THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO 4-ACO-DMT
4-AcO-DMT is an illegal substance in many countries, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use 4-AcO-DMT.
4-AcO-DMT (or psilacetin) is a semi-synthetic tryptamine closely related to the psychedelic mushroom molecules psilocin and psilocybin. In fact, 4-AcO-DMT is widely known as “synthetic mushrooms.” Like psilocybin, it appears that the body metabolizes 4-AcO-DMT into psilocin.
Most people buy psilacetin as a brown or off-white powder that can be mixed with water just prior to dosing. But it’s also available in pills, tablets, capsules, and gel tabs among other preparations.
True to its nickname, “synthetic mushrooms”, a 4-AcO-DMT experience is similar to a psilocybin trip. Its effects are dose-dependent, but mystical-type experiences are common, as are philosophical insights and a sense of empathic well-being.
Many factors contribute to the 4-AcO-DMT experience, including dose, mindset, setting, and method of consumption. With that in mind, each individual journey will be unique to the person, time, and place, and there’s no way to predict exactly what will happen. But, 4-AcO-DMT does induce some common experiences and effects that can help you prepare for your journey.
What to expect
The 4-AcO-DMT experience is often compared to that of psilocybin, but with a more mellow, euphoric sensibility. At high doses, 4-AcO-DMT is known for its vivid visionary effects, but moderate doses produce a visual experience similar to psilocybin, with objects appearing to breathe and wave. Many people who have taken 4-AcO-DMT say that while it can be more intense than mushrooms, it’s also more predictable.
A 4-AcO-DMT experience can last anywhere between two and eight hours, depending on how much you take and how it’s ingested. When taken orally, the effects of 4-AcO-DMT are usually felt within the first 45 minutes, with the peak lasting two to three hours and the comedown at least an hour. When insufflated the timeline of the entire experience is faster. During the peak, you can expect to experience feelings of euphoria, laughter, enhanced creativity and “flow,” introspective insights, an interest in usually mundane tasks, feelings of wonder and more. It’s also common to experience sensitivity to light, synesthesia, auditory hallucinations, increased or decreased emotional sensitivity, and time distortion, as well as less desirable effects such as over-stimulation,sweating/chills/flushing, aches, dizziness, anxiety and paranoia.
More extreme experiences can include an “additional layer” to reality, sometimes manifesting as an “energy field” around objects. Changes in perception of gravity or bodily sensations are also commonly reported. In addition to visual patterns, some people also experience “external” hallucinations, such as seemingly autonomous entities or spirits. At high doses, “ego-death” can occur, and many self-experimenters temporarily forget their own names. Like with many psychedelics, mystical-type experiences are also common, which could be beneficial to mental health.
Immediate after-effects of a 4-AcO-DMT experience such as an afterglow may last up to 48 hours.
Like psilocybin (4-PO-DMT), 4-AcO-DMT is an ester of psilocin (4-HO-DMT). The difference between the two is that psilocybin is the O-phosphorylated form, which naturally occurs in mushrooms; 4-AcO-DMT, on the other hand, is the O-acetylated form, hence the name O-Acetylpsilocin. In other words, 4-AcO-DMT has the same basic structure as both psilocin and psilocybin, but with an acetoxy group bonded to its indole ring.
Very little data exist on the receptor binding and metabolism of 4-AcO-DMT. Like psilocybin, it’s thought to be a prodrug of psilocin—in this case, deacetylated to psilocin during first-pass metabolism by the stomach and liver. With this in mind, we can assume that 4-AcO-DMT activates the 5-HT2A serotonin receptors, which is a similar mechanism of action as psilocybin and many other psychedelics.
However, some people have come to believe that 4-AcO-DMT may be more than just a prodrug of psilocin. There are many anecdotal reports of people injecting or smoking 4-AcO-DMT and experiencing nearly immediate psychoactivity (i.e. when bypassing first-pass metabolism). This suggests it may have its own pharmacodynamic profile and could account for some of the differences between the psilocybin and 4-AcO-DMT experiences. That said, it’s worth noting that naturally occurring psilocybin tends to be accompanied by other alkaloids that have their own effects, such as baeocystin and norbaeocystin neither of which are present in 4-AcO-DMT powders.
Safety and toxicity
Taking into account the pharmacological similarities, we can assume that 4-AcO-DMT is just as safe and non-addictive as psilocybin/psilocin. Although clinical research is lacking—especially into its long-term effects and toxic overdose (if any)—anecdotal reports support its presumed safety. However, a number of 4-AcO-DMT trip reports report that very high doses can cause blackouts, vomiting, heart problems, hypertension, and seizures. No fatalities have been reported at least in the absence of other drugs.
4-AcO-DMT is usually sold as a fumarate salt (a white-ish powder) containing on average 1 mg of pure 4-AcO-DMT for every 1.24 mg of powder. If it’s a hydrochloride salt, it will contain on average 1 mg of pure 4-AcO-DMT for every 1.15 mg of powder. In practice, the difference may be negligible, but it’s worth knowing. Given the prevalence of 4-AcO-DMT fumarate and the fact that it contains less of the active indole alkaloid it’s safe to assume dosage guidelines found online refer to the fumarate salt.
As a powder, 4-AcO-DMT is usually taken orally, but it can also be taken intranasally (snorted/insufflated). For other methods see FAQ. Either way, it’s processed more rapidly by the body than psilocybin mushrooms, typically resulting in a faster, more intense onset.
Even high-end doses are tiny, as with DMT, so you’ll need a digital milligram scale to weigh out your desired amount, based on the following ranges:
- Threshold: 2.5 – 5
- Light: 5 – 10
- Common: 10 – 25
- Strong: 25 – 40
- Heavy: 40+
Intranasal 4-AcO-DMT dosage (in mg)
- Threshold: <5
- Light: 5 – 10
- Common: 10 – 20
- Strong: 20 – 30
- Heavy: 30+
BENEFITS & RISK
While 4-AcO-DMT is not as common or well-known as other psychedelics, its potential benefits are similar—particularly to psilocybin. Like mushrooms, 4-AcO-DMT holds the potential to be a power agent for healing and change. Though there is little formal research into 4-AcO-DMT, anecdotally, the substance been shown to treat depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and addiction. It’s also been reported that microdosing 4-AcO-DMT can increase sociability, improve mood, and increase creativity and focus.
Like psilocybin and DMT the two psychoactives it’s compared to the most 4-AcO-DMT is also known for occasioning mystical-type experiences, which many researchers are recognizing as a driving force in psychedelics’ ability to spur positive, long-term changes.
Many people also microdose 4-AcO-DMT, which has been reported to increase creativity, energy, and focus, improve relational skills, and reduce anxiety, stress, and even depression. Some enthusiasts also report that microdosing 4-AcO-DMT has helped them heighten their spiritual awareness and enhance their senses.
As with any substance, it’s wise to start with a small dose and work your way up through subsequent trips. Accurate dosing is extremely important with 4-AcO-DMT—as one psychonaut put it, “it’s easy to accidentally swallow what would be equivalent to a trash bag of shrooms.”
All the usual precautions regarding set and setting apply, too, and obviously you should avoid driving. Having a sober sitter present is always useful.
It’s also a good idea to avoid eating for at least a couple of hours beforehand. Although nausea tends to be less common than with psilocybin mushrooms (perhaps because of the indigestible chitin they contain), upset stomachs are common during the onset of 4-AcO-DMT.The taste of the powder itself can be unpleasant enough to cause nausea or vomiting, though, so you may want to chase it with juice.
Though 4-AcO-DMT is largely considered safe, a number of trip reports suggest that very high doses can cause blackouts, vomiting, heart problems, hypertension, and seizures. No fatalities have been reported—at least in the absence of other drugs.
As with any substance, you should avoid taking 4-AcO-DMT or at least do so cautiously f you’re prone to psychosis, seizures, heart problems, blood pressure problems, or mental health issues such as severe anxiety. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, though; always do your own research before taking any unfamiliar substance.
Research into 4-AcO-DMT is limited, but the fact that it’s a more stable prodrug of psilocin than psilocybin (and one that’s more easily synthesized) means it could prove useful for clinical research. In one study, for example, it was used to test the hypothesis that 5-HT2A agonists can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and even prevent addictions from forming: Opiate-dependent rodents given 4-AcO-DMT were effectively cured of their addiction, and rodents given a single dose of 4-AcO-DMT before being exposed to nicotine did not become addicted. How 4-AcO-DMT may be used to treat addiction in humans remains to be seen, but these results support neurobiological theories of dependence.
The authors of this study also suggest that 4-AcO-DMT could be useful for treating depression and could offer substantially longer-lasting relief than drugs.
Anecdotal reports support these hypotheses. While prescribed antidepressants can have a “numbing” effect on people, 4-AcO-DMT is said to help resolve underlying emotional damage rather than push it away. Consider one man who was able to overcome his PTSD through just six trips, describing the compound as “life-changing.” His experience, he said, made him feel as though he was “unknotting scar tissue” and led him to rediscover his “inner confident self.” Another self-medicator—a victim of childhood abuse—said that she was not only able to work through her trauma with 4-AcO-DMT, but that the substance helped her move on with her life in a way that prescribed medications seemed to actively prevent. And yet another, frustrated with conventional antidepressants, credited 4-AcO-DMT with allowing him to “experience happiness and connection,” while also decreasing his reliance on alcohol.
Even microdoses of 4-AcO-DMT appear beneficial. Depressed or anxious individuals report a mood lift and emotional stability that lasts for days. Some have also used it to wean off dangerous and addictive pharmaceuticals.
Trips with 4-AcO-DMT can unfold in many ways, but two common and often life-changing—effects are a spiritual or mystical experience and renewed compassion for the people in one’s life. Openness with family is also a recurring theme. One person found 4-AcO-DMT’s ego-softening effect allowed him to have a long-overdue conversation with his brother about their mother’s death, finally telling him things that he “should have said much earlier.” He was also able to reconnect and “productively engage” with his father. Another self-medicator felt similarly empowered, coming to understand the “problematic tension” between himself and his father, which resulted in him resolving “to mend [their] fractured state.”Gratitude, acceptance, trust, and letting go are some other common themes associated with this compound. As one psychonaut put it, “whereas mushrooms operate in a part of the brain that could be considered about language or intellect, 4-AcO-DMT acts on the emotional thought processes.” By taking 4-AcO-DMT once every couple of months, he said, he was better able to manage his “warped” emotions.
It could also facilitate positive lifestyle changes. One self-experimenter, for example, decided to stop smoking weed every day and fulfill his untapped potential—a resolution made after a lengthy discussion with a surprisingly real-looking lion he took to be God.
Microdosing 4-AcO-DMT can also spur personal growth, while at the same time enhancing mental clarity, creativity, and flow.
Microdosing is the act of consuming sub-perceptual (unnoticeable) amounts of a psychedelic substance. Many individuals who have integrated microdosing 4-AcO-DMT into their weekly routine report higher levels of creativity, more energy, increased focus, and improved relational skills, as well as reduced anxiety, stress, and even depression. Some enthusiasts also report that microdosing 4-AcO-DMT has helped them heighten their spiritual awareness and enhance their senses.While psilocybin and LSD are more commonly used for microdosing, 4-AcO-DMT could be a good alternative. Using 4-AcO-DMT eliminates the variability of using psilocybin, for example, ensuring greater consistency for microdosing. The effects of 4-AcO-DMT are also thought to be mellower than psilocybin, which could prove useful when seeking a sub-perceptual state.
To learn more about microdosing 4-AcO-DMT, read our comprehensive guide.
The legality of 4-AcO-DMT can be ambiguous. Although it’s federally unscheduled in the US, for instance, manufacturing, distributing, or possessing the compound for human consumption technically violates the Federal Analogue Act. But prosecutions are practically unheard of.In the UK, however, as an ester of psilocin, it’s a Class A substance by default under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Scandalously, this places 4-AcO-DMT in the same category as fentanyl, one of the most dangerous drugs known to humanity. It therefore potentially carries the harshest drug crime sentences. As a “psychoactive substance,” it’s also prohibited under the UK’s Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.
In Australia, the situation is much the same; as an ester of psilocin, 4-AcO-DMT is, by default, a strictly prohibited substance. The same is true in New Zealand and a number of European countries, including Germany and Italy. In Sweden, 4-AcO-DMT was specifically singled out for prohibition in January 2017.
It does, however, remain perfectly legal in a number of other countries—including Canada, where many vendors are based.
HISTORY & STAT
4-AcO-DMT was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann who famously discovered LSD and his colleague Franz Troxler at Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland. It was patented by the company, along with a number of other indole esters, in 1963. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that we first saw 4-AcO-DMT for sale alongside various “research chemicals” and “designer drugs.”
These days, 4-AcO-DMT is the most popular of the synthetic/semi-synthetic tryptamines—although the use of these substances remains limited. While only 81 (3.55%) of the 2,282 US respondents to the 2013 Global Drug Survey reported ever having tried 4-AcO-DMT, substantially fewer people had ever tried 4-HO-DiPT (22, or 0.96%), 4-HO-MiPT (20, or 0.88%), or even the relatively well-known 5-MeO-DMT (72, or 3.16%). The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, meanwhile, found that of 56,276 respondents, only three (0.01%) had ever used 4-AcO-DMT.
Despite these limited numbers, the use of tryptamines in general (natural and synthetic) appears to have increased over the past couple of decades: According to the DEA, the estimated number of tryptamine reports to state and local laboratories in 2006 was just 42. By 2010, it was 474.
Worldwide interest in 4-AcO-DMT apparently peaked in September 2010, having been gradually climbing over the previous few years. It reached an all-time high in July 2012 and interest appears to have declined since then. Of course, this graph only charts interest by Google web search, so this apparently “declining interest” might just reflect a shifting of sales to the darknet—or of queries to other websites such as Reddit.
“4-AcO-DMT is a dodgy research chemical”
Some people avoid 4-AcO-DMT because of the mistaken belief that it’s just another shady research chemical, a drug hastily designed as a legal-by-default stand-in for a safer but prohibited substance in this case, psilocybin. This assumption places 4-AcO-DMT in the same category as the NBOMe series and other research chemicals linked to numerous deaths.
However, 4-AcO-DMT was not originally designed to circumvent the law. Although it may have become popular in response to psilocybin mushrooms being banned, it was originally patented in 1963—five years before psilocybin was banned in the US. And while 4-AcO-DMT hasn’t been clinically tested on humans, fatalities appear to be non-existent and health issues are uncommon. Given its close structural similarities to psilocybin and psilocin, it’s unlikely to be physically dangerous for most people.
“4-AcO-DMT is a legal substitute for magic mushrooms”
Obviously the legality of 4-AcO-DMT will depend on where you live. However, you may be in for a surprise if you expect it to be just like psilocybin. Although many find it comparable, it’s often described as being more like DMT.
Another problem with the statement above is that, for many people, “legal” tends to imply “weak” or “ineffective.” This can make new trippers complacent when it comes to measuring doses. And since all it takes with 4-AcO-DMT is a few extra milligrams to profoundly alter the effects, this misconception could be especially problematic.
Can 4-AcO-DMT be detected in a drug test?
Psilocin is rarely screened for, so 4-AcO-DMT is unlikely to be detected in a drug test. Although some types of extended drug tests (e.g. for criminal probation) are capable of detecting psilocin, they’re only really used when its use is already suspected.
According to Erowid, psilocin can remain in the system for several weeks, and in the urine specifically for up to one week.
Can I test my 4-AcO-DMT to find out if it’s safe to take?
Testing your 4-AcO-DMT is always good practice even when you trust your supplier. Reagent test kits from Bunk Police can identify hundreds of adulterants and substitutes—offering peace of mind and potentially saving your life.
The Marquis, Mecke, and Mandelin reagents, for example, can help identify real 4-AcO-DMT. Simply place a tiny amount of 4-AcO-DMT into a sterile test tube or onto a sterile white ceramic surface and add a few drops of the reagent. Then check the color change (or lack thereof) against the supplied spectrum booklet.
Can it cause psychological trauma?
Although 4-AcO-DMT has never been clinically tested on humans, long-term mental health issues are practically unheard of. That doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe, of course; long-term health effects are notoriously hard to gauge. But it does suggest that even bad trips are generally well tolerated and this is to be expected given 4-AcO-DMT’s pharmacological similarities to the relatively well-studied psilocin and psilocybin.
That said, you should probably avoid taking it if you’re prone to psychosis or other serious mental health conditions.
Are there risks?
Physical risks include vomiting, loss of consciousness, and seizures, but these are fairly uncommon. As far as we know, nobody has died from taking 4-AcO-DMT nor is it likely to be physically dangerous for most people.
As with any psychedelic, it should probably be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women or anyone prone to seizures, heart problems, blood pressure problems, or mental health issues like severe anxiety if only to err on the side of caution given the lack of clinical research.
How should I take 4-AcO-DMT?
Most people swallow the powder with water or take it intranasally by snorting/insufflating. For dosage guidelines, see Effects.
Some have also experimented with smoking or vaporizing 4-AcO-DMT, either as a salt (as it’s usually sold) or as an evaporated freebase, with mixed results. It may be a waste of the substance, though, because this method appears to require more of it for relatively minimal, mostly short-lived effects. Smoking it with cannabis appears to produce stronger effects, but extreme caution is advised (see below on combining 4-AcO-DMT with other drugs).
Some other routes of administration include injection (intravenous or intramuscular) and rectal “plugging” or “boofing.” Each of these methods is said to significantly alter the experience, but anecdotal reports are rare.
What’s the best place to buy 4-AcO-DMT online?
Because of its legal ambiguity, the research chemical market tends to be quite volatile; a recommendation made today might not be valid tomorrow.
If it’s legal where you live, you should be able to buy 4-AcO-DMT online. You could also check forums for up-to-date listings of the highest-rated suppliers.
How do I know if I have real 4-AcO-DMT?
https://thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/4-aco-dmt/#legalityIf you get it from a reputable 4-AcO-DMT supplier, that’s one assurance. But research chemicals can and do get missold. Whether or not you trust your vendor, it’s advisable to verify the substance with a 4-AcO-DMT test kit. Although test kits cannot guarantee the presence of 4-AcO-DMT (or tell you the purity), they can at least rule it out if you’ve been sent something else entirely.
Genuine 4-AcO-DMT should react like this to the Marquis, Mecke, Mandelin, and Simmons reagents.
Can I microdose with 4-AcO-DMT?
Yes! Here’s our guide to microdosing 4-AcO-DMT.
How quickly does 4-AcO-DMT tolerance develop?
Tolerance develops immediately and takes roughly one to two weeks to return to baseline. You should also expect a cross-tolerance effect with other psychedelics not just psilocin, but LSD, MDMA, 2C-B, and others that work via the 5-HT (serotonin) receptors. These substances, and perhaps others, are likely to be less effective when taken within seven to fourteen days of 4-AcO-DMT.
Can I mix it with other drugs?
As mentioned in the Safety and toxicity section above, 4-AcO-DMT probably shouldn’t be taken alongside lithium, tramadol, or stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine. These have all been linked to psychosis or seizures when combined with psychedelics. The same is true of cannabis, although some find it synergistic with 4-AcO-DMT, intensifying some of the visual, sensory, and cognitive effects.
MDMA is also reported to be synergistic, though unpredictable; if combining 4-AcO-DMT with MDMA, we recommend lower doses of each to avoid potential neurotoxicity and other problems. Ketamine is said to enhance visual effects, euphoria, and of course dissociation but, like any drug combination, it should be approached with caution, taking note of the relevant warnings.
Some drug combinations are advised against because they diminish the effects of 4-AcO-DMT, while potentially adding negative effects of their own. Alcohol is one example, and benzodiazepines may negate the effects of 4-AcO-DMT entirely.
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