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TIHKAL: The Continuation

By Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and Ann Shulgin

TIHKAL: The Continuation is the sequel to PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story but can stand alone to any reader. Where PIHKAL focuses on a class of compounds called phenethylamines, TIHKAL is written about a family of psychoactive drugs known as tryptamines with TIHKAL being an acronym for “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved”.

Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin

Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, PhD, (1925-2014) was one of the most pioneering chemists of the 21st century. 

He is most often remembered for his rediscovery and synthesis of a chemical known as MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, a drug Shulgin suggested would be a powerful aid in therapy.

Completing his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1955, Shulgin went on to get a job at the Dow Chemical Company, where he invented a highly lucrative, biodegradable pesticide,  Zectran. Ultimately, Shulgin went on to pursue his own research program, synthesizing psychoactive substances after an experience with mescaline. 

Shulgin left Dow in 1966, setting up a home-based laboratory on his ranch in Lafayette, California, where he synthesized more than two hundred novel psychoactive compounds. A bold explorer of the frontiers of neurochemistry, Shulgin tested the majority of the substances he synthesized on himself, his wife and co-researcher, the late Ann Shulgin, and a small circle of trusted friends. 

The Shulgins and their friends kept diligent notes on their experiential research forays, and later founded Transform Press in 1991 out of their shared passion and commitment to an uncensored examination of psychoactive compounds. Through Transform Press they co-authored and published PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (1991) and TiHKAL: The Continuation (1997), a sequel to PiHKAL, standing for “tryptamines I have known and loved.” Shulgin’s work has been featured in two Netflix documentary series: “The Business of Drugs” (2020) and “How to Change Your Mind” (2022).

Shulgin in the 1980s, Shulgin taught a popular course on drugs and society at San Francisco State University. In 1987, he recorded his lectures and interactions with his students, and those transcriptions became the series, The Nature of Drugs: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact. Volume 1 published in 2021, and Volume 2 is forthcoming in 2023.

(Author photo by Charles R. Lucke)

Related: Continuing the Shulgin Legacy: Synergetic Press & Transform Press Agree to a Co-Publishing Deal

Ann Shulgin

Ann Shulgin (1931-2022) co-founded Transform Press in 1991 with her husband, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, out of their shared passion and commitment to an uncensored examination of psychoactive compounds. Through the Press they co-authored and published PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (1991) and TiHKAL: The Continuation (1997), the two cult classics based on their psychedelic experiences. The publications generated regular discussion groups on psychedelics and psychopharmacology which the Shulgins led together for many years. They also contributed jointly to several other publications including, The Secret Chief, The Secret Chief Revealed, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, and Ecstasy: The Complete Guide.

Ann served as a lay therapist facilitating the use of MDMA and 2CB in therapeutic settings while those substances were legal. She brought a Jungian orientation to her examination of psychedelic experiences, and she placed particular emphasis Shadow integration while encompassing an overarching theme of spirituality and unification with the divine in all things.

Description

TIHKAL: The Continuation is the sequel to PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story but can stand alone to any reader. Where PIHKAL focuses on a class of compounds called phenethylamines, TIHKAL is written about a family of psychoactive drugs known as tryptamines with TIHKAL being an acronym for “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved”. Like its predecessor PIHKAL, it is divided into two parts. The first part of the book begins with the story of Alice and Shura, a fictionalized autobiography, which picks up where the similar section of PIHKAL left off. The book opens with the story about the DEA raid that occurred a few years after the publication of their first book, PIHKAL. It’s a window into the DEA, the institutional aspect and human side of it as well, and the price that Shura and Alice pay for doing what they do, including exercising their first amendment rights. It then continues with a collection of essays on topics ranging from psychotherapy and the Jungian mind, to the prevalence of DMT in nature, ayahuasca, the War on Drugs, and even the Big Bang. It is a blend of travel, botanical facts, scientific speculation, psychological and political commentary. It is fascinating getting to know the mind of the man behind the compounds – his thoughts on science, technology, law, and society. And the mind of the woman who brought his work and their story into the light of the world. The second part of TIHKAL is “The Chemistry Continues”. It is a detailed manual for 55 psychedelic compounds (many discovered by Shulgin himself). For each compound there is information on synthesis, effective dosage, duration of effects, and commentary on the subjective effects that were experienced. The Shulgins’ two big books span autobiography, organic chemistry, politics, ethnobotany and psychopharmacology and the cultural impact of these works has been profound and will continue to be so in the future.

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions N/A
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Paperback, eBook

Pages 0

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