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|Molecular mass||259.34 g/mol|
2C-T-21 is a psychedelic phenethylamine of the 2C family. It was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin, sometimes used as an entheogen. It was the first psychedelic drug known to contain six different atoms in the structure.
2C-T-21 is generally taken orally, and effects typically last 7 to 14 hours. The potential psychotherapeutic applications of this chemical were explored by Myron Stolaroff who found it a very promising substance in his experiments.
The mechanism that produces 2C-T-21’s hallucinogenic and entheogenic effects has not been specifically established, however it is most likely to result from action as a 5-HT2A serotonin receptor agonist in the brain, a mechanism of action shared by all of the hallucinogenic tryptamines and phenethylamines for which the mechanism of action is known. Based on the relatively high potency of 2C-T-21, it is likely that this compound binds quite strongly to the 5HT2A receptor target.
The related drug 2C-T-7 is known to have a separate action as a selective monoamine oxidase A inhibitor, and it is likely that this side effect is shared by other drugs of the 2C-T family. This makes these drugs potentially dangerous as at high doses they can slow down the degradation of serotonin in the brain, which can lead to serotonin syndrome and potential death without treatment. Overdose with 2C-T-21 has been responsible for at least one fatality, so it is likely that this drug is a relatively strong MAO-A inhibitor in addition to its action as a 5HT2A agonist.
On March 9, 2004, a 22-year-old quadriplegic man named James Edwards Downs in St. Francisville, Louisiana, consumed an unknown dose of 2C-T-21 by sticking his tongue into a vial of powder he had purchased from www.americanchemicalsupply.com — a practice he had been engaging in since purchasing a gram. He developed temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), had a grand mal seizure, and slipped into a coma. Four days later, on March 13, Downs died at Lane Memorial Hospital in Zachary, LA.
This death became part of a two year DEA investigation called Operation Web Tryp which was launched in 2002 following the death of a New York man who had taken unspecified chemicals purchased from David Linder (aka Pondman or Dr. Benway, the latter a reference to a character created by William S. Burroughs). On July 22, 2004, the owners of American Chemical Supply were arrested on federal charges relating to distribution of controlled substance analogues and the death of James Edwards Downs. Little is known about the toxicity of 2C-T-21 beyond this incident.
2C-T-21 is unscheduled and uncontrolled in the United States, but possession and sales of 2C-T-21 would probably be prosecuted under the Federal Analog Act because of its structural similarities to 2C-T-7 and its known potential to cause death. In the wake of Operation Web Tryp in July 2004, at least one "research chemical" distributor faced charges as a consequence of the death of James Downs from 2C-T-21 overdose.
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