Here in alt.drugs have been lot of talk about LSD synthesis lately. I guess as an conclusion it can be said that the synthesis can be carried out with good chemistry knowledge and laboratory. Then the problem is where to get lysergic acid derivative for the synthesis. The full synthesis of the lysergic acid is too difficult. Lysergic acid amides can be extracted from the seeds of morning glory or hawaiian baby wood rose, but it is not practical, because the huge amount of seeds needed to get enough lysergic acid amides for the LSD synthesis. To my opinion the only feasible possibility is to cultivate ergot. What I would like to know is how difficult it is to cultivate Claviceps purpurea for example. Is it harder than growing psychedelic mushrooms? Is the following procedure any good and how hard it is to carry out? Any constructive comments? Michael Valentine Smith: Psychedelic Chemistry From pages 105-107: The Culture and Extraction of Ergot Alkaloids Make up a culture medium by combining the following ingredients in about 500 milliliters of distilled water in a 2 liter, small-neck flask: Sucrose .......................................... 100 grams Chick pea meal .................................... 50 grams Calcium nitrate ..................................... 1 gram Monopotassium phosphate ......................... 0.25 grams Magnesium sulphate .............................. 0.25 grams Potassium chloride ............................. 0.125 grams Ferrous sulphate heptahydrate ................... 8.34 milligrams Zinc sulphate heptahydrate ...................... 3.44 milligrams Add water to make up one liter, adjust pH 4 with ammonia solution and citric acid. Sterile by autoclaving. Inoculate the sterilized medium with Claviceps purpurea under sterile conditions, stopper with sterilized cotton and incubate for two weeks periodically testing and maintaining pH 4. After two weeks a surface culture will be seen on the medium. Large-scale production of the fungus can now begin. Obtain several ordinary 1 gallon jugs. Place a two-hole stopper in the necks of the jugs. Fit a short (6 inch) glass tube in one hole, leaving 2 inches above the stopper. Fit a short rubber tube to this. Fill a small (500 milliliter) Erlenmeyer flask with a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, and extend a glass tube from the rubber tube so the end is immersed in the hypochlorite. Fit a long, glass tube in the other stopper hole. It must reach near the bottom of the jug and have about two inches showing above the stopper. Attach a rubber tube to the glass tube as short or as long as desired, and fit a short glass tube to the end of the rubber tube. Fill a large, glass tube (1 inch x 6 inches) with sterile cotton and fit 1-hole stoppers in the ends. Fit the small, glass tube in end of the rubber tube into 1 stopper of the large tube. Fit another small glass tube in the other stopper. A rubber tube is connected to this and attached to a small air pump obtained from a tropical fish supply store. You now have a set-up for pumping air from the pump, through the cotton filter, down the long glass tube in the jug, through the solution to the air space in the top of the jug, through the short glass tube, down to the bottom of the Erlenmeyer flask and up through the sodium hypochlorite solution into the atmosphere. With this aeration equipment you can assure a supply of clean air to the Claviceps purpurea fungus while maintaining a sterile atmosphere inside the solution. Dismantle the aerators. Place all the glass tubes, rubber tubes, stoppers and cotton in a paper bag, seal tight with wire staples and sterilize in an autoclave. Fill the 1-gallon jugs 2/3 to 3/4 full with the culture medium and autoclave. While these things are being sterilized, homogenize in a blender the culture already obtained and use it to inoculate the media in the gallon jugs. The blender must be sterile. Everything must be sterile. Assemble the aerators. Start the pumps. A slow bubbling in each jug will provide enough oxygen to the cultures. A single pump can, of course, be connected to several filters. Let everything sit a room temperature (25 C) in a fairly dark place (never expose ergot alkaloids to bright light - they decompose) for a period of ten days. After ten days adjust the culture to 1% ethanol using 95% ethanol under sterile conditions. Maintain growth for another two weeks. After total of 24 days growth period the culture should be considered mature. Make the culture acidic with tartaric acid and homogenize in a blender for one hour. Adjust to pH 9 with ammonium hydroxide and extract with benzene or chloroform/iso-butanol mixture. Extract again with alcoholic tartaric acid and evaporate in a vacuum to dryness. The dry material in the salt (i.e., the tartaric acid salt, the tartrate) of the ergot alkaloids, and is stored in this form because the free basic material is too unstable and decomposes readily in the presence of light, heat, moisture and air. To recover the free base for extraction of the amide of synthesis to LSD, make the tartrate basic with ammonia to pH 9, extract with chloroform and evaporate in vacuo. If no source of pure Claviceps purpurea fungus can be found, it may be necessary to make a field trip to obtain the ergot growths from rye or other cereal grasses. Rye grass is by far the best choice. The ergot will appear as a blackish growth on the tops of the rye where the seeds are and are referred to as "heads of ergot." From these heads of ergot sprout the Claviceps purpurea fungi. They have long steams with bulbous heads when seen under a strong glass or microscope. It is these that must be removed from the ergot, free from contamination, and used to inoculate the culture media. The need for absolute sterility cannot be overstressed. Consult any elementary text on bacteriology for the correct equipment and procedures. Avoid prolonged contact with ergot compounds, as they are poisonous and can be fatal.
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