Posted by pinksharkmark (18.104.22.168) on December 20, 2000 at 01:59:00:
In Reply to: PinkShark, Flash, Miquel, et al - Carl d posted by Todd on December 19, 2000 at 17:01:06:
While MDMA is not exactly an indole-based compound, it is pretty close... instead of a classic indole ring base, there is a modified indole ring... two of the carbon atoms in the truncated benzene ring structure are replaced with oxygen atoms.
Is this structure close enough for the 5-HT2a receptors to absorb it preferentially over serotonin? The answer is obviously "yes"... if not, then there would be no hallucinogenic effect. Is it effective in treating CH? My opinion (and this is only an educated guess, remember) is that it would be.
HOWEVER... I CANNOT recommend it over psilocybin, or, for that matter, LSD, for several reasons.
First of all, it is likely that because of the substituted oxygen atoms in key areas of its basic structure, it will be less effective than a substance based on a "true" indole ring.
Secondly, and more importantly, what is being touted as MDMA is not always MDMA. Even though it is a pretty simple procedure to synthesize MDMA (almost as easy as synthesizing methamphetamine) you can't always trust the bikers that peddle the stuff to deliver what is advertised. It is common knowledge that a significant percentage of what is sold as "X" is actually either PMA or DXM. Both are significantly more harmful to the system - at least eight deaths attributed to PMA alone.
Thirdly... MDMA, even though technically a hallucinogen, is still related pretty closely to methamphetamine -- "speed". The name says it all... methylenedioxyAMPHETAMINE. All of the associated side effects of speed are there, specifically increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, heart arrythmia. Nasty stuff.
Do I believe it likely that Carl D got some relief from MDMA? Yes. Do I believe that he would have obtained nore complete and longer-lasting relief from a naturally-produced compound (i.e psilocybin) that more closely resembles serotonin? YES!!!
The folks at M.A.P.S. have done a lot of research into the use of MDMA for a variety of ills... with some pretty interesting results. When it comes to treating CH, though, I still believe that the most benign of the hallucinogens, psilocybin, will prove to be the most effective in the long run.
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