#135 MMDA-3b SYNTHESIS: A solution of 7.0 g of 98% pure (by GC) 4-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde (see under for its preparation) in 30 mL glacial acetic acid was treated with 5 mL nitroethane and 3 g anhydrous ammonium acetate, and heated on the steam bath for 3.5 h. H2O was added to the hot solution to the point of turbidity, then it was allowed to cool to room temperature with occasional stirring. A modest crop of yellow crystals formed which were removed by filtration, washed with aqueous acetic acid and air dried to constant weight. There was obtauned 4.6 g of 1-(4-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxphenyl)-2-nitropropene, with a mp of 95–102 °C. Recrystallization from EtOH tightened this to 97–101.5 °C. The infra-red spectrum is completely different from that of its positional isomer 1-(2-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-nitropropene.
A suspension of 7.0 g LAH in 1 L anhydrous Et2O under an inert atmosphere was brought to a gentle reflux. The reflux condensate was passed through a Soxhlet thimble containing 6.15 g 1-(4-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-nitropropene which was effectively adding the nitropropene as a saturated solution. The mixture was maintained at reflux for 16 h. After cooling to 0 °C with an ice bath, the excess hydride was destroyed by the addition of 800 mL of 1.5 N H2SO4. The phases were separated, and the aqueous phase washed with 2×100 mL Et2O. To this phase there was added 175 g potassium sodium tartrate followed by sufficient 25% NaOH to raise the pH >9. This was then extracted with 3×100 mL CH2Cl2, and the solvent from the pooled extracts removed under vacuum. The residual off-white oil weighed 5.4 g and was dissolved in 250 mL anhydrous Et2O and saturated with anhydrous HCl gas. There was produced a crop of slightly sticky white solids that finally became granular and loose. These were removed by filtration, washed with Et2O, and air dried to give 5.56 g of 4-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxyamphetamine hydrochloride (MMDA-3b) with a mp of 196–199 °C. A small sample from propanol had a mp of 199–200 °C, and a sample from nitromethane/MeOH (5:1) had a mp of 201–202 °C.
DOSAGE: greater than 80 mg.
DURATION: unknown.
QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 60 mg) “Definitely active. Qualitatively like ; quantitatively perhaps less.”
(with 80 mg) “No more effective than 60 mg.”
EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: And that’s all there is known as to the activity of MMDA-3b in man. Very, very little. Nothing has ever been tried in excess of 80 milligrams that I know of, and the above trials were made over 20 years ago. There can be little argument that the 3b is less effective than the 3a, but no one can say by how much. The literature statement is that it is threefold less, but that was based on the relative responses at just-above-threshold levels. The effects here are hand-wavingly similar to those reported for at 20 milligrams, but these are difficult to compare accurately as they were reported by different people. There have been absolutely no animal studies reported with MMDA-3b in the scientific literature. And neither the 2-carbon nor the 4-carbon analogues of MMDA-3b has even been prepared.
The remaining MMDA-analogue that has been prepared, is the 2,3,6-isomer. The flow diagram started with sesamol (3,4-methylenedioxyphenol) which was methylated with methyl iodide, converted to the aldehyde using butyllithium and N-methylformanilide (putting the new group directly between the two oxygen atoms, giving 2,3-methylenedioxy-6-methoxybenzaldehyde), reaction with nitroethane to the nitrostyrene, and its reduction with lithium aluminum hydride in ether. The product, 6-methoxy-2,3-methylenedioxyamphetamine hydrochloride () is practically unexplored in man. I have heard one report that 30 milligrams was modestly active, but not a particularly pleasant experience. Another person told me that he had tried 15 milligrams, but he neglected to mention if there had been any effects. I have not tried it myself. But, I have succumbed to the pressure of the experimental pharmacologists to give a number for the “Y-axis” of their animal behavior studies. So I said to myself, if this is active at 30 milligrams, and is active at 300 milligrams, why not say that it is 10× the activity of ? So I did. But I have absolutely no confidence in that number.
And if the information on is sparse, look at the positional isomer, , which I have discussed under its analogue . Here nothing is known at all, since the compound itself is unknown. No one has yet found a way of making it.
13 May 2016 · ·

About PiHKAL · info

This version of Book II of PiHKAL is based on the Erowid online version, originally transcribed by Simson Garfinkle and converted into HTML by Lamont Granquist. I drew also on “Tyrone Slothrop’s” (Unfinished) Review of PIHKAL to enumerate the many analogues mentioned in PiHKAL but not described at length. Many, many others have since been added.
I have tried here to expunge any artifacts introduced by the earlier transcriptions and restore the typographic niceties found in the printed edition. I’ve also made minor changes to some chemical names in line with current nomenclature practice. Typically the change is little more than expanding a prefix or setting it in italics. The history page has further details.

Cautionary note

“At the present time, restrictive laws are in force in the United States and it is very difficult for researchers to abide by the regulations which govern efforts to obtain legal approval to do work with these compounds in human beings.
“No one who is lacking legal authorization should attempt the synthesis of any of the compounds described in these files, with the intent to give them to man. To do so is to risk legal action which might lead to the tragic ruination of a life. It should also be noted that any person anywhere who experiments on himself, or on another human being, with any of the drugs described herein, without being familiar with that drug’s action and aware of the physical and/or mental disturbance or harm it might cause, is acting irresponsibly and immorally, whether or not he is doing so within the bounds of the law.”
Alexander T. Shulgin

Copyright notice

The copyright for Book I of PiHKAL has been reserved in all forms and it may not be distributed. Book II of PiHKAL may be distributed for non-commercial reproduction provided that the introductory information, copyright notice, cautionary notice and ordering information remain attached.

Ordering information

PiHKAL is the extraordinary record of the authors’ years exploring the chemistry and transformational power of phenethylamines. This book belongs in the library of anyone seeking a rational, enlightened and candid perspective on psychedelic drugs.
Though Sasha and Ann have put Book II of PiHKAL in the public domain, available to anyone, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy. We owe them — and there’s still nothing quite like holding a real book in your hands.
PiHKAL (ISBN 0-9630096-0-5) is available for US$24.50 (plus $10 domestic first-class shipping) from Transform Press.
Transform Press,
Box 13675
Berkeley, CA 94701

510 · 934 · 4930 (voice)
510 · 934 · 5999 (fax)