Comprehensive Catalogue for Drug Checking: Narcotic Substances

19. Dec 2023

In the pursuit of drug checking, our Near-Infrared (NIR) device stands as a beacon of hope, offering a comprehensive catalogue for the precise identification of narcotic substances. Aimed at supporting communities and health professionals, this state-of-the-art technology is a testament to our commitment to safety and well-being.

Substance detection:

Our NIR device provides a broad-spectrum detection capability, identifying substances from common narcotics to rare psychoactive elements, underpinning its versatility in various drug checking settings. The detailed list of detectable substances is meticulously curated and regularly updated, ensuring our partners have access to the most current data.

Prominent entries from our diverse catalogue showcase our NIR device’s versatility, ranging from well-known substances such as Cocaine and Heroin to more obscure ones like 2-FDCK and 3-CMC, reflecting the device’s capacity to adapt to various drug checking needs. We maintain a thorough and frequently updated list of identifiable substances, presented in detail to ensure our partners are informed with the most current knowledge.

Our handheld NIR device allows you to identify up to 3 substances in a mixture, including cutting agents (paracetamol, caffeine) and precursors. The portable spectrometer is capable of recognizing more than 150 substances, encompassing prominent illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, MDMA, methamphetamine, and ketamine. Additionally, it can detect new psychoactive substances (NPS), cutting agents, and precursors. This device facilitates the analysis of substances and mixtures in diverse forms, including powders, pills, liquids, or botanicals (e.g., cannabis).

Ease of use is a cornerstone of our device, with a user-friendly interface that simplifies complex analysis, delivering results swiftly and reliably. For those in need of immediate identification, our technology offers a quick response, which is critical in the fast-paced environment of drug checking.

Incorporation of the Full List (as of 15.06.23)

Within our comprehensive index, you’ll notice certain substances distinguished by an asterisk (*). These marked items represent those that our current methodologies and technologies can quantify accurately. Substances marked with two asterisk (**) can only be identified in pure form.

Our constantly evolving database incorporates newly identified substances, ensuring immediate accessibility for all users.

For those requiring a more exhaustive list or specific details about our quantification processes, we invite you to connect with us. Our dedicated team is poised to offer the latest insights and support tailored to your unique requirements.

For further information or a more comprehensive list, please contact us here.

14-dmtIllicit DrugA tryptamine derivative with psychoactive properties.
2-FDCKIllicit DrugA dissociative anesthetic related to ketamine with hallucinogenic effects.
2-MMCIllicit DrugA stimulant of the cathinone class, similar to mephedrone.
2C-BIllicit DrugA psychoactive compound with hallucinogenic effects.
3-CMCIllicit DrugA stimulant of the cathinone class, known for its psychoactive effects.
3-MMAIllicit DrugA chemical with stimulant properties, structurally related to methamphetamine.
3-MMCIllicit DrugA synthetic stimulant from the cathinone family, similar in structure to mephedrone.
3,4-DMMCIllicit DrugA lesser-known psychoactive drug of the cathinone class.
4-CMCIllicit DrugA stimulant drug of the cathinone class with psychoactive effects.
4-FluoroamphetamineIllicit DrugA synthetic stimulant with mood-altering effects.
4-MEC HClIllicit DrugA chemical that is structurally related to mephedrone with stimulant effects.
4-MMC (mephedrone)Illicit DrugA synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes.
5-MeO-DiPTIllicit DrugA psychedelic tryptamine known for its hallucinogenic effects.
5-MeO-DMT freebaseIllicit DrugA powerful psychedelic tryptamine related to DMT.
5F-AB-PINACAIllicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid similar to the active components of cannabis.
5F-APINACAIllicit DrugAnother synthetic cannabinoid with effects similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
5F-MDMB-PICAIllicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid that acts as a potent agonist for the cannabinoid receptors.
5F-PB-22Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid that acts on the cannabinoid receptors with psychoactive effects.
6-APBIllicit DrugA psychoactive compound structurally similar to MDMA.
AB-CHMINACAIllicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid with effects similar to THC.
AB-FUBINACAIllicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid with a structure similar to THC, used for its psychoactive effects.
AB-PINACAIllicit DrugAnother synthetic cannabinoid known for its strong agonistic effects on cannabinoid receptors.
AKB-48Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects.
AKB-48Illicit DrugSynthetic cannabinoid designed to mimic the effects of THC.
Alpha-PhiP HClIllicit DrugPsychoactive synthetic cathinone with stimulant properties.
AM-2201Illicit DrugSynthetic cannabinoid known for its potent effects on the cannabinoid receptors.
APAAPrecursorUsed in the synthesis of amphetamine and methamphetamine.
ascorbic acidCutting AgentVitamin C, often used to dilute drugs due to its powdery form.
AspartameCutting AgentArtificial sweetener used as a cutting agent for its powder form and sweetness.
aspirinCutting AgentMedication used to reduce pain, fever, or inflammation, used to cut drugs.
baking sodaCutting AgentSodium bicarbonate, a common household item used as a cutting agent for its powder-like consistency.
benzocaineCutting AgentLocal anesthetic often used to cut cocaine for its numbing effect.
boric acidCutting AgentMild antiseptic with powdery consistency, used to cut drugs.
Buphedrone HClIllicit DrugSynthetic cathinone with stimulant effects similar to methcathinone.
buprenorphineIllicit DrugOpioid used medically for pain relief and opioid addiction treatment; abused for its euphoric effects.
ButyloneIllicit DrugPsychoactive compound from the cathinone class, similar to MDMA.
caffeineCutting AgentCentral nervous system stimulant used to cut drugs for its energy-boosting effects.
Cannabis ResinIllicit DrugConcentrated form of cannabis with high THC content.
CBD IsolateIllicit Drug/DrugPure form of cannabidiol used for therapeutic purposes, but classified as illicit in some jurisdictions.
CBG IsolateIllicit Drug/DrugPure form of cannabigerol, a cannabinoid with potential therapeutic effects.
CBN crystalsIllicit Drug/DrugCrystalline substance containing cannabinol, typically with sedative effects.
celluloseCutting AgentOrganic compound and common cutting agent due to its fibrous nature.
citric acidCutting AgentWeak organic acid used as a cutting agent, giving a sour taste.
creatineCutting AgentCompound used in muscle building, sometimes used as a cutting agent.
Cutting agentsCategoryVariarity of Substances used to dilute drugs to increase profitability or alter effects.
delta-8 THCIllicit DrugA minor cannabinoid with effects similar to delta-9 THC, though less potent.
dextrométhorphaneIllicit DrugCough suppressant with dissociative and hallucinogenic properties when abused.
diazepamIllicit DrugBenzodiazepine with sedative properties, used medically for treating anxiety; has abuse potential.
diltiazemDrugMedication used to treat hypertension and angina, not typically abused.
dimethyl sulfoneCutting AgentOrganic sulfur compound used as a cutting agent for its crystalline powder form.
dipentyloneIllicit DrugSynthetic cathinone with stimulant effects.
DMTIllicit DrugPowerful psychedelic tryptamine with hallucinogenic effects.
dormicumIllicit DrugBrand name for midazolam, a benzodiazepine with sedative effects, abused for its relaxing properties.
ephedrineIllicit DrugStimulant and decongestant used to prevent low blood pressure during anesthesia; has potential for abuse.
fentanyl**Illicit DrugSynthetic opioid, significantly more potent than heroin, used medically for severe pain management.
fructoseCutting AgentFruit sugar used as a cutting agent due to its sweetness and powder form.
GabapentinDrugMedication used to treat seizures and neuropathic pain; has some abuse potential.
GHBIllicit DrugCentral nervous system depressant used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects.
glucoseCutting AgentSimple sugar used as a cutting agent for its solubility and sweetness.
glutamineCutting AgentAn amino acid used as a cutting agent, not known for abuse potential.
griseofulvinDrugAn antifungal drug used to treat ringworm and fungal infections of skin, nails and hair. Trade name Grisovin.
H2OSubstanceThe chemical molecular formula of water, often used in drug preparation.
HHCIllicit DrugHydrogenated THC, a cannabinoid with effects similar to delta
HydrocodoneIllicit DrugAn opioid used to treat severe pain, with high potential for addiction and abuse.
hydroxyzineDrugAn antihistamine used to treat anxiety and tension, less commonly abused.
inositolCutting AgentA carbohydrate used to cut drugs, often used due to its non-reactivity and similarity in appearance to cocaine or methamphetamine.
isopropylphenidateIllicit DrugA stimulant known to be an analog of methylphenidate (Ritalin) with similar effects.
JWH-018Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid found in ‘spice’ with psychoactive effects.
JWH-019Illicit DrugAnother synthetic cannabinoid similar to JWH-018, used for its psychoactive effects.
JWH-073Illicit DrugA synthetic compound with effects resembling THC.
JWH-081Illicit DrugSynthetic cannabinoid with potential psychoactive effects.
JWH-122Illicit DrugA potent synthetic cannabinoid with effects similar to JWH-018.
JWH-200Illicit DrugSynthetic cannabinoid associated with psychoactive effects.
JWH-250Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid with potent effects.
lactoseCutting AgentMilk sugar often used as a cutting agent because of its availability and inert properties.
lidocaineCutting AgentA local anesthetic used as a cutting agent due to its numbing effect.
likely Heroin HCl low purityIllicit DrugA form of heroin hydrochloride with low purity, indicating adulteration.
LSDIllicit DrugLysergic acid diethylamide, a powerful hallucinogenic drug.
LSD powderIllicit DrugThe powdered form of LSD, used for its potent hallucinogenic effects.
MAM-2201Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid similar to JWH-018 with psychoactive properties.
mannitolCutting AgentA sugar alcohol used as a cutting agent due to its sweetness and non-reactivity.
MDAIllicit Drug3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine, a psychoactive drug known for its empathogenic effects.
MDMB-4en-PINACAIllicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid with psychoactive effects.
MDMB-CHMICAIllicit DrugAnother synthetic cannabinoid known for its strong effects.
Mescaline HClIllicit DrugThe hydrochloride salt of mescaline, a psychedelic alkaloid from the peyote cactus.
MetamizoleDrugA painkiller and fever reducer, not commonly abused.
méthyloneIllicit DrugA synthetic stimulant of the cathinone class, similar to MDMA.
MethylphenidateIllicit Drug/DrugA stimulant used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy; has a potential for abuse.
morphineIllicit DrugAn opioid pain medication, highly addictive and frequently abused.
MSGOtherMonosodium glutamate, used as a flavor enhancer, not typically used as a cutting agent for drugs.
N-isopropylbenzylamineCutting AgentA compound used as a cutting agent for methamphetamine due to its similar appearance.
oxycodoneIllicit DrugAn opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain, with a high potential for abuse.
P2NPPrecursorPhenyl-2-nitropropene, a chemical precursor used in the synthesis of amphetamines.
palmitic acidCutting AgentA saturated fatty acid used as an inactive cutting agent.
PB-22Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid similar to other compounds in the JWH series.
Pentedrone HClIllicit DrugA synthetic stimulant drug of the cathinone class, known for its psychoactive effects.
PentyloneIllicit DrugA synthetic stimulant compound of the cathinone class.
PMK GlycidatePrecursorA chemical precursor used in the illicit manufacture of MDMA and related drugs.
PregabalinDrugA medication used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain, with some potential for abuse.
procaineCutting AgentA local anesthetic used as a cutting agent due to its numbing properties.
pseudoephedrinePrecursor/Illicit DrugA decongestant used to make methamphetamine; also abused on its own.
RCS-4Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid similar to others with psychoactive effects.
saltCutting AgentSodium chloride, used as a cutting agent due to its granular nature and non-reactivity.
sorbitolCutting AgentA sugar alcohol used as a cutting agent for its non-reactive sweetness.
stearic acidCutting AgentA saturated fatty acid used as an inactive cutting agent.
sucroseCutting AgentTable sugar, used as a cutting agent due to its sweetness and crystalline nature.
TalcCutting AgentA mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate, used as a cutting agent for its powdery consistency.
TATPExplosiveTriacetone triperoxide, a homemade explosive with high volatility.
TaurineCutting AgentAn organic acid often used as a cutting agent, also found in energy drinks.
tetracaineCutting AgentA potent local anesthetic used as a cutting agent due to its numbing effect.
Unknown substanceCategoryMultiple unidentified substances that need analysis to determine their composition.
UR-144Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid with effects similar to THC.
ureaExplosive/Cutting AgentAn organic compound with uses in fertilizers and explosives; sometimes used as a cutting agent.
Wax THCIllicit DrugA concentrated form of THC known for its high potency.
XLR-11Illicit DrugA synthetic cannabinoid similar to UR-144 and others in the JWH series.
XylazineDrugAn animal sedative that is sometimes abused for its sedative effects in humans.
*CBDIllicit Drug/DrugCannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis with therapeutic applications; legal status varies.
*CBDAIllicit Drug/DrugThe acid precursor of CBD, found in raw cannabis plants.
*CBGIllicit Drug/DrugCannabigerol, a cannabinoid with potential therapeutic properties.
*CBGAIllicit Drug/DrugThe acidic form of CBG, present in cannabis.
*KetamineIllicit Drug/DrugA dissociative anesthetic used in medicine and veterinary practice, also abused for its hallucinogenic effects.
*levamisoleDrugAn anthelmintic drug and immunomodulator, sometimes used as a cutting agent for cocaine.
*NoscapineDrugA cough suppressant and potential anticancer drug, not commonly abused.
*paracetamolDrugAlso known as acetaminophen, used as a pain reliever and fever reducer.
*phenacetinCutting AgentAn analgesic and fever reducer, banned in many countries due to its carcinogenic properties.
*THCIllicit DrugTetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
*THCAIllicit DrugTetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the non-psychoactive precursor to THC.
*total CBGIllicit Drug/DrugTotal cannabigerol content in a cannabis product.
Cannabis FlowerIllicit DrugThe flowering part of the cannabis plant, containing cannabinoids like THC.
Cannabis PollenIllicit DrugPollen from the male cannabis plant, less commonly used for its psychoactive properties.
EphyloneIllicit DrugA synthetic cathinone with stimulant effects.
MedicineOtherPharmaceutical drugs prescribed for legitimate medical purposes; some have potential for abuse.
tetrahydroharmanIllicit DrugA beta-carboline, potentially with psychoactive effects.
*AmphetamineIllicit DrugA stimulant drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, commonly abused for its euphoric effects.
*CocaineIllicit DrugA powerful stimulant drug derived from the coca plant, highly addictive.
*HeroinIllicit DrugAn opioid drug synthesized from morphine, highly addictive with a high potential for abuse.
*MDMAIllicit Drug3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, known for its empathogenic and euphoric effects.
*MethamphetamineIllicit DrugA powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
Ammonium NitrateExplosiveA chemical compound used as a fertilizer and a component in explosives.
TNTExplosiveTrinitrotoluene, a chemical compound used in explosives.
ANFOExplosiveAmmonium nitrate fuel oil, a widely used bulk industrial explosive.
DADPExplosiveDiazodinitrophenol, a less common explosive compound.
ETNExplosiveErythritol tetranitrate, an explosive with similar properties to nitroglycerin.
RDXExplosiveResearch Department Explosive, a major component of plastic explosives.
HMXExplosiveHigh Melting Explosive, an extremely powerful explosive chemical.
HMTDExplosiveHexamethylene triperoxide diamine, a high explosive organic compound.
UHPExplosiveUltra-High Power explosives, likely a classification for very powerful explosives.
PETNExplosivePentaerythritol tetranitrate, a powerful explosive used in a variety of military and industrial applications.
TetrylExplosiveAn explosive compound used to sensitize other explosives like TNT.
UreaExplosive/Cutting AgentA compound with a variety of uses, including fertilizers, feed supplements, and explosives.
The information in the table is verified up to June 15, 2023. For a detailed catalogue or to learn more about our substance quantification, we invite direct communication. Our experts are on standby to provide current insights and address bespoke queries. For comprehensive information, please reach out to us here.

Beyond narcotics, we offer precision analysis for polymers and cannabis. Stakeholders needing advanced identification for these substances can access our detailed and frequently updated compilations.

Access the Polymer Solutions List here, the Cannabis Solutions List here and the Law Enforcement list here; discover the versatility and precision that our technology offers.


In this era of conscientious drug checking, our Near-Infrared (NIR) technology emerges as a crucial resource. By offering a precise and comprehensive catalogue for narcotic substance identification, we empower community support systems and health professionals with an essential tool for safety and care. Our technology’s seamless interface and rapid detection capabilities reflect our devotion to innovation in service of society’s well-being. As we advance, we remain dedicated to updating and expanding our substance listings, ensuring that those on the front lines of drug checking have the accurate information they need at the speed they require. With our extensive resources for polymers and cannabis analysis included, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing drug checking with unwavering precision and reliability.

To delve further into the world of spectroscopy and discover the full capabilities of NIRLAB’s technology, we invite you to explore our other insightful articles, here. For personalized inquiries, reach out to us at

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