|Summary sheet: ALD-52|
|Common names||ALD-52, 1-Acetyl-LSD, 1A-LSD, 1A-LAD, "Orange Sunshine"|
|Routes of Administration|
1-Acetyl-N,N-diethyllysergamide (also known as ALD-52, 1-Acetyl-LSD, 1A-LSD, 1A-LAD, and mistakenly as Orange Sunshine) is a lesser-known psychedelic substance of the lysergamide class that produces LSD-like psychedelic effects when administered. It is structurally related to psychedelic lysergamides like LSD and 1P-LSD and is reported to produce largely indistinguishable effects.
ALD-52 was originally discovered by Albert Hofmann in his study of LSD analogs, but it did not enter mainstream awareness until the 1960s Western youth counterculture. ALD-52 gained public notoriety when it was supposedly distributed as LSD in the 1960s under the now-famous name "Orange Sunshine." This was later disproven (see section below).
Alexander Shulgin touches briefly on the subject of ALD-52 in the commentary section of LSD-25 in the book TiHKAL ("Tryptamines I have Known and Loved"). His writings are based on second-hand accounts which state that doses in the 50-175 µg range result in various effects that are not particularly distinct from LSD. His reports indicate that it produces less visual distortion than with LSD as well as less anxiety and tenseness, while also being somewhat less potent than LSD. Another report found the two substances to be indistinguishable.
As with LSD itself, ALD-52 does not meet the criteria to be considered addictive or toxic by the scientific community. Nevertheless, unpredictable adverse reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, delusions and psychosis are always possible, particularly among those who are predisposed to psychiatric disorders. While these negative reactions or "bad trips" can often be attributed to factors like user inexperience or improper preparation of set and setting, they are known to happen spontaneously among even highly experienced users as well. It is highly advised to approach this very potent, long-lasting hallucinogenic substance with the proper amount of preparation, and harm reduction practices if using it.
History and culture
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In 1968 and 1969, a famous batch of LSD known as "Orange Sunshine" was synthesized by Nick Sands and Tim Scully and made widely available in California. This "Orange Sunshine" was long held by the hippie generation to be ALD-52 until 2005, when it was revealed by Nick Sands that "Orange Sunshine" was just a particularly well made batch of LSD dosed at 300 micrograms per unit. This was confirmed by Tim Scully in a 2017 Reddit AMA, where Scully explained that the claim that "Orange Sunshine" was technically not LSD arose from an "ill-advised desperate defense strategy that failed miserably" during his trial for LSD manufacture.
ALD-52, or 1-Acetyl-N,N-diethyllysergamide, is a semisynthethic molecule of the lysergamide chemical class. ALD-52 is a substituted derivative of lysergic acid. ALD-52's structure contains four rings, a bicyclic hexahydroindole fused to a bicyclic quinoline group. This core structure of ALD-52 is an ergoline derivative, and has tryptamine and phenethylamine structures embedded within it. ALD-52 contains a N,N-diethylcarboxamide functional group bound to R8 of the chemical structure. It is additionally substituted at carbon 6 with a methyl group.
ALD-52 is homologous to 1P-LSD, which contains a propionyl group bound to CH3CO- instead of the acetyl group bound to the same location. It is unknown how these differences account for differences in the two compound's activity.
ALD-52 likely acts as a 5-HT2A partial agonist. The psychedelic effects are believed to come from ALD-52's efficacy at the 5-HT2A receptors. ALD-52, alongside with 1P-LSD, is believed to act as a prodrug to LSD, though it is unclear as to whether it is capable of exerting its own effects.
Reports from many users suggest that the effects of ALD-52 are virtually identical to LSD. In comparison to other psychedelics such as psilocin, LSA and ayahuasca, ALD-52 is significantly more stimulating and fast-paced regarding the specific style of its physical and cognitive effects, as is the case with other lysergamides.
Anecdotal reports from many users suggest that the effects of ALD-52 are virtually identical to LSD. In comparison to other psychedelics such as psilocin, LSA and ayahuasca, ALD-52 is significantly more stimulating and fast-paced regarding the specific style of its physical and cognitive effects, as is the case with other lysergamides.
Anecdotal reports from the community tend to report ALD-52 as being slightly less potent and visual, with a mellower, less anxiety-provoking headspace that comes at the expense of less depth, giving it the reputation for being a more recreational variant of LSD. It has been speculated that this is due to a slightly extended, less jarring come up period that allows the user to become more acclimated to the changes in head space. As one increases the dose, it is reported to lose this character and converge with the effects of a high-dose LSD experience.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.
It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.
- Stimulation - In terms of its effects on the physical energy levels of the user, ALD-52 produces stimulating effects similar to LSD. This is in distinction to other, more commonly used psychedelics such as psilocybin which are more consistent in producing sedation and relaxedness.
- Spontaneous physical sensations - The "body high" of ALD-52 can be characterized as proportionally very intense in comparison to its accompanying visual and cognitive effects. It behaves as a euphoric, fast-moving, sharp and location specific tingling sensation. For some, it is manifested spontaneously at different, unpredictable points throughout the trip, but for most, it maintains a steady presence that rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached. At moderate to high doses of ALD-52, this sensation often approaches its highest level and can become so overwhelming that people may find themselves writhing on the floor in pleasure.
- Tactile enhancement - Feelings of enhanced tactile sensations are consistently present at moderate levels throughout most ALD-52 trips. If level 8A geometry is reached, an intense sensation of suddenly becoming aware of and being able to feel every single nerve ending across a person's entire body all at once is consistently present.
- Changes in felt bodily form - This effect is often accompanied by a sense of warmth or unity and usually occurs during and up to the peak of the experience or directly afterwards. Users can feel as if they are physically part of or conjoined with other objects. This is usually reported as feeling comfortable in its sensations and even peaceful.
- Perception of bodily lightness
- Nausea - Mild nausea is occasionally reported when consumed in moderate to high dosages and either passes instantly soon after the user has vomited or gradually fades by itself as the peak sets in.
- Stamina enhancement - This is generally mild in comparison to the stamina enhancement produced by traditional stimulants.
- Bodily control enhancement
- Appetite suppression
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased perspiration
- Muscle contractions
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty urinating
- Excessive yawning - This effect is significantly less pronounced than it is with psilocybin and its related compounds, the four-position substituted tryptamines.
- Pupil dilation
- Increased salivation
- Seizure - Although no cases of ALD-52 induced seizures have been documented, it is likely to have a similar seizure risk as LSD. LSD is believed to lower the seizure threshold, although seizures are very rarely reported and believed to only be a risk to those who are predisposed to them, particularly in combination with physically taxing conditions such as dehydration, undernourishment, overheating, or general fatigue.
- Colour enhancement - In comparison to other psychedelics, this effect is often reported to be brighter but not as varied in its character.
- Pattern recognition enhancement
- Visual acuity enhancement
- Drifting (melting, breathing, morphing and flowing) - In comparison to other psychedelics, this effect can be described as highly detailed and cartoon-like in its appearance. The distortions are slow and smooth in motion and fleeting in appearance.
- Colour shifting
- Depth perception distortions
- Perspective distortions
- Symmetrical texture repetition
The visual geometry encountered on ALD-52 can be described as more similar in appearance to that of 2C-B or 2C-I than psilocin, LSA or DMT. It can be comprehensively described through its variations as primarily intricate in complexity, algorithmic in form, unstructured in organization, brightly lit, colourful in scheme, synthetic in feel, multicoloured in scheme, flat in shading, sharp in edges, large in size, fast in speed, smooth in motion, angular in its corners, non-immersive in-depth and consistent in intensity.
ALD-52 is capable of producing a full range of low and high level hallucinatory states in a fashion that is significantly less consistent and reproducible than that of many other commonly used psychedelics, specifically tryptamines like DMT or psilocybin mushrooms. These effects include:
- Internal hallucination (autonomous entities; settings, sceneries, and landscapes; perspective hallucinations and scenarios and plots) - Although ALD-52 is technically capable of producing hallucinatory states in a fashion that is on par with psilocin or DMT in its vividness and intensity, these effects are incredibly rare and inconsistent in comparison. While traditional psychedelics such as LSA, ayahuasca and mescaline will induce internal hallucinations near consistently at level 5 geometry and above, ALD-52 will for most simply go straight into Level 8A visual geometry. This lack of consistently induced hallucinatory breakthroughs means that for most, ALD-52 is simply not as deep of an experience as certain other psychedelics. On the rare occasion that they are induced, however, they can be comprehensively described in terms of their variations as lucid in believability, interactive in style, new experiences in content, autonomous in controllability and geometry-based in appearance.
- External hallucination (autonomous entities; settings, sceneries, and landscapes; perspective hallucinations and scenarios and plots)
The cognitive effects of ALD-52 can be broken down into several components which progressively intensify proportional to dosage. In comparison to other psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSA and ayahuasca, ALD-52 is significantly more stimulating and fast-paced in terms of the specific style of thought streams produced and contains a large number of potential effects that is attributed to its binding activity at a wide range of monoamine receptors other than serotonin, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine.
The most prominent of these cognitive effects generally include:
- Analysis enhancement - This effect is consistent in its manifestation and introspection dominant.
- Anxiety & Paranoia - These effects are reported to be not as common at low to moderate doses and is less likely to occur when the basic rules of set and setting are taken into account. It should be noted that this inconsistently induced effect is seemingly more likely to manifest when used with cannabis. ALD-52 is often reported as producing less anxiety, particularly during the come up phase, relative to LSD.
- Conceptual thinking
- Creativity enhancement
- Cognitive euphoria - This component is, generally speaking less consistent and pronounced than it is with substances like psilocybin and MDMA. The mental euphoria experienced on LSD is usually simply due to an enhancement of the user’s current psychological and emotional state coupled with its more regularly occurring effect, physical euphoria.
- Déjà vu
- Ego replacement
- Emotion enhancement
- Focus enhancement - This effect is experienced exclusively on low or threshold dosages and feels less forced than it does with stimulants.
- Immersion enhancement
- Increased libido
- Increased music appreciation
- Memory suppression
- Multiple thought streams
- Novelty enhancement
- Personal bias suppression
- Personal meaning enhancement
- Personality regression
- Simultaneous emotions
- Suggestibility enhancement
- Thought acceleration
- Thought disorganization
- Thought loops
- Time distortion
- Synaesthesia - In its fullest manifestation, this is a very rare and non-reproducible effect. Increasing the dosage can increase the likelihood of this occurring, but seems to only be a prominent part of the experience among those who are already predisposed to synaesthetic states.
- Alcohol - Alcohol's central depressant effects can counteract some of the anxiety and bodily tension produced by ALD-52. However, alcohol can cause dehydration, nausea and physical fatigue which can negatively impact the tone of the trip. Users are advised to pace themselves and drink a portion of their usual amount.
- Benzodiazepines - Benzodiazepines are highly effective at reducing the intensity of ALD-52's effects through the general suppression of brain activity.
- Cannabis - Cannabis strongly intensifies the sensory and cognitive effects of ALD-52. Extreme caution is advised when using this combination as it can significantly increase the chances of a negative psychological reaction like anxiety, confusion and psychosis. Users are advised to start off with only a fraction of their usual cannabis dose and take long breaks between hits to avoid over intake.
- Dissociatives - ALD-52 enhances the cognitive, visual and general hallucinatory effects of dissociatives. Dissociative-induced holes, spaces, and voids and internal hallucinations become more vivid and intense on ALD-52. These effects correspond with an increased risk of confusion, delusions, and psychosis.
- MDMA - ALD-52 and MDMA are highly synergistic and mutually enhance each other's physical, cognitive, and visual effects. The synergy between these substances is unpredictable so it is advised to start with markedly lower doses than one would take for each individually. There is some evidence that suggests that co-administration of LSD with MDMA increases the neurotoxicity of the latter, and this may extend to A and this may extend to ALD-52.
Anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index include:
- Experience: 100ug ALD-52 - Nice weekend trip
- Experience: 160ug ALD-52 - Heart racing
- Experience: 25ug ALD-52 - Untitled
- Experience:ALD-52 - Insomnia cure attempt
Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational ALD-52 use do not appear to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dose is unknown. This is because ALD-52 is a research chemical with a very limited history of human use.
Anecdotal evidence from people within the community who have tried ALD-52 suggests that there are no negative health effects attributed to simply trying the drug by itself at low to moderate doses and using it very sparingly (although nothing can be completely guaranteed). Independent research should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.
As with other psychedelic substances, there are relatively few physical side effects that have been reported associated with acute ALD-52 exposure. Although no formal studies have been conducted, it is likely that as with LSD itself, ALD-52 is able to be considered non-addictive, with an extremely low toxicity relative to dose. It is also likely that as with LSD, there are little to no negative physical, cognitive, psychiatric or other toxic consequences associated with acute ALD-52 exposure.
However, as with LSD and psychedelics in general, it is possible that ALD-52 can act as a potential trigger for those with underlying psychiatric conditions. Those with a personal or family history of mental illness are generally advised not to use this substance, particularly outside of a supervised medical setting.
It is strongly recommended that one uses harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and addiction potential
Although no formal studies have been conducted, it is not unreasonable to assume that like LSD itself, ALD-52 is not habit-forming and that the desire to use it can actually decrease with use.
Tolerance to the effects of ALD-52 is built almost immediately after ingestion. After that, it takes about 5-7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 14 days to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). ALD-52 presents cross-tolerance with all psychedelics, meaning that after the use of ALD-52 all psychedelics will have a reduced effect.
The LD50 of ALD-52 is unknown. Adverse psychological reactions are common especially at higher doses. Some of these include anxiety, delusions, panic attacks and more rarely seizures. Medical attention is usually only needed if suspected of severe psychotic episodes or “fake acid” (such as 25i-NBOMe or DOB). Administration of benzodiazepines or antipsychotics can help to relieve the negative cognitive effects.
Disclaimer: Psychoactive substances that are reasonably safe to use on their own can suddenly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The following list includes some known dangerous interactions (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them).
Independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo) should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- Lithium - Lithium is commonly prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder. There is a large body of anecdotal evidence that suggests taking it with psychedelics significantly increases the risk of psychosis and seizures. As a result, this combination is strictly discouraged.
- Cannabis - Cannabis may have an unexpectedly strong and unpredictable synergy with the effects of ALD-52. Caution is advised with this combination as it can significantly increase the risk of adverse psychological reactions like anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and psychosis. Users are advised to start off with only a fraction of their normal cannabis dose and take long breaks between hits to avoid unintentional overdose.
- Stimulants - Stimulants like amphetamine, cocaine or methylphenidate affect many parts of the brain and alter dopaminergic function. This combination can increase the risk of anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and thought loops. This interaction may also result in an elevated risk of mania and psychosis.
- Tramadol - Tramadol is well-documented to lower the seizure threshold and psychedelics may act to trigger seizures in susceptible individuals.
ALD-52 is currently a gray area compound within many parts of the world. This means that it is not known to be specifically illegal within most countries, but people may still be charged for its possession under certain circumstances such as under analog laws and with the intent to sell or consume.
- Austria: ALD-52 is technically not illegal but it may fall in the NPSG (Neue-Psychoaktive-Substanzen-Gesetz Österreich) as an analogue of LSD.
- Denmark: ALD-52 is not listed as an illegal substance in Denmark, and its chemical class 'lysergamide' is not banned under the Analogue Act (Some LSD analogues are, however, prohibited).
- Germany: ALD-52 is controlled under the NpSG (New Psychoactive Substances Act) as of July 18, 2019. Production and import with the aim to place it on the market, administration to another person and trading is punishable. Possession is illegal but not penalized.
- Latvia: ALD-52 is illegal in Latvia. Although it isn't officially scheduled, it is controlled as an LSD structural analog due to an amendment made on June 1, 2015.
- Poland: ALD-52 is a NPS class drug in Poland, making it illegal to possess or distribute.
- Singapore: ALD-52 is a Class A controlled substance.
- Switzerland: ALD-52 is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis E.
- United Kingdom: As of January 7, 2015, ALD-52 is specifically named in the U.K. Misuse of Drugs Act as a Class A controlled substance..
- United States: ALD-52 is unscheduled in the United States. It may be considered an analogue of LSD, a Schedule I controlled substanceunder the Controlled Substances Act. As such, the sale for human consumption or the use for illicit non-medical or scientific research could be prosecuted as crimes under the Federal Analogue Act.
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