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Extraction of LSA (Method #2)
from Morning Glory Seeds or Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds

v.1.1. - Author Unknown
circa 1995 Document validity unknown
Erowid Archived Document (Out of Date or Contains Known Errors)
This document is archived in the Erowid library for historical reference and scholarship purposes. The information it contains is either out of date or contains known errors.
The method is very simple, requires nothing you can't buy easily and legally, and it's not very expensive. There are refinements galore to this, and I might try them in order to purify this stuff, but the chemicals aren't as available, and it requires things like pH paper, which I don't know how to get. Maybe I can get some anyway. I'll see.

First of all, you need either (a) a lot of morning glory seeds or (b) some hawaiian baby woodrose seeds. You also need petroleum ether, which is a petroleum refining byproduct, and some high proof drinkable ethanol.

I'll explain the theory as I understand it so that you can understand the flexability in this recipe.

There are two kinds of solvents, polar and nonpolar. Generally, the good stuff in seeds is polar soluble, and the bad stuff is nonpolar soluble.

So the idea is to first make a nonpolar solution, which of course means that you take a nonpolar solvent and soak the ground up seeds in it. The result is a solution of garbage from the seeds and the nonpolar solvent. Petroleum ether is a nonpolar solvent, so it will function in this capacity. The down side is that petroleum ether is poisonous, so you don't want to drink it. The good news is that pet. ether is extremely volatile, so it evaporates quickly and cleanly. So the first stage is to soak the ground up seeds in petroleum ether for a few days, and then filter the resulting cloudy solution through some coffee filters, throw away the solution, and keep the seed mush. The seed mush consists of nondisolved LSA's, fiber, and the remaining solution that didn't drip through the filter. This part can be iterated to get more and more garbage out of the mush. The final time, let the seed mush dry thoroughly so that the petroleum ether evaporates and you don't have any poison in there.

After the seed mush dries, the nest stage is to make a polar solution, which separates the alkaloids (the LSA) from the fiber of the seeds. This is done with alcohol. There are other polar solvents, but again, the key is to have one which easily evaporates, one which will not destroy the LSA's, and one which is not poisonous. Ethanol serves this purpose. Methanol will also work, but methanol causes blindness, so if you use methanol, make damn sure it's all evaporated before consuming the product. In some states 90+% ethanol is illegal to buy for the normal public, and California is such a state. In that case, using methanol is probably the way to go. Also keep in mind that there is such thing as denatured ethanol, which is ethanol which has been intentionally poisoned so that it is undrinkable. The reason for doing this is that drinkable ethanol is taxable under the Tobacco Alcohol and Firearms people, and denatured ethanol has uses in chemistry and cleaning. The point is that you should under no circumstances use denatured ethanol because it will make you sick or kill you or cause cancer or all three. So, make an alcohol solution of the seeds. Then filter the solution through filter paper, like before, except this time keep the liquid in a jar. Repeat this step 3 or 4 times, always keeping the liquid. When you've exhausted the seeds, throw them away. The liquid you have should be yellow and smelly. Put this in a shallow flat tray or pan or large bowl, and let it evaporate in a dark dry place for a day or two, or until there is no liquid. The pan should have a yellowish scum residue. That's the LSA gunk. Scrape that up with a razor blade or credit card or whatever works. It'll be sticky and gummy, and once it's all scraped up it will look dark brown.

That's pretty much all there is to it. You can take this several steps further to get a more pure product. That would be to alternately make an acid solution and base salts from the LSA's, which would eventually leave you with a very pure white powder. This requires much more effort, and wastes some of the product, and the only reason for doing it would be to remove more garbage, but the amount of garbage left in the brown gunk is insignificant.

Once you have this stuff as pure as you want it, you can ingest it in your favorite form. You can either swallow it as a lump, put it into a gelatin capsule, drink the ethanol solution, or dissolve it in some cool-aid. I recommend either capsules or swallow the lump if you can handle the taste.

Other notes: Petroleum ether is in Naphtha, which is available in hardware stores. That's what I've used, and it works fine. [However, see this warning about Naptha] Other petroleum solvents would work like ethyl ether, which evaporates much more easily and is a better solvent, and something like gasoline, which has additives and does not evaporate as cleanly as naptha. If you can get petroleum ether from a chemical supplier, try it instead of naptha. A rule of thumb is that after making a solution with the nonpolar solvent, and after it dries, it should smell absolutely nothing at all like petroleum, or whatever solvent you used. If you use gasoline, you'll notice a strong gasoline smell, which means you're screwed. I know first hand from repeated experience that naptha works. Also, read the labels of whatever solvent you use. Make sure it contains no benzene. Benzene is the most evil carcinogen known, and even in trace amounts it can cause cancer. There is no safe amount of benzene. On the other hand benzene is everywhere, and if some chemical engineer points out to you that there is benzene in naptha even if it's not on the label keep in mind that there is an enormous amount of benzene in automobile exhaust. You're going to die anyway. If there is no mention of carcinogens or benzene on the label of the naptha, then there isn't enough such that you should not use it.

The finer details of this recipe I can give you another time, but I just wanted to give you some theory and a general idea of what the procedure is. I can give you some things I have from off the net pertaining to this.

Subject: Re: Extracting LSA from HBWR 

Concerning the extraction and purification of LSA from HBWR, The alkaloids are 
more polar than e.g. DMT or mescaline, and are probably water soluble to some 
extent. Thus, while a crude extraction can be performed with methanol, the next 
stage of purification may not be very good. Thus the general extraction method 
for alkaloids is quite possibly not applicable here. That is why I want to have a 
look at exactly what the original method was, although the journal seems obscure 
to say the least. Another day in the Chem Abs section, I fear. 

Subject: Re: LSA 

>Yup.  In a nutshell, you mix the HWBR powder in a nonpolar solvent, keep the 
>resultant gunk(I) and throw away the solution.  Then dissolve the gunk(I)
>into a polar solvent, throw away the new gunk(II) and evaporate the solution.
>The final gunk (III) that comes out of the solution has LSA in it.  
> gunk(I) = gunk(II) + gunk(III)
> gunk(III) is the good stuff
> gunk(II) is not
> gunk(I+III) are therefore kept
>nonpolar solvent = petroleum ether
>polar solvent = alcohol (methanol is better, but is a smidgin poisinous 
>  so you've got to be damn sure its all evaporated).
>I don't have time to give a more detailed explanation than that right
For the layman: nonpolar solvent also = Zippo lighter fluid. 


Extraction procedures can be very dangerous if attempted by those not qualified or skilled enough to know what they're doing. Always consult multiple sources before attempting such procedures.

Revision History
  • Nov 2004: by Erowid : Caution and Revision History added.

Originally archived by the Sputnik Drug Information Zone.