Citation: Anonymous. "The Methcathinone Project: An Experience with Methcathinone (exp1792)". Erowid.org. Jun 14, 2000. erowid.org/exp/1792
I guess it all started when I heard about a new drug craze that had just been detected in Michigan by the local authorities. I'd say it was somewhere around the middle of 1993. A year ago I'd been diagnosed with ADHD, also known as hyperactivity, and I wondered if I couldn't make CAT and use it to help me with school in the same manner Ritalin and other amphetamines are used.
I decided to look into the matter - methcathinone sounded like speed. All I had to go on was that it was made from ephedrine, and that it was named methcathinone. I could find no other references to the compound.
One day, by chance, as I was looking up the entry for Phenpropanolamine, the active ingredient in Dexatrim, I noticed that one of its isomers was sometimes called cathine. Hmm - that sounds familiar - and being that 'cathine' is an alcohol of sorts, its ketone complement might just be named cathinone!! Combine this with the fact that ephedrine is none other than n-methyl cathine, and it becomes obvious: one simply needs to oxidize the hydroxyl group of ephedrine to a keytone to produce methcathinone.
As all things go in organic chemistry, this required a few tries - I was coming up with a novel synthesis of my own... which would have been much easier had I knew then what I do now ;)
My first attempt involved Ephedrine bought at an outrageous price from the local GNC mart, which incedentially no longer carries them. I extracted the ephedrine and then added potassium dichromate solution. Nothing happened. Well shit, this is uncool. I turned around and grabbed a chick who was in my organic chem class, and asked her - say, what do you use to oxidize a secondary alcohol if dichromate doesnt work? She suggested potassium permaganate, so I chucked some in. Soon enough, I smelled something sweet. 'Ketones smell sweet, right' I asked.
'Yes - almost always' 'Does this smell like a keytone to you?' 'Yes. What is it?'
I then preceded to diagram the whole damn structure for it. She just looked at it and said wow. I've actually gone up to instructors there with the structure for amphetamine written on a piece of paper with dl-phenylalanine next to it, and just looked at them and said 'how would I make this go to that, i've been curious about some natural processes occuring in some plants' and they give me a full working synthesis for the reduction of amino-acids. They know so much method but do not recognize a drug for what it is - I am the exact opposite of this - full of wonder and questions but never the right answers.
In any case, I added way to much permaganate, and the solution turned black when I attempted to dry it. I had a working synthesis, as evidenced by the odor, but not a GOOD one. Because of the price of Ephedrine, and my lack of credit cards for mail order, I turned to the popular nasal-decongestant pseudephedrine for further research - there was tons of it lying around the house, and it's reletively cheap, ranging from $3 per 100 for really cheap generic to $14 for brand-name 'Sudafed'.
This is apparently where a twist of fate unique to me occured - I ended up developing a synthesis that apparently will NOT work with ephedrine (I have only tried twice and both times produced lots of ephedrine)
I was pleased with permaganate as an oxidizer - it was strong as far as oxidizers go - and plentiful. vey lab on campus, even the biology labs, had a shitload of it - entire jars just lying around. I took maybe 50 grams of the stuff - and to this day have used very little of it. You see, I noticed a strange thing while I was synthisizing cat... The less KMnO4 I used, the better the synthesis seemed to work! I ended up using about 1/5th what I needed in theory to produce optimal results. I'm still not sure why, but I suspect the solution somehow pulls oxygen out of the air (understandable) and then uses it, with KMnO4 only initiating the reaction.
My final synthesis and extraction involved washing the tablets with a paper towel soaked in PUREFIED WATER (using pure, not tab, water seems very important here. Mineral water will work, but not tap - I suspect chlorine is somehow involved in this inhibition of the reaction as I can smell chlorine when I take a shower) then smashing them in pure water until well mashed, then boiling in a microwave. I'd remove the boiling solution, and add about 5mL of HCl obtained from 'jasco concrete cleaner' for every 3g of pseudephedrine. I'd stir the mixture, and then let sit until settled, bringing the top (liquid) layer off with a turkey baster and discarding the filler.
To this somewhat red solution, I added KMnO4, already disolved. A rediculously small amount - it *IS* needed, and the more you use the faster the reaction goes. I still don't know how much is optimal, but I used a few drops of what from a mixture i'd made with about .5 Molar concentration. Then I boiled this repeatedly for 10 minutes in a microwave, and dried the stuff out to a powder. By doing an 'acetone wash' I was able to get a flaky crystal/powder. The acetone wash consists of nothing other than pouring acetone over the dried stuff, swishing around very well, and then discarding the acetone (cat HCl wont disolve in acetone, at least not very well). The acetone removes the annoying red color too!
The resulting powder proved quite addicting to rats when placed in a mixture with peanut butter, and the rats had a deffinite preference for methcathinone - consistently choosing methcathinone-laced peanut butter over both peanut- butter, sugar-laced peanut butter, and pseudephedrine and ephedrine-laced peanut butter. With some methamphetamine obtained from a semi-reliable source, I determined that methcathinone was about twice as likely to cause convulsions per miligram - however the methamphetamine *may* have been 'cut' or merely amphetamine, etc - in mice. The time had come for a human trial.
I orally took a dose of about 20mg or so, mixed with orange juice to mask the annoying alkaloidal taste. In about 30 minutes I felt quite speeded up. Like I'd taken around 400-600mg of Caffeine when I hadn't had ANY in weeks! Only the high was more pleasant. Hmm - spiffy - this was not the reaction I had anticipated - previous experience with both ephedrine and amphetamine had left me feeling relaxed and ready to pay attention. Methcathinone made me uppity, and restless. I wanted to party and drive fast all around town, etc.
I gave some to a friend, who snorted it. This was the first time methcathinone was snorted in all of california to my knowledge - bear in mind that at this time the recipe was not on the internet and was selling for over $100 from person to person - a wholely different and much more difficult recipe it turns out.
So I smoked some out of a test tube we had lying around. I simply stuck it in the bottom of the tube with enough NaHCO3 to neutralize the solution. The compund dried and began to produce vapors. I stoppered the tube with my finger, allowing little gas to escape, until the tube was full of vapor and my thumb was hot. I took a hit - and felt more awake instantly, but not all that great of an effect.
Then I snorted some. I think it was at this point that I became 'instantly addicted.' Users everywhere - everyone I gave it to - seemed to agree - unlike cocaine, snorting methcathinone is by far the strongest route to your bodies system (no one was dumb enough to try injecting it, but that'd probably be stronger yet).
I never stayed up for three or four days on it, like other people did, but I think its the ADHD behind that. If I did more than a line or two, it had a reversing effect, making me just jittery, irritated, and unable to concentrate. One line worked best - I was more energetic and bouncy, still not really able to focus my attention, but very hyper and happy. I still managed to screw up my life, however, and got kicked out of my house and started living in my car, synthesizing cat wherever I could find a microwave and a hairdryer to dry it. Eventually I became quite paranoid, and was checked into an institution by my still unsuspecting parents.
They listened to me talk, and piss-tested me. Nope, no drugs (methcathinone was not tested for - they thought I was making speed or a lot of nothing?) and proceeded to diagnose me as 'Schizoaffective Bipolar'. They said the next day I'd be getting Haldol to sedate me, but that I should just go to sleep in a room. I thought - hey, downers, cool, prescription ones too - and said lemme have it now. OOPS. -- never ask for antipsychotic medication, it makes you feel like shit evey time, unless you are psychotic or something naturally --
For the next couple of days, I was really too damn sedated to argue with them about my condition, nodding out all the time and not being able to even slighly think. I was too sedated to even realize that Haldol was the cause of the problem and kept taking it like a meat-head, even though I was admitted on a voluntary basis (I thought - hey - free food and a bed! I was a total meat- head) and had the right to refuse medication. Lucky for me, the side-effects of Haldol and its compliment-drug, cogentin, which is supposed to prevent side effects, made me totally unable to piss. They had to take me off of it, and they put me on 'Risperidol', a new, fucking-expensive antipsychotic that is a miracle-drug for people with schizophrenia, but still useless for normal people.
I became lucid once again, and started talking with the doctors. Once I had totally confused the psychologists, and the psychiatrist realized I knew more about brain-chemistry and chemical receptors than he did, they finally listened to the cat story. 'Oh, he's an addict, and he just had whats commonly called 'amphetamine psychosis'' YEP.
They kept me on the nut-bin side for another week, just to be safe anyways. It was the most boring time of my life. Then they took me off of the Risperidol and sent me over to their rehab-center, across the street.
I learned a lot about my family there, but no-one knew what I had gone thru, because, quite frankly, all the speed-freaks were the type who stay up for 5 days straight (like michigan cat-freaks you read about now) and the few other people with ADHD there were primarily abusers of downers - typical to ADHD. I've always found loopholes all my life, and I had to find a stimulant (other than caffeine) that still fucks up people with ADHD... silly me.
They put me on Ritalin once they determined I could be trusted with it. I hated it - Ritalin made me feel drowsy all the time. Every once in a while I stuck the damn thing under my tounge and then gave it to a woman who was there for intermitant amphetamine abuse and chronic depression. She loved the damn things to bits. Of course, she didn't have ADHD either...
Eventually I got out of rehab, and moved to Oxnard. I stayed cat-free. Then my room burnt down and I lived in the garage for two weeks. That sucked. After that, I moved to Ventura.
And upon meeting a few of my old friends, decided to intrduce them to cat too. I used it again myself - for two weeks, on a much lesser scale and more regularly. I decided I would 'control myself'. The funny thing is, I did. very morning I took a line, and then again in the middle of the day. Of course, eventually this wasn't enough, but for some odd reason, instead of doing more I thought that I had screwed up the recipe (I hadnt) and threw the cat away!
At this point, me and many others observed something startling. Brand-name 'Sudafed' when ground up smells faintly of methcathinone! None of the other decongestants had this property. Whether this is an accident or not, Burroughs Wellcome should look into it. On the other hand, maybe that's why people will pay $14 for sudafed instead of $3 for suphedrine.
I went into the deepest depression of my life two days later. It lasted about 3 or 4 days. I mean, I couldnt even move - I was too depressed to eat or even think about doing something as complicated and involved as say, committing suicide. I just layed on the couch, to depressed to watch tv, and tried to sleep. I musta slept about 20 hours a day. Funny, I didnt attribute this to withdrrawl either, but stopped using cat anyways. It took me about another week, when I looked back at myself, to realize what had happened.
I haven't done cat since. Cat is a unique drug, and I hope someone studies its receptor-binding affinities and its effect on dopamine and serotonin reuptake so that I may learn why it and it alone had such a dramatic effect on me. A drug with a similar profile, bupropion, has a tert-butyl group where the methyl is and a chlorine in the 4 position of the benzene ring... this drug is called Wellbutrin and I take it for my ADHD now - it seems to be a balance between the effects of cat and the effects of ritalin. The only thing I regret about wellbutrin is its smell - which occasionally reminds me of cat.
_____ _____ OH _____ O
/ H H H / ! H H / ! H H
< 0 >--C--C--N < 0 >-C--C--N < 0 >-C--C--N
\_____/ H ! H \_____/ H ! H \_____/ ! H
HCH HCH HCH
H H H
amphetamine phenpropylamine cathinone
(dexedrine, benzedrine (also known as cathine (found in the Khat
and Adderall contain) and ingredient in herb, commonly used
Dexatrim and many by many Serbians)
H H H
_____ HCH _____ OH HCH _____ O HCH
/ H H / / ! H / / !! H /
< 0 >--C--C--N < 0 >-C--C--N < 0 >-C--C--N
\_____/ H ! H \_____/ H ! H \_____/ ! H
HCH HCH HCH
H H H
methamphetamine pseudephedrine -or- methcathinone
(Desoxyn, Methadrine ephedrine (depending (aka ephedrone,
'speed', 'crystal' on position of hydroxyl) 'jeff', 'cat')
there is no legitimate medical use for either cathinone or methcathinone.
_____ O C bupropion (Wellbutrin)
/ !! H /
< 0 >-C--C--N HCH an anti-depressant that smells
\_____/ ! H H kind of like cat, and is useful
/ HCH in ADHD because of its ability to
Cl H block dopamine reuptake.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.