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The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer

NCJ Number
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Volume: 49 Issue: 3 Dated: 2017 Pages: 175-181
Date Published
7 pages

This article reports on the authors' laboratory analysis of a dark-brown resin material obtained by a concerned parent from an adolescent child who had a reported history of marijuana use.


The resin was later identified as blue lotus flower (N. caerulea). The blue lotus flower (Nymphea caerulea) is an Egyptian water lily containing apomorphine and nuciferine. Apomorphine has been described as a psychoactive alkaloid and is a non-selective dopamine agonist primarily used to treat Parkinson's disease, since it stimulates dopamine receptors and improves motor function. Nuciferine is an alkaloid associated with dopamine receptor blockade. Today, blue lotus flower is used as a sleep aid and anxiety reliever. The rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) is an electronic cigarette that allows direct application of an e-liquid onto the coil in the atomizer for aerosolization, compared to a typical electronic cigarette where the e-liquid is wicked from a storage vessel to the coil. The resin in the current study was analyzed together with four commercially available blue lotus products. Apomorphine was detected in two samples, and nuciferine was detected in all five samples. The confiscated resin was determined to contain no apomorphine and 4,300 ng/g of nuciferine. The nuciferine resin was shown to aerosolize using aRDA electric cigarette. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017