LSA, d-lysergic acid amide or ergine, is a product during the creation of LSD, and psychoactive in itself. It was later discovered to be natural, and is known as a chemical in Morning Glory seeds (as well as Ololiuhqui (Rivea corymbosa) & Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) seeds, some Convolvulaceae vines, and fungi such as Sleepy Grass (Acremonium) & Ergot) ). Chemically it is known as LA-111, and is an ergoline alkoid.
As a precursor to LSD, the chemical structure of LSA and LSD is similar. Although active in microgram doses, LSA is not as potent as synthesised LSD, and shows a distinct character in its effects.
In the black market, LSA has often been sold as LSD, since it is much easier to obtain. Morning glory is the best known source of LSA, and its effects have been known to the native tribes since ancient times.
While both Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Vine and Morning Glory contain abundant LSA, garden center type seeds of the Morning Glory can be covered in fungicide to prevent mold. Accidental consumption of chemically treated seeds have been reported to cause nasty headaches and a prolonged nausea. Of course, Morning Glory seeds obtained from a reputable source are not treated with toxic products.
"TiHKAL: The Continuation" is a book published by Alexander Shulgin. The work paints a broad picture of tryptamines, and delves into the mental and physiological effects of LSA. Shulgin says that a half milligram dosage (a tiny amount, but large compared to LSD doses) of LSA led to “a tired, dreamy state,” lingering off after around 5 hours. He dismisses its epimer as a major active psychoactive in Morning Glory seeds, citing Albert Hofmann’s self-trial of the substance, in which Hofmann said he got little effect but a feeling of “tiredness and emptiness.” He writes that the LSA epimer is C-8 inverted, identifying it as either isoergine or d –isolysergamide. Pointing to the fact that lysergic acid and ergine are scheduled in the US, he proposes that it is simply a governing tactic to better enforce the laws surrounding LSD, since they are involved in its synthesis. Shulgin’s book sheds much needed light on the chemistry of LSA & LSD, describing their drug relatives and other tryptamines. However, debates on the similarity between an LSA and LSD trip still continue.