top of page

Why is MDMA/MDA called the “love drug?”

Why is MDMA/MDA called the “love drug?”

First synthesized in 1912 in Germany, MDMA was initially noted to induce empathetic feelings, vulnerability, + a deep sense of boundedness.

Alex Shulgin introduced the substance to psychotherapists in the 70s + started to experiment with it as an assistive tool for therapy, especially in couples therapy before it was banned by the DEA + became a Schedule 1 controlled substance.


Since then, MAPS was approved to run studies using MDMA for therapy in PTSD.

Because MDMA has an empathy response, individuals (in a controlled, safe setting) can go into painful experiences while being in states of self-compassion, emotional openness, vulnerability, confidence, verbal expression, and deep care of themselves + others, without dysregulation. This allows for a reprocessing of the painful past to become something less jarring to the nervous system + perhaps alleviate the mind + body from the stuck/frozen position it’s been in due to fear + an incomplete process.