COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

Drugs & Health Blog

Is Pure MDMA Safer Than Other Drugs?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

One of the biggest myths about Molly—pure MDMA—is that it’s safer than other drugs. This belief is dangerous for two reasons:

  1. It’s not true.
  2. It’s impossible to know if you’re actually taking pure MDMA.

Pure or Not, Molly Is Harmful

Pure MDMA—meaning there are no other substances in it—is not a safe drug to take. MDMA can have many of the same effects as other stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. A person who takes MDMA could experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

In high doses, MDMA can affect the body’s ability to keep the correct temperature. People who take MDMA at concerts or dance parties sometimes experience a dangerous rise in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, or heart failure—or even death.

Molly’s Identity Crisis

Even though it's supposed to be pure MDMA, Molly is just as likely to be mixed with other substances as any other drug.

Supposedly "pure" Molly can contain ephedrine (a stimulant), dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), ketamine, caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine, or even bath salts. Just because it comes in crystal or powder form—instead of a pill like Ecstasy—doesn’t prove that it's pure.

Some powder sold on the street as “Molly” doesn’t contain any MDMA at all. That’s even more dangerous, because you don’t have a clue what you’re really taking!

There Are No “Safe” Illegal Drugs

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “safe” illicit (illegal) drug. Certain drugs are illegal because research shows that they harm the brain and body.

Has anyone tried to pressure you into doing drugs by telling you they’re safe? Tell us in comments how you reacted.

Update: For more on Molly, check out our post, “Have You Seen Molly? Even if You Think So, You May Have Been Fooled.”

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Amazing how it can affect your temperature, me and some friends were talking about how u can suffer from hypothermia when on Molly, even sitting inside your body's temperature can lower to a very dangerous level.
no, it's actually the opposite. molly raises your temp to dangerous levels
Great information.
how can we tackle the legal highs when we dont know what 1 is no legal
My friend overdosed on Pepsi.
This article is erroneous. You can use test kits to determine if your molly is adulterated, so all of the talk about impurity on here is IRRELEVANT. If you want to talk about MDMA BY ITSELF, then DO IT. Dont change the damn subject. And also, the bad effects you listed are for HIGH DOSES. You've basically admitted that a regular dose of pure mdma is relatively safe. Maybe you should try being realistic with teens, because lying and misleading them hasnt been working for the past 50 years.
I agree. This is a joke. Actual pure MDMA is incredibly safe when taken right, and there's even harm reduction websites to inform people instead of forcing a government opinion on them. People are born with free will. They will do what they want, legal or not. So why not make sure they're doing it safe and informed? :) PLUR
That is 100% true my buddy has a very good test kit. And you tell em
Thank you.. U are 100% correct.
No problem. It's quite a well known fact that pure drugs are fine.
Thank you, This post is the sort of stupid backwards information is what holds humanity back.
Well said. Alcohol and tobacco are legal,this article is irrelevant
My thoughts exactly.
Spot on totally agree, why don't we stop the scaremongering and produce factual information for teens to read
Awful analysis. Kids came to see about pure MDMA, and yet this was still the same tired information about it possibly being mixed with other stuff. KIDS KNOW THAT IT MIGHT BE MIXED, it's stated in EVERY article. How about just telling kids the effects of pure MDMA like the introduction promised, instead of veering off course.
"Pure MDMA isn't safe because it might not be pure MDMA." Wow, great article. This is the kind of misinformation that leads to MDMA related deaths in the first place! There is no way to know whether or not what you have is pure MDMA? Really? No such thing as test kits? We need more awareness of harm reduction, not archaic scare tactics. If someone were to acquire what they thought was MDMA, read this article and not order a test kit because they didn't think it was possible to tell, then they could be seriously injured or die. "There Are No “Safe” Illegal Drugs" I don't even know where to begin here. What about marijuana? Is it safe in places where it legal but somehow dangerous where it is not? I'm sure it's because illegal weed is going to be cut with a bunch of adulterants huh? Nice appeal to authority. "In high doses..." Completely useless. In high enough doses, you can die from alcohol. Caffeine. Tylenol. Pretty much anything. Qualitative data is pointless here.
"Pure MDMA isn't safe because it might not be pure MDMA" God that made me laugh
You could drown drinking water for gods sake
Say NO to drugs!
Your all cooked? All of you!
Yet we can spell. Go figure.
Typical goverment misinformatiin. People will believe anything the goverment tells them. Simple fact is MDMA is praticaly harmless is used correctly and safely. There are certainly more harmful drugs that can be purchased over the counter at any local pharmacy. Do some actual research in the subject of drugs avoid biast goverment garbage and you could be surprised.
The fact is there should be no arguing about this because anyone that would defend any sort of drug use needs to get a life.
I think people should be able to make their own choices about what they put into whir bodies/do to themselves. Giving people true info about what they are doing is great but we should have the human right to make the choice for ourselves
Not a great article. MDMA has been shown to be extremely safe when taken with the proper precautions and preparation. In fact there is quite a bit of research showing its effectiveness in treating PTSD and in couple's therapy. The fact is that we are just now learning about the benefits and therapeutical potential of MDMA. Don't listen to this government propaganda. Be safe and do your own research. That's what the Internet is for.
In some cases sometimes there are "NO safe legal drugs either" just because government "approve it" doesn't mean it's safe. I've nearly gone on all sorts of medication, then researched it properly and realized there's some really harmful things in it. Some illegal drugs used to be legal, like mdma for instance they prescribed it as "empathy" a drug for couples counciling. It can be safe when people use it with a respect for it. Abusing it can get dangerous. It's a choice for people that's fine, I just wish there was more guidance and information out there for teens. For example the loop a charity want to start testing outside gig venues and festivals. And offer information and guidance to know how to be safe and look after each other. It's not saying it's okay take what you want in, they just know either way it's going to get sneaked in and some people won't know what they have. That way they could save more deaths inside the venues. Alcohol is a big killer, my mum has damaged her brain so much and its pretty much killing her off. And it's legal.
The only reason why people risk taking adultereated MDMA is because it's illegal! If the government (society) would wake up and realize that people will do these drugs regarless, they might be able to work out a way to get the safest drug options to them. i.e. like weed from the dispensaries.
I totally believed this until it got to the part that every drug that is illegal is bad for you... Weed isn't worse that alcohol or tobacco... Can't compare all illegal drugs and be credible.
This article is a complete joke, thanks for nothing!
I imagine the people who disagree with this are actually drug users themselves! You shouldn't be doing drugs, simple as that. As for weed not being worse than alcohol, well probably true but long term it will mess with your head. My older brother has been doing weed since he was a teenager and is now in his 50s and its effected his memory from the long term abuse of it.
Doing weed? Wow... If he had used tobacco or alcohol excessively probably would be dead!! I've been using mdma in moderation for 20 years. Pure. Same batch.. Goverment tested. Im near 50, own a successful busines and am at a high fitness level. Brain feels to be the just as good as college days... Moderation is key to anything in life. Respect and knowledge are paramount. These articles are what's killing our youth!! Educate people!!!!
Propaganda bs, it is easily possible to find out if you bought pure mdma, you buy a get kit for 10$ online such as the regeant or marquis testing kit. The fact that they said it's impossible clearly shows how bad this government website wants to pursuade you to believe certain things. Pure mdma is safer than all these disgusting pharmaceutical drugs that mess everyone's brains up and leave them hooked. Raise psychedelic awareness and change psychedelic stigma, not all drugs are bad, just the pharmaceutical ones that destroy your mind and body.
'Its dangerous because its not true that its safe'. Give me actual effects, not this 'it may not be pure speech'
This seems like a very biased article