Here are printed several comments, threads, etc on the presence of strychnine in LSD. As you will soon be able to see there are a few conflicting stories which seem equally plausible. Be sure to read to the end as the last entry is particularly intriguing. ======================================================================== From: Newsgroups: alt.drugs Subject: RUN FOR YOUR LIVES ITS STRYCHNINE! Date: 8 Apr 1993 04:59:04 GMT Message-ID: <>

On the issue of strychnine in LSD:

The following text was written by Alexander T. Shulgin in response to the overwhelming misconception that strychnine is commonly found in street samples of LSD:

"The observation of strychnine as being present in any street drug, as a by-product, or a contaminant, or an impurity has never been documented. It is a natural plant product, as are the ergots which are used in the synthesis of LSD. But they come from totally unrelated plants; there has never been a report of strychnine and an ergot alkaloid co-existing in a single species. So if the two materials are together in a drug sample, it could only be by the hand of man. I have personally looked a large number of illicit street offerings and have never detected the presence of strychnine. The few times that I have indeed found it present, have been in legal exhibits where it usually occurred in admixture with brucine (also from the plant Strychnos nux-vomica) in criminal cases involving attempted or successful poisoning.

The same argument applies to the myth that occasionally surfaces, that strychnine occurs in the white tufts of peyote. This is equally fraudulent -- it has never been reported in that cactus or any other cactus."

Furthermore, it should probably be spelled out that strychnine is not needed to bond LSD to blotter paper, nor is strychnine a breakdown product of LSD. these are probably the two most commonly repeated gross misconceptions.

The source of the "strychnine is commonly found in LSD" myth may be somewhat grounded in truth. For example, in "LSD: My Problem Child" Albert Hoffman cites a case in the late sixties of Strychnine being found in an "LSD" sample that was a white powder. However, what is commonly claimed is that strychnine is found in a significant percentage of LSD, specifically blotter LSD, which is *not* true. Shulgin's note that he has analyzed many samples of LSD and never found strychnine is backed up by published analyses done by PharmChem and the LA County Street Drug Analysis program, which likewise never found any strychnine.

This is intuitively backed up by the fact that a 5mm x 5mm "standard" square of blotter LSD only weights about 2mg and if the paper itself was made completely out of pure strychnine it is still on the very low end of Strychnine's threshold of activity. Strychnine is not the cause of tracers, cramps, nausea, or amphetamine-like LSD-effects. Its possible that poorly synthesized LSD might have other ergot derivatives in it, which might contribute to the harsh body load that some get on taking LSD. Also, the very close chemical relatives 1-Methyl-LSD and 1-Acetyl-LSD (which break down into LSD in aqueous solution) might be present in some street samples and might contribute to the harsh body load. (Petter Stafford has claimed in his _Psychedelics Encyclopedia_ that 1-Acetyl-LSD is supposedly "smoother" than d-LSD -- thus "strychnine laced acid" may acutally be pure d-LSD, while "pure lsd" may be 1-Acetyl-LSD or some substitute). And the chemicals iso-LSD and lumi-LSD which are breakdown products of LSD might contribute to the body loading on some trips, particularly via a hypothetical synergistic effect. Given this plethora of possible chemicals in street "LSD", its not needed to look to a chemical which has hardly ever been found in analyzed samples to explain variations in the strength and "cleanliness" of street acid.

Its also possible that LSD itself simply causes adverse physical effects, particularly muscle cramping, in persons suceptible to it. The reported side effects of LSD (the nausea and apparent CNS stimulant effects) are commonly reported side effects of seritonergic drugs such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and buspirone (Buspar), and also are commonly reported (and typically more severe) with other psychedelics like Mescaline.

Or its quite likely that the "strychnine" reactions to LSD are entirely psychosomatic. Both Leary ("The Psychedelic Experience") and Lilly ("Programming and Metaprogramming...", "Center of the Cyclone") have each observed this reaction in people who cannot handle the surge of emotion associated with a trip.

Further advice would be to avoid methylxanthines (caffiene, theophylline in tea, etc) prior to dosing. Some have noted a possible synergistic effect between them and LSD causing, or contributing, to a harsh body load during a trip. And prior use of dramamine may alleviate the nausea sometimes associated with LSD, and other psychedelic drugs (although it may also effect the quality of the trip -- Shulgin has noted in PiHKAL that he shuns the use of anti-nauseants in order to experience the effects of the psychedelic, both good and bad, with no possible interference).

In summary, it can't be said that we know specifically why sometimes acid feels "cleaner" than other times. However, based on the availability of plausible explanations, and the evidence of drug analysis, and general implausiblity of the whole strychnine concept, we can conclude that it isn't due to any concentration of strychnine. Also, while it can't completely be ruled out, the presence of strychnine in LSD is so minimal that the majority of LSD users will never once come across it.


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From: (Colonel Mode) Date: 6 Mar 92 17:32:01 GMT Newsgroups: alt.drugs Subject: There is no strychnine. None, none, none.

To my knowledge, the only plants that contain strychnine are the Asian tree, Strychnos nux-vomica, and perhaps a few close relatives in the genus Strychnos. This is not to say that there are definitely no plants outside of the genus Strychnos that contain strychnine, but all of the posts to this newsgroup that claim strychnine is found in "X" that I have read have been false.

Strychnine is not found in Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, peyote, LSD, discount luncheon meats, Chilean grapes, or even modern-day rat poisons.

The most likely place to find strychnine is in myths posted to alt.drugs based on hearsay and other unreliable sources.

Read "The Botany and Chemistry of the Hallucinogens", by Richard Evans Shultes and Albert Hoffman. They are respected scientists who know what they are talking about. Don't take my word for it. Certainly don't take the word of authors of flakey pamphlets or usenet randoms who spout myths heard from their friends.

***** Chris Palmer "Colonel Mode" work:(508)486-6667 dtn:226-6667

Here, I add some some posts from a thread that took place on the MAPS mailing list. Anyone whose words are featured may email me if they wish to be credited any more or less than i have done here.

Reply-To: "Seva Batkin"
X-Mozilla-Status: 8001

Not very long ago I had a conversation with an MD about the alleged practice of putting stychnine in LSD. Here is what he has explained to me.

LSD itself is usually not very pure and as such contains LSA in it. As is widely known, LSA is a good clotting agent and can also cause mild muscle spasms. When a person injests acid, a common sideffect due to the LSA impurity is neckcramps and indegestenion (commonly refferred to as gut rot). This is cause by the LSA and this type of muscle spasms is called strycting.

It would make sense that some people would make a connection that because the muscle are called strycting, they must be cause by strychnine. However, nowhere was I able to find any reasons for people to include strychnine is the production of LSD. It is not very soluble in water and would crystallize much easier than LSD, therefore making for a more complicated process. It would not provide in any stronger "high", but rather would give a much higher risk of death. As a final argument, a typical LSD blotter contains only about 60 micrograms of LSD, any strychnine in this amount would not produce any effect.


Mod. Note. Another way to clarify this point is to consider that the mass of strychnine is unlikely to exceed the mass of the blotter paper without visible crystals forming. Does someone have a scale & a Merck Manual handy? How much does a 5 mm square piece of paper weigh, compared to a toxic dose of strychnine?


The "myth" about strychnine in acid is actually based in fact. Albert Hofmann reports in his book (LSD: My Problem Child) of a powdered material sent to him by the police that was supposedly being sold as LSD. When analyzed, this sample was found to contain no LSD and only strychnine.

This may have been only an isolated incident (this was in 1970), and the remark about blotter acid being relatively immune to contamination still holds.

Finally, strychnine is a poison. It does not enhance the acid experience, It kills you.



I saw a guy putting it on blotter paper and he misted it with LSD than dried it under a heat lamp than misted it with a little spray of something that he said was strychnine and dried it under the heat lamp again. I have been told that methamphetamines can be used to bond the LSD also.



I have also done research with strychnine. It is a toxic substance at high doses, of course, and leads to nasty convulsions. However, at low doses it can be stimulating and reinforcing (rats want to do it again). would not enhance the LSD experience any more than would other safer stimulants. So....why add strychnine and not d-amp or cocaine or something cheap and legal like phenylpropanolamine?

It just doesn't make any sense to lace something like LSD, which is remarkably non-toxic in a physical sense, with something like a stimulant, which can be toxic at higher doses.

By the way, I, too, know chemists who have known people who knew someone who might have known someone who made LSD in the past (smile). I also have looked up all the synthetic processes that are available in the literature. No one who has actually made LSD thinks its anything less than stupid to add strychnine. No synthetic technique available requires the addition of strychnine.


What's wrong with strychnine?

There is the famous in Russia reference book for the doctors before me, two-volume Pharmaceuticals by Mashkovskiy. On the page 160 of the first volume one can read that strychnine as a nitrate salt in a therapeutic dosage stimulates the CNS and the organs of the senses, sharpens a vision, taste, hearing, tactile sensibility and increases the sensitivity of retina. Strychnine is used as invigorant, roborant and tonic when one's metabolism is poor, when one becomes tired fast.

Usual dose for adults is 0.0005-0.001 g (0.5-1 mg) two/three times per day. Children older than 2 years take 0.0001-0.0005 g per dose. Highest doses (per os and hypodermically) are 0.002 g one time and 0.005 g per day.

Tincture of poison-nut/tinctura nucis vomicae that is made from 16 g of a dry extract of Strychnos nux vomica ( the dry extract contains 16% of alkaloids, a mix of strychnine and brucine) diluted in 1 liter of 70% alcohol contains 0.25% of alkaloids. It is administrated per os as a general tonic and as a bitter to give an appetite, 3-10 drops a dose. Highest doses are 0.3 ml (15 drops) one time and 0.6 ml (30 drops) a day. As one drop of 70% alcohol weighs approximately 25-27 mg, the weight of alkaloids it contains is 0.0625-0.0675 mg that gives 0.937-1.01 mg for 15 drops and 1.875-2.025 mg of the alkaloids for 30 drops.

I have never had the nitrate salt of strychnine. However, I have been using the tincture for many years as a part of my every day herbal/stimulant/nootropic ration. Usual dose is 2-3 drops a day. The highest amount I have ever taken is 15 drops a day. An effect is perceptible even in a low/several drops dosage and quite appreciable when 15 drops are ingested. I want to note that the medicine actualize the "fleshliness of flesh" as cannabinoids do and has significant aphrodisiac properties.

As I have no piety and preferences whatsoever for the natural, herbal sources of substances, in this and in any other cases I would prefer to have crystals, white powders, the pure eide of inebriation instead of wooden stuff full of an undesirable information noise.

(Certainly it is out of the "style" of this post but I can't resist the desire to quote Art Kleps' Millbrook

...Those who are fixated (love and depend) on the crazy ideas they grew up with will usually repress most of what they have learned on their trip or trips in favor of the standard substitutes for the truth with which they are familiar and comfortable. They may renounce psychedelics completely and join the Moonies or, perhaps, declare that only organic psychedelics are any good, not because they are more mild (more manageable) than acid but because of a pantheistic virtue which resides in organicity, a rationalization which will provide them with a new collection of moralistic dogmas to fuss and fret over...

Shulgin in one of his interview was more laconic: "Terence, I'm as natural as they [drugs that comes from nature] come. To me it's not any different making a chemical in the laboratory that's new and that you can get to learn and interact with than it is interacting with a plant.")

So I would prefer the chemical to the tincture. 5 mg of strychnine nitrate, the highest therapeutic dose, is five times as much as I have ever ingested (15 drops = 0.937-1.01 mg of alkaloids mixture) and it may be much more profound and interesting experience.

My friend told me that several friends of his friend reported that they had used the tinctura nucis vomicae during their trips with MDA (100-300 mg), MDMA (200- 480 mg), DOB (1-4 mg), LSD (25-100 mcg) and cannabinoids. Results always were good and without unpleasant effects. Doses were 1-3 drops of tincture 1-3 times per session.

According to my Dictionary of Forensic Medicine a lethal dose of strychnine is 0.05-0.1 g. Truly, it must be a bitter cup, vinegar mingled with gall! Strychnine is extremely bitter substance. Bitterness is distinguishable even in very high dilution (1:60 000). One drop, 65 mcg of alkaloids can make a full glass of water bitter. So one could swallow up LSD with a substantial amount of the strychnine only in a capsule form.

Let me summarize.

-Strychnine is pharmacopeial, officinal medicine that in therapeutic dosage stimulates the CNS, the organs of the senses, sharpens a vision, taste, hearing, tactile sensibility and increases the sensitivity of retina.

-It is used as invigorant, roborant and tonic when one's metabolism is poor, when one becomes tired fast and can be used as a general tonic and as a bitter to give an appetite.

-It has significant aphrodisiac properties.

-There is anecdotal evidence that the using of strychnine improves the quality of psychedelic trip.

-This compound contains good ole indole molecular structure and bears certain structural similarity to harmalas, ibogaine and yohimbine.

After quick search I have found at least one company in East Europe, Poland, where Tinctura Strychni may be bought. The Web address of their site is

...So strychnine is not a poison. Rather ignorance is a poison. And here zero level of tolerance is recommended.

Simferopol Crimea Ukraine
----- I suspect the strychnine myth has to do with the pharmacology of strychnine, which does produce hallucination, but more importantly, a phenomenoen called "wet-dog shakes" know the experience of "rabbits running over yer grave", or cold chills down yer spine. Thatsa wet-dog shake. LSD degrades into a number of lysergic acid derivatives. These derivatives also may induce wet dog shakes.... Incidentally, Ive also argued about the "hairs" on peyote buttons...some contend that they contain strychnine...these hairs are ritually removed in NAC ceremonies, but only cause the seeds are found in the hairy part of the button. Still, ignorance persists. later, chola