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Book II of PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story, by Alexander & Ann Shulgin #31: 2C-G-N
#31 2C-G-N: 1,4-Dimethoxynaphthyl-2-ethylamine

#31 2C-G-N SYNTHESIS: A solution of 17.5 g 1,4-naphthaquinone in 200 mL MeOH was heated to the boiling point, and treated with 28.5 g stannous chloride at a rate that maintained a continuous rolling boil. At the completion of the addition, the reaction mixture was saturated with anhydrous hydrogen chloride, and held at reflux on the steam bath for 2 h. The reaction mixture was poured into 700 mL H2O and treated with aqueous NaOH. During the addition there was transient development of a curdy white solid which redissolved when the system became strongly basic. This was extracted with 3×200 mL CH2Cl2 and the pooled extracts were washed first with H2O, then with dilute HCl, and finally again with H2O. Removal of the solvent under vacuum yielded 15.75 g of a low melting black flaky crystalline material which was distilled at 160–180 °C at 0.05 mm/Hg to give 14.5 g of an amber, solid mass with a mp of 78–86 °C. Recrystallization from 75 mL boiling MeOH provided 1,4-dimethoxynaphthalene as white crystals melting at 87–88 °C.

A mixture of 20.0 g POCl3 and 22.5 g N-methylformanilide was allowed to stand at room temperature for 0.5 h which produced a deep claret color. To this there was added 9.4 g 1,4-dimethoxynaphthalene and the mixture was heated on the steam bath. The reaction mixture quickly became progressively darker and thicker. After 20 min it was poured into 250 mL H2O and stirred for several h. The solids were removed by filtration, and washed well with H2O. The wet crude product (a dull yellow-orange color) was dissolved in 125 mL boiling EtOH to give a deep red solution. On cooling, this deposited a heavy crop of crystals that was removed by filtration, and washed with cold EtOH. There was obtained, after air-drying to constant weight, 7.9 g 1,4-dimethoxy-2-naphthaldehyde as white crystals with a mp of 119–121 °C. This was not improved by further recrystallization. The malononitrile derivative, from the aldehyde and malononitrile in EtOH with a drop of triethylamine, had a mp of 187–188 °C.

A solution of 3.9 g 1,4-dimethoxy-2-naphthaldehyde in 13.5 g nitromethane was treated with 0.7 g anhydrous ammonium acetate, and heated on the steam bath for 1 h. The excess reagent/solvent was removed under vacuum giving a residue that spontaneously crystallized. This crude product was removed with the aid of a few mL MeOH, and pressed on a sintered funnel with modest MeOH washing. There was obtained 3.6 g (when dry) of old-gold colored crystals with a mp of 146–148 °C. Recrystallization from 140 mL boiling EtOH gave 3.0 g 1,4-dimethoxy-2-(2-nitrovinyl)naphthalene as deep gold-colored crystals with a mp of 146–147 °C. A small sample, upon recrystalization from MeOH, melted at 143–144 °C. Anal. (C14H13NO4) C,H.

A solution of LAH (50 mL of a 1 M solution in THF) was cooled, under He, to 0 °C with an external ice bath. With good stirring there was added 1.32 mL 100% H2SO4 dropwise, to minimize charring. This was followed by the addition of 2.80 g 1,4-dimethoxy-2-(2-nitrovinyl)naphthalene in 40 mL anhydrous THF. There was an immediate loss of color. After 1 h stirring at 0 °C, the temperature was brought up to a gentle reflux on the steam bath for 20 min, then all was cooled again to 0 °C. The excess hydride was destroyed by the cautious addition of 7 mL IPA followed by 5.5 mL 5% NaOH. The reaction mixture was filtered, and the filter cake washed with several portions of THF. The combined filtrate and washings were stripped of solvent under vacuum providing 3.6 g of a pale amber oil that was distilled at 145–160 °C at 0.2 mm/Hg to give 1.25 g of product as an absolutely white oil. This was dissolved in 7 mL IPA, and neutralized with concentrated HCl forming immediate crystals of the hydrochloride salt in the alcohol solvent. Thirty mL of anhydrous Et2O was added, and after complete grinding and mixing, the hydrochloride salt was removed by filtration, Et2O washed, and air dried to constant weight. The spectacular white crystals of 1,4-dimethoxynaphthyl-2-ethylamine hydrochloride (2C-G-N) weighed 1.23 g and had melting properties of darkening at 190 °C, and decomposing in the 235–245 °C area. Anal. (C14H18ClNO2) C,H.

DOSAGE: 20–40 mg.

DURATION: 20–30 h.

QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 24 mg) “The effects were interestingly colored by the reading of Alan Watts’ Joyous Cosmology during the coming-on period. The only body negatives were some urinary retention and a feeling of a shallow but continuing amphetamine stimulation. But not enough to be actually jingly, nor to interfere with sleep that evening. There is not much psychedelic here, but there is something really going on anyway. This has some similarities to the antidepressant world.”

(with 35 mg) “Much writing, much talking, and there was considerable residual awareness the next day. Somehow this material is not as friendly as the other 2C-G’s.”

(with 35 mg) “Thinking is clear. No fuzziness, no feeling of being pushed. None of the walking on the fine middle line between light and dark that is the excitement and the threat of LSD. This is just a friend, an ally, which invites you to do anything you wish to.” [comment added two days later] “My sleep was not deep enough, but it was pleasant and relatively resting. The whole next day I was feeling happy, but with an overlay of irritability. Strange mixture. By bedtime the irritability had become a mild depression. I feel that there might have been a threshold continuing for a couple of days. The character of my dreaming had the stamp of drug on it. This compound, in retrospect, presents some problems that cause a faint unease.”

EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: There is always a wish in the design of new compounds to find something that is of interesting activity, with an aromatic ring at some location pretty much away from the site of activity. This would then allow some subtle fine-tuning of the nature of the action by putting any of a wide range of electron pushing or electron pulling groups on that ring. But here, with 2C-G-N, by the time the ring got put into place, the activity was already on the wane, and the action was too long, and there are indicators of some not completely friendly effects. Ah well, some other molecule, some other time.

Page updated 30 March 2012 · This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License ·

About PiHKAL • info

This version of Book II of PiHKAL is based on the Erowid online version, originally transcribed by Simson Garfinkle and converted into HTML by Lamont Granquist. I drew also on “Tyrone Slothrop’s” (Unfinished) Review of PIHKAL to enumerate the many analogues mentioned in PiHKAL but not described at length. Still others remain to be added.

I have tried here to expunge any artifacts introduced by the earlier transcriptions and restore most of the typographic niceties found in the printed edition. I’ve also made minor changes to some chemical names in line with current nomenclature practice, and in the hope of aligning with more readers’ searches. Typically the change is little more than expanding a prefix and setting it in italics. The errata and changes page has further details.

Cautionary Note

“At the present time, restrictive laws are in force in the United States and it is very difficult for researchers to abide by the regulations which govern efforts to obtain legal approval to do work with these compounds in human beings.

“No one who is lacking legal authorization should attempt the synthesis of any of the compounds described in these files, with the intent to give them to man. To do so is to risk legal action which might lead to the tragic ruination of a life. It should also be noted that any person anywhere who experiments on himself, or on another human being, with any of the drugs described herein, without being familiar with that drug’s action and aware of the physical and/or mental disturbance or harm it might cause, is acting irresponsibly and immorally, whether or not he is doing so within the bounds of the law.”

Alexander T. Shulgin

Copyright Notice

The copyright for Book I of PiHKAL has been reserved in all forms and it may not be distributed. Book II of PiHKAL may be distributed for non-commercial reproduction provided that the introductory information, copyright notice, cautionary notice and ordering information remain attached.

Ordering Information

PiHKAL is the extraordinary record of the authors’ years exploring the chemistry and transformational power of phenethylamines. This book belongs in the library of anyone seeking a rational, enlightened and candid perspective on psychedelic drugs.

Although Sasha and Ann have put Book II of PiHKAL in the public domain, available to anyone, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy. We owe them—and there’s still nothing quite like holding a real book in your hands.

PiHKAL (ISBN 0-9630096-0-5) is available for US$24.50 (plus $10 domestic first-class shipping) from Transform Press.

Transform Press,
Box 13675
Berkeley, CA 94701

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