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What is 4-AcO-DMT?
4-AcO-DMT—also known as O-acetylpsilocin, 4-acetoxy-DMT, psilacetin, or “synthetic mushrooms”—is a semi-synthetic research chemical in the tryptamine family, which also includes the classic psychedelics like DMT and psilocybin. 4-AcO seems to be very closely related to the magic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin, and like psilocybin, is speculated to break down into psilocin in the body during first pass metabolism. In fact, 4-AcO-DMT was first synthesized in the early 1960s by Albert Hofmann, the same chemist who discovered LSD and first synthesized psilocybin. As an employee for the pharmaceutical company Sandoz, Hofmann and his colleague, Franz Troxler, were playing around with molecules similar to psilocin, and patented psilacetin along with four other esters (organic compounds that react to water by producing alcohol) of psilocin in 1963.
But 4-AcO was patented and then largely forgotten, until it reappeared in the 1990s rave scene as a new designer drug. Then in 1999, professor and psychedelic scientist David E. Nichols tried to put it on the map as a safe and cost-effective alternative to psilocybin, because it’s much easier (and cheaper) to synthesize. Yet, more than 20 years later, there still haven’t been any clinical studies on the safety, toxicity, or potential efficacy of O-acetylpsilocin, despite its rising popularity among psychonauts.
Today, psilacetin is comes in the form of a brown or off-white powder (technically a fumarate salt) that can be taken orally or intranasally in micro-doses or more, depending how hard you want to trip—which, depending on how many milligrams one takes, can resemble the effects of mushrooms or DMT, causing many to speculate that 4-AcO has psychedelic properties of its own.
Before I start to explain what the 4-AcO trip is like, it’s important to emphasize just how dose-dependent the research chemical is. The general consensus among users on message boards and the nine people who filled out a survey I created on 4-AcO, is that lower doses feel like a psilocybin experience, while higher doses start to more so resemble a DMT experience. Or as Sarah*, one of my survey participants, put it, “It was like mushrooms, DMT, and acid in one… like a long DMT trip with the warm and loving feeling of mushrooms, and the mind-blowing experience of acid.”
4-AcO Dose Ranges for Oral Ingestion:
- Microdose: 2.5 – 5 mg
- Low Dose: 5 – 10 mg
- Moderate Dose: 10 – 20 mg
- High Dose: 20 – 40 mg
- Heroic Dose: 40 mg +
As a general reference point, many say that oral doses in the 15 to 20 mg range greatly resemble a 3.5-gram magic mushroom experience. And with all new psychedelics, it’s best to start with a low to moderate dose, or even microdose, for your first trip in order to get a lay of the land before diving into stronger experiences.
For nasal ingestion, doses will be slightly different because many folks report snorting the powder to be a stronger but possibly shorter acting experience. Also, one of my survey participants reported the powder can turn blue in your nostrils, so don’t be alarmed if this happens to you, as well.
4-AcO Dose Ranges for Intranasal Ingestion:
- Microdose: less than 5 mg
- Low Dose: 5 – 10 mg
- Moderate Dose: 10 – 20 mg
- High Dose: 20 – 30 mg
- Heroic Dose: 30 mg +
For safe dosing, be sure to weigh out your dose on a scale that can read milligrams. And if you don’t own one, you should consider investing. They don’t cost more than about $20 and are an easy way to practice harm reduction. Especially with research chemicals that come as powders, a small amount can have a big impact on the strength of the experience.
Most folks report an O-acetylpsilocin trip to last more or less the same amount of time as mushrooms, from four to eight hours with an afterglow lasting up to 48 hours after the experience has ended.
Psychonaut Wiki has mapped out the duration as such:
- Total: 4 – 7 hours
- Onset: 15 – 40 minutes
- Come Up: 30 – 75 minutes
- Peak: 2 to 3.5 hours
- Offset: 1 – 2 hours
- After effects: 4 – 48 hours
The 4-AcO trip is very dose-dependent. The most common way people describe it is the trip being like a crisp, lucid, and warm mushroom experience on low and moderate doses of about 15 to 30 mg. “4-AcO has a very light and joyous character, almost childlike. Like mushrooms but crisper and clearer,” wrote Steven*, one of my survey respondents, who’s tried 4-AcO at doses ranging from 10 to 50 mg several hundred times. “It’s slightly gentler and more simplified of a trip than mushrooms, but almost the same feeling.”
Similarities between 4-AcO-DMT And Mushrooms
The visuals in this dose range also seem to be similar to what folks experience on mushrooms, with lots of drifting, waving, and breathing. But some people report it being a bit more geometric than shrooms, bordering on the precise way DMT makes them see the world. “Open eyed, at low doses, [visuals] are earthy and warpy. Everything can look kind of hazy and humid, like a jungle. I’ll see faint, simple geometry, such as drifting curved lines,” described Cindy*, who’s tried psilacetin about 10 times. “Closed eyed, at low doses, have a lot of nonsensical but beautiful imagery. It’s usually realistic, but very trippy, such as my fish made out of glass fractals.”
Legal status Of 4-AcO-DMT
4-AcO-DMT is not listed under any international drug schedules such as the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. As a result, it exists in a legal grey area in many countries, meaning that while it is not specifically illegal individuals may still be charged for its possession under certain circumstances such as under analogue laws and with the intent to sell or consume.
- Belgium: 4-AcO-DMT is illegal to import in Belgium.
- Brazil: 4-AcO-DMT is illegal to possess, produce, and sell as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- Germany: Because it is an ester of DMT, 4-AcO-DMT is controlled under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I),as of January 24, 1974. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Italy: 4-AcO-DMT is illegal in Italy as it is an ester of an illegal substance.
- Sweden: 4-AcO-DMT was made illegal in Sweden on 25 January 2017.
- Switzerland: 4-AcO-DMT could be considered an ester analog of Psilocin, which would make it illegal according to Buchstabe B.
- Turkey: 4-AcO-DMT is a classed as drug and is illegal to possess, produce, supply, or import.
- United Kingdom: 4-AcO-DMT is a Class A drug in the UK as it is an ester of the Class A drug psilocin.
- United States: 4-AcO-DMT is unscheduled in the United States. It may be considered an analogue of psilocin, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means the sale for human consumption or the use for non-medical or research purposes could be prosecuted as crimes under the Federal Analogue Act.