MDMA, or 'ecstasy' is a 'psychedelic amphetamine' that has gained popularity over the past 20 years because of its ability to produce strong feelings of comfort, empathy, and connection to others. It most frequently comes in tablet form, although it is occasionally sold in capsules or as powder. It is most frequently used orally and rarely snorted. MDMA use is closely tied to the underground rave (and dance club) scene throughout the world, but has also been widely used by therapists as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
Because MDMA is so popular and because it goes well with dance parties, the demand for it usually exceeds supply--especially at any given location on any given night. This creates an opening for unscrupulous individuals to sell virtually anything as 'ecstasy'. While 'ecstasy' is the popular name for MDMA, the functional definition of ecstasy is any pill represented as MDMA on the street. Ecstasy pills are notoriously unreliable in content, more so than most other street drugs, and commonly contain either caffeine, ephedrine, amphetamines, MDA, MDE, DXM, or--in rare cases--DOB, and don't necessarily contain MDMA or any psychoactive. This problem has led to the development of simple MDMA testing kits that may help give the user a general sense of the content of a pill.
A standard oral dose of MDMA is between 80 - 150 mg. Most good quality pills contain somewhere in this range, generally 80-120 mg. A large percentage of users find that, unlike with many other psychoactives such as LSD or mushrooms, there is a 'sweet spot' in MDMA dosage. Once this spot is found, higher dosages are not particularly desirable as they don't increase the sought after effects or duration.
The price of MDMA varies wildly depending on where it's purchased and in what quantity. A single tablet bought at a rave can cost as much as $50 though more commonly $20-$30. Purchased in higher quantities MDMA generally sells for $100-$250 per gram (about $10-25 per dose), with wholesale prices as low as $50 per gram.
MDMA is illegal in the United States (Schedule I) and in most other countries. It is also listed as Schedule I in the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances, an international drug control treaty.
3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic chemical that can be derived from an essential oil of the sassafras tree.
MDMA was first synthesized and patented by Merck pharmaceuticals in 1912 and patented in 1914, but it wasn't until the mid 1970s that articles related to its psychoactivity began showing up in scholarly journals. In the late '70s and early '80s MDMA was used as a psychotherapeutic tool and also started to become available on the street. Its growing popularity led to it being made illegal in the United States in 1985 and its popularity has continued to increase since then.
The Substance : MDMA
, M, adam, bean
The Experience : X-ing, rolling
Depending on how much and how recently one has eaten, MDMA generally takes 30-60 minutes (although sometimes as long as 2 hours) to take effect. Unlike with many other psychoactives, the onset of MDMA is very quick. Often at the point one realizes that perhaps they are starting to notice effects, they are already 'launching' quickly towards the peak. This quick and extremely sharp 'launch' can be unnerving, feeling a bit like it's too quick and hard to know when it's going to end, but the feeling generally only lasts a few minutes until the full effects are reached
The primary effects of MDMA last approximately 3-4 hours when taken orally. For many people there is an additional period of time (2-6 hrs) where it is difficult to go to sleep and there is definitely a noticeable difference from everyday reality, but which is not strong enough to be considered 'tripping'. Many people also experience a noticeable shift in mood for several days after use; for some this is a period of depression while others experience lifted mood.
When the full effects of MDMA manifest, barring an uncommon negative reaction, users are likely to find that suddenly everything is right with the world. The primary effects sought by those using MDMA recreationally are the emotional openness, euphoria, stimulation, reduction of critical and cynical thoughts, and decrease of inhibitions that can accompany its use. MDMA is used by some individuals in a therapeutic setting to attempt to work through difficult interpersonal issues. Although MDMA can cause nystagmus (eye wiggles), most individuals experience few prominent open or closed eye visuals. A small percentage of users report significant visual distortions.