XTC: what is it and how do you avoid the notorious hangover?
Discussing drugs continues to be an interesting and often contradictory activity. How many times have I talked to a family member about the effects of drugs while they are just taking a sip of their coffee? Or talked to someone who thinks all (hard) drugs should be banned, while enjoying a cocktail?
In this blog I want to talk about the popular synthetic drug MDMA, often in the form of the ecstasy pill.
*Sirius only sells natural so called smartdrugs in its Smartshop range, which aim to provide the user with a safe and pleasant way to enjoy themselves, to give more energy and to provide a serotonin boost. This as a safe and legal alternative for the many (unknown) drugs that circulate online and on the street.
Experimenting with psychoactive substances
Humans have always been fascinated by ways to enter a different state of consciousness. Whether it is to dispel the 'boring everydayness', to gain insights about consciousness and the self or simply to enjoy what life has to offer.
It is human nature to want to gain new experiences in order to learn, grow and be stronger in life. No wonder that so many young people do exciting, "dangerous" things and pull pranks to satisfy their need for new experiences.
Whether it's nice to hear or not, many young people start experimenting with drugs at a certain age. Just as they begin to explore their own bodies, love and sex, a need to experience other states of consciousness also begins. One of the most obvious experiments, of course, is drinking alcohol. Being drunk is in most cases experienced as confusing and often sickening. Read about my own first experience in high school with alcohol here.
XTC: the party drug
Another drug that is very popular in the young person's exploration is Ecstasy. According to various sources, ecstasy (commonly known as XTC, Molly, Beans, or simply X) is among one of the most popular drugs in the Netherlands. The active ingredient of the ecstasy pill is the synthetic drug MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Alongside cannabis and of course alcohol, ecstasy has a permanent place in nightlife. But what is this drug exactly?
Ecstasy is a pill whose main ingredient is MDMA. This substance belongs to the amphetamines, which also include cocaine and speed. However, MDMA behaves differently from "normal" amphetamines.
Effects of ecstasy are a warm, energetic and in love feeling. There is also a greater need to communicate with others and certain boundaries fall away making contact easier. It is possible to dance for hours to music, in a stupor or state of trance.
Afterwards, the infamous "hangover" often takes place, usually a few days after use. Partly due to a shortage of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, the body needs time to recover. So having a somewhat more depressed and physically weakened feeling afterwards is common. It must be said, however, that this infamous hangover plays a greater role when the user also combines other drugs. MDMA is very often combined with alcohol and it should be obvious that alcohol itself has a great influence on your state of mind a few days after a party. Also, the ecstasy that is used is regularly not so pure, but is often mixed with very different substances that can be harmful to your health and have an impact on both body and mind.
Discovery of MDMA
The active substance in an ecstasy pill is MDMA. It is similar in chemical structure to the substance mescaline and methamphetamine. This substance was discovered and patented in 1912 by the pharmaceutical company Merck. It was originally intended as a medication to treat blood clotting problems. In the beginning, people were not yet aware of the psychoactive effects of MDMA. Researcher Alexander Shulgin first tested the effects of MDMA on humans, after which it became an increasingly popular drug.
It was used by therapists in treatments for people with depression and in couples therapy. Then the drug broke into the nightlife scene and ecstasy pills started to take off. Apparently, the chemists who came up with the pill would have chosen the name "ecstasy" instead of "empathy" because the former would sell better. Although MDMA produces an empathic effect rather than an ecstatic one.
In more and more countries the use of MDMA was banned and the drug entered the illegal circuit. In some countries, for example Switzerland, the use of MDMA within psychotherapy was permitted until 1995. Countries such as the United States had already banned the drug much earlier. Only in very exceptional cases, such as certain soldiers suffering from war traumas, was its use as a therapeutic agent permitted.
Nowadays MDMA is once again gaining popularity in the medical world and scientists are once again researching the therapeutic possibilities of MDMA. In 2008, 12 terminally ill cancer patients were given a therapeutic dose of MDMA. The positive results are promising for the future.
Incidentally, MDMA is not physically addictive. However, it does happen that users develop a psychological dependence. It is common for partygoers to feel that they cannot have fun if they have not used MDMA.
Dive into the Smartshop assortment of Sirius for natural XTC substitutes
Not only can you go to Sirius for psychoactive herbs, cannabis seeds, mescaline cacti, Magic Truffles and more... You can also find natural energizers, based on vitamins, amino acids and extracts of energy-giving plants. For example, the NXT Phase line consists of different colors, all based on a particular (hard) drug. Want to get closest to ecstasy? Then combine the purple color with the brown color. They give you a natural high, so you don't get that nasty hangover afterwards.
To combine the two colors take one capsule of each. Try not to eat for an hour beforehand and swallow the capsules with a generous amount of fruit juice or water.
- NXT Phase Purple: a blend of extract from Griffonia. As mentioned earlier, this plant ensures that the body can absorb the precursor of serotonin, the happiness hormone. It also contains an extract of bitter orange (Citrus aurantius). The active ingredient synephrine is uplifting and stimulating. This substance is similar in chemical structure to ephedrine (the substance from Ephedra) there are no negative side effects attributed to it, as some did to Ephedra. The natural caffeine in NXT Phase Purple provides an extra boost, making you able to dance for hours. Combined with the increased serotonin level, this creates a warm, happy feeling that comes very close to the upcoming feeling of ecstasy.
- NXT Phase Brown: This color is based on a very strong pure cocoa extract. Combined with NXT Phase Brown the warming and energetic feelings are doubled in intensity. This is due to the substance theobromine, which is naturally present in cocoa. Theobromine means "food of the gods," from the Greek and which was also christened the botanical name of the plant (Theobroma cacao). Theobromine behaves similarly to caffeine. It provides energy and also improves blood flow to the heart and dilates blood vessels.
How do you reduce an ecstasy hangover?
Still want to party with ‘Molly’? There are several ways you can reduce the side effects. To know the best way to deal with these, it is important to first have a list of what common side effects are.
Using MDMA causes your body to release additional neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. This neurotransmitter is also known as the "happiness hormone”. The release of extra serotonin causes a change in mood. You feel good, have a greater desire for touch and sex and a more intense perception of the environment. MDMA also causes more dopamine to remain in the body. This substance provides an increased sense of pleasure and alertness. After using MDMA, a time of serotonin deficiency occurs. Your body needs time to rebuild it. During this period you are more easily irritable, tired, down and have a decreased concentration.
Another substance that is released more in the body is norepinephrine. This substance makes you feel energetic and makes your pupils dilate. A norepinephrine deficiency is characterized by the physically exhausted feeling you may experience after a party with MDMA. Although other factors also play a role, such as little sleep and the combination with other substances.
Ways to minimize the ecstacy hangover
Test your ecstasy
If you do use ecstasy, it is very important that you know what you take. Get your pill tested! You can also easily and quickly use a test kit from EZtest yourself. Unless you obtain your material from a very reliable source, you can't be 100% sure what ingredients your pill contains. MDMA is its pure form looks like sand-colored crystals. A pill, when done right, consists of pure MDMA and fillers. Often pills are contaminated with other substances to make them cheaper. For example, caffeine, speed, mCPP or PMMA are used. In The Netherlands about 89% of all pills would contain only MDMA as active ingredient. However, the amount can vary greatly from pill to pill. This is an extra risk when taking a pill: you usually do not know how much you have taken!
Weigh your dose of MDMA
If you choose to use MDMA in its pure form (crystals or powder), it is wise to weigh your dose beforehand. A common method is to dip your finger in a bag of MDMA and just ingest what sticks to your finger, but by doing so you won't know the exact dose that you're taking. So it is better to use a precision scale in advance to determine the amount.
Tryptophan and 5-HTP
The precursor of serotonin is the substance tryptophan. We obtain this substance from our diet. Eating tryptophan helps your body to get its serotonin levels back on track more quickly. Examples of foods with tryptophan are salmon, eggs. Sirius sells capsules that contain an ample amount of tryptophan or 5-HTP and are recommended to take when you decide to use this psychoactive drug.
Another tip is to eat extra healthy the days before and after use. Plenty of organic (citrus) fruits with lots of vitamin C are optimal to give the body back energy and help it recover. An additional supplement is Puori vitamin C effervescent tablets that are easy to take.
Using CBD oil is always recommended to help the body become more balanced. Because MDMA causes the body to become unbalanced and makes it harder for you to fall asleep, for example, cannabidiol is a good element to use as a daily supplement.
Don't combine ecstasy with other psychoactive drugs
The combination of an ecstasy pill or MDMA do not go well with other substances. Of course, there are the well-known combinations including the so-called "hippie flipping" (MDMA combined with psilocybin) that many people find therapeutic.
Nevertheless, there are many combinations that can have dangerous consequences and add to the side effects. As mentioned before, using MDMA in combination with alcohol is a bad plan. Not only do you greatly reduce the positive effects of MDMA, the hangover you have the next day is also intensified many times.
Take magnesium against cramps
A common side effect of ecstasy is the cramping of muscles and the chewing movements of the jaws. This results in painful muscles and wounds in the mouth. This can be avoided as much as possible by taking magnesium. This mineral helps the body to deal with this better.
To prevent your jaws from injuring the inside of your mouth, it is advisable to take a chewing gum.
Comparison MDMA and psilocybin
The comparison between MDMA and psilocybin is regularly made when it comes to substances with a strong empathic character. It is no coincidence that both MDMA and psilocybin are used as therapeutic aids in certain therapies and research is being done into the possibilities that both substances offer in the treatment of people with, for example, a post-traumatic stress syndrome or a (severe) depression. This so-called 'psychedelic assisted psychotherapy' is gaining more and more credibility and is getting more and more support from science. Reports of this kind of research can be found in the book Expand Your Mind by Michael Pollan.
Use Sirius Smart Products
As said before, there are safe, legal alternatives to MDMA and ecstasy. Check them out in the Sirius Smartshop. Inspired by 'Molly', but with the added benefit that you don't have to worry about a hangover in the days after, but can instead be happy because of the extra energy and serotonin boost you get from it.
In the 1990s these capsules gained increasing fame in the nightlife scene and were also labeled as 'little life savers'. MoodDoctor is a 100% natural antidepressant based on a mix of herbal extracts that have been used by humans for centuries as a mood enhancer. The combination of St. John's Wort and Griffonia simplicifolia. Specially developed by Sirius to tackle the infamous XTC serotonin crash.
From the list of essential products to recover from the crash your body experiences after using ecstasy, After-E is indispensable. To recover properly, After-E uses the restorative power of vitamin B6 and the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine.
Nice to know
Common names for XTC are: X, E, XTC, Molly, Rolls, Hug, Hug Drug, Love Drug, Lover's Speed, Beans, Adam, Eve, Clarity, Moon Rocks, Happy Pill, Dancing Shoes, Scooby Snacks, Candy, Peace, Uppers.
Translations of XTC into other European languages: Bulgarian - 'екстаз'; Czech - 'extáze'; Danish - 'ecstasy'; Estonian - 'ekstaas'; Greek - 'έκσταση'; French - 'ecstasy'; German - 'Ekstase'; Hungarian - 'eksztázis'; Italian - 'estasi'; Latvian - 'ekstāze'; Lithuanian - 'ekstazis'; Norwegian - 'ecstasy'; Polish - 'ekstaza'; Portuguese - 'êxtase'; Slovak - 'extázy'; Slovenian - 'ekstazi'; Spanish- 'éxtasis'; Romanian - 'extaz'; Swedish - 'extas'.
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