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Q: I read that adrenochrome is harvested from fearful children after killing them, do you know anything about that?

A: Summary: Adrenochrome's psychoactive and/or physical effects aren't interesting, and there's no reason to extract it from humans or other mammals since it's easy to synthesize from cheap, widely available source material.

In more detail, there are some fairly basic facts that undercut and debunk this obviously false assertion.

First, adrenochrome has been demonstrated to be an uninteresting psychoactive drug, despite the mention by Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Thompson himself later told Terry Gilliam that he’d made the whole thing up, but one doesn't have to rely on Hunter S. Thompson; the substance has been tried by many people and there is nearly universal agreement that the effects are uninteresting at best and unpleasant at worst.

Second, adrenochrome is an oxidative product of epinephrine. Epinephrine (aka adrenaline) is produced in the body and is technically considered a hormone, but its chemical structure is relatively simple and it is extremely cheap to synthesize. As one of the World Health Organization’s 'essential medicines', it's also available as a low-cost pharmaceutical in virtually every country in the world.

Epinephrine is not difficult to acquire, and converting it to adrenochrome is easy for anyone with an undergrad chemistry degree, or a motivated home chemist. In light of this, the idea that it has to be extracted from anything, much less humans, is absurd.

To underscore the economic aspect, epinephrine made a splash in the news in 2016 when the producer of the EpiPen, the potentially life-saving epinephrine-delivering medical device carried by people with severe allergies or otherwise susceptible to anaphylactic shock, jacked up its price. In response, the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, a biohacker group, released online instructions on how to make a DIY version of it from off-the-shelf materials.

Texts that promote adrenochrome as a psychoactive are fiction and humor. Anyone who gets excited about it have missed the joke.

We received this question a number of times in 2020 so we wanted to help provide a simple answer to help debunk this bizarre and twisted myth.


Asked By : Ben
Answered By : earth
Edited By : spoon
Published Date : 2 / 1 / 2021
Last Edited Date : 2 / 2 / 2021
Question ID : 3190

Categories: [ General ] [ Adrenochrome ] [ Myths ]



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