There are definitely actives in calamus besides asarone and the other essential oils. Calamus is active with most of the essential oils removed.
Some calamus oil is also mildly psychedelic though. What I have from Nepal is very mildly psychedelic. I think it’s because of the euasarone content, although it’s not listed (most vendors don’t list the euasarone content of their oil). But it’s only psychedelic when the dose is just right. If too much is taken, it seems like the asarone messes up the experience. Beta-asarone is a sedative with anti-psychedelic effects. And from what I’ve heard alpha-asarone is also very uninteresting.
This last weekend was my very first time using calamus essential oil. The oil I used was from Nepal. At 3 drops (60 mg) it was mildly psychedelic, and quite pleasant. It was not identical to acetone washed calamus, but it was similar in some ways.
Euasarone (also known as gamma-asarone) has an XLogP3 of 3.1. It’s an essential oil present in nearly all calamus oil (even though it’s often not listed). Washing calamus with acetone will remove eusarone, beta-asarone, and alpha-asarone. But it’s very possible that euasarone exists in different forms in calamus. There may be an analog of euasarone that’s water soluble that’s also in calamus. Not all of the compounds of calamus are currently known.
I would like to experiment with pure eusarone and see what it’s like. I don’t know how to isolate it though.
One compound present in calamus called asarylaldehyde is very similar to eusarone, and it should be able to form alkaloids with the dimethylamine, trimethylamine, and methylamine which are also present in calamus.
Asarylaldehyde is somewhat water soluble with an XLogP3-AA of 1.3. It’s possible that after an acetone wash, a lot of asarylaldehyde remains in the calamus. This aldehyde will form alkaloids when ingested by humans. This could very well be the active principle of calamus, and not actually eusarone. It’s very similar to eusarone, but should form alkaloids in vivo more easily because it’s already an aldehyde.
(Z)-3-(2,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-enal is another aldehyde similar to eusarone that could form an alkaloid in vivo. It’s XLogP3 is 1.9, so it’s probably washed away by acetone.
Beta-asarone and alpha-asarone are propenylbenzenes, and therefore cannot be psychedelic, because propenylbenzenes cannot form alkaloids in vivo. Only the allylbenzenes and aldehydes in calamus can form alkaloids in vivo. So the main psychedelic must be one of these, since no actual alkaloids have been found YET in calamus (as far as I know). There was once report of calamine being an alkaloid present in calamus, until later it was found to be simply trimethylamine. However, trimethylamine should be able to react with all the aldehydes present in calamus and form alkaloids under the right conditions. It probably does this in the human digestive system.