How to Make Lean

A Concise Guide for Education and Harm Reduction

Lean, also known as “purple drank,” “sizzurp,”  “syrup” and “lean,”   is a popular (Mind Altering) beverage that had found its’ origin throughout the Hip Hop communities in the early-mid 90s and is now the most prominent drink among today’s Rap culture.

The purple concoction (that is typically consumed in styrofoam cups) consisting of sprite mixed with jolly ranchers and Cough Syrup (More specifically Promethazine w/Codeine VC). The pharmaceutical is typically consumed in portions 25 times greater than is typically prescribed. The mixture leaves the user inebriated with its’ classic mind altering effects (such as euphoria, impaired motor abilities, and mentally disassociative properties). Despite its’ inherent and quite prominent dangers, Lean has found both favor and backlash among current top chart artists in the Hip-Hop industry today. Many of which moved on to lean alternatives

Table of Contents:


  • What is Lean? (History, Effects, Flavor)
  • How to Make Lean (for educational purposes only)
  • Side Effects & General Info (Promethazine With Codeine)
  • Dangers of Lean
  • Addictive Properties
  • The Do Not’s
  • Legal Safe Lean


Lean's Signature Tastes

Lean has a signature effect on the taste buds. (Also known as Mouth-Feel) The combination of Jolly ranchers, soft drink and (in Pharmaceuticals lean) Codeine with Prometh leaves the user with a  prolonged tastes that stays on the tongue for a few hours.


The Hallucinogenic Effects

The bodily effects of lean include the impairment of bodily motor abilities, lethargy, Sleepiness, and a feeling of disassociation (The feeling of being separated from the rest of the body). The effects can last from anywhere between one to three hours.


What's in Pharmaceutical Lean?

In pharmaceutical lean, active substances include Codeine and Promethazine (that is found in cough syrup). Being that the use of these pharmaceutical drugs are illegal and dangerous, legal lean as been gaining immense popularity due to its’ similar effective without the risk of health or legal issues.


The Dangers of Pharmaceutical Lean

Due to its’ pharmaceutical nature, usage and overdose includes risks of Cardiac Arrest, Respiratory Hazard, Neurotic Malignant Syndrome and Addiction and Withdrawal. Read more about the hazards Here 


We do not condone the use of pharmaceuticals. The list below is for educational purposes only*

Ingredients Required to Make Lean

The Following Ingredients are Typically Used for Making Lean.

  1. Prescribed Promethazine/Codeine Cough Syrup
  2. Soft Drink (i.e. Typically Sprite or Mountain Dew)
  3. Traditionally a Styrofoam Cup is used *But that’s bad for the environment.
  4. Jolly ranchers (for the mouthfeel)

How to prepare Lean

  1. (Traditionally) Lean is consumed in a 20 oz Styrofoam cup- (this can be purchased in any store). Add Ice Predominantly.
  2. The typical serving 2 oz of Promethazine / Codeine is added to the cup  (we do not condone the use of any pharmaceutical drugs).
    1. Alternatively 2 oz of Legal Lean alternative is encouraged.
  3. Typically the cup is topped with Sprite or mountain dew but that doesn’t limit the user from using any other soft drink.
  4. The drink is topped with Jolly Ranchers for the signature taste and the “mouth-feel”.

The "Do-Nots" of Lean

  1. Alcohol should be avoided at all costs with the use of lean. See The Dangers of Pharmaceutical Lean
  2. The ingredients present in the pharmaceutical drink is oliguric. The ingredients present in the legal lean drink is a slight diuretic. Avoid with pre-existing gastric issues.
  3. Don’t not use the syrup if it is older than it’s expiration date.
  4. The pharmaceutical drink is addictive and should be avoided.
  5. We do not condone the use of pharmaceutical or prescription drugs


Traditionally, lean is a concoction of pharmaceutical drugs such as Promethazine With Codeine which are typically prescribed for a common cold.

Promethazine is an antihistamine that can have desirable effects. Codeine is an analgesic that blocks the brain’s pain receptors. When both are combined, they result in the effects sought after in the making of lean… but that doesn’t come without consequences.

Those pharmaceutical drugs inherently carry some side effects. When used in larger doses such as when used for  recreational purposes, the risk of side effects increase several-fold.

Some of these side effects are:

  • a shot (or hoarse) voice
  • Drowsiness
  • The impairment of Motor skills
  • Decreased Heart Rate.
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Faint Spells
  • Increased risk of Seizures
  • Curbed Appetite
  • Muscle Stiffness and Cramps
  • Bloody Stool or Rectal Region
  • Itching
  • Painful Headaches



Many wonder about that hazards of consuming lean. The answer lies with the effects of overdose on the active ingredients Promethazine (which depresses the central nervous system) and codeine (which suppresses the respiratory functions). Typically with lean, prometh and codeine is taken up to 25 times the recommended dosage when prescribed for respiratory ailments.  The risk involved are much higher especially when those strong pharmaceutical compounds are taken up to 25 times the recommended dose for proper use.

The Dangers are as Follows:

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Respiratory Disruption
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  • Addiction and Withdrawal
  • Death

Learn more about the dangers of lean by clicking here



Codeine (one of the primary ingredients in lean) is the substance responsible for lean’s addictive properties. Codeine is a Opioid. opiates are extremely addicting as they active the parts of the brain that are responsible for reward, pleasure, euphoria, and anxiety relief. When taken not as prescribed, the user is exposed to its’ addictive properties. Its’ chronic use can build the user’s tolerance to it and will require the user to consume more in order to achieve its’ original effects.

Once a person is dependent on it, a person will experience the following when withdrawing from its’ analgesic effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Body aches
  • Paranoia
  • General Malice
  • Flu-like Symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Light Sensitivity

Typically, the only way to stop the terrible withdrawal effects is to drink the substance again, thus leading to the never ending cycle of addiction.

How to Make Lean September 11, 2016