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SYNTHESIS: A solution of 0.12 g mercuric chloride in 180 mL H2O was added to 5 g aluminum foil that had been cut into 1 inch squares, and amalgamation allowed to proceed for 0.5 h. The gray cloudy aqueous phase was decanted, and the resulting aluminum washed with 2x200 mL H2O. After shaking as dry as possible, there was added, in sequence, a solution of 7.6 g methylamine hydrochloride in an equal weight H2O, 23 mL IPA, 18.3 mL 25% NaOH, 6.72 g 1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-butanone (see under the recipe of J for its preparation), and finally 44 mL additional IPA. The mixture was occasional swirled, and cooled externally as needed to keep the temperature below 50 °C. After the reduction was completed (no metallic aluminum remaining, only gray sludge), it was filtered and the residues washed with MeOH. The combined filtrate and washes were stripped of organic volatiles under vacuum, the residue treated with 100 mL Et2O, and this was extracted with 2x50 mL 3 N HCl. After washing the pooled aqueous extracts with 3x100 mL CH2Cl2, they were made basic with an excess of 25% NaOH and extracted with 5x50 mL CH2Cl2. Drying of these extracts with anhydrous MgSO4 and removal of the solvent gave a residue that was distilled at 88 °C at 0.08 mm/Hg to give a colorless oil that was dissolved in IPA and neutralized with concentrated HCl. The solids that separated were removed by filtration, Et2O washed, and air dried to provide 6.07 g 2-methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)butane hydrochloride (METHYL-J or MBDB) as white crystals with a mp of 156 °C. Anal. (C12H18ClNO2) C,H,N. Reductive amination of the butanone with methylamine hydrochloride in MeOH, employing sodium cyano-borohydride, gave an identical product but in a smaller yield.

DOSAGE: 180 - 210 mg.

DURATION: 4 - 6 h.

QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 210 mg) Generally very, very friendly, very quiet effect. I can read easily, but looking at pictures in most books is relatively meaningless. Distinct de-stressing effect, to the point where it's too much trouble to set out to do anything at all, really. There is just no drive, and it isn't even bothersome to be missing it. Do I like it? Yes, very much. Feel that I've just begun to explore it, though. Would I consider this material in therapy? Well, sure, it's worth trying. Destressing would be excellent, and better than MDMA in some ways, but the empathy and intuition levels have yet to be explored in a therapy setting. I feel that they may be somehow lower.

(with 210 mg) Onset rapid. Alert 20 minutes, and to a +2.5 at 30 to 35 minutes. No physical symptoms, i.e., teeth clench, no stomach problems. Good visual enhancement; eyes open--bright colors--no visuals with eyes closed. No 'cone of silence' that I get with MDMA (and enjoy), otherwise I'm not sure I could tell which was which if I took them blind.

(with 210 mg and a 50 mg supplement) RTasted perfectly rotten. Suspect I was getting some type of alert in 5 minutes (I often get one quickly with MDMA) and at 30 minutes, a full blown high developed rather abruptly. It would be difficult to describe the high. I suspect it is the lack of language for the phenomenon. I would describe it somewhat like an alcohol high without the disabling side effects of confusion, slurring, staggering and etc. The high never got any more intense than at that 30 minute point and with a noticeable drop in another hour, I took a 50 mg supplement. I enjoyed the high. I relaxed with the material. However, it did not seem to have the same qualities as MDMA, in that it was not as stimulating, and it had very little visual activity. I talked with others, but found it easy to lie down and relax. There was some jaw-clenching towards the end, and I had considerable nystagmus at the peak which I could control. After the experience, I did not want to drink alcohol very much (sell it as a substitute for EtOH!).

(with 210 mg and a 70 mg supplement) RI begin to feel the rush at 20 minutes, increasing rapidly. Very much like MDMA, only more intense intoxication. Otherwise same symptoms: intense euphoria that I call a feeling of grace, soft skin, voices, youthful appearance, animated discussions, feelings of great closeness to others. I start to drop noticeably at less than an hour and a half into it, but I delayed a supplement until the hour and fifty minute point. It does not get me back to the original intoxication. However, it is very nice, very much like MDMA. Only difference is that there seems to be more quietness, less inclination to talk than with an MDMA supplement. My conclusion: Seems an excellent substitute for MDMA, Next time may try somewhat lower amount, supplement sooner.

EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: An observer who was familiar with the outwardly apparent effects with groups experimenting with MDMA felt that, although most subjects commented favorably in their comparisons of METHYL-J with MDMA, there was lacking some of the spontaneity, the warmth, and the clear intimacy of the latter drug. The dosage range explored is remarkably tight, attesting to a consistency of response. The typical supplement used, if any, was 70 milligrams or less, just before the two hour point. This indicates a chronology similar to that of MDMA, and about two thirds the potency.

The arguments that weigh the use of the code name of MBDB against the use of METHYL-J are present in the recipe for BDB (or J). But what is the source of this H, I, J, K naming thing that I have called the Muni Metro?

First, a little bit of local color. In San Francisco, there is a public transportation called the S.F. Municipal Metropolitan System complex that has integrated an underground street-car system that emerges above ground and connects with a bus network. A number of the street-car lines fan across the city to the outer reaches which are called the Avenues. These lines are named by sequential letters. There is the J Church Street line, the K Ingelside line, the L Taraval line, the M Ocean line, and the N Judah. And in the pharmacological complex that involved the lengthening of the aliphatic chain, there were two coincidental benchmarks in the names that were proposed. Those without an alpha-substituent (no carbon atoms at the position alpha to the amine group, the phenethylamines) were originally called the H compounds. H stood for "homopiperonylamine." And the first of those with the alpha-ethyl group there (two carbon atoms at the position alpha to the amine group) was familiarly called "Jacobamine" in recognition of a famous chemist who had set the synthetic wheels in motion.

It is quite obvious, that with one carbon atom lying on that alpha-position, you are precisely half-way between no carbons and two carbons. And there was one letter of the alphabet that lies precisely half-way between an H and a J. So, an natural naming pattern developed. The I compounds were already pretty well known by names such as MDA and MDMA and MDE, so I, and METHYL-I, and ETHYL-I, didn't have any appeal. But for the new, the alpha-ethyl compounds, why not call them the J-compounds? If it has a methyl on the nitrogen it will be METHYL-J and if it has an ethyl group it will be ETHYL-J. And in the next longer group, the 3-carbon propyl group on the alpha-position becomes the K family, and the 4-carbon butyl group located there, the L family. Each with its METHYL and ETHYL prefixes, if the nitrogen atoms are substituted with a methyl or and ethyl group. V'la, comme on dit en Français. Le systième Muni Metro. Plus simple.

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