2.9.1 5-HTP

5-HTP #

Common Nomenclature 5-Hydroxytryptophan
Street & Reference Names Oxitriptan
Reference Dosage Threshold 25mg+; Light 50mg+ Common 100mg+; Strong 300mg+; Heavy 500mg+ [Psychonautwiki]
Anticipated: Onset / Duration 1 Hour / 10+ Hours
Maximum Dose Experienced 200mg on consecutive days
From Internet
RoA Oral
Source / Jurisdiction UK


5-HTP is commonly sold as an over-the-counter supplement for a range of conditions, including insomnia and depression. As a precursor to serotonin, it is also frequently used during the recovery process following experiences with a number of psychoactive drugs.

For this experiment I took 200mg the morning after a speed binge, as I had done on several occasions following previous sessions with heavy serotonin depleting agents. I have never really noticed much effect, although certainly it could have helped to mitigate the comedown and the aftermath. This is not something which is easy to measure or confirm.

On this occasion I also took another 200mg at about 8am on the second morning after the event, giving a total of 400mg (two 200mg doses 24 hours apart).

I noted that I was slightly heavy headed throughout this second day: a minor drifty feel was there but without any sort of intoxication or inebriation. I was also particularly sleepy in patches.

I took at nap at 3pm and fell into a strangely deep slumber with what could well have been potentiated dreaming. I awoke after approximately 45 minutes, a little disorientated.

During the following hours, as the headiness remained, it occurred to me that I was indeed experiencing a form of psychoactivity and that this must be related to that morning’s 200mg intake.

Having felt somewhat chilly all morning, by late afternoon I was warm, perhaps as the effects of 5-HTP became more prominent; or this could have been a coincidence.

This was a strange one. It came on slowly, wasn’t particularly like a traditional drug trip, but certain manifestations became increasingly evident. I wasn’t high at any stage: I was just aware of the neutral but mellow headspace and to some degree my slightly enhanced mood. The mellowness was a dominant feature, immersed in a semi-somniant zone of contentment.

By early evening the effects had largely diminished, although I still felt a little odd and dreamy.

I regretted not paying more attention earlier in the day, but I simply did not plan for or anticipate any discernable effect.

Like the previous night (following the initial 200mg ingestion) the second nights sleep was deep with numerous vivid dream strings.

It is difficult to untangle the effects of the depletion of serotonin and other aftermath effects of amphetamine, and those of the two-day ingestion of the 5-HTP, but it seems unlikely that all these were exclusively due to the former. The intensification on the second day was a very strong indicator of this. These effects also persisted at a lower level to a third day in terms of the general heady feeling.

To the question, therefore, of whether 5-HTP is psychoactive, either directly or indirectly, I would have to answer yes.

NOTE: One issue relating to the presence of 5-HTP in this book is that of classification. It could arguably live under Section 2.4 (Anxiolytic & Sedatives) but on balance, given its other functionality and supplemental nature, I have followed Psychonautwiki in (very generally) classifying it as a nootropic.
RELATED SAFETY WARNING: TripSit makes the following warning: Do not take this while on a serotonergic drug, only afterwards. Wait at least 12 hours following the last dose in the case of MDMA.