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MDAI whose full name is 5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane is a non-neurotoxic and highly selective serotonin releasing agent (SSRA) in vitro and produces empathogen as well as entactogen effects in humans. It can become a beneficial molecule in the experiencing of higher Levels of Consciousness and enhanced Empathy. Given the possible neurotoxic effects of certain empathogen-enactogens such as MDA, molecules such as MDAI are being looked at for their potential in being alternatives, in the form of medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational usage in a legal manner. It is very important for more research to be conducted on this molecular compound, so that there is a better understanding of any other risks and/or benefits that may exist. The use of the chemical MDAI, although generally considered safe given the available research, is a very young compound which requires personal discretion and proper responsibility.

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MDAI was synthesized in the 1990s by Dr. David Nichols, who works at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Purdue University and is also president and co-founder of Heffter Research Institute. This moleceule acts as a non-neurotoxic and highly selective serotonin releasing agent (SSRA) in animals and as a putative empathogen in humans. Other molecules that are closely related to it are MMAI (5-methyl-6-methoxy-2- aminoindane), MDMAI (5,6- methylenedioxy-(N-methyl)-2-aminoindane), and MDAT (6,7-Methylenedioxy-2-aminotetralin). It is not an analog of anything because the closing of a ring in chemistry is beyond the scope of any definition of chemical analog. MDAI is legal because aminoindans themselves are not illegal. The common administration method is orally. Insufflation is possible, however it will cause MDAI to be less effective. The taste is extremely bitter, even surpassing the bitterness of the molecule it is often compared to, MDMA. As of 2010, no known studies have found long-term reductions of serotonergic markers, making this a safer alternative to other empathogen-enactogens.


Currently, MDAI can be found in a few different colors. The reason for this relates to the purity of the MDAI in question. When completely pure, the color should be pure white (99.5%+ purity). This is not limited to MDAI alone, but is the case with most β-ketones such as Methylone, Mephedrone, Butylone, and MDPV as well as aminoindane analogs such as MMAI and MDMAI. When the level of purity is 95-99% it will appear brown in color. The difference in potency is negligible and the difference in contaminants and byproducts of the synthesis are still being debated.


The reported average, or common, dose is around 200-300mg, although this is subject to debate as there are not enough experience reports or scientific studies to state with full certainty and confidence as to what is the general average dose for the experiencing of the full effects.


  • Onset: 20-30 min
  • Peak: 60-90 min
  • Comedown: 60-90 min


Since it selectively releases serotonin in the brain, but has little effect on dopamine or noradrenaline levels, it can produce empathogenic effects but without any stimulant action. It can instead have a somewhat sedating effect, as some have reported spontaneous yawning without cause. In other words, this is far more of a "cuddle puddle" molecule than a "dance all night" molecule and so those individuals who are looking to use MDAI in a dance party atmosphere will be generally disappointed. There is potential for MDAI in the strengthening of a bond between two people with tremendous energetic output of a higher level among other applications, but as far as dancing until the sun rises MDAI alone will probably not satisfy such a desire. The touchy-feely experience from MDA and MDMA is definitely present with MDAI and may even be moreso than in those molecules. Musical harmonics are intensified and sound incredible. One feels the urge to dance yet may not have the energy to do so. It has been reported by some that there is sometimes mild nausea that is experienced. Feelings of sensuality and sexuality are heightened and in connection to this, has been reported to act as an aphrodisiac. There is tolerance buildup just as there is for the more commonly-known molecule MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Although colors are intensified and more surreal at higher doses, there is incredible mental clarity and euphoria.

Spiritual and Transpersonal Effects

As with the highly popular MDA and MDMA empathogen-enactogens, MDAI is able to assist in the creation of a fundamental shift in one's consciousness. The Transpersonal effects are profound, in that the individual feels a deeper sense of empathy with others. There is a feeling of cohesive unity, interconnectedness, and oneness experienced as well. Such feelings are able to further validate one's beliefs concerning the nature of Reality, which is one of integral unity and oneness among all localized fields of consciousness and with every manifestation of consciousness within reality. The ego is minimized during an MDAI experience and love is the primary state of consciousness a person experiences. This love is unconditional and without boundaries. The releasing of serotonin in larger than usual amounts is certainly a crucial aspect of this experience, but it is not the only determining factor in experiencing these spiritual and transpersonal feelings. Partaking in a Meditation while having an MDAI experience can assist in one's awareness becoming expanded to realizing the oneness and interconnectedness among everyone. It can bring about realizations that the ego is the cause of all societal ills in humanity. MDAI can become the primary catalyst for change within a person who has such an experience.

Similar SSRAs

There are other non-neurotoxic selective serotonin releasing agents that are similar to MDAI. They are the following:

  • MDMAI (5,6- methylenedioxy-(N-methyl)-2-aminoindane)
  • MMAI (5-methyl-6-methoxy-2- aminoindane)
  • Methylone (1-(3,4- methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(N-methyl) aminopropan-1-one)
  • BK-MBDB (1-(3,4- methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(N-methyl) aminobutan-1-one)
  • A pharmaceutical formulation containing a combination of these compounds


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