The Essential Guide to MDMA

(Ecstasy, E, X, XTC, Rolls, Beans, Adam, Molly)

The Essential Guide to MDMA



Disclaimer: MDMA is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance 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 substance.



MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or Molly, is primarily a recreational drug that causes euphoric feelings, increased empathy with others, and enhanced sensations. Sounds and colors are often experienced more intensely, making MDMA a popular recreational drug at raves and music festivals.

Currently, it is in Phase III clinical trials for use as a therapeutic aid in the treatment of PTSD, and has been granted “Breakthrough Therapy” status by the FDA.

It is most commonly taken as an oral tablet that comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but it can also be snorted or smoked.

MDMA can be deadly when combined with other drugs (especially PMA/PMMA), and can also be deadly on its own at high doses.

History & Stats


Brief history

The history of MDMA began decades before the rave culture that popularized it.

A common myth perpetuated by both the scientific community and media outlets is that MDMA was first synthesized and patented by the German pharmaceutical company Merck as an appetite suppressant.

Merck did synthesize the drug in 1912, but the appetite suppressant story is an urban legend. Instead, it was developed as a potentially life-saving blood clotting medicine.

Very little, if any, testing was done in the early years after its first synthesis. It wasn’t until 1927 that Merck revived interest in the drug. A chemist named Max Oberlin predicted that MDMA might mimic adrenaline since the chemicals shared a similar molecular structure. Not long after these initial studies, however, the prices of chemical precursors skyrocketed and testing was put on hold.

It is not exactly known when the first human trials with MDMA were conducted, but the US military is known to have tested it and other drugs on humans in the 1950s.

The first “recipe” for MDMA was published in a polish-language scientific journal in 1960 and tablets began popping up in seized contraband in the 1970s.

Dr. Alexander Shulgin first read about MDMA in the early 1970s at which point he synthesized it and tried it himself, becoming the first person to officially record ecstasy use in a human subject in 1978.[1] In the 1980s, its use in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was said to increase patient self-esteem and facilitate therapeutic communication.[2]

While Shulgin is often called “the Godfather of Ecstasy”, the real creator of MDMA was a German scientist named Anton Kollisch, who died in 1916 never knowing the legacy he left.

Since 1985, MDMA has been listed as a schedule I drug in the United States, making it effectively illegal for all uses, but some limited clinical trials have been approved and conducted in recent years. In 2011, a federal court sided with the ACLU who argued that punishments for MDMA possession and use were based on outdated science which led to overly severe prison sentences,[3] but other courts have upheld the previous sentencing laws.

Current use

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that MDMA had been used at least once by 13.1% of people between the ages of 18 and 25, and 6.5% of people age 26 and over. Full results from the survey are below.

Time Period Ages 12 or Older Ages 12 to 17 Ages 18 to 25 Ages 26 or Older
Lifetime 6.80% 1.40% 13.10% 6.50
Past Year 1.00% 0.80% 4.10% 0.50
Past Month 0.20% 0.10% 0.90% 0.10%


These trends appear to be holding relatively steady:

18 to 25 Year Olds 26 Years Old and Over
Time Period 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015
Lifetime 12.80 12.00 13.10 6.40 6.40 6.50
Past Year 4.00 3.50 4.10 0.50 0.50 0.50
Past Month 0.90 0.80 0.90 0.10 0.10 0.10


Its appearance in published reports and literature reached a peak in the early- to mid- 2000s and has fallen quite a bit since then:

Interest in MDMA

Google search interest over the past decade or so has slowly but steadily increased before plateauing the past few years:

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

MDMA Street Names


As one of the most popular psychedelics and party drugs, MDMA has earned a varied assortment of street names. In fact, there may be more nicknames for MDMA than for any other substance besides weed.

Some of these refer to the compound generally, in whatever form, while others refer to set preparations. “Ecstasy” could fall into either category but it usually refers to tablets, or “pills.”[15] Its name was supposedly changed from “Empathy” early on to boost sales appeal.[16]

The marketing of ecstasy pills, complete with trusted logos and brand names,[17] has actually spawned a number of other enduring street names, including “Doves.” However, most ecstasy brand names, while popular in their own right, haven’t caught on as street names for pills in general. These include Mitsubishi, Little Rocket, and Dolphin (or Blue Dolphin).[18]
Some other generic street names for pills include:

  • Beans
  • Disco biscuits
  • E
  • Eckies
  • Little fellas
  • M&M’s
  • Scooby snacks
  • Vitamin E, or Vitamin X
  • X, or XTC

“Molly,” short for “molecular,”[19] refers to crystal (powder) MDMA.[15] In the UK, it’s also known as “Mandy.” Other names from around the world include:[20]

  • Adam
  • Decadence
  • Egyptians
  • Essence
  • Eve
  • Exiticity
  • Four-leaf clover
  • Glass
  • Happy drug
  • Love drug
  • Malcolm, or Malcolm X
  • Rave energy
  • Rolls
  • Speed for lovers
  • Stacy



Receptor interactions

MDMA affects the brain by increasing activity levels of three different neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and serotonin.[4]

Increases in dopamine account for euphoric effects, as well as increased energy. Physiological effects while under the influence of ecstasy are caused by increases in norepinephrine/noradrenaline. These include increased heart rate and blood pressure. MDMA effects on the serotonin system cause characteristic changes in mood, appetite, sexual arousal, and sleep cycles. Spikes in serotonin after taking MDMA likely account for feelings of emotional closeness and empathy that are commonly reported by users.


Potentially fatal neurological complications can occur following MDMA ingestion, likely due to short-term hypertension and dehydration that is induced by the drug. Necrosis of liver and heart tissue has also been reported in individuals where death was associated with the use of amphetamine derivatives.[5]

Many fatal cases are due to abnormally high doses, prior health complications, a “bad batch” of MDMA, or a combination of all of these. It’s also particularly difficult to tell exactly how much of role MDMA plays in adverse reactions in many cases because users are more likely to have used multiple drugs.[6] Like with any substance, it should be used in moderation, as heavy users tend to experience more complications than occasional users.[7]

Clinical studies with pure MDMA have been conducted on over 1100 individuals without the occurrence of severe adverse effects.[8]

Pure MDMA?


The purity of MDMA is notoriously variable, especially in tablet form. In the US, for instance, the average MDMA concentration in ecstasy tablets (or “pills”) is reported to be 30.13%.[21] But this includes samples as low as 0% and as high as 100%. Also, while the sample size varies (from 1 to 1000 pills), individual state averages can be double or half the national average.

Still, this is something of a recent improvement. In 2008, police seizures of the chemical precursor safrole meant that, for years, street MDMA concentration in ecstasy pills was very often zero.[22] Since then, the percentage of dud pills (tablets containing no MDMA) has been rapidly falling. Meanwhile, the percentage of ecstasy pills containing MDMA alone, without any adulterants, has been climbing. In 2009, 60.1% of ecstasy tablets worldwide contained no MDMA whatsoever, whereas just 8.7% contained MDMA alone. By 2018, the situation was reversed: 8.8% of ecstasy tablets contained no MDMA, while 54.8% contained MDMA alone.[23]

Part of this has to do with new manufacturing methods. Underground chemists now synthesize MDMA with a less heavily restricted precursor. But it also has to do with the darknet, where vendor ratings and competition naturally drive the quality up.[24]

In fact, far from the days of there being too little MDMA in pills, nowadays there’s often too much. Super-strength ecstasy tablets have made headlines in recent years for killing unsuspecting users. Whereas the MDMA content in ecstasy pills is traditionally between 80 and 120mg, some have been found to contain upwards of 300mg.[25] A high-end dose like this can be dangerous enough in itself, let alone when you’re not expecting it. and Pill Reports are excellent resources for gauging the safety of specific pills. However, they should only be used as a guide. The safest way to use ecstasy pills is to start with just half a tablet and gauge how you feel over an hour.[26][27]

What about the purity of Molly (crystal MDMA)?

Despite what you may have been sold, even in crystal or powder form, pure MDMA is difficult to find on the street. However, street MDMA concentration has been climbing in recent years. In the UK, at least, it has apparently reached 83%.[28] Accounting for the molar mass of the hydrochloride (HCl) salt that most MDMA is made as, this is pretty much the maximum purity.[29]

MDMA in pure form, or free base MDMA, has by definition a purity of 100%.

Unfortunately, whatever form it’s in, your ecstasy is unlikely to be pure. In other words, there’s probably something else in it—and adulterants can sometimes be deadly. Using an MDMA test kit is a good precaution. These can show up the presence of, firstly, MDMA, and secondly, toxic adulterants by a color change you can check on a chart. However, chemical reagent tests like this cannot tell you the purity and they’re only indicative at best. They should, therefore, be used alongside other harm reduction practices.[30]

A caution on PMA/PMMA (aka “Death”)

The prohibition of MDMA in most countries (and especially the police seizures of safrole in 2008/2010 interrupting the supply of ecstasy) has led to the emergence of unknown alternatives. These substances, about which we know relatively little, tend to be far more dangerous than MDMA. And yet they’re legal by default in many jurisdictions.

Following the procedure for making MDMA with aniseed oil instead of safrole, for example, yields not ecstasy but the problematic substances para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA) or para-Methoxy-N-methylamphetamine (PMMA).[37] Both have been implicated in the deaths of unsuspecting users from as early as 1993.[38] In December 2014/January 2015, for instance, at least three men died after taking the same pink “Superman” pills containing PMA.[36][37]

PMA/PMMA can be 10-20 times more potent than MDMA.[36][37] So users taking a “safe” dose of what they believe to be ecstasy could be massively overdosing on a far riskier substance. PMA/PMMA are also slower-acting, which means experienced ecstasy users are likely to re-dose too soon, taking even more of this harmful drug into their bodies.

The trouble is, PMA/PMMA are not analogs of MDMA. They have a different pharmacological action. Unlike ecstasy, they block certain enzymes (e.g. monoamine oxidase, or MAO) that offset the release of serotonin. And, as a result, they can lead to serotonin syndrome, which can be deadly.[37][38]

Reagent testing can help to identify the presence of PMA/PMMA; however, the presence of real MDMA could disguise the presence of PMA/PMMA as adulterants. Checking pills against user reports online, e.g. at and Pill Reports, is, therefore, a sensible precaution.

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.



Most tablets available for recreational use contain between 80 and 150 mg of MDMA.[9] At this dose level, the onset of effects occur approximately 20 to 60 minutes after taking the drug, and the characteristic effects (euphoria, increased empathy, increased energy, enhanced sensations) typically last for 3 to 5 hours.

The MDMA high is usually characterized by a relaxed, euphoric state, including emotional openness, empathy, reduction of negative thoughts, and a decrease in inhibitions. Sounds and colors can also appear more intense.

Some adverse physiological effects can occur after ingesting MDMA and include elevated blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, chills, sweating, tremor, jaw clenching, hyperreflexia, urinary urgency, muscle aches or tension, hot and cold flushes, nystagmus, and insomnia. At higher doses, these physiological changes can result in severe adverse reactions.

MDMA overdose can (and does) kill. A high dose of MDMA can be a contributing factor in deadly conditions such as hyperthermia, exhaustion or hyperhydration. Additionally, MDMA can trigger ‘serotonin syndrome,’ a potentially deadly overloading of the body’s serotonin levels.

Many people report an unpleasant comedown after a night of heavy MDMA use, including feelings of depression and fatigue. In our microdosing course, MDMA expert Dr Ben Sessa explains how the typical MDMA comedown is due to overexertion, poor sleep, poor diet, and polydrug use. As such, the MDMA comedown can be countered by eating and sleeping well after taking MDMA, keeping hydrated if you’re dancing, and avoiding taking any other substances (including alcohol). Additionally, supplement kits are available online, claiming to help prepare and repair your body.

Effects by dose

NOTE: Effects listed below aren’t meant to be definitively comprehensive, particularly at the lower dose ranges. They may be subject to change as more reliable, more widely representative data becomes available.

NOTE: These dose ranges are intentionally conservative to account for the high variability of MDMA purity. They assume 100% (aka 84%) purity.

Threshold (5-40 mg)

  • Slight mood enhancement, if at all
  • Emotional vulnerability (opened to emotional content without anxiolytic effect)

Light (40-75 mg)

  • Mild to moderate euphoria (60 mg may be equivalent to moderate dose if you have a low body weight)
  • Introspection
  • Mild pupil dilation
  • Emotional vulnerability (opened to emotional content without anxiolytic effect)
  • Frustration at dosage (too high to be comfortable, too low to be “recreational”)
  • Boredom

Moderate (75-120 mg)

  • Strong euphoria
  • Therapeutic introspection
  • Feelings of wonder
  • Heightened self-esteem
  • Openness and self-forgiveness
  • Heightened empathy and sociability
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Spontaneity
  • Enhanced perception of light and color
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced senses, especially tactile
  • Enhanced appreciation for music, art, etc.
  • Appetite suppression
  • Enhanced tactile sensations, including sensitivity to cold
  • Analgesia
  • Closed-eye visuals
  • Dry mouth
  • Jaw clenching/grinding
  • Orgasm suppression and erectile dysfunction
  • Insomnia
  • Possible next-day comedown effects, e.g. fatigue, depression (can also be felt over the next seven days)

Strong (120-150 mg)

NOTE: It may be unsafe to take more than 120 mg high-purity MDMA (or 1.5-1.7 mg/kg body weight, whichever is lowest), even if you have a tolerance. Anyway, positive effects appear to be maximized and negative effects minimized between 81-100 mg, ideally taken no more than once a month.

  • Strong euphoria
  • Feelings of wonder
  • Heightened empathy and sociability
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Spontaneity
  • Enhanced perception of light and color
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced senses, especially tactile
  • Appetite suppression
  • Enhanced tactile sensations, including sensitivity to cold
  • Analgesia
  • Slight closed-eye visuals
  • Agitation and paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Perspiration
  • Dehydration
  • Jaw clenching/grinding
  • Orgasm suppression and erectile dysfunction
  • Insomnia
  • Probable next-day comedown effects, e.g. fatigue, depression (can also be felt over the next seven days)

Heavy (150+ mg)

NOTE: Heavy doses of high-purity MDMA are potentially life-threatening, regardless of tolerance.

  • Strong euphoria
  • Feelings of wonder
  • Heightened empathy and sociability
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Spontaneity
  • Enhanced perception of light and color
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced senses, especially tactile
  • Surges of energy or stimulation
  • Appetite suppression
  • Enhanced tactile sensations, including sensitivity to cold
  • Analgesia
  • Closed-eye visuals
  • Possible open-eye visuals or hallucinations
  • Agitation and paranoia
  • Panic
  • Dizziness
  • Nystagmus (“eye wiggles” and blurry vision)
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Perspiration
  • Shivering/trembling
  • Dehydration
  • Orgasm suppression and erectile dysfunction
  • Jaw clenching/grinding
  • Gurning
  • Insomnia
  • Seizure
  • Next-day comedown effects, e.g. fatigue, depression (can also be felt over the next seven days)



“Ecstasy will make me drink so much water that I’ll die”

Although one of the most famous ecstasy-related deaths was caused by overhydration, MDMA itself will not make you drink yourself to death. The victim in this infamous case thought that by drinking a large amount of water, they would counteract an unpleasant ecstasy experience. Unfortunately, MDMA also makes it harder for the body to process water, meaning she died from water retention.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid drinking water on ecstasy. Taking a very high dose of ecstasy can cause an inability to regulate your hydration, so you should make sure you’re drinking water regularly. This is especially if you’re dancing or exerting yourself.

The main cause of ecstasy-related deaths is a lack of education. People don’t know how to take the drug safely, and end up increasing their health risks. When used responsibly, it is a relatively safe drug.

“Ecstasy is a clubbing drug only”

Although MDMA is very popular for use in clubs due to its enhancement of music and dance, that doesn’t mean it’s exclusively a clubber’s drug. Many people take it in a spiritual or therapeutic context. It can be used for various forms of personal and relationship development, and clinical trials are using it to treat sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Ecstasy eats away at your brain”

There is no evidence that moderate use of MDMA (less than 100mg every few weeks) can cause damage to your brain.

Frequent, high dose use can cause heart problems and memory problems. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to overdose on MDMA if it’s combined with other drugs, especially PMA/PMMA. MDMA overdose can be lethal.

So although sensible use is relatively safe, it can be harmful in large amounts.

Therapeutic Use



In 2017, MDMA was approved for use in Phase 3 clinical trials in the US to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[10] [11] This is one of the last phases of testing before a drug is legally approved for therapeutic use. The trials are being funded by MAPS.

MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD involves only a few administrations of the drug alongside guided professional therapy. The drug used in these trials is pure, with dosages strictly controlled – unlikely the typical use of recreational ecstasy.

Patients who have undergone this therapy typically have a particularly treatment-resistant form of PTSD (many of them are war veterans). They report that MDMA therapy helped them approach their past trauma with a greater sense of acceptance, warmth, and compassion for themselves, allowing them greater opportunity to cope and heal.

Read more about the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD here.


Preliminary results from a few studies suggest MDMA is also a promising treatment for social anxiety in individuals with autism.[12] In a clinical setting, it can be used to shift a patient with social anxiety towards openness and encourage introspection. Early results suggest this is accomplished with infrequent or even single doses, eliminating the need for frequent administration of the drug, thereby mitigating the possible adverse side effects and many of the costs associated with longer-term, more involved therapies.

This same mechanism appears to operate in treating patients with life-threatening illnesses who experience clinical anxiety as well.[13]

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

Personal Growth


Opinions vary among spiritual leaders and guides, but MDMA is sometimes cited as a tool that can be used for spiritual growth. Some spiritual teachers laud its ability to induce feelings of oneness, interconnectedness, empathy, compassion, warmth and kindness towards others, and, importantly, a lack of self-consciousness. States such as these are often catalysts for spiritual epiphanies and further spiritual and personal development.

As one Benedictine monk put it:

“MDMA always propels me into an intimate space in conversation. There is a special quality to this conversation. One feels a heaviness, a sense of the weight of the moment, of something profound, of the seriousness of life itself. It is a space that is inner, without masks, without pretense, utterly open and honest. It is not an erotic intimacy, but a philosophical and mystical intimacy. Does this make any sense? One has the consciousness that this is an inner communication rarely achieved in ordinary discourse. There really are no adequate words to express this state of awareness, only to say, that it is essential in my experience.”

MDMA can be used in many different sets and settings to invoke spiritual development — from sitting quietly and introspecting, to meditating in groups, to therapy. Even rolling at raves can have a spiritual quality if the user approaches it with the right intentions.

MDMA could also be a useful tool for building or repairing relationships. Alexander Shulgin, “the Godfather of Ecstasy,” has written frequently on its potential use as a therapy for couples. The emotional intimacy produced by ecstasy could be the key to understanding our relationships and perhaps finding the places that need work.

Other resources:



MDMA is a Schedule I substance in the United States, which makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess without a DEA license.[39] Scandalously, this scheduling also suggests that ecstasy has no therapeutic value—contrary to the findings of MDMA clinical trials for PTSD. However, given the strength of this research, it seems very likely (if not inevitable) that medical MDMA will soon be available on prescription.[40]

In the UK it’s a Class A, which is basically the same as Schedule I: Buying, selling or making MDMA is illegal without a license.[41]

The same is true in the majority of countries, but some are more permissive in practice. In the Netherlands, for example, where MDMA is very much illegal, possession of small amounts is often ignored by the police.[39] Meanwhile, in Peru, it’s perfectly legal to possess up to 250mg (one quarter of a gram) of MDMA, so long as it’s the only drug on you.[39][42]



What is MDMA?

MDMA stands for 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Also known as ecstasy, it’s one of the most popular psychedelics in the world. It’s widely seen as more of a “party drug” than LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and so on. But it’s currently re-emerging as a breakthrough psychotherapeutic aid.[31] Researchers are especially enthusiastic about the potential for MDMA in PTSD treatment.

It comes in two basic forms: Tablets (or “pills”) and crystals (or powder). MDMA pills are often called ecstasy while Molly is MDMA in powder form, or MDMA crystals.

Can I test my MDMA to see it it’s safe to take?

Testing your MDMA is always good practice even when you trust your supplier. Reagent test kits from Bunk Police can identify hundreds of adulterants and substitutesoffering peace of mind and potentially saving your life.

DXM, MDA, methamphetamine, methylone (“bath salts”), and PMA/PMMA are some common imposters to beware of. The Marquis, Mecke, and Simon’s reagents can help to rule them out. Simply place a tiny amount of MDMA into a sterile test tube or onto a sterile white ceramic surface and add a few drops of the reagent. Then check the color change (or lack thereof) against the supplied spectrum booklet.

What type of drug is ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a type of amphetamine, a stimulant class of drugs that includes speed and methamphetamine. But MDMA is considerably more benign than each of these. As an amphetamine, it’s also part of the phenethylamine class of substances, like mescaline. Of course, the effects are again substantially different. Based on these, MDMA may be classed as an entactogen or euphoric empathogen.

What does ecstasy do?

Regardless of MDMA dosage, ecstasy is a stimulating drug. Most people report a physical and emotional euphoria, along with mild visual effects, such as color enhancement. Increased stamina (e.g. for dancing) is also common.

MDMA side effects include increased perspiration, dehydration, jaw clenching, and involuntary shaking.[32]

How do I know if I have MDMA?

MDMA test kits can be purchased online, allowing you to test for the presence of the drug (and adulterants). Making sure that you are actually ingesting MDMA, at sensible doses, is a crucial part of safe drug use.

How do I take MDMA?

Ecstasy is most commonly ingested as an oral tablet. In powder form, MDMA crystal can be ingested orally or insufflated (snorted). Snorting MDMA tends to be unpopular, however, because of the bad flavor, potential for nose bleeds (as well as anxiety and palpitations), and the relatively short-lived effects. Many people mix the crystal into their drinks to avoid bitter taste. Smoking MDMA (or rather, vaping MDMA) is another option, but it’s even less popular than snorting.

Effects will take up to an hour to appear. Don’t redose too frequently. Don’t mix with other drugs.

How long does MDMA last?

MDMA effects last for 3-6 hours in total. You should start to feel them 20-90 minutes after dosing. The peak itself may last anywhere between 1.5-3 hours before diminishing over the following 1-2 hours.

After the primary effects have worn off, you may experience a “comedown” or post-trip “crash” characterized by feelings of depression and fatigue. These can be mild or severe and may last between 12-72 hours, or possibly up to a week.[32][33]

How long does MDMA stay in your system?

Like other amphetamines, MDMA stays in the system for 24-96 hours after use, with 72 hours being the average.[14]

Can it be detected in a drug test?

MDMA is structurally close enough to amphetamines that it can return a positive result in standard urine drug screens up to 5 days after use. It is also detectable in hair samples for up to 90 days.[14]

Does it produce tolerance?

MDMA depletes serotonin levels, so users often experience a ‘hangover’ lasting up to a few days, during which they may feel depressed or mentally exhausted. Therefore, expect an MDMA tolerance to last for several days.

It’s best to avoid taking MDMA more than once a month, as long-term use can be neurotoxic and affect memory and mood.

Is MDMA addictive?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies have so far failed to definitively answer this question.[34] However, most people who actually use MDMA find it to be non-addictive.[35]

Can I mix it with other drugs?

MDMA should not be mixed with other drugs, as some combinations can be very dangerous. Since it affects the kidneys and liver, it’s best to avoid combining MDMA and alcohol. You should also avoid mixing it with DXM, tramadol, and MAOIs, as these combinations can be fatal.

The best way to take MDMA is without any other drug, and with plenty of water if you’re dancing. This should help to minimize health risks.

Can I microdose with MDMA?

Some people have reported microdosing MDMA, however, it’s possible that long-term use can be toxic. Ecstasy and Molly deplete serotonin levels, and microdosing the drug could leave you with a long MDMA hangover.

MDMA should probably only be used once a month at most, to avoid any dangers of long-term neurotoxicity.

Here’s more information about the dangers of microdosing MDMA.



[1] Shulgin, A. T., & Nichols, D. E. (1978). Characterization of three new psychotomimetics. The Pharmacology of Hallucinogens. New York: Pergamon.

[2] Green, A. R., Mechan, A. O., Elliott, J. M., O’Shea, E., & Colado, M. I. (2003). The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,“ecstasy”). Pharmacological Reviews, 55(3), 463–508.

[3] ACLU. (2011, Jul 15). Court Rejects Harsh Federal Drug Sentencing Guideline as Scientifically Unjustified. Retrieved from

[4] NIDA. MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). Retrieved from

[5] Green, A. R., Mechan, A. O., Elliott, J. M., O’Shea, E., & Colado, M. I. (2003). The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,“ecstasy”). Pharmacological Reviews, 55(3), 463–508.

[6] Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E., & Daumann, J. (2006). The confounding problem of polydrug use in recreational ecstasy/MDMA users: a brief overview. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 20(2), 188–193.

[7] Parrott, A. C., Sisk, E., & Turner, J. J. D. (2000). Psychobiological problems in heavy “ecstasy”(MDMA) polydrug users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 60(1), 105–110.

[8] Danforth, A. L., Struble, C. M., Yazar-Klosinski, B., & Grob, C. S. (2016). MDMA-assisted therapy: a new treatment model for social anxiety in autistic adults. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 64, 237–249.

[9] Green, A. R., Mechan, A. O., Elliott, J. M., O’Shea, E., & Colado, M. I. (2003). The pharmacology and clinical pharmacology of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,“ecstasy”). Pharmacological Reviews, 55(3), 463–508.

[10] Mukherjee, S. (2016, Nov 30). Ecstasy Could Soon Double as a Prescription Drug for PTSD Patients. Retrieved from

[11] Philipps, D. (2016, Nov 29). F.D.A. Agrees to New Trials for Ecstasy as Relief for PTSD Patients. Retrieved from

[12] Danforth, A. L., Struble, C. M., Yazar-Klosinski, B., & Grob, C. S. (2016). MDMA-assisted therapy: a new treatment model for social anxiety in autistic adults. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 64, 237–249.

[13] Mithoefer, M. C., Grob, C. S., & Brewerton, T. D. (2016). Novel psychopharmacological therapies for psychiatric disorders: psilocybin and MDMA. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(5), 481–488.

[14] Erowid. (2015, Feb 10). Erowid MDMA Vault : Drug Testing. Retrieved from

[15] Erowid. (2017, Oct 19). Erowid MDMA (Ecstasy) Vault. Retrieved from

[16] Saunders, N. (1993). E for Ecstasy. London: Octavo. Retrieved from

[17] Duterte, M., Jacinto, C., Sales, P., Murphy, S. (2009). What’s in a Label? Ecstasy Sellers’ Perceptions of Pill Brands. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 41(1), 27-37.

[18] van Mil, R. (2017, Aug 10). Photos of Legendary Ecstasy Pills From the Last 20 Years. Retrieved from

[19] Palamar, J. (2014, Dec 17). From ecstasy to molly – what’s in a name when it comes to drug use? Retrieved from

[20] UNODC. Street names of ecstasy-country specific. Retrieved from

[21] Blackford, M. (2017, Nov 29). Red, White, and Blue Pills. Retrieved from

[22] Shapiro, H., Daly, M. (2017). Highways and buyways: A snapshot of UK drug scenes 2016. London: DrugWise. Retrieved from

[23] (2019). Test Result Statistics: Summary Data. Retrieved from

[24] Daly, M. (2015, Apr 1). UK: This Is What’s Actually in Your Ecstasy. Retrieved from

[25] (2019). Results: Lab Test Results for Recreational Drugs. Retrieved from

[26] The Loop. Club Drug Info. Retrieved from

[27] Erowid. (2016, Oct 7). Erowid MDMA Vault : Dosage. Retrieved from

[28] Mixmag Staff. (2015, Jun 22). Drug welfare groups advise MDMA users to ‘crush-dab-wait’. Retrieved from

[29] Erowid Crew Blog. (2017, Jan 19). Technical Oddity: Dutch Testing Service (DIMS) Defines Pure MDMA Crystal as 84% Pure. Retrieved from

[30] Stevens, O. (2017, Feb 22). Recreational MDMA testing – a European perspective. Retrieved from

[31] MAPS. MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy. Retrieved from

[32] PsychonautWiki. (2019, Jan 18). MDMA. Retrieved from

[33] Erowid. (2016, Oct 7). Erowid MDMA Vault : Effects. Retrieved from

[34] NIDA. (2017, Sep). Is MDMA Addictive? Retrieved from

[35] DanceSafe. (2018, Feb 10). MDMA. Retrieved from

[36] caitlin. (2015, Jan 23). UK PMA Deaths: The case for drug testing and a push for drug policy reform. Retrieved from

[37] Nutt, D. (2015, Jan 5). The Superman pill deaths are the result of our illogical drugs policy. Retrieved from

[38] EMCDDA. (2003). Report on the risk assessment of PMMA in the framework of the joint action on new synthetic drugs. Retrieved from

[39] Erowid. (2016, Jun 8). Erowid MDMA Vault : Legal Status (Ecstasy). Retrieved from

[40] Sheikh, K. (2016, Nov 30). MDMA could be on the market legally by 2021. Retrieved from

[41] GOV.UK. Drugs penalties. Retrieved from

[42] Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos. (2016, May). Decreto Legislativo No 635: Código Penal. Retrieved from

Always know what’s
happening in psychedelics

We'll send you selections of our most popular content, plus updates on research, live events, new articles, free educational resources and exclusive discounts.

Reader Interactions


  1. The term “beans” is a bit of misinformation.

    In the 90’s/ early 2000’s a large shipment of Asian pills hit the streets. The street name for these pills was “beans”. Beans were actually used to help people that were “over dosing” on cocaine. The combination of “beans” with cocaine would make the person feel like they were rolling. I should know, I actually saw loads of those pills hit the streets and I actually used them while using coke at the time.

    The problem began when trying to re-dose. If you took more than 2 pills you would become extremely lethargic. The first time I took a bean while heavily coked it was amazing. It felt just like rolling on MDMA.

    The 2nd time after I had several hundred pills on me I ended up popping a total of 5. Huge mistake because I thought I was dying and even if I was I couldn’t get out of bed to call a paramedic. Luckily it passed but some people started selling these “beans” as “E” I actually never bought another batch. I told anyone that had bought some off of me to please be careful and not take more than 2. I also told them it was intended for a comedown from coke. Regardless, some people took 5 just like me and found out the hard way that I was not making it up.

    Anyway, please don’t confuse people because “beans” are still being sold as “beans.”