What do we know about 3-MMC replacements?

3-MMC, like mephedrone (4-MMC), methylone, and MDPV belongs to the chemical category of cathinones. 3-MMC entered the Dutch market around 2012, as an alternative for mephedrone, which was banned shortly before that. In recent years, 3-MMC has become more popular, leading to it being scheduled as an illegal substance on List 2 of the Opium law on October 28th 2021.

When 3-MMC was scheduled, most research chemical vendors had alternatives lined up. Usually these are other cathinones with similar chemical structures to 3-MMC, but with slight differences. These substances are advertised as good alternatives to 3-MMC. However, before 3-MMC became illegal, these were never popular – and this is likely not a coincidence. Usually there is even less information available about these substances than about 3-MMC, and the effects are slightly different. So, what do we know about these substances? This article will tell you more.

What is 3-CMC? 

3-CMC is a stimulating substance which, like 3-MMC, belongs to the chemical group of cathinones. It is advertised as a legal alternative to 3-MMC which became illegal on October 28th 2021. Little is known about 3-CMC, so most information comes from users who report on their experiences online. The effects seem similar to 4-MMC or 3-MMC. However, users are less enthusiastic about 3-CMC. While 3-CMC and 3-MMC became available at the same time, 3-CMC only became popular when 3-MMC was banned. This may have to do with 3-CMC having less effect. There are also signals that 3-CMC can cause brain damage.

What are the effects of 3-CMC? 

Users of 3-CMC find that it is a stimulating substance. The effects are similar to 3-MMC, but weaker. Most people choose 3-MMC over 3-CMC. 3-CMC only lasts for a short while, so people tend to redose quickly. It can be difficult to stop redosing, because the desire to take more is strong. This is called craving.

What are the risks of 3-CMC? 

3-CMC is a Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) or Research Chemical. NPS are rarely researched well; there is little to nothing known about the short and long term risks of 3-CMC. In addition, there is very little information about responsible dosing and about what dose is an overdose.

In contrast to almost all stimulating substances, 3-CMC has a chlorine atom. From research on other substances, we know that this chlorine atom can be highly damaging to the brain in some situation. For example, the substance 4-CA (4-chloro-amphetamine), which also has a chlorine atom, kills brain cells that make serotonin. Some research on 3-CMC [link] shows that 3-CMC also damages brain cells, when they are exposed to large amounts of 3-CMC. This research was done on brain cells outside of the body and therefore doesn’t fully explain how 3-CMC works in a human brain, or what damage it can do. It is not clear whether 3-CMC really causes this kind of brain damage in the human body, and at what dose that happens. Using this substance means you are experimenting on yourself.

What is 2-MMC? 

2-MMC (2-methyl-methcathinone) is a stimulating substance which, like 3-MMC, belongs to the chemical group of cathinones. Little is known about 2-MMC, so information is provided by people who use this drug and write about their experience on the internet. The effects of 2-MMC are similar to speed (amphetamine) or 3-MMC, but until October 2021, it was not popular. This might be because the alternatives are more interesting effects wise.

What are the effects of 2-MMC?

Users of 2-MMC find that it is a stimulating substance, with a milder and less pleasant effect than 3-MMC. However, most people prefer 2-MMC over 3-CMC, which is also advertised as a 3-MMC replacement. People feel more awake after taking 2-MMC, but they do not feel happy or euphoric. The effect is more similar to speed (amphetamine) than to 3-MMC. Furthermore, it seems that snorting 2-MMC is very painful. 2-MMC only lasts for a short time, which causes a strong desire to redose. This is called craving.

What are the risks of 2-MMC

2-MMC is een zogenaamde Nieuwe Psychoactieve Stof (NPS) of research chemical. NPS zijn zelden goed onderzocht; er is maar heel weinig tot niets bekend over de risico’s op korte en lange termijn. Ook over de optimale dosis, en welke dosis gevaar oplevert is weinig bekend.

2-MMC is a so-called Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) or Research Chemical. NPS are rarely researched well; there is little to no information about the short and long term risks of 2-MMC. There is also little information available about responsible dosing, and about what dose is an overdose.

By: Unity peer Jan uit Amsterdam

In cooperation with: Dylan Verbeek