Generally, the only legal way to ingest LSD in the US is to participate in FDA-approved clinical trials. But, these are rare and not open to everyone. While LSD psychotherapy was more common in the 1950s, it is currently illegal, though we hope this will change.

There are underground, black market sources—both online and offline —that sell LSD. Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicine offers step-by-step instructions for navigating the Dark Web. Since the counterculture revolutions of the 60s, music and art festivals have attracted LSD “vendors” (illegal, of course.) Asking around at these events will likely lead you to them, though you may only find people selling MDMA or ketamine.

A safer option is to be part of a community of people who use psychedelics safely and responsibly. An excellent way to do this is to get involved with a local psychedelic society or club. For legal reasons, such organizations can’t direct you on how to get LSD or give you a referral to an illegal source. But their events are a great way to connect with other people who share your interests, and they can offer experienced-based safety advice. The most comprehensive list of psychedelic community groups we know of is the Psychedelic Community Airtable list.

That said, having face-to-face contact with people isn’t the only way that LSD changes hands. There’s always the Internet.


Yes. It’s possible to buy something labeled as LSD online, either as blotters, gelatin “window panes”, or liquid. This activity can result in a range of outcomes, including:

  •  Purchasing some actual LSD
  • Buying something that isn’t LSD
  • Paying money for something that never arrives

The last of these, where the sale is a scam, is more common on the open (regular) Internet. Running a website and taking PayPal payments is not the most untraceable activity and eventually attracts official attention. So, if someone is selling illegal substances openly on the web, there is a higher chance that it’s a scam and that you’ll be throwing your money away.

People claiming to be selling LSD through social media, who often pop up in the comments under psychedelic-related posts, present a similar risk. They might be reliable, or they might take your cash and disappear.

It can be challenging to know where to begin or which sources you can trust. That’s why we compiled our tips and resources into the Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines.


Since regular websites and social media aren’t always helpful, many buyers of LSD have turned to what’s known as the Dark Web. While this sounds foreboding, this is just the name for all the websites that aren’t indexed by any search engines and are not linked to from anywhere else on the everyday “surface” Internet.

Even though large darknet markets, such as Silk Road, are eventually shut down by authorities, they remain popular. Buyers get anonymous access to Amazon-style websites where customers review vendors. This review mechanism results in products that have more consistent quality. Vendors get access to more customers, with less chance of being caught by law enforcement or mixed up in criminal-related violence.

Accessing darknet markets requires specialized software, most commonly The Onion Router (Tor). People also use PGP/GPG encryption tools to encrypt messages, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or Monero to pay for their purchases. Secure operating systems, such as Tails, may also help keep sensitive details off personal devices. If you don’t know what any of these things are, you aren’t quite ready to go on the dark web. Good places to start learning about these tools and the dark web include the subreddits r/TOR and r/darknet.

Once you have a handle on the technical details, the main things to keep in mind are relatively common sense. Use escrow services, research vendor ratings carefully, be patient, and do not cut corners on security.

While the nature of the dark web and the tools people use to access it mean that being caught buying and selling illegal substances is less likely, it is never impossible. With sufficient effort, authorities can sidestep anonymity tools such as Tor, and many cryptocurrency transactions are traceable, especially if buyers or sellers do not follow the correct steps.

Even if it comes from highly-rated darknet vendors, the purity and safety of what you’re buying can rarely be verified with any degree of certainty. It’s best to use a testing kit or drug-checking service for LSD, MDMA, or any other substance you buy from an unverified source. This uncertainty neatly brings us to the next important safety consideration.

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