3MMC | 3-Methylmethcathinone | C11H15NO
3-Methylmethcathinone is a substitued cathinone, a class of compounds with modified cathinone structures. Substitued cathinones have been widely used in pharmacotherapy for antidepressant and appetite suppressant properties since the 1950s. 3-MMC’s parent compound, methcathinone, was discovered as early as 1928 in Europe and researched by American pharmaceutical company Parke Davis in the 1950s for use in markets there. In the 1990s, a chemistry student interning at Parke Davis, Mark McPhee, would pass instructions on its manufacture to research associates in Michigan, leading to the spread of substituted cathinones in the Western world.
There are already substances in the same class as 3-MMC in the market today with a variety of therapeutic and psychological effects. Side effects for this class can range from motivation enhancement, altered dreams, cardiovascular changes, and both cognitive euphoria & physical stimulation, all of course in addition to on-brand uses like appetite suppression & reductions in nicotine cravings.
Though compounds of this class have been widely used by the general population for decades, both private & public organizations have chosen chosen to either restrict access to this class through legislative means or refused to produce them all together across American, European, Asian & Canadian markets.
3-Methylmethcathinone, more popularly known as 3-MMC and more commonly found as a Hydrochloride salt of a white, chalky appearance.
As discussed previously, 3-Methylmethcathinone, named 3-MMC henceforth, is a spinoff of the methcathinone class, which bear strucutarl similarities to amphetamine. Consequently, amphetamine and its derivatives more commonly traded under the brand names Adderall™, Vyvanse™, Dexedrine™ among others, are infamous for their stimulant properties. Prescribed cathinones include bupropion, also known as Wellbutrin and diethylcathinone, prescribed as Tenuate Dospan.
This fact does not rule out the promise it shows regarding its pharmacokinetic profile. As stated before, it belongs to a class called substitued cathinones, where the main differentiating factor between them and amphetamines is the addition of the ketone group (=O) at the beta carbon group. But despite this small difference, substitued cathinones and amphetamines share the same ability of inhibit the uptake (recyling) of several excitatory neurotransmitters. 3-MMC had IC50 (inhibitory concentration) values of 2.5nM, 5.2nM & 134nM for dopamine, norepinephinre & serotonin respectively (compared to 4-MMC IC50 values of 1.4nM, 0.7nM & 83nM respectively)
Cathinone-type substitutes have been scientifically tested to demonstrate a variety of antidepressant & appetite suppressing effects for prescribed users due to their stimulating nature. Structural similarities to amphetamine and its derivatives give it a wide variety of perceived effects leading to a subjective but consistent profile stemming for the re-uptake qualities mentioned above. https://europepmc.org/articles/PMC4266324/figure/F3/
● Improved sociability – Anecdotal reports on cathinones like have described pro-social & entactogenic effects after administration, similar to cocaine & MDMA. In studies on the neuropharmocological & behavioural of 4-MMC, rats were found to have acute decreases in social preference. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21995495/ Studies have likened the social effects of cathinones to classic stimulants like d-amphetamine (Adderall) & cocaine in their pro-social effects capable of increasing talkativeness and social standing.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091305777902337 Overall, stimulants increase the percieved value of social rewards & can improve sociability.
● Sensory enhancement & Euphoria – As the serotonin molecule in our brains is critical to our transmission of the sensory information in our environment, the rush caused by chemicals like 3-MMC through their inhibition of their breakdown can greatly enhance one’s perceptions of their surroundings as well as tactile & visual sensations.. It has been simplistically called the “feel good” chemical in our brains, and cathinone users have noted using it to induce feelings of euphoria. https://www.hfsp.org/hfsp-news-events/role-serotonin-sensory-processinghttps://books.google.ca/books?id=CNpVDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128
● Increase in perceived energy and stimulation – Through the elevation of dopamine levels within the brain (specifically the ventral striatal area, responsible for locomotive activities), cathinones have the potential to significantly increase levels of stimulation felt in rat subjects, comparable to potent amphetamines. However, appreciable increases in body temperature were not observed with cathinones as typically noted in amphetamines, a factor that plays a role in amphetamine-induced neurotoxicity. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02740694
● Increased libido – The human “on/off switch” for sexual desire is modulated by the mesolimbic system pathway, a major dopaminergic pathways & part of our mental reward system. Thus, stimulation of this system will naturally have impacts on libido & sexual behavior, with cathinone users taking the substance to increase sexual experiences with an increased chance of taking sexual risks.
● Increased stamina – The increase in norepinephrine & subsequent release of epinephrine by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system through stimulants has been long known to increase a myriad of physical effects related to stamina & endurance. Enhanced heart rate, cardiac output and metabolism are well studied effects of stimulants, and cathinones are no exception to having these effects.
● Appetite suppression – Cathinones like bupropion have been noted to stimulate Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the hypothalamus regions of the brain, like their amphetamine cousins. The firing of the neurons can release Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MCH), the endogenous hormone responsible for appetite regulation, resulting in reductions in appetite. Hence, why cathinones, and even some amphetamines, are prescribed for weight loss purposes.
Credited studies on 3-MMC & other cathinones:
Synthetic Cathinones: A New Public Health Problem
“Synthetic cathinone causes amphetamine-like psychoactive and sympathomimetic effects. They are mainly used for social and economic reasons in addition to their stimulant properties, often serving as replacement for others illicit stimulant drugs . Psychotropic effects of substituted cathinones are individual-, dose- and route of administration-dependent . The primary effects sought by users include increased alertness, empathy, euphoria, openness in communication, talkativeness, intensification of sensory experiences, music sensitivity, reduced appetite, insomnia, sexual performance, increased sociability and capacity to work”
Along with noting the self-reported uses of cathinones, this study also goes over the commonly reported side effects for such novel substances. These involve issues with the cardiovascular system, breathing problems, liver issues, as well as psychological impacts like anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and long term cognitive impairments. Anyone interested in this class should be well aware of these downstream effects.
A fatal case of 3-methylmethcathinone (3-MMC) poisoning:
We report a case of a young man who was found dead a couple of hours after sniffing substances bought on the Internet from Spain. 3-methylmethcathinone (3-MMC) was identified during general unknown screening by liquid chromatography with diode array detector and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Quantification of 3-MMC was performed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry after solid-phase extraction. Toxicological analysis of postmortem peripheral blood, cardiac blood, vitreous humor, bile and urine revealed 3-MMC in concentrations of 249 ng/mL, 609 ng/mL, 2988 ng/mL, 1291 ng/mL and 29,694 ng/mL, respectively. Powder and crystals seized at victim’s home contained 32.9% and 36.9% of 3-MMC, respectively. No other xenobiotics were detected in postmortem samples. The cause of death was 3-MMC intoxication and the manner was accidental.
This case report is just one example of the consequences of illicit 3-MMC use, with fatal results. However, because of the little information on its use and status as a research chemical not for human consumption, determining the threshold for death caused through 3-MMC intoxication has not been achieved yet.
Determination of a threshold fatal 3-MMC concentration in human: Mission impossible
Few reports of clinical effects of overdose are available in the literature. The most frequently reported problems were agitation, seizures, hallucination, hypertension, tachycardia, hyperthermia, bradycardia, depression, and concentration difficulties (Sande 2016; Bäckberg et al. 2015; Adamowicz et al. 2014; Pichini et al. 2014). There is a risk of significant psychological dependence after repetitive 3-MMC exposures. The doses are quickly increased and users try to reduce hiding the exhaustion or a difficult down. Strong side-effects are increasing with duration and dosage: loss of appetite, lack of sleep, increased heart rate and blood pressure, hyperthermia, bruxism (clenching of the jaws), palpitations, and brain zaps (sensations of electric shock at the level of the head). In the long term, 3-MMC is strongly suspected of being toxic to the nervous, cardiac (risk of heart attack) and vascular systems.
This study should speak for itself, and readers should understand that there is no safe level for 3-MMC in the bodies of test subjects that is above 0, even after systemic reviews of what little literature there is available on this chemical.
In North America, 3-MMC remains explicitly unscheduled, but is covered by laws regarding isomers of schedule chemicals. Unlike 4-MMC however, 3-MMC has not been widely marketed as “plant food” or “bath salts”, as it not either of those, and is instead a chemical only for research, not human, plant or bathtub consumption.
Despite its accessible status in parts of North America, 3-MMC has been scheduled in certain parts of Europe and some States and Nations might argue that it falls under one of the many blanket-bans many analogues and derivatives face.
Being only available to licensed, trained and accredited academics, researchers and scientists for in-vitro use only, 3-MMC is becoming an exceedingly popular and in-demand molecule. The collective scientific communities around the world have been sharing much knowledge and insight into this compound and countless new discoveries are to be made!
Note: This content is exclusively for forensic, research and educational purposes. All information provided is anecdotal and/or pulled from scientific literature and medical journals. We do not promote or condone any form of human or veterinary use (with exceptions to certain cell cultures or micro-organisms based on jurisdiction).
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