2C-B (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) is part of the 2C family of drugs. The name “2C” as a term referring to this family of phenethylamines is referencing the number of carbon atoms present in the molecule between the benzene ring and the amino group (the -NH2 in the molecule). 2C-B makes users more emotionally open toward each other and is therefore classified as an entactogenic/empathogenic compound by scientists.
The optimal dose of 2C-B, or any other psychedelic that produces clinically therapeutic levels of visual or emotional effects, is called a “museum dose/level”. Taken orally, it can last up to 5 hours at full effect. Most effect durations lie between 4 to 8 hours after taking the drug. 2C-B is most similar to MDMA and LSD, without the significant psychedelic effects of LSD and more empathogenic than MDMA.
It has less of a crash and physically fatiguing effect than MDMA. The drug is usually sold as a tablet, powder, or gel cap. It was previously sold legally in the Netherlands as an aphrodisiac called “Erox”, manufactured by the German company Drittewelle. 2C-B is currently illegal in the United States to possess or sell, and is on the DEA’s Schedule I list of illicit substances.
A short history of 2C-B
First synthesized in 1974 by Alexander Shulgin, author of the famous PiHKAL, while synthesizing and examining homologues of DOB (2,5-Dimethoxybenzaldehyde). The first official publication of data and observations on the substance were published in 1975 by Shulgin and Michael Carter.
Throughout the 1980s, 2C-B remained a popular unscheduled (and therefore legal) substitute for MDMA. In January 1994, the drug was scheduled by the US Government, followed by a permanent scheduling in June 1995. In 2018, Kanye West gave awareness about the somewhat obscure psychedelic drug’s existence a boost when he referenced it on his album Ye before seeking medical help for drug abuse.
To this day, the drug is still rather under-the-radar as a recreational drug, leading many to confuse it with MDMA when, for example, they’re sold the wrong pill at a music festival. It never achieved great popularity outside of scenes that included psychedelic connoisseurs or Alexander Shulgin fans.
Taking MDMA substitutes or untested MDMA doses is not recommended due to the rising rate of accidental methamphetamine dosing in cases where pills are sold as pure MDMA. This trend is currently on the rise, and further reinforces the necessity of drug testing as a form of harm reduction.
The effects of 2C-B
As a sort of meeting point between stimulants and psychedelics, 2C-B can induce a variety of experiences and effects in the user. The most commonly reported effects include euphoria, emotions of humor, empathy, enhanced visual perception, stimulation, eroticism, and spiritual ideation. As with the vast majority of psychoactive substances, there are negative effects. Similar to cocaine, 2C-B can induce chills, nausea, muscle spasms, confusion, insomnia/restlessness, visual effects, overwhelming emotions, paranoia, and decreased appetite.
The drug’s effects have the potential to make emotions in the user more extreme than normal. While it’s true that 2C-B is more empathogenic, it also increases the strength of emotional reactions to negative stimuli in clinical settings. There’s a possibility of purchasing impure pills from a dealer, leading to bizarrely different reactions than expected for users. Most of the 2C-B supply currently on the streets is generally regarded as remarkably pure in comparison to other illicit substances, though this could trend in the same direction as the current black market MDMA supply at any time due to a marked decrease in dealer and manufacturer integrity.
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