2.7.4 MDMA


Common Nomenclature 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
Street & Reference Names Molly, Ecstasy, XTC, Mandy, E, Pingas
Reference Dosage Threshold 30mg+; Light 40mg+; Common (average sized people) 75mg+; Strong 150mg+; Heavy 200mg+ [Erowid]
Light: 40mg+; Common 75mg+; Strong 125mg+; Heavy 175mg+ [TripSit]
Anticipated: Onset / Duration 45 Minutes / 5 Hours
Maximum Dose Experienced 80mg+30mg+55mg+55mg
Form Pill
RoA Oral
Source / Jurisdiction Internet / UK
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale ++*


Whilst it was first synthesised in 1912, and famously re-synthesised by Alexander Shulgin in 1965, MDMA only emerged as a street drug in the late 1970s. It became known by a variety of terms, including ecstasy and E, and was eventually to become one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world.

I planned my own foray reasonably well, and consumed with fruit juice, as recommended across a number of forums. I also ensured that I had water readily available to reduce the frequently referenced risk of dehydration. I drank about half a litre every hour or so, noting that over-hydration is also a serious matter.

Even though I was not in a hot environment, such as a club, I also kept an eye on temperature to avoid overheating. I had earlier prepared for the adventure by consuming some vitamin pills (including magnesium).

The pill itself weighed in at a hefty 220mg, so I broke this up, with the intention of redosing into the experience at a gentle rate, assuming all was well.

T+00 I swallow 80mg with fruit juice

T+30 I am coming-up: a definite headspace is emerging.

T+40 The commonly stated 40 minute uptime is correct. It’s coming on strong, with an obvious mood lift.

T+60 One hour in and I am significantly elevated, with my head in a positive place. I am somewhat sweaty, but I am drinking a little water to compensate. I am still able to respond sensibly to social cues if necessary. I pop another 30mg from the original pill.

T+1:30 I am experiencing a happy pleasant buzz. This really is nice. I feel confident and I am certainly rolling. I swallow another 55mg, bringing the running total to 165mg.

T+1:50 I am semi-euphoric; glowing with a dreamy high and a sensual edge. Is there horn? There is, but certainly not on the scale of a stim binge. Capability appears to be intact, but there is no compulsive interest, although I sense that human interaction could well change this. This isn’t commonly referred to as a party drug for no reason, and I can understand how most forms of intimacy would be vastly enhanced in this state of mind.

Common advice on redosing is not to do it, but if compelled to, to do it as quickly after T+00 as possible. I therefore consume the final 55mg of the now fully crushed pill.

T+2:05 A meal unexpectedly arrives. This isn’t what I expected, but being aware that food is sometimes recommended for safety reasons I eat it. It seems fairly normal, so MDMA doesn’t appear to enhance taste. Nor does it completely suppress appetite, as many stimulants do.

T+2:14 I’m flying: hot, sweaty, euphoric and struggling to stay functional. My eyelids flicker of their own accord, and I strain to focus and stay with it. The redosing was not a sensible move, particularly on a first-time experiment.

At this point, which I believe and hope is the peak my debilitated state would be obvious to any third party. The experience is now very intense. It is extremely pleasurable but I feel that it is a little too close to the edge. This unease is perhaps exacerbated by thinking in this way. If I was distracted by my immediate environment I suspect that I might just be as high as a kite, without the same degree of anxiety and self-awareness.

T+2:56 My jaw clenching (bruxism) is now unmissable. I am just about functional but badly impaired. I still bathe in a very nice and comfortable headspace, I am still sweaty, and I am still drinking water.

T+4:00 I am slowly on the way down. This remains pleasant, with a warm glow, and I continue to sweat and drink water (in moderation).

T+5:45 I am now riding on a lower plateau. I am still under the influence, but I can now push this into the background if I absolutely need to. The waves of euphoric well-being have dissipated.

T+7:30 It is getting late, so I head to bed. I feel comfortable and fall into sleep quite easily.

Whilst I slept reasonably soundly, a headache emerged during the night, which persisted into much of the morning. It had disappeared by lunch time, and I was left with a slow and gradual comedown. This wasn’t particularly hard, but included a strange offset feeling, and a general heady malaise. It wasn’t very pleasant.

The background depression and lack of general positivity lasted for several days, which aligned with the general consensus amongst the user population.

Backtracking on the overall experience, I broke several of my own rules, the main one being the size of the dose. 220mg was excessively large, particularly for a first experience. This was extremely foolish. The primary cause of this was the redosing: I failed to remove the residue from immediate accessibility. This no doubt contributed to the overwhelming nature of parts of the trip, and to the subsequent headache and discomfort.

The lesson here is a general one. Take it easy on the dose, especially if you are not a seasoned user.

MDMA is not a drug to trifle with, and requires sensible consideration, including with respect to aftercare. Entire websites are dedicated to safety, including rollsafe.org and rollingpro.com. The advice given is usually sensible, and includes the use of supplements, such as 5-HTP, to help restore serotonin levels. I followed most of these measures fastidiously.

A decidedly sage piece of advice is to leave a significant gap between MDMA experiences. Three months is commonly suggested, with six weeks stated as an absolute minimum. It is hard to overstate the importance of this.

Finally, MDMA has attracted more than its fair share of dishonest and false media reporting. This has tended to hide two of the most serious risks associated with its use: relatively toxic chemicals (such as PMA/PMMA) being sold as MDMA, and MDMA adulteration. Testing and appropriate pill research* is therefore of vital importance, as are the other measures listed in the safety section of this book.

* Pill research references: ecstasydata.org and pillreports.net

[Shulgin Reference: PiHKAL #109, p733]


During the dark and seemingly endless years of the war on drugs era, some places have earned a reputation for even greater brutality than the norm. One example is Bangkok, in Thailand.

I have found myself stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport a number of times, either passing through, or having taken a short stopover as a tourist. On one of the latter occasions, I hooked up with an Australian woman and her daughter. We eventually made our way to customs, to proceed to our respective flights.

As we queued in line, we had almost reached the customs desk for our passport checks, when I noticed the unmistakable sight of an ecstasy pill on the ground, just inches from my foot. Someone had obviously found it in their possession as they waited, and discreetly bailed it.

I did exactly what everyone in front of me had done. I pretended that I hadn’t noticed it. To my shock and absolute horror, however, the elder of my female companions made to pick it up, presumably to offer it around, and to find who might have dropped it.

The scene raced in my mind. This was almost directly in front of a customs officer, security cameras were clearly rolling, and the woman with me was about to take possession of ecstasy, in Bangkok!

Stop!” I squealed.

Mum!” the daughter gasped. “Don’t even think about it!

Fortunately, she did indeed stop in her tracks, and I was able to explain the folly of trying to be helpful in this particular situation. I believe that it went along the lines of “Aargh! Do you want to spend the next 20 years here, it’s a ****** drug!

I suspect that one of my nine-lives was being traded, right there. The moral of the story is never to pick up a brightly coloured sweetie in an airport.