Frshminds' Blog

How to Test MDMA

How to Test MDMA
While you’ve never fashioned as a chemist, knowing how to test MDMA is important since it is very difficult for an individual user to be 100% certain what’s in any given dose due to the fact it currently illegal and therefore not regulated.   With the resurgence of music festivals in the summer of  21 as the lockdown restrictions of  Covid-19 fall to the wayside, many who have spent the winter inside due to lockdown restrictions are eager to get out and enjoy the summer, so it’s no surprise that North America might be seeing a roaring 20’s 2.0 in effect,  similar to the one that followed the 1918 pandemic/end of WWI and MDMA is also a common recreational substance at many of these festivals.  While Frshminds doesn’t condone recreational drug use, if you are going to do it, you should learn to stay safe.

Why Should You Test MDMA

Chemical structure of MDMA.

Chemical structure of MDMA.

And just as the 1920s saw alcohol prohibition result in increased use of illicitly distilled ethanol and methanol, both of which are more poisonous than regulated alcohol, crackdowns to prohibit MDMA have resulted in dangerous alternatives. Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) or para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA) are compounds similar in molecular structure to MDMA, but are significantly more toxic and lack the subjective effects of euphoria and increased empathy. Professor David Nutt at Imperial College in London explains that this is the case for three reasons. First, they are up to 10 times more potent, meaning a user who is typically safely using MDMA at a dose of 80mg per session will be taking the equivalent of 800mg of MDMA. Secondly, PMA has a slower onset of effects than MDMA, so users may think they have been sold a weak batch and may take more to make up for this. Thirdly PMA and PMMA are not pharmacological equivalents of MDMA. Though similar in structure, they have very different actions. Their major problem is that they block the actions of the brain enzymes that offset the desired effects of serotonin and dopamine release that PMA/PMMA produce. This then massively accentuates their toxicity as the brain can’t compensate for the increase in serotonin so users can develop serotonin syndrome. This is a toxic reaction that elevates body temperature to a dangerous, and in some cases lethal, level.

MDMA pills

Pills of MDMA.

Many deaths reported in the media as MDMA overdoses have been speculated to be, more realistically, overdoses related to the ingestion of PMA, with over 100 deaths in the UK and in a study from Canada, 27 over an 11 month period. For this reason, it is vital to practice harm reduction, further than just dosage, set, and setting, but also making sure your drugs are tested and you know what you’re ingesting. 

Luckily, test kits are both legal to purchase and very affordable. Testkitplus.com sells a variety of different drug identification kits. Today Frshimnds will be showing you how to test MDMA, and further how to differentiate between MDMA and MDA, using the Marquis reagent and Simon’s reagent.

Note: The methods listed below aren’t 100% conclusive. Lab analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is considered the gold standard.

Marquis Reagent Test Kit

This should be your primary test kit for MDMA. Besides testing for Molly and Speed (amphetamine), this kit will detect a range of other substances. MDMA and MDMA-like substances (MDA, MDE) will turn from dark purple to black quite quickly – usually in less than 10 seconds. The test kit includes:

  • Bottle with testing fluid
  • Color chart with instructions
  • Multiple-use testing vial
  • Protective storage/transport jar

Using the test kit:

  1. Put a small sample into the testing vial or porcelain surface. Your sample should be about this size: (●). If you are using the testing vial, hold it above the open plastic jar, so that if a drop misses the vial, it will land in the jar.
  2. Place 1-2 drops of the testing liquid from the dropper bottle onto the sample. DO NOT let the sample touch the bottle nozzle, or the reagent will get contaminated!
  3. Watch the color change over 30-60 seconds. Some reactions occur quickly (MDMA takes only a couple of seconds to turn dark purple/black). Other reactions take a longer time (aspirin and sugar gradually change color over the course of a few minutes).>
  4. Compare the reaction color with the color chart provided.
  5. Tightly close the dropper bottle. If you’re using more than one testing fluid, make sure you only open one bottle at a time. If you accidentally switch caps, the testing liquid will get contaminated and ruined.
  6. Thoroughly wash the testing vial or porcelain surface after each use.
  7. Store the dropper bottle in a cold place to maximize shelf life, like a freezer.

Simons Reagent Test Kit

This is a secondary, 2-step test to differentiate between MDMA and MDA and should be done after testing with the marquis reagent. These two substances are closely related, however, there are still differences in terms of pharmacology and subjective effects. MDA is considered more neurotoxic than MDMA, and its effects are considered to be more visual with a “heavier body high” and energy than with MDMA. The test kit includes:
  • Bottle with testing fluid
  • Color chart with instructions>
  • Multiple-use testing vial
  • Protective storage/transport jar

Using the test kit:
  1. Put a small sample into the testing vial or ceramic surface. Your sample should be about this size: (●). If you are using the testing vial, hold it above the open plastic jar, so that if a drop misses the vial, it will land in the jar.
  2. Place 1-2 drops of the Simons A test from the dropper bottle onto the sample. DO NOT let the sample touch the bottle nozzle, or the reagent will get contaminated! Then place 1-2 drops of the Simons B reagent from the dropper bottle onto the substance.
  3. Compare the reaction color with the color chart provided. MDMA will turn dark blue, whereas MDA will result in no color change.
  4. Tightly close the dropper bottle. If you’re using more than one testing fluid, make sure you only open one bottle at a time. If you accidentally switch caps, the testing liquid will get contaminated and ruined.
  5. Thoroughly wash the testing vial or ceramic surface after each use.
  6. Store the dropper bottle in a cold place to maximize shelf life, like a freezer.
While an individual’s rights to the freedom of an individual to control their own mental processes, cognition, and consciousness is important, it is also important to stay safe while doing so. If you plan on using MDMA for recreational purposes, consider purchasing a testing kits, like the ones from testkitplus.com. And if you are interested in exploring these substances to explore mental wellness, consider contacting a psychedelic integration therapist beforehand via Frshminds.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Table of Contents

Product Reviews

Related Posts

Ban Thurian

Ban Thurian was discovered by John Allen in Thailand growing in a dense patch on water buffalo dung, and thus has resemblance to the other

psilocybe cubensis mckennaii magic mushrooms

Mckennaii Magic Mushrooms

Mckennaii magic mushroom (Psilocybe Cubensis McKennaii), supposedly named after Terrence Mckenna, a famous advocate, teacher, researcher and cultivator and are known for its speed of

Sign Up For Frshminds' Free Guide to Understanding Psychedelics

Sign up for 8-part email course to learn the basics about psychedelics.