TL neuro

April 6, 2015

A brief review of psychoactive cathinone drug preparations

Filed under: Cathinones, MDPV — mtaffe @ 5:47 pm

A recent article in NY magazine reported a test of 6 samples of “molly” obtained in New York City. They reported that 2 contained MDMA, 2 ethylone, 1 MDA and 1 MDA/methamphetamine. It has been fascinating to see funded grants based on the assertion that multiple cathinone psychoactive drugs are typically co-ingested. This appears to be based on very little hard information and I was curious about what data were available.

I thought I would conduct a quick review of the results from ecstasydata.org, a harm-reduction pill-testing outfit. As a reminder, these are drug preparations submitted by users for anonymous evaluation of content. Given this, the data are limited by self-selection of users who know of the service and are motivated to submit a sample. One cannot know the extent to which such samples reflect the proportions found in the clandestine market or the degree to which preparations of unexpected subjective effects might be represented. As of today, I found:

35 entries positive for MDPV of which 9 were MDPV-only. Of the remaining 26 there were 17 which had some caffeine and 4 with another recognizable cathinone.

87 entries positive for methylone of which 63 were methylone-only. Of the remaining 24 there were 5 which had some caffeine and 15 with another cathione (bk-MBDB, aka butylone, was in 7 of those).

28 entries positive for ethylone of which 26 contained only ethylone. One of the others was positive for 1-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yl-3-chloro-propan-1-one and the other had both caffeine and methamphetamine in it.

11 entries positive for bk-MBDB/butylone of which 2 were pure, 7 contained methylone (1 of which was also positive for MDPV) and 1 contained caffeine.

10 entries positive for mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) of which 2 were mephedrone-only, 6 contained caffeine and 2 contained methylone.

8 entries positive for alpha-PVP of which 1 also included Methylone.

4 entries positive for Pentedrone, of which 2 included another cathinone.

By way of reference there were 176 entries positive for MDMA reported in 2014-2015. Of these, 126 were positive only for MDMA (5 additional contained only methylsulfonylmethane) and 20 contained caffeine.

I simply don’t see how we can claim with any accuracy that “most” consumption of substituted cathinone drugs involves the ingestion of more than one psychoactive substance. It is particularly inaccurate to claim that any specific combination of substituted cathinones is common or typical of the real world recreational user.

This review does seem to show that MDPV is infrequently found alone. However, it must be considered that MDPV may not be typical of the consumers who are aware of ecstasydata.org, these latter tend to be the MDMA-preferring “Ecstasy” crowd. It is entirely possible that the majority of MDPV-seeking users would have no knowledge of this analysis service given that MDPV is more cocaine-like in subjective properties and in neuropharmacological effect. If that is the case, then these submissions may be disproportionally people seeking analysis of preparations suspected to be something other than what they intended to purchase.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] to each other in rat self-administration. There was also a post on the Taffe blog suggesting that alpha-PVP samples submitted to ecstasydata.org were more consistently pure than MDPV and some other street […]

    Pingback by FLAKKA! (and other failures of the alleged profession of journalism) | Drugmonkey — April 20, 2015 @ 10:52 am


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