Research chemicals

From PsychonautWiki
(Redirected from Research chemical)
Jump to: navigation, search
JWH-018 powder as it was commonly sold online

Research chemicals (also called RCs, experimental chemicals, legal highs or designer drugs) refers to psychoactive substances which have unstudied effects and little to no history of medicinal use.[1]

Research chemicals typically have structures and effects similar to illicit substances and are often developed to either improve upon their effects or bypass existing drug laws.[2] Most information about research chemicals is based on first-hand experiences and anecdotal evidence.

The term "research chemical" is used by online vendors to bypass legal restrictions for selling psychoactive compounds. Research chemicals commonly come in packaging labelled "not for human consumption" and are stated to be solely used for the purposes of scientific research.

The use of research chemicals carries more risks than the use of more common, well-studied substances. There have been multiple deaths caused by research chemicals such as 25x-NBOMe, Bromo-DragonFLY,[3] 2C-T-7, and others.

History and culture

The term designer drug was created in 1984[4] following the appearance on the illicit drug market in the USA of a number of fentanyl derivatives. They were defined as ‘analogues, or chemical cousins, of controlled substances that are designed to produce effects similar to the controlled substances they mimic’. These highly potent substitutes for heroin caused a number of accidental deaths. A synthetic contaminant (MPTP) in an α‐prodine derivative[4] led to chemically induced Parkinson's disease in a number of injecting drug users.[5] In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act was amended by the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement of 1986, which attempted to ban designer drugs preemptively by making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess chemicals that were substantially similar in chemistry and pharmacology to Schedule I or Schedule II drugs.[6]

Amphetamine derivatives, particularly ring‐substituted examples, represented the next phase in the evolution of designer drugs. The ‘phenethylamine period’, likely inspired by the publication of the book PiHKAL in 1991, would last into the early years of the twenty‐first century. In this time, around 50 illicit phenethylamine derivatives were found in police and customs seizures in Europe and the USA. In parallel with the phenethylamines, many tryptamine derivatives appeared throughout the 1990s. Their synthesis may have been inspired by the publication of the book TiHKAL in 1997, though they never became widespread.[5]

New substances rapidly followed the end of the PiHKAL era, the next family being the piperazine derivatives. The prototypical member was BZP. The piperazines occupied a transition state in the marketing of ‘new psychoactive substances’. The source shifted from clandestine laboratories to legitimate chemical supply companies, some of which were located in Asian countries. Since the substances concerned were not initially controlled under drugs legislation, their production and distribution became far more overt. Alongside more traditional retail outlets like head shops, the growth of the internet opened up new channels, where their properties and effects could be openly discussed. It was at this time that the euphemism "research chemical" appeared.[5]

The piperazines were soon followed in around 2008 by cathinone derivatives, the most common of which in Europe was mephedrone. At the same time, the first synthetic cannabinoid agonists were identified in smoking mixtures, which are often known as ‘Spice’.[5]

In the last few years, there has been a rapid proliferation of new substances. Of the approximately 170 substances reported since 1997 by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), over half have appeared since 2006.[5]

Toxicity and harm potential

The safety profile of research chemicals is generally unknown due to a lack of medical studies. There is little to no information on the toxicity, negative health risks, long-term side effects, or lethal dosage of these chemicals, which make their use riskier than the use of more common, well-studied substances. It is for this reason that taking these chemicals for extended periods of time, binging on them, and taking excessive doses is strongly discouraged.

In terms of known risk factors, common issues for research chemicals include the mislabeling, misidentification, and misrepresentation of products, the adulteration of other compounds, and issues of purity.[7]

Combining research chemicals presents a risk due to the lack of research and understanding of their pharmacological and toxicological effects. For example, if a research chemical has MAOI effects (like 2C-T-7), this could make it dangerous to combine it with other MAOIs, stimulants and certain substances which release serotonin or dopamine. It is recommended to avoid blends or branded products if the active psychoactive compounds are not listed on the labeling.[8]

Several fatal overdoses have occurred due to Bromo-DragonFLY accidentally being mislabelled by online vendors as both 2C-B-FLY[9] and 2C-E.[10][11] The former is active in the 200-800μg range and is significantly more potent than 2C-E. These situations can be avoided by dosing a minuscule amount of a drug (roughly 0.5 milligrams) and waiting for several hours. This is known as an "allergy test". It is recommended to do this for all new batches of substances.

Anecdotal evidence from users suggests that there do not seem to be any negative health effects attributed to simply trying research chemicals at low to moderate doses by themselves and using them sparingly. However, nothing can be guaranteed. For example, in one extreme case, the research chemical MPPP was found in some cases to contain an impurity called MPTP, which caused brain damage that resulted in a syndrome identical to Parkinson's disease from only a single dose.[1]

Pharmacological deaths

Pharmacological deaths are fatalities caused by the direct action of the chemical in the body and do not include deaths as a result of inebriated behavior. The content below is an incomplete list.

Synthetic cannabinoids

  • MDMB-FUBINACA - MDMB-FUBINACA has gained a reputation as the most deadly synthetic cannabinoid drug sold to date.[12] At least 1000 hospitalisations and 40 deaths have been linked to this drug in media and government reports as of March 2015.[13][14]

Psychedelics

Dissociatives

Opioids

  • Acetylfentanyl - Between March 2013 and May 2013, 14 overdose deaths related to injected acetylfentanyl had occurred in Rhode Island. After confirming five overdoses in one county, including a fatality, Pennsylvania asked coroners and medical examiners across the state to screen for acetylfentanyl, which led to 50 confirmed fatalities and five non-fatal overdoses statewide in 2013.[30][31] Another 5 deaths were reported in Jefferson Parish, New Orleans,[32] along with three more in North Carolina.[33]
  • AH-7921- In a 2014 study which investigated nine fatalities in which AH-7921 was involved, it was concluded that poly-drug use was not a major contributing factor for the deaths and that a more important factor was the person's tolerance to opiates, which led to an overdose when the drug was taken in excessive amounts.[34]
  • U-47700 - Combined consumption of U-47700 and fentanyl caused one fatality in Belgium.[35] Individual consumption of U-47700 caused one fatality in Ireland.[36] At least 17 opioid overdoses and several deaths in the USA have also been connected with the use of U-47700.[37]

Stimulants

See also

External links

Literature

  • King, L. A., & Kicman, A. T. (2011). A brief history of ‘new psychoactive substances’. Drug Testing and Analysis, 3(7‐8), 401-403. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.319

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Research Chemical FAQ - Experimental and Research Chemicals used as Psychoactives by Erowid & Murple v 1.6 - Jun 4, 2010 (Erowid) | https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/research_chems/research_chems_faq.shtml
  2. Interview with a Ketamine Chemist By Hamilton Morris (Vice) | https://www.vice.com/read/interview-with-ketamine-chemist-704-v18n2
  3. Bromo-Dragonfly Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/bromo_dragonfly/bromo_dragonfly_death.shtml
  4. 4.0 4.1 R. M. Baum. New variety of street drugs poses growing problem. Chem. Eng. News 1985, 63, 7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 King, L. A., & Kicman, A. T. (2011). A brief history of ‘new psychoactive substances’. Drug Testing and Analysis, 3(7‐8), 401-403. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.319
  6. Freye, E. (2009). History of designer drugs. In Pharmacology and Abuse of Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Related Designer Drugs (pp. 183-189). Springer, Dordrecht.
  7. Experimental & Research Chemicals (Synthetic Drugs, Novel Psychoactive Substances, New Psychoactive Substances, NPS, Replacement Psychoactives) (Erowid) | https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/research_chems/
  8. Research Chemicals (Tripsit) | https://wiki.tripsit.me/wiki/Research_Chemicals
  9. 9.0 9.1 Information on Reported Deaths Related to 2C-B-FLY Misidentified Substance is Most Likely Bromo-dragonfly by the Erowid Crew v1.6 - Nov 9, 2009 | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2cb_fly/2cb_fly_death1.shtml
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bromo-Dragonfly Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/bromo_dragonfly/bromo_dragonfly_death.shtml
  11. 11.0 11.1 Second Victim Dies After Taking Designer Drug In Konawa | http://www.newson6.com/story/14641463/second-victim-dies-after-taking-designer-drug-in-konawa
  12. Identification and analytical characteristics of synthetic cannabinoids with an indazole-3-carboxamide structure bearing a N-1-methoxycarbonylalkyl group. | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25893797
  13. 25 killed, over 700 hospitalized: Cheap ‘Spice’ designer drug causes severe poisoning across Russia | https://www.rt.com/news/193700-russia-spice-deadly-drug
  14. "Clinical presentations of intoxication by new psychoactive compound MDMB(N)-Bz-F. Thesis of The II Scientific and Practical Seminar 'Methodical, Organizational and Law Problems of Chemical and Toxicological Laboratories of Narcological Services', Moscow" (in Russian). | http://www.narkotiki.ru/objects/narkotiki02/1414709242.ppt
  15. AMT (Alphamethyltryptamine, IT-290) Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/amt/amt_death.shtml
  16. Boland DM, Andollo W, Hime GW, Hearn WL. “Fatality due to acute alpha-methyltryptamine intoxication”. J Anal Toxicol. 2005 Jul-Aug;29(5):394-7. | https://www.erowid.org/references/refs_view.php?ID=6603
  17. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, opioid analgesics and serotonin toxicity | http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/4/434
  18. DOC (2,5-Dimethoxy-ChloroAmphetamine) Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/doc/doc_death.shtml
  19. A Reported 2C-T-7 Death by Erowid July 2003 | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2ct7/2ct7_death1.shtml
  20. Second Reported 2C-T-7 Death by Erowid Apr 2, 2001 | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2ct7/2ct7_death2.shtml
  21. Third Confirmed 2C-T-7 Death by Erowid Apr 10, 2001 | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2ct7/2ct7_death3.shtml
  22. Sulfur-Substituted α-Alkyl Phenethylamines as Selective and Reversible MAO-A Inhibitors:  Biological Activities, CoMFA Analysis, and Active Site Modeling | http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jm0493109
  23. 25I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2ci_nbome/2ci_nbome_death.shtml
  24. Other or Unknown NBOMe Compound Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/nbome/nbome_death.shtml
  25. 25C-NBOMe (2C-C-NBOMe) Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/2cc_nbome/2cc_nbome_death.shtml
  26. Japanese Death Associated with 5-MeO-DIPT by Erowid v1.1 May 4, 2006 | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/5meo_dipt/5meo_dipt_media1.shtml
  27. Bromo-Dragonfly Fatalities / Deaths by Erowid | https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/bromo_dragonfly/bromo_dragonfly_death.shtml
  28. A fatal poisoning involving Bromo-Dragonfly. | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19091499
  29. Elliott SP, Brandt SD, Wallach J, Morris H, Kavanagh PV. “First Reported Fatalities Associated with the 'Research Chemical' 2-Methoxydiphenidine”. J Anal Toxicol. 2015 May;39(4):287-293. | https://www.erowid.org/references/refs_view.php?ID=8804
  30. Ogilvie, Laurie, Christina Stanley, Lauren Lewis, Molly Boyd, Matthew Lozier, Matthew Lozier. "Notes from the Field: Acetyl Fentanyl Overdose Fatalities — Rhode Island, March–May 2013". cdc.gov. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 11 November 2013. | http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6234a5.htm
  31. Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. "Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs warns about acetyl fentanyl: drug caused at least 50 fatalities in 2013 in Pennsylvania.". Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. | http://www.pa.gov/portal/server.pt/document/1345188/department_of_drug_and_alcohol_programs_warns_about_acetyl_fentanyl
  32. Grunfeld, David (November 1, 2013). "Couple found dead in Old Metairie home killed by lethal new synthetic drug". NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 28 March 2014. | http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/10/couple_found_dead_in_old_metai.html
  33. "DHHS Issues Health Advisory for Deadly New Synthetic Drug". NC DHHS Press Releases. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 27 August 2014. | http://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/dhhs-issues-health-advisory-deadly-new-synthetic-drug
  34. Fatal Intoxications Associated with the Designer Opioid AH-7921 | http://jat.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/8/599.full
  35. Twee doden in België door overdosis met fentanylpleisters | http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/binnenland/1.2558454
  36. U-47700 death | http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/opinion-our-drug-policy-isnt-working-and-people-are-dying-3200883-Jan2017
  37. Synthetic opiate makers stay step ahead of US drug laws as overdose cases rise (the guardian) | http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/11/synthetic-opiates-drug-laws-w-18-fentanyl
  38. https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdpv/mdpv_death.shtml