What level of education for producing...?

Jabbawaya

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I am a university student and am probably going to major in chemistry/pharmacology. Out of curiosity, I was wondering what level of education LSD and MDMA chemists needed to achieve before being able to produce such products without too much difficulty? These aren't things that just anyone can get up and make, after all.
 

subdefy

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You don't neccessarily need a level of education. Many chemists are self-taught!
 

BilZ0r

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It's more about the skills in getting the equipment/chemicals needed for the synth without getting caught as far as I was concerned.
 

Frac

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I don't think very much formal education would be required to understand the principles of synthesis of either MDMA or LSD. What would be important would be hands-on practice in the various techniques required.

I'm sure there's a lot of non-chemists on here could run circles around the degreed chemists/pharmacologists. It depends on the person...how good are they with their hands, are they patient, and do they think logically.

Think of it this way...if you were asking what it took to be able to rebuild a car engine....it wouldn't be a theoretical understanding of the internal combustion process. What makes a good mechanic is the number of things they've actually fixed.
 

lifeisforliving

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I would also say that:

For MDMA use you are using relatively large equipment and large amoutns chemicals/solvents.

For LSD it is all micro in comparison.

Depends on how your setup is.. and what you have access to.
 

kaoskid

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no no no no no, for making lsd at even moderate purity requires lots, and i mean LOTS, of hands on lab experience. i'd say about three years of college level organic chem (at least). even the simplest synthesis for lsd also requires access to some dangerous and hard to get chemicals (i.e phosphorus oxychloride, or POCL3, which is also used in the production of war gases such as sarin and VX) as well as a completely light-free lab. not simple, not easy, if you want easy then go with mdma or methcathinone (at least those you can make with chemicals that won't kill you if they get on your hand). however, if you do major in Organic chem. and Pharmacology you should have no trouble (doing the synthesis at least, if you can get POCL3 without the feds knocking down your front door then your only worry is trying to get lysergic acid without a hassle [i'd like to see you try, ha!]).
 

Limpet Chicken

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Right behind you.....
MDMA, if one isolates or synthesizes safrole, is EASY to make, relative to LSD, a simple performic oxidation followed by reduction of the ketone and bobs yer fucking uncle.
 

andruejaysin

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MDMA is relatively simple, within the reach of most meth cooks, given the right info, and acsess to the chemicals. LSD is a VERY different matter, relatively high degree of knowledge, and acsess to some VERY closely watched chemicals.
 

Jabbawaya

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Too bad Rhodium and the Hive are gone. Those were good. Now it's all up to Google for synths, huh? (Or PiKHAL/TiKHAL, though I'm sure there are simpler synths out there)
 

andruejaysin

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Just checked It's there under " synethical and phyco- whatthe fuck ever" Obviously, I spelled that wrong, but you'll figure it out, I'm sure.
 

phase_dancer

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however, if you do major in Organic chem. and Pharmacology you should have no trouble (doing the synthesis at least, if you can get POCL3 without the feds knocking down your front door then your only worry is trying to get lysergic acid without a hassle [i'd like to see you try, ha!]).
If you do an applied chem degree you might also learn enough inorganic chem to make phosphorous oxychloride.


A low yielding and possibly the worst approach

PCl3 + Br2 --> PCL2Br2

PCL2Br2 + SO2 --> SOBr2 + POCl2

After distilling the SOBr2 the residue byproduct is POCL3 at ~10-15%. This can then be carefully distilled.

But phosphorous oxychloride can also be made from tribasic calcium phosphate and silica and coke in a furnace. If you can't get the tribasic phosphate salt you can always make that via calcium hydroxide and phosphoric acid

2H3PO4 + 3Ca(OH)2 → Ca3(PO4)2 + 6H2O

Ca3(PO4)2 + 3SiO2 → 3CaSiO3 + P2O5
P2O5 + 5C → 2P + 5 CO

Reacting with the phosphorous product with stoichiometric amounts of chlorine produces PCL3, and excess chlorine produces PCL5


P4(s) + 6Cl2(g) --> 4PCl3 (l)

P4 (s) + 10Cl2 (g) --> 4PCl5 (s)

Phosphorous oxychloride can then be easily produced by reaction with the trichloride with either sulphur trioxide or potassium chlorate

PCl3 + SO3 --> POCl3 + SO2

3PCl3 + KClO3 --> 3POCl3 + KCl

As mentioned, the pentachloride can be hydrolyzed to POCL3, but with water, it's likely much will be further hydrolyzed to phosphoric acid (back to where we started from)

PCl5 + H2O --> POCl3 + 2HCl

PCl5 + 4H2O --> H3PO4 + 5HCl

Best procedure is probably from reaction with either boric acid or oxalic acid

3PCl5 + 2B(OH)3 --> 3POCl3 + B2O3 + 6HCl

PCl5 + (COOH)2 --> POCl3 + CO + CO2 + 2HCl

As can be seen, most of the steps are practically over the counter as far as ingredients are concerned, and where not, these reactants can be made via OTC routes.


Ref: mostly from H.Book of Inorganic Chemistry by Pradyot Patnaik



As for MDMA being easy, the whole procedure is way easier than for LSD as has been mentioned. Using the peracetic method (ala Chromic) the whole procedure is totally over the counter. And tweaked just right, reports are that it is just as high yielding as the performic.
 

Frac

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phase_dancer said:
As for MDMA being easy, the whole procedure is way easier than for LSD as has been mentioned. Using the peracetic method (ala Chromic) the whole procedure is totally over the counter. And tweaked just right, reports are that it is just as high yielding as the performic.
My impression is that the major difficulties in doing a synthesis of LSD is having skills at preparative chromatography and obtaining a significant amount of pure ergotamine or ergocristine. There's also the issue of stability. But it's not the limitation in getting POCl3 or some other coupling reagent such as DCC as these are fairly common chemicals in organic synthesis labs.

MDMA synthesis certainly requires a significantly higher level of skill than that shown by 'most' meth cooks....e.g. vacuum distillation. As for getting to MDP2P from safrole, I think there's good reasons to believe the Wacker oxidation has made the routes through isosafrole somewhat obsolete. So in effect, peracid (performic/peracetic) oxidation of isosafrole to MDP2P wouldn't be the issue anymore.

See the editor's note in the following Microgram Bulletin:

MDMA LABORATORY SEIZED IN NASHVILLE

Of course, this might be a regional thing but I doubt it. One of the key conclusions of this paper was the following:

"Of the 416 cases taken for GC-MS analyses, a total of 341 cases were found to contain traces amounts of impurities such as 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (MDP2P), 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol (MDP), 3,4-methylenedioxybenzylamine (MDB) and/or piperonal. The presence of these impurities strongly suggested that the MDMA found in Hong Kong in 2001 was predominantly synthesized via the key intermediate, MDP2P, which in turn was prepared from piperonal."

Now wouldn't it be somewhat amusing in light of that conclusion if the Wacker oxidation of safrole produced piperonal and MDP as by-products in addition to MDP2P as the main product?
 

Smyth

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MDMA is actually not THAT difficult to manufacture. Admittedly an underground chemist would have to distill their own sassafras which is a pain but it is still ok. Seriously, that guy Eleusis was an English major. Does that give you an indication of the difficulty of the procedure? A few years ago I thought he must have been some sort of genius to be cooking up a batch of MDMA. In the event that somebody wishes to follow in his footsteps, make sure all your chemicals are pure (not photograde and hobbyshop bullshit) and you can improvise a little and follow the directions exactly.
 
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phase_dancer

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Now wouldn't it be somewhat amusing in light of that conclusion if the Wacker oxidation of safrole produced piperonal and MDP as by-products in addition to MDP2P as the main product?
Yes, but there's no reason to think piperonal isn't employed in MDMA manufacture, particularly on a large scale. Piperonal itself has more uses than safrole and iso, so can likely be easily diverted to MDMA manufacture. The perfume industry uses tons of the stuff and it's very cheap at ~ 40US/ kg.

Nitroethane, despite what people think is also very easy to obtain. It's currently being used as an experimental propellent in Aus aeronautics. I've seen a jet ranger fitted with a special tank for ETHNO2 as a performance additive [?]. Or at least that's what I gathered it was for. Anyway it was filled at a local airport.

The wacker methods can have their problems, but I haven't time to go into that now. In some methods, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol as an impurity was one of them.

Are you going to leave your good work this time Frac? ;) I never had time to grab those last graphs you put up
 

blase deviant

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When you have that much chem experience, do you know enough to come up with BS reasons for wanting the chemicals?

As far as Hive alternatives, what was that synthetikal site? I tried synthetikal.org, and nothing.

On a sidenote, I was pleasantly surprised when someone posted something (pretty basic, but still) in here the other day, and I understood.

:)
 

Frac

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You're right, the perfume industry uses tons of piperonal and it's cheap. Essential oils containing safrole are also cheap and commonly used. To be honest with you, they come to mind as being more available than piperonal at least on a small scale.

Perhaps the main synthetic routes being used really do depend on scale. I don't know anything about meth, but I get the impression its spread in production is due to the dissemination of specific techniques applicable to a small scale. This is similar to what occurred in the early 80's with crack cocaine in that a simple technique for producing freebase without a volatile solvent got passed around and ended up producing a cottage industry. In the past, the crack cocaine technique spread between urban centers first as this was the fundamental path of communication. Now with meth and easy communication on the internet, it's not localized in urban centers anymore. It's a meme I've thought about concerning changing patterns of drug use and production.

The nitrostyrene intermediate you'd produce using nitroethane/piperonal doesn't seem to be commonly found as an impurity in MDMA, albeit an easy reaction to do. Considering the somewhat difficult reduction of it to MDMA, it likely would be if commonly used.

I'd rather like to think that these forensic chemists concluding that MDMA is being sourced from piperonal might not be correct, and they're not catching a changing trend to the use of the Wacker oxidation as was indicated in the Microgram bulletin. I think their conclusion based simply on the presence of piperonal, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanol, and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylbenzylamine as common impurities in pills isn't that strong.

No, I think I'll leave my comments up this time...what I posted before (graphs etc.) was just a bit too much to stay within the guidelines of this forum as I see it.
 
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C6H6

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I don't know why people think that a LSD synthesis is a difficult thing. There are now lots of convenient methods available for the formation of the amide. That's a one-pot synthesis. Chromatographic pruification is also very simple: dissolve the crude LSD in 3:1 C6H6:CCl3, pour on a column of alumina, develop with the same solvent and follow the process with an UV lamp (like it's used to test bank notes).

The real challenge is to get some material that contains lysergic acid. Alternatively, a total synthesis could be done, but that's not really feasible in most cases. It's also possible to make LSD from non-controlled precursors, like elymoclavine (see Rhodium archive), but there it gets rather complicated again.

And the easiest route to MDMA on a small scale is by reduction of methylone with the Huang-Minlon modification of the Wolff-Kishner method.
 

Frac

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February 5, 2004

WARRANT FOR LSD LAB EXECUTED IN SEATTLE; ONE MAN ARRESTED

John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington and John M. Bott, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Seattle Field Division, announced today that federal agents and local law enforcement officers in Seattle have executed a federal search warrant on a suspected LSD manufacturing operation located inside a residence in central Seattle, and arrested one person.

Earlier today, agents and officers with the DEA, Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff"s Office, and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force executed search and arrest warrants at a residence located at 1923 10th Ave. East, Seattle, Washington. They arrested the 37 year-old resident, GLENN C. SLAYDEN. SLAYDEN is charged in a two-count Complaint filed yesterday in United States District Court, alleging Attempted Manufacture of LSD and Attempted Possession of Ergotamine Tartrate, a Listed Chemical, with the Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Substance (listed chemicals are federally regulated because of their potential for illicit use). SLAYDEN will have an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate today. A detention hearing for SLAYDEN will likely be held in three to five days.

According to Court records, the charges against SLAYDEN arose out of the government's investigation into an internet inquiry about obtaining a large quantity of the LSD precursor chemical, ergotamine tartrate. Subsequent investigation uncovered the alleged plan to obtain enough precursor chemicals to manufacture LSD at a laboratory assembled in the residence.

According to DEA chemists, the manufacture of LSD can result in emission of hazardous materials. The DEA and other authorities instituted hazardous materials protocols during the search in order to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers and the public. These actions were taken as precautionary measures based on the hazardous nature of some of the chemicals associated with the manufacture of LSD. Units from the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Emergency Medical Services were stationed on scene to support the execution of the search warrant.

As charged in the Complaint, the offense of Attempted Manufacture of LSD is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and up to life, a fine of up to four million dollars, a term of supervised release of at least five years, and a special assessment of one hundred dollars. The offense of Attempted Possession of a Listed Chemical is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to twenty years, a fine of up to $250,000, a term of supervised release of up to five years, and a special assessment of $100.

Members of the public are reminded that an Indictment contains only a charge. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charge and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
 
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