How to detect cuts?

While reagent testing works great using multiple reagents and pure samples, it doesn’t always work well for samples with cuts. The best way to detect mixed in adulterants (cuts) is to send a sample to a laboratory substance analysis service (like Energy Control). There are however also other, limited methods, that can be used in home or party settings: TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) and reagent testing.


Reagent testing

Reagent testing works by pouring 1-2 drops of a reagent test onto a small sample (● this much) and comparing the happening color change reaction with instructions. This method is limited by possible false positives – substances that react in a similar way. With most reagents, it can also be hard to tell if more substances are reacting at once, or just one. 

To detect cuts using reagent tests make sure you know:

  1. What adulterant you are looking for
  2. What reagent reacts to a preferably dark, vibrant color with the adulterant
  3. Which reagent can work better at detecting the adulterant than the main ingredient

It is particularly useful to pair universal reagents, that react with 500+ substances (like Marquis, Mecke), with more selective ones, that might not react with the desired substance at all but indicate other (like Zimmermann, Scott, Simon’s or Robadope).

To detect novel synthetic stimulants in MDMA, supplement the MDMA Test Kit with the Zimmermann reagent, that can distinguish between synthetic Cathinones. 

To detect 2C-x, PMA or Amphetamine cuts, use as secondary reagents the Simon’s and Robadope tests, which both react with mutually exclusive groups of substances (secondary and primary amines, e.g. Meth, MDMA, PMMA, MMC vs Amphetamine, MDA, PMA, 2C-x).



See the full list of guides (with pictures) on how to detect cuts:

How to detect AMPHETAMINE?
How to detect CATHINONES?
How to detect LEVAMISOLE?
How to detect LIDOCAINE?
How to detect PMA/PMMA?
How to detect FENTANYL?
How to detect NBOMe?
How to detect DOC?
How to detect MDA?

Detecting cuts using reagents

The chart below will help you decide which reagent might be most useful in your particular scenario:

Find all the required information in our apps, videos or charts.

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