Woman Accidentally Snorted 550 Times 'Normal' LSD Dose Thinking It Was Cocaine

A 46-year-old woman accidentally snorted a quantity of LSD around 550 times higher than the normal recreational dose of 100 micrograms. Her experience has now become the subject of a case study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The individual—who is identified simply as "CB"—ingested a pure powdered form of the psychedelic drug thinking that it was cocaine in September 2015, ScienceAlert reported.

According to the case study, CB began realizing that something wasn't right after about 15 minutes and called her roommate to assist her.

"She started vomiting within an hour and vomited frequently for the next 12 hours," the authors reported in the paper. "Her recollection was that she sat up for this experience and mostly 'blacked out' for the first 12 hours, after which she was able to communicate."

"She felt 'pleasantly high' for the next 12 hours—with infrequent vomiting. The collateral report from the roommate revealed that she sat mostly still in a chair with her eyes either open, closed, or rolled back, frothing at the mouth, occasionally vocalizing random words and vomiting frequently," the study read.

Ten hours later, CB regained her ability to converse, went to the bathroom and seemed to be coherent again. Here roommate stayed with her for another 12 hours, after which she appeared to have returned to a "normal" state.

While the overdose itself may have been a significantly unpleasant experience, CB reported that her chronic foot pain had gone the next day.

The woman contracted Lyme disease in her early 20s and suffered subsequent damage to her feet and ankles that caused her significant pain, according to the study. Eventually doctors prescribed her with morphine, which she continually used for around a decade between 2008 and 2018.

This photo shows LSD blotter tabs on top of a U.S. quarter coin on April 12, 2017, in Washington, D.C. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Before the LSD overdose, here average use of morphine was four to six 10mg pills a day. But after the trip, she stopped using the morphine for five days without experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.

After this, however, her pain returned and CB began taking the morphine pills again, albeit only one or two per day. She also began microdosing with LSD, taking approximately 25 micrograms every three days.

She continued this routine until January 2018, when she came off the morphine and all other pain medications, feeling that her foot pain had reduced sufficiently. After stopping the morphine CB did not reportedly experience the typical withdrawal symptoms, according to the researchers.

However, she did experience an increase in anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, as well as being 'overly sensitive' to the experiences of others.

"In a 46-year-old woman, intranasal ingestion of 550 times the normal recreational dosage of LSD was not fatal and had subsequent positive effects on pain levels and subsequent morphine withdrawal," the authors concluded in the study.

"Although the effect was not sustained, she was able to reduce her morphine dose significantly with microdosing LSD and was able to come off of morphine eventually without typical withdrawal symptoms."

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in psychedelic substances and their potential to treat a range of mental health issues, such as addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

However, scientists can't conduct studies into extremely high doses of LSD in controlled environments due to the significant risk of adverse effects. Thus, the only way to gain a better understanding of LSD overdoses is to examine individual cases which have occurred in real life settings.

It is important to note that it is difficult to draw conclusions about LSD overdoses from the latest study on its own given that it is based on case reports.

Nevertheless, the findings support the findings of other research that "LSD is a remarkably non-toxic substance," Mark Haden, lead author of the study from University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health, Canada, told Newsweek.

"This report builds on the historical safety data, which observes LSD to have a low toxicity potential and adds to the rapidly expanding literature exploring the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelic medicines," the authors wrote in the study.

This article was updated to include additional information from Mark Haden.