Sertonin, LSD Psilocilin. Some facts, some science and some links.

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Posted by Flash ( on April 23, 2000 at 12:05:43:

Anyone into chemistry may want to make their own comparison between the structures of Psilocilin and LSD. Both links also contain information oabout which 5-HT receptors are affect and what the effect is. Compare Psilocilin with the actions of Imitrex, Methsergide and Ergotamine. The long and short of it is that LSD and Psilocilin effectively block Serotonin. What I am unable to explain are why the effects are so long lasting when compared with conventional medicines. Conventional medicines only act against CH for a few hours at best, even Methysergide has to be taken frequently and over a prolonger period. Single small doses of LSD and Psilocilin are effective for months. Can anyone explain why this is?

I've also included some information of both drugs concerning their toxicity, contaminants/adulterants and testing for them.




From: An Introduction to Pharmacology 3rd edition, JJ Lewis, 1964 (p 385)

Peripheral Actions
These include an oxytocic action and constriction of the blood vessels of isolated vascular beds. In intact animals LSD causes a fall in blood pressure, but its adrenergic blocking potency is low.

Hmmm... That is in addition to it's effects on serotonin receptors.


Lethal (toxic) doses of LSD are conservatively several tens of thousands of times as much as a normal dose, making it (in the toxic sense) one of the safest drugs known. See section on Pharmacology for
description of bodily side-effects.

The LD50 for psilocybin (active ingredient in mushrooms) is 275 mg/kg i.v. in mice. Of course, it would take lots more p.o. to kill someone.

The reported LD50 values for LSD are 46, 16.5, 0.3 mg/kg I.V. for mice, rats, and rabbits, respectively. Again, it's hard to accurately translate these numbers to oral values.

Note that an average human dose is 0.001 mg/kg, ie, 1 microgram/kg, ie, 1 part per billion by weight.


LSD does not form "crystals" that reside in the body to be "dislodged" later, causing flashbacks. LSD is a crystalline solid (though it is unlikely that one would ever have enough to be visible to the naked eye)
but it is easily water soluble, thus cannot form bodily deposits. Furthermore, it is metabolized and excreted in hours. The bogus "loosened crystal" description in not necessary to explain flashbacks, which are
psychological phenomena (see FLASHBACKS).

LSD does not cause chromosome damage.

In Science 30 April 1972, Volume 172 Number 3982 p. 431-440 there was an article by Norman I. Dishotsky, William D. Loughman, Robert E. Mogar and Wendell R. Lipscomb titled "LSD and Genetic
Damage - Is LSD chromosome damaging, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic?". They reviewed 68 studies and case reports published 1967-1972, concluding "From our own work and from a review of
literature, we believe that pure LSD ingested in moderate doses does not damage chromosomes in vivo, does not cause detectable genetic damage, and is not a teratogen or carcinogen in man."

Well, there's the study by Sidney Cohen which was cited here recently, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 130, 1960. The following is from Jay Stevens' Storming Heaven: "Cohen surveyed a sample
of five thousand individuals who had taken LSD twenty-five thousand times. He found and average of 1.8 psychotic episodes per thousand ingestions, 1.2 attempted suicides, and 0.4 completed suicides.
'Considering the enormous scope of the psychic responses it induces,' he concluded, 'LSD is an astonishingly safe drug.'"

Here is some information that some may find useful on both drug testing and contaminents.

Drug Approximate Detection Time in Urine using EMIT
- ----------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
LSD 1-4 days [F6]
[F6] Detectable by EMIT and RIA, but rarely tested. A lab will only test for
LSD when specifically requested.

Note: Detection times vary depending on analytical method used, drug
metabolism, tolerance, patient's condition, fluid intake and method and
frequency of ingestion. These are general guidelines only.


Several problems are associated with street drugs: their unknown purity and their unknown strength. Because of its extreme cheapness and potency, the purity of LSD in blotter form is not an issue: either it's lsd or untreated paper. The purity of powders, pills, and liquids cannot be assumed as safe. With regards to uncertain strength, the strength of hits these days is low, 100 micrograms or so. One should be careful and assume that the smallest square in a tiling of a sheet is a dose, even if a printed pattern covers several. An experienced person could judge the strength of a dose, and if it is assumed all doses on a sheet have been processed equivalently, those doses would be calibrated for others, much like anything else.

From _Psychedelic Chemistry_ by M.V.Smith, 2nd edition p 5:

"There is a great deal of superstition regarding purification of psychedelics. Actually, any impurities which may be present as a result of synthetic procedures will almost certainly be without any effect on the trip. If there are 200 micrograms of LSD in a tablet, there could only be 200 mics of impurities present even if the LSD was originally only 50% pure (assuming nothing else has been added), and few
compounds will produce a significant effect until a hundred to a thousand times this amount has been ingested. Even mescaline, which has a rather specific psychedelic effect, requires about a thousand thimes this amount."

Note that:

1.on a piece of paper, vs. a tablet, you can't even add significant amounts of adulterants
2.adulterants would cost, whereas blank paper will rip someone off just as well.

[Referring to strychnine] 15 mg has been fatal, but a more typical fatal dose is on the order of 50mg. [Another post indicates 25 mg. as the LD50] 1 mg of strychnine orally probably has no observable
pharmacological effects in a typical adult. [1 mg being ten times the effective dose of LSD, by the way.]

From: Handbook of Poisoning, 10th ed, R.H. Dreisbach, M.D., PhD, Lange Med. Pub. Co. Los Altos, Ca.: strychnine is lethal in 15-30 mg amounts to adult humans. (Pure nicotine is fatal at 40 mg./person;
cyanide salts are fatal at about 100 mg./person) Strychnine causes death by respitory failure, via increased spinal reflex excitability.

Actually, I think the fact that PharmChem analyzed something on the order of 2,000 LSD samples between 1972 and 1979 and never found one with strychnine in it would be better. I'm going over all their
data with a toothpick and I'll get back to you on exactly what I find. It looks like the percent of LSD with strychnine in it is, however, at least under .05%. More a little later.

According to Alexander Shulgin the difinitive answer is that strychnine is neither used in the synthesis, produced by the synthesis, or a possible contaminant of the synthesis. But just look at the structures of
strychnine vs Lysergic acid/LSD/etc and you should be able to understand that readily.

From "The PharmChem Newsletter" (vol 3, no 3), 1973:

Summary of Street Drug Results - 1973: "Of 189 samples of LSD quantitatively analyzed, the average dose was 67.25ug LSD. It is interesting to note the low incidence of deception among the less sought after psychotomimetics LSD."

Most likely "good" acid is N-acetyl-LSD (ALD-52) [according to _Psychedelic Encyclopedia_ it produces a smoother trip and is somewhat commonly found in analysis -- references to the latter were
provided]. while "speedy" acid is LSD-25. You might want to inform her that those "speedy" effects are also commonly reported side effects of legal drugs which effect the 5-HT neurotransmitter system. And ditto on the potency issue -- you'd need mg quantities of strychnine to feel anything. And what you would feel (according to descriptions I've read) does not match descriptions of LSD "speed" effects. Most significantly because strychnine muscular effects tend to fade in & out, while LSD "speed" effects are typically reported as being consistent -- and there are other qualitative differences.

> > Schnoll SH Vogel WH
> > Analysis of "street drugs".
> > N Engl J Med (1971 Apr 8) 284(14):791

> > Brown JK Shapazian L Griffin GD
> > A rapid screening procedure for some "street drugs" by thin-layer chromatography.
> > J Chromatogr (1972 Jan 19) 64(1):129-33

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