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A Completely Fascinating Phenethylamine
by Zona
Citation:   Zona. "A Completely Fascinating Phenethylamine: An Experience with Isoproscaline (exp115869)". Aug 29, 2023.

90 mg oral Isoproscaline
More than 20 years ago perusing the second section of Shulgin's PIHKAL my eyes fell on #92; beguiled by the two glowing accounts furnished by way of illustrating the 'color and complexity of IP" and above all by Sasha's declaration that it has "proven to be a completely fascinating phenethylamine" a mild, if enduring obsession was born. Over the intervening years I contacted vendors and SE Asian custom synth companies, and conducted repeated online searches in the hope that sooner or later this substance would emerge from the depths of the net. Things became more tantalizing when the other 'scalines began to appear, yet despite their availability Isoproscaline remained stubbornly out of reach. Surely, I told myself, Shulgin would not have called it 'completely fascinating' without good reason? Why had nobody else seized upon this phrase and brought it to the world? Desktop gave way to laptop, tablet and smartphone, web to social media; the war on terror gave way to market collapse, culture wars, fake news; psychedelics went from fringe to mainstream; the passions of youth to the velleities of age: then, in the midst of global upheaval, it appeared!

With it at last in my hands I set about managing expectations. I couldn't suppress my excitement as I, and two trusted companions, swallowed our 90mg doses of IP, whose first hint of activity could be felt within 20 minutes of consumption. Surmising from PHIKAL and the terse jottings of Shulgin's notebooks that it might take a couple of hours to settle down, we decided to hike in a landscape of dry hills, dramatic cliffs and glittering beaches. The day however was, what one used to call, 'unseasonably' hot, and drenched in sweat we became increasingly aware of the need to escape the midday sun. At about two hours in we found a marshy glade, and gratefully collapsed in the shade it offered. It would be our home for the next 4 hours.

The initial signature of IP seemed to be a serene, clear, mindstate, a stilling of internal dialogue, accompanied by a strong physical euphoria reminiscent of MDA: a warm glow diffusing throughout ones' limbs, gathering to a grin. With eyes open the landscape and its' colours were perceived in extraordinary definition, and the drug's mescalinian provenance manifest. Although devoid of any additional movement, wider vistas proved difficult to contemplate for extended periods and I was more comfortable watching the breeze move the leaves in my shady bower, delighting in the forms of the lichen that hung from its branches. On closing my eyes my visual field was filled with a play of bright if diffuse metallic hues, out of which would emerge various patterns and forms. Observing this brought to mind the difficulty often encountered when inducing crystallization in a novel molecule, it seemed as if the drug had yet to find its geometry and displayed an inchoate equipotentiality as it explored and retreated from potential forms.

During the peak of the experience it became apparent to us all that IP possessed more than a mere 'signature' but something resembling a 'personality' a real force, one moreover that was in the process of individuating. This was totally unexpected, and we lay around proclaiming 'My God, it's Alive!'
IP possessed more than a mere 'signature' but something resembling a 'personality' a real force, one moreover that was in the process of individuating. This was totally unexpected, and we lay around proclaiming 'My God, it's Alive!'
Although it would be an exaggeration to call it an 'entity' it felt like something irreducible to simply a specific combination of receptor activation and/or neurotransmitter release. Accompanying these thoughts was an intuition that it would be unwise to presume upon its serene, benign nature, and that the minor note of unease that quietly sounded in the background of the experience signaled that 90mg was perhaps a little too high a dose.

Allied to this suspicion was the fact that after 4.5 hours and steady hydration I had yet to urinate, indeed on attempting I was only able to produce a few, wine-dark droplets. Not wanting to get caught up in this fact I decided not to mention this to my companions (it later turned out that we had all experienced this effect), and decided to maintain a minimal intake of liquid, rather than attempt to force the issue by drinking a large quantity.

With the day's heat dissipating, at about 6 hrs we decided to retreat, walking seemed to intensify IP's action. I had expected to notice the first signing of waning at about 7hrs but the hour came and went with little sign of diminishment. At about 8 hours we choose to venture out again, building a fire by the beach and enjoying a rare opportunity to contemplate the milky way with the dark sky of a new moon.

Although by about the 9th hour I found myself able to produce a small quantity of urine, the situation did not resolve itself until the 13th hour when I had a few sips of beer, not only did this smooth the edges of the experience but almost instantly freed a copious quantity of urine, and over the following hours my bladder made up for lost time. One of us fell asleep at around 13.5 hrs, but for my part the action did not cease until the 16th hour, when sleep came swiftly and easily.

Comparing notes in the final stages we came to the follow conclusion that further exploration was warranted, but that increasing the dose was not. While the experience never outstayed its welcome it nevertheless felt like a long 16 hrs (subjectively longer than other compounds of comparable duration). Shulgin's notes observe that there was 'surprisingly little to pay the following day' and this was also our experience, nothing of the 'fried' mind of acid, nor the grim enervation of MDMA was noted. However, I remained 'sensitive' for several days, despite sleep, nutrition etc, suggesting some lingering effects.

I secured a quantity, which in a cruel plot twist was stolen before it reached my hands. But if you don't succeed...., reminding myself that it was unlikely that this was some overlooked compound destined to set the world alight, nevertheless,
One consistent contrast between the various novel psychedelics I've sampled and the time honoured classics is that while the latter seem to lead to an encounter with forces beyond 'me' and my CNS, the former seem to be drawn solely, to coin a phrase, from within the zodiac of my own wits. This constitutes both the pitfall and positivity of each equally. Isoproscaline appeared to conform to this pattern, and throughout the day I felt that the state was contained within me.

However, indeed our impression was that at higher level IP might well prove physically threatening, instead repeated exposures at a lower dose (starting at 70mg) should be the way forward; the strong physical nature of the experience might well lend itself to various activities, e.g. dancing, and in the later stages the erotic; that IP personality is perhaps in an initial stage of 'ontogenesis' and its power yet to be determined (perhaps this is what Shulgin's comment hinted at?); finally, final analogy: IP resembled a new release by an admired artist, which seems promising but you don't quite get and which will take a few more listens to work out....

Exp Year: 2021ExpID: 115869
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Aug 29, 2023Views: 349
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Isoproscaline (942) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Post Trip Problems (8), Nature / Outdoors (23), Glowing Experiences (4), Health Problems (27), General (1)

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