How to test drug purity?

How to test drug purity: reduce risk by using a test kit to check a substance for potency and adulterants. Substances can’t be identified by appearence and require tests like the Marquis reagentReagent tests are simple chemicals that indicate presence of a substance by reacting with different color change to different substances. To test you need just 1 drop of a reagent and a small sample, about this big -> To detect all ingredients and estimate potency it’s required to use an additional TLC purity test kitTo detect fentanyl or test for fentanyl analogs use the fentanyl test strips.

Reagents presumptively indicate PRESENCE, but not PURITY or QUANTITY. Use different reagent tests to improve accuracy and to detect adulterants – 90% of adulterants will react with 1 out of 3 tests, and 95% with 1 out of 5. To detect all ingredients and estimate potency it’s required to use an additional purity test kitA positive or negative test result does not indicate if the substance is safe. No substance is 100% safe.

reagent_test_pictograms

How can I test drug purity?

Short instructions:

BEFORE using a  test kit
  • it’s RECOMMENDED to record the reaction to compare later.
  • if testing a pill, crush it finely and proceed testing using the powder
Substance analysis instructions
  • Take a (small) piece of your powder/pill, about this big -> ●.
  • Put it on a suitable testing plate, preferably a spot test plate or the bottom/underside of a ceramic mug (example). *If using single-use vials insert the sample and observe, as the reagent is already within.
  • Add one (or two) drops of Marquis reagent test (or other supplied) on the sample and wait for the results.
  • Check reagent test results with instructions below.
  • Consider using the TLC Substance Purity Test Kit to double check possible adulterants and estimate potency.
AFTER using a test kit
  • OPTIONAL: Pour baking soda over a finished reaction to neutralize used reagents.
  • Wash testing surface under running water.

For full instructions scroll further down below.

VIDEO & RESULTS Watch how to test drug purity

TL;DR: Below is an image with a quick cheat sheet how to use the MDMA Test Kit (see other in the “help” menu), and further down you can check out more detailed guide how to test drugs. Use the reagent test results chart to see how to use Marquis reagent (or other) and what are the expected results.

All MDMA test results:

TEST MDMA
MARQUIS Instant purple / brown > black
MECKE Instant green > black
MANDELIN Instant blue > black
LIEBERMANN Instant brown > black
FROEHDE Instant yellow/green > dark blue > black
EHRLICH No color change
HOFMANN No color change
SIMON’S Instant blue
ROBADOPE No reaction
SCOTT No full color change
ZIMMERMANN

 

Reagent test did not react as expected? Watch out!
All test results are available in our instructions and the TestDrugs app.

STEP ONE How to identify drugs?

What test kit do I need to test drugs?

Reagents can be divided into primary and secondary. Primary reagents react with the expected substance while secondary produce a vibrant color change with an adulterant. Here are a few key notes:

  • Cannabis – primary test for THC / CBD, detects whichever is the main present cannabinoid
  • Ehrlich – primary test for all indoles, e.g. lysergamides and tryptamines but also 5-HTP and more
  • Hofmann – primary test for lysergamides and tryptamines, more precise but slower than Ehrlich
  • Froehde – primary test for most powders, secondary test for ketamine and amphetamines, long shelf life
  • Liebermann – primary test for most powders, secondary test for cocaine (detects levamisole)
  • Marquis – primary test for most powders, secondary test for ketamine mephedrone and psychedelics
  • Mecke – primary test for most powders, secondary test for ketamine and mephedrone, short shelf life
  • Mandelin – primary test for ketamine, amphetamine, MDMA and more; yellow; short shelf life
  • pH test – check how corrosive is your substance
  • Robadope – primary test for for primary amines, e.g. MDA, amphetamine or PMA
  • Simon – primary test for secondary amines, e.g. MDMA, meth, mephedrone, methylone or PMMA
  • Scott – primary test for cocaine, can’t be used alone
  • Zimmermann – primary test for cathinones and some benzodiazepines, doesn’t detect alprazolam
Marquis reagent tests for MDMA and 2C-B

Example: MDMA and 2C-B reagent test results using the Marquis reagent

Example: how to use the MDMA test kit?
  • Check test results with Marquis test kit: if testing MDxx (MDMA, MDA or MDEA) the color of the reaction should be instant black. It can look brownish or purple for a few seconds before turning fully black.
  • MDxx turn all of the following reagent tests black: Marquis, Mecke, Mandelin, Liebermann and Froehde.
  • To confirm MDMA follow up with the Simon’s test. To confirm MDA follow up with the Robadope reagent
  • Test as small sample as possible and only try more if you are not getting a conclusive result.

STEP TWO How to test purity?

Check out drugsdata.org to see the most common adulterants. Keep in mind that extreme potency is also a risk.

Try secondary reagents if testing an alkaloid or a synthetic substance. Secondary reagents produce a vibrant color change with an adulterant, but not with the expected substance. If testing cannabis scroll further to TLC.

  • Froehde – secondary test for ketamine and amphetamines, primary test for most powders, long shelf life
  • Liebermann – secondary test for cocaine (detects levamisole), primary test for most powders 
  • Marquis – secondary test for ketamine mephedrone and psychedelics, primary test for most powders
  • Mecke – secondary test for ketamine and mephedrone, primary test for most powders, short shelf life
  • Mandelin – secondary and primary test for ketamine, amphetamine, primary for MDMA; yellow; short shelf life
  • pH test – check how corrosive is your substance
  • Robadope – detects primary amines, e.g. MDA, amphetamine or PMA
  • Simon – detects secondary amines, e.g. MDMA, meth, mephedrone, methylone or PMMA
  • Zimmermann – detects cathinones (MMC and PVP derrivatives) and some benzodiazepines
How to test MDMA with reagent test Marquis, Simon's and Robadope

How to detect amphetamine in MDMA using Marquis reagent, Simon's and Robadope

Next choose a purity testing kit. It enables you to separate sample into different substances and estimate quantity, however still requires reagent tests to identify detected substances. To discover all adulterants and quantity pair reagents with a TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) Purity Test Kit. Purity tests alone don’t identify substances and are best paired with 1-2 reagent tests.

TLC Purity Tests:
  • Qualitative: One spot indicates a pure substance. TLC test works by separating substances present in a sample in order to reagent test them individually.  You can also use an already confirmed sample for reference – if both compounds show up at the same height on the TLC “card” that indicates they are the same substance.
  • Semi-quantitative: TLC also helps estimate quantity (potency). The bigger the size of the detected spot, the bigger the amount of measured substance. Note that different substances need different calibrated rulers.
TLC Purity Test potency scale

TLC Purity Test potency scale

General instructions for TLC are as follows: (1) prepare your sample (weigh and dissolve), (2) place your sample on the testing card, (3) place the card in the developing jar, (4) compare results with instructions

TLC_pictograms

When using a TLC test kit always follow a few basic rules:

  • Never touch the white side of the Testing Cards (except for using the micro glass tubes) 
  • Do not shine the UV-C light on skin or eyes
  • Keep away from heat / sunlight / open flame
  • Always wear gloves when handling test components
  • Only test in a well-ventilated are and avoid inhaling fumes
  • Clean spills with plenty of soap and water
  • Keep out of reach of children and animals
Load 1 ul of a sample on a testing "card'

Load 1 ul of a sample on a testing "card'

(1) Prepare a sample
  • Crush your sample to very fine powder
  • Weigh 40 mg inside a plastic Vial
  • Fill the Vial with 0,5 ml of Testing Liquid
  • Close the Vial and shake it for 1-2 minutes to dissolve as good as possible
  • *Use 100 mg and 1 ml for cannabis flowers (or 50 mg for high potency cannabis extracts)
(2) Place the sample
  • Submerge just the tip of a Glass Tube inside the plastic Vial, it will fill automatically
  • Gently touch the Glass Tube on at least one “●” mark on a Testing Card and wait for it to absorb
(3) Develop the Testing Card
  • Fill the Developing Jar with at least 2 ml of Testing Liquid, just to cover the bottom sides
  • Slowly insert the Testing Card with your sample(s) – white side facing up and “●” marks at the bottom
  • Close the Developing Jar and wait 19 minutes or until the liquid is almost full absorbed into the Testing Card
Allow the testing liquid to almost fully soak in the testing "card" before removing it from the jar (+- 20 minutes)

Allow the testing liquid to almost fully soak in the testing "card" before removing it from the jar (+- 20 minutes)

Dry the Testing Card for 3-5 minutes

Dry the Testing Card for 3-5 minutes

(4) Analyze results
  • Use the UV-C light to find discovered spots (substances) on the developed Testing Card
  • Precisly circle the detected spot(s) using a pencil
  • One spot indicates a pure substance, multiple spots indicate an adulterated sample
  • Remember that although the same substance will always show up at the same height (Rf ratio), you need to use reagent tests to identify a substance
  • If you don’t see any spots, no substance was detected. Try using a different Testing Liquid.
Circle the detected spots (substances)

Circle the detected spots (substances)

Estimate potency using the ruler

Estimate potency using the ruler

Use reagents to identify detected spots

Use reagents to identify detected spots

  • To estimate substance purity (number of ingredients and their concentration) use the Substance Purity Test Kit, or the Full TLC Purity Test kit which includes two testing liquids for synthetics, alkaloids and cannabinoids.
  • To precisly estimate MDMA purity use the MDMA Purity Test Kit, which in addition includes a calibrated plastic ruler for MDMA. Use it to discover the % content of your sample.
  • To precisly estimate cannabis potency use the Cannabinoid PRO Test Kit, which in includes calibrated plastic rulers for THC and CBD, which can also be roughly applied to some other cannabinoids.

If testing cannabis, choose if you want to test just cannabinoid potency or purity as well.

  • If you already know whether a sample is THC or CBD dominant, you can use the included ruler to identify other cannabinoids and estimate potency. Rulers feature a reference image of full cannabinoid spectrum.
  • If you do not know what is the main active ingredient, use either the Cannabis reagent test or the Cannabis TLC dye. The dye is only required if you need to double check each cannabinoid’s identity, either to look for synthetic adulterants or identify THC or CBD dominant products.
protest_canna

FENTANYL How to identify fentanyl?

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid, often mixed in street drugs and deadly.

BEFORE using a fentanyl test strip
  • It’s RECOMMENDED to test each and every dose. Because of extreme potency (microgram range) fentanyl is never evenly mixed in. One part of a baggie can be fentanyl free, and another lethal.
fentstrips
How to test fentanyl powder / pills / spice with a fentanyl test strip?
  • Dissolve 100 mg in at least 125 ml of water (half a cup or at least 1 ml/mg).
  • Grab a test strip and insert the white end into the liquid, no higher than the thick line.
  • Wait until liquid starts visibly moving up the test strip (up to 15 seconds).
  • Put the test strip away on a flat dry surface and read the result in 2 minutes.
  • Check test strip result: a single line confirms the presence of fentanyl, while two lines (even faint) rule it out.

Fentanyl test did not react as indicated? Watch out!
All test results are available in our instructions and the TestDrugs app.

Looking where to buy a test kit for fentanyl?

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Are you looking where to buy a test kit?

Single use test kits – 2.75-3.85 EUR per test, FREE SHIPPING

  • Amphetamines – MDMA, MDAI, 2C-x, meth/amphetamine, benzofurans, opioids
  • Ecstasy – MDMA, MDAI, 2C-x, meth/amphetamine, benzofurans, opioids
  • DMT – LSD, AL-LAD, DMT, 5-Meo-DMT, other lysergamides & tryptamines
  • LSD – LSD, AL-LAD, DMT, 5-Meo-DMT, other lysergamides & tryptamines
  • Cocaine – cocaine, cocaine cuts, MDMA, amphetamine, 2C-x, benzofurans, heroin
  • Ketamine – ketamine, MXE & other dissociatives, MDMA, meth/amphetamine, opioids
  • Heroin – opioids, MDMA, meth/amphetamine, ketamine, MXE & other dissociatives
  • Fentanyl – start at 1.3 eur per test, detects fentanyl analogues too

Multiple-use kits – start at 4.8 EUR, only cents per test

  • Amphetamines – best for meth/amphetamine, 2C-x, MDMA or MDA, but also good for benzofurans, cathinones and opioids
  • Ecstasy – best for MDMA and MDA, 2C-x or meth/amphetamine, but also good for benzofurans, cathinones and opioids
  • DMT – best for DMT or LSD but also good for all tryptamines and lysergamides
  • LSD – best for DMT or LSD but also good for all tryptamines and lysergamides
  • Cocaine – best for cocaine, 2C-B, MDxx, or meth/amphetamine, but also good for LSD, tryptamines and phenetylamines
  • Ketamine – best for ketamine and other dissociatives, but also good for meth/amphetamine, MDxx, cocaine and opioids
  • Mephedrone – best for cathinones, e.g. MMC, MDPV, a-PVP, but also good for 2C-B, benzofurans, MDxx and opioids
  • Heroin – best for heroin and other opioids, but also good for 2C-x, benzofurans and MDMA
  • Custom test kit – up to 5 test kits to choose with a discount
  • Full reagent test kit – by buying 12 reagents you save over 50%!

Multiple-use reagents separately – with a kit or without:

  • Marquis – basic test for all powders.
  • Mecke – basic test for all powders, short shelf life.
  • Mandelin – basic test for ketamine and amphetamine, yellow.
  • Liebermann – basic test for cocaine (detects levamisole).
  • Froehde – basic test, long shelf life.
  • Ehrlich – basic test for lysergamides and tryptamines.
  • Hofmann – basic test for lysergamides and tryptamines.
  • pH test – check how corrosive is your substance
  • Robadope – secondary test for 2C-x / MDA / amphetamine / PMA.
  • Simon – secondary test for MMC / MDMA / methamphetamine / PMMA.
  • Scott – basic test for cocaine, can’t be used alone.
  • Zimmermann – basic test for cathinones and benzodiazepines.

Purity testing kits – require reagent tests for substance identification