About MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)
What is MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)?
Also known as: Adam, Beans, Clarity, E, Ecstasy, Hug, Love drug, Lover's speed, Molly, X, and XTC
MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is most commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly. It is a laboratory-made drug that produces a “high” similar to the stimulants called amphetamines. It also produces psychedelic effects, similar to the hallucinogens mescaline and LSD.
MDMA first became popular in the nightclub scene, at “raves” (all-night dance parties), and music festivals or concerts. It is now used by a broader range of people. The drug’s effects generally last from 3 to 6 hours.
How MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) is Used
Most people who use MDMA take it in a pill, tablet, or capsule. The pills can be different colors and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some people take more than one pill at a time, called “bumping.” The popular term “Molly” (slang for molecular) refers to the pure crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules.
MDMA acts primarily as a presynaptic releasing agent of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which arises from its activity at trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2).
MDMA is also a monoamine transporter substrate, so it enters monoamine neurons via these neuronal membrane transport proteins; by acting as a monoamine transporter substrate, MDMA produces competitive reuptake inhibition at the neuronal membrane transporters (i.e., it competes with endogenous monoamines for reuptake).
MDMA inhibits both vesicular monoamine transporters (VMATs), the second of which (VMAT2) is highly expressed within monoamine neurons at vesicular membranes. Once inside a monoamine neuron, MDMA acts as a VMAT2 inhibitor and a TAAR1 agonist.