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The Last Interview With Alexander Shulgin

I love Alexander Shulgin. I've loved him from the first moment I read about him. He is my idol, my hero, my sun, my O2.
2.5.10

Alexander Shulgin and the author.

PiHKAL

Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved

TiHKAL

Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved

PiHKAL

as

bleed

A collage entitled Psychedelic Cuddle by Shulgin enthusiast William Rafti. Rafti also designs tattoos and blotter art.

New York Times


1 A place where, I have a feeling, he has “tasted” many a psychedelic with various captains of industry. According to one friend, he was spotted offering to teach the head of Boeing “a new way to fly.”

ΔΙΑΦΗΜΙΣΗ

Aardwolf

aard·wolf

n, pl

aard·wolves

aard

wolf

1:

Hyaenidae

Protelidae

2:

π

π

can

π

large

infinity

x

x


2 “Fungi,” “fungus,” and “funguses,” with special attention paid to the variant pronunciations of “fungi”—“fun-gee” and “fun-guy.” It should be noted these questions come from a man who published a two-page editorial in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology dedicated to how irksome it is when people incorrectly pluralize the word “amphetamine.” The implication being that this grammatical error is the most heinous amphetamine abuse of all. So please, in the future remember Adderall contains amphetamine, not amphetamines.

A friendly reminder to the DEA should they try to harass Shulgin.

Trichocereus bridgesii forma monstrose

Claviceps purpurea


3 Shulgin’s first chemical modification to the mescaline molecule was the addition of a single carbon atom to the ethylamine side chain, which produced an amphetamine called TMA. From there he developed TMA-2 through TMA-6. They became moderately popular psychedelics in Japan and the US, and TMA-6 remains an unscheduled substance. Shulgin enjoyed TMA-6, although he felt “toasting the toast in the toaster was difficult.”

Inside the Pyrex jungle.

TiHKAL

PiHKAL


4 Shulgin created a series of sulfur-containing psychedelic amphetamines named after the Hebrew letter א. ALEPH-1 was the first. True to his method of vigilant titration, his first dose was 250 nanograms. Over the course of 18 trials he worked up to a single milligram. It detonated an intellectual hydrogen bomb in his prefrontal cortex.

ΔΙΑΦΗΜΙΣΗ

A shelf of reagents, solvents, and a large jar of piperonal—one precursor for MDA.

always

supremely

aroogah


5 2C-B is the archetypal Shulgin psychedelic. It possesses all the qualities he searched for throughout his carrier. 2C-B is potent, warm, corporeal, associative, shows no signs of physical toxicity, and has a short duration, ideal for psychotherapy. It is also extremely “erotic.” Shulgin said, “If there is anything ever found to be an effective aphrodisiac, it will probably be patterned after 2C-B in structure.” It was, unfortunately, made illegal after a brief stint as a legal sex enhancer and widespread distribution under the name Ubulawu Nomathotholo by South African shamans (an incredible story for another time).

The author touching a specimen of Trichocereus bridgesii forma monstrose, aka the penis cactus. It was very “erotic.”

It’s never easy to say goodbye.

Gaze upon VBS.TV this month to see more of Hamilton’s chemical rendezvous with the Shulgins. It’s an eye romp.