PiHKAL

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PiHKAL
Pihkal.jpg
Book Information
Book Name Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story
ISBN-13 9780963009609
ISBN-10 0963009605
Author Alexander Shulgin, Ann Shulgin
Publisher Transform Pr
Published September 1991

PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story is a book by Dr. Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin which was published in 1991. The subject of the work is psychoactive phenethylamine chemical derivatives, notably those that act as psychedelics and/or empathogen-entactogens. The main title is an acronym that stands for "Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved".

The book consists of two parts: the first is a fictionalised autobiography of the authors which introduces the couple's background, working lives and relationships. The second part contains detailed instructions for the synthesis of 179 psychedelic phenethylamines which were mostly discovered by Shulgin himself. For each substance, there is an account of the bio-assays he conducted as well as a suggested effective dosage, duration, and commentary on the subjective effects the couple experienced.

The second part of the book was made available for free and can be accessed in its original form via Erowid.org. There is also an updated, interactive edition made available by Isomer Design which has corrected publishing errors and cross-references the substances described with additional information available on the website. The first part of PiHKAL is available only to those who buy the entire book.

Notable excerpts

Magical half-dozen

The so-called "magical half-dozen" refers to Shulgin's self-rated most important phenethylamine compounds, all of which except mescaline he developed and synthesized himself. They are found within the first book of PIHKAL, and are as follows:

  • Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine)
  • DOM (2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine)
  • 2C-B (2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine)
  • 2C-E (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine)
  • 2C-T-2 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine)
  • 2C-T-7 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-propylthiophenethylamine)

Essential amphetamines

The Essential Amphetamines are what Shulgin describes as ten amphetamines that differ from natural products such as safrole or myristicin by an amine group (PIHKAL Entry #157 TMA). The list consists of:

  • PMA (para-methoxy-amphetamine)
  • 2,4-DMA (2,4-dimethoxy-amphetamine)
  • 3,4-DMA (3,4-dimethoxy-amphetamine)
  • MDA (3,4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine)
  • MMDA (3-methoxy-4,5-methylendioxy-amphetamine)
  • MMDA-3a (2-methoxy-3,4-methylendioxyamphetamine)
  • MMDA-2 (2-methoxy-4,5-methylendioxyamphetamine)
  • TMA (3,4,5-trimethoxyamphetamine)
  • TMA-2 (2,4,5-trimethoxyamphetamine)
  • DMMDA (2,5-dimethoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine)
  • DMMDA-2 (2,3-dimethoxy-4,5-methylenedioxyamphetamine)
  • TA (2,3,4,5-tetramethoxyamphetamine)

Not all of these chemicals are bioassayed in PIHKAL; some are merely mentioned.

See also