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The Small & Handy 2C-EF Thread

tired of crap

Jun 26, 2009
When something like this happens: initial glowing reports, followed by others confirming them, of the "unique" nature of this particular PEA - doesn't it really hammer home the huge amount of expectation/placebo effects going on here?

And given this timely reminder - do you think to question that maybe some of the time, it's good old set n' setting that accounts for a significant part of the variance, rather than the different molecular structure?

Many experienced psychonauts claim that tryptamines feel one way, the halogenated 2Cs another, but subtly different to the alkylated versions, etc etc...

This has, I'm afraid, always struck me as rather unlikely. Given the number of other variables in a psychedelic experience, the tweaks to the molecules might well get washed out by other factors. I have a strong hypothesis that doing a double-blind test, with an experienced user, choosing drugs of similar duration, that they would not be able to guess better than chance which substance was which.

Some interesting thoughts there. I (believe I) remember reading Shulgin, in either pihkal or Tihkal, stating that when introducing a new compound to the group he had to be careful not to lead them on too much.... as the words we (he and other creators, not I lol) use to describe the subjective experience of a new substance give it part of its character....

Tho I’m with @Xorkoth . I believe the subtle differences are what keep all the alphabet psyches around.... if they were all so similar I don’t think the novelty alone would be enough to keep them around..

Also the differences in receptor affinities is why I believe all the lsd pro-drugs shouldn’t be called “acid” ...


May 8, 2001
I think the differences are not major, but are still very significant. For example, 2C-B and 2C-E are worlds apart, there is more different there than similar. It is very difficult for me to imagine that I could not tell them apart.

Now, if you double blind gave me some random psychedelic, and asked me if I could place it? Very unlikely. Could I tell the difference between LSD, mescaline and mushrooms, if I knew it was one of the three? 100% yes, for sure. An irrefutable example is DiPT, which, instead of visual hallucinations, produces extremely wild audio hallucinations, it causes an inner ear movement, it's physical as well as mental. Men's voices sound like frog robots, birds sound like wire tension snapping... it's otherworldly and bizarre. That is a variation on DMT that has drastically different effects. So is it just DiPT that's different and the rest are the same?

I think expectation is part of it, sure. But I've thoroughly explored these things and even if you couldn't tell the difference in a double blind, it doesn't mean there aren't differences. A trip is complex and can pretty much go anywhere. But when you start to notice a trend, when every time one of them is much easier on the body than the other, or one of them is always extremely immersive with music and another isn't... it begins to stretch the imagination that all of that is because I'm telling myself it will be that way. Just because they can all go to the same place doesn't mean they are all identical.

And why is it so hard to believe that differences in receptor activation from different psychedelics wouldn't account for differences in subjective effects? They've mapped out receptor affinities for just about everything now, there is a huge range of differences. The brain and consciousness is so complex, surely differences in receptor activation are likely to lead to differences in subjective effects? Even if minor (or major)?

Anyway hey man nice to see you post. :)

I'm not saying that there's no difference in subjective effects that are due to different patterns in receptor action. In fact, I'd say there are definitely some differences due to different receptor activation - the question is, what % of the variance is due to those differences, and what % is due to expectation effects - and is it possible for the expectation effects to outweigh (or significantly attenuate) those differences?

Likewise, I feel very certain personally that I could tell the difference between 2C-B and 2C-E. But we know from the scientific literature that often people are very bad at estimating their abilities in lots of areas, and it's very easy to fool the brain under a large number of experimental conditions. And though I have a strong feeling that would have no problem telling 2C-B and 2C-E apart, I just don't totally trust my intuition...

Let's say that for an experienced user, under double-blind conditions, they could tell the difference between 2C-B and 2C-E around 95% of the time. I think that's a fair number, given that there's always some chance they'll get it wrong. Obviously you'd have to calibrate the doses to produce similar effects, and probably the single biggest giveaway would be the duration - so you'd have to be careful about when you asked the question!

Could you then, through experimental manipulation, reduce the %age... to 75%? To 60%? I don't see why not, but remain agnostic until someone actually does the experiment. And if that's possible experimentally, then it's definitely possible for it to happen to individuals "in the wild".

And thanks - it's nice to stick my head in to see what's going on from time to time!

This study just published: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-020-05464-5

Is it possible to have a psychedelic experience from a placebo alone? Most psychedelic studies find few effects in the placebo control group, yet these effects may have been obscured by the study design, setting, or analysis decisions....
There was considerable individual variation in the placebo effects; many participants reported no changes while others showed effects with magnitudes typically associated with moderate or high doses of psilocybin. In addition, the majority (61%) of participants verbally reported some effect of the drug. Several stated that they saw the paintings on the walls “move” or “reshape” themselves, others felt “heavy… as if gravity [had] a stronger hold”, and one had a “come down” before another “wave” hit her.
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🎨 ARTministrator 🎨
Staff member
Feb 8, 2006
In the mountains
Interesting study. A number of times (like counting on two hands), I have been tripping around friends/my ex - without them knowing - and had them remark to me that they feel like someone slipped them acid, even with clouds and carpet morphing. In PIHKAL there is an entry about a person who took no 2C-I but sat in with a group who had and experienced a trip with them, too. Placebo is a very powerful phenomenon, no doubt. It's hard for me tog rasp how placebo would be responsible when someone had no idea psychedelics were involved, even with me. The brain is a mysterious thing.

A great example of placebo effect is the "don't take the brown acid" story from Woodstock.


Nov 26, 2014
Hilbert space
I believe Shulgin's first altered state was a placebo experience, funnily enough. There was one time I took a megadose of ephenidine and my completely sober tripsitting friend was beside himself because he saw my face just glitch out.

For me placebo just means that we have no easy way of explaining what's going on, although there is clearly something going on. Especially with cases where people are unaware that drugs are even involved, like you pointed out Xorkoth. It seems that people's minds are much more connected than we realize, whether by some chemical means that has evolutionary utility, or by some deeper mechanism.