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Methcathinone


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Methcathinone

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 methcathinone).

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 temperature down).

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 acetone.

[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.

NOTES:

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.

METHOD 1

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 METHCATHINONE-HCL.

METHOD 2

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.

SUMMARY

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 methcathinone-HCL.

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 the DEA.

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 enough.

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.

 
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