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LSA
Basics
by Erowid
DESCRIPTION #
LSA (d-lysergic acid amide) is a naturally occurring psychedelic with a structure similar to that of LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide). Common sources of LSA include the Hawaiian baby woodrose vine (Argyreia nervosa) and various morning glories (Ipomoea species--most often Ipomoea violacea--and Turbina corymbosa), particularly the seeds of these plants. The potency of LSA is between one-tenth and one-twentieth of LSD. It is most often taken orally, although rectal and sublingual administration have both been reported. Pure LSA is not widely sold for recreational use, and the compound is most commonly extracted in small batches for personal use. It produces effects similar to those of LSD, including visuals and altered thinking. Less stimulating that LSD, it can actually be sedating, particularly at higher doses. Nausea and stomach pain have been reported by users who obtain LSA by extraction from plant sources, although these side-effects may be caused in part by other chemicals that such plants may contain.
The majority of LSA users have extracted LSA on their own, or simply consumed the source plant seeds. Consumption of whole seeds has been reported as being ineffective, so users most often chew or grind up the seeds. Due to lack of research with pure LSA, reliable information about mass-per-average-dose is not available. When considered in terms of number of seeds from source plants, an average starting dose is typically 4-5 Argyreia nervosa seeds or 20-25 Ipomoea violacea seeds. However, it is worth noting that one researcher found an over ten-fold variation in the alkaloid content of the seeds he tested, with some seeds containing no LSA at all.1
Price #
Pure LSA is essentially absent from the black market. Plant materials that naturally contain LSA are fairly inexpensive. As of November 2012, Ipomoea violacea seed packets containing 50-150 seeds each could be purchases for around $2.00, a once-ounce packet of these seeds sold for around $4.00 to $6.00, and a one-pound seed sack could be had for $20.00 to $40.00. Argyreia nervosa could be purchased for around $10.00 for 30-50 seeds, or about $300 per kilo of seeds. Prices may vary depending on the seeds' country of origin (A. nervosa are generally sourced from Ghana, Hawaii, and India), as well as the targeted buyer (since some specialty companies marketing toward entheobotanical aficionados appear to charge more).
LSA is categorized as a Schedule III depressant in the United States. It is a Class A substance within the United Kingdom, where it is categorized as a precursor to LSD. In New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands, LSA is also subject to controlled substance laws. Other countries, such as Canada and Hungary, do not consider LSA to be illegal. The source plants are not widely controlled.
d-lysergic acid amide (LSA) is an erogline alkaloid that naturally occurs in several species of plants and fungi.
Pharmacology #
Pharmacology Summary Needed.
Production #
LSA was first described in 1932 as a new base obtained as a cleavage product of ergot alkaloids, and it was later synthesized at Sandoz labs by Albert Hofmann. Although LSA can be produced synthetically in a lab, it is more commonly extracted from plant sources. Many people merely grind the seeds of a source plant and perform a simple water extraction. Since this process can also extract other water-soluble chemicals that may be present in the plant material, other users employ more sophisticated methods that result in a product with higher purity.
History #
Albert Hofmann first bioassayed the LSA he synthesized in 1947, injecting 500 micrograms intramuscularly. He noted the experience produced slight nausea and caused him to feel "Tired, dreamy, [and] incapable of clear thoughts. "2 Seeds of LSA-containing source plants have been distributed and used recreationally in the United States since the 1960s.
Terminology / Slang #
The Substance:
LSA; LAA; LA-111; Devil's Acid; Morning Glory; Utopian Bliss Balls (said to be a mixture of five ground Argyreia nervosa seeds mixed with ginseng, damiana, gotu kola, bee pollen, and dates).
The first signs of alteration are usually experienced within 25 minutes of administration. Departure from baseline can vary depending on the extraction method used as well as the mode of administration. Early alerts typically include a softening of the visual field and brightening of colors. Stomach pains, nausea, or vomiting are often reported in waves of intensity beginning as early as 20 minutes after ingestion and in some cases can last until baseline has been reached again.
Onset #
Depending on how much and how recently one has eaten food, LSA generally takes 20-60 minutes to take effect.
Duration #
Generally, the plateau is not fully reached until sometime between 1.5 and 2.25 hours after administration. During this "peak" of the experience, and depending on dosage, full closed- and open-eyed visuals can occur, as well as profound changes in perception and consciousness. These can include altered thought processing, feelings of insight, and showing an interest in topics not normally found to be interest. Other effects include physical sedation and dilated pupils. The plateau lasts 2 to 7 hours, followed by a notably rapid return to baseline over 1 to 2 hours. The comedown is recognizable by a strong sensation that a "sober" mind has returned and the visual sensory effects sharply decrease in intensity.
Visual Effects #
Visuals Summary Needed.
PROBLEMS #
Difficult experiences are a possibility when taking LSA. An LSA experience can bring about an extreme alteration in an individual's perception. Recent experiences and issues (life events) can be amplified in intensity while on LSA. Although having recently undergone a negative experience does not guarantee than an individual will not enjoy LSA, it should be noted that--as with the consumption of any psychedelics--unusual states of mind may be encountered and the individual should be prepared for this. Preparation can minimize the chance or severity of a bad experience. The Psychedelic Crisis FAQ provides some information about how to handle difficult situations.
Contraindications #
  • Do not operate heavy machinery. Do Not Drive.
  • Individuals currently in the midst of emotional or psychological upheaval in their everyday lives should be careful about choosing to use psychedelics as they can trigger even more difficulty.
  • There are not yet sufficient studies to definitively link LSA to the triggering of a latent psychological condition or illness such as schizophrenia. However, with LSD and other psychedelic substances this link has been shown to exist. Caution should be exercised.
  • LSA can cause uterine contractions and could negatively impact a pregnancy.
Addiction Potential #
LSD is not physically addicting, and is quite unlikely to lead to psychological addiction in most people. Withdrawal effects following discontinuation have not been reported. Although psychological addiction to LSA is technically possibly, it is highly unlikely and we are unaware of any such reports. There is a short period of tolerance after use which fades after 48 to 72 hours.
Long Term Health Problems #
Long Term Health Problems Summary Needed.
Risk of Death #
Risk of Death Summary Needed.
CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid Basics pages are summaries of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, books, websites, and other resources. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but the field is complex and constantly changing. Information should always be verified through multiple sources.

References #
  1. Sewell RA. "Unauthorized Research on Cluster Headache". The Entheogen Review 2008;16(4):117-125. http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsa/lsa_article3.pdf
  2. Hofmann A. "The Active Principles of the Seeds Rivea Corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea". Psychedelic Review 1964;1(3):302-316. " http://www.maps.org/psychedelicreview/v1n3/013302hof.pdf"