AL-LAD Legality: Is This Drug A Controlled Substance?

Last Updated: July 6, 2021

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

AL-LAD is a lesser-known substance in the mold of similar hallucinogens/psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Both are, in fact, quite similar, showing similar side effects and mechanisms of action.

Due to the limited amount of research available about the substance, there is a shortage of information about AL-LAD legality across the world. However, this article seeks to answer some of the most common questions that one may have about the drug. Possible physical/mental side effects, AL-LAD legality in some countries, and the history of the substance are some of the topics discussed in the article.

What is AL-LAD?

AL-LAD drug or 6-allyl-6-nor-LSD is a hallucinogen that belongs to the lysergic chemical class. As a member of that class of substances, it produces effects like LSD and, chemically, has a similar molecule shape and structure. To put it clearer, it is a 6-alkylated analog of nor-LSD.

The first proper research on this substance was done by Andrew J. Hoffman and David Nichols in 1984. The research was not a standalone one – it was done in conjunction with a series of LSD analogs (including ETH-LAD and PRO-LAD).

Further research carried out on the AL-LAD drug – this time by Alexander Shulgin – was done to discover the activity of the substance in humans. The findings were documented in his book titled “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved.”

As suggested earlier, the effects of 6-allyl-6-nor-LSD on humans are quite similar to that of LSD. It is generally seen to be just as potent or only a little bit less potent with an active dose.

The drug is known to have a shorter duration of activity in the body and is less likely to invoke anxiety than LSD. More differences between the two are further discussed later on in this article.

Due to the relatively low recognition that the substance has, AL-LAD legality status is not completely clear in many parts of the world. This means that it is not specifically classified as legal or illegal. However, people can still get charged for possession with the intent to sell or consume under certain circumstances, even in countries where it is not illegal.

The information available about AL-LAD legality in the USA and other countries around the world is described below.

Country Status
Austria AL-LAD is not specifically classified as illegal but it is likely to be classified as an analog of LSD which would make it covered by the Analogue Act.
Australia The same applies for Australia – the substance is likely covered by analog laws.
Canada Unscheduled in Canada
Denmark The substance was on the list of illegal substances as of August 2015.
Germany As of July 2019, AL-LAD is controlled under the “New Psychoactive Substances Act”. This makes it illegal and punishable by law to produce or import the substance with the aim to trade with it. Possession is also illegal, but may not be penalized.
Latvia The substance is also illegal in Latvia – albeit not officially scheduled. This is so because it falls under the LSD structural analog amendment of June 2015
Romania It is included in the analog act for Romania, but not directly in the list of controlled substances. It is still illegal though.
Sweden 6-allyl-6-nor-LSD was made illegal in 2016 here, following sales as a designer drug. The Riksdag added the substance to the Narcotic Drugs Punishments Act under Swedish schedule I (plant materials, fungi, and substances that normally have no medical use) and it was published by the Medical Products Agency in regulation HSLF-FS 2015:35.
Switzerland It is illegal in Switzerland and was made so alongside 20 other substances on December 1, 2015.
Turkey Made illegal in February 2016
United Kingdom Named in the U.K Misuse of Drugs Act as Class A controlled substance in January 2015. This was in response to a recommendation by the U.K Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in June 2014.
United States Unscheduled in the U.S, but controlled under the Federal Analogue Act which makes it illegal to possess and/or consume. The offense is punishable by prosecution under that act.

AL-LAD History At A Glance

Available information about the known history of AL-LAD is limited, much like research about the substance itself. Following the investigation of Hoffman and Nichols in 1984 on LSD alternatives and the research on its effects on humans documented by Alexander Shulgin in his book “TIHKAL” in 1997, the substance officially entered the research chemical market around 2013.

In 2015, the EMCDDA reported the presence of AL-LAD drugs in the European drug market for the first time. This was around the same period where laws were put in place to restrict the use, abuse, and trading of the substance in European countries such as Latvia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

As of 2017, AL-LAD was still being sold alongside other lysergamide research chemicals.

AL-LAD: Side Effects And Risks

Like any other drug, it has negative side effects. These can be categorized into different types: physical and mental.

The Physical Side Effects of AL-LAD are as Follows:

  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Appetite suppression
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Increased perspiration
  • Muscle spasms
  • Goosebumps
  • High heart rate
  • Vasoconstriction (the constriction of the blood vessels)
  • Laughter fits
  • Seizures
  • Temperature Regulation Suppression

Possible mental side effects are as follows:

  • Thought loops
  • Delusions
  • Deja vu
  • Difficulties with thinking and focusing
  • Wakefulness
  • Time distortion
  • Memory suppression
  • Hallucinations

In some cases, users report unusual body sensations, such as tremors and a long-lasting stabbing-like pressure in the head. As a result, there are some negative mental effects related to changes in cognition. People have also reported irrational fear and panic attacks, close to a “madhouse.”

Don’t forget that bad trips are always a risk. Strangely enough, some experienced users with LSD and other psychedelics say that things become cartoon-like and difficult to handle.

AL-LAD vs. LSD

In a study conducted to see the differences in results between users of LSD and LSD analogs, users reported a modal duration of effect of 8 hours for both types of substances. During this period, the peak period was within the first two hours for both.

The only metric to be a significant difference in an AL-LAD vs. LSD comparison was in the users’ perspective about the risk of harm following the use of either substance.

The majority believed that there is a higher risk with LSD use than analogs – although both have a low rating in that regard. It is worth noting that this information is based on anecdotal reports from the study, and as such, should be treated as subjective. The responses of different people may vary.

AL-LAD Drug Interactions

  • Cannabis: Anecdotal evidence suggests it amplifies the physical effects of whatever it is taken with. For instance, when taken with cannabis, it amplifies the visual and cognitive effects of both drugs. It can also amplify anxiety, confusion, and psychosis.
  • Tramadol: It is also advisable to avoid tramadol when using AL-LAD, as tramadol lowers the threshold for seizures while AL-LAD can cause them.
  • Lithium: should be avoided for similar reasons as tramadol.
  • Alcohol: interaction with alcohol increases the risk of dehydration, nausea, and physical fatigue.
  • Stimulants: such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, and cocaine can alter the dopaminergic function of the brain when interacting with AL-LAD. This can cause anxiety, paranoia, thought loops, panic attacks, psychosis, and mania.
Woman having panic attack.

AL-LAD Overdose

The toxicity and lethal doses are unknown because it is a new drug with very little research conducted into it. However, one can identify an overdose when some of these signs begin to show severely:

  • Delusions
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures

An overdose of AL-LAD requires urgent medical attention. Attendants would typically administer antipsychotics and benzodiazepines to manage the negative effects of the substance. Failure to get the right type of treatment urgently can lead to permanent damage.

AL-LAD Addiction and Treatment

Available information about the addiction potential of AL-LAD is anecdotal. However, based on the fact that LSD itself is not easily habit-forming, one can surmise that the same applies to AL-LAD.

However, in cases where signs of addiction are noticed, there are various treatment options that can help with recovery.

Common Options Include:

If you or a loved one are suffering due to AL-LAD abuse, it is crucial to seek treatment from a professional as soon as possible.

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Page Sources

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  2. Brandt S. D., Kavanagh P. V., Westphal F., 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. 2017; 9(1):38–50. doi:10.1002/dta.1985. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5411264/
  3. Blumenberg, A., & Hendrickson, R. G. (2020). A letter reporting a case of fatal ventricular dysrhythmia associated with the LSD analog AL-LAD. Clinical Toxicology, 58(2), 143-145. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15563650.2019.1609685?journalCode=ictx20
  4. Coney, L. D., Maier, L. J., Ferris, J. A., Winstock, A. R., & Barratt, M. J. (2017). Genie in a blotter: A comparative study of LSD and LSD analogues' effects and user profile. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 32(3), e2599. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.2599
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Published on: April 7th, 2017

Updated on: July 6th, 2021

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.