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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 6 (2009) pp 236-238

Detection of Psilocybin Mushroom Analogs in Chocolate: Incorporating Current Events into the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Brandon Huskins and Christopher R. Dockery*

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144,
Received January 26, 2009. Accepted September 2, 2009.

Published online: 31 December 2009

Abstract. In this experiment, tryptamine is used as a psilocin analog and is dispersed onto a Fisher brand cellulose laboratory sponge to simulate dehydrated mushrooms. The resulting “mushroom” material is ground, molded into chocolate, and presented to student groups for real-world and applied analyses. Students isolate the tryptamine from the chocolate using their knowledge of drug chemistry, solubility, pH, extractions, etc. Qualitative analysis is conducted by comparison to standards (Thin Layer Chromatography or Gas Chromatography) and quantitative analysis is conducted by Gas Chromatography using the method of internal standards.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; quantitative analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (92 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Detailed procedures and example discussion questions are available as supporting materials (128 KB)

Issue date: Dec 31, 2009

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