the difference between the MDMA people take to party and the MDMA used to help treat PTSD.

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the difference between the MDMA people take to party and the MDMA used to help treat PTSD.

In: Chemistry
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There is no difference. However, the MDMA in a therapeutic setting is going to have stricter quality control than the MDMA you buy from your neighbour who smells weird and won’t stop talking about lizards.

Quality control. Stuff on the black market is ofc uncontrolled and therefore often cut with cheaper drugs (amphetamine, meth, caffeine…) or filler material. Also, harmful contamination is more likely.

Same with any other drug that’s used both in healthcare and as a recreational black-market drug. It’s basically moonshine vs. store-bought booze. The same if made properly, but one has more risk to not be up to standard.

Same drug, in theory. Lots of controlled substances have both medical and non-medical uses. Two meaningful differences, though:

* An active dose in the trials for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in PTSD is 75-125 mg. An active dose off the street is more variable, one study found a range from zero to 280 mg (not everyone bought real MDMA. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695343/](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695343/) and [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21320226/](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21320226/)
* Pharmaceutical-grade MDMA is regulated, shouldn’t have significant impurities, and should have comparable absorption between makers. Street MDMA, as in the study above noted, sometimes isn’t even really MDMA (can be a related chemical or something totally different), and the dose can vary widely.

As said before, it’s often a matter of purity. MDMA test kits are available online, and I highly recommend using them. Fentanyl test kits are too, and since so many street drugs are being cut with it, I recommend keeping those on hand as well if you’re going to use any street drug. Finding pure MDMA can be challenging but it’s not impossible.

The legal difference is whether a doctor prescribed it. The real difference is that due to its general illegality, street MDMA will be of an unknown purity with random unknown adulterants added. Quality control for pharmaceutical MDMA is same as for any other legal drug, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

The purity issue is one reason I want drugs legalized.