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What Is AL-LAD?

6-allyl-6-nor-LSD, more commonly known as AL-LAD, is a psychedelic drug with similar properties to LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide). It was first synthesized in 1976 and has become a popular drug in the ‘research chemicals’ and ‘new psychoactive substances’ market. AL-LAD produces a psychoactive “trip” very comparable to an LSD trip.

AL-LAD started being used recreationally in Ireland and the UK. It was featured in the 1997 book TIHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) by Alexander Shulgin. Consequently, the drug’s popularity has spread internationally. Now, people all around the world are experimenting with the drug, including the United States.

AL-LAD's legal status is a bit ambiguous. It is not scheduled as a controlled substance at the federal level in the U.S. However, it can be considered an analog of LSD — meaning that sales or possession with intent for human consumption may result in prosecution under the Federal Analogue Act.

Difference between AL-LAD and LSD

AL-LAD on blotter paper

AL-LAD is an analog of LSD. This means the main structures of the drugs are similar, but a chemical component has been altered in some way. This is a standard procedure in the field of ‘research chemicals.’ The results are often tested on animals before humans to study the effects.

In 1984, Hoffman and Nichols investigated LSD alternatives. Consequently, they created AL-LAD. Alexander Shulgin documented the drug’s effects on humans in his 1997 book TIHKAL, which increased its popularity.

People who have taken both LSD and AL-LAD say that the effects of both last for about 6 to 10 hours. However, AL-LAD trips are less intense. Users report a similar amount of visual hallucinations while enjoying clearer thinking abilities.

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Effects of an AL-LAD Trip

AL-LAD trips mimic LSD trips in most ways. Users ingest the drug orally, often via blotter papers. Therefore, effects typically set in twenty minutes to one hour after consumption. Users will experience:

  • Stimulation or increased energy
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Heightened senses
  • Visual distortions
  • Hallucinations

Despite being described as less intense than acid, AL-LAD is certainly capable of producing adverse effects such as anxiety, dysphoria, and negative thought loops.

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AL-LAD Side Effects and Risk Factors

Possible adverse effects of AL-LAD use include:

  • Difficulty thinking or focusing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fluctuations in body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Appetite suppression
  • Delusions
  • Negative thought loops
  • Vasoconstriction (tightening of blood vessels)
  • Seizures

LSD is one of the most researched psychedelic drugs. However, despite the label ‘research drug,’ there is very little actual scientific research into AL-LAD. This means that the list of short-term effects may not be comprehensive. In addition, there is little to no research on the long-term effects of the drug.

Prolonged hallucinogen abuse may result in a number of adverse side effects. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is an illness in which a person experiences spontaneous flashbacks of visual distortions or hallucinations. This chronic disorder has been reported in users of many hallucinogenics, including LSD, mushrooms, and DMT.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that psychedelic drugs can cause psychosis in individuals with a prior history of mental illness. It is unknown if the use of hallucinogens itself can cause persistent psychosis. But people who suffer from mental health disorders should be extremely cautious or abstain from the use of psychedelic drugs such as AL-LAD.

Is AL-LAD Addictive?

AL-LAD is a relatively new drug. Therefore, there have been no conclusive scientific studies to determine whether AL-LAD is addictive or not. It is not unreasonable to think that it will be considered nonaddictive, along with LSD. However, AL-LAD does present cross-tolerance with other psychedelics, meaning that regular doses will not achieve the same effect in people that use the drug repeatedly.

Additionally, AL-LAD may amplify the effects of other drugs consumed simultaneously. This could be especially dangerous if you combine AL-LAD with a drug that increases the risk of seizures such as cocaine or tramadol.

Treatment for AL-LAD Abuse

If you or someone you know is suffering due to AL-LAD abuse, there are numerous treatment options that can lead you toward recovery. While there are no current known medical treatments for HPPD or other disorders caused by AL-LAD, there are numerous centers that can help. Some of the most common treatment types for AL-LAD abuse include:

Please reach out to a professional if you or someone you care about is suffering due to AL-LAD abuse.

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Resources

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Brandt, Simon D et al. “Return of the lysergamides. Part II: Analytical and behavioural characterization of N6 -allyl-6-norlysergic acid diethylamide (AL-LAD) and (2'S,4'S)-lysergic acid 2,4-dimethylazetidide (LSZ).” Drug testing and analysis vol. 9,1 (2017): 38-50., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27265891/

Hermle, Leo et al. “Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder.” Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology vol. 2,5 (2012): 199-205. doi:10.1177/2045125312451270, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-psychiatry/article/hallucinogen-persisting-perception-disorder-after-psilocybin-consumption-a-case-study/D83282CF83EC03B818B2985C775FD537

Paparelli, Alessandra et al. “Drug-induced psychosis: how to avoid star gazing in schizophrenia research by looking at more obvious sources of light.” Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience vol. 5 1. 17 Jan. 2011, doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00001, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49785776_Drug-Induced_Psychosis_How_to_Avoid_Star_Gazing_in_Schizophrenia_Research_by_Looking_at_More_Obvious_Sources_of_Light

Hoffman, Andrew J., and David E. Nichols. "Synthesis and LSD-like Discriminative Stimulus Properties in a Series of N(6)-alkyl Norlysergic Acid N,N-diethylamide Derivatives." Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 28.9 (1985): 1252-255. Print., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4032428/

Brandt, Simon D., Kavanagh, Pierce V. et al. “Return of the lysergamides. Part II: Analytical and behavioural characterization of N6 -allyl-6-norlysergic acid diethylamide (AL-LAD) and (2'S,4'S)-lysergic acid 2,4-dimethylazetidide (LSZ).” Drug testing and analysis vol. 9,1 (2017): 38-50., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27265891/

Watts, V J et al. “LSD and structural analogs: pharmacological evaluation at D1 dopamine receptors.” Psychopharmacology vol. 118,4 (1995): 401-9. doi:10.1007/BF02245940, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7568626/

Erowid. "Introduction to the Federal Controlled Substance Analogue Act." Erowid Analog Law Vault : Federal Controlled Substance Analogue Act Summary. Jan. 2001. Web., https://erowid.org/psychoactives/law/law_fed_analog_act.shtml

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