Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, is a chemical compound initially synthesized from ergot - a fungus growing on rye and some other type of grains. If you keep a gluten-free diet or have sensitivity to gluten, also known as celiac disease, you might wonder whether LSD is gluten-free and safe for you to use.
Let's learn more about the origins of LSD and if it has any danger for people with celiac disease.
Does LSD Contain Gluten?
Based on all we know so far, a gluten-free diet doesn't prevent you from using LSD.
Even though ergot contains gluten and should not be consumed by humans, synthetic LSD, even when made using ergot, undergoes a series of chemical processes once extracted. Since its chemistry has been entirely altered, LSD itself does not contain enough gluten to pose a threat.
LSD and Serotonin-Related Side Effects
It is important to note that some side effects may result from serotonin activity in the guts. The serotonin activity might create side effects similar to gluten intolerance, such as nausea and abdominal pain.
Classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin, LSD, or DMT, activate serotonin transportation in the brain and the body. The guts are home to approximately 95% of all serotonin in the body. Therefore, the discomfort in the stomach is due to the effects of serotonin activity.
The most common LSD-related side effects on the stomach include:
- Stomach pain
The side effects caused by serotonin in the gut may give a wrong impression to the person. For example, thinking about being intoxicated due to gluten intolerance. However, it is important to note that so far, no studies or people have reported LSD as dangerous to people with Celiac disease. Overall, LSD is considered to be gluten-free.
Ingredients in LSD
Even though LSD is a synthetic drug, its chemical, lysergic acid, naturally occurs in rye seeds and is derived from ergot alkaloids.
Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) is a fungus that grows on grains like rye seeds and wheat. Ergot alone is a poisonous fungus and has various detrimental effects, such as nausea, vomiting, abnormal heartbeat, and muscle pain. Beyond the physical effects, it can cause mental confusion, unconsciousness, and even death in overdoses.
Ergot and Ergotism
Ergot and rye have a parasite relation where the fungus replaces rye grains with its dark sclerotium. In the early times, when the origin of ergot was not fully understood, it was believed to be a part of the rye plant. This confusion led people to eat the rye and get poisoned by the plant, the so-called Ergot of Rye disease. The disease mainly occurred until the 1900s; ergot is known to be related to historical events, such as revolutions, wars, and even witchcraft.
The rye grains were grounded up and used as flour for baking. Consumption of these products has caused adverse effects on people's nervous systems, such as hallucinations, mania, and severe psychosis. Before people figured out what it was, many deaths were caused by the poisonous ergot.
The Discovery of LSDThe rich history of ergot continued when Albert Hoffman created the psychedelic drug LSD in 1938. Hoffman was working for Sandoz Pharmaceutical and researching ergot alkaloids to treat migraines since the substance had several effects on the nervous system. During his experiments with ergot, he accidentally discovered LSD.
To produce LSD, Hoffmann extracted the chemical from ergot and processed it in the laboratory. Therefore, it underwent multiple processes, from the extraction to the acid blotter.
How Is LSD Made?
LSD is both synthetic and natural, meaning it is made through various chemical processes.
Making LSD From Ergot
The first step of the process is extracting the natural lysergic acid from the ergot fungus. Then, the acid goes through chemical reactions and forms a crystal. The crystal later dissolves in the laboratory environment and adds to various ingestible forms of the drug. Synthesizing LSD requires an advanced level of chemistry knowledge and laboratory equipment. Since the ergot fungus is quite dangerous, it requires a skilled individual to process this toxic substance into LSD.
Making LSD From Ergometrine or Ergotamine
Although LSD was extracted from ergot in the past, things might be slightly different in modern LSD laboratories. Scientists often import ergometrine or ergotamine tartrate and synthesize LSD. These compounds are medications that are prescribed for some conditions, and they are both extracted from the ergot fungus. Therefore, it might make it easier for scientists to form LSD from these pharmaceutical drugs. Overall, how LSD is made nowadays still remains unknown.
Different Forms of LSD
LSD often appears in a liquid form with no colors, taste, or smell. The blotter papers include the liquids and many other things. So one can also find LSD in candies, stickers, gelatins, cubes, powders, capsules, or tablets. Some people prefer ingesting LSD with the paper on the tongue; others mix it with water and make it drinkable.
Do any of these forms contain gluten? It might. Although LSD itself is considered gluten-free, it does not mean that the candy or any other product that has acid drops on it will be safe for those on a gluten-free diet.
Is Morning Glory Seeds (LSA) Gluten-Free?
Morning glory seeds are plant seeds that include the substance ergine, so-called D-lysergic acid amide (LSA). LSA has somewhat similar effects to LSD and is often used as an alternative to LSD; however, the intoxication of this plant might be more than LSD since it has severe physical side effects when ingested. The side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, gas, and hallucinations. The seeds of this plant have been used in ceremonies and rituals by the Aztec and Maya people.
Morning Glory Seeds are also known as gluten-free psychoactive substances; however, they may have more severe side effects on the stomach and guts when ingested, and they may not be the best to use by people with Celiac disease.
Summary: Is LSD Gluten-free and Safe for People With Celiac Disease?
Modern-day LSD is synthetic and gluten-free, even if you are sensitive to gluten and concerned about what ingredients are in LSD. Celiac disease does not affect the psychedelic trip or cause any danger for the person.
Remember to do your research before using any psychedelic substance, and always be in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable.