What is the Difference between DMHA and DMAA?

DMHA (Octodrine) is a psychoactive stimulant of the central nervous system that was initially studied as a nasal decongestant but has recently begun to appear in various pre-workouts and formulations for fat burning. DMHA is naturally occurring, though most products available contain a synthetic version that is identical or very similar to the naturally occurring DMHA/Octodrine.

DMHA’s molecular structure is very similar to DMAA, which is why DMHA is often considered the twin brother of DMAA. DMHA is a powerful stimulant, also known as Octodrine, Dimethylhexylamine or 2-Aminoisoheptane. It is used in two forms when speaking of 2-aminoisoheptane:

  • 2-Amino-5-Methylheptane
  • 2-Amino-6-Methylheptane

The 2-Amino-6-Methylheptane form is typically used in pre-workout products and ‘fat burner’ products. The most research was done on this type of DMHA, and it is most often used by supplement companies since it is less expensive to produce.

How DMHA (Octodrine) Works


DMHA works like other psychoactive amines on our central nervous system, insofar as its stimulating function.

DMHA’s main action mechanism is increasing catecholamine release and activating the brain’s reward center. Reward pathway activation in your nervous system leads to increased levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These effects have been shown to create mood, cognitive, and performance-enhancing properties of Octodrine.

Increased energy is the benefit of DMHA affinity to the receipt of TAAR1 after DMHA. This association, by activating adenylyl cyclase, increases the production of cAMP.

Benefits of DMHA

DMHA is reported to be a highly favorable stimulant, with fewer reported side effects than DMAA.

  • Increased energy levels.
  • Improved mood.
  • Increased mental focus.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Bronchial dilation;
  • Fat burning properties;
  • Decreased fatigue.

In various fat burners or pre-workout items, you will often find DMHA. As it is rather special, it has become one of the key stimulants for pre-workout formulations.

DMHA has been shown to offer very similar results to DMAA, albeit without the same risk of side effects. Some people also say Octodrine is stronger, but this will likely be variable between individuals. The effects of DMHA are often contrasted with those two banned substances –  Ephedrine and AMP Citrate. Anecdotal experiences note the many benefits of Octodrine for physical endurance, strength, performance enhancement, and cognitive/mood enhancement. Some people appear to utilize DMHA as a study aid.


DMAA is much stronger on a milligram basis. ~50mg of DMAA is said to work similarly to 150-200 mg of DMHA. At the same time, it is more difficult to obtain high-quality DMAA-containing supplements, and DMAA is banned in dietary supplements. DMAA is only available legally as a research chemical.

When adjusting for dose, the reported differences between DMAA and DMHA are minimal.

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