View Full Version : adulterants in heroin

24-08-2004, 21:18
I seen various cuts mentioned in various threads, but no exact topic like this so I hope it's ok to post.

First, I'd like to know the "active" cuts used in heroin and how they potentiate or change the high. I'd also like to know the inactive cuts and why these are chosen. Thanks.

24-08-2004, 22:13

24-08-2004, 23:37
thanks...but after reading that, it was more of a flame war than an informative thread...although there were a few good posts. I'm still curious as to how such substances like quinine(sp?) potentiate heroin.

25-08-2004, 00:37
blahblahblah posted some good links about commonly used cuts just today....see http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=143922&r=43

basically, I think any cut is possible, though I suspect most of the common ones in the one of the links will be most common...


25-08-2004, 00:52
Excellent! I was looking for this information as well!

shals :D

06-09-2004, 10:42
There are some cuts that are common to dope type and also to specific geographical regions.U.S.,powdered:lactose[for volume/bulk] and quinine[flavoring and to increase the rush]in varying ratios but almost always together.Currently people have turned to other adulterants[mannitol,inositol,lidocaine[mostly prior to distribution from the lab].U.S.,tar:coffee,molasses,plant matter,lactose[when the tar is dissolved and then reformulated].All these cuts[for tar]are for volume/bulk.In Europe and certain regions in Asia[both S.W. and S.E.]the powdered #3 commonly known as brown sugar,chinezen,etc.is manufactured for smoking and as such has cuts of a different nature:caffeine[in amounts up to 40% of the gross weight of the product].this is because caffeine burns at 100 degrees centigrade as opposed to heroin which burns at about 340 degrees centigrade[in pure form].By igniting at the lower tempature the heroin will burn without decomposing,thus leaving that much more that can be inhaled.Also:quinine and strychnine which are added as flavoring agents.Quinine gives a distinctive chemical taste to the mostly odorless heroin[the same reason that it is used in the U.S.].Strychnine is used because back in the 1920s,pharmaceutical heroin tablets in China often contained it as an additive.Addicts would smoke these tablets and the taste became an important association with quality smoking heroin.Additionally,many #3 producers add a small amount of phenobarbitone[a sedative]to potentiate the effects of smoked heroin.Sometimes the barbitone is added in greater quantities changing the common brown color of the #3 to a grey or very offwhite,as happened in Hong Kong during the 70s with "Pearl"brand #3,named for the whitish-grey color given by the barbitone.#3 has the distinction of being the only type of heroin[so far]to have its color changed post manufacture as a way of expressing brand name or implied quality.A good example is the "Red Rooster"brand,identified by its bright red color.The color is achieved by using forms of food coloring.To date this brand [or method of cutting]has not been found outside of S.E.Asia.The more sought after #4 white heroin produced in S.E. Asia[and very rarely in S.W.Asia]is cut in much the same fashion as U.S.powder,but not until reaching its destination-never in the lab[as is the case with white Colombian powder].Of course this is just a brief overview and in no way definitive...

07-09-2004, 03:50
^Dude, your post's are very informative but you gotta learn to hit the Enter key. I don't want to read through all that garbage.

07-09-2004, 09:11
thank you and thank you,but in the case of your latter comment,when it was posted there was a problem with B.L.in that indentation was lost when long posts were posted.I have already been through it with 2 moderators who said the same thing happened with them.In any event,I will edit them back in as time allows...

07-09-2004, 16:53
Some heroin is not heroin, but really diluted fentanyl. In this case, mannitol is used pretty frequently. When it gets into the hands of the dealer though, you never really know wtf they are going to do it.

09-09-2004, 03:14
Thinking about the cuts with heroin, what is the best action for one to take if they suspect they've IV'ed a bad shot? (or suspect after IV'ing it's not heroin)

Has anyone been in this situation before? - I mean the effects could be anything depending on what was 'really" shot - but has anyone came across this before?


bud marley
09-09-2004, 03:41
.If I'm worried about it being fake or not I dip my finger in it and taste a little.Dope has a distinct taste at least the powder does.

09-09-2004, 04:42
Hey Bud,

Your a wealth of knowledge!

Can you describe the taste for me? - I tasted it last night, it tasted sort of chemically, a little bitter I think...

shals :D

bud marley
09-09-2004, 08:02
I can't off the top of my head compare it to anything but if you've tasted it it can't be mistaken.I can tell you some of the fake shit I've personally tasted has ranged from being gritty like crushed up dry wall,powdered sugar, or whatever else the fuckers felt like taking advantage of a dope sick asshole with.
I don't know about you Aussies but if you've tasted dope around the Philly/wilmington area it's as I said a distinct taste that no dealer has came close to replicating or bothered too.But if you can liken it better to another flavor then me let the wealth of your IV exeperiences guide us all.
I've done it for awhile and have gotten to a point where most of the time I can tell as soon as it's dumped out, usually in the bottom of a soda or beer can, just by the texture.Well I tasted it not even 3 hours ago and besides it being bitter in my opinion there really is nothing else it can be compared to,at least nothing else I've ever tasted.Tell me shals when you say chemically could you better describe what you mean?
Dope tastes like dope and I never tasted anything quite like it before I did it and since haven't.
Also shals if you've shot a hot shot depending on the degree there usually ain't much you can do.If you are by yourself and you shot poison you won't have enough time to dial 911(probably won't realize what's happening to you).If someone is with you once they see you turning purple the best thing they can do is start CPR and call 911.If you get a bad shot and it's lethal chances are(99.9%) that you will not be able to think anything much less how to save yourself.I ODed once when i drank alot of Bacardi Limon and shot and don't remember anything but the next day my brother was telling me he pulled me off the bathroom floor and put me to bed and prayed I'd live.Obviously I did!
Once being a bystandard to someone overdosing,was driving and talking to him while he was in the backseat and suddenly he didn't answer I look back and he was purple.All we could do was have one friend start CPR(mouth to mouth),have a friend with the drugs roll,and I called 911 and thank god the bastard made it.
Also people that I've seen OD on a few occasions were shot up with basic table salt and water and they came too.I never bought into this but people that have done this to the ODed person swore that it'd shock the system and they'd come toAs I said i don't believe it was anything more then luck but each time in my presence it was done they'd come too!I think it was a coincidence!

bud marley
09-09-2004, 08:51
shal please accept my apologies for being such a defensive and venemous asshole.Please read my PMs and accept my apologies and if you don't I'll understand.
Again I'm sorry!!!!!

09-09-2004, 14:06
You are not tasting heroin,you are tasting the "cut."This is the main reason that quinine is such a common adulterant.Opiates do have an inherently bitter taste but illicit heroin is so impure that it is near impossible to gauge the taste.I know...What about that vinegar taste/odor?That is the most significant precursor,acetic anhydride.This chemical is what makes heroin different from morphine[and all other opiates].

09-09-2004, 14:24
The one and only thing that will absolutely save your life when overdosing on heroin[or any other opiate]is Narcan,an opiate antagonist.That is why many overdosing but conscious users will beg bystanders not to call for help.Narcan will reverse ALL opiates so that an addict will go into immediate withdrawal[more exactly the second day of withdrawal where all the dope in their system has been evacuated].

What about salt water?That is a very old myth.I remember "old heads"telling it to me as gospel truth 25 years ago.unfortunately I have found[from first hand experience]that it does not work.In addition,in researching the subject I have came to the same conclusion.I do not know why people would think that treating one salt with another salt would help.My only guess is that somehow people associated the saline drip that one gets when admitted to the hospital[ for almost any disorder],with overdose treatment .

easy e
13-07-2005, 08:19
could anyone tell me what the most common adulterants and cuts found in heroin are? Preferably both active and inactive and if possible with some literature to back it up? I have been asked by many to develop a test fro heroin, but I have to admit I really do not know much about it, nor the trade...

13-07-2005, 08:32

13-07-2005, 15:03
Off the top of my head: scapolamine, lactose, manite, manitol, isotol, and quinine. I will work on getting you some sources today because I think this is an awesome idea.

Here is one, I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is though:
Link (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/bulletin/bulletin_1989-01-01_1_page013.html)

Here are some PubMed studies:

Link (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6435983&dopt=Abstract)

Use of dynamically coated capillaries for the determination of heroin, basic impurities and adulterants with capillary electrophoresis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15116935&query_hl=2)

Impurities, adulterants and diluents of illicit heroin. Changes during a 12-year period. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8175088&query_hl=2)

An evaluation of the results of a drug sample analysis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=2765719&query_hl=2)

The routine profiling of forensic heroin samples. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=3220345&query_hl=2)

Impurities, adulterants and diluents of illicit heroin in Denmark (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=3744213&query_hl=2)

Adulterants in heroin/cocaine: implications concerning heroin-associated nephropathy. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=6435983&query_hl=2)

13-07-2005, 15:35
Not only does it vary from nation to nation, but from locale to locale within those various nations as well. Here in NYC, the gnerally confirmed epicenter of international heroin use, it used to be almost always lactose and quinine in an 80:20 ration [lactose repsenting the larger number] or lactose, mannitol, and quinine in a 70:10:20 split [again, with lactose represented by the larger number]. Lactoseof course is milk sugar. As it is completely inert, it is used to bulk up the heroin. Mannitol, a substance usually used as a baby laxative, is used to fluff up the heroin and further increase the bulk. It also has the advantage of helping to dispel the related constipation that effects most opiate/opioid users. Quinine, an anti - malarial medication , is usedto helpprovide the illusion of a more chemical odor and taste in the heroin that by now has very little of both. While mannitol is slightly chemical in taste, lactose is sweet. Quinine also is believed to potentiate the "rush" of injected heroin.

Nowadays, since at least the mid 90s, anything under the sun has been used. Part of the problem lies in the nitial maufacture and distribution. While NYC used to enjoy high quality S.E. Asian # 4 white heroin, that was never adulterated/diluted prior to reaching these shores, it now hs been replaced by a lower quality white to brown Colombian product. Although it is also # 4 type, it is almost always less then 85% pure when it is releasedfor distribution. Unlike Mexican heroin it is not the fault of the manufactureing technique, but of a lack of effort with regard to overall purity. Instead of taking the neccessary time and effort to recrystaliize it until it is much more pure, they aim for quantity over quality which of course results in an inferior product. In addition, Colombian manufacturers have taken the unprecedented step of adulterating their product at the point of manufacture. They mosr commonly use lidocaine, a habit that can be blamed on their experiencein manufacturing cocaine.

In other parts of the nation, where Mexican "Tar" is the predominant form of heroin, there are other common adulterants. Aside from lactose, etc. that mostpeople do not even really think are possible adulterants for "Tar," such inert substances as ground coffee and molasses are usedto increase "Tar's" bulk.

Sometimes one finds dangerous substances as the aforementioned scopalmine. One also finds the otc medication Drimen used from time to time in Chicago area heroin...this is usally indicated by the red specs throughout the powedr.

In other nations one finds a different type of heroin predominating depending on the region. Europe is innundated with # 3 heroin which is expressly made for smoking. Becauseof this it is almost always adulterated with up to 40% caffeine which makes it more conducive to smoking. Other times one finds barbitone and even strychnine as well. The barbitone is used to potentiate the heroin and the strychnine is used as a flavoring agent. It is present in such minute concentrations that it does not pose any real health risk, to even the most hardened users. Strychnine is included because of the origin of smoking heroin.

When the practice started in 1920s Shanghai the most commonly sold form was a little red tablet that contained strychnine. After other forms took hold, older users associated the strychnine flavor with quality so that it then became amarketing ploy and has persisted until the present day.

Anyway, hope that bit helped.

13-07-2005, 15:36
All goodlinks. Good job.

13-07-2005, 15:39
^Thank you sir. :)

13-07-2005, 18:57
strychnine is used as a flavoring agent
what? i thought that the existence of strychnine in any drug was a myth as it's a very strong poison....

13-07-2005, 20:10
Originally posted by lyXw33d
what? i thought that the existence of strychnine in any drug was a myth as it's a very strong poison....

It's a myth in most cases, but not with respect to heroin. Use your friend Google and you will be able to find any number of strychnine scares and confirmed cases in which users were admitted to the emergency room with a drug sample and it tested positive using MC/GC for strychnine.

Sad but true.

Fortunately, when anarchy descends upon society after oil prices spiral out of control and society is not prepared for the consequences of a rapidly dwindling supply of fossil fuels, we can all grow acres of poppyfields, raid chemical warehouses for acetic anhydride, and live happily off the land. A 6x6 plot for vegetables, a 6x6 plot for grain, and acres and acres of poppies!



13-07-2005, 20:13
There is one false myth with regards to strychnine...stychnine as in ingredient or adulterant in d-LSD. However, for reasons explained in my post, a large portion of #3 heroin does contain it. It is not a danger so do not worry about it.

13-07-2005, 20:22
Originally posted by rachamim18
There is one false myth with regards to strychnine...stychnine as in ingredient or adulterant in d-LSD. However, for reasons explained in my post, a large portion of #3 heroin does contain it. It is not a danger so do not worry about it.

Right, if it appears in the tiny quantities in which it normally appears. But there have been some cases of poisoning -- very very rare, obviously, but they're out there.

Even if strychnine were in LSD, the active dose of LSD is so tiny compared to the LD50 (or even an active dose) of strychnine that it would be impossible to get an active dose on, say, a microdot or a blotter. But if you get your LSD from a capsule/pill/vial, I guess it could happen. But (unlike heroin) there have been no confirmed cases of strychnine + LSD.

axl blaze
13-07-2005, 20:48
In the midwestern region I am led to believe the most prevelant cuts are caffeine, phenobarbital, methaqualone, and procaine.

13-07-2005, 20:58
i have no idea what the active cuts near detroit are but if you made the test ide be on the preorder list!

Piper methysticum
13-07-2005, 21:33
Has anyone ever used Heroin diluted with Scapolamine? I'm just curious because I have at least three times, and it sucks pretty bad. When you are looking for a Heroin high, and you get all cross-eyed, feel like you are half insane, edgy, and having some really strange realistic hallucinations, it isn't very cool. I was seeing this lady in my bedroom that had flesh dripping from her body. Heroin always gives me some pleasant dreams and dream-like visual experiences, but that was crazy.

easy e
13-07-2005, 21:53
what would be of most value: a cleanup procedure (which takes a couple of hours) or just the ability to see how pure it is. are there any adulterants that you want to screen for , in the sense that,when a certain substance is present, you will not take the drug?

13-07-2005, 21:56
A cleanup procedure would be much more valuable to me as it would be worth it personally. I have no problem spending a few hours on a drug I spent money on and I'm ingesting either way. So it would be nice to have the ability to see how pure it is but even better if I can clean it up myself.

13-07-2005, 21:56
see how pure it is...

there is just too many adulterants, it would be more useful to the average user to test a few dealers and their batches and see the purity....

i mean if you're getting 80% pure H, i highly doubt you need to worry about them cutting it with dangerous substances....

14-07-2005, 03:18
plus sometimes its not actually diamophine youre getting...ive bought bags of other opiods which would have a diffrent cleaning process/might even be dangerous if put through the heroin cleaning process..

14-07-2005, 03:36
Originally posted by Piper methysticum
Has anyone ever used Heroin diluted with Scapolamine? I'm just curious because I have at least three times, and it sucks pretty bad. When you are looking for a Heroin high, and you get all cross-eyed, feel like you are half insane, edgy, and having some really strange realistic hallucinations, it isn't very cool. I was seeing this lady in my bedroom that had flesh dripping from her body. Heroin always gives me some pleasant dreams and dream-like visual experiences, but that was crazy.

i've found those little red specs in my dope many times, a long time ago. i didnt think the high was that edgy, but it definately was trippy/lotsa of double vision and cross eyedness(which i normally relate with nodding out)

14-07-2005, 03:52
personally i would only be interested in how pure it is

im not willing to go through the exhaustive process of making it pure, nor are there any common adulterants that have produced an unpleasant high (that i have experienced)

14-07-2005, 06:40
Did a bit of speculative googling about heroin adulterants in Australia - and came across this ripper of a course via the National Institute of Forensic Science website:

Novice Clandestine Drug
Laboratory Chemists’ course
Date: May 16-20, 2005
Location: Queensland
Course Outline:
The course will accommodate up to 16 junior
forensic chemists from across Australia. To qualify
for this course participants must be nominated by
an appropriate forensic service provider and have
completed a Bachelor of Science with chemistry
major or an equivalent qualification and have
operational forensic drug experience.
The course comprises five days’ intensive
training aimed at providing an understanding
of the synthetic chemistry and the application
of relevant mainstream analytical techniques
associated with monitoring and interpreting illicit
drug manufacture. Under expert supervision,
the course will provide trainees with first
hand experience in the synthesis of relevant
drug substances along with the analysis and
interpretation of key samples. This opportunity
will provide trainees with significant knowledge
and experience which will enhance and facilitate
their continued development as expert forensic
clandestine laboratory chemists.
This workshop is funded from the Federal
Attorney-General’s Department – National
Working Party on the Diversion of Precursor
Chemicals’ Clandestine Drug Investigators’
Training Initiative and managed by NIFS.

What can I say?????

Incidentally - it seems that a mixture of caffeine and paracetamol is the most common adulterant in Aussie heroin

Also incidentally - the Victorian forensics team claim to have detected an increasing number of samples of "Ice" that are mostly dimethylamphetamine. WTF is that shit?

14-07-2005, 15:48
Axl: If you are talking about the American Mid-West, you are incorrect. Although the Mid -West is about the only place in North America where a person can find every type of heroin [in the N. American maroket anyway], you will not find any caffeine or phenobarb as adulterants. those two do wind up in # 3 heroin, but America does not have any market for that.

As of rthe poster that asked about Scopalmine, I mentioned it in one of my previous posts in this thread. From time to time it does show up but only in isolated cases [gratefully]. Back in the early 19th Cen. the combination [albeit in morphine, not heroin as it was not yet in existence] was quite popular [for a brief time]. In just the right porportions it can be a pleasurable experience for some. The thing is, in illicit conditions and with untrained people, it is a timebomb. In the isoalted cases that it has happened with regard to heroin, it has led to serious injury and death. Personally, I cannot imagine why anyone would seek to combine them but to each their own.

EasyE: While there is already a growing market for simple Marquis Reagent tests that offer a blue [or other response indicating negative] colored opiate result,there are none that I am aware of that offer a breakdown on adulterants/dilutents [either in presence or quantity]. It would be helpful but unless it offered a reasonable approximation of percentages,it would not be a big seller. The available do it yourself reagent tests are not a big seller. In fact, I have never even heard of a person buying one. Most users erroneously trust their judgement. I could see its utility in making purchases from a new source, etc.

If one could produce an inexpensive [relative term] test that did offer a breakdown, I am sure that it would find a niche. While there are clean up methods available, they are not often used because of the erroneous assumption that one needs some specialized training or experience in order to be able to do them correctly. However, if one were to devise and market such a system on a commercial level, it would ceretainly alleviate that sense of uncertaintly for most. That too would be a marketable item. If one were to combine both, a quantified test AND a clean up system in one package, I would imagine they would be wealthy before long.

Dankster: The red specs were discussed earlier in the thread. they are from an otc medication that some people mistakenly think will potentiate their product. It is common in Chicago.

Ayjay: A related substance. it is all good.

14-07-2005, 17:09
People use dorm and sleepinol where im from.


14-07-2005, 17:20
Forgive them, they know not what they do...

lee harvey
15-07-2005, 07:04
"A small number of the samples (2.4 per cent) contained less than l per cent heroin, as a result of being extensively adulterated or diluted with other substances."

OMFG imagine shooting THAT dope.

15-07-2005, 15:19
Sadly, I am old enough to remember when the average NYC bag rang in at less than 5% purity and NYC is the generally considered the best in the nation, decade to deacade...and all the old heads bemoan the "ggod old days..."

20-07-2005, 10:05
This paper was from 1992 from U.K. or something and lists all of the common adulterants found in street Heroin. I believe it hasn't changed all that much. You will, alot of the times find benzos as a cutting agent in street Heroin as Benzos do help potentiate the heroin a great deal.


20-07-2005, 14:09
I'm going to merge this with easy e's "heroin adulterants" thread.