Citation: LucidStudies. "Harsh Lessons and New Sensations: An Experience with 2C-E & Cannabis (exp66254)". Erowid.org. Oct 30, 2007. erowid.org/exp/66254
I had developed an interest in organic chemistry in the last couple years, and had just finished devouring my hard copies of Dr. Shulgin’s dual opuses. Mushrooms had, unfortunately, become unavailable some time ago and I had decided to turn my attention towards synthetic psychedelics. I had never tried any phenethylamine before and found myself with two choices for first entries into this field. My sources sold 2C-E as well as 2C-I, and it should say something about my tastes that I chose to explore 2C-E first. I understood that of the two entries, most people found it more psychedelic and less enjoyable than its Iodinated neighbor. I wanted visionary exploration at any cost, even if it might prove troublesome. 2C-E couldn’t possibly be more “difficult” than salvia divinorum was, could it?
I was especially interested in the often-reported synaesthetic potential of the 2-Carbon-Ethyl molecule. I assumed there would be nausea and body load to battle through, yet a few reports seemed to indicate quite the opposite… the overall bodily feeling of 2C-E seems to be described as anyone from “moderately euphoric” to “profoundly uncomfortable”. I was about to discover which category I fell under.
I started at 11:30AM, taking a pill capsule pre-measured to 15mg of 2C-E powder on an empty stomach. I kept my thoughts positive and hoped for the best. Twenty minutes later I began to feel warmth in my stomach, creeping into my body. It made me very slightly apprehensive. I wanted something silly to laugh at, so I began watching an Aqua Teen episode. It was the one about the canine rapist who looks like a banana. Absolutely ridiculous stoner nonsense but somehow I never fail to laugh. I entered a light, dreamy state as I giggled and watched.
Around the 45 minute point I started to note some blending of the senses... ideas and images merging, drifting thoughts and new possibilities. But this sensory phenomena was accompanied by intense unease, a rising sense of danger and dread. The nausea had started, abruptly and ferociously. The powder in my stomach felt like it was burning, aching. My body began telling me in every possible way that what was inside my stomach cavity did not belong. The phenethylamine had processed enough… I had to listen to my body now and get the awful stuff out. Into the bathroom I went. After I stopped vomiting I felt slightly better. I left the bathroom to go lay down on my bed. The carpet was swirling and flowing about as I stumbled out in a daze.
For the next hour or so I lay in bed, sick, confused, and hallucinating. I still felt flat and empty inside, vaguely and inexpressibly wrong. My body was flushed with hot and cold flashes, sometimes both at the same time. I couldn’t stop sweating and no position seemed really comfortable. My jaw clenched and I alternated between laying naked on my bed in front of a fan (I was home alone), and covering myself with blankets to keep warm. I tried everything in vain to find some sort of internal temperature comfort, but I always felt hot or cold or both. I occasionally went back into the bathroom, throwing up at least twice more.
The hallucinogenic effects started around the same time as the nausea and the most immediately noticeable characteristic was flowing movement. Pulses of energy warped straight lines into ovoid waves. Colors brightened along the edges of objects and seemed subtly changed. I soon realized the warping and intensification of details effected all senses… the distortion pulses crept into my hearing, warping pitch on occasion. Touched objects produced unusual responses, and food did not taste altogether normal. Closed eye visuals were fairly ever-present, open-eye visuals came and went, varying in intensity. Unusual sounds, smells and feelings all had a place but were rarer and showed up unexpectedly.
After the “puking and sweating” stage of the experience ended, I went into the bathroom again and cleaned myself up. After I fixed my hair and wiped the sweat from my face, I was surprised to find that I looked relatively normal. Pupil dilation was not as extreme as expected, though it was noticeable, and the expression on my face looked almost bored or indifferent. I found that despite the harsh sickness, I was now very much in control. My mood was flat at first, but it improved as I moved around and explored. The experience from this point onward was tolerable, possibly even enjoyable.
I tested the synaesthetic potential of the compound with some music. I was picky, most music sounded wrong or irritating for some reason. But when I found the right songs, they were amazing. The music sounded more full bodied, with astounding texture and detail. The real adventure started when I closed my eyes. Here was where I began to appreciate the magic of 2C-E. With eyes opened, everything felt shockingly lucid. Upon closing them, I entered a much more dreamlike state. Everything was immaterial and all sensory input blended in one great, black, open space. By focusing carefully I could remold sounds and even mix them with sensations of touch. I don't think I figured out how to 'touch the music' with my fingers, but at the very least I could touch a wooden table, visualize the feel of the table and the sound of the music, and mix the two senses together into something new. It is very difficult to describe the feeling of listening to music with one's eyes closed under the influence of 2C-E, but it really is a beautiful thing.
After that I went for a walk outdoors, still riding the peak of the experience. I found myself primarily in a cold, analytical mode of thought, analyzing my surroundings. But I occasionally had to stop in awe as strong hallucinations brought out unexpected bursts of emotion. On one occasion I was passing a huge, branching tree near my house… possibly a redwood, it was massive and exotic with brightly colorful leaves. A breeze set in, and the details in the leaves came alive. Patterns exploded out of the leave’s natural texture, everything looked fractalized… and the image mixed with the sound of the leaves scraping together by the thousands. I closed my eyes and the twittering vibrations seemed to sing a song in my mind. A song which I could transform and interpret, feel and see, I could do anything I wanted to with it. I truly felt as though this plant had sung to me, delivered me a message… and I never would have appreciated the importance of it had my state not been altered.
I calculated that initial effects were felt after 20-30 minutes, peak effects were reached in a little over an hour, the peak lasted about 6 hours, and there were at least 3 hours of come-down and after-effects. My eyes remained slightly dilated right up until I went to bed that night, a whopping 13 hours after ingesting the substance, though at that point there were no noticeable hallucinations. No after-effects were experienced the next day.
One negative quirk of 2C-E was that, unlike most hallucinogens, it did not mix well with cannabis at all. At one point I smoked some during the peak, expecting a wonderful combination… after all, 2C-E is a psychedelic, but it lacks any kind of ongoing euphoria. Surely a pot high would raise my mood while reducing nausea and discomfort. But when I took a hit, I felt nothing. It may have been the only time in my life I have gotten no joy out of cannabis. Perhaps the emotionally flat and disconnected space I was in would not allow me to feel such a puny and marginal alteration. Smoking pot on psilocybin felt wonderful, on 2C-E it felt like absolutely nothing. Go figure.
The closed-eye synaesthesia and multi-sensory distortions I experienced would seem to be indicators of a true psychedelic, and a valuable tool. But I cannot underestimate the unpleasantness of the come-up period with this drug. There were moments when I felt like I was not alright at all, and perhaps was being taught a harsh lesson. Apparently after the second or third time vomiting I wrote in a notebook, 'I feel like I just died but I survived it'. Be forewarned. I also found that while this substance has synaesthetic potential, it could take practice to truly harness its powers. It is not always easy to direct, maintain, or predict the results of blended sensory states
If I could get this stuff into my brain without involving my stomach, it would be a psychedelic worth long-term exploration. Everything I had heard about this compound seems accurate: It is psychedelic, synaesthetic, worthwhile, nauseating, and difficult.
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