|Summary sheet: 4-HO-MET|
|Common names||4-HO-MET, Metocin, Methylcybin, Colour|
|Routes of Administration|
4-Hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine (also known as colour, methylcybin, metocin, and 4-HO-MET) is a lesser-known novel psychedelic substance of the tryptamine class. 4-HO-MET is structurally related to psilocin, the active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms ("magic mushrooms"). It is thought to produce its effects by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain.
4-HO-MET was first synthesized by the American chemist Alexander Shulgin, who documented it in his 1997 book TiHKAL ("Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved"). Reports of human use began to surface in the late 2000s, following its appearance on the online research chemical market. It has been sold alongside other psilocybin analogues such as 4-AcO-DMT and 4-HO-MiPT.
Subjective effects include geometric visual hallucinations, time distortion, enhanced introspection, and ego loss. Users typically describe 4-HO-MET as a more recreational version of psilocybin mushrooms or psilocin (4-HO-DMT) due to its less serious headspace and greater emphasis on visual effects. Its psychedelic visuals are reported to be vivid and colorful.
Very little data exists about the pharmacological properties, metabolism, and toxicity of 4-HO-MET. It is assumed to have a similar risk and toxicity profile as psilocin and 4-AcO-DMT but there is no data to support this. It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.
4-HO-MET, or 4-hydroxy-N-ethyl-N-methyltryptamine, is a synthetic indole alkaloid molecule of the tryptamine chemical class. Tryptamines share a core structure comprised of a bicyclic indole heterocycle attached at R3 to an amino group via an ethyl side chain. 4-HO-MET is substituted at R4 of its indole heterocycle with a hydroxyl functional group OH−. It also contains a methyl group and an ethyl chain bound to the terminal amine RN of its tryptamine backbone (MET).
4-HO-MET's psychedelic effects are believed to come from its activity at the 5-HT2A receptor as a partial agonist. However, the role of these interactions and how they result in the psychedelic experience remains subject to on-going scientific investigation.
|Binding Sites||Binding Affinity Ki (µM)|
A large body of anecdotal reports suggests that the active dose can vary greatly. Some users report very heavy experiences with doses as low as 17mg, while others report light experiences with doses as high as 30 mg. Possible causes may be attributed to individual differences in neurochemistry and metabolism as well as variations in batch quality and physical forms (e.g. HCl vs. fumarate salt).
The experiences reported indicate hallucinatory states coming in waves of euphoria, swapping from moments of sobriety to intense visuals. Because 4-HO-MET is heavy on visuals and light on cognitive distress, it can be described as a recreational and practical alternative to psilocybin mushrooms, with thematic similarities in visual effects.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.
It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.
- Stimulation - 4-HO-MET is primarily stimulating, although it can also be relaxing and stoning. This sets it apart from tryptamines like psilocybin and 4-AcO-DMT, which are primarily sedating.
- Spontaneous bodily sensations - The "body high" of 4-HO-MET can be described as a pleasurable, warm, soft, and all-encompassing tingling sensation. This maintains a consistent presence that steadily rises following the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached.
- Changes in felt bodily form - This effect is often accompanied by a sense of warmth or unity and usually occurs around or directly after the peak of the experience. Users can feel as if they are physically part of or conjoined with other objects in a seamless continuity. This is usually reported as feeling comfortable, tranquil and mindful, although it can also manifest in the form of bodily tension
- Nausea - This effect can be greatly lessened or even completely avoided if the individual has an empty stomach prior to ingestion. It is sometimes recommended that one either refrain from eating for approximately 6 to 8 hours before-hand, or to eat a light meal 2 hours before if the user is feeling physically fatigued and undernourished. The nausea produced by 4-HO-MET is generally considered to be much less prominent than it is with psilocybin mushrooms, which has been attributed to the lack of fungal-matter the body has to digest when the isolated synthetic form is consumed.
- Temperature regulation suppression - 4-HO-MET can cause fluctuations in the user's internal sense of temperature, which can manifest as sudden bouts of uncomfortable coldness or warmth.
- Muscle contractions - The muscle contractions that can occasionally be produced by 4-HO-MET tend to be transient and benign feeling in nature, compared to many other tryptamines, phenethylamines and lysergamides.
- Increased heart rate
- Olfactory hallucination
- Pupil dilation
- Increased salivation
- Excessive yawning - This effect seems to be uniquely pronounced among psilocin and related tryptamines. It can occur to a lesser degree on LSD and very rarely on psychedelic phenethylamines like mescaline. It typically occurs in conjunction with watery eyes.
- Watery eyes
- Teeth grinding - This component is considerably less intense when compared with that of substances like MDMA when it does happen to occur, but happens more readily than with related substances like psilocin or psilocybin, perhaps owing to the greater degree of stimulation it produces.
- Brain zaps - Brain zaps are uncommon and thought to only occur in those who are susceptible to them. They are much less prevalent and intense than those that occur with serotonin releasing agents such as MDMA.
- Seizure - Psychedelics are known to lower the seizure threshold and may increase the likelihood of a seizure occurring in those who have a personal susceptibility or a family history of epilepsy. It is not considered a risk in healthy people.
4-HO-MET is commonly reported to produce visual effects with minimal accompanying cognitive effects or "head space" at lower doses.
- Drifting (melting, flowing, breathing and morphing) - In comparison to other psychedelics, this effect can be described as highly detailed, cartoon-like in style, slow and smooth in motion and static in appearance.
- After images
- Colour shifting
- Scenery slicing
- Symmetrical texture repetition
- Environmental patterning
The visual geometry produced by 4-HO-MET can be described as somewhat similar in appearance to that of psilocin (4-HO-DMT) and 4-HO-MiPT but with far stronger synthetic digital undertones reminiscent of LSD or 2C-B. 4-HO-MET can be comprehensively described through its variations as intricate in complexity, abstract in form, equally synthetic and organic in style, structured in organization, extremely brightly lit and multicoloured in scheme, glossy in shading, sharp in edges, large in size, fast in speed, smooth in motion, angular in corners, non-immersive in-depth and consistent in intensity. The visuals have a contradictory natural and synthetic feel to them which is reminiscent of both LSD and psilocybin.
4-HO-MET and its various other forms produce a full range of high level hallucinatory states in a fashion that is more consistent and reproducible than that of many other commonly used psychedelics. These effects generally include:
- Internal hallucination (autonomous entities; settings, sceneries, and landscapes; perspective hallucinations and scenarios and plots) - This effect is very consistent in dark environments at appropriately high doses. They can be comprehensively described through their variations as lucid in believability, interactive in style, new experiences in content, autonomous in controllability, geometry-based in style and almost exclusively of a personal, religious, spiritual, science-fiction, fantasy, surreal, nonsensical or transcendental nature in their overall theme.
- External hallucination (autonomous entities; settings, sceneries, and landscapes; perspective hallucinations and scenarios and plots) - They can be comprehensively described through their variations as lucid in believability, interactive in style, new experiences in content, autonomous in controllability, geometry-based in style and almost exclusively of a personal, religious, spiritual, science-fiction, fantasy, surreal, nonsensical or transcendental nature in their overall theme.
The cognitive effects of 4-HO-MET are described by many as somewhat relaxing yet fast-paced in style with similarities to psychedelics such as LSD or 2C-B which tend to be cognitively energetic and stimulating.
- Analysis enhancement
- Conceptual thinking
- Autonomous voice communication
- Memory suppression
- Analysis enhancement - This effect is consistent in its manifestation and outrospection dominant.
- Novelty enhancement
- Immersion enhancement
- Creativity enhancement
- Increased music appreciation
- Increased sense of humor
- Personal bias suppression
- Thought acceleration
- Thought connectivity
- Thought loops
- Time distortion
- Synaesthesia - In its fullest manifestation, this is a very rare and non-reproducible effect. Increasing the dosage can increase the likelihood of this occurring, but seems to only be a prominent part of the experience among those who are already predisposed to synaesthetic states.
- Users report that transpersonal effects tend to occur less reliably and impactfully with 4-HO-MET than the closely related psilocin or psilocybin, and generally require heavier doses to induce. They are listed below as follows:
- Cannabis - When used in conjunction with cannabis, both the visual and cognitive effects of 4-HO-MET can be intensified and extended with extreme efficacy. This should be used with extreme caution, however, especially if one is not experienced with psychedelics as this can also amplify the anxiety, confusion and psychosis producing aspects of cannabis significantly.
- Dissociatives - When used in combination with dissociatives, the geometry, euphoria, dissociation and hallucinatory effects are often greatly enhanced. Dissociative-induced holes, spaces, and voids while under the influence of 4-HO-MET can result in significantly more vivid visuals than dissociatives alone present, along with more intense internal hallucinations, confusion, delusions and chances of a psychotic reaction.
- MDMA - When used in conjunction with MDMA, the physical and cognitive effects of MDMA are amplified. The visual, physical and cognitive effects of 4-HO-MET are also intensified with an overwhelming euphoric pleasure manifested through uniquely pleasurable body highs and headspaces, and uniquely colorful and awe-inspiring visuals. The synergy between these substances is unpredictable, and it is best to start with markedly lower dosages than one would take for both substances individually.
- Alcohol - This interaction is not typically recommended due to alcohol’s ability to cause dehydration, which can negatively affect a trip if taken in high dosages. This combination is, however, reasonably safe in low doses and when used responsibly, this can often "take the edge off the trip" as well as dull its psychedelic effects in a fashion somewhat similar to benzodiazepines, albeit more in a more stressful way on the body.
- Benzodiazepines - When used in combination with benzodiazepines, benzodiazepines can, depending on the dosage, slightly to completely reduce the intensity of the cognitive, physical and visual effects of a 4-HO-MET trip. With higher doses, they are very efficient at stopping "bad trips" at the cost of reduced trip intensity and in the worst case, amnesia and blacking out. Caution is advised when acquiring them for this purpose, however, due to the very high addiction potential that benzodiazepines possess. It is generally advised to refrain from intending to use them at all unless the trip suddenly becomes completely overwhelming.
Anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index include:
- Experience: 15mg 4-HO-MET My First Trip
- Experience:4-HO-MET (20mg, Oral) - Into a Galaxy of Persian Rugs
- Experience:4-HO-MET (25mg, Oral)
- Experience:4-HO-MET (35mg, Oral)
- Experience:4-HO-MET 22mg oral
- Experience:4-HO-MET – 15 mg Insufflated
- Experience:Dosage Unknown 4-HO-MET (oral) - Very rapid acting, visual experience with lasting cognitive effects
- Experience:Zaleplon + 4-HO-MET - Untitled
Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational 4-HO-MET use do not seem to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dose is unknown. This is because 4-HO-MET is a research chemical with very little history of human usage. However, there are reports of very high doses leading to drug induced psychosis.
Anecdotal evidence from those who have tried 4-HO-MET suggests that there are no negative health effects attributed to simply trying the substance by itself at low to moderate doses and using it very sparingly (but nothing can be completely guaranteed). Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and addiction potential
4-HO-MET is not habit-forming, and the desire to use it can actually decrease with use. It is most often self-regulating.
Tolerance to the effects of 4-HO-MET is built almost immediately after ingestion. After that, it takes about 3 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 7 days to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). 4-HO-MET presents cross-tolerance with all psychedelics, meaning that after the consumption of 4-HO-MET all psychedelics will have a reduced effect.
Warning: Many psychoactive substances that are reasonably safe to use on their own can suddenly become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with certain other substances. The following list provides some known dangerous interactions (although it is not guaranteed to include all of them).
Always conduct independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo, PubMed) to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some of the listed interactions have been sourced from TripSit.
- Lithium - Lithium is commonly prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder. There is a large body of anecdotal evidence that suggests taking it with psychedelics significantly increases the risk of psychosis and seizures. As a result, this combination is strictly discouraged.
- Cannabis - Cannabis may have an unexpectedly strong and unpredictable synergy with the effects of 4-HO-MET. Caution is advised with this combination as it can significantly increase the risk of adverse psychological reactions like anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and psychosis. Users are advised to start off with only a fraction of their normal cannabis dose and take long breaks between hits to avoid unintentional overdose.
- Stimulants - Stimulants like amphetamine, cocaine or methylphenidate affect many parts of the brain and alter dopaminergic function. This combination can increase the risk of anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and thought loops. This interaction may also result in an elevated risk of mania and psychosis.
- Tramadol - Tramadol is well-documented to lower the seizure threshold and psychedelics may act to trigger seizures in susceptible individuals.
- Austria: 4-HO-MET is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the NPSG (Neue-Psychoaktive-Substanzen-Gesetz Österreich).
- Canada: 4-HO-MET is unscheduled in Canada.
- Germany: 4-HO-MET is controlled under the NpSG (New Psychoactive Substances Act) as of July 18, 2019. Production and import with the aim to place it on the market, administration to another person, placing it on the market and trading is punishable. Possession is illegal but not punishable. The legislator considers it possible that orders of 4-HO-MET are punishable as an incitement to place it on the market.
- Japan: 4-HO-MET is a controlled substance in Japan effective March 25th, 2015.
- Poland: 4-HO-MET is illegal to posses, manufacture and sell under "Wykaz środków odurzających i substancji psychotropowych" (Group I-P) 
- Sweden: Sveriges Riksdag added 4-HO-MET to Schedule I ("substances, plant materials and fungi which normally do not have medical use") as narcotics in Sweden as of May 1, 2012.
- Switzerland: 4-HO-MET is a controlled substance specifically named under Verzeichnis E.
- United Kingdom: 4-HO-MET is a Class A drug in the United Kingdom as a result of the tryptamine catch-all clause.
- United States: 4-HO-MET is unscheduled in the United States. It may be considered an analogue of psilocin (4-HO-DMT), a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. As such, the sale for human consumption or the use for illicit non-medical or industrial intents and purposes could be prosecuted as crimes under the Federal Analogue Act.
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- Rickli, A.; Moning, O.D.; Hoener, M. C.; Liechti, M. E. (2016). "Receptor interaction profiles of novel psychoactive tryptamines compared with classic hallucinogens". 26 (8): 1327–1337doi=10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.05.001. ISSN 0924-977X. OCLC 795935172. PMID 27216487.
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- Talaie, H.; Panahandeh, R.; Fayaznouri, M. R.; Asadi, Z.; Abdollahi, M. (2009). "Dose-independent occurrence of seizure with tramadol". Journal of Medical Toxicology. 5 (2): 63–67. doi:10.1007/BF03161089. ISSN 1556-9039.
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- "§ 4 NpSG" (in German). Bundesamt für Justiz [Federal Office of Justice]. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
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