Sleepy Grass is Uncontrolled in the United States, however, it is not approved for human consumption. This is a gray area of the law because it contains, LSA, which is a Schedule III.
Addictive Potential: None
Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown
Mandatory Minimum Sentence: None
Mechanism of Action: Partial agonist of the serotonin receptors
Sleepy grass plants harboring a fungal species (of the genus Neotyphodium and/or Acremonium), contain ergoline compounds, such as lysergic acid amide (common name, ergine). These compounds appear to be responsible for the sedative effects on mammals (i.e. sheep staggers) when they ingest the infected grass.
Stipa robusta is a perennial plant in the Poaceae or Grass Family. It grows on dry soil in the U.S. Midwest, ranging from South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico to Texas and Arizona. When infected, it is usually with fungal Acremonium endophytes, while tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum) is associated with Neotyphodium coenophialum.
Acremonium endophytes contain lysergic acid amide, isolysergic amide, 8-hydroxylsergic acid amide, ergonovine, chanoclavine-I, and N-formylloline.
Neotyphodium coenophialum endophytes contain lysergic acid amide, ergovaline, ergotamine, ergocryptine, ergocristine, ergonovine, and ergocornine.
Theoretically, the ergot alkaloids can be extracted from either of these grasses utilizing a simple cold water extraction technique or an alcohol extraction technique. Regardless, since these plants contain ergot alkaloids, people should take care. Ergot alkaloids can cause many side effects including seizures and severe vasoconstriction.
Hallucinogens and dissociative agents naturally growing in the United States – by John H. Halpern
Alkaloids of Stipa robusta (sleepygrass) infected with an Acremonium endophyte – by Petroski, Powell, and Clay
Effect of ergot alkaloids on contractility of bovine right ruminal artery and vein – by Foote, Harmon, Strickl, Bush and Klotz