What are Research Chemicals or ‘RCs’?


Research chemicals are psychoactive substances which typically undergo little or no scientific studies. Vendors often use the term “research chemical” to bypass drug laws. Research chemicals are commonly labelled “not for human consumption” and are stated to be used for ‘research purposes only’.

Due to the lack of official studies, most of the information about RCs has been based on first-hand encounters and anecdotal evidence by those of us brave enough to partake in this unregulated research and share our trip reports with others. Many of these chemicals have extremely similar effects and molecular structures to widely used illegal drugs and are often tinkered with to bypass current drug laws or improve upon already existing psychoactive substances.

Most of these chemicals are still completely legal and can be found online from dealers who seem to only accept Bitcoin as payment accross the board.  I was lucky enough to find a dealer in China who also accepts Western Union a few months back and sent him $150 for a gram of 4-ACO-DMT.  I crossed my fingers hoping it would arrive and a week or so later my hopes came true as the package descretley arrived with no fuss or fanfare to speak of.

Since then I cannot count how many times I have taken micro and threshhold doses of this substance.  It has been great!  No need to find a dealer who has mushrooms, no need to re-up every time I need them at all.  A gram of 4-ACO-DMT is 50-100 doses, it will last me ‘forever’, especially serving as a source of micro dosing which will multiply it in to hundreds of doses.

I have yet to delve in to my second research chemical, but I have been looking in to what it should be.  The top of that list is 5-MAPB or maybe Methylone which both supposedly mimic MDMA.  What I’ve quickly learned is that purchasing chemicals online like 4-ACO-DMT and 5-MAPB is a terrific was to bypass street level drug dealers and pharmacutical monopolies all in one fowl swoop.

4-AcO-DMTor Psilacetin was originally patented on January 16, 1963 by Sandoz Ltd. via Albert Hofmann (the discoverer of LSD) & Franz Troxler. Despite this, the chemical has a very limited history of use prior to its release as a grey area compound on the online research chemical market.

Over time it gained a sizable following due to its classical entheogenic effects, which have been compared to those produced by psilocybin mushrooms or DMT.  Additionally, 4-ACO-DMT is widely believed to have a similar if not near-identical toxicity profile as psilocybin itself, which makes it unusually physically benign and toxicologically predictable for a research chemical.

Meanwhile, 5-MAPB is a synthetic entactogen, which are known to produce euphoric, stimulating and mildly hallucinogenic effects. 5-MAPB is the N-methylated form of 5-APB, analogously to how MDMA is the N-methylated form of MDA. It has been sold as a designer drug since 2010.

I don’t mean to delve in to the specifics of individual research chemicals in this post, but I wanted to share a little bit about two of them to give a better idea of what the larger sample of RCs might contain.  Pretty much any drug you can think of is covered by an assortment of chemical compounds that range from slightly similar to dead on replicas of the more well known drugs the world uses day in and day out.

Follow Psychoactive Plants & Substances for an ongoing series about ‘Research Chemicals’ where I am going to explore well known drugs and the research chemicals that are supposedly similar enough in effect to replace them.  We will cover the history of these substances along with first hand encounters and whatever science and research there may be out there.

Come back tomorrow when I present RC replacements for Xanax and other anti anxiety solutions.


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