SYNTHESIS: To a solution of 2.8 g of KOH pellets in 25 mL hot MeOH, there was added a mixture of 5.9 g 2,5-dimethoxythiophenol (see under 2C-T-2 for its preparation) and 5.0 g of cyclopropylmethyl bromide. There was an immediate exothermic reaction with spontaneous boiling and the formation of white crystals. This was heated on the steam bath for 4 h, and then added to 400 mL of H2O. After extraction with 3×75 mL CH2Cl2, the pooled extracts were washed first with dilute NaOH, then with saturated brine, then the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue, 8.45 g of crude 2,5-dimethoxyphenyl cyclopropyl methyl sulfide, was distilled at 120–140 °C at 0.3 mm/Hg to give a white oil weighing 7.5 g.
A mixture of 13.5 g POCl3 and 13.5 g N-methylformanilide was heated for 10 min on the steam bath. To this claret-colored solution was added 7.28 g of 2,5-dimethoxyphenyl cyclopropylmethyl sulfide, and the spontaneously exothermic mixture was heated for an additional 10 min on the steam bath, and then quenched in 400 mL of 55 °C H2O with good stirring. After a few minutes a reddish solid phase separated. This was removed by filtration, and washed with additional H2O. After sucking as dry as possible, this 8.75 g of ochre-colored solid was dissolved in 14 mL of boiling MeOH, and after cooling, filtering, washing sparsely with MeOH, and air drying, gave 7.27 g of white solid crystals of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-(cyclopropylmethylthio)benzaldehyde. The proton NMR spectrum was impeccable; CHO 9.38, ArH 7.27, 6.81 2 s., OCH3 3.93, 3.90 2 s., SCH2 t. 2.96, CH2, m. 1.72, and CH2, t. 1.11.
To a solution of 6.6 g 2,5-dimethoxy-4-(cyclopropylthio)benzaldehyde in 82 g of nitromethane there was added 0.12 g of anhydrous ammonium acetate, and the mixture was heated on the steam bath for 6 h. The reaction mixture was allowed to stand overnight producing a heavy crystallization crop. Filtration, washing lightly with MeOH, and air drying gave 4.72 g of orange crystals of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyclopropylmethylthio-β-nitrostyrene as yellow crystals. The evaporation of the mother liquors and grinding of the resulting solids with MeOH provided another 2.0 g of the product.
A solution LAH (40 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 1.05 mL 100% H2SO4 dropwise over 10 min, to minimize charring. This was followed by the addition of 2.95 g 2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyclopropylmethylthio-β-nitrostyrene as a solid, over the course of 10 min. After a few min further stirring, the temperature was brought up to a gentle reflux on the steam bath, then all was cooled again to 0 °C. The excess hydride was destroyed by the cautious addition of 6 mL IPA followed by 3 mL 15% NaOH which gave the aluminum oxide as a curdy white solid. The reaction mixture was filtered, and the filter cake washed with additional THF. The filtrate and washes were stripped of solvent under vacuum providing about 1.8 g of a colorless oil. The addition of dilute H2SO4 produced a thick mass of white solids. This was washed with CH2Cl2, and the remaining aqueous phase, still containing solids, was made basic with 25% NaOH. The aqueous phase was extracted with 3×75 mL CH2Cl2, and the combined extracts stripped of solvent under vacuum. The result was 1.4 g of colorless oil. This was distilled at 150–165 °C at 0.2 mm/Hg to give 1.2 g of a white oil. This was dissolved in 6 mL IPA, neutralized with 0.6 mL concentrated HCl producing spontaneous white crystals. These were diluted with 8 mL additional IPA, and suspended under 60 mL anhydrous Et2O to provide, after filtering and air drying, 1.13 g of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyclopropylmethylthiophenethylamine hydrochloride (2C-T-8) as white crystals.
DOSAGE: 30–50 mg.
DURATION: 10–15 h.
QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 30 mg) “Bad taste, worse smell. But I like it. I can paint easily, and wouldn’t hesitate to take a little more next time, but this is enough with no one to talk to. Manual dexterity good. Body rather warm. Wouldn’t mind fooling around. In retrospect, it has a smooth onset, and is not too stimulating. This is a good one.”
(with 40 mg) “This is beginning to develop at one and a half hours into it. High energy, good feeling. I have had a heavy, dense feeling between me and my work for several days now, but this is rapidly dissolving, and with this loss, the day continues into one of the most remarkable experiences I have ever had. Excellent feelings, tremendous opening of insight and understanding, a real awakening as if I had never used these materials effectively before. For the next several hours it was an internal journey for me; I wished to interact with myself. I cannot recall all the details, but I did review many aspects of myself and my personal relations. I know that I am the better for all of this.”
(with 40 mg) “I first noted the effects at three quarters of an hour, and at two hours I have pain in my sinuses. My head is split in two—this is not being two or three different people—this is one person with a head living in two different universes at the same time. Not a crisis experience, but one of extreme and prolonged discomfort. Hypersensitivity to light, noise, motion, with the belief that it would not go away when the chemical wore off. My visual and spatial perceptions were divided in two along a vertical axis, with both halves moving in uncoordinated ways. A feeling that the eyes were working independently of each other. Nausea without vomiting, even when I tried to. Vertigo became intolerable if I closed my eyes or lay down, so I felt that I would never lie down or close my eyes again. Problems with ‘boundaries.’ The outside environment seemed to be getting inside my head. The parts of myself seemed to either separate uncontrollably or run together into someone I didn’t know. A late movie, and Tranxene, and a little sleep all helped me out of this. However, a buzzing in the head, an uncertain balance, and an out-of-it feeling lasted for 3 days, and was still faintly present after a week.”
(with 43 mg) “For the first two hours I rocked in place and felt quite happy not trying to ‘do’ anything useful or expected, but watched some excellent programs on TV. Later I sat at the typewriter and felt the energy and the opening of the particular kind of thinking-connection that I associate with 2C-T-2. I felt this very strongly; I was fully into my own energy and capable of being aggressive if I decided to. I was very good humored and completely anchored to the earth. In the late evening I went to bed and felt that I would not allow myself to sleep, since the tendency to go completely out of conscious body was quite strong. However, before I could get up and continue happily writing, as I intended, I fell asleep. I slept thoroughly, well, and woke up the next day with good energy and a willingness to get on with the day.”
(with 50 mg) “The whole experience was somewhat negative, self-doubting, paranoid. Basically, I am not in a good place. No constructive values ever knit, and although there was a lot of talking, nothing positive developed. I was glad of sleep at about twelve hours into it, and this aspect of it was completely friendly. Next day, no deficit. Strange. Maybe too much.”
EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: With 2C-T-8, there are as many negatives as there are positives, and the particular substitution pattern is not one to set the world on fire. The first step was made towards the synthesis of the 3-carbon counterpart, 2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyclopropylmethylthioamphetamine, ALEPH-8. The above benzaldehyde (2.2 g) was cooked overnight on the steam bath in nitroethane (20 mL) containing ammonium acetate (0.4 g) and when the solvent was removed, the residue was converted to orange crystals by the addition of a little MeOH. This was not pursued further. Although the cyclopropylmethyl group was quite something on the mescaline oxygen atom, it is less appealing on the 2C-T-X sulfur atom, and there is even less enthusiasm to put it into an ALEPH. That’s the way it is, and who could have guessed!
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.
“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
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.
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,