Also known as

Explosion, bk-mdma, ease, M1, neocor, mdmc




Methylone is a drug that speeds the body's responses (stimulant) and makes people feel closer to others (entactogen). It is similar to the effects of MDMA (Ecstasy). It became a controlled drug along with mephedrone in 2010 [1].

What does it look like?

Was first sold in liquid form under the branding name 'explosion', but can also be found in powder form [1].

Why take it?

Sought after effects

  • euphoria,
  • stimulation,
  • feeling of 'one-ness',
  • empathy [1].

Undesired effects

  • muscle tension,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • increased heart rate,
  • dizziness and confusion,
  • teeth-grinding ('gurning') [1].




  • threshold - 60 - 100 mg,
  • light - 100 - 150 mg,
  • common - 150 - 225 mg,
  • strong - 225 - 325 mg,
  • heavy - 325 mg + [2].

How long do its effects last?

Onset of effects

  • oral - 15 - 60 minutes [2].


  • oral - 60 - 90 minutes [2].


  • oral - 60 - 120 minutes [2].

Duration of effects

  • oral - 2 - 4 hours [2].


  • oral - 6 - 24 hour [2].


Methylone is thought to inhibit serotonin, norephephrine (noradrenaline) and dopamine reuptake, which produces an increase in these neurotransmitters. Reuptake of a neurotransmitter involves recycling it back into the storage section of the neuronal cell to be used again later. Inhibiting this reuptake process maintains the neurotransmitter within the synaptic space and allows the effects to continue. Furthermore, although methylone has an affinity for (ability to bind to) the serotonin transporter, it is 3 times less than MDMA, whereas the affinity for norepinephrine and dopamine transporters are similar [1].


The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational methylone use do not seem to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dosage is unknown [2].


Abuse of compounds within the stimulant class at high dosages for prolonged periods of time can potentially result in a stimulant psychosis that may present with a variety of symptoms (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions) [3]. A review on treatment for amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine abuse-induced psychosis states that about 5% - 15% of users fail to recover completely [3], [4]. The same review asserts that, based upon at least one trial, antipsychotic medications effectively resolve the symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis [3]. Psychosis very rarely arises from therapeutic use [2].

Mode of use

  • Drunk - the liquid form is taken orally,
  • Snorted - the powder form is snorted or sniffed [1].


Physical effects

  • spontaneous physical sensations,
  • stimulation,
  • tactile enhancement,
  • dehydration,
  • difficulty urinating,
  • increased blood pressure,
  • increased heart rate,
  • increased perspiration,
  • teeth grinding,
  • temperature regulation suppression [2].

Cognitive effects

  • anxiety,
  • cognitive euphoria,
  • depression,
  • irritability,
  • mindfulness,
  • time distortion,
  • analysis enhancement,
  • increased libido,
  • increased music appreciation,
  • thought acceleration,
  • wakefulness,
  • cognitive fatigue,
  • motivation suppression,
  • thought deceleration [2].

Visual effects

  • vibrating vision [2].

After effects

The effects which occur during the offset of a stimulant experience generally feel negative and uncomfortable in comparison to the effects which occurred during its peak. This is often referred to as a "comedown" and occurs because of neurotransmitter depletion [2]. Its effects commonly include -

  • anxiety,
  • cognitive fatigue,
  • depression,
  • irritability,
  • motivation suppression,
  • thought deceleration,
  • wakefulness [2].


Can you get addicted

As with other stimulants, the chronic use of methylone can be considered moderately addictive with a high potential for abuse and is capable of causing psychological dependence among certain users. When addiction has developed, cravings and withdrawal effects may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage [2].


Tolerance to many of the effects of methylone develops with prolonged and repeated use. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. After that, it takes about 3 - 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 1 - 2 weeks to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). Methylone presents cross-tolerance with all dopaminergic stimulants, meaning that after the consumption of methylone all stimulants will have a reduced effect [2].

Dangerous interactions

Although many drugs are safe on their own, they can become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below contains some common potentially dangerous combinations, but may not include all of them. Certain combinations may be safe in low doses of each but still increase the potential risk of death. Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption [2].

  • Stimulants - Methylone can be potentially dangerous in combination with other stimulants as it can increase one's heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels.
  • 25x-NBOMe - Both the NBOMe series and this compound induce powerful stimulation and their interaction may cause severe side-effects. These can include thought loops, seizures, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, increased heart rate, and heart failure (in extreme cases).
  • Alcohol - It is dangerous to combine alcohol, a depressant, with stimulants due to the risk of excessive intoxication. Stimulants decrease the sedative effect of alcohol which is the main factor most people consider when determining their level of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the effects of alcohol will be significantly increased, leading to intensified disinhibition as well as respiratory depression. If combined, one should strictly limit themselves to only drinking a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
  • DXM - This combination may cause increased heart rate and panic attacks.
  • MXE - Increased heart rate and blood pressure may occur.
  • Tramadol - This combination can increase the risk of seizures.
  • Cocaine - This combination may increase strain on the heart [2]..


  • αMT,
  • Tramadol - Tramadol and stimulants both increase the risk of seizures,
  • MAOIs - MAO-B inhibitors can increase the potency and duration of phenethylamines unpredictably. MAO-A inhibitors with amphetamine can lead to hypertensive crises [5].


  • DOx - The combined stimulating effects of the two can lead to an uncomfortable body-load, while the focusing effects of amphetamine can easily lead to thought loops. Coming down from amphetamines while the DOx is still active can be quite anxiogenic.
  • NBOMes - Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation. When combined they can result in tachycardia, hypertension, vasoconstriction and in extreme cases heart failure. The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants are also not good in combination with psychedelics as they can lead to unpleasant thought loops. NBOMes are known to cause seizures and stimulants can increase this risk.
  • 2C-T-x - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences. In extreme cases, they can result in severe vasoconstriction, tachycardia, hypertension, and in extreme cases heart failure.
  • 5-MeO-xxT - The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants increase the chance of unpleasant thought loops. The combination is generally unnecessary because of the stimulating effects of psychedelics.
  • DXM - Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
  • PCP - This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states (1280).

Harm reduction

There is very little information out there about harm reduction techniques as methylone is still a relatively new drug, with little risk information available. For this reason it is highly advised that people start off with very small doses, and do not exceed above 200 mg in a session. A large number of people have reported that anything above 180 to 200 mg will increase your heart rate and blood pressure to a very worrying level.

When the product was sold legally, it was advised that one should take half a bottle first (a full bottle was 180 mg), and only take the other if you were sure you were ok to do so. It is not advised to mix methylone with alcohol, medicines, or any other drugs [1].


The drug methylone first made an appearance in 2004 under the name 'Explosion' in a number of smart shops in the Netherlands. The product was advertised as a 'room odouriser' containing 5ml of the liquid drug.

When the new product was first introduced, there was much confusion over what each bottle contained. It was not until January 2005 that the contents of 'explosion' was analysed. In March 2005 there was only one manufacturer and therefore this one sample analysis came to represent all 'Explosion' bottles, despite any further quantitative and confirmative data.

The new drug gained a great amount of popularity after the Dutch radio presenter Giel Beelen took the drug during a live show [1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Methylone, 2017,
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Methylone, 2017,
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Shoptaw, S. J. and Kao, U. and Ling, W., Treatment for amphetamine psychosis, Cochrane Library, 2009,,
  4. Hofmann, F. G., A Handbook on Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Biomedical Aspects, 1983, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, ISBN 9780195030570, 329
  5. Methylone, 2017,