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Controlled Substances: Determine if a Chemical is a Controlled Substance

Determine if a chemical is regulated as a controlled substance (CS) at UC San Diego.

Requirement for researchers

If a chemical you require for research is classified as a CS, listed chemical, or a California Precursor Chemical, you must apply for a Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA) through the Controlled Substances Program (CSP) before work can begin.

Check these 3 lists to see if your chemical is controlled:

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Controlled Substances in Alphabetical Order (PDF)
    • Note the CS schedule number associated with 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:
      • Determine if pre-authorization from the Research Advisory Panel of California is required
      • Determine if an additional DEA registration is required
  2. DEA Listed Substances (for listed chemicals PDF)
    • Note the table shows List I and List II chemicals. UC San Diego'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 do not 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 to be potential components in the production of CS and regulates them to reduce the illicit manufacture of DEA-controlled substances.

DEA Drug and Chemical Preparation Exemptions

The DEA exempts certain small quantity drug and chemical preparations from being controlled. An Exempt Chemical Preparations List, and their associated suppliers, is provided by the DEA.


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 CS.
Questions? Contact the Controlled Substances Program, (858) 534-1362 or (858) 534-9016.