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Context: an American who knows crystal meth has an opportunity to get “amphetamine paste.” All he knows is that it is a common or typical form in Europe. He doesn’t have it yet so he can’t describe it. Its origin is the continent.
He either needs to convert this unfamiliar product to something he understands, or he needs to learn how they use it in Europe if that’s a better choice. My questions on his behalf:
1. What is amphetamine paste?
2. How is it used?
3. Compare it to meth if you have experience with both.
UFSE: I searched for ‘amphetamine paste,’ got zero hits, for the term ‘paste’ I got one hit from 2004 as an amphetamine. I also found several posts that seem like they might be about “amphetamine paste” but many terms and slang in those posts are unfamiliar to me so I can't distinguish between similar and different subjects.
SWIM thinks that amphetamine paste is just amphetamine sulphate that hasnt been dried completely. SWIM always dries it (by cutting and letting it 'breath') then he snorts it. If SWIY is planning on using it orally then there is no need to dry it.
SWIM would say amphetamine is a stronger stimulant then concerta, ritalin,... but not as strong as methamphetamine. Althou SWIY needs to keep in mind that amphetamine paste is (almost) never pure. SWIM often buys amphetamine paste here in europe and its always between 15 and 20% pure but from what SWIM heared even 5 or 10% isn't uncommon in some countries
Methylphenidate is right that the paste is amphetamine sulphate. This paste is commonly sold in the UK as 'base', although actual base is a viscous, oily liquid.
This paste is often heavily cut with glucose, and water.
The amount used is variable, especially if cut heavily. If uncut amphetamine sulphate is used, then a tiny amount would be sufficient. A typical 'Base' user in the UK might take half a gram, whereas there have been occasions when .10 or .20 of a gram has left me completely off my head. I am no longer a fan of amphetamine, for me it's poison. But each to their own.
SWIM has seen a lot of amphetamine paste during his days in Germany and it was always of excellent quality - in fact SWIM was very surprised to see users describe it as often cut with water or sugar, since SWIM almost never encoutered but the purest amphetamine in this form. SWIM was often asked not to resell/redistribute it in this form (but drying and cutting it before) in order to avoid problems (a common saying was that "if you sell that shit on the street, they'll end up dancing naked on the bar").
The "paste" form originally comes from the fact that manufacturers won't take the time to fully dry their product after washing (using solvents). This yields a product that is indeed best dried before consumption (also orally, let's avoid swallowing potentially harmfull solvents) and that, in a wholesale situation will increase the benefit of the manufacturer since it has a better reputation and therfore sells easier, and since the weight of the product is slightly higher when undried (not very noticeable on a gram or so, but on a much larger scale it will make a noticeable difference).
Bad amphetamine paste as SWIM has encoutered it on rare occasions did not want to dry fully and stayed very "waxy" and sticky. It indeed had an unusual sweet/candy smell.
There are two prefered techniques for drying it - the slower one consists of rolling a ball with the semi dried paste, which supposedly allows it to dry slowly while exposing the least possible amount of product to air, therefore avoiding degradation.
The second technique will be to spread a thin layer of the wet paste onto a plate (preferably glass) and let it dry for a short time before scraping it up ingto a powder and using it.
The latter is often preferred since it works really quick - some people go through the bother of heating the plate first in the oven to somewhere between 80°C and 100°C for a little while. This ensures a dry working surface and quick evaporation of solvents.
It must be noted that consuming a solvent-free product is in many ways preferable to consuming fresh paste and allows not to trash the nose too much, not mentioning all other bad side-effects of snorting, smoking or ingesting solvents.
Thanks very much for your replies. They are giving me a context.
So far my main takeaways are: it's the sulphate salt and it is cut heavily, probably with sugar.
Are there any other cuts that I might find?
Do particular countries show patterns of manufacture? For example (I am making this up): the wizards in country X use only sucrose for cut; in country Y they leave a higher % of freebase; country Z always put out high purity, etc.
Sounds like you guys never wash it, right? First I will check glucose solubility in acetone. (we can talk about separation here but if you manipulate the molecule as part of cleaning then it has to be in the chemistry forums)
Final question: chirality. Is the molecule in amphetamine paste typically dextro- or racemic?
Thanks very much for your help!
Garand added 19 Minutes and 57 Seconds later...
With zero's post I see that in some cases the paste is wet with water and in other cases, it is wet with solvent. That’s a big difference in many ways. The choice would derive from very different ideas of the right way to prepare a product for market.
Originally Posted by zerozerohero
exposing the least possible amount of product to air, therefore avoiding degradation
I’d like to hear more. Do you mean the way the salt absorbs water? That’s always bugged me. But I don’t think HCl and SO4 amph. salts are reactive with air? That would be actual chemical degradation.
Originally Posted by zerozerohero
consuming a solvent-free product is preferable to consuming fresh paste…bad side-effects of smoking…
If the cut is glucose, I am sure no one wants to smoke that either! That would be very nasty.
Is smoking it common in Europe? Now I wonder if there is something unique about the methamphetamine molecule that makes it good for smoking. I have been assuming that amph. sulfate is smokable. Maybe I need to look into that too.
Last edited by Garand; 27-09-2011 at 17:29.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
SWIM has no clue about the said degradation process, he's a chemistry noob, but this is what SWIM hears all the time from many experienced users.
And just to clarify: Amphetamine paste is supposed to come in paste form because the solvents used in the cleaning process haven't all been evaporated - if it comes in paste fom because it contains water or anything else, one basically got ripped off.
There are also different forms of paste with different smells, depending on the chemicals used in the process, but usualy, if one depends on reliable sources, getting paste, whatever the colour or smell, is geting the good stuff.
As for adulterants, i'm sure that it gets a whole lot worse than just water and sugar in some cases, but the SWIMmer has been lucky so far.
what zero zero hero said about the ball, an ancient hashmaking custom is rolling hashish into balls...this is less surface area exposed to air, and theyve known that for melenia, that , of a given mass, a spherical shape will produce the least surface area...at least nepalese/indian/pakistani wisdom says that, i havent done the math
dude, youll bee able to tell which stuff it is, im sure. now, washing w a sep funnel or recrystallization may belong in the chem fora but are a valid response. clean it up and recrystallize, if you can(from water? alcohol? swim aint into amphetamines). then youll have a pure product to work with...ya seem like a bright lad...
Yeh, I'm a rocket surgeon but my pal the dope fiend has doorknobs for brains.
Pleasantries aside, a report. My pal got his product today. It is a modest quantity in a small baggie.
Color in paste form is barely off-white. Has a faint chemical smell. Consistency is drier & firmer than he expected, more like clay than paste. It is not very sticky. Unlike clay, the mass as a whole is easy to separate.
He has cut small quantities into tiny chunks on a drying dish and dried them slowly over low heat. Then he put the tiny now-dry chunks in a mortar & pestle and powderized them.
Once dry and powdered, the color is much whiter than when it was a paste. It is completely dry and has a uniform texture. The odor is very subtle. He can’t describe it.
It doesn’t clump but the layer on the mortar surface itself, the material that was ground onto the mortar by the pestle, adheres tightly. To scrape it off, my friend applies force to a razor’s edge. That material comes off flaky as if it was held together with a very dry faint wax. A water recovery would be better.
OK, so…ummm…once it’s powdered he does not know WTF to do with it. He's left it in the mortar.
We assume it's amphetamine sulfate plus some sort of filler. He guesses that separating the amphetamine would be a good idea but he won’t blindly charge forward. First he needs to evaluate or be told in what properties the filler(s) differ from the speed.
He tried to smoke a little. In the pipe, it doesn’t behave like crystal meth. My friend is not sure you even can smoke dried amph. sulf.
It appears that the active ingredient fumes up faster than meth and rewards lower, slower heat even more than crystal.
It also looks like the active ingredient condenses onto the pipe glass easier than meth does. Perhaps this is more a function of melting point gradient between the filler in crystal and the filler in this paste.
He senses that there's an exploit there (its apparent property of condensing quickly) to separate the amphetamine, but he's not sure how to use it.
My friend would rather not snort it. Smoking it or taking it orally is all he will do.
not having any experience with the consumption, or clandestine creation of,amphetamine sulfate, this is just an educated guess.
put into a test tube with a small clean peice of glass and a small amount of water. stopper it, shake(the glass peice moves in there, helping to mix...). then filter thru a funnel lined w a coffee filter, onto a pyrex dish. add a bit more water to rince the tube, pour this thru filter, allow to evaporate.
this is step one, which just cleaned any non-water-soluble matter out! allow to evap, take a pic and post it! if you like, maybe disolving in dh2o, washing w a nonpolar solvent, then evapping that will bee a bit cleaner, then re x that
SWIM would advise against smoking and to prefer snorting - folowing the OP's description of said material, it sounds like it is good quality paste, details on the texture and propperties of the dried or compressed paste match and it does not seem to indicate the presence of any filler besides the usual impurities found in prodcuts produced in clandestine labs and that have not been washed to the full extent of what's theoritically possible. In particular the fact that the dry powder is white as compared to the slightly off-white paste is usually an indicator of good quality amphetamine paste. The flaky form of what's left when scraped off the mortar as well.
When one lets a bit of good quality amphetamine paste dry up in a plastic baggie, one will usually be left with a large ratio of flakes to cristal/rocks - no clue why that is, but the flakes are just as potent as the rest, and in SWIM's opinion they're a lot nicer to snort/easier on the nose than cristaline powder.
Finally, for someone used to meth, amphetamine is perceived as a pretty weak product overall, except maybe when using a lot over a long period/binge.