Based on its structural similarity to LSD, 1P-LSD likely acts as a partial agonist at the 5-HT2A receptor.
The psychedelic effects are thought to primarily come from its efficacy at the 5-HT2A receptors distributed throughout the brain. 1P-LSD also likely displays binding activity at a wide range of monoamine receptors, such as those for dopamine and norepinephrine. However, there is currently no data to support these claims.
It has been theorized that 1P-LSD may act as a prodrug for LSD.
While 1P-LSD shows only 38% the potency of LSD in mice, LSD is detected via LC-MS when 1P-LSD is incubated in human serum. Follow-up studies are currently being conducted to compare the affinity and selectivity of LSD and 1P-LSD at 5-HT receptors, and to determine whether 1P-LSD is hydrolyzed to LSD in vivo. Otherwise, it is possible that 1P-LSD may be capable of exerting its own psychedelic effect.
Prior to the publishing of the above-cited research, medicinal chemist and psychedelic researcher David E. Nichols reportedly commented on the potential 1P-LSD serotonin receptor binding dynamics in private correspondence: