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LSD Field Tests Differentiate LSD from 25I-NBOMe
by Earth and Fire Erowid
Sep 12, 2013
Citation:   Erowid E, Erowid F. "LSD Field Tests Differentiate LSD from 25I-NBOMe". Erowid.org. Sep 12, 2013. Erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_testing3.shtml
While working on an article for the July issue of Erowid Extracts Spotlight on NBOMes: Potent Psychedelic Issues, we decided to look into whether LSD-detection field tests could be used to differentiate between LSD and NBOMEs. With NBOMe compounds being sold on blotter and sometimes being misrepresented as LSD ("acid"), we wanted to run LSD field tests against lab-verified 25I-NBOMe and confirmed LSD. After asking around, we were presented with the opportunity to meet someone who had both substances.

We first compared the two using a handheld UV lamp, with the results described in the article "LSD Glows under Ultraviolet (UV) Light". The results of that comparison were that LSD glows brightly under long- and short-wave ultraviolet light, while 25I-NBOMe does not. Though we did not have any other NBOMe compound to compare with, we believe based on the opinions of multiple analytical chemists that the results with other NBOMes would be the same: NBOMes don't glow under UV light.

The field tests we used were purchased from Amazon.com. They were "pouch" style NIK LSD Test Kit (D): "LSD Reagent System" and the LSD Residue Detection Test: Pen Test (shaped like a writing pen).

Executive Summary #
Both the pen test and the NIK pouch kit successfully changed color in the presence of LSD and did not change color when used on 25I-NBOMe. The pen test was faster to use, but following the pen test's "wipe" instructions failed to cause a change color even with known LSD.

LSD (left) and 25I-NBOMe (right) in LSD Field Test Kit - Final
Photo by Erowid
A side-by-side comparison of the results using the NIK pouch LSD test kit on LSD and 25I-NBOMe. The LSD-soaked paper clearly turned purple while the 25I-NBOMe showed no reaction to all three stages of the test.


Step-by-Step Documentation of Using Field Tests on LSD and 25I-NBOMe #

LSD Field Test: Pen Test #
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test
Photo by Erowid
A commercial LSD field test kit called a "pen test" and a small bottle of liquid sold as LSD.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test
Photo by Erowid
An LSD field test sold by Amazon.com containing one "pen" and two pads. The pen contains two breakable capsules inside it that are broken in a slow sequence. When dropped onto paper containing LSD, the paper changes color.
LSD Dropped onto Paper
Photo by Erowid
A drop of the liquid LSD (LSD in alcohol solution) is placed on a piece of dull white paper and left to dry before beginning the field test.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Wiping
Photo by Erowid
Step 1 is to wipe the spot that has the suspected LSD with the pad that came with the kit. (This turns out to not be very effective.)
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Wiping Continued
Photo by Erowid
The testing pad is designed with a waxy cover over the top to protect the test from contamination and, probably, to keep harsh chemicals from getting on other things after the test is conducted.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Chemical 1
Photo by Erowid
Step 2 is to break one of the inner capsules in the pen and dripping the liquid onto the putative spot of LSD.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Chemical 2
Photo by Erowid
Step 3 is to break the second inner capsule inside the pen and drip the liquid onto the same putative spot of LSD.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test : Reaction
Photo by Erowid
After both chemicals from the pen are dripped onto the wiping pad, if LSD is present, the pad should turn purple. In our experience, the wiping pad method resulted in no distinct color change, as shown in this photo. We presume that not enough LSD transferred between the original spot and the wiping pad.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Reaction Experimentation
Photo by Erowid
After getting no reaction on the wiping pad, we dripped the pen directly onto the dried LSD spot. The pen (at this point) had both chemicals already mixed together, and is not following the procedure given in the instructions.
LSD "Pen Test" Field Test - Reaction Experimentation Continued
Photo by Erowid
This photo shows that the wipe "residue" procedure that the kit recommends fails to show LSD, but using the pen chemicals directly on a drop of liquid LSD results in the expected purple color change.



NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test #
The pouch test includes three separate chemicals in isolated vials inside a single pouch. The instructions are surpisingly complicated, but the basic procedure is to drop the suspected LSD onto one of the included paper strips, then put the strip into the plastic pouch with the vials. Seal the plastic pouch, then break the interior vials one at a time, noting the reactions at each step. A positive test for LSD is one that turns the LSD-soaked paper purple after the second vial is broken but does not change additional color when the third vial is broken. We found this more effective than the pen test, though more complex. The total amount of toxic plastic waste from this kit was a little larger than with the pen test, but it kept the harsh chemicals contained in a sealed plastic pouch. For parents and law enforcement, that might be particularly valuable. For us, it meant more stuff we weren't entirely clear on how to environmentally dispose of after we were done with the test.

NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test
Photo by Erowid
Using an NIK LSD Field Test to check for LSD. This photo depicts the test and a small bottle of liquid sold as containing LSD. This NIK test is a pouch-type kit where the reactions and chemicals are all contained in a plastic pouch.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Use
Photo by Erowid
Putting a drop of putative LSD liquid onto the test kit strip.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Use Continued
Photo by Erowid
With this 3-chemical pouch-type field test for LSD, the plastic closure clip is removed from the pouch before the end of the paper test strip is cut off and inserted into the pouch.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Use Continued
Photo by Erowid
The end of the paper test strip is cut off and inserted into the pouch.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Breaking Vial
Photo by Erowid
The pouch is sealed with a plastic clip and then the first internal vial broken to release the first chemical reagent into the pouch to soak the suspected LSD test strip.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Results
Photo by Erowid
After first reagent vial was broken inside pouch, no color change was seen.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Second Reagent
Photo by Erowid
Then the second vial is broken, releasing the second chemical reagent into the pouch.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Second Reagent, Continued
Photo by Erowid
The paper with the suspected LSD shown in the bottom of the NIK LSD test pouch. A distinct color change was observed immediately, and the color was purple, though not as dark as that depicted in the literature. This photo does not show the color well, but by eye it was very obvious.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Color Change
Photo by Erowid
The purple color was more obvious against a white background.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Color Change Continued
Photo by Erowid
Up close, after a couple of minutes, the color change on the LSD-dropped paper is very obvious and is the correct shade of purple according to the documentation. The suspected LSD liquid appears to contain LSD.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Third Reagent
Photo by Erowid
Breaking the third chemical vial in the test pouch.
NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test - Final
Photo by Erowid
After breaking the third vial in the pouch, there was no obvious change in color. The instructions indicated that this was a positive result for LSD. However, it is important to note that all such field tests can only rule out or rule in substances. That is, they are not definite identification tests. What this test tells us is that the substance we tested reacted consistently with LSD's reaction to the testing reagents in the NIK pouch. It can not positively (100%) identify that the substance is actually LSD.




NIK LSD Field Test: Pouch Test with 25I-NBOMe #
Finally, we tried the NIK LSD Field Test kit with 25I-NBOMe that had been verified by lab testing. The 25I-NBOMe was put into a solution at a concentration of 1 mg per 0.1 ml, which should be similar in concentration to the liquid LSD we tested.

25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test
Photo by Erowid
First, we put a drop of 25I-NBOMe on paper and let it dry. (We also did the same procedure using the include NIK paper strips with the same results.)
25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test
Photo by Erowid
A drop of 25I-NBOMe on paper tested with an NIK LSD Field Test. Paper with drop was cut and inserted into pouch.
25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test - First Reagent
Photo by Erowid
After the first reagent vial was broken, no color change occurred.
25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test - Second Reagent
Photo by Erowid
After the second reagent vial in the pouch was broken, no color change was observed. This is the step where the LSD-soaked paper turned purple.
25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test - Third Reagent
Photo by Erowid
After the third reagent vial in the pouch was broken, no color change was observed.
25I-NBOMe in NIK LSD Field Test - Conclusion
Photo by Erowid
Indeed, if anything, the paper in the pouch looked a little grayer than it was initially, but the observing group all agreed to call it "no change".