Simon’s Research Chemicals Guide

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There is a lot of talk about research chemicals, designer drugs  (a.k.a bath salts, chems  etc.) since the UK legal drug ban in 2016.

Legal highs is just simply an umbrella term, which encompasses all the different chemicals, plants, mixtures which are legal to use and will get you “high”.

But before we go any further, it’s important to clear the air, you must understand the difference between the two main groups of legal highs:

Research chemicals definition: Research chemicals (a.k.a designer drugs, synthetics, chems, bath salts etc..) are slightly altered forms of illegal narcotics or chemically altered forms of the main active ingredients of psychoactive plants. Research chemicals are untested, unsafe and their effects are largely unknown. The sole reason why these synthetic drugs were created is to overcome legislation and narcotics laws in an effort to make money. When legislations catch up, they just make a slight change in the chemical composition (,which can radically alter the effects of these drugs!).

The products are sold as incense, bath salts, potpourri and are strictly not meant for human consumption. Yet that’s why people buy them. Even people under 18 could easily get a hold of these products offline or online.

/Herbal incense (a.k.a herbal potpourri) belong in this category. These are herbal mixtures meant for smoking, which have no psychoactive properties on their own. They are sprinkled with an unknown mixture of research chemicals to get you high (or make you sick, as is often the case)./

Entheogens (a.k.a ethnobotanicals) definition: The legal highs in this category are natural plants and plant extracts. These herbal legal highs have been used ceremonially and recreationally by humans for thousands of years and are part of our collective cultural heritage. They have been rediscovered in the century and are sold online all over the the Western World. The best known entheogens are Marijuana, Salvia divinorum, Kratom, Ephedra, Kanna and Kava kava but there are many more.

Because these plants have been used for hundreds of years, their effects, their main active ingredients are well studied and understood. A safe dosage has been established, and the long term effects are known in most cases.

The media, and politicians don’t make this very important distinction between the two. The direct result of this was the UK legal high ban.


I’ve been purchasing legal highs online for 10 years, and I have been blogging about them for 4 years. I personally met the owners of two of the biggest legal high shops online. All this accumulated experience over the years has taught me to avoid synthetic legal highs and the people who sell them. For the following reasons:

  • people selling research chemicals are often criminals already known to the authorities (allegedly they often have organized crime connections as well, according to most online news sites)
  • research chemical vendors do not know what’s in the package they are selling, and they don’t care, they are in for the quick buck only (if you don’t believe me ask any online vendor selling pre-packaged legal highs next time)
  • the overwhelming majority of designer drugs come from Chinese laboratories (not known for their quality standards, many of these laboratories are not licensed)
  • 90% of the websites selling research chemicals online are a scam, they will rip you off (don’t believe me, check the comments in the blacklist section, all of the complaints are about research chemical vendors, some very serious, at least one person mentioned receiving death threats)
  • research chemicals are almost exclusively bought by the unsavoury elements of society: junkies, homeless people, poor people, addicts, uneducated people etc..
  • the short and long term effects of designer drugs, apart from a few internet testimonials (,which you can hardly trust) is not known

No wonder legal highs have such a bad reputation, if for most people they are synonymous with synthetic drugs and the people who sell them.
However, these do not apply to vendors selling natural legal highs!

Here are main differences between entheogens and designer drugs:

 Legal highs:  research chemicals vs. entheogens

Research chemicals Entheogens
Extensively tested:no, not tested before sellingyes, have been used for hundreds of years, effects are well understood
Safe dosage known:noyes
Can people under 18 buy it:yes, because it’s “not for human consumption” + many of them only accept anonymous payment methods online (Bitcoin, Dwolla, Western Union), which means anyone can buy itno, strictly only for people aged 18+, requires credit card and age verification online
Information available online:very little, research chemicals come and go quicklyyes, extensive
Quality control:no, made in shady labs in China, manufacturers are not knownyes, the production process is regulated, manufacturers, growers are known
Ingredients known:never in case of pre-packaged legal highs, you never know what’s exactly in it, ask the vendor next time, they don’t even knowyes, and can easily be tested without laboratory equipment
False advertising, unethical marketing:all the time, lying is common offline and online, scams are prevalentsome, but you can find reliable info online easily

In my opinion the biggest difference between the word of synthetics and psychoactive plants is the attitude of the buyers and vendors. It’s like they are the opposite side of the coin.

  • The synthetic crowd is uneducated, lacks the culture of responsible legal high use, they are only interested in how close these chems mimic the effects of illegal drugs, and many of them are actual ex-junkies. The vendors are only interested in making as much money as possible with no regard for human life. No wonder they give legal highs a bad name.
  • The natural legal high enthusiast are usually more educated, more responsible, more cautious and have much more experience with legal high in general. Shops selling entheogens often grow their own in greenhouses, they are very knowledgeable about their products and they are interested in the long-term satisfaction of buyers.

Obviously there are irresponsible people and scammers on both sides. But this is my understanding after 10+ years of exposure to the legal high community.

I only wish the media, the politicians and most importantly, the people would understand the huge difference between the world of synthetic legal highs and the entheogen scene. But this is  unlikely to happen as long as the so called “experts”, who are in charge of creating the legislations and regulations are so far removed from the actual legal high community.

But one thing’s for certain, avoid research chemicals! Avoid the people using them, and avoid the people selling them!

/Btw., because many of you have asked me: I do support the regulation and the total ban of untested, unsafe research chemicals in the UK, in 2016. I only wish they would have made natural psychoactive plants exempt from this ban. After all, it is entirely clear the reason for this ban were the brick & mortar head shops selling designer drugs, not herbal entheogens.

These measurements will certainly help to curb the use of dangerous designer drugs, which is definitely a good thing. However, many of the people now (for the reasons outlined above, especially the section just right under the table) many of the users will switch to illegal, dangerous narcotics, instead of switching to safer, natural alternatives, which are now also illegal./


Research chemicals, bath salts, designer drugs – FAQ


Because the people who purchase research chemicals online often attack me for my views, I collected the most common arguments used to refute my claims.

Effects are known, I’ve read about them in a forum.

Since when do we trust anonymous online testimonials? I can go on that forum and publish 10 trip reports entirely fabricated describing the exact opposite. Not to mention, how do you know it was not the manufacturer who is posting there. Don’t trust anonymous online reports.

Research chemicals are no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes, actually much more people die from alcohol.

It doesn’t matter how many people die from alcohol or cigarettes in total. You have to compare the deaths per 1000 people directly attributed to alcohol or tobacco with deaths attributed to designer drugs. However, due to the clandestine nature of research chemicals such data is not available. So, the entire discussion is pointless.

Not all online head shops selling research chemicals are a SCAM, my order arrived, exactly what I ordered and I was happy with it. 

First of all, I never said all of them are a SCAM, I said 90%. Also, I have no way of knowing, whether what you say is true or not. You might just be lucky and was not yet ripped off, or it’s a store, that belongs to the 10%. Either way, I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove.

You are only against research chemicals, because online shops selling entheogens advertise on your blog.

Exactly the opposite is true. I could easily triple the ad revenue of my website by letting research chemical vendors advertise on my blog. I get 2-3 offers per month, but I don’t allow them, because I’m against it. And this is why only shops selling ethnobotanicals are on the website.

Not all research chemical vendors sell packaged crap like “Black Mamba”, or “Scooby Snacks”. Sure, you don’t know what’s in those, the seller doesn’t know it either, and the buyers don’t care. I agree. However, many of the better shops let you choose the exact molecule you want to order.

I have to admit, this comment I received was the best so far. I agree, chem shops, which lets you exactly select the molecule you would like to order are usually the better ones, the 10%, the few legit shops. If I would order chems online again I would use them.

However, the problem is still there. You don’t know – without access to laboratory equipment – that what you get is what you ordered, or how pure it actually is. It comes down to trust, and if you trust research chemical vendors your trust is misplaced. Obviously IMO. If you want to risk it, it’s your life (and death…). I wouldn’t.

This is stupid. Everyone knows you can buy illegal drugs and the best chems on the darknet. Who is stupid enough to do it openly.

This is a legal high blog. We are not discussing illegal narcotics, or the online black market here. Sure, you can buy all those things on the darknet. But that is illegal, and we are not discussing illegal things here, at all.


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Last updated: 2016-08-20

Stay safe, always!

Article Name
What you need to know about Research Chemicals, Designer Drugs and Bath Salts
Essential information and facts about research chemicals, designer drugs, bath salts to help people make the right choice.
Simon's Online Marketing Kft.

11 thoughts on “Simon’s Research Chemicals Guide”

  1. Researchpeptide says:

    Research chemicals are dangerous. They should be used only in laboratory settings. Research chemicals have not been tested on humans yet, so they are not available to the public or even to regular doctors to prescribe (Yet you can buy them online legally, illegally, semi-illegally based on the chemical/country in question, or mixed into pre-packaged legal high products).

    A research chemical has to go through many different trials and experiments before it can be approved to be used on human subjects. Once the research chemicals have gone through human trials, then they will be considered for federal approval.

  2. Chris Glenn says:

    Hi Simon,
    I live in the US, and although Marijuana is actually becoming legal fairly rapidly all around our country I live in a state where it is still illegal. I suffer from chronic joint and back pain due to a variety of sports injuries and a major auto accident in which I broke my back a few years ago. I can not, and will not acquiesce to the modern medicine method of popping a bunch of pills that may or may not help but bring with them many many adverse side effects. So far marijuana and even the fake or synthetic stuff has been the only tried and true method to help ease my pain. After reading about the research chemicals and their unknown side effects and ingredients I could not agree more. I decided after reading your blog (yes almost all 20 pages in one sitting) to go the all natural route as I have only been able to obtain the synthetic stuff for the last couple of years or so. I placed my first order this morning through both a UK and a US vendor. I tried the Brick Wall first as that seems like it would be the most potent mix. As soon as I receive and try these products I will give you my honest feedback. I am very excited to try these as I have felt the side effects of the “fake stuff” and agree that those are too big of risk to continue to use. Not to mention a huge expense. Thank you very much for putting together this information free of cliches and the normal stigmatizms that normally go with the legal high sites, and for cutting through the BS that those other sites try to push by saying that their products actually work, when I can tell you first hand, they don’t.
    More to come my new friend!
    Good luck and peace to all!
    -Chris in Annapolis

    1. As a “newbie”, I too agree completely. Right now, to me, this information is invaluable. I hope that anyone who lives with chronic pain finds the combination of products that produce truly effective, pleasurable and safe relief. Take care. Randy

  3. This thread seems to be extremely ill-Informed. As a pharmacologist, with specific expertise in pharmokinetics, i would have to say that I am pretty learned on the subject of drugs. And as an entheogen user, you can understand my inspiration and interest in pharmacology. The news report on 2C – E is so unbelievably incorrect, I genuinely question its legitimacy.I believe that any drug, so long as it isn’t intrinsically toxic, can be safely taken (given that the individual isn’t hypersensitive) without major adverse effects. Also if I were to comment on all the other parts of this page, I would easily be able to write at least 20 pages debunking the statements displayed here, providing I had enough MDMA to type for that long 😉 You cannot generalize legal highs, research chemicals or designer drugs to be all intrinsically bad, The only time drugs become truly dangerous, is when they fall into the hands of Idiots who don’t know what they are doing. Don’t try and talk about things that you evidently have no real knowledge on. It just makes you look stupid, to all the intellectuals anyway.

    1. If you want to talk more on the subject, email me, but I would suggest allowing my comments to be shown on the page, unless you change the contents in a way that will actually give an accurate representation of research chemicals, they aren’t all bad, MDMA was a research chemical once, same with LSD, and the bad effects caused by these are unquestionably over – exaggerated by the media.

      1. I do not doubt the exaggeration by media. That’s definitely true and happens all the time. As for “they aren’t all bad” is also true, but the average buyer is not a pharmacologist, with specific expertise in “pharmokinetics” (pharmacokinetics) like you, so they won’t be able to tell the difference.

    2. “The only time drugs become truly dangerous, is when they fall into the hands of Idiots who don’t know what they are doing.”

      This is true for everything, I agree. Just don’t forget, the average buyer is not a pharmacologist, with specific expertise in pharmacokinetics.You represent a very tiny fraction of the people, who purchase research chemicals online. And I’m afraid to add to the post that if you have the necessary knowledge, and experience you can use chems responsibly. If I would add that all the “Idiots who don’t know what they are doing” – as you put it, would think they know what they are doing, just because they read anonymous forum posts and a couple of Wikipedia pages. You have no idea how irresponsible the average research chemical user is.

    3. @Ben As a neurobiologist, I understand your concerns about certain pharmaceuticals from a medical perspective. As a professional who does a great deal of writing (lectures, journal articles, 2 texts) I would have chosen to use better erudition if I were you. Despite your obviously superior intellectual level (which you remind us of repeatedly in your discourse), you seem to be oblivious of the fundamental concept that every message contains two components. There is the “process” and there is the “content”. The content consists of the words that you first think, then write or speak. The process is the communicative intent of the message you are trying to convey (e.g. educate, inform, assist, etc.). This includes the non-verbal components of your message – facial expression, tone of voice, inflection, intonation, affect, relating style, etc. I think that, even if the information you provide (with, BTW, no empirical evidence to support your rather sweeping claims) were accurate, (i.e. the content is correct), you do yourself and your readers a major disservice by reason of the process that you choose. While you may be under the mistaken notion that many of your comments are about other people (your readers – “…idiots who don’t know what they are doing” – the reality is that you are telling us much more about yourself than, say, the “intellectual capacity” of your readers. I believe you said that you are a pharmacologist. My guess is that you earned a Bachelor’s degree to become a pharmacist. When your professional organization decided several years ago to “upgrade” (with absolutely no additional study) your Bachelor’s to a doctoral degree, you now see yourself as a pharmacologist, a Pharm.D. Even though you did not actually earn the degree. My guess is that, in truth and in reality, you are still a Bachelor’s level pharmacist. You don’t write in a style that reflects 4 additional years of solid graduate level coursework, completion of a dissertation, satisfactory completion of an oral examination, and a lengthy written examination. I may be wrong, however, even though “intelligence” is a big word with you, you don’t reflect it in your writing. In fact, much of your “professional writing” strikes me as a bit sophomoric. During 50 years of working in healthcare, I have known many pharmacists (and real pharmacologists and psychopharmacologists). Your style of writing does not seem to be on a par with that of someone who had EARNED a doctorate in pharmacology. There are some gaps in your observations (e.g. generalizations), unprofessional criticism, etc. For example, nowhere have I read a generalization that claims that “…legal highs, research chemicals or designer drugs [are] all intrinsically bad. The only time drugs become truly dangerous is when they fall into the hands of idiots who do not know what they are doing. Very professional – but you’re not done with your little diatribe. “Don’t try and talk about things that you evidently have no real knowledge [of]. It just makes you look stupid, to all the intellectuals anyway.” What intellectuals are you referring to? If you could be specific, you would be. This is pure B.S.

      From this sample of your writing (and thinking), I would suggest that you spend less time rolling and counting pills, and more time improving your interpersonal skills. By the way, exactly who are “…all the intellectuals…” that you are referring to. Obviously, without the grace of humility as a part of your professional training, you count yourself among that ill defined group of “intellectuals”.

      A major tenet of general semantics (I’m sure you are familiar with this discipline given your demonstrated intellectual prowess) is the fact that, when we think we are telling others about someone else, we are, in fact and simultaneously telling others about ourselves as well. Hence, the significance and the value of the psychiatric interview.

      You tell us that you would HAVE to say that you are pretty learned on the subject of drugs. Your principal area of interest is, no doubt, pills or medicines, not your relationships with other people. Your comments provide more than ample proof of the validity of that observation. In other words, you are a “thing” or a “pill” person, not a “people person”. I find it odd that you chose to work in healthcare with colleagues and patients. You even tell us of the “interest” and “inspiration” [you derive from] pharmacology. I understand that. I have had a love affair for 50 years with my areas of specialization. However, sadly, you seem a bit unbalanced as you consistently display an abysmal lack of relational skills. I would guess that courses and texts in the behavioral sciences would definitely not be your cup of tea. So through the process of your communication, you have given little or no thought as to how your words affect your readers. You tell us that you would “…have to say…” that you are “…pretty learned on the subject of drugs.” – and that may be true (though including that observation in your comments is anything but flattering or in good taste professionally. Why do you “…have to say…” anything. Is this autobiographical or pseudo-scientific? You are obviously unaware of the disservice you do yourself as a professional through your expressive language behavior. My guess is that it affects your relationships with others as well. Exactly who are “…all the intellectuals…” that you are referring to? Your process throughout lacks content. Even if the information you offer has value, the manner in which you present it (e.g. arrogant, superior, etc.) detracts from whatever truly valuable information you are trying to communicate. It is literally lost in the telling. To me, there is an unmistakable element of superiority and arrogance that is simply not warranted. My impression is that you are an angry person who, for whatever reason(s) has difficulty communicating reasonably with reasonable people in a constructive, mutually beneficial way. I believe that you have an issue with your intelligence and your academic accomplishments. I have not read a comment from anyone here that warrants your superior, “I am more intelligent than you” attitude. Your relating style needs a lot of work. Before people listen to what you say, you turn them off. You are obviously ignorant of the communicatively significant dictum penned by Marshal McLuen: The medium is the message. Ponder that; give it a few minutes thought. Continue to shoot yourself in the foot with your own weapon if you wish, but please spare us the condescending attitude and belittling remarks. Consider their source. My guess is that you know very few members of this group, either personally or professionally. Your remarks say much more about the kind of person you are than they say about your readers. To me, they are the ramblings of a pseudo-intellectual snob with an active personality or characterological disorder. Do you have anything positive to offer, or is your theme generally derogatory? Does that make you feel good? Perhaps superior to “…those idiots who do not know what they are doing…”

      By the way, Mr. Intellectual, there is no such area in pharmacology in which you claim to have “…specific expertise”. I believe the correct spelling is “pharmacokinetic”, not “pharmokinetic”. From both personal and professional points of view, I am so grateful that you are not a member of the faculty at the medical school at which I teach and conduct published research in recognized medical journals. Since you feel qualified to give advice to people whom you do not know, I will follow your shaky lead. I think you need to spend less time counting and rolling pills, and learn the correct spelling of your area of specialization. Perhaps you’ve been going through the wrong door. At any rate, it is spelled pharmacokinetic, not “pharmokinetic”. You might try spelling it every morning when you brush your teeth) and spend more time on just being a good, kind, compassionate, contributing member of our society. You are, after all, a healthcare professional. What does that mean to you? Despite your real or imagined intellectual stature, there will be an endless supply of pharmacists to replace you and your cerebral cortex once you are no longer a member of the quick. You can do better than this.

      Dr. Randall Smith, M.S., Ph.D., Sc.D.
      Professor of Neuroscience and Bio-Communication

  4. Jawaad Rashid says:

    Could anyone point me in the direction of a LEGIT, LEGAL, AND REPUTABLE bath salt vendor ?? 🙁

    1. I think there is something also wrong with elephantos. The site calls
      Phone number: +31 624230891
      I’ve payed and orderded my order since a big week and a weekend and I still didn’t receive it?
      What have I to do now,
      Should I make some actions already and could you check this also once out for me please?

      Because I’ve payed much money for it and I like to have my order very soon now or can have my money back.

      By tha way, fair is fair I suppose, isn’t?



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