More recently I have had the opportunity to sample 4-AcO-DMT under precisely the same conditions in which I have been consuming mushrooms. According to David E. Nichols, 4-AcO-DMT is thought to be metabolized into psilocin in the body (though I'm not certain if this has been tested), and should thus, in theory, mirror closely the effects of psilocybin mushrooms.
First I will state that amongst all of the mushroom species I have sampled, there is always one shared similarity, which is the archetype of descent, death, revelation, and rebirth. This pattern is mirrored in the archetypal hero's journey or initiation, the alchemical process, and the fungal life cycle. This seems to be fairly reliably true, as most, if not all of my trips have shared this dynamic. Keep in mind these are simply subjective metaphors that I have found to be helpful in navigating the experience, they should not be treated as doctrine. These metaphors do absolutely nothing to tame the mystery that is mushrooms, which transcend all conceivable boundaries.
Generally speaking, the onset of effects occurs between 30-90 minutes. The "death" occurs at about the 2.5-three hour mark, and the revelation and "rebirth" between 3.5-5 hours. By the 6th hour I am generally back to or near baseline. The death stage is characterized by intense identification with shadow aspects, feelings of extreme fear, guilt, shame or persecutory delusions, and the sense of no escape or complete entrapment. At the lowest point, the feeling of total ego dissolution can be physically sensed as a blending of the physical body with the psyche (decay). The rebirth period is often marked by feelings of emancipation, victory, relief, and heightened sexuality (fructification, sporulation).
The 4-AcO-DMT was obtained by a friend through a Canadian vendor with a good reputation. The dose was said to have been measured at 25mg, though based on what I've read, I believe it must have been higher than this. Most sources I've encountered say that 25mg is roughly equivalent to 3-4g of cubensis, though I would place my experience closer to 5-6g.
I sat down at my altar and stared at a candle as I normally would do with mushrooms. The first notable difference was in the speed of onset. The symptoms came on very quickly, and the full effects set in by about the 1 hour mark. Despite my desire to remain unbiased, the feeling felt foreign to me. I felt agitated, confused, and restless. At the two hour mark, the effects seemed to plateau and remained unwaveringly strong for at least another four hours, much longer than what is usual for me with mushrooms. The agitation I felt motivated me to blow out the candles and get into bed and just wait it out. The visuals were very intense; they reflected the unpleasantly confused psychological state I was in. Chaotic, flashing inorganic pictures pulsed through my head at a jarring pace.
The kind of imagery that I typically associate with mushrooms was absent. There was no continuity in the images, they remained disjointed, strobing and uncharacteristically non-mycelial. With mushrooms, it is typical for me to experience highly meaningful or relevant imagery that seems to grow, transform and flow in an organic fashion. Surging waves of floral interconnectedness, intergalactic mycelia and immense lightning arcs are common. The mushroom feels soulful, whereas the 4-AcO-DMT, while obviously similar in many respects, felt jagged, cold and aggressive. A thought that kept occurring to me was that I had somehow allowed a grain of sand to enter into my brain and wreak havoc upon my nervous system. To put it extremely crudely, the mushroom is a sine wave, and the 4-AcO-DMT was a square wave.
Please take this with a grain of salt, as I'm sure it will sound a bit hokey to some; I hypothesize that the clear experiential differences that I detected between the synthetic substance and the mushroom were due to the absence of other compounds present in fungi, compounds which work together to create a synergistic, homeostatic experience. If this is the case, I suspect that a dose of pure psilocybin might yield a similar effect to the 4-AcO-DMT. The mushrooms have been engineered through millions of years of selective co-evolution to work upon the mammalian brain in a particular way, and this depends more or less on the presence of all of the compounds offered by the unadulterated fungi. It is as if the mushroom's chemical constitution in a sense "mirrors" the homeostatic function of the well-balanced brain. In which case psilocybin, while indeed having a powerful effect in isolation, may require the "cushioning" of the other compounds to create the soulful, narrative dynamic which is so ubiquitous in fungi. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has done a similar comparison and found the same to be true. Thanks for reading.
Edited by DonShadow, 10 April 2019 - 02:59 AM.