Ecstasy and Herbal

Ecstasy and Herbal

The illegal drug, MDMA (3-4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is more commonly known by its street name, Ecstasy. Often nicknamed as the “social drug” because of its popularity in parties and raves, Ecstasy is actually a synthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family.

MDMA is one of the easiest illegal drugs to obtain. Its effects are said to be similar to those of amphetamines and hallucinogens. However, it is considered more dangerous for the sole reason that it is widely available. The ones who are most vulnerable to the effects of ecstasy are the young who frequent social gatherings, such as raves, hip hop parties, concerts, et cetera.

Herbal Substitute

Due to legal binds that come with the ecstasy drug, a “legalized” version is rapidly gaining favor among amphetamine users. Herbal ecstasy is said to have the same effects as MDMA in that it creates a general feeling of euphoria punctuated with strong bursts of energy.

The drug is termed as “herbal” because most of its compounds are derived from the Chinese herbal plant, Ma Huang, also known as Ephedra. The herbal plant Ma Huang is an important plant in Chinese herbal medicine. For two thousand years, the herb was used to treat breathing problems. The main active constituent of Ma Huang is a substance called ephedrine, the same substance used to manufacture amphetamines.

Herbal ecstasy also contains other compounds aside from ephedrine. These compounds may be pseudoephedrine, caffeine, or some other substance which more or less share the same characteristics as ephedrine. This herbal drug may also be comprised of herbs such as kola nut, kava kava, or skullcap.


The most common form of herbal ecstasy is tablet or pill. The pills come in small packets covered in colorful packaging. In the label, a statement is written promising to “increase energy, inner visions, sexual sensations, and cosmic consciousness. Some notable brand names for herbal ecstasy include Cloud 9, Herbal Bliss, Ritual Spirit, Herbal X, and GWM. It may also be called Rave Energy, Ultimate Xphoria, and X.

Short-Term Effects

The primary effect of ecstasy is to stimulate the brain into rapidly secreting large amounts of the hormone, serotonin. The release of this neurotransmitter gives the person a general sense of openness, empathy, energy, euphoria, and well-being.

Adverse Effects

Various reports of at least 15 deaths and 395 illnesses have been associated with the use of herbal ecstasy. Alarmed by this number, the United States FDA issued a warning against its use on April 10, 1996. According to these reports, herbal ecstasy is said to cause harmful reactions in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

KEYWORDS “Ecstasy” – 12 (density = 2.7%)
“Herbal” – 15 (density = 3.4%)