The Legality of Research Chemicals
Research chemicals are synthetic or semi-synthetic molecules that are designed specifically to circumvent drug laws. They are created to mimic the effects of prohibited substances. They can often be purchased online, often labelled as ‘Not for Human Consumption’ to minimize the liability of the people selling them. Due to their constantly evolving nature, their relative harms are unknown compared to the substances they intend to mimic.
The most popular research chemicals are substances that mimic popular psychedelics like LSD and MDMA. Here, we’ll run through some well-known research chemicals, and we’ll tell you everything we know about their legality.
Disclaimer: Research chemicals are potentially illegal substances, and we do not encourage or condone the use of these substances where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs, and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substances. We do not encourage using these drugs outside of a legal or traditional context.
1-propionyl-lysergic acid diethylamide, or 1P-LSD, is one of the most popular research chemicals in the world at the moment, and is a common choice for microdosers who don’t want to break the law.
Its chemical structure is very similar to that of LSD, with a small propionyl group added to the indole ring. According to various threads and forums online, the psychological effects of 1P-LSD are almost indistinguishable from LSD.
1P-LSD probably acts as a prodrug to LSD, and is most likely quickly metabolized into LSD in the body.
Other countries have banned analogues of LSD, which 1P-LSD falls under. Examples are the US Federal Analogue Act, and Latvia’s amendment on tryptamine derivatives. However, we have heard of no cases of people being prosecuted for 1P-LSD possession under these laws.
The UK’s Psychoactive Substances Act means that 1P-LSD is illegal to sell, although you can still possess it. There have been no cases of people being charged for anything related to 1P-LSD.
1P-LSD is legal to purchase and possess in Germany and Canada. If your country doesn’t have a specific regulation against 1P-LSD, or LSD analogues, then it is probably legal to purchase and possess – but always check your local laws. We don’t recommend illegal activities.
2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine, or 2C-B, was designed by Alexander Shulgin in his research of phenethylamines. 2C-B shares structural similarities to mescaline (peyote), but possesses slightly different effects.
Its effects include a body high similar to that of MDMA, but combines the empathogenic properties of MDMA with the psychedelic visuals of LSD.
It is considered one of the more mild psychedelics, and is relatively short-lasting.
2C-B is prohibited in most countries, due to its inclusion in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2001. It’s best to avoid this substance to stay on the right side of the law.
6-allyl-6-nor-lysergic acid diethylamide, or AL-LAD (also known as Aladdin), is derived from LSD, with the difference being the addition of an allyl group.
Reports suggest that this chemical has similar psychological effects to LSD, although with a shorter duration. It’s apparently less likely to provoke anxiety and has been described as a less intense version of LSD, and the ideal ‘starter psychedelic’.
In the US, AL-LAD falls into the same legal gray area as 1P-LSD, where possession and supply could potentially be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act.
In the UK, AL-LAD was added to the Misuse of Drugs Act and is considered a Schedule I drug.
AL-LAD is also illegal in Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia.
1-Acetyl-N,N-diethyllysergamide, or ALD-52, is a derivative of LSD, with the main difference being the addition of an acetyl group to the indole ring.
The subjective psychological effects on humans are not well established, although they’ve been reported to be similar to those of LSD.
In the US, ALD-52 falls into the same legal gray area as 1P-LSD, where possession and supply could potentially be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act.
In the UK, ALD-52 was added to the Misuse of Drugs Act and is considered a Schedule I drug.
ALD-52 is also illegal in Latvia.
6-Ethyl-6-nor-lysergic acid diethylamide, or ETH-LAD, is a derivative of LSD. The main difference between the compounds is an addition of an ethyl group in ETH-LAD.
The subjective effects of ETH-LAD are not well known, although user reports suggest that the effects are somewhat similar to those of LSD.
In the US, ETH-LAD falls into the same legal gray area as 1P-LSD, where possession and supply could potentially be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act.
In the UK, ETH-LAD was added to the Misuse of Drugs Act and is considered a Schedule I drug.
ETH-LAD is also illegal in Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia.
Lysergic acid 2,4-dimethylazetidide (also known as Lambda) or LSZ is an LSD derivative created by David Nichols and fellow researchers at Purdue University. It differs from LSD with the addition of an azetidine group.
Its psychological effects are reported to be similar to those of LSD.
LSZ is illegal in Switzerland and Sweden.
It could possibly fall under the US Federal Analogue Act, although there have been no prosecutions so far.
In the UK, LSZ was added to the Misuse of Drugs Act and is considered a Schedule I drug.
6-propyl-6-nor-lysergic acid diethylamide, or PRO-LAD, is a derivative of LSD. Its main difference from LSD is the addition of a propyl group.
The psychological effects of PRO-LAD are relatively unknown, although users report a general similarity to the effects of LSD.
In the US, PRO-LAD falls into the same legal gray area as 1P-LSD, where possession and supply could potentially be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act.
In the UK, PRO-LAD was added to the Misuse of Drugs Act and is considered a Schedule I drug.
PRO-LAD is also illegal in Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia.
Why do Research Chemicals Exist?
It might strike you that these substances are all potentially dangerous, considering they haven’t been tested in humans, or used for thousands of years like natural psychedelics have.
The reason they exist in the first place is arguably to explore the psychedelic potential of different substances. But the reason they are popular is because they circumvent some laws. Prohibition is the main source of fuel for these substances.
If psychedelics were legalised, these drugs could be fully tested and people would have access to safe substances.
Prohibition just pushes people to find more and more dangerous ways of exercising their cognitive freedom.
Important Note: This is a constantly-evolving document. If you believe we’re missing something important, please let us know via the contact page.
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