LSA — The Legal and Natural Alternative to LSD

lsa mind exploring psychedelic
LSA — LSD Alternative Psychedelic — Images in ṕublic domain via Wikicommons

LSA is an organic substance produced naturally in the seed of some species of creeper plants.

lsd lsa comparison
Comparison LSD vs LSA — Via Wikicommons

This substance is capable of inducing mystical and deeply meaningful sensorial journeys similar to the effects of the synthetic psychedelic substance: LSD.

The implications of a naturally grown alternative to LSD are tremendous in this time of psychedelic boom.

As governments come up with new regulations and recognize the usefulness of the responsible use of psychedelic substances, new organizations emerge with the objective to tackle mental health issues with psychedelics as the main tool.

In April this year (2021) NASDAQ listed MindMed, an LSD-based mental health company.

Most nations hold the pharmaceutical industry with the most strict scrutiny and now we have these regulations applied to the synthesis of psychedelics like LSD.

We are facing a substance that is extremely cheap to produce and relatively safe to consume.

Especially in comparison with other mainstream drugs.

lsd may be safer alternative

Simultaneously with the industrialization of psychedelics:

We must build a sustainable system for the respectful exploration of what psychedelic substances have to offer.

LSD is a substance that is super cheap to produce, but the synthesis of this psychedelic requires extreme care.

One of the issues is that the process of synthesis of LSD involves solvents and reagents which can be toxic when not handled properly.

When the product is successfully prepared, it can still represent an inconvenient logistical challenge, since this substance is extra volatile.

The human touch, change of temperature, or even a little ray of light can be enough to change the product.

I believe that LSD is such a phenomenal substance that our society will keep producing it. However, I doubt that it’ll become the industry standard when it comes to psychedelic substances.

The Little Seed

What if nature offered us a little seed that contained a substance practically identical to LSD but in a stable form that literally grows in trees?

LSD is known as one of the substances most likely to induce a life-changing experience.

However, the synthetic nature of this substance is a big no-no to many psychonauts, who often turn to alternatives capable of inducing an experience just as powerful and meaningful as LSD.


In contrast: LSA offers an LSD-like experience without the need to synthesize it in a lab.

Just crush the seeds and swallow.

Not only LSA is a more appropriate substance in terms of logistics for the psychedelic industry, having a psychedelic substance that is not touched by chemicals and that is instead produced by nature can be more encouraging to the public than substances created in a lab.

In terms of experience:

LSD seems to be more energetic and “high-dimension” while LSA feels more organic, progressive, and mellow.

LSA is reported to be easier to handle than LSD.

LSA — Traditional Use

aztecs using lsa
Aztecs illustrations — Public Domain

In 1941 Richard Schultes recorded his research on the use of LSA by the Aztec civilization, indicating the possibility of a long-lasting ritualistic culture of LSA use.

There is no written record of its use, but it’s believed that Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia Nervosa) was a popular ally to Shamans — the tribe’s medicine man — helping them access enhanced levels of consciousness.

The usual shamanic ritual goes like this:

  • Have a problem to solve: Often the issue at hand was a sick member of the tribe.
  • Conduct a trance ritual, consuming the crushed seeds of Hawaiian Baby Woodrose or Morning Glory.

As the shaman opens the doors of perception he believes he can navigate a mystical spiritual world where the cure for the sickness is available.

This spiritual world is the same as the “normal” world but after consuming LSA the shamans believed to sense things that usually they couldn’t sense.

The Effects of LSA

the effects of lsa argyreia nervosa
The effects of LSA — Image depicts a fractal representation of Elephant Creeper (Argyreia Nervosa) via wiki commons

First, we need a seed rich in LSA. There are two popular plants that produce LSA rich seeds:

  • Morning Glory (Ipomoea nil);
  • Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia Nervosa);
argyreia nervosa seeds lsa
Argyreia nervosa seeds are rich in LSA — Image in the public domain via Wikicommons

In the case of the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, the seeds are small and contain LSA in a concentration of 0.188% of the weight of the seed.

Dosage of Argyreia nervosa:

1–3 Seeds — Weak;

4–6 Seeds — Medium;

6–10 Seeds— Strong;

Set and setting, when referring to a psychedelic drug experience, means one’s mindset (shortened to “set”) and the physical and social environment (the setting) in which the user has the experience.

tripping in the park
Georges Seurat, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The LSA Trip

Make sure to reserve at least 12 hours for this experience and find yourself in a familiar place where you feel completely safe and comfortable.

Prepare your mindset by relaxing yourself and opening your mind to the change of consciousness.

To guarantee the efficacy of the substance, it’s better to be on an empty stomach when you consume the seeds.


The seeds must be crushed. In order to do this one can either use tools like a coffee grinder or simply chew on the seeds with their teeth.

Be aware that it’s important to clean the seeds of Argyreia Nervosa by peeling away the thin transparent layer that covers the seeds which can induce a purge (throwing up).

If you do have a tool to crush the seeds, a common way to consume them is to prepare them as tea or with lemon juice.


After the seeds are consumed, there can be some uncomfortable stomach feelings present, this should pass after 30 minutes. At this stage, it’s important to resist throwing up, or the trip will not engage.

The effects should be evident after 1:30 hours. Sometimes it takes less, other times it takes more time.

During the first phase of the psychedelic trip, the body is getting used to the sensorial novelties.

This means that all the sensorial discrepancies will be highlighted and difficult to ignore. With time, the psychonaut should get used to the effects, making them almost commonplace.

The visuals are something among this line, but less dramatic, in my opinion:

2 Hours in

With the effects in place, there is a boom in serotonin which is translated into extreme wellbeing.

During this stage (and all the way until the end) there’s the acute feeling of gratefulness for being alive and the strong sensation that we are part of the universe.

Besides, the psychonaut becomes interested in subjects that they are not usually interested in.

At this stage, the mental experience can develop into extremely meaningful insights and epiphanies.

The visual effects are mild during the entire experience, but at this stage, they become evident and easy to notice. A typical visual hallucination is to see the grass moving like the sea. Or the colors may seem a little different than how they usually look.

3:30 Hours into the Journey

In general, a drug-induced psychedelic trip has a progressive character that ultimately results in a climax, which we call the peak.

This peak usually happens 3–4 hours after the LSA is consumed.

Keep in mind that many times a psychedelic trip does not follow a schedule. Don’t be alarmed if your experience is different than what others experienced.

The Peak

the peak of the psychedelic trip
Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844–1933), The Sense of Sight (1895), oil on canvas, 87.3 x 101 cm, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England. Wikimedia Commons.

Honestly, I think the peak is the most difficult part to describe and to many psychonauts, it’s what they are looking for in a psychedelic experience.

Many people call this moment the “mystical experience”.

Usually, it’s a mental experience that resembles a 15–30 minutes mental “circus” filled with closed-eyes visions and a state of deep trance.

It’s common that the psychonaut is able to stop this peak at will or even stop it from ever happening. If you are interested in experiencing the peak you must make yourself available for the experience.

After the peak, the effects gradually decrease until only an afterglow is left until the moment the psychonaut goes to sleep.

tripping in the universe
Joean_Honoré_Fragonard_-_The_Swing + Photo by Chen Liu — Public Domain

The Afterglow

After the peak, the effects can still be intense for a few hours but eventually, it’s even hard to know if we are still tripping or already back to “normal”.

In my opinion, the moment of Afterglow is the most creative and articulate. It’s a great moment to talk and share ideas.

At the 6 hour -8 hour mark you are already going through all the effects and are accustomed to navigating the “psychedelic landscape”. Brain activity is similar to the ordinary, hence, motor skills are on point for self-expression.

Even though the brain is almost back to working as usual there’s still a general connection between all parts of the brain, making for a perfect moment for epiphanies.

Created in Lab or in Seed

LSD has a notorious PR problem and it seems like the mainstream is finally accepting acid into the mental-health circle.

As the pharmaceutical industry grows to include psychedelics, I believe that LSD will be a big name, since it’s so cheap to produce and so popular all over the world I believe that all companies will be looking to take a bite of this market.

Nevertheless, I also believe that the simplicity of LSA will become more and more desirable until LSA becomes the main industry-standard psychedelic.

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