Citation: Strength Eyes. "The Dangers and Delights of Finding the Sweet Spot: An Experience with 2C-E, Cannabis & Citalopram (Celexa) (exp81642)". Erowid.org. Oct 23, 2009. erowid.org/exp/81642
Over the past several months I've been experimenting very frequently with 2C-E, which my friends and I now commonly refer to as “Echo”. Every week or two I'm now steadily ordering gram after gram of the stuff from China to share and enjoy with countless friends throughout America, near and far. For around four months now I have been experiencing and exploring this substance's unique character – about once every five days on average – with doses ranging between 12mg and 24mg. As Alexander Shulgin has made perfectly clear in the past, this creation is simply one of his tools for which informed individuals may find their own uses and applications. After undergoing some very intense experiences with 2C-E, I felt it would be helpful to the psychedelic community to describe the most important details about how my friends and I have made use of this substance, as well as some of the more startling outcomes of our use.
I should first say that I am 29, weigh 205lbs., and have had more than a decade's worth of psychedelic chemical exploration with substances such as marijuana (many times daily), salvia divinorum (various fortified leaf extracts and my own home-grown leaf), LSD (countless pure, high doses that I approximate to have met or exceeded 700 micrograms), LSA (from HBWR, and less favorably, with Heavenly Blue Morning Glories), psilocybin mushrooms (maybe 20 times or less, never exceeding 3.5 grams), ecstasy (1 time crap, 3 times pure MDMA), DXM (WITHOUT any other active ingredients), 2C-T-2 (once at 24mg), and of course, 2C-E itself. I have also had the unfortunate displeasure of being addicted to crack cocaine and especially heroin a decade ago, not to mention the occasional pain killers I downed as a teen, but none of those are really my cup of tea anymore, nor did I ever find them truly useful to my body or mind in the long-run. I am currently on the prescription antidepressant medication Citalopram, generic for Celexa, an SSRI. I've been on it for 10 months now, and have never felt more normal and psychologically stable. I've heard it said that SSRI's have a tendency to slightly diminish the negative effects of higher doses of 2C-E, so I guess that's worth noting when considering my comfort level while tripping.
My first explorations with this stuff were simply a matter of getting to know its character. The method of ingestion was always oral, starting sublingually and gradually letting it ease its way down to the belly. I smoke cannabis several times a day, so that was always present in my body throughout each experience. I've been smoking for years, so I'm very familiar with the nature in which pot simply enlightens and compliments every trip I've ever been on. At 12mg's of 2C-E – my initial experience – I had reached a strong ++ at the peak, and took note that the physical/bodily sensations and cognitive/psychological phenomena were the two most prominent aspects of the trip, while any auditory and visual distortions were extremely mild at best, resembling a half dose of LSD. The effects of this stuff washed over me in waves of slightly-varying intensity as my body metabolized it. No nausea or discomfort at this dose level. The way it felt in my body was not necessarily good or bad, but it certainly was quite different from baseline. Not heavy or sedating. No nausea or anything at this level. Just a tad speedy or restless, if anything. Mostly just interesting, so to me it felt good, although not absolutely comfortable (if that makes any sense). The only negative effect was that, as the trip passed the 6 or 7 hour mark or so, the back of my head started to ache a little bit around where my spine meets my skull, and this persisted in its mild intensity until I went to bed several hours later that night.
The cognitive realm held the most unique properties of this initial experiment, distinguishing itself completely from all the other psychedelic experiences I'd ever had. It was simply interesting as hell to have my rational facilities on psychedelic overdrive – with my soul feeling wide open to give and receive unspeakable beauty in every moment – while still remaining extremely articulate, alert, and clever from moment to moment. Lots of silliness and laughter during this trip, but all fairly within the realm of control, much more so than with any of my hallucinogenic endeavors with other stuff. Sure, this was a low dose, but it was still a strong and unique ++ on the Shulgin scale. I felt as though increasing the dose would probably not diminish the cognitive fluidity experienced in this state of consciousness.
At around 17mg I felt thoroughly and properly introduced to the full potential of this chemical. All the friendly elements from my first experience were here again, only noticeably more intense by comparison. I still felt very sharp and astute. Music (and sound in general) now seemed extremely gripping and interesting, as is typical for me with most psychedelics. As far as my physical sensations were concerned, I noted that this was the dose range at which the body high started becoming a little bit of a body load. There was also some gassiness here and there, but nothing awful or nauseating. Still, I also got some very cool waves of crazy body energy at this level from time to time, so with the slightly-bad came the slightly-good, it seemed. The visuals were now certainly present, although still not completely as robust as a dose of LSD, more resembling the general discolorations and melting morphology of a 3.5 gram mushroom trip. LSD has always given me the most complex, colorful, and effortless geometric visual tack-ons, and will probably always remain my favorite hallucinogen in terms of seeking visual fulfillment. But, pleasantly enough, I was soon to discover a new second-favorite visual enhancer in 2C-E!
For whatever reason, I chose to explore for myself the steep dose/response curve this chemical is known for. Based on my singular trial with 2C-T-2 at 24mg's (assuming the kid weighed it up right for me), I figured things would be along the same line as with this similar compound: a deep sense of the soul opening up, slightly-more-pronounced visuals, slightly increased body load, and so forth. Little did I know. I next took 24mg's and was completely overwhelmed at how that felt like I had literally doubled or tripled my previous dose of 17mg's. So completely overwhelmed, in fact, that I called my friend while I was peaking to warn him and his friends of this potentially dangerous reality. I said that nobody should double up on the doses of 20mg's that they all had, and that the most they should have is 30mg's, if they were stubborn enough to sacrifice their health severely. That may have been an overstatement, but it sure didn't feel like one. I remember saying that the visuals reminded me of two or three tabs of LSD, which was awesome. There were full-scale geometric color designs floating in the air and reacting to all of the surfaces around me. I felt very high, but as others have said of this stuff, it felt like a forced euphoria with a very dominant physical profile, much more aggressive than shrooms or LSD, but certainly nowhere near as unpleasant as Hawaiian Baby Woodrose. So, while I was definitely enjoying the experience to some degree (as I always do enjoy psychedelics in general), I was afraid that this stuff could give someone a seizure or worse, so I felt like my phone call warning was in order. These were the symptoms I described to my friend during the call:
The wild, almost electrifying bodily energy within me grew so intensely that it was sometimes pretty frightening. My limbs would occasionally twitch, shiver, tighten, or jump involuntarily as I was just sitting there on my couch, and the back of my head was loaded with forewarnings of a phenethylamine headache, if not an all-out aneurysm. It was a little bit like having a vice slowly squeezing my head as my jaw, sinuses, and ocular cavities felt like they were being compressed to a slightly dizzying extent. I discovered a sense of gaining control over some of these unwanted sensations when I just stretched and moved my joints and limbs around at a slow, meditative pace. Still, the body load from time to time was intense, and I had to conclude that I was growing uncomfortable overall, physically speaking. I remember sweating profusely and feeling a bit nauseous, mostly during the first hour or two of the peak. My jaw began to tighten a bit, and weeks later, the left side still feels a little stressed, although that's most likely due to an earache I gave myself by poking in it with tweezers (dumbass). At the end of the day, over 14 hours past ingestion, I had so much of a headache that I couldn't sleep, and eventually felt awful and toxic enough that I got up to vomit in the middle of the night for an hour before I could actually fall asleep.
My conclusion was that I had over-done it by bumping up my dose from 17 to 24mg's, and that my next target should be an even 20. While I still felt more articulate at 24mg's than with most other hallucinogens, there was also an edge of confusion that started creeping in at this dose level. It seemed like raising the dose too high only wound up detracting from this powerful tool, bringing about distracting symptoms that resemble serotonin syndrome more than anything useful. In fact, on an extremely important note, I would now speculate that serotonin syndrome is what begins to occur during an overdose of 2C-E. One of my close friends (who only weighs about 130lbs.) took 20mg's twice, and both times had a terribly excruciating and scary trip, the symptoms of which strongly resembled serotonin syndrome: nausea, severe contraction of muscles in all extremities, tremors, headache, agitation, sweating, shivering, etc. His negative reactions were far worse than mine, probably due to his body weight being so much lower than mine. He said he tripped really hard, but that it was too painful to allow for any good use of the drug. By his own words, it will be a while before he tries any amount of the stuff again.
I was determined to find my “sweet spot” with 2C-E, and I finally did at 20mg's. This chemical seems to require a bit of experimenting before the proper dose is achieved for one's weight, metabolism, etc. But since I found 20mg's I have not changed my dose level for many successive trips, and I now consider this to be the perfect, trustworthy quantity for my psyche and physique. To me, it delivers the most comfortable ratio of body high to body load, it provides just the right amount of great and distinct visuals, it fills me with very creative thoughts and conversations, it enables me to enjoy and develop music with as much fluidity as when I'm sober (only everything just sounds infinitely more psychedelic on 2C-E), and it allows my mind to travel through itself into undiscovered territory unlike any other substance I've ever known.
One recent example of my 20mg sweet spot was particularly profound in that the circumstances of the whole day seemed to be tailor-made for my trip, like it was meant to be. I decided rather spontaneously to dose myself at 8:30 in the morning, ensuring proper use of the bright and sunny day that it was. Moments afterward I received a call from my mother stating that I had a new niece, born just moments before I dosed! Oddly enough, the next day was my own birthday, so the whole birth and death cycle was prominent in my mind. These thoughts laid themselves as a foundational element in my mind for the day, weaving their way in and out of my awareness from time to time. Later on, this phenomenon proved life-changing.
It's usually between the second and third hour after ingestion that I start peaking, so I decided to hop in the shower around hour 2 before things started getting too complicated. Too late. This was the most amazing shower I had ever taken! As I closed my eyes to stick my head under the shower, my eyes were instantly flooded with visions of characters sneaking around stealthily, resembling a video game I had been playing that week. Next, as I was rubbing shampoo through my hair, I saw through closed eyes another self on the wall next to me, helping me scrub my hair with multi-colored suds bubbles exchanging between his hands and mine. I flung my eyelids open instantly in shock, making sure I wasn't so surprised that I'd lost balance. For the next half hour or so I was awestruck with thoughts of multiple personalities, thoughts that there are multiple bodies of self within me – entire groupings of self that were all controlled by one same mind. My wife and I made sense of this in terms of how people have two major divided hemispheres in the brain, how some folks can multi-task more than others, etc. I concluded that 2C-E gave me the ability to listen consciously to multiple internal dialogues at once, but perhaps with more clarity than a schizophrenic or dissociated individual perceives their reality.
Next on the agenda was a walk with the wife in the state forest. I remember absolutely loving the feeling of a brisk walk on a sunny, early-fall afternoon with a head full of 2C-E. Increasing my circulation made both my mind and body thank me profusely in the form of wonderful physical sensations and slightly increased visuals. Perhaps it was just a bunch of normal endorphins and hormones being added to my body's mix, but I just kept on saying, “Wow!” and “Yeah!” out loud as we began our hike. It was an intoxicating feeling, actually, and just a hint dizzying, but it felt healthy at the same time. I guess it pays not to be lazy on this stuff! As my wife walked a few paces ahead of me I began to well up with tears regarding the precious beauty and frailty of life. Again, the theme of life and death resurfaced. It was a moment that struck me from out of nowhere. I felt like an old man reminiscing over how many wonderful moments have passed me by without my full appreciation. I am still trying to integrate this wisdom into each day of my life. On the way home from the forest we got some ice cream and chatted in the sun as we ate. Normally we just eat our ice cream in relative silence, but this day we were talking and sitting around for a long time before moving on. I normally have a fairly low attention span, but on this day I was content to be a thoughtful spectator, patiently soaking up everything that every moment had to offer.
When evening came the peak had worn off and given way to a lesser trip for the rest of the day, and I decided to go visit a friend. As soon as I left the driveway, happy as a clam, I saw a dead cat in the road that I knew was one of my neighbor's twins “Shadow” or “Smokey”. My wife and I loved Smokey, and I couldn't have my wife drive home and see what looked like a dead version of the kitten that was licking our necks earlier that day. Instantly dismayed, I stopped to take care of the body, despite my sensitive nature and love for cats. The head was fatally damaged. I couldn't tell whether this was my beloved feline friend or just his annoying sibling. Still tripping, and feeling everything from disgust to heartbreak, I took a large stick and pushed the body into the woods beside the road. The whole moment felt tremendously under-dignified. I remember muttering reassuring comments to the body in attempts to keep my sanity. It was truly, deeply sad, as well as graphically violent all at once. Once again, birth, death, and the precious frailty of life were making their way to the raw surface of my mind.
After telling the neighbors and having them confirm that the cat was in fact theirs, I left again for my friend's house. Feeling shaken from a day that started so great and was ending so heavy, I just needed to puff a few joints and watch a few movies with him in order to calm myself. Fortunately, I later found out that Smokey is fine, and that it was his annoying sibling who had thrown herself into traffic. But in the midst of it all I was taught some deep lessons on an emotional level that I am now stronger for knowing.
From my experience, this stuff is incredibly useful for forced introspection, artistic creativity, psychological reconciliation, and even exploratory recreation. I would hesitate to describe this as a club drug, although it feels really good to work out the physical energy from time to time. The word that I still use the most to describe 2C-E is “interesting” rather than “fun” or “not fun”. Whether it feels comfortable or not, it always remains interesting and captivating throughout. Fortunately, I haven't noticed any prolonged or long-term side-effects in my body outside of just feeling generally out of shape after four months of just sitting around contemplating countless exciting and complex phenomena! I'm sure there are still a bunch more undiscovered places in reality where this tool can be used with highly constructive results. Having learned enough about this stuff to make peace with it, I know that I'll be returning soon to see what other gems of insight can be gleaned from its brilliance.
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