So you want to test your MDMA?

Hooray, you got the message that there’s crap drugs around! Now what?

If KnowYourStuffNZ is running a clinic near you, come see us! The spectrometer is more accurate, and the only way to detect when two psychoactives are mixed together. Reagent tests alone can’t rule those mixes out.

Until we have funding, we can’t be everywhere though, so the next best thing is to grab a reagent test from Cosmic NZ or The Hemp Store and test it yourself. They sell different types, and a few of the most useful ones for identifying cathinones are shown below, along with some guidance for interpreting your results.

The following are test results from reference samples that were identified on the spectrometer

Reagents can only determine the presence, not quantity or purity, of a particular substance. Dark color reactions will tend to override reactions to other substances also in the sample. A mix of MDMA and eutylone (or another cathinone) will look like an MDMA result.

If your results suggest MDMA, treat it like it’s a mix: take only a small amount to begin with (no more than half your usual amount) and dose slowly over time, waiting to feel the full effects. If anything feels ‘off’, don’t take more. Don’t mix it with other drugs or alcohol.

Eutylone can feel like weak MDMA, but wears off faster, leading people to re-dose and get into trouble later on. It is unpredictable and can cause severe side effects at low dosages for some people, while others can take quite a lot before realizing things aren’t feeling so good, and by then it’s far too late to avoid eutylone’s nasty side effects. Pretty universally, people agree it’s just not fucking worth it.

If the reagent either doesn’t change any color during the first 30 seconds or if it produces some other color-change sequence, then the sample definitely does not contain any MDMA. The colour chart included in each kit may give you more insight, but it may also be highly adulterated with one or more unknown substances.

All of these tests, except the MDMA Purity one, require only a few grains of sample (~5mg). About half the size of a match-head, or a small grain of rice. The MDMA Purity test requires 20mg.

EZ Ecstasy Test (Cosmic)

Analogous to the Marquis reagent from the Hemp Store kits
*We have found this test to be the most user-friendly*

The EZ “Ecstasy test” is a small amount of clear liquid that may be slightly crystallized. This test will go purple-black if the sample contains any MDMA, and yellow if it contains only cathinones.

This is important because if the sample contains for example, 10% MDMA and 90% cathinone, it will give a purple-black hit consistent with MDMA. The yellow colour of all the cathinone present will be completely covered by the purple. These tests can only detect cathinones if they are not mixed with another substance.

NarcoCheck Cathinone Test (Cosmic)

Image showing the results of the Narcocheck reagent test for cathinones. It goes dark yellow-brown in the presence of eutylone and dark blackish purple in the presence of MDMA

The Narcocheck Cathinone test is a small amount of clear liquid that may be slightly crystallized. This test turns a dark orangey/reddish brown it in the presence of eutylone. Do not take it if it turns red, yellow, orange or brown.

If the test is positive for MDMA it will show a purpley black. This colour is dark enough to completely obscure any cathinone reaction that may also have happened in a mixed sample.

EZ MDMA Purity Test (Cosmic)

We do not endorse this test for determining purity. We recommend only using it for ID purposes as shown.


The EZ MDMA Purity test is two layers of clear liquid. If the sample contains eutylone and no MDMA it will remain clear. If it contains MDMA it will go a yellow-brown on the top layer and the bottom layer will remain clear. This test cannot detect mixes of the two.

If any other colour change is observed or the bottom layer changes colour there are unidentified adulterants in your sample and you should not take it.

EZ Ketamine Test (Cosmic)

The EZ Ketamine test is yellow, and will change to an orange-brown in the presence of cathinones. In the presence of MDMA it will go a purple-black or blue-black. As above, the presence of MDMA will obscure any cathinone reaction that may also be happening.

Reagent testing at home to check for cathinones

We’re absolutely flat out this summer, and unfortunately we can’t be everywhere. People that want to check their gear but can’t get to one of our testing sites have been using at home reagent tests to check for cathinones with some success. The main tests that people are using this summer are the EZ tests available from Cosmic.

While this can’t tell you if you’ve had your MDMA spiked, it will tell you if you’ve been sold a cathinone instead of MDMA. We have been hearing from lots of people this summer who bought from a trusted source but were smart enough to get it tested, either by us or with one of these at home tests. Then it turned out to be a cathinone and they binned it, because the slight up really isn’t worth the hellish down.

Warning! Reagent tests can only show the presence of one chemical.

They will not show cathinones if the drug manufacturer has masked them with a trace amount of MDMA. Even if your reagent test is positive for MDMA you should treat it with caution as it may be a mix of MDMA and cathinones.

That being said, reagent tests are better than nothing, and will show you if what you have is just cathinones instead of MDMA.
Most of what we have tested this summer has been just cathinones, not mixtures, so we are confident recommending that you should use these tests if you can’t get to KnowYourStuffNZ to use our FTIR spectrometer.

How the reagent tests work

Each test comes with an ampoule of testing reagent. Simply open the ampoule, drop in a small sample about the size of a couple of grains of salt or the head of a pin, and read the colour chart. Be careful with the reagent. they are corrosive and can burn your skin if the liquid touches you.

EZ Ecstasy test

The ecstasy test will show you if you have MDMA in your or if it contains only cathinones, Unfortunately it can’t tell you if there’s anything else mixed in your MDMA.

Image, an EZ Ecstasy test showing a positive result for MDMA. The reagent has gone a strong purple-black.
This is what a positive ecstasy test looks like. See how dark it is? What you want is a reaction that gives a strong purple black. What you do not want is a yellow reaction. It may go darker orange over time, but if it goes yellow first, it’s a cathinone. Remember, if it’s yellow, it ain’t mellow.
Image of a EZ Ecstasy test with cathinone. The reagent has gone bright yellow.
The test says methylone/butylone, but the reaction will be the same for eutylone, and most other cathinones. Note that reagent tests will give the same result for a 90% cathinone/10% mdma mix as it would for pure mdma so it is far from a guarantee because were also seeing a lot of those mixes.

The test says methylone/butylone, but the reaction will be the same for eutylone, and most other cathinones. Note that reagent tests will give the same result for a 90% cathinone/10% mdma mix as it would for pure mdma so it is far from a guarantee because were also seeing a lot of those mixes.

EZ MDMA purity test

The MDMA purity test shows how much MDMA is in a substance. It’s good for checking if you have a high dose pill or if your MDMA is actually a cathinone. It won’t show you if there’s anything else hiding in your substance.If your mdma is actually just cathinones. It won’t show you if there’s anything else hiding in your substance, or if it contains BOTH MDMA and cathinones

Image of the EZ MDMA Purity test. The reagent has gone pale brown at the top, showing a medium amount of MDMA in the substance tested
If you have MDMA the top layer of the reagent will change colour depending on how much MDMA there is. If there’s lots, it’ll go super dark. This picture shows a medium-strength positive reaction. If any other layers appear, any unexpected colour changes, or things don’t quite dissolve right, there is likely other unknown substances in your sample.
Image of a cathinone sample in the EZ MDMA Purity test. The reagent hasn't changed colour at all.
This is a cathinone in an MDMA purity test. As you can see, there’s been no reaction at all. If it’s clear, you can clearly bin it.

If you’re not sure about your reagent result, do not take your substance.

We’d rather you didn’t play Russian roulette with your drugs this summer. The chances of you having eutylone or a eutylone/MDMA mix is way too high, and we’re pretty sure you don’t want to spend the next few days vomiting and freaking out. Better to be safe than sorry.