Wednesday, December 30, 2015


In 2013 I published a series of reports in Vice magazine on 5-Bromo-DMT, a sponge alkaloid with psychedelic activity in man. The potency was lower than DMT and the effect was less than spectacular, but the simple fact that the drug represented the first psychedelic isolated from the ocean (and only the ocean) made it fascinating. The article generated some modest discussion on drug forums and then interest faded away.

To my surprise and excitement, two years and seven months after the article's publication, 5-Br-DMT appeared for sale among the offerings of a research chemical vendor. I waited patiently for reports to appear on drug forums and Reddit but was only able to find a single report posted on October 30th by a user named Sporelock:
"I have tried this. It provided a thorough stoning effect, with the only visuals produced being colour saturation and mild waving or breathing, like a low dose of mushrooms or something, and that was at its most intense part. Its just nice an relaxing, and very smooth but light. This is not a breakthrough intensity experience like plain DMT or 5-MeO-DMT. I loaded around 50-65(?) mg into a pipe and shared it with two other friends, (this is a guess I didnt actually measure it because I knew its effects were very light and going too far is pretty difficult).Worth a try, and it doesn't exhaust you very much. You are totally functional and we were able to city bus down to a restaurant for a beer part way through the experience.......I was past the peak though and only had to talk while getting a beer. I didn't need to control my headspace around my friends at the bar though. Just a little extra focus while talking to the barkeep. Theres a minor headspace, but its manageable definitely.
...While its not super intense or overly active, it still is a DMT analogue. And all tryptamines have fucked up tolerance curves. Its like a once a week maximum thing to be honest. Im just assuming you smoke weed more than 1 time a week. plus weed will be far easier to find. It was nice to smoke weed and be on 5-br-dmt, but its just not feasible to always have it.
...If it combusts alot of the activity is lost, or so Ive heard. You need to get a crack pipe or an actualy vaporizer and hover your lighter under it until you see thin vapour forming and inhale those. Look online for proper use of a crack pipe."

I was unable to find additional reports and have no idea how many people have used this drug. Since the publication of the Vice article Jason Wallach and I have continued to study 5-Br-DMT and may write a followup piece. If you have used 5-Br-DMT please send me an email to tell me about your response, the more datapoints the better.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Alexander Shulgin's drew me this diagram toward the end of his life, due to his failing vision the molecule was almost a blind contour, which resulted in the diisopropylethylamine side chain being attached to the indole 2-position as opposed to the 3-position. Though I imagine this was drawn in error I can't help but see it as a clue, maybe a result of a subconscious interest in the 2-isotryptamines, a synthetically challenging and pharmacologically promising area. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The structure and cannabinoid receptor affinity of the benzoylindole AM-2233 was first reported in 2001, the compound contains a chiral center in the 2-position of the piperidine ring with the more active (R)-enantiomer possessing 0.2nm affinity for the CB1 receptor. Aside from its high potency in vivo and iodine substituent that can be used for radioisotopic labeling, AM-2233 has the unusual ability to induce tinnitus in those who consume it. Below I have collected a series of anecdotal reports.

Shockwaves went down my arms, swim could hear an extremely loud ringing in my ears as swim felt his whole body go numb and feel like the threads of my body start to come a part, it litterly felt I was about to die....First his hearing started to become muffled like as the ringing grew louder, and his vision continued to get dimmer and dimmer....Yes a strong ringing, actually when swim started to lose his hearing an overwhelming ringing came does have potential though, but swim is wondering whats causes the hearing, and what other receptors does it act on to do that?
-godlike1213, November 2011

...the ringing/hearing loss effect really seems to be a distinctive characteristic of AM-2233. I personally disliked it, and am not looking forward to try this particular substance ever again. Except maybe in combination of some other cannabinoid(s), in small quantity.
-fehs, November 2011

The hearing going out and a ringing in my ears worse than after DeadMau5 concert was always in the way of enjoying AM-2233's effects. It gave SWIM a lot of anxiody. For days after having tested 1/2 a gram on Damiana blend SWIM was still questioning his hearing and thought there was ringing....SWIM will never see to further research with AM-2233, SWIM know's all he wants to about it, and thinks it may be quite toxic in some way. I also want to know what receptor is it affecting to alter hearing depth so dramaticly, and how potentially hazardous this RC possible is.
-CkenX, November 2011

My feline friend Ziggui and her friends dubbed AM-2233 "Tinnitus Powder".. lol. She said the horrible ringing always got in the way, and when she ran out of AM-2201 and was awaiting the new batch, she stated that AM-2233 was no where near even a temporary replacement for AM-2201, She is truly opposed to further research on this RC.
-d42kn355, May 2012

Swim does confirm the humming in my head around the sides it is a lil annoying what causes the humming that is interesting to me...swim said that last night the effects of buzzing humming ears last longer than sleeping 6 hrs and said the humming was still slightly present maybe the rc binds to more than cb receipters if sound travels to the brain by chemistry than am2233 could be binding on audiotory transmitters causing a hum thank god it is just a humming sound you can audiably hear and feal but not some lil prick talking in your head haha
-Ynot, September 2011

...the humming effect wasn't really bothering me much at first but when the dosage was increased even further the auditory effect changed; not only was my ears humming like before but now everything was also heavily 'muffled', kind of if I was covering my ears with my hands or something.
-fehs, September 2011

After the whole ordeal, a distinct ringing in both ears could be heard. Hearing also felt muffled as if coming home from a concert. This ringing remained persistant and induced some worry. Quickly with the internet experiences I learned ringing or "humming" is duely noted from a handfull of people. This confirmed the sample to be AM-2233 for sure....AM-2233 smoked off a blend is much more pleasant, with less "yuky" OD feeling, and less ringing in the ears/feeling of needing to "pop". Further research shall be conducted.....Ringing and buzzing is present, it seems, at possibly all/any dose. Hate to admit it, but AM-2233 is surprisingly potant in its own fashion.
-CkenX, September 2011

With 2233, I would describe it more like loss of hearing than humming. Kind of if you held your hands on your ears or something....with 2233, the "humming effect" was very different, and so distinctive feature... and it happened every time when I exceeded certain size of doses, and became more intense the more I kept smoking, while there clearly was no typical symptoms of cannabinoid overdose in the air....Not necessarily at the lowest doses, or to a small extent only, but it didn't take very much either, certainly doesn't require "od-levels" to achieve a strong dampening effect. No hallucinations really, just rather boring dulling of normal sounds... well, with a twist maybe, but not a twist large enough for me to call it hallucination.
-fehs, January 2012

Theirs AM-2233 I've brought from a site in the UK. It's not a bad buzz,it gets you stoned for about a hourish,more of a Sativa feeling to it,the only problem I noticed was a ringing sound in the ears,slightly off putting.
-pickledshrooms, November 2011

I really strongly reccomend against using am-2233, it is not a nice high and you get thee loudest ringing in your ears. Its just one of those 'unpleasent' synth highs but 90% of the time you smoke it.
-OTGee, March 2012

...had a massive overdose, parachuting 300 milligrams (i thought i was consuming a different chemical for which that amount would be a low dose) -aside from the horrible psichedelic like dying bad trip, gf fearing i had gone permanently insane- i went deaf for a whole day with horrible tinnitus
-cosmic._.ape, December 2012

...been there done that with said noid [AM 2233] my self i woke one morning after smoking it could not get of the bed painic attacks ring in the ears the works.
-foolsgold, December 2012

But since then I have been noticing little things that arn't quite right. For example Id say almost every day I have a pounding headache, I feel as if I have an irregular heartbeat although I went to doctors and they checked my blood pressure and said it was fine? I have also had unbearable tinnitus and iv heard that am2233 can lead to this?
-AphexSwim, May 2012

Personally I couldn't consume much 2233 due to the ridiculously high vape temp which seemed to be so close to the pyrolysis temp it was unreal, big cloulds of indoly smoke, also the tinnitus it gave me was horrid, first RC I've ever binned!
-hx_, March 2012

There is a new incense blend being sold retail in Australia that causes a loud ringing sensation in the ears that starts an hour after use. The ringing last for a couple of hours and is really annoying. A few different people have reported this now and it has been reported to the manufacturer without a response….Some people have reported AM-2233 causes ringing in the ears.
-nekointheclouds, June 2012

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I am in the midst of writing a book, it's an expansion of this article in Harper's Magazine about the unsolved murder of Steven Pollock and will be published by McSweeny's. The research for this book is extremely demanding and I need someone to assist me. Please respond if you meet the following criteria:
  • You live in New York.
  • You are capable or spending tens or hundreds of hours working on this project with me in New York.
  • You are exceptionally good at both archival and electronic research. 
I am willing to pay for your food and transportation and possibly more depending on how good you are. Please do not respond unless you have read the Harper's article and meet the above criteria.

Friday, March 14, 2014


For several years I have been hunting for a copy of the last book by Richard Gutierrez (pseud. Rich Gee) titled Cubensis Aquarium Gardening, a book surpassed even by Guzman's legendary Psilocybe monograph in its elusiveness. (The latter book circulates in digital copies, the former appears to be entirely unavailable.) Cubensis Aquarium Gardening is listed as having been published in 1995 by Ars Obscura, yet when I contacted Ars Obscura to ask about the availability of reprints or remainders, they had no knowledge of the book. Although Cubensis Aquarium Gardening is listed for sale on a few websites, none of them actually stock it and no digital copies are available as far as I can tell. Cubensis Aquarium Gardening is only 35 pages long and was likely printed in a very limited edition, the only reference I can find to anyone actually having read it is from John Allen. 

I am aware the techniques offered in the book may be outdated or available elsewhere, I am simply interested in this book for its historical value and for images of early specimens of the Penis Envy cubensis variety.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I've been in the process of designing an experiment that requires precise control over the frequency and amplitude of sound waves and must encompass ultrasonic frequencies, ideally up to 70 kHz. I'm aware that is well outside the range of human hearing and closer to the frequencies used in ultrasonic cleaners. Many bird callers and electronic pest control devices advertise the ability to produce ultrasonic frequencies but it is unclear how much range these speaker possess and if they can be modified for other applications. I have also seen ultrasonic piezoelectric speakers that advertise frequencies up to 70kHz but I am uncertain, again, how limited their range is. Ebay is full of signal generators that can produce sine waves of almost any frequency but I believe these still require a transducer to convert the signal and are probably replaceable by various computer programs.

So this is my question: can anyone with a background in sound engineering or alike recommend a minimally expensive, maximally accurate system to produce pure tones of a precise frequency and amplitude (as well as ultrasound more generally) and a speaker to transmit them?