Research chemicals, also called designer drugs, pass through the news quite regularly. The new drug that has caused a stir in the media recently is 3-MMC. The drug is described as “very dangerous and highly addictive”.
As is the case with research chemicals, very little is known about the effects the drug has (in the long term) on the body. It is therefore strongly discouraged to experiment with them, because as a user you are acting as a guinea pig and have no idea what the consequences might be. Because research chemicals are new substances, they are not yet on the list of prohibited substances. That’s why these drugs, including 3-MMC, are still legally available from various online dealers on special web shops.
The drug came on the market when its predecessor, 4-MMC, was banned. The search was on for the closest substitute, in terms of chemical structure and effect. Designer drugs usually aim to mimic existing, better known and illegal drugs such as MDMA, cocaine, LSD and speed.
3-MMC is a New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) and stands for 3-Methylmethcathinone. Street names for the drug are Meow Meow, poes, 3M, metaphedrone and 3-MeMMC.
In terms of effects, the drug is stated to be between XTC and cocaine.
It is a substance belonging to the cathinone class. Cathinone originally comes from khat, a plant whose leaves give a stimulating effect. However, in the case of research chemicals we are not talking about a natural source, but about synthetic substances. In this case we are talking about an amphetamine-like substance.
The substance came on the market quite quickly after the drug mephedrone (4-MMC) was banned. This is a good example of a new substance that was brought to the market specifically to mimic its illegal predecessor.
Originally, these so-called New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were primarily for research purposes and were created to build more knowledge and research new drugs. It was soon discovered that substances can also be created, which are very similar in effect to common, illegal drugs, but are not banned because they are not on the Opium List (list with illegal substances in The Netherlands).
Analogue of 4-MMC
This drug is now on the Opium list and is thus no longer legally available. 4-MMC, also called Miauw Miauw or mephedrone, was increasingly bought in Europe in 2010 and offered by various dealers.
The drug was popular for its euphoric effects. As with its analogue, there is too little research to show exactly what the drug does. However, a little more information is available. Studies with mice showed that it releases huge amounts of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. This cocktail of substances in the brain creates a blissful intoxication with lots of energy. The study also showed that the levels of dopamine dropped very quickly. As a user, you have to redose several times in a short period of time in order to enjoy the effects for longer. This may explain why the drug is highly addictive for several users.
What are the effects of 3-MMC?
The substance has caused a lot of fuss in the media. Among other things, it has been reported that users become dependent on the drug very quickly, use it excessively, are prone to overdoses and suffer from terrible hangovers in the days following use. It is associated, as is the case with cocaine and 4-MMC, with addiction and abuse.
The drug has very similar effects to 4-MMC. The latter drug is also considered a hybrid form between MDMA (XTC) and cocaine.
These effects are reported by users:
- An increase in energy
- Reduction of anxiety
- Increased desire for sex
- More empathy
- Being less inhibited
Numerous side effects have also been reported, especially the days following use are usually marked by a severe hangover. Now we are only talking about the short-term effects it has on mood. These side effects are probably due to a shortage of important substances in the brain, which are depleted during use.
Short-term side effects may include:
- No motivation
- Sleep problems
On the physical level, the following are reported by users:
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Faster heart rate
- Muscle cramps
- Teeth grinding
- Shortness of breath
- Heart attack
|Common names||3MMC, Metaphedrone|
|Psychoactive class||Stimulant / Entactogen|
|Light||50 – 150 mg|
|Common||150 – 250 mg|
|Strong||250 – 350 mg|
|Heavy||350 mg +|
|Total||4 – 6 hours|
|Offset||1 – 1.5 hours|
|After effects||2 – 4 hours|
Harmful to health
Very little is still known about the effects of 3-MMC. Not enough is known yet about the toxicity of the substance, how exactly it is processed by the body and what the effects may be. Since it is a relatively new substance, there is insufficient data to determine what the drug will cause in the long run. The information that is currently known shows that people are attracted to the effects of the drug, especially young people. It is very easy to order 3-MMC online, even minors can do so. As a result, there is very little control over use and almost everything happens behind the scenes.
The use of 3-MMC is associated with harmful effects on the body and mind. Studies that have been done show that the drug is harmful to the brain and to the heart.
Dangerous combinations with other drugs
Taking a drug whose health effects can be even more harmful than thought is one thing. Also combining it with other drugs is asking for consequences that could be potentially fatal.
Alcohol is number one when it comes to combinations with drugs. When going out, alcohol is usually drunk along with taking other drugs including MDMA, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. Drugs interact with each other and can enhance or alter each other’s effects.
It is life-threatening to combine 3-MMC with other drugs or medications that play a role in the absorption and processing of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. You can overheat, risk brain damage or a heart attack if your body can’t process it. Examples of dangerous combinations include antidepressants, MAOIs, SSRIs, 5-HTP, MDMA and stimulants.
3mmc is a popular synthetic drug
In recent years the use of this designer drug in the Netherlands has increased. Doctors are increasingly reporting poisonings by the substance. For example, in 2018 there were ten calls to the National Poisoning Information Center by doctors asking for advice. In 2020, there were 64 inquiries. (Source: NOS).
The effects of 3-MMC are mainly speculated about. For example, it is said to cause effects because it releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine plays a major role in the reward system and feeling good. Serotonin is also called the happiness hormone and plays an important role in many functions of the body, including mood, appetite and sleep patterns.
boost your dopamine and serotonin naturally
There are countless ways you can enjoy and experiment without unnecessarily compromising your health. The use of research chemicals is not recommended. As the potential for abuse and health risks are pervasive. Instead, choose to take care of your own body and mind. Experimentation is part of existence, but should be approached with wisdom.
There are plenty of stories of users who put their lives in danger, or die, because they are unwise in their use of drugs. Is this worth it? There are other ways you can feel good.
Dopamine, the hormone triggered by 3-MMC, is also produced by exercising, being outdoors a lot, connecting with friends and family, and having fun. Of course, it’s fun to enjoy what life has to offer and it’s exciting to try new things. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can do this without unnecessarily compromising your health.
3MMC TECHNICAL INFORMATION
C11H15NO • HCl
Formulation and solubility of 3mmc
A crystalline solid
Solubility (What? Learn more)
DMF: 1 mg/ml
DMSO: 2 mg/ml
Ethanol: 5 mg/ml
PBS (pH 7.2): 10 mg/ml
252, 292 nm
Storage of 3mmc
Room Temperature in continental US; may vary elsewhere
≥ 2 years