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Book II of PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story, by Alexander & Ann Shulgin #92: IP
#91 IM
#92 IP: Isoproscaline; 3,5-Dimethoxy-4-isopropoxyphenethylamine

#92 IP SYNTHESIS: A solution of 5.8 g of homosyringonitrile (see under ESCALINE for its preparation) and 13.6 g isopropyl iodide in 50 mL dry acetone was treated with 6.9 g finely powdered anhydrous K2CO3 and held at reflux on the steam bath. After 6 h another 5 mL of isopropyl iodide was added, and refluxing continued for an additional 12 h. The mixture was filtered and the solids washed with acetone. The mother liquor and washes were stripped of solvent under vacuum, The residue was taken up in dilute HCl, and extracted with 3×100 mL CH2Cl2. The pooled extracts (they were quite deeply yellow colored) were washed with 2×75 mL 5% NaOH, and finally once with dilute HCl. Removal of the solvent under vacuum yielded 9.8 g of an amber oil, which on distillation at 125–135 °C at 0.3 mm/Hg provided 6.0 g of 3,5-dimethoxy-4-isopropoxyphenylacetonitrile as a pale yellow oil. A pure reference sample is a white solid with a mp of 33–34 °C. Anal. (C13H17NO3) C,H,N.

A solution of AH was prepared by the cautious addition of 0.84 mL of 100% H2SO4 to 32 mL of 1.0 M LAH in THF, which was being vigorously stirred under He at ice-bath temperature. A solution of 5.93 g of 3,5-dimethoxy-4-isopropoxyphenylacetonitrile in 10 mL anhydrous THF was added dropwise. Stirring was continued for 30 min, then the reaction mixture was brought up to reflux on the steam bath for another 30 min. After cooling again to room temperature, 5 mL IPA was added to destroy the excess hydride, followed by about 10 mL of 15% NaOH, sufficient to make the aluminum salts loose, white, and filterable. The reaction mixture was filtered, the filter cake washed with IPA, the mother liquor and washes combined, and the solvent removed under vacuum. The residue (7.0 g of an amber oil) was dissolved in dilute H2SO4 and washed with 3×75 mL CH2Cl2. The aqueous phase was made basic with aqueous NaOH, and the product extracted with 3×75 mL CH2Cl2. The extracts were evaporated to a residue under vacuum, and this was distilled at 125–140 °C at 0.3 mm/Hg yielding 3.7 g of a colorless oil. This was dissolved in 15 mL IPA, neutralized with 50 drops of concentrated HCl which allowed the deposition of a white crystalline product. Dilution with anhydrous Et2O and filtration gave 3.7 g. of 3,5-dimethoxy-4-isopropoxyphenethylamine hydrochloride (IP) with a mp of 163–164 °C. Anal. (C13H22ClNO3) C,H,N. The catalytic hydrogenation process for reducing the nitrile that gives rise to escaline, also works with this material.

DOSAGE: 40–80 mg.

DURATION: 10–16 h.

QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 75 mg) “Starts slowly. I develop some queasiness, turning into nausea. Feels good to lie down and let go, but the uneasiness remains. Just beginning to break through in 2 hours. But the occasional sense of relief, the breaking into the open, were transient as new sources of discomfort were always being dredged up. Then for some reason I chose to dance. Letting go to dancing, a marvelous ecstatic experience, flowing with and being the energy, body feeling completely free. Noticing how this letting go got one completely out of the feeling of unease, as though attention simply needs to be put elsewhere. Comedown was very slow, gentle, euphoric; a very signicant experience. Sleep that night was impossible, but felt good to simply release to the feelings. Keeping mind still, no thinking, just allowing feelings to go where they wished, became more and more ecstatic. Tremendous feeling of confidence in life and the life process. Complete sense of resolution.”

(with 80 mg) “It took about two hours for the body to settle down. Emotions were true and well felt, a fact that is an all-important thing to me as it probably is to everyone else I know in this kind of exploration. Any sense that there is a dulling of the feeling and emotional area of the self is a negative, to be watched and noted as are other things such as disturbed sleep, unpleasant dreams, or irritability or depression the next day. I was interacting with others with a great deal of intensity. People found themselves wandering inside and out, listening to music, stirring soup, eating a bit and enjoying eating, talking, laughing a great deal, and being silent in great contentment. It’s not a very silent material, though. Talking is too enjoyable. There was a slight descent noted at 6–7 hours, but very gentle and smooth. Slow and pleasant descent until about 12th hour, when sleep was attempted. Next day, everyone slightly irritable but good mood anyway. The next night I slept deeply and well, and awoke whole and in excellent mood.”

EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: These two excerpts give the color and complexity of IP. It has proven to be a completely fascinating phenethylamine. And, as with all the phenethylamines, there is an amphetamine that corresponds to it. This would be 3,5-dimethoxy-4-isopropoxyamphetamine, or 3C-IP. The preparation of it would require access through the O-isopropoxylation product with syringaldehyde, followed by nitrostyrene formation with nitroethane, followed by reduction probably with lithium aluminum hydride. It has not been synthesized, as far as I know, and so it has probably not been evaluated in man. What would be the active level? It would probably be more potent than IP, but I would guess not by much. Maybe in the 30 milligram area.

A moment’s aside for a couple of the words that are so much a part of the chemist’s jargon. Room temperature, as used above, means the natural temperature that something comes to if it is put on the table and is neither heated nor cooled. The phrase, I discovered during my year at Gif, is completely un-understandable in French. A room has no temperature. Only things in rooms have temperatures. Their expression is more exact. The object achieves, in the French terminology, a temperature normale d‘interieur, or about 15 to 16 °C. But in common laboratory parlance it has become the temperature d’ambiance.

And one finds the prefix “iso” used everywhere. Considerable care should be taken in the two different uses of the prefix “iso” in the nomenclature with the mescaline analogues. In general, the term “iso” means the other one of two possibilities. If you are allowed to paint a house only with green paint or red paint, and green is the color you actually use, then red could be called iso-green. With isoproscaline (here) there is a rearranging of the propyl group on the 4-oxygen of mescaline. It has been replaced with its branched analogue, the other of two possibilities, the isopropyl group. Everything is still with the 3,4,5-orientation on the benzene ring. However, with IM (isomescaline) there is a rearrangement of substitution pattern on the benzene ring, with the repositioning of the trimethoxyl substitution pattern from the 3,4,5- arrangement to the 2,3,4- arrangement. It has been the side-chain that has taken the other of two possible positions. The term “iso” must always be interpreted in precise context.

#91 IM
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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.

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