TEENS GETTING HIGH ON FLOWER SEEDS
Morning Glory Cocktail Idea Decades Old
Parents know what it means to find a mickey bottle of rum or a bag of
marijuana stashed in their teenager's room.
They might not know that uncovering a pouch of morning glory flower
seeds could be a similar red flag for drug use.
A Dartmouth store has restricted sales of the seeds because clerks
grew suspicious that so many young people were showing up at the
garden centre to buy them.
It turns out that teens are following decades-old recipes to make teas
and other hallucinogenic cocktails. The morning glory flower seeds
contain a substance related to LSD, but at about only 10 per cent potency.
Al Crewe, general manager of the Canadian Tire store on Tacoma Drive
in Dartmouth, said a clerk asked one boy why he so desperately wanted
The teen's reply was: "Because I'm gonna drink 'em."
"Apparently you get deathly sick for 20 minutes or so, and then you
get a great high after that," Mr. Crewe said.
Morning glory seeds are still available at the store's garden centre.
But clerks who suspect the buyer is more intent on eating or drinking
them than planting them have been instructed not to sell them.
"They are young, 12, 13, up to 16 years old," Mr. Crewe said of the
Flower seed recipes have sprouted up on the Internet. Sites and
discussion groups detail how to mix ground-up seeds with alcohol or
with over-the-counter motion-sickness drugs.
Posts at several discussion groups indicate a person ingesting the
cocktail can become violently ill before settling into a euphoric
feeling that lasts six to 12 hours.
Others indicated their experiment led only to vomiting, diarrhea and
"My auditory imagination was greatly intensified while on them (mostly
with cartoon sound-effects), but otherwise the nausea was unbearable -
I vomited my taco dinner through my nose," one person wrote.
The seeds contain a naturally occurring substance called lysergic acid
amide (LSA), a cousin of LSD, the hallucinogenic "acid" of the 1960s.
While the morning glory fad appears to be back, a saleswoman at
Halifax Seed Co. said the cocktails have been around for decades.
"Years ago, they used to take the seeds and steep it and make morning
glory tea," Caye Harris-Allum said. "It gives you a bit of a high."
She recalls that 1979 and 1980 "seemed to be the hot years, then it
died off. It sort of resurfaced again in the early '90s, died off an
now it's come back again."
Clerks at the north-end store also keep tabs on who is buying seeds
and how many.
"We don't like to sell any great amount," Caye Harris-Allum said. "We
usually start asking questions if people start looking for pounds of
There are about 15 varieties of morning glory flowers - vine climbers
with a brilliant flower about six to eight centimetres in diameter.
Two with high lysergic acid content - heavenly blue and pearly gates -
are favourites for cocktail-makers.
They are also the prettiest varieties, according to Ms. Harris-Allum,
for those who actually plant the seeds.
While some online sources suggest commercial suppliers of the seeds
coat them with a mild poison to discourage recreational drug use, Ms.
Harris-Allum said the nausea users experience is a reaction to a
naturally occurring substance in the seed.
There are serious potential side-effects for anyone taking
antidepressant drugs or for pregnant women. LSD can cause the uterus
to contract, possibly increasing the risk of miscarriage.
The potential for overdose is low, but high doses can result in
psychotic reaction, shock or heart failure.