One of the core beliefs of QAnon is that some people are addicted to adrenochrome that can only be obtained by drinking the blood of frightened victims.

Sean Morgan, author of a QAnon FAQ, talks about Adrenochrome, but admits there is no hard evidence.

There is a theory that the cabal frightens victims during abuse rituals and drinks the blood with increased adrenaline in it. It is an addictive drug.

RissFlex, a QAnon proponent claims (25 seconds in):

As we know, the Deep state is heavily addicted to adrenochrome and human trafficking [...]

To me this sounds like raving nonsense.

Is there a drug called adrenochrome that is addictive and only (or most easily) obtained by drinking blood?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Further comments here are liable to be deleted.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 18, 2020 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


You can just buy adrenochrome, e.g. here from Sigma-Aldrich. It's somewhat expensive for a relatively simple chemical, but not as expensive as it would have to be if the only way to acquire it would be by extracting it from the blood of frightened humans.

It can be synthesized by oxidizing epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), which is available pretty cheaply in bulk. Wikipedia mentions a synthesis using silver oxide, and I found another paper describing a different route. This is not a very complicated molecule, so there is no reason to believe that synthesizing it would not be feasible.

I couldn't find much useful research on adrenochrome, the only studies seem to be from ~1950/1960, and I'm not sure I'd trust them very far. In a review from 2002 about the adrenochrome hypothesis of schizophrenia they describe the results of one of the older studies:

Their reported results were that, all eight subjects given 30mg of adrenochrome developed a psychotic reaction, which they characterized as a toxic psychosis of the Bonhoeffer type in five and as schizophreniform in three.

That doesn't say anything about it being addictive, but something that can induce psychotic reactions that reliably at higher doses doesn't seem like something you want to take recreationally. Though as people obviously still use drugs recreationally that can have similar dangerous side effects, I can't exclude this even though there are also no "positive" effects described that might lead people to take a substance like this.

It also does not seem clear whether blood actually contains adrenochrome:

Hoffer (1957) published a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry claiming to have detected adrenochrome in normal human blood. Six months later Szara et al. (1958) reported in the same journal that they could not detect adrenochrome in normal human blood.

So, if you really wanted to consume a substance that triggers psychotic episodes, it would still be far less risky to just buy it from Sigma than to kidnap people and drink their blood (if there is even adrenochrome in their blood).

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    You noted the age of most of the research, but didn't tell readers that before Leary/Huxley this is exactly how LSD/Mescaline would have been described; taken recreationally today. And also pretty nasty in doses too high. Further, this A is pretty theoretical (albeit: I'd agree on your inference!) Smythies99 would be the next step though. What happens in low doses & 'do some people actually do' 'it'? (Part of the connected/wider claim is also 'fountain of youth', so what is there to tell about this and related substances re:substantia nigra and neuro protection?) Addicted≠like to heroin? Sep 17, 2020 at 17:09
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    You should add that adenochrome is not a controlled substance. You can also "buy" fentanyl from Sigma Aldrich--the page looks no different: quantity and price, but I'd be amazed if they ship the latter to you without you producing some licenses. Sep 17, 2020 at 19:55
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    If it were real, the "cabal" would be stockpiling EpiPens (epinephrine) to use on their victims (or themselves). I'm not a doctor but it would probably work better than scaring them. Of course, Mad Scientist has pointed out several other excellent reasons this is complete BS. Sep 18, 2020 at 2:29
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    Just as a comment, psychopharma drugs are popular, but IF they produce psychotic reactions and/or schizophreniform they become less popular. That is the pharma description of a "seriously bad trip".
    – Stian
    Sep 18, 2020 at 7:53
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    You missed an obvious joke in the last paragraph - it's cheaper to buy it from Sigma. Sep 18, 2020 at 22:27

As Terry Gilliam said in his commentary to "Las Vegas Parano":

It's hiperboled

If we use definitiof of a drug as

a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.

Then yes - Andrenochrom have an physiological effect. But as the subjects were able to compare effect to LSD and psilocybin I would say their testimony is dubious (I never found a study not made in the 50's or 60's that had "clean" test group). Also, when ignored the comparision, the effects are similar to ones of the adrenaline.

Can you obtain it only by drinking blood? No.
To be able to get Andrenochrom you need to oxidize the adrenaline. You can do it with with potassium ferricyanide in an aqueous medium. US Patent Inventor Deryck F. Boot US4501923A In the patent an example is given where from 44 grams of adrenaline (epinephrine) hydrochloride gave 40.0 g crude powder of adrenochrome monosemicarbazone.

Epinephrime is avaiable on the market for more than 100 years. And it's much easier to obtain than litres of blood. Moreover Napoleon Cybulski have extracted, in 1895, adrenaline from adrenal cortex. Much easier to remove kidneys than wait for the 5 litres of blood to drain.

There is another "suggested" claim.

As we know, the Deep state is heavily addicted to adrenochrome and human trafficking

I don't know. But there is connection made beetwen how the adrenochrome COULD be obtained from humans. Suggesting it's obtained from humans. Which are much more harder to buy than any other animal. From which you could extract blood and kidneys to make adrenochrome. The tests with adrenochrome never noted addiction forming. So this claim can only be true if RissFlex and his viewers personally know Deep state member who are addicted to adrenochrome.
Which make the Deep state not so deep and secret as there would be RissFlex and everyone who consider themself "we" knowing addicted members of the aforementioned.

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    Where are the required sources? The -carbazone. is described by Gottlieb as 'totally different thing'. In all: this is currently a pretty theoretical answer that mainly emphasises "I don't know"? Sep 17, 2020 at 13:55
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    Is "Andrenochrom" a typo? Is "adrenochrome monosemicarbazone" the same thing as the "adrenochrome" in the question? What does "Epinephrime" have to do with anything? What studies did you find? Has the patent you cited actually been exploited, or is it purely theoretical? What other sources have you found discussing how this substance can be extracted or synthesised?
    – IMSoP
    Sep 17, 2020 at 14:14
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    @IMSoP The monosemicarbazone is a derived, but completely different molecule. Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline, and adrenochrome is created by oxidizing it.
    – Mad Scientist
    Sep 17, 2020 at 15:15
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    I thought "hiperboled" was a deliberate misspelling, a pun, but I could not find it quoted anywhere. Are you sure Gilliam didn't say hyperbole?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:43

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