From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)propane (MMDA) is a psychoactive drug and research chemical that belongs to the phenethylamine class of compounds. It is known for its psychedelic and entactogenic effects, similar to those of MDMA (ecstasy). MMDA was first synthesized and studied by Alexander Shulgin, a renowned chemist and pharmacologist, who documented its synthesis and effects in his book PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved).

Chemistry[edit | edit source]

MMDA's chemical structure is characterized by a phenethylamine backbone, which is common to all compounds in its class. The molecule consists of a methylenedioxy group attached to a benzene ring (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl), a propane chain, and a methyl group attached to the amino group, hence the name 1-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)propane. This structure is responsible for its pharmacological properties and distinguishes it from other phenethylamines.

Pharmacology[edit | edit source]

The pharmacological action of MMDA is primarily due to its interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor. This interaction is believed to be responsible for its psychedelic effects. MMDA also exhibits entactogenic properties, which are thought to arise from its ability to induce the release of serotonin and possibly other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

Effects[edit | edit source]

The effects of MMDA can vary significantly among individuals but generally include alterations in consciousness, perception, mood, and thought. Users may experience visual and auditory hallucinations, enhanced emotional sensitivity, and a sense of euphoria. The entactogenic effects of MMDA may promote feelings of empathy, closeness, and connectedness with others.

Use and Legality[edit | edit source]

MMDA is not approved for medical use and is considered a research chemical. Its legal status varies by country, but it is often listed as a controlled substance, making its manufacture, distribution, and possession illegal without proper authorization. The drug's potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use contribute to its legal restrictions.

Safety and Toxicity[edit | edit source]

There is limited scientific research on the long-term health effects and toxicity of MMDA. As with other psychoactive substances, the safety profile of MMDA depends on various factors, including the dose, user's health status, and the presence of other substances. Potential risks include psychological dependence, neurotoxicity, and adverse psychological effects such as anxiety and paranoia.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD