|Ask Dr. Shulgin Online
Dear Dr. Shulgin:
MDMA the same as methamphetamine? Is it a type of methamphetamine?
is totally different from methamphetamine. It is a compound that is build upon the
basic carbon skeleton of methamphetamine (this is the "MA" in the code name),
but there has been added to the structure two additional oxygen atoms and another carbon
atom. This is the methylenedioxy ring, and this is the "MD" in the name.
The prototypic nucleus for these, and many other structurally related compounds, is the
term "amphetamine." This word has
three entirely separate meanings, depending on who is defining it.
the law enforcement crowd, "amphetamines" are most of the drugs that are
entered in the Controlled Substances Act under the heading "stimulants,"
regardless of their structure or pharmacology.
the pharmacologists, "amphetamines" are a class of compounds that act on the
central nervous system to cause eye-dilation, increased wakefulness and loss of appetite.
the chemist, "amphetamines" are chemicals that contain the carbon skeleton of