Molly, or ecstasy, is another name for the drug MDMA. It typically stays in a person’s system for several days. The exact length of time depends on several factors, including the person’s metabolism and the amount of the drug they have taken.

Different drug tests have different detection periods. Some tests can detect molly for only a day or two after a person has taken the drug. Others can detect the drug after several months.

Read on to learn more about drug testing, how molly works, and how long it takes for the body to metabolize it.

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Molly quickly enters the bloodstream, and its effects typically last 3–6 hours. However, traces of the drug can remain in the body for several days.

It is difficult to determine exactly how long molly will stay in a person’s system. It depends on many factors, including:

  • the amount they took
  • the time of their last dose
  • their overall health
  • the rate of their metabolism
  • whether or not they are taking any medications
  • when they last ate a meal
  • the purity of the drug

According to research from 2011, molly is typically detectable for 24–72 hours, but it can remain in small traces for up to 5 days or more.

There are several ways to test for the presence of molly. Some drug tests, including their detection windows, are as follows:

Blood tests

A person typically feels the effects of molly after about 45 minutes of ingestion. A 2012 study reported that the drug remains detectable in blood tests for approximately 1–2 days.

Saliva tests

The above 2012 study also reported that saliva tests may detect a single recreational dose (70–150 milligrams) of MDMA for 1–2 days. Additionally, it may first be detectable within minutes of ingestion.

Urine tests

According to one study, molly is detectable in urine as early as 25 minutes after ingesting high doses, and it typically remains detectable for 2–4 days.

However, some samples can still show the presence of molly’s metabolites on days 5 and 6 after ingestion.

Hair tests

Research shows that traces of molly can remain in hair fibers for up to 3 months after a person last takes the drug.

Hair testing has a detection window of approximately 1 month per 0.5 inches of hair. Therefore, it is possible to detect an approximate time of ingestion based on the segment of hair that tests positive for the drug.

Once a person ingests molly, the intestines absorb the chemicals and filter them into the bloodstream. A person who takes molly in tablet or capsule form may begin to feel the effects after around 45 minutes.

The effects of recreational doses of MDMA often peak within 1–3 hours of a person taking it orally. If a person opts for nasal administration instead, they will notice the effects much sooner.

The drug’s effects then begin to wear off. In general, the effects last up to 6 hours after ingestion.

Molly affects the brain by increasing the activity of three brain chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. A surge in these chemicals causes effects, such as:

These effects may last for 3–6 hours. In the days and weeks following moderate molly intake, other symptoms and side effects can emerge. These include:

Learn more about the effects and risks of taking molly here.

When a person takes molly orally, the drug makes its way into the stomach before moving to the intestines. From here, it passes into the bloodstream. At this point, the person begins to feel the effects of molly.

The liver then breaks down the drug into chemical compounds called metabolites. MDMA and its metabolites pass to the kidneys, which will filter the drug out of the bloodstream.

The chemicals then move to the bladder, and they eventually leave the body in the urine. The body will also excrete some metabolites through feces and sweat.

The half-life of molly is around 8 hours. A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for the amount of the drug in a person’s system to reduce by half.

What affects metabolization?

Factors that affect the rate of metabolization include the amount of molly a person ingests and when they took their last dose. Other factors that affect the rate of metabolization include:

Combining molly with other drugs may also affect how the body processes it.

Taking molly alongside other drugs can change how the body processes and lead to side effects.

Possible drug interactions include:

  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking molly can cause dehydration, increasing a person’s risk of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is when there are dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood.
  • Cocaine or speed: Taking molly with other stimulants can put pressure on the cardiovascular system and lead to dopamine depletion. The latter increases a person’s risk of anxiety and may reduce their brain function.
  • Antidepressants: Sedative medications can lead to heightened feelings of intoxication, clumsiness, and drowsiness.

There is a risk that recreational drugs contain other substances, including:

It is not possible to speed up the detox process for molly. The body will clear it from the system at its own pace based on the liver’s ability to break down the drug.

Some people believe that drinking water can remove molly from the system more quickly. However, this is not the case. In fact, drinking too much water could lead to hyponatremia, or water toxicity.

Similarly, vigorous exercise will not boost the body’s ability to metabolize molly. Exercise may increase thirst, which could prompt people to drink more water.

Hyponatremia is more common in women than men.

Learn more about the condition here.

Molly, or MDMA, can remain in the system for several days. Hair testing, however, can detect drug use several months after a person takes their last dose. Chronic use of molly can cause it to remain in the system longer.

The liver metabolizes the drug, and the kidneys excrete most of it through urine. The body will also remove some of the drug from the system through sweat and feces.

It is not possible to speed up the metabolization process of molly, and some methods that claim to do so can be dangerous.