Ecstasy Purity Reaches New Heights In Europe
2 min

Ecstasy Purity Reaches New Heights In Europe

2 min

The slump of poor quality ecstasy seems to be coming to an end, as more and more super potent pills are found containing high amounts of MDMA.

For a long time, the production of MDMA was largely carried out in Europe. Soaring demand combined with harsh law enforcement saw the once great ecstasy pill go from the rave inducing legend of the 90’s and early 2000’s, to the medley of chemicals and filler that we have come to know in recent years. Again and again we have warned that ecstasy is not what it used to be, and that it is always best to test any pills you may obtain. Well, new research suggests we are have now passed the slump in quality, as the purity of ecstasy pills is reaching all-new highs.


The main reason we saw the quality of ecstasy fall was largely due to a combination of greed and scarcity of ingredients. Firstly, the initial restrictive nature of prohibition makes it harder and harder for producers to get hold of the chemicals they need to produce MDMA, (this eventually results in drugs being stronger, but we will get into that later). However, as demand does not drop when prohibition tightens, other methods of producing the drug are found. In this case, it means MDMA is often cut with other chemicals with similar effects to create the ecstasy seen on the streets. Unfortunately, these chemicals don’t always play nicely together, which is why it can be dangerous. Next comes greed. Cutting drugs with cheaper filler pushes up profit, and as long as the ecstasy isn’t extremely dangerous, the cost to risk ratio works in their favour of the dealer.


According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), we are now seeing ecstasy pills with an MDMA content of up to 125mg – in some cases doubling the 50-80mg that was commonplace in the 90’s and 2000’s. There are even rare “super pills” floating around the black market, with a crazy content of 280-340mg.

Why is this? Well, it all comes down to the “Iron Law of Prohibition.” It is a theory that says drugs end up stronger where prohibition reigns supreme. As the law cracks down in one area, such as here in the EU, the EU market initially weakens. However, other operations spring up elsewhere to fill in the gap. In this case, we are seeing production markets for ecstasy appear in both Canada and China, where the pills are being made with a much purer MDMA content and then being shipped over here. This increase in strength is especially the case when drugs are shipped over longer distances to meet the demand of a market; it is much more profitable to ship 1KG of super potent drugs and supply it to a few thousand people than ship 1KG of weak drugs and supply it to a few hundred people. The result is the purity and potency of the drug bouncing back in the market that was initially quashed.

Of course, this puts extra pressure on the EU producers, who are now also working to up the potency once again. The result is a market full of even stronger drugs. While, in the case of MDMA and ecstasy this is initially good (one of the main dangers of ecstasy is the shit it is cut with), caution still needs to be taken. Although purity is on the rise, the content is still only around 30-40% on average, with the rest being filler.

The take away from this is a bit of a double edged sword. People are actually getting what they intended to buy, but the dangers are still present. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always test your stash.



Written by: Josh
Writer, psychonaut and cannabis aficionado, Josh is Zamnesia’s in-house expert. He spends his days nestled out in the countryside, delving into the hidden depths of all things psychoactive in nature.

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Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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