Citation: Futurepluperfect. "Four mg was Disappointing but Valuable: An Experience with 2C-E (exp89330)". Erowid.org. Apr 4, 2011. erowid.org/exp/89330
||(powder / crystals)
SET AND SETTING
After an initial experience with 10 mg of 2C-I, I became interested in psychedelics and after quite a bit of reading decided 2C-E was one I wanted to try--its 'challenging' qualities and a purported lack of euphoria made it sound like a good material for introspection and adventure. I obtained 50 mg from an acquaintance and became very excited and apprehensive about trying it. Unfortunately, I didn't have a long enough period of available time over the next two weeks, so when the opportunity did finally arise I took it sort of on obligation, on the night before I returned to school. The opportunity arose when a close friend started housesitting at a large and beautiful home out in the woods. She agreed to take care of me during the trip. I ultimately came to the experience with more excitement than nervousness; I didn't fear an unmanageable experience, and I hoped for a liberating one.
[t+0:00] I swallow a volume of water containing 4 mg of 2C-E. I had originally planned to take 6, but the aforementioned plane ride is a red-eye, so I want to ensure a relatively brief trip. The taste/smell is not so much unpleasant as deeply weird; sort of like almond flavoring and car exhaust.
[t+0:20] Some effects are definitely present. I respond more empathetically to television. My muscles are slightly tense.
[t+0:45] Sensorily and emotionally, everything is slightly... different. There's no particularly good way to describe the effects; it's as though my senses are sober and my intentionality is drunk. I feel periodic mild to moderate nausea, but nothing close to vomiting levels. My muscles contract in an unusual way--they are pulsing but not rhythmically, or spasming but not acutely. The feeling is mainly in the limbs, and continues through the entirety of the experience. Objects in my visual field feel more 'present.' I check my pupils in the upstairs bathroom and they are dilated. I periodically return to this bathroom as my 'neutral ground' to gauge 'how I'm feeling.' On my way downstairs, I am captivated by the sunset out the window and spend several minutes staring at its stunning blues and pinks.
[t+1:20] All aforementioned effects have increased. They come in waves; I swing toward (perceived) sobriety, then further afield. It is thrilling in the manner of an amusement park ride, making me comfortable then hitting me with another, stronger round of the alien. I am extremely talkative; sometimes I can communicate very well, sometimes I'm unclear and have a hard time bridging the gap between my understanding of things and my friend's. (Notably, this doesn't correlate at all with whether I believe I'm on a sober or psychedelic swing at the moment.) My conscious sense of the passage of time is unaffected, but my sense of how much in total has passed has slowed by a factor of 2 to 3. When I close my eyes I get colorful, sketchlike visual patterns I can will into greater or lesser presence.
[t+1:45-6:00] Four friends unexpectedly arrive (in retrospect, my friend probably invited them over to say good-bye before I left). This coincides more or less with a shift in the drug's intensity: instead of coming on in waves it reaches a steady state. I probably 'peak' somewhere between t+1:30 and t+2:00. The character also changes slightly; there is more of a 'stoned' feeling, with thought patterns truncated, refracted, or diverted. This is probably attributable to the lack of constant change in intentional outlook that previously could have counteracted this effect. For a while here I stopped keeping track of time, but the overall effects were consistent within this period. A few illustrative moments, probably not in chronological order:
*A dinner of fajitas is overwhelmingly tasty. Everything tastes equally good--I notice to my amusement that a forkful of sour cream is just as lovely as a proper bite of 'everything.'
*Children's books are gorgeous. Normally I am very text-oriented, but I actually look at the picture on the page before I read the words--and it's a conscious choice to read the words! When I first glance at an illustration (or a painting on the wall) I see a flicker of movement within the art piece, as though it were animated and stopped shortly after I gazed directly at it. It feels as though I'm peering just behind a psychic veil; I'm certain that the 'animated' effect would be concurrently stronger with higher doses.
*Someone comments on the beauty of a sculpture mounted in a glass box on the wall, likening it to a museum display. Looking at it I have great difficulty deciding whether it is an artistic object or anthropological document. Looking at it after the trip, it is obviously a sculpture and the residents obviously aren't displaying historical artifacts in their living room.
*People are playing a trivia game; I can follow along, but the others employ a kind of metafictive reasoning--deciding whether the question is a 'trick question'--that I'm unable to perform right now in the same respect that, sober, I couldn't psychoanalyze an extraterrestrial.
*For a while I excuse myself to a dark room to try for more introspection. I share the room with a cat who walks onto my prone body. Its weird weight and the painful, tickling sensation of it kneading me with its paws provoke enormous laughter from me with a sense less of mirth than of absurdity and overwhelming nameless sensation. Further introspection is, of course, impossible.
*The same cat also stalks around us as we sit and chat on couches. I don't perceive it (her) as human, but she is more existentially 'present,' a Subject--though obviously not participant in conversation, she is clearly participant in the situation.
*At one point we put on music, and I am asked to DJ, presumably so that I have control over emotional inputs, though at the time it feels like a burden. I finally decide on the Ken Burns jazz compilation, an extremely uncharacteristic choice, and one that's vetoed after a couple of minutes. I enjoy it immensely, even more than the psychedelic rock that replaces it.
*For about 10 minutes my left foot goes pins-and-needles numb for no discernable reason. I'm much less troubled by this than I normally would be.
*For a couple moments I feel a golden sense of acceptance among my friends. I feel very taken-care-of and believe I will be missed. I am normally very anxious socially.
*Near the end of the 'plateau,' I become irrationally worried that I will not come down in time to drive myself to the airport. To ease my feelings, I convince my friends to watch an animated children's movie with me. My empathetic responses to story are still there, and the 'frightening' images in some scenes are genuinely terrifying. The notion of three-dimensional computer animation is mind-blowing. Every time I leave (several times) I briefly get a splitting headache (very unusual for me). This is probably due to me moving from a dark room to a light one with dilated pupils.
[t+6:30] I am not feeling the psychedelic state of mind very strongly, though the physical effects are still with me. The slide down from the peak has been imperceptibly slow. I am trying to decide whether I would be safe driving (no). I answer a phone call from my mother (dumb) and speak normally with her.
[t+7:15] I feel psychologically/intentionally sober and think I have been for a while. I say highly emotional good-byes to my friends and drive home. The slide into sobriety was a completely smooth transition. I am unsure exactly when I could be said to have reached baseline; probably some time during the movie (approx. t+5:20-7:00).
[after] A couple hours after returning home (I don't sleep) I go to the airport. I am able to nap 1.5 or 2 hours at a time on my flights; unusually well for my physiology, but much less than I'd like to. All physical symptoms have faded except for the muscle contractions, which persist for another 11 hours [t+17:00]. Along with these is an exhausted ache, not awful but neither wholly pleasant. My thoughts feel scattered, as though the norm-harrowing effects of the trip have also cost me beautiful thought-structures I had taken for granted. Trying to read a (fairly difficult) novel feels very strange; I feel less 'attuned' to the text. There is a general sense of mild dysphoria; I think for a while that psychedelic drugs are really not that interesting or profound. (I am now, a week later, interested in them again.) A very interesting effect that lasts three or four days after the experience is the ability to recall a faint psychedelia if I squeeze my muscles rhythmically--lots of fun on the plane and while being polite to unpleasant people.
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
I would characterize 2C-E's primary psychological effects as the alteration of one's norms and one's intentionality--the part of the psyche that generates meaning. I primarily felt a desire to be more authentic and to hide my thoughts and desires less--something that came much easier to me at the time, though during the next several days I was more open and repressed my own thoughts much less. I also felt a greater connection to the outside world--not as though the world had lost its obscuring screen of words as in accounts of some spiritual states but as though that screen were more tacit, that I was less self-consciously engaged in the act of interpreting the world. Obviously the dose I took has almost no chance of leading to any mystical experiences, but my sense is that people searching for 'beginner's mind' or similar states would be disappointed with this drug.
I would classify the chronological experience of 2C-E as two-phased: the first being the wave-like waxing onset, much more introspective and educational, and the second being the stoned, slowly falling plateau, more relaxed and thought-fuzzing. Note that this switch coincided closely with the arrival of several friends in the house, so take this characterization with a grain of salt.
2C-E has a very frank character; not curmudgeonly, but very what-you-see-is-what-you-get; somewhat ironic given its mind-expanding qualities. Near the peak I had a thought that if I really put my mind to it I could easily account for all the different factors in my life and have plenty of time left over for the daydreaming that makes up the bulk of my average day. This was obviously hubris, but it's indicative of the drug's character: it encouraged me to be very honest about what was going on in my head. This effect is maybe a gestalt of its 'mind-manifesting' effects (the norm-alteration seemed slanted toward the release of repressed desires) and the emotional cool it promoted (e.g. my relative indifference toward the weird random foot-numbing). This frankness may also have produced my feeling of 'disillusionment' toward psychedelia later; the drug didn't flatter me with lovey-dovey notions of synoptic understanding like 2C-I did, instead leaving me with a very dry sense of its effects.
Neither, though, is its character 'objective' or realistic. It's as unreliable a narrator as any other 'altered' state; it simply directs you toward noticing its unreliability. I would recommend 2C-E as an auto-therapeutic tool to people interested in re-establishing connection with themselves and their immediate world; it might be of use to people who think they're going through an emotionally confusing time, people trying to break compulsions or addictions, or people who have begun to suspect they are being dishonest with themselves. There are probably drugs easier on the body and more conducive to spontaneity and physical activity that are better for social gatherings (though I had a grand time), drugs shorter-lived and more emotionally opening for psychotherapy, and drugs less stoning for mysticism or sensory play.
I hope to try this drug again. Next time I will try a higher dose to shift my intentionality farther (the effect that I'm really after). I will schedule a low-responsibility day after the trip, arrange for some kind of sensual, high-energy activity at the end (not necessarily sex; partnered dancing or massage would also be wonderful) to deal with the residual tension and the feelings of openness, and make sure I have a comfortable bed to sleep in as long as I like.
You should read my naive, self-important recommendations--this one included--only as indicative of how my attitude toward the drug might have influenced my experience, not as direct advice.
NOTES ON APPLICABILITY TO OTHERS' EXPERIENCES
*This was my second psychedelic experience ever. I've avoided using common psychonautical vocabulary both to be of more assistance to those not familiar with psychedelics and because I expect I don't fully understand the meanings of the terms.
*My one other psychedelic experience also featured a strong reaction to a purportedly low dose, so this may be representative of doses of 5 or 6 mg in others.
*I did not get a good night's sleep after the trip, so my experience of the aftereffects may be atypical.
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