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Samples sent after April 10, 2024 will be put on hold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequently asked questions:

  • What type of analysis do you conduct? Answer: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS). Additionally, the lab usually notes some of the sample's physical properties (length, width, total-sample mass, color), performs reagent testing with 3-4 reagents, and photographs the sample and the reagent results.
  • Can you perform LC/MS, HPLC, NMR, or any other types of laboratory analysis? Answer: DrugsData's lab performs GC/MS only.
  • What types of drugs can you analyze? Our program is designed to test psychoactive, recreational, and simple drugs. That includes 'small molecule' drugs such as MDMA, LSD, caffeine, heroin, etc. We can't and do not analyze proteins, antibiotics, dewormers, metals, biological 'stuff', most steroids, and many other types of substances. If your sample is not one of the substances we've already identified, then you must ask first before sending in your sample. We can't offer refunds. A list of substances we've detected can be found here: Substances By Year: Lab: DrugsData.
  • How long does it take to get results? Answer: It typically takes 3-4 weeks to see results on after a sample reaches the lab, *but it can take longer*. Transit time through the mail adds to the wait time. Sometimes results are delayed because of an equipment problem or supply shortage (like a Helium shortage in early 2019). Further, in rare cases the complexity of a sample can cause it to require multiple analyses, which take extra time.
  • Can you test powdered / crystalline chemicals and street drugs? Answer: Yes (no liquids, please). Blotter and dry gel tabs are also accepted. DrugsData (formerly Ecstasydata) tests and works to identity almost all psychoactive drugs and many pharmaceuticals. We are able to reliably identify LSD, 1P-LSD and 1B-LSD, though we do not yet have lab standards for LSZ, or AL-LAD.
  • Can you test cannabis or cannabis products? Answer: No, probably not. A cannabis sample must meet narrow and specific criteria to be tested and requires pre-approval. Contact us first. If we accept your sample, the copay will be $150 or higher.
  • How do I receive the results? Answer: All results are posted to the website.
  • Can I get results by email? Answer: No, all results are posted to the website.
  • Can I find out if the lab received my sample? Answer: Only if your sample was received by the lab before the date that the latest results were posted. The lab does not provide us with any way to check on receipt of individual samples until the current set is completed. Please check the News section on the front page of for updates on when the latest published samples were received at the lab.
  • How much material do you need? Answer: For tablets, we need the whole tablet. For powders, we need 20-50mg. For blotter, we need at least one dose unit (i.e. one hit of blotter or gel tab; no liquids accepted). Do NOT send in more than 100 mg of powder, 20-50mg is preferred.
  • Can I get actual quantities of the substances in my sample? # (Can I find out the amount of drug is in my sample?) Answer: No, not if you are sending a sample for testing in DrugsData's lab in California. The DEA does not allow our program to provide quantitative results. We cannot tell you how pure your powder is, nor how much of a substance is in a tablet, capsule, or other form. See About Tests & Data: Why don't you display actual milligram (mg) quantitative amounts?. Note that the "Sample Size" field indicates the total mass of the sample, not quantity.
  • Can you tell me what cuts are in my sample? # Answer: We do report active adulterants. But in most cases, we can't report inert diluents ("cuts and buffs") that are used in powdered drugs to increase mass or dilute the drug to make a lower potency final product. Diluents are typically sugars such as lactose, mannitol, inositol, etc. We also don't report the inert ingredients present in tablets such as binders, fillers, and preservatives. This is because of the DEA's rule against our program providing quantitative results. We can't tell you how pure your powder is, nor how much of each psychoactive substance is in a sample. See About Tests & Data: Why don't you display actual milligram (mg) quantitative amounts?. Note that on DrugsData, the "Sample Size" field indicates the total mass of the sample, not the quantity of identified drugs.
  • OK, but why do some samples show milligram or microgram quantities? Answer: On DrugsData's site, we republish results from some of the European drug checking groups, which aren't constrained by the US DEA's rules. Note that the "Sample Size" field indicates the total mass of the sample, not quantity.
  • Can I get milligram amounts if my sample is not a controlled substance? # Answer: No. Our program is not allowed to provide quantitative data about ANY sample we test, not just samples that happen to not contain controlled substances.
  • Do you know who in the United States can test quantitatively? #. Answer: Please see our Additional Testing Resources page. Most labs in the United States can do quantitative testing of popular drugs but not for anonymously submitted samples. If you are willing to provide your identification for testing, you should be able to find forensic analytical labs in any major city. Call around. Otherwise, the only places we know about, we list on that page.
  • Can you tell me if I have a racemic mixture, R-isomer, or S-isomer? #. Answer: No. The lab's techniques cannot distinguish stereo isomers composition of any substance we analyze. For example, a result saying 'Ketamine : 1' could be 50/50 R-enantiomer & S-enantiomer, 100% R-enantiomer and 0% S-enantiomer, 0% R-enantiomer and 100% S-enantiomer, or any ratio combination thereof.
  • Can you distinguish between positional isomers? #. Answer: It depends. With our current method, we can't differentiate positional isomers for certain substances, such as *-Methylmethcathinone (2-MMC ,3-MMC, or 4-MMC), *-APB (2-APB, 5-APB, or 6-APB), and *-MAPB (5-MAPB or 6-MAPB. For others, we can (e.g. 2-Fluoro-2-oxo-PCE and 3-Fluoro-2-oxo-PCE). New equipment is being trialed at the lab to improve isomer differentiation, but is not yet available.
  • Can you test my pharmaceutical tablet or capsule? # Answer: It depends. DrugsData is focused on street and recreational drugs. We don't analyze non-psychoactive drugs used in the treatment of conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, psoriasis, arthritis, COVID-19, obesity, etc. Some types of pharmaceuticals simply can't be identified using the technical system (GC/MS) our lab uses. We do not guarantee that we can detect any pharmaceutical or drug. Only drugs we have previously identified can be definitively detected and identified in a sample. Note that if the sample looks like a pharmaceutical, you will be responsible for the pharmaceutical pricing of $150/sample. We can not test soft gelcaps that contain liquid.
  • Can you test for hormones or hormone receptor agonist/antagonists, such as HGH, estradiol, testosterone, SERMs, and SARMs? Answer: No. Some steroids have hormone-like effects and can be identified by DrugsData, but in general hormone molecules are too big to reliably identify using a GC/MS machine. GC/MS is capable of detecting and identifying compaounds up to around 1100 AMU (Atomic Mass Units). Molecules larger than 1100 AMU do not detect properly. For example, the HGH molecule is 22,000 AMU, consisting of 191 amino acids. These types of substances do not work with the system our lab uses, which is oriented towards 'small' molecules.
  • Can you analyze abortion pills (Mifepristone & Misoprostol)? Answer: No. See "Can you test my pharmaceutical tablet or capsule?", above.
  • Can you test for peptides? Answer: No. See "Can you test my pharmaceutical tablet or capsule?", above.
  • Can you analyze nootropics? Answer: It depends. See "Can you test my pharmaceutical tablet or capsule?", above. Some nootropics may be allowed and require pre-approval.
  • Why was testing ecstasy tablets less expensive than other tests? # Answer: Because pressed ecstasy tablets are unique enough that analytical results are useful to other people, not just the submitter. Therefore, Erowid subsidizes the testing.
  • If I send in two ecstasy tablet samples, is the copay $100 or $200? Each pressed ecstasy tablet (whole tablet only, do not send in partial tablet) requires a $100 co-pay, so $200.
  • Why is the testing so expensive? Answer: Unfortunately, $100 to $150 is actually cheap for doing this type of testing :(. Our lab and others like it now charge $200 or more for GC/MS analysis. Currently, the direct cost to Erowid Center incurred by lab analysis is $140 per sample. In 2018, Erowid Center paid lab costs of $50,000 *over* the total in co-pays sent in by sample submitters.
  • Can you analyze dried herbal or fungal material (e.g. cannabis, kratom, mushrooms, etc.)? #. Answer: It depends. Analyzing dried plant and fungal material falls outside of our normal service. Whole-plant samples, which often involve many types of active and inactive constitutent substances, may have chemicals in them that do not show up properly via GC/MS. The main reason to get dried plant or mushroom material analyzed is if adulteration is suspected (something that would not normally be present in the plant or mushroom). Please don't send in such material without asking first, email (info at with your question. If we accept the sample, the cost of analysis for this type of material is $150. We generally do NOT accept mushroom samples or cannabis samples.
  • Can you analyze vitamins and minerals? No. Our program is designed for testing and identifying psychoactive substances. Simple sugars, vitamins, and minerals do not show up properly using the techniques used by our lab. Further, since anonymity is not necessary for testing vitamins, you should use a normal commercial lab.
  • Can you tell me if my generic / Indian / Canadian / etc. pharmaceutical is the same as the name brand? Answer: No, not really. This program is set up for providing basic analysis for controlled street drugs. You will get a list of identified drugs in the sample with ratios, just like every other result from DrugsData. You will not get amounts/dose, nor a list of binders or inactive agents such as sugars, salts, etc. If knowing that your Internet Avodart or Tramadol contains dutasteride or tramadol is enough for you, then our testing might be useful. Again, the cost is $150 per pharmaceutical sample.
  • Can you tell me if a pharmaceutical sample is authentic and not a generic version? Answer: No. See previous answer about generics.
  • What forms of payment do you accept? # Answer: The lab ONLY accepts US currency or US-currency money orders. For submitters outside the US, Erowid can accept payment through our website using bitcoin, credit card, personal check, etc., but there is no streamlined system for this. You can send your payment using the Erowid DrugsData Payment Page and indicate you're paying for analysis [adjust the payment amount to match the total in co-payment that your sample(s) requires]. After we receive the co-payment, we'll send you a payment code to include on the submission form(s) that you'll include with the sample(s) to the lab. If we don't send you a code, email to ask for one; a payment code is required if you pay online. If you pay via the Erowid site, your testing is much less anonymous.
  • Can you accept bitcoin? Answer: Yes, by paying through Erowid, you can use bitpay. If you do not want to use bitpay, you will need to email to set up a payment to a bitcoin address in a specific amount. After we receive the co-payment, we'll send you a payment code to include on the submission form(s) that you'll include with the sample(s) to the lab. If we don't send you a code after payment, email to ask for one before mailing the sample; a payment code is required if you use bitcoin. If you pay with bitcoin, your testing is less anonymous than mailed cash.
  • Can you test for purity? # Answer: Probably not as you understand it. The results we are allowed to provide for anonymously submitted samples are dissolved and all sugars, salts, and metals are excluded from the analysis. After that, the dissolved sample is analyzed and the relative amounts of detected substances are given. If you mean "purity" relative to other active drugs, then yes. If you mean purity relative to diluting agents, then no. For instance, the 'purity' of powdered drugs such as cocaine usually means whether there are any salts, sugars, or other fillers, but the 'purity' of a tablet is usually considered whether a tablet contains any other drug. Our testing service can not provide quantitative results or provide information about inactive components of a sample. Read more about the testing process that DrugsData's lab uses.
  • Why do some results show actual quantities in milligrams? Answer: Besides publishing results for samples analyzed by DrugsData's lab in California, Erowid's DrugsData project republishes testing results from drug checking groups outside the U.S. that are not restricted by the DEA. In the U.S., we're not allowed to accept samples of substances and provide results with actual quantitative results (we can look at what's in a sample, but not how much of it). In Spain, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and other countries the rules are different.
  • Can I get the GC/MS output from the analysis? Answer: The lab only supplies the GC/MS output for samples they cannot identify. There are no exceptions.
  • Can the lab identify substance XXXXX? Answer: It depends. The simple answer is that anything the lab has previously detected and identified, then definitely yes. Other than that, it's very difficult to describe what can be detected and can't be. Fillers like simple sugars, salts, chalk and the like do not show up via GC/MS and our lab does not report them. Many new, novel substances will be found but not identified. We take all unidentified results and attempt to learn what they are, but often it takes months or years to identify these new substances. We have a list of all substances our project has ever detected on this year-by-year table of detected substances. Any drug we've detected before, we can detect again. And we can detect and identify thousands of other drugs as well.
  • I'm sending my sample from Canada / Britain and I'm worried about it being stopped by Customs. # Answer: We receive samples each month from outside the United States and in 18 years of running this testing program, no one has reported that a sample was seized by Customs. You can identify the contents of your mail as "analytical sample" or "lab sample" and use thin bubble wrap to keep the package as thin as possible. Thin envelopes are less subject to inspection than packages. Note that samples coming from Canada seem to take longer than anywhere else, we believe Canadian postal Customs is very slow, so add a week (or two weeks near holidays) to the amount of time you expect it to take to get to the lab.
  • How do I differentiate my sample from others that you get at the same time? Answer: You come up with a unique 5-digit alphanumeric code that you write on your submission form, and that you keep a record (a code like SX500; 99900; BTTTB, etc.). Please avoid using special characters or punctuation in your code. If you are sending in multiple samples, we recommend using a different code for each sample. We will include your unique code on the page with the result. We have never had two samples named the same thing from different places in a single batch, so this is more a theoretical problem than a real one. In the future, we are hoping to implement a new submission system that will assign a unique ID, but we do not currently have the coding capacity to implement and test this.
  • Can you test a liquid or oil sample? # Answer: No, not in liquid form. As of June 2017, our lab does not accept liquid, gummy, or oily samples. If you can evaporate a small amount (a microwave or low temperature heat) and scrape up a powder to send, that will work. If it's something more like LSD, active at very very low doses, you can drop it on a clean, white, quarter-inch square paper and send the paper (wrapped in plastic, plastic baggie, etc.), making sure to not contaminate the sample. Liquid samples are not currently allowed for complicated technical reasons. It is possible that liquid samples can be accepted for $500 per sample, though each sample would require specific permission because of the technical issues. If it is not dry and remains gloppy or sticky, the lab will not analyze the sample. We can not test soft gelcaps that contain liquid.
  • Can you test a vape cartridge for vitamin E acetate? # Answer: Unfortunately, we're not able to analyze for non-psychoactive constituents such as vitamin E acetate, cellulose, sugars, flavorants, etc. There are now some very good cannabis analytical labs in California that work directly with the public. Most will analyze cartridges, oils, and waxes. We don't know whether any have adapted their testing procedures and services to accommodate the demand for vitamin E acetate-related testing.
  • Do you know of another lab that can do this type of testing? Answer: We do not know of any U.S. lab that will accept anonymous samples and provide analytical results. We also do not know of a general purpose solid-phase (as opposed to liquid testing, like urine or blood) analysis service. If anyone knows of a service like that, in any country, please let us know. In some other countries there are systems specific to that country. In 2014, Energy Control (Spain) expanded testing services to international samples. See About Data Sources.
  • Can you test my cannabis flower, leaves, extract, or cartridge? Answer: No. California's "Cannabis legaliziaton" law has made it illegal for us to analyze cannabis products in most cases. Second, anything that's oily or gummy requires pre-authorization to send in. Please see other answers about those. For any cannabis product, the main thing we can do is tell whether there are adulterants such as synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) in the product.
  • Does the payment have to be in US Dollars?# Answer: Yes, because of the lab's limitations, payments MUST be in USD. Cash or money order (talk to your bank). We realize this is a huge inconvenience for people outside the US, but we have no option. If you are willing to pay through erowid (much less anonymous), an additional donation of $20 is required to cover the overhead of payment processing and getting the lab the money. Use Erowid's DrugsData Payments, and indicate in the notes that it is a payment for a DrugsData sample. We will send you back instructions. Sorry for the annoyance, we wish there were a better solution.
  • Can I pay via credit card?# Answer: Yes, but this is much less anonymous. If you are willing to pay through Erowid, you can use a credit card or Paypal, but an additional donation of $20 is required to cover the overhead of payment processing and getting the lab the money. Use Erowid's DrugsData Payments, double-check the co-pay amount + $20 is correct, and indicate in the notes that it is a payment for an DrugsData sample. We will send you back instructions. Sorry for the annoyance, we wish there were a better solution.
  • Can the results be expedited or completed faster?#. Answer: No. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the results. Making sure your sample arrives at the lab as quickly as possible is the only thing that can speed up the results, though paying for overnight shipping could still result in having to wait 3-4 weeks (sometimes longer) between sending the sample and the results being posted to the site. Occasionally it can take 4-5 weeks around the holidays. Check the News section of DrugsData's front page for current turnaround estimates. Unforeseeable can delays occur.
  • Do people use a real return address on the envelope?#. Four options (USA locations): Use the address of a local post office, a local UPS store that has mail boxes, a blank return address, or (our recomendation) put the lab's address as the return address as well as the "to" address.

    For international mail, one should use a valid local address that would not endanger anyone else. In the US, "general delivery" at a local post office is a valid address. An abbreviated real name (initials only) and the address of a local business that accepts mail for people may be a valid address in your country. If you're less concerned about losing the sample (for example if you paid online and there's no cash in the envelope), you could consider other options, such as a fictional return address in a nearby town.
  • Can you test LSD/Acid? # Answer: Yes, as long as it's in a dry form. Please send blotter, dry gel-tab, or tablet, don't send a liquid sample. LSD is a complex molecule with four nearly identical isomers, only one of which is the active chemical known as d-LSD or "Acid". The lab's GC/MS testing process cannot differentiate between those isomers and may not be able to differentiate LSD from lumi-LSD and other nearly identical breakdown products. Our lab can differentiate LSD and LSD-like substances from the NBOMes, DOx-compounds (DOI, DOM, DOC, etc), "fly" substances, 5-MeO-AMT, and other compounds with very different structures. We can rule out 1P-LSD and 1B-LSD from d-LSD (the traditional LSD) as of 2017.
  • Can you identify what's in a tablet based on a photo or description? # Answer: No. Never. Our program analyzes and collects lab analysis of samples. We cannot identify the contents of a tablet, capsule, blotter or powder from a photo or description. Although most tablets with the identical imprints are made in batches, it is also common for copycat tablets or styles to be made. One blue Transformers tablet might contain MDMA and another might not. We suggest forums and community discussions like Reddit and as well as getting reagent testing kits and using those to help rule in and rule out certain substances. But, practically, there is no way to positively identify the contents of a tablet from a photo or description.
  • Can you test for heavy metals like lead or mercury? # Answer: No. Our lab does not do tests for heavy metals. If you believe your sample contains heavy metals, there are many labs that specialize in that. Take a small amount of the material you want tested and send it to them asking for a heavy metals analysis. There are also some home tests for lead, arsenic, and mercury that can be purchased online. You dissolve your sample in water and then test the water with and without your sample. Some ground water contains metals, so you have to confirm that the starting water doesn't contain them to begin with.
  • What do you guys do with the drugs once you test them? # Answer: They are locked up for later disposal. With most samples, there is material left over after an analysis. Whatever is not destroyed in the GC/MS process is stored by our lab for secure disposal after one year, following the protocol defined by the lab's DEA license. This permits the lab to re-test a sample, potentially several times, if circumstances call for a re-test. That one year count-down begins once the sample is originally received in the mail, regardless of when any re-test happens.

If you want information about sending in a sample for testing, please see the Send Tablet page. For other comments and questions, you can use this form or email us at info at drugsdata dot org.