Why You Need to Test Your Ketamine
As ketamine has become more popular, so have the number of drugs being misrepresented and sold as ketamine. These include include PCP analogues, ketamine analogues, benzodiazepines, and other novel dissociatives. DanceSafe’s ketamine kit consists of two liquids (bottle A and bottle B), known together as Morris reagent. When combined onto a small drug sample and stirred, Morris reagent turns a unique purple color in the presence of ketamine. No other drug we know of turns a similar color, making Morris reagent the first reagent capable of distinguishing ketamine from other dissociatives.
Note: Mandelin reagent has been used to test ketamine in the past, but it is often inconsistent and can produce similar reactions with many other drugs besides ketamine. We no longer recommend using Mandelin reagent to test ketamine.
Caution: We know of at least one company that also sells a version of Morris reagent. They sell primarily to law enforcement, and their product consists of small ampules that you break open inside a clear, plastic pouch. This method does not work. It does not reveal enough color detail to distinguish between various drugs, and can often produce false positives. Do not use a test tube. You must use a white, ceramic plate as your testing surface and stir the mixture as described below.
How to Test Ketamine Using Morris Reagent
On a white ceramic plate, put a drop of the pink liquid (bottle A) onto a small amount of your sample.
Next put a drop of the clear liquid (bottle B) on top of the exact same sample.
Stir the mixture with a toothpick or the sharp point of a knife for 20-30 seconds.
After stirring, compare the resulting color with the images below.
Morris reagent works differently than other reagents. Most other reagents contain acids that break down molecules through a chemical reaction, dissolving the drug entirely and producing a color change almost immediately. Morris reagent does not do this. Rather, the reagent simply comes in contact with the molecules and changes colors if those molecules belong to specific drugs (like ketamine). That’s why you need to stir the mixture after you place one drop from each bottle onto the sample. Stirring mixes the two solutions together so you can see the final color. Use a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife and stir thoroughly for 20 to 30 seconds.
Ketamine is the only drug we know of that turns purple in the end. Most drugs don’t react at all, and end up a dull green color. This dull, sea-green color is a non-reaction. It is the color you will see simply by combining one drop of each liquid together, with no drug sample at all. We call this a “blank” and you may find it useful to put a blank on your plate first, to see what it looks like. The vast majority of drugs will not react with Morris reagent, and will produce this dull green color.
When you drop the first drop onto your sample from bottle A (the pink liquid), you may see specks of blue appear, as in the photo to the right. Ignore this. Many substances will do this. It’s only after adding a drop from the second bottle and stirring that you will see the correct final color.
We tested the following novel dissociatives and only two of them, deschloro-ketamine (DCK) and 2-flouro-deschloro-ketamine (2-FDCK), reacted at all. They both turned a dark, muted blue color. All the others turned dull green, indicating a non-reaction. Here is a list of the non-reacting dissociatives we tested:
PCP • Deschloro-n-ethyl-ketamine (2-OXO-PCE) • 3-Methoxy-PCP (3-MeO-PCP) • 3-Chloro-PCP (3-Cl-PCP) • 3-Methoxy-PCE (3-MeO-PCE) • 2-Oxo-PCE (O-PCE) • Methoxpropamine (MXPr) • Methoxetamine (MXE) • Ephenidine (EPE) • Diphenidine (DPD)
Cocaine Turns Bright Blue
We tested many other common drugs with Morris reagent and none of them reacted except cocaine, which turned bright blue like the Jolly Rancher hard candy. This color reaction is distinct enough that we added Morris reagent to our cocaine testing kit.
Help Us Learn More About Morris Reagent
Although we tested a lot of drugs with Morris reagent, there may be some we haven’t tested that do turn purple like ketamine. New drugs are also constantly appearing, and some of them might react as well. (For example, we discovered that Mephedrone (4-MMC) turns dull gray, and 5-MeO-MiPT turns teal.) If you discover a drug that reacts with Morris reagent, please email a photo of the reaction to email@example.com.
A positive or negative reaction for a substance does not indicate that a drug is safe. No drug use is 100% safe.