How to Test MDMA on your. own

How to Test MDMA

Are you a fan of MDMA? Ever felt a bit uncomfortable when you’ve found some supply but can’t be sure you know what you’re taking? Knowing how to test MDMA is important – the market is entirely unregulated, making it very difficult to know what’s in any given dose. While Frshminds doesn’t condone recreational drug use, if you are going to do it, you should learn to do it safely.

Why Should You Test MDMA

How to Test MDMA - MDMA structure
What your MDMA really looks like.

In the 1920’s, America was deep into its alcohol prohibition experiment, which ended in abject failure. It resulted in the increased use of illicitly-distilled ethanol and methanol, which are more poisonous than regulated alcohol. The lessons from prohibition seem to have long been forgotten because they are being learned anew with MDMA.

Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) or para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA) are similar to MDMA, but are significantly more toxic. They also lack the upside effects of euphoria and empathy that make MDMA so sought-after. According to Professor David Nutt at Imperial College in London, they are 10 times more potent than MDMA and have a slower onset of effects (so users may think they have been sold a weak batch and take more to compensate). PMMA and PMA are not even pharmacological equivalents of MDMA. Like MDMA, they drive a release of serotonin and dopamine, but they also block the enzymes that regulate the amount released. The brain can’t compensate for the dramatic increases, causing some users to develop ‘serotonin syndrome’, dangerously elevating their body temperature. Many deaths reported as MDMA overdoses are speculated to be overdoses of PMA, with over 100 deaths in the UK reported in 2021 and 27 in Canada.

How to Test MDMA - MDMA Pills
MDMA Pills

Fortunately, while MDMA itself is not legal, test kits are and they are very affordable. sells a variety of drug identification kits that allow you to test your MDMA and differentiate it from its lesser cousins. These kits are classified as either a Marquis reagent or Simon’s reagent, and in reality, both are needed to ensure accuracy.

Marquis Reagent Test Kit

This should be your primary test kit for MDMA. It can test for ‘Molly’, amphetamines, and a range of other substances. MDMA and MDMA-like substances like MDA will turn from dark purple to black quite quickly. The kit comes with testing fluid, a vial for mixing the sample, a color chart to match the resulting shade, and a protective jar.

Simons Reagent Test Kit

Now that you have confirmed that your compound is in the MDMA family, you can use this secondary test to differentiate between MDMA and MDA. While similar, MDA is more neurotoxic than MDMA, with more visual effects and a “heavier body high” and energy than with MDMA. This kit also comes with testing fluid, a color chart, a mixing vial – and the process to test your sample is the same.

Test, and Learn

While Frshminds staunchly defends the individuals’ right to manage their cognition, it is even more important to stay safe. If you plan on using MDMA for recreational purposes, consider purchasing a testing kit. And if you are interested in exploring these substances to enhance mental wellness, consider contacting a psychedelic integration therapist.

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About the Author

Passionate about studying the psychedelic/mystical experience from a neuropsychological lens, Emily is a member of MAPS Canada Research Committee and graduated with an Honours BSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology from York University.  She currently leads a team of RAS with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating microdosing psilocybin for persistent depressive disorder.

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