Citation: Fleming. "Understanding MAL: An Experience with Methallylescaline & Various (exp116931)". Erowid.org. Jan 19, 2023. erowid.org/exp/116931
A little bird flew past my window and accidentally dropped slightly more than 800mg of methallylescaline, which is kind of a lot but still light enough to be diverted by a slight breeze and land inside. By the time I realized what was in the parcel, and called out to the bird, it was already too late and he or she was long gone. This sort of thing seems to happen a lot where I live, and it’s a very peculiar situation, but there’s nothing I can really do about it…
Anyway, I measured out 500mg in a 2mg/mL volumetric solution with clean water. First, I tried a dose of 50mg which had a very manageable bitter flavor. I began to walk around the lake while the effects set in – WAY TOO PUSHY. I got a full portion of the body-load that people describe with this chemical. The ‘PIHKAL’ entry on MAL is one of the least consistent in the entirety of Shulgin’s two classic books. Some people were totally overwhelmed by the substance, while others found it to be very friendly and easy-going. [This is a good place to point out that NOT all of the ‘Qualitative Comments’ in ‘PIHKAL’ & ‘TIHKAL’ were written / experienced by Alexander & Ann Shulgin themselves. They had a close-knit group of researchers who participated in the “tasting” of Sasha’s famous phenethylamines and tantalizing tryptamines, a crew which included artists, psychologists, etc. I frequently see experience reports on various websites where people write with the assumption that the Shulgins did drugs all day, every day and included exclusively first-hand accounts in the books – this is not accurate, and maybe I’m nitpicking here, but it is worth remembering this fact when reading these amazing pieces of (art)-work. In some cases, the reports come from individuals whom Shulgin had never met, and at least one or two of them come from dubious studies carried out in mental hospitals and prisons, back in the “good old days”. This may be one reason why some of the books’ entries are such a “mixed bag”].
I came home, and immediately assumed the position on the toilet – I had no real nausea, but a lot of diarrhea, which was merely annoying and not at all painful. I make my own ginger capsules out of high quality powder, which I buy in bulk (it’s a lot cheaper than buying pills). I also live in an Asian country where ginger is grown fresh, so I never fail to take this excellent anti-inflammatory and stomach-easing natural medicine, most every day – and ALWAYS on “experiment days”. In later evaluations with MAL, I found some useful methods for further reducing the body-load and other distracting physical effects, namely spreading out the dosage, microdosing, and supplementing with other psychedelic substances.
MAL lasts a very long time, so some degree of preparation is required for experiments with this mescaline analog. I’m an early riser most of the time, so it’s not a problem for me to begin dosing psychedelics at an early-morning hour and enjoying the effects all day, then going to sleep at a reasonable hour. An example of a spread-out dosing scheme would be: Wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, have a couple bananas, some ginger, and prepare some herbal tea (MAL being a stimulating phenethylamine, it’s usually best to avoid caffeine on experiment days). After shaking the cobwebs outta my brain, and perhaps installing a couple new ones by smoking a joint of this terrible – but insanely cheap – kilogram of brick weed that I keep in my home office / studio, it’s time to take the first part of the dose. Basically I took 20mg, every half-hour for 1.5 hours, for a total dose of 60mg. This was a winning strategy, as the come-up was longer and smoother, the peak effects were never too strong and the body-load was totally manageable. I then ate a proper breakfast, which tasted great and produced zero nausea, much to my delight. The effects of this spread-out dosing of MAL are very positive, with some noticeable cognitive euphoria, all-day energy, and a very “clean” feeling. Reading a book was easy and relaxing, gardening was a beautiful experience – with enhanced colors and aromas from the vegetables and enormous weed plants. [As I mentioned above, I live in a very popular Asian country where a wide variety of excellent quality plant medicines, including but by no means limited to marijuana and kratom grow naturally and legally. My sativa plants are literally more than 10 feet (approx. 3 meters) tall.]
The next experiment I conducted was a few weeks of microdosing – sometimes with MAL, other times with mushrooms, but usually with *both* (MAL in the morning, less than 10mg, and mushrooms in the late afternoon, around 250mg of stem matter). There is absolutely no literature or even online discussions / reports of people trying this microdosing system, so I hope this report will help inspire others who may have considered a phenethylamine + tryptamine microdosing experiment. The basic idea here is that MAL, in a very small dose, should produce effects similar to microdoses of mescaline or perhaps LSD – which people claim sharpens their concentration, gives them positive energy, etc. Then, the tryptamine-containing mushroom microdose should contribute more “earthy”, relaxed and / or spiritual effects. Honestly, I’m not at all convinced that microdosing is actually effective. At the time of this writing, the scientific studies on this subject are all in very frustrating states of uncertainty, with very little concrete information. I am personally extremely anti-government, since I was a child, and I’m totally disgusted with the ignorant policies which hampered funding for and legitimization of psychedelic studies over the past half-century (mostly perpetrated by the Americans, but almost every government is to blame to some extent). Time will tell if current microdosing studies will eventually start to yield more facts and less speculation…
One of the very welcome effects of MAL, for me, is the marked decrease in my scoliosis-related back pain, and thus the need for lower doses of painkillers. I notice this remarkable pain-vanishing-act whenever I take MAL, at almost any dose above 20mg, and it lasts for several days afterwards. MAL also seems to potentiate the positive mental and physical effects of all sorts of relatively subtle drugs such as green tea, kratom, chamomile, and so on. I am heavily addicted to very high grade Asian green tea, oolong tea, black tea with ginseng root, etc. This level of tea is able to be re-brewed, in some cases up to five times (!!!) with a different flavor profile in each brew. The low levels of caffeine, in concert with the “entourage effect” of the various and sundry other natural chemicals in the tea leaves, give me a very happy “glow” which builds throughout the day. MAL seems to really enhance this effect of good tea, or perhaps the MAL just helps me to notice it more.
MAL, in my experience, is all about subtlety, in a very good way. I have to “meet it halfway” and concentrate on effects to feel them more strongly.
MAL, in my experience, is all about subtlety, in a very good way. I have to “meet it halfway” and concentrate on effects to feel them more strongly.
The enhanced effects of tea while on this chemical represent only one example of this phenomenon. Others include, but are by no means limited to: Enhanced flavor in all food and drinks; Definite color / vision augmentation (looking at stars and the moon through binoculars was very cool); A super-subtle FBO (full-body orgasm) type of physical euphoria, which I suspect may become a lot more pronounced with higher doses; Even very subtle visuals… I find that I need to really concentrate and relax my eyes while looking at some types of surfaces, particularly the concrete and asphalt in the local roads, tree bark in the park by the lake, the textured walls of my office, even the cat litter in its box. During one experiment, when I had mixed 1P-LSD with the MAL, I was able to get the whole surface of the cat sand flowing, swirling, and undulating. ONLY the litter was moving, while the rest of the surfaces in the bathroom were totally still. Eventually, this got to be a bit freaky, as it almost started to look as if something “(alive!!!)” was under the sand, on the brink of pushing itself free and coming out of the cat shit. Once I broke my concentration, the effect stopped.
On the subject of the third type of experiments – combos: While there is no information on the microdosing of a phenethylamine and a tryptamine in the same day, there are plenty of experience reports and discussions mentioning the “spicing up” of a MAL experience with other psychedelics. 1P-LSD is frequently referenced, as is 4-HO-MET… It’s a good thing those hippie-ass birds who traverse through the air in my neighborhood accidentally dropped off some of both of these substances as well. It’s an amazing world we live in, ladies and gentlemen!! I think I’m becoming an ornithologist-sympathizer. The aforementioned MAL + 1P-LSD session took place in the safety and comfort of my own home, as well as the trusty lake, and also partially “up top” (my wife and my little pet-name for the Buddhist temple on a hill, overlooking the city and the entire valley, several mountain ranges, etc, which happens to be right next to my house). This experience was very long, as I’d suspected it would be – which is one damn good reason to get started early, and even prepare the volumetric dose the night before to avoid futzing around with the measuring syringe first thing in the morning. I took a spread-out dose of the MAL first, and followed it with a single tab of the 1P-LSD at around the 4-hour mark. Great energy flowed throughout the day, but visuals were minimal and subtle (including the cat-box adventure I just mentioned above). I had a gig later that night, and I was basically at a ++ when I got there and set up my big digital piano and microphone. It was a fun show, with good audience participation, and I went home to eat a late dinner, with a weed-brownie for desert, and get some good sleep.
Now, the MAL + 4-HO-MET experience turned out to be highly unexpected in both its uniqueness and its duration. I kept a log of the dosing times for this one: 14:00 – 18mg MAL; 15:15 – 24mg MAL; 16:00 – 28mg MAL; 18:15 – 25mg 4-HO-MET… That evening, I attended one of the superb free classical music concerts at a very swanky local hotel (see some of my other Erowid reports for more exciting psychedelic adventures at this location). By now, I’ve become very comfortable with tripping out in public – I’m kind of a solitary dude anyway and I am perfectly fine with sitting by myself in a seat by the window or wall, with the audio recorder on my cheap smartphone making a “bootleg” of the amazing music. I’ve been a professional musician my entire life, but I’m pretty strictly rock n roll / blues – I cannot play classical music to save my life, but I really enjoy listening to it, and especially seeing it performed live, double-especially going to a live performance on major serious drugs!!! I had taken the 4-HO-MET capsule 45 minutes before the concert started, and it was smooth sailing the entire way. This combo definitely did some interesting things visually, and sharpened the music slightly (but not as deeply as some other psychedelic substances can) – once again, I’d imagine that with a higher dose, there could be really strong musical euphoria, but I always try to keep it on the higher side of a “museum dose” when I’m out at these events.
I went out to the pool area during the brief intermission and smoked a bit more pot, then made the obligatory trip to the toilet. My eyes were kind of David-Bowie’d-up at this point, but not quite as seriously as during previous outings with LSD, MDMA, and 2C-B. There is some very nice-looking black and white marble in the men’s rooms of the hotel, which has become one of my go-to references for visual effects while attending concerts there. As before with other patterned or textured surfaces, I relax my eyes, let the marble start to swirl and pay attention to what type of movements it is doing. Upon return to my seat in the auditorium, I noticed a definite, interesting visual quality from the 4-HO-MET. Like other people, I find this substance to tend towards the dark purples, dark blues, dark reds, etc (both OEVs and CEVs). It was almost like a sepia tone type of effect, like watching a concert captured on old film, but of course way more complex than that because it’s a psychedelic effect which is happening in real life. While contemplating these endlessly entertaining visual effects, I am consistently reminding myself that – to paraphrase the good Dr. Andrew Weil – “Drugs do not contain highs. These effects are actually produced by your mind.” Keeping this concept in the forefront is very important, in my experience, for understanding psychedelic experiences and having a better, more positive relationship with drugs in general.
As the concert came to an end, with a spirited version of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ featuring the very professional pianist, flautist, and violinist, the effect of the drug combo continued to persist, although I was still safely at a “museum dose” and had no difficulty making my way home. The unexpected part came later, when I tried to get to sleep. It wasn’t happening at all – which would normally be a bad thing, but in this case a sleepless night was mind-blowingly neutral. As I mentioned, I usually get up pretty early in the morning and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. The only times I stay up later in the evening are almost 100% music-related, and I very rarely pull all-nighters. This time, I basically tripped at a comfortable level until well after sunrise – more than 12 hours after my dose of 4-HO-MET and more than 18 hours after my initial dose of MAL(!!!)… So it seems that the tryptamine supplement not only added significant spice and color to the background effect of the phenethylamine, but also greatly lengthened the overall duration of the experience as a whole. The closed-eye stuff I enjoyed all night long was mostly of a slower, flowing nature, with some interesting human faces emerging here and there (nobody in particular, but more like common facial structures, both male and female, of various ages and races). The time went by pretty quickly, and I didn’t feel too exhausted in the morning, much to my surprise. I did eventually take a nap, and then went to sleep the night after the experiment without any trouble.
I’ve recently read two very interesting books on consciousness – Stanislav Grof’s ‘The Way of the Psychonaut (Volumes One and Two)’ and ‘The Head Trip’ (the author’s name escapes me). In the latter book, there is a chapter about something called “The Watch”, which is a kind of random late-night wakefulness. In some ancient cultures, when people would wake up in the middle of the night like that, they didn’t fret as we modern men and women do, but rather they actually savored the feeling of being able to spend time in peace and quiet with one’s thoughts. In so many aspects of human life, the phrase “it’s all in your mind” comes into play. The Watch is one great example of this, and I’ve recently found myself doing a better job of thinking more positively about situations like it, and many others… Psychedelics in general seem to bring the “it’s all in your mind” concept right up to the surface of my awareness and thrust it into my face – not in a threatening way, mind you…
I personally did a very short stretch - just over one month - in the county jail in Miami, back in 2005. I’m not from there, and I was acting like an idiot – driving my car down the major roads in South Beach, up to Bal Harbor, while in a semi-blackout-state. I was 20 years old at the time, and it was 18 years ago as of this writing. I was caught with three ecstasy pills, and I was spectacularly drunk – it was a negative time in my life, for sure. When the police finally transferred me to the jail, it was 7 o’clock in the morning and the sun was already shining bright over Biscayne Bay. I was feeling very down, as one often does when MDMA and alcohol wear off, and the situation I was in greatly compounded the already intensely negative feelings from the reckless abuse of these drugs. The police officer advised me not to mention anything about my mental state when I got inside the jailhouse. As usual, he had no idea what he was talking about, and his spiel was nothing more than yet another mouthful of lies, misinformation, and illiterate gibberish from an American cop. I didn’t waste time getting comfortable in the holding cell, which was steadily filling up with new inmates as the morning wore on. Instead, I just uttered the magic words “something, something, something, blah, blah, blah, suicide...” and the guards instantly grabbed me out of the overcrowded holding cell and put me on the right track towards a comfortable, quiet, spacious private cell on the 9th floor – the psychiatric ward.
I had a great view of Downtown Miami, and plenty of quality time to think about my life and how I was going to solve the serious problems that were clearly plaguing it. I started with my earliest memories of childhood – attending a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York with my mother when I was 3 years old… It took me about 48 hours to get from there up to what was the present moment at that time – I thought about experiences and events that I hadn’t paid any attention to in years; it was a very valuable experience – and surprise, surprise, it took place during the rough comedown from a semi-psychedelic amphetamine, featured in the pages of ‘PIHKAL’!! Back then, I didn’t have as deep of an understanding of what I was doing, compared to now. But looking back, it seems that this early “it’s all in your mind” experience was one of the stepping stones towards what has proven to be a very rich and nourishing journey through the world of Shulgin chemicals.
On the whole, I feel a lot more relaxed and less worried since I started getting more into psychedelics, a little bit later in life. The “trips” are generally a lot more pleasant, the dosages are way more responsibly measured, the virtue of patience is observed and applied – and the outcome is a much better time. These wonderful medicines absolutely help to unlock subtle but powerful painkilling, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressive effects in my mind, which in turn contributes to a much healthier overall feeling in my body. I’ve also been drinking very, very, very significantly less alcohol since I began re-discovering tryptamines, phenethylamines, and lysergamies. This is extremely important to me, because I was a very heavy alcoholic from my late teens through to my mid-thirties. I’ve concluded that alcohol is generally a boring, low-quality drug. It’s not a really all that useful for anything, it is insanely addictive, it’s almost impossible to dose appropriately, and the threshold where the brief, fleeting positive effects of alcohol cross over into the negative, poisonous effects is unmercifully covert and irretraceable. I’m sure a lot of people, drug users and nonusers alike, would accuse me of simply “replacing one addiction with another” – and I’m okay with them thinking that (who cares?). I do take psychedelics more frequently than most average users, but I do not experience any damaging effects to my body or mind.
In the future, I intend to perform many more experiments with my MAL. I’d like to take it up a little more to 70mg, 75mg, and maybe 80mg at maximum – however, I must be very patient and careful with these relatively higher doses, as some reports out there do indicate that super-high amounts (130mg and above) have resulted in hospitalization and other very real physical complications. I don’t have any plans to go that high, and I’ll take it in small increments for sure. Previously, I had decided to tentatively abandon combo experiments… BUT, this interesting mescaline analog known as MAL has proven to work very synergistically with other psychedelics. It really does lend a “balancing” quality to the experience, which one would expect from “earthy” alternate takes on classic cactus phenethylamines.
Psychedelic drugs are truly unlike any other types of psychotropic substances. I tend to make a very clear distinction between interesting drugs (true psychedelics, some semi-psychedelics, and some plant medicines) and boring drugs (alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, heroin, speed, dissociatives, benzos, etc). To be sure, boring drugs have their important uses, and I believe that all drugs should be fully legal, no bullshit, no excuses. There is zero legitimate rationale for the actions taken by various governments against otherwise law-abiding citizens. If I am ever in a serious accident, I should sure hope that the hospital has strong opioids. But doing those sorts of numbing drugs every day, in the absence of constant real pain, is really a waste of time. It is my hope that as we begin to see psychedelics further researched, and applied in the practice of medicine – and as it becomes attractive from a cynical-but-important moneymaking point of view – all of these great substances will become easier to access and use responsibly. Had I simply found one dose of MAL at a party, sold by a sketchy dealer or something, there would have been every chance that I may not have enjoyed the experience. I would have gotten the uncomfortable body-push with the first try, and possibly never even seen the substance again. Instead, thanks to the amazing little birds that fly around my area, I’ve been able to properly explore a few different ways to use this chemical, and I’ve already identified some useful methods of ingestion to increase the enjoyment of the experience while suppressing the side effects. And with this report, I’m contributing a bit of obscure but helpful knowledge to the psychedelic community as a whole. All of this was made possible by a very basic application of patience and inquisitiveness, with a constant eye towards responsibility, and most importantly, ACCESS to the stuff in the first place. Let’s keep it going! Peace.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.