3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or more commonly MDMA, Adam, Beans or Ecstasy, is a deep rooted tradition amongst the rave culture of the world. Though used habitually by many, this compound began in lab and was originally intended for psychiatric use. First synthesized in 1912 by Anton Kollisch; MDMA was prescribed the world over by psychiatrists to their patients. Original studies of the effects showed that it increased a patient's ability for introspective insight without the fear usually related to self examination. Alexander Shulgin has been quoted in saying that the patients on MDMA described an "altered state of consciousness with emotional and sensual overtones" that can be compared "to marijuana, and to psilocybin devoid of the hallucinatory component". Chemically MDMA enters the brain and increases the levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which gives the user the complacent, content feeling usually associated with use. Another commonly reported symptom of MDMA use is a feeling of bonding to others and objects. This is due to the production of Oxytocin which occurs during the release of serotonin. Oxytocin is usually released during acts like hugging or orgasm. The increased levels of this hormone is the reason people report things like "cuddle puddles" (groups of people lying together hugging and touching each other) occurring among a large number of MDMA users. Doses of MDMA occupy a wider range than most other amphetamines with a threshold dose of 30mg ranging to a strong dose of more than 200mg. Under no circumstances should a first time user take a strong dose. For people with little to no tolerance an overdose can occur at a relatively low dosage (ie. 80-100mg). The effects of overdose are easily recognizable: vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and an inability to control muscle functions that set in within 60 minutes of ingestion of an overdose. If ever unsure about the purity of a sample take less than normal, it is better to trip mildly than take a trip to the hospital. For the general public the terms MDMA and Ecstasy are used almost interchangeably. This is a common misconception. Though Ecstasy tablets began as pressed MDMA powder (which is a white to yellowish white crystalline powder); now this is very rarely the case. Ecstasy purchased on the street usually contains MDMA mixed with any of the following: Caffeine, MDA, Methamphetamine, DXM, MDE, Pseudo/Ephedrine, Ketamine, BZP, and TFMPP. The combination of these and alcohol---many people drink while using other drugs---can be potentially fatal. Extreme care should be taken when buying Ecstasy as it is very hard to test the purity of the tablet. MDMA purchased in crystalline form however is easily tested by means of a melting point test---MDMA in its purest form melts from 147-153C depending on what was used as the solvent in the final stage of extraction. If I haven't scared you off completely MDMA can be used to enhance almost any situation. The relaxed feelings make chilling out at home seem incredible or a three day festival bearable. The introspective properties have been used since its creation for self analysis and of course it makes everything pretty and textures awesome!
As always this is brief overview of the chemical and social aspects of MDMA, more research should be conducted before trying it for the first time. Watch the dose, keep on experimenting and until next time remember what the dormouse said!
by Claudius Ptolemy