Morning Glory and Lysergic Acid Amide

Morning glory is a common name for over 1000 species of plants in the family Con-volvulaceae. If morning glory is abused, the plant is probably either Ipomea tricolor or Rivea corymbosa. Both plants are perennial twinning liana native to Central and South America. The seeds of both plants have been used by Native Americans for their hallucinogenic properties. The seeds of I. tricolor have been called by Aztecs tlilitzin, meaning "the very black," while the seeds of R. corymbosa were named ololiuqui, which is translated as "that which causes turns" [6]. Nowadays, the most commonly used term for the seeds of I. tricolor is badoh negro, and for the seeds of R. corymbosa badoh blanco [6].

The fresh or dried seeds are grounded and mixed with water and ingested orally. After ingestion, the seeds produce psychedelic effects similar to those of Psilocybe mushrooms or lysergic acid diethylaminde (LSD). The hallucinogenic effects of a cold water extract are not exactly the same as those of LSD, but vision of "small people" is typical [23]. Eating the seeds can induce side effects such as nausea and vomiting, probably induced by non-water-soluble alkaloids [6].

Albert Hofmann isolated in 1960 ergot alkaloids like lysergic acid amide from R. corymbosa [24]. The psychoactive effects of lysergic acid amide, also called ergine, were assessed by Albert Hofmann by self administration back in 1947, well before this was discovered to be a natural compound. He described a tired, dreamy state with an inability to maintain clear thoughts after intramuscular administration of 500 mg of ergine [21]. Besides lysergic acid itself, ergine is listed as a depressant in the category of Schedule III drugs in the Controlled Substances Act. This regulation probably attempts to control these substances as logical precursors of LSD. The chemical structures of LSD (10) and ergine (11) are shown in Fig. 19.1.

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