2C-I or 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenethylamine is a psychedelic phenethylamine of the 2C family.[1] It was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin. It was described in Shulgin’s book PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story. The drug is used recreationally for its psychedelic and entactogenic effects. 2C-I is commonly sold in its hydrochloride salt form, which is a fluffy, sparkling-white powder, which has also been pressed into tablet form.

Recreational use

In the early 2000s (decade), 2C-I, otherwise known as “smith”, was sold in Dutch smart shops, after 2C-B, which was previously sold, was banned. In April 2008, 2C-I was also banned in the Netherlands, along with three other 2C-x phenethylamines previously sold in Dutch smartshops for short periods of time. During the same period, 2C-I also became available in powder form from several online vendors of research chemicals in the United States, Asia, and Western Europe. In 2002 and 2003, tablets of 2C-I were being sold in nightclubs and at raves in Denmark and in the United Kingdom as a club drug.[2]
It is often misrepresented as mescaline in US street sale of singular dosages, as it shares some level of similarity in psychological effect. Both chemicals are members of the psychedelic phenethylamine class of drugs, except 2C-I is an analog of mescaline in the 2C-x series. A major difference between the research chemicals in the 2C-x series, and mescaline is a much greater potency by weight and thus also a steeper dose-response in the newer synthetic drugs. 2C-I’s effective dosage range per milligram is approximately 10-fold less than mescaline. This means that a small carrier material, such as a small candy or pressed pill, is suitable for 2C-I. That type of small carrier material has an insufficiently small holding capacity to contain a large enough quantity of mescaline to produce a substantial psychoactive effect. In addition, mescaline sounds inherently less dangerous to consume to the lay-man rather than a relatively obscure compound of modern innovation with less documentation of potential long-term effects in humans. 2C-I also lacks the more appealing ancient predecessor, mescaline, with a history of natural use as a cactus-derived psychedelic with continued ethnobotanical use in the spiritual traditions of some cultures.
In general, 2C-I is taken orally, although it can also be insufflated (though 2C-I often causes considerable pain upon insufflation) or administered rectally as well. It is also possible to smoke or vaporize it, although the dose required is higher. There have also been a few reports of intramuscular and intravenous injections. Intravenous doses should not be self-administered due to the immediate onset of hallucinations and strong physical stimulation before the needle’s plunger is fully depressed. An oral recreational dose of 2C-I is commonly between 10 mg and 25 mg, although doses as low as 2 mg have been reported to be active.


The onset of effects usually occurs within two hours, and the effects of the drug typically last somewhere in the range of 4 to 12 hours (depending on the dose). The effects of the drug at small dosages (less than 12 mg) has been reported as more mental and less sensory than those of 2C-B. Users of 2C-I do, however, tend to report a physical stimulant effect, often quite strong and clean.[3] The effects of the drug at larger dosages (12-30+ mg) are often described as combining psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects typical of drugs such as LSD with the empathogenic or entactogenic effects of drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy). Although unpleasant physical side-effects such as muscle tension, nausea, and vomiting have been reported, their incidence with the use of 2C-I appears to be less common than with some closely related phenethylamines such as 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7. Some physical effects include dilated pupils, high energy, and muscle relaxation. Users report feeling light and sometimes giddy or excited during the first two hours. Users also report that heavy music, usually electronic, and other auditory stimulation is enjoyable.


Oral Dosage
ED502–5 mg
light5–10 mg
Common10–20 mg
Strong20–30 mg
Duration4-12 Hours
Insufflated (Snorted) Dosage
ED500.5–2 mg
Moderate5–10 mg
Strong10+ mg
Duration4-8 Hours

The lethal dosage is unknown.


2C-I tablet

One death was (perhaps falsely) attributed to 2C-I on March 17, 2011. It was later thought to be that the drug was in fact 2C-E, and not 2C-I.[4] It is possible that this is another one of the several cases in which Bromo-DragonFLY was mislabeled as 2C-E. There have been no reports of physical dependence or addiction, which is characteristic of compounds that have similar chemical structure. If currently on drugs for hyperthyroidism, patients must continue with caution because 2C-I may interact negatively with them.[5][unreliable source?] Large doses of 2C-I (>45 mg), like other phenethylamines, may result in undesirable psychological effects, the persistence and severity of which are largely undocumented.


There is currently a bill that is proposing to ban many chemicals from the 2C series, including 2C-I, in the United States. 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-H) is also being banned because it is considered a precursor to some of the other 2C-x chemicals. [6] 2C-C, 2C-D, 2C-E, 2C-P, 2C-N, 2C-H, 2C-T-2, and 2C-T-4 are all being targeted through this bill. 2C-B and 2C-T-7 are already illegal in the US. As of August 22, 2011, 2C-I is explicitly stated as Schedule I in Pennsylvania.[7] This bill passed the house, but was stopped in the Senate due to a lack of research, and put on indefinite hold by Rand Paul. “We believe these substances should be regulated rather than prohibited, and certainly that they should not be placed in Schedule I, which will have a chilling effect on research into their possible medical uses.” [8]

2C-I is an illegal, controlled substance in several European nations, including Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.[9] In December 2003, the European Council issued a binding order compelling all EU member states to ban 2C-I within three months. 2C-I is unscheduled and unregulated in the United States, but is a potential analog of 2C-B (which is Schedule I), and as such sale for human consumption or possession to ingest or use for illicit non-medical or industrial intents and purposes could be prosecuted as crimes under the Federal Analog Act.[9]

See also

  • Empathogen-entactogen
  • Phenethylamine
  • Psychedelic
  • Recreational drug use
  • Alexander Shulgin
  • 2C family

External links

  • Erowid 2C-I Vault
  • 2C-I Entry in PiHKAL
  • 2C-I Entry in PiHKAL • info

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