4-Acetoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (also known as 4-AcO-DMT, 4-Acetoxy-DMT, O-Acetylpsilocin, and psilacetin) is a novel psychedelic substance of the tryptamine class. It is a structural analog of psilocybin, the active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms). Like psilocybin, it is thought to produce its effects primarily by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain; however, the precise mechanism is not fully understood.
The synthesis of 4-AcO-DMT was first reported in 1963 by Albert Hofmann and Franz Troxler as part of an investigation into psilocin analogs. However, its pharmacology and subjective effects were not explored. A paper authored by David E. Nichols in 1999 proposed it as a potentially useful alternative to psilocybin for pharmacological research due to lower cost of synthesis. Reports of recreational use began to surface shortly after its appearance on the online research chemical market in the 2010s.
Subjective effects are reported to be nearly identical to those of psilocybin mushrooms and include geometric visual hallucinations, time distortion, enhanced introspection, euphoria, and ego loss. 4-AcO-DMT is theorized to act as a prodrug to psilocin in a similar manner as psilocybin, which may account for this similarity. 4-AcO-DMT’s classical psychedelic effects and favorable tolerability profile has led it to become popular among novel psychoactive substance users who seek mystical or entheogenic experiences.
Very little data exists on the pharmacology, metabolism, and toxicity of 4-AcO-DMT. While it is believed to have a favorable safety profile similar to that of psilocybin mushrooms (which are known to be physiologically non-toxic) there is currently no data to support this claim. It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.
- Sedation – 4-AcO-DMT is considered by most to be relaxing, stoning and mildly sedating. This sense of sedation is often accompanied by compulsive yawning.
- Perception of bodily heaviness
- Spontaneous bodily sensations – The general “body high” of 4-AcO-DMT can be described as a pleasurable, warm, soft and all-encompassing tingling sensation. This maintains a consistent presence that steadily rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached. Once the peak of the experience or sensation is reached it can produce feelings of pronounced physical and cognitive euphoria along with tranquility, a sense of lethargy or sedation, or total immobilization depending on the dose.
- Tactile enhancement – This effect is less prominent than with that of LSD or 2C-B but is still present and unique in its character. It is repeatedly described as feeling very primitive in its nature often times with the small hairs on the user’s arms or legs feeling slightly itchy or even ticklish against the skin.
- Changes in felt bodily form – This effect is often accompanied by a sense of warmth 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, though it can also manifest in the form of bodily tension.
- Changes in felt gravity
- 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 3 to 4 hours before if the user is feeling physically fatigued and undernourished. The nausea produced by 4-AcO-DMT is generally considered to be much less prominent than it is with psilocybin mushrooms, perhaps owing to the fact that there is no fungal-matter the body has to digest when the isolated synthetic form is consumed.
- Temperature regulation suppression – 4-AcO-DMT can cause fluctuates in the user’s internal sense of temperature, which can manifest as sudden bouts of uncomfortable coldness or warmth, which is why a climate-controllable environment is strongly recommended.
- Muscle contractions – The muscle contractions that can occur on 4-AcO-DMT tend to be transient and benign feeling in nature, compared to many other tryptamines, phenethylamines and lysergamides.
- Muscle relaxation
- 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
- Frequent urination
- Gustatory enhancement
- Olfactory enhancement
- Olfactory hallucination
- Pupil dilation
- Runny nose
- Increased salivation
- Teeth grinding – This effect is considerably less intense when compared with substances like MDMA when it occurs.
- Brain zaps – This effect is uncommon and thought to only occur in those who are predisposed to them. It is much less prevalent and intense than those that occur with serotonin releasing agents such as MDMA.
- Seizure – This is a rarely observed effect and is thought to primarily be a risk factor in those already predisposed to them, particularly while in physically taxing conditions such as being overheated, dehydrated, undernourished or fatigued.
- The cognitive effects and general head space of 4-AcO-DMT are commonly described as extremely relaxing, profound and slow-paced in style when compared to other commonly used psychedelics, such as LSD or 2C-B, which have a distinct energetic and stimulating push. It is also generally regarded as being notably more lucid than psilocybin mushrooms.
- Analysis enhancement – This effect is consistent in its manifestation with a tendency to be outrospective in nature, but may also manifest as introspection depending on one’s set and setting.
- Novelty enhancement
- Immersion enhancement
- Creativity enhancement
- Conceptual thinking
- Personal bias suppression
- Multiple thought streams
- Emotion enhancement – This effect can be described as being more prominent, consistent and profound when compared to other traditional psychedelics such as mescaline or LSD. This can lead to strong feelings of compassion, urgency and even completely sporadic moments of intense emotional significance that can also be periodically affected by enhancement and suppression cycles. Many reports suggest, however, that that the experience is not as consistently emotionally-charged as that produced by consuming psilocybin mushrooms.
- Simultaneous emotions
- Empathy, affection, and sociability enhancement – This effect differs from MDMA and other entactogens in that it isn’t as central to the experience, feels less forced and more natural and is experienced at a less consistent rate. While the substance consistently produces heightened empathy and affection, sociability enhancement in particular only occurs rarely if at all due to the language and memory suppressing cognitive effects that accompany the experience.
- Language suppression – This effect can be described as a perceived inability or general unwillingness to talk aloud despite feeling perfectly capable of formulating coherent thoughts within one’s internal narrative. It is much more common among inexperienced users.
- Enhancement and suppression cycles – This can be described as constant waves of extremely stimulated and profound thinking which are spontaneously surpassed in a cyclic fashion by waves of general thought suppression and mental intoxication. These two states seem to switch between each other in a consistent loop once every 20 to 60 minutes when present.
- Increased sense of humor
- Increased music appreciation
- Cognitive euphoria
- Memory suppression
- Feelings of impending doom – This effect is usually only experienced during the come up phase but typically completely passes or subsides once the primary effects begin. It should be noted that this effect is relatively consistent and normal for psilocin and related tryptamines which is why a positive and well-informed mindset is key. Less regularly this aspect can also occur during the peak but will most often be met after with sensations of euphoria and rejuvenation.
- Rejuvenation – While this effect can occur spontaneously at any point, it typically follows a difficult phase of the experience, if not the entire experience itself.
- Thought connectivity
- Thought deceleration
- Thought organization
- Thought loops
- Time distortion
- Déjà vu
- Ego replacement – Although this effect is rare and more likely to occur with certain psychedelics like DMT or ayahuasca, it can still occur spontaneously, typically with higher doses.
- Personality regression – While this effect is not typically observed, it can still spontaneously manifest and is thought to depend primarily on the user’s set and setting.