The drug Molly is sold as capsules containing pure MDMA, a supposedly pure powdered form of 3, 4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, the active ingredient in ecstasy. This alleged purity is partly responsible for the assumption among some users that Molly is safer than ecstasy. And pure, pharmaceutical-grade MDMA is, in fact, fairly safe, at least under a doctor’s supervision.
But the problem with the Molly you buy on the street is that you don’t actually know what’s in that capsule. Powder in a capsule is actually easier for dealers and manufacturers to tamper with than pills, cutting it with another drug at any level of production. Those drugs may include ephedrine (a stimulant), dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), ketamine, caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine or even, most recently, synthetic cathinones (the psychoactive ingredients in “bath salts”). These substances are harmful alone and may be particularly dangerous mixed with MDMA. Users who intentionally or unknowingly combine such a mixture with additional substances such as marijuana and alcohol may be putting themselves at even higher risk for adverse health effects.
When someone shows up to an ER after having taken Molly, there’s no telling what’s actually in their system. People are usually getting sick not because they’re taking too much MDMA, but because they’re taking MDMA adulterated with any number of far more dangerous drugs.
Molly’s effects last approximately three to six hours, although it is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. It is commonly taken in combination with other drugs.
Some heavy MDMA users experience long-lasting confusion, depression, sleep abnormalities and problems with attention and memory, although it is possible that some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA, especially marijuana.