This rumor was told me by a very anti-drug person. A stance I agree with only lightly.

The rumor was that when you take LSD, it stores itself in your fat storage, and then returns back in 3-6 months, returning back meaning there would be another series of effects of LSD (the trip).

Is this true? I highly doubt it. However, what I don't know, if the body is processing (burning?) fat and then processing substances (such as the rumoured LSD) found in fat stores.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE.biology. I downvoted because questions based on rumours from other people don't tend to encourage speculative and non-evidence based answers. Take a read of the help-centre to find advice on how to ask a good question. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – user438383
    Feb 2, 2021 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ @user438383 This is actually a very widely-spread idea (with several variations) amongst the drug and hallucinogenic community. The version I've heard most is that it accumulates in CSF or just "the spine", however as I reference in my answer, it's not true. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Feb 2, 2021 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ @user438383 I haven't found much evidence on the web about this, so I had to ask here. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2021 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ @TimotejLeginus showing a little research would probably keep your question from being closed. Alternatively you may want to drop this question the skeptic stack, urban legends like this area better fit there. I know a lot of scientists who believe this urban legend, until today myself included, so it deserves a little attention. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 4, 2021 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @TimotejLeginus a scientist outside their specialty is not much better than a layman, and paleontology does not involve much pharmacology. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 4, 2021 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


I've heard this rumor for years, both from pro- and anti-drug people, and it is not true. According to this review of LSD's pharmacology, its half-life in the body is about 5 hours, with it being completely cleared within about 15-28 hours. There is no evidence that it accumulates long-term in fat, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or anywhere else in any pharmacologically significant quantity.

"The Pharmacology of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: A Review" CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Winter; 14(4): 295–314. PMID: 19040555 DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00059.x

  • $\begingroup$ My guess is that flashbacks are almost or entirely psychological, where the brain and the rest of the CNS somehow gets triggered in a similar way that acid does. Also, hallucinations can occur in a number of severe psychiatric diseases, independently of past drug use, so that likely has a role, too. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Feb 2, 2021 at 20:50

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