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Wash sudaphed tablets in cold water until most (it's impossible
to get all of it) of the red coating is gone. Put the tablets
in hot water, heat them to boiling, and stir until the tablets
have completely dissolved. Filter off the liquid.
The amount of water the (pseudo-)ephedrine [I'll call it
ephedrine from now on for simplicity] is dissolved in is not too
important - (about 10mL/gram - use distilled water)
To this aqueous mixture add 0.62 grams of potassium dichromate
for every gram of ephedrine in the solution. If you used
sudaphed tablets, figure by the theoretical amount in
solution (number of tablets X content of each tablet).
Slowly add 3ml Sulfuric acid for each gram ephedrine, stirring
vigorously as you add it. It is important to add the acid
as slowly as possible, because high local concentrations will
break down the ephedrine.
Let react for 30-60 minutes. The color should go from a bright
red/orange to a dark color (a mixture of green and orange from
the two ionization states of the chromium).
Cool the reaction vessel with ice/salt mixture. Basify the
solution with concentrated sodium hydroxide solution
until you see the solution become a bright green (green with a
white precipitate - the methcathinone). This happens above pH
8. Try not to add too much hydroxide (if you do the solution
becomes black and there is probably some decomposition of the
Extract 3-4 times with naptha (add the naptha, shake it up,
pour off as much naptha as you can - but DON'T get ANY reaction
mixture in the extracts!). Use as much naptha as would equal
about 50-100 percent of the reaction mixture.
Quickly add the extracts to 25ml of hydrochloric acid, diluted
2 part 36% HCl to 4-5 parts water. Shake the mixture, extract
off the aqueous (lower) portion. This is an acid solution of
the methcathinone. [you may want to extract a second time with
HCl to get a slightly higher yield, a 3rd time adds nothing.]
Evaporate the mixture under low to medium heat (preferably
under a vacuum) until it becomes thick. To prevent breakdown,
keep the temperature under 70 C (150F).
Add acetone and stir it a little. if the mixture doesn't become
white (crystalline) right away, it hasn't been evaporated enough.
Continue evaporating and adding acetone until it does. Be careful
not to burn the thick mixture (adding acetone helps keep the
After getting crystals/precipitate, cover the mixture tightly
and put in a freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer,
filter the crystals off and wash with a small amount of cold
[If the crystals are less than white, you may want to purify
them by boiling and stirring them in acetone again, cooling
the mixture and refiltering as described above.]
The white crystals/powder is methcathinone HCL. I wouldn't
take more than 20mg for a first dose, and I wouldn't take it if
I had a history of heart disease or stroke in the family, or if
I had high blood pressure.
This synthesis is very forgiving. Substitutions of potassium
hydroxide for sodium hydroxide, sodium dichromate for potassium
dichromate and similar subsitution will not have an impact. I
wouldn't substitute anything for the sulfuric acid, however.
HCl is used to make the drug salt because it is so easy to
evaporate the excess off. Any method of making drug salts you
are familiar with should be satisfactory.
Ether works a little better than naptha, but it's more
dangerous. I stay away from it.
Cat (METHCATHINONE) is made by oxidizing EPHEDRINE, while METHAMPHETAMINE is
made by reducing EPHEDRINE. Cat is best made by using CHROME in the +6
oxidation state as the oxidizer. Any of the common hexavalent CHROME salts
can be used as the oxidizer in this reaction. Some of these are CHROME
TRIOXIDE (CrO3), SODIUM or POTASSIUM CHROMATE (Na2CrO4), and SODIUM or
POTASSIUM DICHROMATE (Na2Cr2O7). All of these chemicals are very common.
CHROME TRIOXIDE is used in chrome plating.
First the chemist dissolves EPHEDRINE pills containing a total of 25 grams
of EPHEDRINE HYDROCHLORIDE or EPHEDRINE SULFATE in distilled water. EPHEDRINE
pills usually contain 25mg each of EPHEDRINE so 1000 pills would be needed.
Grinding them up isn't necessary. Let them sit overnight or shake the
solution hard for a while. When they're dissolved bring the solution to a
gentle boil while constantly stirring so none of it burns. As soon as it
starts boiling remove it from the heat and pour through 3 coffee filters
layered together to filter out the unwanted filler crap. Usually it is
necessary to hold the filters like a bag with the liquid that didn't go
through and gently squeeze to get the liquid to go through. The result is an
almost totally clear liquid which is the EPHEDRINE extract in water. Throw the
mush left in the filter away.
The EPHEDRINE extract is poured into any convenient glass container. Next,
75 grams of any of the above mentioned CHROMIUM compounds is added. They
dissolve easily to form a reddish or orange colored solution. Finally,
CONCENTRATED SULFURIC ACID (it usually comes as 96-98%) is carefully added.
If CrO3 is being used, 21 ml is enough. If one of the CHROMATES is being used,
42 ml is needed. These chemicals are thoroughly mixed together and allowed
to sit for several hours with occasional stirring.
After several hours LYE solution (1 part water, 1 part LYE) is very slowly
and carefully added dropwise with strong stirring until the solution is
strongly basic (pH 11 or more). This strong stirring is to make sure the cat
is converted to the free base.
Next, TOLUENE is used to extract the cat. Usually this is done with a sep
funnel (separatory funnel, which is a flask with a funnel-shaped bottom and
a stopcock (valve) on the very bottom. Sep funnels are used for separating
liquids by opening the valve on the bottom and letting the bottom-most layer
of liquid drain out.) but a regular glass bottle should be fine but using a
plastic cap wouldn't be good. For safety, the bottle would need to be "burped"
often anyway to make sure no gasses build up in it. A large eyedropper-type
tool could be used to efficiently remove the cat layer. A couple hundred ml's
of TOLUENE is added and the container is strongly shaken to make sure the all
of the cat free base gets into the TOLUENE layer. Shake until it resembles
milk (fine suspended globules of TOLUENE within the water layer). Shake really
hard, then allow it to separate. Insufficent shaking will result in poor yield
with some undissolved cat base remaining in the spent sludge layer. The
TOLUENE layer should be clear to pale yellow in color. The water layer should
be orange mixed with green. The green may settle out as a heavy sludge. The
water layer is thrown away and the TOLUENE layer is washed once with water and
then poured into another container. ("Washed" here means that water is added
and the mixture shaken again and separated. The cat free base stays in the
TOLUENE layer because it doesn't dissolve in water. Any remaining
water-soluble impurities are dissolved into the water layer and not the
TOLUENE layer and thus they're "washed" out.)
The cat free base now must be converted to cat salt (METHCATHINONE HCL).
Here are 2 methods for doing this.
Dry HCL gas is made and bubbled through the TOLUENE solution to turn the cat
free base into cat salt (METHCATHINONE HCL). A bottle is selected for holding
the gas-producing mixture and a 1-hole stopper will be put in the top of the
bottle. One end of a J-shaped glass tube (about 1/4 inch diameter) is pushed
into the stopper. This glass tube will reach from the top of the gas-producing
bottle down into the bottle holding the TOLUENE-cat mixture. It should reach
the bottom of the mixture. Usually a sep funnel is used to add SULFURIC ACID
to the gas-producing mixture through a second hole in the stopper to keep gas
flowing. If one doesn't have access to a sep funnel it should be possible to
take the stopper out of the gas-producing bottle just long enough to add a
little SULFURIC ACID when it's needed to keep gas flowing. Place 200 grams of
TABLE SALT into the gas-producing bottle. 35% CONCENTRATED HYDROCHLORIC ACID
(reagent grade) is added and they are mixed into a paste. The surface of the
paste should be rough with lots of holes poked into it for good gas
production. About 1 ml of CONCENTRATED (96-98%) SULFURIC ACID is added to the
paste. This dehydrates the HYDROCHLORIC ACID and produces HYDROGEN CHLORIDE
GAS (** DO NOT BREATHE THIS GAS! **). This gas goes out of the gas-producing
bottle through the glass tube and bubbles through the TOLUENE-cat solution
turning cat free base into cat salt. The cat salt should appear as crystals
and after a while the solution should be thick with them. The crystals are
recovered by pouring through a filter. The crystals are then dried by
evaporating the TOLUENE with gentle heat or under a vacuum. Voila. Pure
That was the "ideal" method. The practical method is to dump the base/solvent
solution into a container, add an amount of DILUTE HCl, shake, shake, shake,
measure pH, if it is greater than 7 (pH above 7 is basic), add more acid,
shake, shake, shake, and check pH again. Keep it up until the pH is low,
staying well below 7 (pH below 7 is acidic), then remove the solvent layer and
keep for reuse. Add BAKING SODA to the water layer a little at a time until it
stops bubbling when more is added. Check the pH, make sure it is 7 (neutral)
or higher. The water is now evaporated away on non-plastic plates or pans and
the dried METHCATHINONE HCL can be scraped off with a razor blade. The
METHCATHINONE HCl has a trace of SODIUM CHLORIDE (TABLE SALT) and an even
smaller trace of SODIUM BICARBONATE (BAKING SODA). The BAKING SODA combines
with the excess HCl to become TABLE SALT. This practical method avoids the
mess of producing HCl gas. HCl is a white gas that burns your eyes and nose
really badly should you breathe it. It converts upon contact with water into
HYDROCHLORIC ACID, so if you don't want HYDROCHLORIC ACID in your eyes, nose,
lungs, don't breathe it!
Small amounts of TABLE SALT and BAKING SODA in the cat will go unnoticed. The
ideal method can be used if a source of compressed HCl GAS is found. It is
sold in lab cylinders by chem supply houses and is not watched by the DEA.
Just stick on a regulator, affix the rubber hose with a glass extension for
submersion in the solvent, and open the valve to expel the gas through the
solvent to produce PURE cat HCl.
Ephedrine is oxidized to produce methcathinone. The methcathinone is then
converted to the free base for separation from the rest of the unwanted crap
mixed with it. The free base dissolves in toluene and not in water whereas the
unwanted crap dissolves in water and not in toluene. Since water and toluene
separate into 2 layers the toluene layer containing the cat free base is saved
and the water layer thrown out. The toluene could probably be evaporated
leaving crystals of cat free base which could probably be smoked but I haven't
heard of anyone smoking it nor have I heard of its effects on the human body.
The cat free base is converted to cat salt using dilute hydrochloric acid or
anhydrous HCL gas. Cat salt is soluble in water and not in toluene, just the
opposite of the free base. Using HCL gas the salt produced has no water layer
to dissolve in so it crystalizes out. Using dilute HCL the salt leaves the
toluene layer as before but has a water layer (the water diluting the HCL) to
dissolve in. This water layer is saved and the water evaporated, leaving
Sources of items:
EPHEDRINE pills- Sadly, GNC (General Nutrition Centers) corporate stores no
longer carry "Revive" (ephedrine-HCL pills). The franchise stores are selling
what they have left in stock and will no longer carry the straight ephedrine
pills. They will only carry the crap with guaifenesin added. It looks like
mail order will be the only possible source. Anybody ordering through the
mail will probably have their name and address recorded and possibly sent to
TOLUENE- Available at most hardware stores. One brand is called "Toluol" from
Parks. TOLUENE is also called METHYLBENZENE.
LYE- Available at most hardware stores. Even Safeway has it. One brand is
"Red Devil Lye" which is used to unclog grease clogs in drains.
CONCENTRATED HCL and CONCENTRATED SULFURIC ACID are pretty cheap. When bought
in 2-liter bottles (reagent grade) they're about $20 each. HCl, also called
MURIATIC ACID, is available as a concrete cleaner in most lumber yards. Also
used to adjust pH in swimming pools. H2SO4, aka Battery Electrolyte,
obtainable in quart to 5-gallon size containers from automotive supply
houses. This is a dilute acid which must be concentrated by pouring into
large pyrex containers and boiling the water off for many minutes. It has
reached the point of 98% concentration when the liquid stops boiling and
starts fuming off with the release of white clouds of gas (SO3, SULFUR
TRIOXIDE). Bottle while still hot as conc. H2SO4 is hygroscopic (it sucks
water out of the air and becomes dilute again). DO NOT BREATHE SO3 GAS! It
eats out your lungs, just as HCl GAS does.
CHROMIUM TRIOXIDE (CHROMIC OXIDE) (CrO3)- Very common oxidizer. Comes in
powder form. Less than $20 for 100 grams. Since it can be recycled, someone
would never have to purchase large quantities of it. Enough to use as a
reagent and a supply to supplement the losses incured during use would be
Glass tubing- About $2 per tube (1/4 inch) at chemistry supply outlets. Bent
into different forms slowly and carefully while heating with blow torch.
Glass tubing also used in salt water aquariums. Also for neon signs. Many
sources for glass tubing from veterinary to dairy, from industrial to hobby.
Easy to find if you know how to look.