When talking about intoxicating or hallucinatory substances, the word research chemical is deliberately uncertain. Are these substances really used for scientific research? In the scientific and medical fields, there are substances that can be utilized for research purposes in order to discover new medicinal cures or study the possible effects of particular molecules. However, research chemicals that are used to intoxicate the user is a different kind of substance altogether. These are created inside laboratories, deliberately copying certain illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. However, these substances are still sold – with only little knowledge of their actual effects – to people who plan to abuse these substances just for recreational reasons.

Although the word research chemical is a misleading term for these hazardous drugs, the chemicals still originate from legitimate scientific research. In their authentic medical form, research chemicals are just new chemicals that are still in its early stage of development. They come with theories about their possible uses but with only little data gathered on them. Its formulation is acquired by mimicking published researches then its design is imitated and will be manufactured then sold usually through the use of the internet. Some vendors are even caught selling these dangerous drugs through social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.

The Law and Research Chemicals

Research Chemicals are usually linked into the same classification as designer or synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, MDMA and bath salts. Most authorities consider these substances as new psychoactive drugs since they are all created inside a laboratory setting and a lot of them have legal counterparts which were created particularly to avoid drug related laws. Most packages of research chemicals contain the warning label: “not for human consumption.”
In the United States alone, federal drug laws prohibit certain chemical components. Research chemicals avoid these laws by changing some of the drug’s components as new laws are being passed. This makes research chemicals a lot more unreliable and hazardous. Even if a user has bought a high quality drug yesterday, the next batch will not automatically be the same thing. Authorities found out in a recent drug report that most new psychedelic drugs found around the world are combinations of previous psychedelic drugs that are previously recorded.

Kinds of Research Chemicals

The list of the kinds of research chemicals available in the market changes almost every day since new versions of these drugs are being developed continuously. The hallucinating and hazardous research chemicals that have been discovered and captured because of drug abuse and overdose are stated below:

NBOMe (25I and 25C)

These designer drugs are ingested orally and are sometimes mistake with LSD. These substances have been the cause of countless deaths due to rapid overdose. They are also known as “smiles” or “N-bombs”.

2C Series

These research chemicals are a famous type of phenethylamines which contain 25-dimethyoxy. One popular kind is the 2C-e, also called as Europa by its users. The drug is said to mimic the same effects given by LSD. Hazardous side effects include difficulty in breathing and consistent hallucinations.


Fentanyl is a strong prescription drug that is a hundred times more lethal than heroin has been devastating homes across the globe. However, the rise of acetylfentanyl as a designer drug puts users hustling with addiction to opioid at a greater risk of death. Acetylfentanyl is an opioid analgesic that is considered to be 80 times more powerful
than morphine. It is predicted that it is less powerful than fentanyl. However, it being tagged as a research chemical means the effects of the body on the substance are still unpredictable.


This kind of research chemical is sold similarly to ketamine. These purportedly provide hallucinogenic, dissociative and sleep-inducing effects. While ketamine is still considered as an arylcyclohexylamine, the chemical group includes other research chemicals which are less understood.

Bromo Dragonfly

This synthetic drug is a psychedelic amphetamine that has caused numerous deaths due to overdose. Effects of this drug have been said to last for days. This research chemical became famous because it was revealed that it was stronger than LSD with less weight. This means the drug causes longer highs.


This is a kind of benzodiazepine compound that is 10 times stronger than Valium, a prescription medicine that promotes anti-anxiety. Etizolam is made legal in some countries such as Italy and India to treat patients suffering from insomnia. Patients who are fighting their addiction to this drug have been caught buying through online sellers when it is marketed as a designer drug. Regrettably, the drug’s status as a research chemical means that versions of etizolam are probably tampered, making it hazardous for use. The drug has been linked to multiple overdoses in Canada.


This research chemical is a pain reliever and has dissociative effects the same as to ketamine. As a matter of fact, it is commonly marketed as a derivative of ketamine. Methoxamine has the potency to trigger effects like those of
PCP, another hazardous research chemical. The effects of methoxamine can last up to 8 hours and reports have verified that there are deaths linked to overdose of this substance.


This designer drug is sold as a replacement for synthetic cathinone. This compound can also be found in dietary supplements promoting weight loss.


This substance is usually found inside industrial compounds and is considered as a hallucinogen and a stimulant as well. It is believed that this drug have effects similar to amphetamine when taken. They are distributed as tablets and can cause confusion with other medicine in tablet form.


These substances develop naturally in a few plant forms, although the hallucinating version is created inside a laboratory. Tryptamines are hallucinogens that twist your thinking more than other kinds of hallucinogenic drugs. These can be in tablet or paper form.


W-18 is quite similar to opioids and was created as an analgesic by the University of Alberta. It is analogous to 35 other drugs that have licenses in the US. There is limited information about this drug except that it is not considered as an opioid but can lessen the feeling of pain. It is said to be thousands more powerful than morphine. However, this data is only based on animals tested in 1980. W-18 has been blamed for multiple drug overdoses which were recently thought to be from overdose from fentanyl.

Symptoms of Research Chemical Addiction

Research chemicals are created to be powerful. They work in a particular way on our brains, cause hallucinations, pleasure and relaxation really quick. Hazardous secondary effects last for long periods of time, with limited knowledge of how long the substance will affect the receptors of the brain or how they are absorbed by the body.
Changes in the behavior of the user can appear just like those related with other hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, psychedelic drugs like MDMA, powerful designer drugs like fentanyl or more popular research chemicals such as bath salts. It is hard to point out symptoms since there are no consistent ingredients found in synthetic drugs regardless of what effect they are marketed to produce.

The best way to recognize if an individual is abusing research chemicals is if they are rushed to the hospital for symptoms, usually for overdose. A user’s behavior will typically be paranoia or be psychotic and they may say that they are hearing or seeing things that do not exist for a few hours. Their breathing can even stop, vomit a lot, stop eating, experience hypothermia, have seizures or worse have a stroke or fall into coma.
The concept of going into a “mild high” is not true. More popularly used drugs such as marijuana and cocaine usually start with a bit if tasting here and there. However, as the person starts to dig deeper into their addiction, they will eventually take more drugs, as the body starts to become dependent on the presence of drugs in order to provide harmony with the brain’s neurotransmitters. People will begin seeking out these drugs, lie about using them and may even stop working or go to school. In comparison, a dose of synthetic drugs can lead to overdose or can produce just a small effect.

A person struggling with drug abuse should immediately be put under rehabilitation. Experts say that drug users get the best advantage from rehab if they can stay inside the treatment facility for at least 90 days. They also believe that it is crucial that treatment should be easily available as well as accessible. Finding a rehab facility that specializes in research chemical abuse treatment can be challenging because there are always newer versions of these drugs. A lot of rehabilitation facilities can provide assistance of abuse and addiction to certain chemicals even if they are not specializing in them. When more data can be gathered about these drugs, rehabilitation programs can start broaden their specialized treatment choices to aid individuals who are struggling with synthetic drug addiction.