t 100% conclusive. Lab analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is considered the gold standard.

Ehrlich Reagent Test Kit

This should be your primary test kit for LSD. Besides testing for LSD, this kit will detect a range of other indole alkaloids such as DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, 5-MeO-DIPT, Psilocybin, and Psilocin. LSD will turn pink/purple in 30 seconds to 3 minutes. The test kit includes:

  • Bottle with testing fluid
  • Color chart with instructions
  • Multiple-use testing vial
  • Protective storage/transport jar

Using the Test Kit:

  1. Put a small sample into the testing vial. If you’re testing paper, cut off a corner. Your sample should be about this size: (●)
  2. Hold the testing vial above the open plastic jar, so that if a drop misses the vial, it will land in the jar.
  3. Place 1-2 drops of the testing liquid from the dropper bottle onto the sample. DO NOT let the sample touch the bottle nozzle, or the reagent will get contaminated!
  4. Watch the color change over 30 sec. – 3 min. Purer samples (e.g. crystals) may yield more vivid colors than blotters (tabs).
  5. Compare the reaction color with the color chart provided.
  6. Tightly close the dropper bottle. If you’re using more than one testing fluid, make sure you only open one bottle at a time. If you accidentally switch caps, the testing liquid will get contaminated and ruined.
  7. Thoroughly wash the testing vial after each use.
  8. Store the dropper bottle in a cold place to maximize shelf life, like a freezer.

LSD Test Tips

  • If you’re testing blotter LSD or geltabs, you’ll likely see less vivid colors compared with testing something more concentrated, like a crystal. You might have to give it some time to see a color change (around 3 minutes). Yet, you will eventually see a color change if you have LSD.
  • Geltabs (small squares of gelatin containing LSD) can be tested by placing a drop or two of the test liquid on a very small amount of the geltab. Over time, a purple reaction color will appear if LSD is present. Larger gelatin samples (such as jello squares) can’t be tested. Brownies, sugar cubes, cookies etc. can’t be tested with the kit because they contain too much foreign material.
  • The testing vial that comes with the kit helps prevent your skin from contacting the reagent while testing. Extra testing vials are also great for when you’re on the go. But using a white ceramic plate can help you see the results more easily.
  • 1P-LSD, a derivative of LSD thought to have a similar safety profile, will react slowly with this test. You may only notice a color change after an 1 to 3 hours, and the purple color may be more subtle than it is with “regular LSD”.

Should I Test My Psilocybin Mushrooms as Well?

Though psilocybin mushrooms can be identified or grown and are naturally occurring, you may want to take extra precautions. Grind a small part of the mushroom to test on a white ceramic plate or in the testing vial included with your kit. For best results, test both part of the cap and the stem. Some mushrooms have low concentrations of psilocybin in the stem, but higher concentrations in the cap, and vice versa. Testing both cap and stem increases the chances of a positive result, which would be a pink/purple color with this test. The reaction is often slow with mushrooms, so allow 30 minutes or more for results to show.

While an individual’s rights to the freedom of an individual to control their own mental processes, cognition, and consciousness is important, it is also important to stay safe while doing so. If you plan on using LSD for it’s purported benefits, consider purchasing testing kits, like the ones from And if you are interested in exploring these substances to explore mental wellness, it’s advised contacting a psychedelic integration therapist beforehand via Frshminds.

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About the Author

Passionate about studying the psychedelic/mystical experience from a neuropsychological lens, Emily is a member of MAPS Canada Research Committee and graduated with an Honours BSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology from York University.  She currently leads a team of RAS with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating microdosing psilocybin for persistent depressive disorder.

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