A Chemical Love Story
April 9, 2004 2:38 PM   Subscribe

PiHKAL - Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved: A Chemical Love Story, by Alexander and Ann Shulgin, is the online version of the book of the same name. It contains personal accounts by the Shulgins detailing the chemical procedures used in the synthesis, and lengthy qualitative reports regarding the subsequent ingestion, of 179 different types of Phenethylamines, the family of chemicals that includes 2C-B, Mescaline - the active ingredient in Peyote, and MDMA - better known as ecstasy. See also the sequel TiHKAL - Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved: The Chemistry Continues, again by the Shulgins, whose highlights include DMT and LSD.
posted by ChasFile (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Be sure to check out this 1995 L.A. Times article for more on the fascinating life of the Shulgins, who have invented, and probably consumed, more Schedule 1 drugs than anybody else.

...and let me be the first to say it, given the other psycadelics-related posts lately...

posted by ChasFile at 2:40 PM on April 9, 2004

Shulgin Filter
posted by y2karl at 2:59 PM on April 9, 2004


/consumes some phenylethylamine. Just some chocolate bar.
posted by Gyan at 3:10 PM on April 9, 2004

Did you know that Sasha Shulgin is pushing eighty years old?

It sort of undercuts the old adage "there are old psychonauts, and there are bold psychonauts, but there are no old bold psychonauts". Especially since has tested most or all of his chemical creations on himself first (and his wife second), as a human guinea pig.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:18 PM on April 9, 2004

For some reason which should be come apparent, this post reminds me of these two blogs: Sixth Seal and Castitas.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:21 PM on April 9, 2004

the proverbial kid in the candy store is 80 years old.
McKenna's moved onto other planes.

Are there any up and coming psychonauts worthy of mention?
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:27 PM on April 9, 2004

It's surprisingly good reading for what is essentially a chemistry experiment notebook.
posted by milovoo at 3:35 PM on April 9, 2004

Daniel Pinchbeck is trying.
posted by muckster at 5:03 PM on April 9, 2004

This text seems kinda touch-and-go. Drugs which obviously would warrant a lot of discussion like LSD don't really get any. (Why'd you list LSD as a highlight, anyway?) The experiences are in quotes, even though it's often him that's having them. Really, it's with the rambling voice of someone who's taken one too many hundred different kinds of hallucinogen.
posted by abcde at 6:27 PM on April 9, 2004

abcde: Drugs which obviously would warrant a lot of discussion like LSD don't really get any.

That's because the online versions are only the second halves of each book (PIHKAL, TIHKAL). The first haves are the "The first half of 'X'iHKAL is an excellent commentary on the Shulgin's personal experiences with 'X'amines.". Take a 'Look Inside' at Amazon. The interesting parts for the non-chemist are not included online.

I assume the quotes in each chemical's entry indicates verbatim transcription.
posted by Gyan at 6:43 PM on April 9, 2004

35 years of drug use doesn't seem to have clouded his reasoning or verbal ability.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:02 PM on April 9, 2004

Aha. So the relatively brief descriptions listed in the experiences part are more of a scientific summary. And it would be natural that LSD gets less attention, because its effects are well-known. Got it.
posted by abcde at 7:03 PM on April 9, 2004

Fascinating. I've seen it before and I'll surely read it again, but fascinating nonetheless.
posted by snarfodox at 9:55 PM on April 9, 2004

Be sure to check out this documentary on the author, which is infinitely better than the one from the LA Times.
posted by calwatch at 10:04 PM on April 9, 2004

I'd like to thank this thread for the "5-MEO-AMT NOW ON SALE" Google ads on the frontpage.

That is all.
posted by Jairus at 8:27 AM on April 10, 2004

Gracie and Zarkov
posted by shoepal at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2004

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