|Summary sheet: 2C-B|
|Common names||2C-B, Nexus, Bees|
|Routes of Administration|
4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (also known as Nexus, Bromo Mescaline, BDMPEA, Venus, and 2C-B) is a lesser-known psychedelic substance of the phenethylamine class. 2C-B is the most popular member of the 2C-x family of psychedelic phenethylamines, which are closely related to the classical psychedelic mescaline. Like other psychedelics, it is thought to produce its effects by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, although the precise mechanism is poorly understood.
2C-B was first synthesized and tested for human activity in 1974 by Alexander Shulgin, and its effects were documented in Shulgin's 1991 book PiHKAL ("Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved"). 2C-B first became popular in the underground psychotherapy community, whose members used it to facilitate psychotherapy with their patients. It was considered one of the best substances for this purpose due to its short duration, relative absence of side effects, and comparably mild nature. Recreational use became popular shortly afterward. It was sold commercially as an aphrodisiac under the trade name "Eros" and as tablets in Dutch smart shops under the name "Nexus" before becoming federally prohibited by the DEA in 1995.
Subjective effects include open and closed-eye visuals, time distortion, ego loss, and euphoria. User reports characterize the overall effects of 2C-B as moderate, warm, and highly sensual. It is usually described as having a less serious or grandiose headspace than LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, with a greater emphasis on visual and physical effects. Smaller doses can be used as a sensory and aesthetic enhancer in a manner somewhat similar to MDMA while larger doses produce a distinct traditional psychedelic effect.
2C-B is thought to be well-tolerated physiologically, with a safety profile that appears to be similar to classical psychedelics. However, more research is needed to fully understand its toxicity and health risks. It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.
History and culture
2C-B was first synthesized and tested for psychoactivity in 1974 by Alexander Shulgin, who was in search of novel psychedelic compounds based on the chemical structure of mescaline. His findings were later published in his 1991 book PiHKAL, in which it was listed among the "magical half-dozen" of psychedelic phenethylamines that he deemed most important. The list consists of mescaline, DOM, 2C-B, 2C-E, 2C-T-2, and 2C-T-7. In interviews, Alexander Shulgin repeatedly declared it his favorite psychedelic trip.
In the 1970s, 2C-B was used in patients by a small number of psychotherapists in the United States. These therapists reported that it created a warm, empathetic bond between them and their patients. This helped break down a patient's ego defenses and inner resistances, allowing the patient to get in touch with suppressed emotions and repressed memories. The gentle nature of 2C-B, in addition to its mild side effects and short duration, were found to be desirable traits for a therapeutic setting.
Shortly after gaining traction in the underground psychotherapy community, 2C-B became popular in the recreational drug scene. 2C-B was well-liked as a MDMA substitute in raves and parties due to its minimal comedown and a clear, euphoric headspace. In the 1980s and early 1990s, several foreign companies legitimately manufactured 2C-B under the brand names "Nexus", "Erox", and "Performax" and advertised that it would alleviate impotence, frigidity, and diminished libido. It was sold at adult book and video stores, "head" shops, and some nightclubs. The DEA reported its distribution in Miami, Florida as yellow pills marketed as an aphrodisiac.
In the United States, 2C-B gained popularity as an alternative to MDMA following its classification as a Schedule I substance in 1985. Its increasing popularity led it to be placed in Schedule I in 1995. It saw a resurgence in interest in the 2000s, with the advent of the research chemicals scene and darknet markets.
2C-B was legally sold in Southern Africa from 1993 to early 1996. It was marketed as medicine for Sangomas (traditional healers) under the name "Ubulawu Nomathotholo", which roughly translates to "Medicine of the Singing Ancestors".
2C-B, or 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine, is a substituted phenethylamine. Substituted phenethylamines are a chemical class of organic compounds that are based upon the phenethylamine structure, a phenyl ring bound to an amino (NH2) group through an ethyl chain. 2C-B possesses methoxy functional groups CH3O- attached to carbons R2 and R5 as well as a bromine atom attached to carbon R4 of the phenyl ring.
Unlike most psychedelics, 2C-B has been shown to be a low efficacy serotonin 5-HT2A receptor partial agonist or even full antagonist. This suggests that the 5-HT2C receptor is primarily responsible for mediating the effects experienced by users of 2C-B. Research also suggests that 2C-B increases dopamine levels in the brains of rats which may contribute to its psychoactivity.
However, the role of these interactions and how they result in the psychedelic experience continues to remain elusive.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below are taken from the subjective effect index, which is based on anecdotal reports and the personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism. It is worth noting that these effects will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, although higher doses will increase the chances of inducing a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Stimulation - 2C-B is typically described as very energetic and stimulating in a fashion that draws comparisons to MDMA.
- Spontaneous bodily sensations - The "body high" of 2C-B is often reported to be one of the most complex compared to other psychedelics, sharing components of MDMA, 2C-E, and LSD. This is first characterized by an intense soft, warm glow that grows over the body and is capable of becoming highly euphoric.
- Nausea - Mild to extreme nausea is reported when consumed in moderate to high dosages and either passes once the user has vomited or gradually fades by itself as the peak sets in.
- Bodily control enhancement
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased bodily temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Increased perspiration
- Pupil dilation
- Tactile enhancement
- Teeth grinding - This component can be considered to be less intense when compared with that of MDMA.
- Drifting (melting, flowing, breathing and morphing) - In comparison to other psychedelics, this effect can be described as highly detailed, slow and smooth in motion, static in appearance and cartoon-like in style.
- After images
- Colour shifting
- Depth perception distortions
- Scenery slicing
- Symmetrical texture repetition
The visual geometry of 2C-B is more similar in appearance to that of LSD than that of 2C-E, psilocin, or ayahuasca. They can be comprehensively described as unstructured in their organization, algorithmic in geometric style, intricate in complexity, large, fast and smooth in motion, colorful in scheme, glossy in color, sharp in their edges and angular in their corners. They seem high in algorithmic visuals such as fractals and at higher dosages are significantly more likely to result in states of level 8A visual geometry over level 8B.
Like LSD, while 2C-B is capable of producing a full range of low and high-level hallucinatory states, this is extremely rare and inconsistent at higher levels but common at lower and generally includes the following effects:
- Internal hallucination (autonomous entities; settings, sceneries, and landscapes; perspective hallucinations and scenarios and plots) - Although 2C-B is technically capable of producing hallucinatory states in a fashion that is on par with psilocin or DMT in its vividness and intensity. In comparison, these effects are extremely rare and inconsistent at common doses, though are usually readily producible at high doses, particularly when taken by rectal or intravenous routes. While traditional psychedelics such as LSA, ayahuasca and mescaline will induce internal hallucinations near consistently at level 5 geometry and above, 2C-B will for most go straight into Level 8A visual geometry. This lack of consistently induced hallucinatory breakthroughs means that for some, 2C-B is simply not as deep of an experience as certain other psychedelics.
- Peripheral information misinterpretation
The cognitive effects of 2C-B are often described as both insightful and relatively normal in their thought processes even at moderate to high dosages. They are often described as being halfway between LSD and MDMA.
- Empathy, affection, and sociability enhancement - These feelings of sociability, love and empathy are a little weaker and less sharp than those found on substances such as MDMA but still prove stronger and more consistent than other psychedelics of any class. This is has been reported to provide long-lasting therapeutic effects.
- Analysis enhancement - This introspection dominant effect is only manifested consistently in the context of a non-social setting in which the user is alone.
- Conceptual thinking
- Creativity enhancement
- Emotion enhancement
- Immersion enhancement
- Novelty enhancement
- Increased libido
- Increased sense of humor
- Increased music appreciation
- Memory suppression
- Personal bias suppression
- Thought acceleration
- Thought connectivity
- Time distortion
- Synaesthesia - In its fullest manifestation, this is a very rare and non-reproducible effect. Increasing the dosage can increase the likelihood of this occurring, but seems to only be a prominent part of the experience among those who are already predisposed to synaesthetic states.
- While 2C-B has been reported as having the potential to produce transpersonal states, it is reported to occur less consistently or with less of a lasting impact than with classic psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, or DMT.
- Cannabis - Cannabis majorly intensifies and extends both the sensory and cognitive effects of 2C-B. Extreme caution should be exercised with this combination as it can also elevate the anxiety, confusion and psychosis risk of cannabis.
- Dissociatives - When combined with dissociatives, the geometry, euphoria, dissociation and hallucinatory effects are often greatly enhanced. Dissociative-induced holes, spaces, and voids while under the influence of 2C-B have significantly more vivid visuals than dissociatives alone. It also results in more intense internal hallucinations and corresponding confusion which can develop into delusions and psychosis.
- Nitrous - Nitrous oxide is commonly used in combination with psychedelics. The two are known to possess powerful cross-synergistic effects, including the capacity to send the user directly into an "ego death" state. The speed and intensity with which this occurs is very rapid and the euphoria that can result often leads to the urge to compulsively redose.
- MDMA - When combined with MDMA, the physical and cognitive effects of 2C-B become strongly amplified. The visual, physical and cognitive effects of 2C-B are also intensified with strong sensations of euphoric pleasure manifested through distinct body highs and headspaces, and uniquely colorful visuals. The synergy between these substances is unpredictable, and it is best to start with markedly lower dosages than one would take for both substances individually. This combination may increase the neurotoxic effects of MDMA based on its similarity to LSD, which has been found to increase MDMA neurotoxicity.
- Alcohol - Alcohol can increase the disinhibiting and euphoric effects of 2C-B which lends to its use in recreational settings. It can be used in light doses to "take the edge off" a trip as well as dull its psychedelic effects in a fashion somewhat similar to benzodiazepines. However, this is not typically recommended due to alcohol’s ability to cause dehydration and nausea and physical fatigue which can negatively affect a trip if taken in moderate to high dosages. Heavy drinking is strongly discouraged as it can easily lead to black outs and unpredictable behavior.
- Benzodiazepines - Benzodiazepines can, depending on the dosage, slightly to completely reduce the intensity of the cognitive, physical and visual effects of a 2C-B trip. They are very efficient at stopping "bad trips" at the cost of amnesia and reduced trip intensity. Caution is advised when acquiring them for this purpose due to their very high abuse and addiction potential.
- Psychedelics - When used in combination with other psychedelics, each substance's physical, cognitive and visual effects intensify and synergize strongly. The synergy between those substances is unpredictable, and for this reason generally not advised. If choosing to combine psychedelics, it is recommended to start with significantly lower dosages than one would take for either substance individually.
Anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index include:
- Experience: 15mg 2C-B (oral) - A pleasant low-dose evening with Nexus
- Experience: 22mg 2C-B (oral) / 100ug 1P-LSD (sublingual) - My first time tripping alone (2 days in a row)
- Experience: 32mg 2C-B - Bromo Mescaline
- Experience:150mg MDMA + 20mg 2C-B - I designed it this way myself
Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding or correcting it.
The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational 2C-B use have not been studied in any scientific context, and the exact toxic dose is unknown.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are no negative health effects attributed to simply trying it by itself at low to moderate doses or using it very sparingly (although nothing can be completely guaranteed).
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
2C-B at normal doses is unlikely to be neurotoxic. Through rough extrapolations of data from rat cortical cultures, the IC50 of neuronal activity may result from a dose of at least a 330-650mg. In other words, users should avoid a dose that large in order to avoid long term damage, but typical doses should be well within a safe range.
Users experience hypertension, hyperthermia and tachycardia at higher doses. As such, those with pre-existing heart conditions should avoid using 2C-B, and users monitor their temperature and heart-rate and respond accordingly. Heavy physical exertion while on 2C-B is discouraged.
Dependence and abuse potential
As with other serotonergic psychedelic, 2C-B is considered to be non-addictive with a low potential for abuse.
Tolerance to the effects of 2C-B are not built almost immediately after ingestion. There are many anecdotal reports of people ingesting this substance many days in a row with no immediate tolerance build up. 2C-B produces cross-tolerance with other serotonergic psychedelics, meaning that after the use of 2C-B all psychedelics will have a reduced effect.
Although many psychoactive substances are reasonably safe to use on their own, they can quickly become dangerous or even life-threatening when taken with other substances. The following lists some known dangerous combinations, but cannot be guaranteed to include all of them. Independent research should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some interactions listed have been sourced from TripSit.
- Lithium - Lithium is commonly prescribed in the treatment of bipolar disorder. There is a large body of anecdotal evidence that suggests taking it with psychedelics significantly increases the risk of psychosis and seizures. As a result, this combination is strictly discouraged.
- Cannabis - Cannabis has an unexpectedly strong and unpredictable synergy with the effects of psychedelics. Caution is advised with this combination as it can significantly increase the risk of adverse psychological reactions like anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and psychosis. Users are advised to start off with only a fraction of their normal cannabis dose and take long breaks between hits to avoid over intake.
- Stimulants (Amphetamine, cocaine, methylphenidate, ...) - Stimulants affect many parts of the brain and alter dopaminergic function. Combined with psychedelics, stimulation can turn into severe anxiety, panic, thought loops, and paranoia. This interaction may result in an elevated risk of mania and psychosis.
- Tramadol - Tramadol lowers the seizure threshold and psychedelics may act as triggers for seizures in susceptible individuals.
- Australia: 2C-B is illegal to possess, produce and sell in Australia.
- Austria: 2C-B is illegal to possess, produce and sell in Austria under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
- Belgium: 2C-B is illegal to possess, produce and sell in Belgium.
- Brazil: 2C-B is illegal to possess, produce and sell in Brazil as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
- Canada: 2C-B is a Schedule III drug in Canada.
- Croatia: 2C-B is illegal to possess, produce and sell in Croatia as a result of it being a 2,5-dimethoxyphenylethanamine.
- Estonia: 2C-B is a Schedule I drug in Estonia.
- European Union: 2C-B is a Schedule II drug in the EU.
- Finland: Possession, production and sale of 2C-B is illegal in Finland.
- Germany: 2C-B is controlled under Anlage I BtMG. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
- Italy: 2C-B is a Schedule I (tabella I) drug in Italy
- Japan: Possession, production and sale is illegal.
- Latvia: 2C-B is a Schedule I controlled substance.
- The Netherlands: Possession, production and sale is illegal.
- Norway: 2C-B is a Schedule II drug.
- Poland: 2C-B is a Schedule I drug.
- Russia: Possession, production and sale is illegal.
- Spain: 2C-B is a Category 2 drug.
- Sweden: 2C-B is a Schedule I drug.
- Switzerland: Possession, production and sale is illegal.
- United Kingdom: 2C-B is a Class A drug in the United Kingdom as a result of the phenethylamine catch-all clause.
- United States: 2C-B is a Schedule I drug.
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