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Author: Subject: Forbidden Knowledge!
Chemorg42
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[*] posted on 22-6-2020 at 21:36
Forbidden Knowledge!


Even though I have no intention of performing the synthesis of any illegal substances, the process by which such substances are substances are synthesized fascinates me. Partly, I think it is the interesting chemistry, but it is also just the desire to possess forbidden knowledge, to know what "Big brother doesn't want you to know!:cool:
So, my question is this, can anyone recommend resources to help me understand major synthesis and extraction methods for illegal drugs and their precursors? Everything I could find online was either written for idiot junkies or idiot cops, nothing for chemists (besides "Popular science" drivel which contains no useful information at all.
Any help is appreciated.




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karlos³
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[*] posted on 22-6-2020 at 21:54


I would say the two major sources where you can find such stuff actively being discussed are the russian hyperlab, which can be read with a translator engine in the browser, and the other is called vespiary, and is english speaking.
Both require you to register to their forum, to access it fully.

Besides that, the rhodium archive on erowid and the hive archive that is hosted there too.

Honestly, I don't know where to find those idiot junkie or idiot cop recipes you mention, can you in return tell me where to find things like this?

Also, I am surprised you say that thing about popular science drivel and it containing no useful information at all?
That sounds strange and I can't follow why you might say this?
I mean, scientific papers and there are widely accessible nowadays thanks to sci-hub, are the base from which everything else gets derived?
What could you just probably mean by that?
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[*] posted on 22-6-2020 at 22:43


I love going through PiHKAL and TiHKAL, they can be found on Erowid. They don't really explain too much about the synthesis mechanism or anything, just procedures for synthesis and some commentary. But I like to read the procedure and understand every step, look at the reagents and the product and all the intermediates too. See how each product is built.
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Chemorg42
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[*] posted on 22-6-2020 at 23:29


Thanks for the info, both of you.
@karlos, the "Idiot cop" recipe I saw was a low quality youtube clip taken by someone at a LEO demonstration. The "Idiot junky" recipe was a pdf book hosted on Wikileaks called "The Secrets of Meth Amphetamine Production", or something like that, the author was some kind of anarchist preper type, and didn't seem reliable at all.
As to "Popular science drivel", I was referring specifically to articles on various websites claiming to be "Science" which are basically just lists of chemicals that "Prove" that someone is a meth cook. This is probably an unfair generalization, but I'm sure you've seen the kind of articles I am talking about.
More information still definitely welcome.




Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood a single word. (attributed to Niels Bohr)
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. (Richard Feynman)
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 22-6-2020 at 23:45


Oh you surely must mean secrets of methamphetamine manufactures, yes he is well known, and among the real people, knowns as an idiot just making money with the books, while barely having real knowledge of over 95% of his books.
Very dangerous stuff among them, and lots of it not working, yes.
He made sometimes for a short time the stuff, got convicted for it, and now for the rest of his life points at that little short episode to prove being an authority in the field, a funny guy, who if confronted by people with real knowledge, needs to resort to personal attacks and belittling the others because of his lack of arguments pretty early :o
And that book costs probably a few people more than the few bucks spent initially, this includes their homes, limbs, freedom, and health...

Yeah just check the boards, the guys there know their stuff pretty well, some things are documented with pictures too, and they know such bullshit like the book above when they see it.
You will probably recognise the one or other name from here though :D
But this should probably help to convince you of the reliability of those people I would assume?
Some don't use the exactly same name though... like, I'm spelled with "c" and without the "os³" for example on both the russian and english board :P
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 00:04


I hate nothing more than those anarcho-type books that contain more babble on some absurd anti-society bull*t than actual information, AND that information is usually also more or less complete bogus.

I mean, you aren't seriously gonna get energetic reaction from rodent food, even if it contains nitrogen (as a protein, most likely), and if you're gonna make thermite, using a hand file and small batteries will just take you over a year to produce any useful quantity of material.

And most of the illegitimate sources cite only the procedures expecting you to have access to analytical grade DEA schedule I substances, or at least II which are basically the main culprit of the difficulty of synthesizing anything useful. If precursors were sold otc, drugs would be dirt cheap as well. I also get triggered when people state that even a child can cook meth - maybe, if you give them all the reagents for shake-and-bake, but I would not consider that any meaningful method because it produces highly impure and even toxic result with low yield, and the input cost factor would be something like 0.9 or sometimes over 1. It doesn't really matter if someone cooks from prescription meds. What matters is someone cooking from grocery store stuff.

Of course, it is likely that those who find a working route to make something useful, they won't tell about it to anyone because it's a sort of trade secret. And of course, in the end, prison does not have internet access. In countries like US making drugs gets mandatory life in no time.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 04:12


It's just as well it's not forbidden.

A decade or so back I was asked (and paid) to do some work looking into what chemicals would be present in a "meth lab" (and other clandestine drug making plant.)

It would have been much more difficult if I hadn't been able to simply google the recipes and methods.

No sensible government rules out the possession of knowledge.
(The UK govt did, in the form of the psychoactive substances act- a truly stupid bit of legislation)
Plenty of governments focus on forbidding the use of that information for some purposes.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 05:13


For me chemistry is chemistry, you take it all or nothing. It includes drugs poisons bombs and tear gases too and that's not bad for me.
And if you haven't found even one good synthesis of illicit substances, then I don't know how are you searching for it.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 05:33


I don't like to classify any substance from the point of chemistry. Cyanide, hexogen and amphetamine are just chemical substances with a molar mass, and many substances have various uses as a feedstock.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 07:20


For the most, this "forbidden chemistry" you're talking about is just mundane chemistry employed onto making illicit substances.

For me personally, the real thrill comes from seeing the creativity of those underground chemists, while trying (and succeeding) to overcome reagents legislations with more and more exotic procedures.





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Chemorg42
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 07:38


OK people, when I called this thread "Forbidden knowledge", I did it for dramatic effect, not to start an argument over if some chemistry should be "Forbidden." I agree with all of you that chemistry is chemistry, that is why I am interested in these things, after all.



Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood a single word. (attributed to Niels Bohr)
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. (Richard Feynman)
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 07:39


Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  

Some don't use the exactly same name though... like, I'm spelled with "c" and without the "os³" for example on both the russian and english board :P

I had my suspicions!


Quote:

For me personally, the real thrill comes from seeing the creativity of those underground chemists, while trying (and succeeding) to overcome reagents legislations with more and more exotic procedures.

Dito. I often head over to the rhodium archive when researching almost any sort of reaction, because I'm most likely to find something that's at least accessible to me, rather than some modern scholarly paper using unobtainable, unpronouncable catalysts and just analysing the products by GC rather than even attempting what's sure to be a difficult workup. Most of the modern research papers are absolutely worthless to the home chemist - clandestine forums are simply where it's at. Even though I lost interested in drugs a long time ago, I still think they're among the most useful resources for aspiring chemists, because you just won't find that depth of discussion anywhere else. Most academic researchers are working in some tiny niche and aren't able to discuss with one another all the minute details of their work. Clandestine chemistry is completely different, since lots of people have been working with just the same few compounds for decades.

[Edited on 2020-6-24 by dawt]
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 11:00


Even Uncle Festers books are a point in our journey. A marker for different directions maybe, or perhaps merely an introduction point into the insanity.
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Refinery
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 11:01


Funny how many papers go to extraordinary lengths to find UHMW complex catalysts that produce 1.5% higher yield. Then you later find that simply reacting the substance with common metal salt gets you almost as far. I know that 1.5% out of million tons fills a medium sized product tanker, but still.

But I have noted that the more you research and know about chemistry overall, the better you are at improvising and designing clandestine methods.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 11:40


Quote: Originally posted by morganbw  
Even Uncle Festers books are a point in our journey. A marker for different directions maybe, or perhaps merely an introduction point into the insanity.

Man, have you seen his video "Cookin' Crank with Uncle Fester"? A definite must-see, 3 hours of pure entertainment. I'm not gonna share it here, but ... You know who to ask.

Wheeeeeee \o/ Party time!

Unrelated observation: Huh, seems you can't post unicode emojis.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 13:13


Quote: Originally posted by dawt  
Quote: Originally posted by morganbw  
Even Uncle Festers books are a point in our journey. A marker for different directions maybe, or perhaps merely an introduction point into the insanity.

Man, have you seen his video "Cookin' Crank with Uncle Fester"? A definite must-see, 3 hours of pure entertainment. I'm not gonna share it here, but ... You know who to ask.

Wheeeeeee \o/ Party time!

Unrelated observation: Huh, seems you can't post unicode emojis.

I actually have not but may soon. Thank you.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 19:23


Quote: Originally posted by Chemorg42  
The "Idiot junky" recipe was a pdf book hosted on Wikileaks called "The Secrets of Meth Amphetamine Production", or something like that, the author was some kind of anarchist preper type, and didn't seem reliable at all.


Hah. That book is by an 'Uncle Fester'. Once, in a moment of stupidity, which I thought was curiosity, I ordered one of his books. One of the first things in there, was a suggestion, to throw away all of your chemistry textbooks et al, since they might look suspicious. As soon as I read that, I came to my senses, took Uncle Fester's advice, and promptly threw out his book.
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Chemorg42
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 22:05


Quote: Originally posted by pantone159  
Quote: Originally posted by Chemorg42  
The "Idiot junky" recipe was a pdf book hosted on Wikileaks called "The Secrets of Meth Amphetamine Production", or something like that, the author was some kind of anarchist preper type, and didn't seem reliable at all.


Hah. That book is by an 'Uncle Fester'. Once, in a moment of stupidity, which I thought was curiosity, I ordered one of his books. One of the first things in there, was a suggestion, to throw away all of your chemistry textbooks et al, since they might look suspicious. As soon as I read that, I came to my senses, took Uncle Fester's advice, and promptly threw out his book.

Lol, I was reading the book today (Secrets of Meth Amphetamine Manufacture, not production), and though some of it seemed like actual chemistry, it included some real gems, like the claim that obtaining glass distillation sets had become extremely difficult and that multi necked flasks had become a "Bitch" to get. His brilliant solution? make your own out of stainless steel!, and if you use chemicals which attack steel, easy, coat the inside with teflon paint. To heat large stainless steel containers, the good uncle suggests placing the container in a pile of charcoal, but make sure to pipe the acetone fumes away from this pile, they might catch on fire! Over all, a rather poor book, though interesting in its way.
Suggestions for more reputable sources still welcome.




Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood a single word. (attributed to Niels Bohr)
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. (Richard Feynman)
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[*] posted on 23-6-2020 at 23:49


Quote: Originally posted by dawt  
...

+They always use those impractical 0.1mmol scale procedures with 3mL of solvent. But then after you scale this shit up a bit, you find out that you need about 40 metric tons of solvent just to make 10 grams of product.

(And I know it's sort of nitpicking, and that most of the times one could just reason the appropriate amount of solvent needed and get away with it.

But dammit, in rhodium you get those real life scale preparations with those beautiful reassuring gr/gr ratios that makes everything just so much easier.




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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 00:36


Rhodium style preparations have one downside, they usually have vague descriptions of reactions. The most extreme examples being like "mix 2.5kg of a with 7.5kg of b, and when it goes runaway, run away and wait for the reaction to subside and then collect what's left". There was just recently a topic where it was questioned why a reaction should be heated with acetone bath at 50C, when it is obvious that this is a recipe for disaster in an open vessel. This probably derives from second hand writing from an academic article where a mantled reactor was used with acetone temp buffer under closed reflux where it works very well capping temp to 55C max. Yeah, just pour some acetone in a kettle and boil it to heat your substance.

I like orgsyn style articles where stuff is measured in grams and molar ratios, and they have the notes section where they explain some things that may or will happen, or what are not very important. For example, the synthesis describe elaborate re-crystallization and purification steps, but in the notes it is told that a reasonable purity can be achieved by basically dumping it in water, rinsing, decanting and drying the crystals. A good synthesis emphasizes the important and un-important aspects and if there are good alternatives. One is solvent choice - sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes very specific solvents are used, which could be either very expensive or unobtainable - but later someone tells a just simple acetone works well. For those out of academic environment, practical choices matter a lot.
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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 03:41


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Rhodium style preparations have one downside, they usually have vague descriptions of reactions. The most extreme examples being like "mix 2.5kg of a with 7.5kg of b, and when it goes runaway, run away and wait for the reaction to subside and then collect what's left". There was just recently a topic where it was questioned why a reaction should be heated with acetone bath at 50C, when it is obvious that this is a recipe for disaster in an open vessel. This probably derives from second hand writing from an academic article where a mantled reactor was used with acetone temp buffer under closed reflux where it works very well capping temp to 55C max. Yeah, just pour some acetone in a kettle and boil it to heat your substance.



Oh yes, you have to have that thing in mind. For example, as I mentioned in topic about cyclopentanone MPV reduction, syntheses are sometimes totally not working. In Rhodium archive on erowid it is described as straightforward with good yields and without even any care (50% sulfuric acid in neutralisation of extremely delicate alcohol), but in reality cyclopentanone is very hard to reduce with almost every reducing agent, even clearly mentioned in literature about MPV reduction as the one which isn't good with the synthesis...

So the best is to have access to literature and read it prior to making any online synthesis.
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Chemorg42
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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 09:29


Just took a look at the Rhodium archive. Wow! It looks like quite a resource, and not just for drug chemists.



Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood a single word. (attributed to Niels Bohr)
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. (Richard Feynman)
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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 11:19


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
...

True. Although most of the times' the rhodium procedures provide the academic references on which they relied on, so one may check them himself.

But yes, orgsyn and prepchem procedures are usually more well written while still being practical and straightforward.

In any case, it's always a good idea (imo) to cross references/procedures before starting a reaction. It usually gives a better understanding about the mechanism of the reaction.




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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 14:34


I have a whole hand-written book of notes on forbidden chemistry knowledge. Started it a few decades ago when I learned about acetone peroxide. Every time I heard something novel that was unexpected/remarkably dangerous/easy to accomplish I added it to the book. Things like common hypergolic mixtures and easy dimethylmercury come to mind. There's a lot of information out there but never seen it aggregated together for a chemist's mind except in niche subjects.



Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
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[*] posted on 24-6-2020 at 15:40


Can you give examples of these common hypergolic mixtures BromicAcid?




Green QD's so far

Feel free to correct grammar or incorect knknowledge. We are all learning.
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