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Controlled Substances: Determine if a Chemical is a Controlled Substance (CS)

Determine if a chemical is regulated as a controlled substance (CS).

Requirement for researchers

If a chemical you require for research is classified as a CS or listed chemical, you must apply for a Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA) before work can begin.

Check these 3 lists to see if your chemical is a CS

  1. DEA Controlled Substances in Alphabetical Order (PDF)
    • Note the CS schedule number for the chemical you require. CS schedules are classifications of narcotics and dangerous drugs (denoted by Roman numerals I-V), ranked by their potential for abuse and other factors. You need this information to:
      • Complete the CSUA application form
      • Determine if pre-authorization from the Research Advisory Panel of California is required
      • Determine if additional DEA registration is required
  2. DEA Substances Covered (for listed chemicals)
    • Note the table shows List I and List II chemicals. UCSD's CS procedures apply only to List I chemicals.
    • A CSUA is not required for List II chemicals. List II chemical control is subject to high threshold amounts that generally don't apply to campus researchers.
  3. List of California Department of Justice Precursor Chemicals, CA Health & Safety Code 11100 (PDF)
    • The California Department of Justice considers these substances able to produce CS.


Controlled substances
Psychotropic drugs and precursors regulated under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Listed chemicals (also known as precursor chemicals)
Chemicals that may be used to manufacture controlled substances. Listed chemicals are regulated in order to prevent the illicit manufacture of controlled substances.