A significant issue in todays' underground drug market, is that you can't always tell if you are getting a pure product. This is often the case with ecstasy pills, but it is also becoming common for white powder/crystalline substances and even tabs associated with LSD. Drugs are being "cut" (mixed) and/or substituted with other active or inactive ingredients--which can be dangerous or even deadly. Your best bet is to test them yourself. There are many kits available which will display a variation of different colors for chemicals over a short time frame. You will then be able to more accurately identify the substance you are handling. Below is a chart of chemicals that kits test for.
If you DO NOT have a test kit or a trusted source that can confirm the purity of the product you've obtained, there are a couple of ways to identify by physical appearance. Check the next two sections on MDMA and LSD.
Many ecstasy pills are bunk AKA fake. In some cases, there are a lack of active ingredients. In other words, pills made up of an inert binder with food coloring and maybe some caffeine. In many cases, there are much more alarming substances such as methamphetamine, BZP, TFMPP, mCPP and 5-MeO-DIPT among others. Check out ecstasydata for the latest pressed pill reports.
In powder form (molly) you're statistically much more likely to find an MDMA sample that is free of adulterants. Beyond that, the most common adulterants are synthetic cathinones (also known as bathsalts or plant food) which are easily identifiable through testing. The chance of acquiring an unadulterated MDMA sample is much better if you know what to look for (crystalline structure, smell, taste, sparkle, uniformity, etc.). When it comes to pressed pills, you're rolling the dice down a dark alley.
Uniformity: Make sure that your sample is as uniform as possible if it is in powdered form. Any presence of different particle shapes or colors may indicate that the sample has been cut with another substance.
Translucence: MDMA in its crystalline form is somewhat translucent. In powders, look for a refraction of light or "crystalline shimmer." Be suspicious of samples that lack this shimmer or have a dull appearance.
MDMA "Shards" or large crystalline chunks. This sample would have a purple hue if held up to the light.
Color: Highly refined MDMA is a somewhat translucent white. It can have very light purple hues to it in larger crystalline forms. Avoid anything yellow, red, green or brown if possible. This may signify a lacking chemical process or potential adulteration. Clandestine chemists can realize up to a 40% higher output if they skip the last wash or two, leaving a discolored and impure sample full of chemical precursors.
*It should be noted that there is a widely distributed brown substance referred to as "sass" which is sold as MDMA or MDA. In multiple instances, this substance has tested positive for MDMA in GC/MS testing. After referencing multiple different sources, it is in the opinion of our group that "sass" is a lacking synthesis of MDMA leaving a large percentage of precursor chemicals.
This powder is too fine and has a very dull appearance. It is also sticking to the inside of the bag. (likely this is of the 2c family)
Grain size: The larger the grain size, the better. When samples are milled down to a powder rather than left in large crystalline chunks, they are much easier to cut without the end consumer noticing. Look for "shards" instead of powders if possible, however these large crystalline chunks tend to be very rare on the consumer level.
Crystalline shape: MDMA in its crystalline form has a chunky or blocky structure. Avoid flat, long crystals and especially "needle shards" or long, thin structures. These could very easily be MDPV or Methamphetamine.
This is an example of a pure MDMA in its most common form.
MDMA is relatively bitter with a lavender or licorice hint to it. However, the taste does disappear within 30 seconds. If the sample is overwhelmingly bitter or the flavor lasts for over 45 seconds, beware. A light licorice smell is also very common. It should also be noted that MDMA does not usually stick to the inside of baggies unless it is very humid.
When using the research chemical test kit, the sample will turn a deep purple to black in less than 3 seconds if it is close to pure. Beyond that, a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test is the only way to be 100% certain. You can send a sample to ecstacydata.org for this level of testing.
Please arm yourself with this powerful tool to insure the maximum safety and legitimacy possible. Crystalline LSD is invisible to the naked eye unless you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of doses. It also lacks a smell and taste unless it is very concentrated. As you might imagine, these characteristics make it very difficult to identify.
Taste: Legitimate LSD blotter will be tasteless in a vast majority of cases. It is possible for there to be enough LSD on a blotter to taste slightly metallic or bitter, however this is extremely unlikely. Therefore, if it tastes bitter, fruity, or like anything at all, there is a good chance that the active substance is not LSD.
*A common opinion is that the ink on blotter is what makes it taste bitter. This is technically possible, but rare. DO- and -NBOMe chemicals also taste bitter… so why would you chance it if it's LSD you're trying to identify?
Size: A normal size LSD blotter is around 1/4 in square and and 3-5 times the thickness of a dollar bill. This will hold an active dose of LSD, but an active dose of most other substances will not fit. Many of these substances will come on wider and thicker blotter paper and even sponge in some cases.
Too large and too thick: DOB blotter. "If it's larger than 1/4 in square, beware"
Taste: Again, LSD is tasteless unless it is highly concentrated. Liquid LSD is usually a mixture of the crystalline substance and either distilled water or alcohol, which both lack a flavor. If your sample has a taste, especially a bitter one, it may indicate the presence of another substance.
Color: Properly refined LSD is colorless and so are distilled water and alcohol. If the liquid sample has a color to it, this is an indication that it may be something other than LSD or that the LSD used was quite unrefined.
Viscosity: A mixture of LSD and distilled water or alcohol is relatively thin. If the sample is thick or syrupy, this is an indication that it has a large amount of another substance dissolved into the liquid. It is very unlikely that this substance would be LSD due to the very low dose required.
LSD comes in a variety of other forms, such as geltabs, microdots and sugar cubes. These forms of LSD, due to their size, could be made up of any number of substances. They are very difficult to identify without further testing.