Molly, a.k.a. MDMA or Ecstasy, is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that is often used and abused by teens and young adults, particularly at parties or other social settings. How long does molly stay in your system – usually asked by those with an impending drug test – depends on several factors. Let’s take a look.

gloved hand holding a drug test kit.

From illegal drugs to prescribed medications and alcohol, millions of individuals and their families struggle with the effects of drug use and addiction every year. But like any other “trend,” the drugs people most commonly abuse tend to flux and change over time. 

According to researchers and licensed medical professionals, problematic abuse of hallucinogenic drugs has been on the rise since 2015. But surprisingly, it is in the “26 and up” age group. Conversely, there’s been a decrease in the use of hallucinogens in adolescents aged 12-17.

Hallucinogenic Drugs

Hallucinogenic drugs, also known as hallucinogens or dissociative drugs, are some of the most commonly abused substances in the United States today

Generally, people seek hallucinogenic substances to alter their perceptions of the world around them. And in many cases, people use hallucinogens almost nonchalantly, with the belief that there are limited adverse effects. However, most do not realize that the effects of drug abuse can stay with you long after the immediate effects of the drug wear off. 

Using MDMA may seem like fun and harmless. But Molly can stay in your system and wreak havoc on your physical and mental health conditions for extended periods.

What is Molly?

Molly is a dissociative synthetic drug, otherwise known as Ecstasy or MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine.)

As a stimulant drug that speeds up the central nervous system, MDMA has historically been known as a party drug or club drug. It increases brain activity, resulting in high energy and alertness, heightened senses and visual distortions, and increased empathy. Ecstasy users have been heavily associated with the electronic dance music scene (EDM) and risky sexual activity.

It is taken orally as a capsule or tablet, though some individuals ingest it in liquid form or snort it as a powder. The name Molly is slang for “molecular,” coming from the belief that it was made of pure MDMA in crystalline powder form. Unfortunately, most Molly is cut with other drugs like synthetic cathinones (bath salts)

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), street names for Molly include:

Adam, Beans, Biscuit, Clarity, Disco Biscuit, E, Eve, Go, Hug Drug, Lover’s Speed, MDMA, Peace, STP, X, XTC.

brightly colored and stamped pills.

Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms

Molly increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and seratonin in the brain. These chemicals increase energy, heart rate, and blood pressure, as well as affect mood, appetite, sleep, sexual arousal, and trust.

Common side effects of Molly use include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Increased energy
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea 
  • Muscle tension
  • Jaw clenching
  • Chills
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings

Some effects of MDMA can be felt up to a week, even after moderate use. These include:

  • Changes in libido 
  • Memory issues
  • Attention problems 
  • Sleep issues
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness and aggression
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

And of course, any drug abuse can have life-threatening consequences. Molly is no exception. 

The longer an individual uses Molly, the more their brain and body will adapt, resulting in decreased effects and an increased need for higher doses. Taking too much, along with the very high probability of it being cut with other deadly drugs, exponentially increases the risk of MDMA overdose and possible death.

If you’ve noticed an increased desire, cravings, or withdrawal symptoms, you may have formed a MDMA addiction. The good news is that addiction treatment options are available.

person sitting in the middle of a forest of tall trees with their head in their hands.

How Long Does Molly Stay in Your System?

Like other drugs, the amount of time Molly can be detected in a person’s system depends on a variety of personal factors including the presence of other drugs, metabolism, existing health issues, etc.

Typically, Molly’s effects can be felt within 30-45 minutes after initial use and can last 3-6 hours depending on the potency of the dosage taken.

Half-Life and Drug Metabolism

Simply put, half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half of a drug dose to be eliminated from your body. This information is commonly utilized to determine when the second drug dose is needed to continue feeling effects. But it can also help determine approximately how long ago a drug was taken.

MDMA is moderately slow eliminating. Molly’s half-life is about eight hours after ingestion. Meaning, it can take about 40 hours for over 95% of the drug to be cleared out of your body. 

This also means there’s a relatively large window for which Molly can be easily detected in your system. Even then, a few drug testing methods have a much longer detection window.

Detection Window of Molly in Drug Tests

Molly can stay detectable in your system a few hours after the dose has worn off, up to three months (or more) after your last use! Much of this depends on personal and even environmental factors, but also on the type of test being used.

How much Ecstasy was taken, the purity, combination with other substances, what foods were eaten, and even how much water an individual drank, can all affect the detection times of Molly on common drug tests. Some tests, like hair sampling, can even be affected by exposure to chemicals in your environment.

Let’s take a look at the specifics of each type of drug test and the different detection windows.

chart showing Molly detection windows on various drug tests.

Due to the variety of influencing elements and types of tests, the information in the graph is not definitive and is based on reported averages.

Urine Tests

Typically mandated for employment, athletics, court obligation, or addiction treatment, urine tests are the most commonly used drug tests as they are simple, economical, and widely available. However, most “typical” urine tests won’t detect hallucinogens and specialty drugs like Ecstasy.

That said, the detection window of MDMA in a specialty urine test is generally within 2 hours and up to 4 days after use. (1, 2)

Blood Tests

Blood tests have the shortest detection windows and are more commonly used in emergency situations as they require trained personnel to administer.

Molly reaches peak levels in the bloodstream about 2 hours after ingestion but traces of the drug can be detected in blood for up to 1-2 days. (1, 2)

Saliva Test (Oral Fluid)

In some saliva tests, Molly can be detected within 15 minutes of use. Testing is most reliable within 6 hours after administration, however, controlled studies have shown an individual can test positive up to 2 days after use. (1, 2)

Sweat Tests

Though not as commonly used, sweat tests are a very effective and economical form of drug testing. Sweat wipes (Drugwipe) are a rapid on-site testing solution that consists of swabbing the armpit for a set amount of seconds. Molly can be detected in sweat using a wipe within 1.5 hours and up to 12 hours after the last dose. (1, 2)

Sweat patches, on the other hand, are worn on the skin for up to 14 days and show any MDMA use within that entire time frame. Patches are used primarily in court cases. (1)

Hair Tests

Hair testing has the longest detection window of all other drug tests. The most common hair testing methods can detect Molly as early as 30 days and up to three months after use.

However, some tests can detect MDMA in hair follicles for 6 months or even a year after use. Body hair, for example, is slow growing and has a much longer detection timeframe (1, 2).

Nonetheless, there are quite a few factors such as hair color, shaving/baldness, or environmental contamination, that make hair testing impractical or difficult.

blood test vials.

Substance Use Treatment Options with St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP)

As much fun as it may seem, Molly can ruin your life. Despite the dangers of the illicit drug, millions of people partake in its recreational use and fall victim to addiction or overdose.

The good news is that an Ecstasy addiction is treatable. You don’t need to feel dependent on Molly to have a good time. Life can be just as enjoyable without illegal drugs.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers like St. John’s Recovery Place are here to help people like you and your loved ones heal! Using comprehensive, holistic approaches to addiction recovery, SJRP helps hundreds of people each year rediscover themselves, mend their broken spirits, learn new hobbies, and create new supportive relationships.

If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use disorder and want a chance to heal in mind, body, and spirit, SJRP may be the perfect place to embark on the recovery journey!

Call us today and speak with one of our addiction treatment specialists to find out more about what treatment options are available for you 833-397-3422.