2C-T-2: Potential Therapeutic Alternative to MDMA?

By Justin Cooke Last Updated: December 12, 2023
Last Updated: December 12, 2023

There are literally thousands of psychedelic molecules in existence. The vast majority have virtually no formal research to elucidate their effects. We call these compounds research chemicals.

2C-T-2 is one of the more well-known research chemicals on the market. It’s a derivative of mescaline and one of many 2C-X drugs in existence.

2C-T-2, like all 2C-X substances, is completely illegal in virtually all countries; but it remains in circulation underground, where it’s loved for its intense visuals and entactogenic effects.

This compound is often described as being “like MDMA, but with more intense visuals”.

In this article, we’ll explore everything we know so far about this obscure mescaline derivative.

What is 2C-T-2?

2C-T-2 stands for 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine. It’s one of the many compounds discovered by Alexander Shulgin as he systematically attached new functional groups to mescaline (the active psychoactive compound in Peyote and San Pedro cactus).

2C-T-2 is a member of the 2C-T-X subfamily, which itself is contained in the greater 2C-X drug class. This group contains a diverse set of psychedelic compounds that vary widely in terms of dose and qualitative experience.

Shulgin both created and tested these compounds himself in order to document their psychoactive profiles. He was particularly fond of 2C-T-2 as well as a related compound, 2C-T-7. Both drugs were listed in his “magical half dozen” — which consisted of a collection of his favorite psychedelic discoveries throughout his career.

Other mentions on this list included 2C-B, 2C-E, DOM, and mescaline.

2C-T-2: Specs & Technical Details

Active Ingredient2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine
Level of RiskModerate
Most Common Side-EffectsStomach discomfort, increased body temperature, & nausea
Duration of Effects6–8 hours
LegalityIllegal in most parts of the world

Guidelines for the Responsible Use of 2C-T-2

  1. 🐍 I understand why psychedelics should be treated with respect
  2. ⚖️ I’m familiar with the laws surrounding psychedelics in my country & state
  3. 🍄 I’m familiar and confident in the dose I’m taking (dose range for 2C-T-2 is 12–25 mg)
  4. 🧪 I’ve tested a sample of the substance I’m using with a drug testing kit
  5. 💊 I’m not mixing any medications or other substances with 2C-T-2
  6. 🏔 I’m in a safe & comfortable environment with people I trust
  7. 🐺 One of the members of my group is responsible and sober (AKA a trip sitter)
  8. 📆 I have nothing important scheduled for after the trip
  9. 🧠 I’m in a sound & healthy state of mind
  10. 🌶 I’m aware of the increased risk of heatstroke & dehydration with this compound
  11. 📚 I’m familiar with the four pillars of responsible psychedelic use — set, setting, sitter, & substance.
  12. ⏳ Know the timeline — the effects of 2C-T-2 can last between 6 and 8 hours
  13. 🙅‍♀️ Know when to avoid stimulants — don’t take 2C-T-2 if you have underlying heart, neurological, or psychiatric disorders

What’s The Dose of 2C-T-2?

The dose of 2C-T-2 hasn’t been well researched, but according to Alexander Shulgin’s reports, the ideal range is between 12 and 25 mg.

The difference in effects from the 12 mg to 25 mg range is substantial. This substance is most euphoric in the lower doses and becomes profoundly psychedelic in the higher doses.

It’s not recommended to take more than 25 mg of 2C-T-2 for any reason. There have been many reports of high doses leading to significant psychological harm and the effects are totally unpredictable.

Dosage Breakdown for 2C-T-2

  1. Threshold Dose — 3 mg
  2. Standard Psychoactive Dose — 12–25 mg
  3. Heavy Dose — Not Recommended

What Does 2C-T-2 Feel Like?

Many people compare the effects of 2C-T-2 to MDMA. It shares a similar empathogenic action — enhancing the ability to connect with the self and with others, but with more of a psychedelic flavor. 2C-T-2 induces visuals like LSD but feels stimulating like MDMA.

The downside of this compound is its dose-dependent nature.

Most of the negative reports come from people who aren’t using this substance responsibly. Reports of people mixing 2C-T-2 with alcohol or other drugs, snorting it, or taking a high dose in an attempt to reach a deeper level of experience often result in negative experiences.

The negative effects involve both psychological and physical discomfort.

The psychedelic effects of this substance will only increase to a certain point before the sentiment of the experience shifts. Hallucinations then become much darker and malevolent — mimicking the effects of delirium more than that of a classical psychedelic.

Additionally, the body load can become very uncomfortable at higher doses. The most common reports include muscle cramping, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, increased body temperature, and dry mouth.

Potential Use of 2C-T-2 in Psychotherapy

This compound has even been examined in at least one study to explore its potential use in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy [1]. This study explored both 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7. Researchers concluded that both compounds showed promise as a tool for psychotherapy comparable to MDMA.

The report is largely positive, concluding by claiming that “both show considerable promise in enhancing human functioning in a number of important areas, including clarity of thought, flow of insights, communication with others, feeling of well-being, energy level, and perception of higher meaning.”

Researchers also claimed these compounds reported no contraindications.

The problem with this study is that they didn’t outline the doses that were used in the study, and many of the reports contradict the sentiment that’s being shared anecdotally for this substance online — which is a mixed bag of both positive and negative reports. This report was overwhelmingly positive, which brings some doubts regarding the quality of this investigation.

There have been no more published studies on 2C-T-2 since this 1993 paper.

The key features of 2C-T-2 include:

  • Intense visuals & color-enhancements
  • Enhanced feelings of connection & love
  • Tactile enhancement
  • Introspective thoughts

How Long Does 2C-T-2 Last?

The effects of this compound last somewhere between 6 and 8 hours in total. It has a higher degree of celerity than other 2C-X substances, including 2C-T-7 and 2C-P — both of which often take over an hour to kick in and last 10 hours or longer.

2C-T-2 starts to kick in quickly and reaches peak experience by the 1-hour mark.

Is 2C-T-2 Safe?

The safety profile of 2C-T-2 hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research. There’s only one study involving this compound that’s been published, which reported an indication of toxicity. However, trip reports suggest this compound can pose some physical risk when used in higher doses or if combined with other substances.

Additionally, like most 2C-X substances, it causes an increase in body temperature, which can increase the chances of heat exhaustion or dehydration. Mixing 2C-T-2 with other stimulants would only serve to increase the chances of this side effect even further.

It’s wise to avoid mixing 2C-T-2 with other substances, avoid any form of ingestion aside from oral, and stick within the recommended dose range. Stay hydrated, and ensure a sober and responsible trip sitter remains nearby at all times.

Testing 2C-T-2

Testing your substances with a reagent test kit is considered a parament in the practice of harm reduction. The test requires just one drop of a reagent solution and a sample of the substance around the size of a grain of sand.

These tests won’t tell you the potency of the substance nor its purity, but they can help you identify whether the compound in your hand is truly what you think it is or if it’s something much more dangerous.

Learn more: How to test your substances using drug reagent kits.

What to look for when testing 2C-T-2:

  1. Marquis — Should turn pale orange
  2. Mecke — Should turn orange, then red, then purple
  3. Mandelin — Should turn purple
  4. Froehde — Should turn orange, then purple
  5. Liebermann — Should turn red or purple
  6. Ehrlich — No color change

Side Effects of 2C-T-2

The most common side effect is diarrhea and stomach discomfort. This could be due to the potential monoamine oxidase inhibiting effects that have been reported for some of the metabolites of this compound (unconfirmed). In most cases, these side effects are manageable and rarely cause more than a minor annoyance to the user.

Higher doses may be very different. Body load becomes more intense and can become very uncomfortable. Inexperienced users may become worried about the side effects — pushing the experience into a more negative tone.

The potential side effects of 2C-T-2 Include:

  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle cramping
  • Stimulation & insomnia
  • Anxiety & paranoia
  • Delusional thought patterns

No, 2C-T-2 is illegal all over the world. These laws are unlikely to change in the near future, and there isn’t enough research available on this substance to suggest it may serve as a viable alternative to MDMA or LSD in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, 2C-T-2 isn’t explicitly mentioned on the prohibited substance list but is included by proxy as an analog of 2C-X phenethylamines — which are included on the list.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, 2C-T-2 is mentioned by name as a prohibited substance.

Related: List of legal psychoactive substances around the world.

Final Thoughts: What’s The Future of 2C-T-2?

2C-T-2 is a bit of a controversial psychedelic. While it remains an obscure psychedelic, there are a lot of people who consider this substance one of the best psychedelics available. It’s often thought of as being like MDMA, but with much better visuals.

There are also opposite reports, with people highlighting experiences that overlap more with a deliriant than a psychedelic.

As with any research chemical, it’s important to treat it with caution. Practice effective harm reduction by testing your substances, understanding the dose and contraindications, and starting with a very low dose first before going any deeper.

Never insufflate 2C-T-2 or mix it with other drugs or alcohol, and ensure you have a trip sitter to watch over you if you decide to proceed with this psychedelic.

References Cited in this Article

  1. Stolaroff, M. J., & Wells, C. W. (1993). Preliminary results with new psychoactive agents 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7. Yearbook Ethnomed, 99-117.