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Tryptamines & Phenethylamines

1 Introduction - Tryptamines

1.1 Tryptamines are a family of compounds structurally derived from tryptamine, which consists of a double ring structure and side chain. The family includes neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxy tryptamine) and hallucinogenic/psychedelic drugs such as LSD, Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) - both widely-used, and other, less common, synthetic drugs such as dimethyl-tryptamine (DMT).

1.2 The potency and duration of action for each member of the family will vary according to nature, and position of, the substituted side-groups on the benzene ring (R4 & R5) or the amino-side chains (R1, R2 & R3) - see fig 1

Fig 1 - Tryptamine chemical structure

1.3 The most common tryptamine, after LSD and Psilocybin, is DMT (nn-dimethyltryptamine = Shulgin T#4). This was known as the "businessman"s trip" when smoked (30-100mg) as it is short-acting with a duration of less than one hour. DMT is inactive orally unless combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Other tryptamines would most probably be sold to casual users as DMT, but may be properly represented to cognoscenti interested in experimenting with effects of different compounds.

2 Tryptamine Dosage & Duration

2.1 Many tryptamine compounds have been studied by Alexander Shulgin, who has catalogued the information on the various analogues, including subjective bioassays of different dosages and routes of administration, using himself as a guinea-pig.

Table 1 - Dosages & duration of Tryptamine drugs

Drug

Type

Dosage/Duration (Shulgin)

nn-dimethyltryptamine

Tryptamine

T#4 dosage 30-100mg smoked, inactive orally, duration up to 1 hr

Acetoxy-NN-dimethyltryptamine (Bufotenin)

Tryptamine

T#19 dosage 8-16mg i.v.

Duration 1-2 hrs

Acetoxy-nn-di-isopropyltrytamine

Tryptamine

T#37 (5-MeoDIPT) dosage 6-12mg orally

"Positive LSD-like psychedelic", duration 4-8hr

Lysergide (:LSD)

Tryptamine type

T#26 dosage 60-200g orally,

Duration 8-12hrs

Methoxy-nn-dimethyltryptamine

Tryptamine

T#38: 5-MeO-DMT - dosage 6-20mg smoked, 2-3mg iv, duration 1-2hrs

Also T#39: 4-MEO-DMT (note: unstable - DET homologue inactive <30mg smoked)

NN-dipropyltryptamine

Tryptamine

T#9: dosage 100-250mg orally, 100+mg smoked, 12-36mg iv, 80-100mg i.m.

Duration 2-4hrs

Psilocybe Mushrooms

Tryptamine

T#18: Psilocybin - 10-20mg orally

Duration 3-6hrs

2.2 Intravenous dosages tended to be 3-7 times lower than the smoked equivalent. Several compounds are inactive orally (unless combined with enzyme blockers), and must be smoked or injected to have effects. Oral dosages tend to be 2-3x higher than smoked dosages in other compounds.

3 Availability/Prevalence of DMT use.

3.1 DMT is used by a small minority of drug users, but has been appearing more frequently on the UK market since 1998. Approximately 1% of recreational drug users (maybe 20-30000 people) have tried it, or believe they have done so. Far more would do so if they had the opportunity, as it would appeal to users of LSD and magic mushrooms.

Table 2 - Incidence of reported DMT use in the UK (IDMU 1984-00)

Year

No. of Respondents Reporting DMT use

Sample size

%

1984

3

607

0.49%

1997

5

1136

0.44%

1998

26

1153

2.25%

1999

23

2173

1.06%

2000

25

2352

1.06%

Total

82

7421

1.10%

3.2 Of those who reported how often they had used DMT, the majority had done so on an expermental basis (less than 10 times), although four considered themselves regular users. No-one has claimed to use DMT on a daily basis.

Table 3 - Frequency of DMT Use (IDMU 1997-00)

Frequency of use

Number of respondents

Experimental

40

Occasional

9

Regular

4

Daily

0

Not Stated

29

Total

82

4 Phenethylamines

4.1 The best known phenethylamine is methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy, which is widely-used throughout the UK. Many other substances have been found in tablets sold as ecstasy, including MDEA, MBDB and a wide range of other substances, although MDMA and MDEA are the most common.

4.2 A small number of other phenethylamines have "niche" markets in the UK in their own right, of which 2-CB is the most commonly reported in IDMU surveys.

Table 4 - Frequency of 2-CB use (IDMU 1997-00)

Frequency of use

Number of respondents

Exp

19

Occ

3

Reg

5

Daily

0

Not Stated

24

Total

51

4.3 2-CT2: There is only one previous survey report of a user knowingly having used 2-CT2 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine) in the UK. Shulgin P#40 quotes an oral dosage range of 12-25mg, with a duration of 6-8hrs

 

5 Tryptamine & Phenethylamine Street Prices UK 1997-2000

5.1 The only synthetic tryptamine where prices have been reported with any frequency is DMT (dimethyltryptamine). This has been a write-in option under "other psychedelic" or "other drug" in IDMU surveys since 1997, involving a combined total of over 7000 drug users. All price reports since 1997 have been combined with the following results:

Table 5 - UK DMT Prices (1997-2000)

DMT Unit

Number reporting

Average Price

Dose/Tab

22

10.52

10 doses

7

81.43

Gram

7

225.00

5.2 2-CB prices: There were 24 price reports for 2-CB, an alternative phenethylamine type drug, with an average per dose of 4.07 (24 reports), and 27.50 for 10 doses (2 reports of 25 and 30 respectively). There was only one price report for 2CT-2, which quoted 15 but no units were indicated.

5.3 The ranges of reported prices for DMT and 2-CB from IDMU surveys between 1997 and 2000 are shown in fig 7 overleaf.

Fig 2 - Distribution of reported UK DMT/2-CB prices 1997-2000

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