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10 tips voor drugsgebruik in Amsterdam

Posted on: februari 28, 2024

Amsterdam quiz facts with answers

Drugs in Amsterdam

Best Tips For Using Drugs in Amsterdam

Are you going to visit Amsterdam and are you planning to use drugs? Then this article with 10 tips for using drugs in Amsterdam is a good read for you!

Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory

This piece contains useful tips for those who would like to experience soft or hard drugs in Amsterdam. The Dutch Opium Act makes a distinction between hard drugs and soft drugs by means of two lists. The sale of soft drugs in coffeeshops (cannabis stores) is tolerated in the Netherlands under strict conditions.

Hard Drugs Definition

Hard drugs are on List I of the Dutch Opium Act. These are more harmful to health than soft drugs. Examples are heroin, cocaine/ coke, speed/ amphetamine, XTC and GHB.

Soft Drugs Definition

Soft drugs are on List II of the Dutch Opium Act. The risks of these drugs are less than with the hard drugs on List I. Examples are cannabis products (hash and weed) and sleeping aids. Sedatives such as Valium and Seresta are also on this list.

Views On Drugs in the Netherlands

There are a lot misunderstandings when it comes to drugs in the Netherlands. Before we get into that, we’d like to tell you how the Dutch think about soft drugs in general.

Most Dutch do not consider cannabis dangerous. And big majority of the Dutch do not have a problem with the coffeeshops or people who occasionally use soft drugs (weed or hash). Although it must be said that the use of alcohol is way more accepted in the Netherlands than cannabis.

Cannabis coffeeshops in Amsterdam
Magic Truffles stored in a fridge of a smart shop.

Drugs In Netherlands Statistics

Did you know that only 7% of the Dutch population uses cannabis?

Cannabis use in the Netherlands

Usage by Dutch population  7,0%
Usage by Dutch youth 7,8%
Number of hospitalisations per year 98 (main diagnosis) 
Number of selling points 673

Alcohol use in the Netherlands

Usage by Dutch population  78%
Usage by Dutch youth 43%
Number of hospitalisations per year 6.473 (main diagnosis)
Number of selling points 70.000

Source: National Drug Monitor 

coffeeshop the bulldog amsterdam
The Bulldog is one of the first cannabis stores (aka coffeeshops) in the world.

The Netherlands has a reputation for being a country that likes to do business and for having a liberal society. These are just two reasons why we allow cannabis in our country. Tolerating soft drugs doesn’t mean that everyone uses it. In fact, most citizens of the Netherlands don’t even use cannabis.

During our tours in the Red Light District our local guides will tell you much more about drugs in the Netherlands. We’ll share all the things you didn’t know about this cannabis, ‘coffeeshops, legal magic truffels, smartshops and the Dutch drug laws.

For example: Wist je dat that producing cannabis for commercial purposes in the Netherlands is totally illegal? Here, there is a so called “gedoogbeleid”. Here more about this during our walking tours in Amsterdam Red Light District.



Drugs & Sex Trade In The Netherlands

Did you know that the revenue of the illegal and legal drug industry in the Netherlands is included into the Dutch Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? Since 25 June 2014, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics includes the trade of illegal activities in the Dutch GDP.

A few examples of these illegale activities: XTC, cocaine, heroin, speed, smuggling, etc. The trade in these illegal activities are estimated by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics and based on police sources.

The graph below shows the trade in legal and illegal activities. According to the Bureau of Statistics the trade in cannabis is 1.04 billion euro.

Graph GDP of the Netherlands - Trade in legal and illegal activities
Source: NRC Q – based on numbers of the Dutch Bureau of Statistics (CBS)

De GDP of the Netherlands in 2010 was 586.7 billion euros, but after including the trade of these substances the Dutch GDP increases with 44.7 billion euros. So the Netherlands has become 7.5 % ‘richer’.

Drug Tips

Amsterdam weed

A “cafe” means “pub” throughout the Netherlands. A “coffeeshop” is where one buys cannabis. While marijuana is not technically legal in the Netherlands, the possession and purchase of small amounts (<5 gram) of “soft drugs”(ie marijuana, hashish, space cakes and mushroom-based truffles) is allowed/tolerated and users won’t be prosecuted for smoking or carrying this amount. This means that coffeeshops are actually conducting an illegal business – but this is tolerated to a certain extent.

The Dutch government has let individual municipalities decide for themselves whether to enforce the national weed pass. Therefor there are almost no municipalities which have implemented this pass, only a few near the border at Germany and Belgium.


10 Tips For Using Soft Drugs In Amsterdam:

  1. Take it easy.
  2. Only use drugs when you want to. Do not let anyone else decide this for you.
  3. Don’t do drugs on an empty stomach.
  4. Make sure you have something sugary around. Like Coca-Cola. Take that when you feel dizzy.
  5. Ask how much THC it contains, when you’re purchasing cannabis. The Dutch cannabis has an average THC-level of 14.6%.
  6. Tell the staff at the coffeeshop how experienced you are with cannabis. They are there to help you.
  7. Use it at a place where you feel comfortable.
  8. Start off with a small drag and wait 10/15 minutes. Take your time, there is no rush.
  9. Relax! Don’t worry about a thing,.. cause every little thing, gonna be all right.
  10. Fresh air is your friend.

Magic truffles Amsterdam
Magic Truffles on sale in what they call a “smart shop” in the Red Light District.

Where Does Amsterdam Cannabis Come From?

Even though Amsterdam might be the global center for hash and weed usage, inside the city borders hardly any large plantations have been busted. So where does the hash and weed sold in Amsterdam come from?

For hash, the separated resin of a cannabis plant, the sources are evident. Large shipments often in the 1000’s of kilo’s come predominately from Morocco. Hash is also produced in Afghanistan and Lebanon.

There are also many idealists who grow because of their conviction or love of the product, preferably biological and without insecticides. Yet these idealists on their own produce far too little to satisfy Amsterdam’s huge weed demand.

Dutch Weed Suppliers

To supply all those weed smoking people in Amsterdam and the legions of tourists, coffeeshops have to rely on a wide network of suppliers. The police of Amsterdam clear away roughly one ‘wiethok’ (small indoor plantation) a day containing between 150 and 700 cannabis plants. Amsterdam is too densely populated to start up a large indoor plantation without being noticed.

Weed Joint in Amsterdam Cannabis

Cannabis Production Netherlands

It’s almost impossible to make a general fact-based statement about weed production in the Netherlands. Estimates range between 29 and 130 tons of weed production per year. Every year around 5000 to 6000 illegal weed plantations are busted by the Dutch police.

1 billion kilowatt-hour of energy gets stolen every year in the Netherlands, almost exclusively for illegal weed plantations. On this supply if energy supply a total of 30.000 plantations can operate 24/7. This is about same amount of energy that is needed for the whole city of The Hague. An average Dutch household uses approximately 3.000 kilowatt-hour of energy.

Where Does Cannabis in Amsterdam Coffeeshops Come From?

grey area amsterdam netherlands
Coffeeshop Grey Area is known as one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

According to experts, Amsterdam coffeeshop owners are not eager to buy from sellers that come out of the south of Holland (Brabant, Limburg). They don’t trust the growers and dealers from the south. The weed has often been of dubious quality. There’s hardly any weed traffic between the southern provinces and the coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The owners of the coffeeshops usually don’t want anything to do with the (often violent) weed crime scene from the south. The market over there is divided between motorcycle gangs, Moroccan, Dutch and Turkish criminal organisations.

Dutch source: https://www.parool.nl/amsterdam/waar-komt-alle-wiet-in-amsterdamse-coffeeshops-vandaan~a4510148/ 

10 Tips On How To Use Hard Drugs In Amsterdam:

So, what about hard drugs? Drugs like XTC, cocaine, MDMA, speed and LSD – which are all illegal in the Netherlands. We assume that those who’d like to use hard drugs in Amsterdam, have already experienced some drugs before. Most of the drug incidents in Amsterdam happen to those who know too little about using drugs and often it’s the hard drugs that causes damage to those people. Information is king.

Ignore Street Drug Dealers in Amsterdam
An anti-street dealer campaign in Amsterdam during Amsterdam Dance Event.

Ignore Street Dealers in Amsterdam

10 tips for using drugs in Amsterdam
Ignore street dealers in Amsterdam. They sell fake drugs!

    1. Only use drugs when you want to. Don’t let anyone else decide this for you.
    2. Never buy drugs in Amsterdam from drug dealers on the streets in the Red Light District. Usually it’s fake and when it’s not fake it’s mostly very bad quality that can easily end up in the hospital or worse!
    3. Get your drugs tested! Did you know you could get your drugs tested legally in Amsterdam? There are a few companies, located 15 minutes away from the Red Light District, called Jellinek & GGD, where you can get your drugs tested by experts. Cost = 2 or 3 Euros per test.
    4. Don’t combine magic truffles (“magic mushrooms”) with alcohol or cannabis. And let the staff of a smart shop inform you on how to use this drug.
    5. Make sure you have some water around. Stay hydrated!
    6. Don’t do drugs or alcohol on empty stomach. Avoid fat, go for carbohydrates.
    7. Stick to one drug.
    8. Start of with a small doses.
    9. Take something sugary if you feel dizzy and get yourself some fresh air.
    10. Enjoy the ride!

Magic Truffles & Smart Shops

amsterdam smartshop mushrooms

Smart shops – which offer organic uppers and natural hallucinogens – have long been known for selling magic mushrooms. But in the year 2000, the Dutch government banned them. Nearly 200 varieties of fungus then went on the forbidden substances list – though conspicuously missing was the magic truffle.

A smart shop is a place where you can purchase magic mushrooms (a.k.a. “magic truffles”). Staff will advise you on the nuances of dosages and possible effects. Listen to them – their advice will help you with a good and safe trip.

Magic truffles are legal in Amsterdam and in the rest of Holland. In smart shops they are named “magic truffles”. Scientifically speaking truffles are not mushrooms and therefor they do not fall within the reach of the Opium Act. Magic truffles are allowed to be produced, purchased, sold and consumed in the Netherlands. In most English speaking countries magic truffles are called magic mushrooms.

Although magic truffels are legal, they are definitely not popular among the Dutch. The magic truffels are mostly being sold to tourists. Don’t forget to check out this more in-depth magic truffles FAQ article for more tips for using drugs in Amsterdam.

xtc pills

Dutch XTC Facts & Tips From Jellinek (Dutch Drugs Information Centre)

  • 80.000 people with Dutch origin have recently used XTC in the Netherlands.
  • XTC is hardly addictive. In 2014 only 105 people in the Netherlands sought out help.
  • XTC causes your braincells to release adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. Adrenaline and dopamine give you energy and serotonin makes you feel good and relaxed.
  • The recreational dose for MDMA, the active substance in XTC, is 1 to 1,5 mg per kilo of bodyweight. 
  • Every time blood passes trough the liver XTC gets partly broken down until the XTC is completely gone from your bloodstream. 
  • After 2 or 3 days XTC isn’t detectable in your urine anymore.
  • After swallowing an XTC pill it takes between 20 to 60 minutes before you start noticing its effects.
  • After 5 to 6 hours the effects of XTC have worn off. 
  • To prevent overheating you should take a break from dancing once in a while and find a quiet spot to cool down a bit.
  • To prevent water poisoning limit your water intake to 1 glass an hour.
  • When you drink too much water your body will get a shortage in salt. This can lead to dangerously high pressure on your brains and lungs. It can lead to death. 
  • The risk is very low that you build op XTC dependance. 
  • Test your XTC before using it. This is advised because the strength and contents of XTC pills keep changing. In 2009 XTC pills contained on average 80 mg of MDMA. In 2015 this increased to 138 mg per XTC pill. Check www.drugs-test.nl to find a place to get your pills tested.
  • Dutch drugs laws categorise XTC as a hard drug. Ownership, production and trade are all punishable offences. If you get caught you’ll have to hand over your pill. The production is illegal and for this reason there is no quality control. 
  • If you have any questions about drugs whilst your in the Netherlands you can contact Jellinek via their advice telephone number:+31205901515 from Monday till Friday between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. 

Information is key!

Drugs are not bad per se, you just gotta be informed on how to take them. The staff in (cannabis) coffeeshops en smart shops are more than willing to inform you (on how to use drugs in Amsterdam).

Join our informative Amsterdam Drugs Tour to learn more about legal and illegal drugs in the Netherlands. This tour is loaded up with tips for using drugs in Amsterdam and gives you an informative perspective on Amsterdam and drug use.


Tips for using drugs in Amsterdam speed XTC

Amphetamines Facts & Tips From Jellinek (Dutch Drugs Information Centre)

  • There are different types of amphetamines. The natural form is ephedrine which can be found in the Ephedra plant. Compounds with the same effects also exist in the Khat plant. Two lab-produced compounds are amphetamine and methamphetamine. methamphetamine is 1,5 to 2 times more powerful than amphetamine. 
  • Amphetamine was used in the past for treating Asthma and for losing weight. 
  • Today, amphetamines or comparable compounds are prescribed as ADHD medication.
  • Around 1 in 20 people in the Netherlands between the ages of 15 and 65 have used Speed (amphetamines) at least once in their lives.  
  • Speed can still be found in urine for two to three days after use. It can still be found in the hair one half year after use. 
  • When swallowing speed it takes between 20 and 60 minutes before the amphetamines to start to work. 
  • By sniffing speed you’ll notice the effects within 3 to 10 minutes. 
  • With both methods the effects will last between 2 to 6 hours. 
  • After usage you’ll feel good and become cheerful. You’ll feel self-confident, thinking will appear to go faster and you’ll talk more easily. You’ll become active and energetic. Your tiredness disappears and your endurance will increase. 
  • Two glasses of water per hour is enough to replenish your fluids. More drinks can lead to water poisoning. 
  • In 2014 96% of the presented Speed samples contained Speed. On average the samples contained 49% amphetamines. The rest was made up out of dilution compounds. 39% of the powder samples also contained caffeine. 
  • Dutch drugs laws categorise Speed as a hard drug. Ownership, production and trade are all punishable offences. Ownership for personal use normally isn’t prosecuted.  

magic mushrooms shop
This is a smart shop in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. It sells magic mushrooms/truffles. 

Fake Drugs In Amsterdam

There are (fake) street dealers in Amsterdam’s city centre. Street dealers can be find on Leidse Square, Rembrandt Square, Waterloo Square and in the Red Light District. If they see that you’re not interested in drugs, they’ll ignore you.

In the Red Light District, street dealers can sometimes be found on the Warmoesstraat, Stoofsteeg, Lange Niezel & Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam.

These street dealers sell fake stuff most of the time and can get aggressive. Do not buy from street dealers. They rip tourists off.

In a period of 15 months a total of 1208 street dealers were arrested for the selling of fake drugs in Amsterdam. All together they were responsible for 4857 incidents, 3051 of which were related to the sale of fake drugs. That’s 62%.

Most of the victims are men between the age of 20 and 40 from Germany and Great Britain. These tourists come to Amsterdam for the weekend and a pill or snort are part of the Amsterdam experience for them. But all too often they don’t get what they bargained for. The XTC pill turns out to be an aspirin or a contraceptive pill, the gram of cocaine: baking powder. Source: Jellinek

The municipality of Amsterdam, police and public prosecutor want to put a stop to the nuisance of fake drug dealers but that may be hard to do. Stronger punishments raise legal objections.

Current Dutch drug laws do not apply to the sale of fake drugs and the public prosecutor believes that a separate law to fight fake drugs isn’t feasible. Fake drug dealers can only be punished with fines totalling a couple 100 euros. The worst cases can get a maximum sentence of 6 weeks.

Most tourists who have used drugs in Amsterdam knew in advance what they wanted to get:
Knew in advance that they were going to use softdrugs, like cannabis. 54% 
Knew in advance that they were going to use just harddrugs. 1%
Knew in advance that they were going to use soft- and harddrugs. 15%
Decided in Amsterdam that they were going to use drugs. 30%

Source: Jellinek

Fake drugs in Amsterdam Red Light District
One of the tips for using drugs in Amsterdam written on the streets.

TIP: DO NOT buy drugs on the streets from dealers. They sell rubbish and can get very aggressive!

So Where Should I Buy Hard Drugs In Amsterdam?

If you’re really keen on buying XTC, cocaine, MDMA or any other illegal drug, we’d advice you to buy it in a club from someone who’s really having a blast. Usually it’s not that difficult to spot someone who has a bit more fun and energy than the rest of the crowd. Ask that person what he’s or she’s having and if there is anything for sale.

Do not buy drugs from street dealers! Especially not on Leidse Square, the Red Light District, Museum Square or around Rembrandt Square – in other words: the areas with the most tourists.

These street dealers sell fake stuff or even worse: White heroin as cocaine. This happened in the end of 2014; a few tourists bought fake cocaine from a street dealer and passed away because it was actually white heroine.

Amsterdam Anti Drug Campaign against street dealers.
Een drug-warning from the City of Amsterdam in November 2014.

It would be great for people to have the opportunity to get their drugs tested in every bar, club or festival. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Amsterdam yet. Hopefully the Dutch government will allow this in the near future. As we all know, drugs are being used in pretty much every club in the world. Lot of locals are using the services of that drug test lab. Or they go online to search for a drug report.

Drug Testing in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, there are several places where you actually can get your hard drugs tested legally. Although XTC, MDMA, cocaine are illegal in the Netherlands, they are all still very popular here. There are many ways to get it tested in a way that is totally legal in the Netherlands. This is what most locals do before using it.

Tips for using drugs in Amsterdam XTC

  • You can get your drugs tested at an official and legal test center called Jellinek located on the Keizersgracht 572 en Jacob Obrechtstraat 92.
  • Another place that tests XTC, cocaine, MDMA, etc. in Amsterdam is the GGD which is the Public Health Service of Amsterdam. The GGD is located on Valckenierstraat 4.
  • Most smart shops (those shops that offer magic mushrooms) in Amsterdam have test kits which can be bought for a couple of euros. Test your drugs yourself by following the instructions, or let the staff help you out. The employees will not report you if you’ve bought some cocaine or some pills. They are more than willing to inform you on the quality.

Interview With Founder Of Drug Test Lab In Amsterdam

August de Loor

We interviewed August de Loor who was the founder of Amsterdam’s Drug Consultancy Bureau. We wanted to know more about those legal drug tests in Amsterdam because it’s a good way to reduce risks among drug users.


12x Amsterdam Red Light District Laws

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Drugs in Holland 

10 City Tours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Red Light District Prijzen

18 Responses to 10 Tips For Using Drugs in Amsterdam

  1. Jane D. schreef:

    i asked many Dutch people and none say they do drugs. Its mostly tourists. LOL.

  2. Alasdair McNelly schreef:

    I’m actually surprised it’s as high (pardon the pun) as 7%

  3. Trey Fredericksen Boyce schreef:

    I wonder if the USA will ever give up on the war on drugs and just give in? I wonder if it would really make a difference for the worse if it was legalized. I know it is easy to say yes, but would it?

  4. Jocelyn Rotella schreef:

    I agree with amsterdam and there drug laws. The free heroin clinics for addicts should be practiced in the u.s.a.. I’m sure it would reduce crime rate tremendously. They should have same type of clinics for meth users also, where it is monitored and controlled, since it’s used mostly for focus and productivity in my observation and experience. And at the same time people are addicted enough they can not function without it.

  5. counterstrike schreef:

    The tips is very fascinating

  6. Georgie schreef:

    As a UK resident and a habitual cocaine user, I hope that one day the UK will offer illicit drug facilities. I think they would find that most new users just need someone to talk to and a bit of direction. The amount of money they would save from this kind of program, not to mention the young people who would take a completely different path.

    The war on drugs is not working. A more direct aproach of love and care would save the UK billions. It’s frightening to think what the US would accomplish.

    We need to be progressive, preventative measures have failed everyone. Myself included.

    • 5un1L schreef:

      Well put Georgie. Drug addiction, just like alcohol or cigarette addiction is not a law enforcement issue, it’s a health issue. (para quoting the genius of Russell Brand here a bit)

  7. martin schreef:

    I had a ball of time great experience. Nothing too drastic mind you….Great place to unwind.

  8. jason schreef:

    if some one wants good stuff in amsterdam ring me then 0031687590107

  9. Valikas schreef:

    Who can help the Netherlands to buy a lot of ecstasy? PM me [email protected]

  10. Elisa McIntire schreef:

    Thanks for this piece! Definitely useful info. So good that you can get “illegal” drugs tested legally at those official organizations, like Jellinek. Thumbs up.

  11. ReziDv schreef:

    Where and how can i buy in amsterdam exstasy mdma Lsd ? ?

  12. Mo schreef:

    Hi will be in Amsterdam in November.
    Anyone know where I can buy some speed/amp/coc? Will really appreciate it

  13. Iggy schreef:

    Hi I am planning for a holiday to Amsterdam in March 7th 2019 I m single needs a friendly guy to accompany .

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