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LSD Testing

Questions were asked about how specific drugs react to the various drug-detection field tests like Marquis, Mecke, Mandelin, Simon's, Robadope, Ehrlich’s, etc. In most cases, it’s a matter of getting some of the pure target compound, a fresh set of reagents, and doing a little testing, photographing, and documentation.


However, with drugs active below 1mg, such as LSD, this may not be so simple. Because the amount of target compound is often very small, the reactions can be altered, slowed, or blocked by tiny amounts of other substances present. In the case of LSD blotter paper, where the amount of LSD on a 1/4″ square (6mmx6mm) is usually at or below 100 micrograms, the paper and the ink on the paper are far more likely to be the cause of a colour change than the LSD itself. With liquid LSD, the alcohol carrier can dilute the response enough that no colour change is visible. Thus, a colour change or the lack of colour change can be due to the form in which the substance is being tested.


LSD is said to create an olive green or black reaction with a Marquis reagent test. Organizations that sell reagent tests such as Dancesafe and Bunk Police report that LSD has an olive-black reaction with a Marquis test. This may be based upon sources such as this Department of Justice article stating that LSD causes an “Olive black” result. [ Fatah A. “Color Test Reagents/Kits for Preliminary Identification of Drugs of Abuse” (2000) ].


However, the results on subsequent lab’s field tests on samples confirmed to contain LSD using GC/MS show varying responses to Marquis and other field tests. When tested with a Marquis reagent, most of these samples showed no reaction or only a very slight reaction and none produced an olive green or black reaction. Furthermore, the blotter paper itself—not the LSD—may be causing these slight reactions.


Despite claims that LSD produces an olive green or black reaction to Marquis, evidence collected and published through EcstasyData does not support this. Furthermore, a 1979 paper by by Johns et al is consistent with these EcstasyData results. The researchers tested a wide variety of drugs from that era with nine different reagent tests, including Marquis and Ehrlich (Table below). This paper reports that LSD only reacts with Ehrlich and not with any of the other reagents. Interestingly, the researchers used dry LSD from Sandoz Laboratories. Other publications claiming that LSD produces olive green or black reactions to Marquis do not report the source or form (i.e. liquid, crystal, or blotter) of the LSD tested. The results of the Johns et al., study suggests that confirmed pure crystal LSD has no reaction with a Marquis test. 


Below is a summary of the results (Spot-Tests-a-Color-Chart-Reference-for-Forensic.pdf):

Although other sources say that LSD causes an olive-black reaction with a Marquis reagent test, this study, along with the EcstasyData results, suggests that LSD may not cause an olive-black reaction with a Marquis test—at least not on blotter paper in the amounts it is commonly sold. Based on this evidence, the Marquis is not a reliable for test for LSD. On the other hand, the Ehrlich may be an alternative test for this purpose based on the findings published by Johns et al. The Ehrlich reagent produces a colour change when LSD or another indole is present. However, like all reagent tests, an Ehrlich is not a confirming test, it is just another in a wide array of rule in / rule out tests that can help confirm or deny the presence of LSD in a given sample.


We have reflected these findings in our charts as the results/findings were supported by external ( testers. Whilst the reported colour results e.g. Marquis > olive Black appear unsupported. Our charts therefore state "Blotter/Extract cannot be tested".


What type of substances are generally found on blotters:


  • Now, one type of substance that since recent is becoming very common are "NBOMe" / "NBX" compounds. Read important information and warnings HERE. The effects are not quite the same as those of LSD and there are additional risks involved. Examples, written in various formats you may encounter are: 25C-NBOMe, 25B, 2C-I NBOMe.They are usually taken via blotter held in the mouth because swallowing these substances may be less effective or less reliable. Doing so typically produces a numbing effect in the mouth while the taste may be more bitter than your average LSD blotter. These substances may influence your body temperature. Keep well hydrated and rest every now and again. Avoid combining with other drugs, especially ones that lower the seizure threshold. Be prepared for vasoconstriction (tightening of the blood vessels). Don't redose unless you are experienced and know what you are taking.NBOMe type drugs are active in the single digit milligram and sub milligram range and therefore fit on blotter paper of regular size and thickness.

  • DOX are also a possibility. The doses are a little higher so they may need larger blotter hits or thicker paper to make potent doses without issues. So bigger or thicker hits may be a tell. Examples are DOB, DOC, DOI, DOM and Bromo-Dragonfly / DOB-Dragonfly. The latter is considerably potent and high doses can lead to trips spanning multiple days. Vasoconstriction is a serious issue (especially when overdosing), something tolazoline may be a relatively novel solution for.Generally you are likely to taste these bitter multi milligram doses unless very diluted. Because the initial onset is typically very long for DOX compounds and even the come-up phase... you may be inclined to redose. Don't do that if your blotter may contain DOX since you are risking extremely long durations and potentially dangerous vasoconstriction.

  • 5-MeO-aMT can produce strong side-effects in a significant part of the population. Another one that should be taken extra carefully, steady titration of dose from very low to slightly higher. No re-dosing, no combinations. According to TIHKAL the duration is about 12-18 hours.

  • 5-MeO-MiPT may occasionally be found on blotter, but the doses are a bit too high to be doing so. It is considerably stimulating, physically as well as mentally (and sometimes in more ways such as sexually). Expect it to be bitter just like 5-MeO-aMT.

  • Sometimes potent benzo's such as phenazepam and etizolam are put on blotter and the blotters may have a print with that information. These are sedatives.


DOM = light yellow, fizzes
DOI = yellow to green
DOC = yellow to olive green / deep green (may develop slowly)
Bromo-Dragonfly = purple to black
2C-B-Fly = Yellow to brown

25B-NBOMe = yellow to (olive) green (eventually possibly to black, the latter is probably the result of oxidation and can happen with other compounds)
25C-NBOMe = yellow / orange (to green)
25D-NBOMe = yellow-brown to green - may show considerably less color change needing more material to show color
25I-NBOMe = orange (probably done with haste, expect to develop to green as well)

(NBOMe compounds may not dissolve well and then give no color reaction!
Differentiating between them is too much to ask)

LSD = olive black / grey / brown to violet (apparently tested on blotter paper, which is unreliable as the sulfuric acid may react with inks and char paper)
LSD = orange (apparently tested on liquid extract from blotter however this is unsupported and would require a high concentration of LSD on original blotter which is generally not the case).


5-MeO-MiPT = yellow
5-MeO-AMT = yellow to black

synthetic cannabinoids = yellow / orange / reddish brown shades

phenazepam = no reaction or very very slow to a murky yellow shade


25B-NBOMe = reddish / rusty brown to black
25C-NBOMe = brown
25D-NBOMe = brown / dark green
25I-NBOMe = light brown

DOC = dark green / brown

5-MeO-MiPT = red - brown





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