2C-B is a synthetic drug that has stimulating and hallucinogenic properties. It was first synthesized in 1974 and has been used as a legal alternative to MDMA (ecstasy). It belongs to the 2C class of drugs, which share a similar chemical structure involving a phenethylamine backbone.
Newer 2C variants like 2C-I and 2C-I-NBOMe are preferred these days, but case reports indicate that 2C-B use has not ended.
2C drugs are considered to have low addiction potential, but the long-term effects of psychoactive substances like 2C-B have not been well-studied.
What Is 2C-B?
2C-B is a psychedelic drug that is closely related to mescaline. It belongs to the category of designer drugs, which are drugs that have been created synthetically or chemically modified from existing illicit drugs. Such designer drugs have been synthesized to evade laws that prohibit existing illicit drugs.
What Is 2C-B Used For?
2C-B has been used as a recreational drug because of its psychoactive properties. 2C-B was first synthesized in 1974 and gained popularity around a decade later. It was then when anti-drug legislation outlawed MDMA, and 2C-B served as a replacement.
2C-B is generally taken orally but can also be snorted. The underground psychiatry community originally advocated for the drug as a facilitator or aid in psychotherapy, but these claims of its effectiveness in therapy remain unproven.
2C-B is usually taken orally since snorting it can have very rapid and intense effects that are painful. The drug is generally ingested in the form of powder or tablets, but it is also available in liquid form. The effects of 2C-B tend to be dose-dependent, with even a small increase in dosage resulting in radically different effects.
At low doses (between 4 mg to 10 mg), 2C-B acts as a stimulant, producing euphoric, empathetic and introspective feelings. At moderate doses (between 10mg to 20 mg), it produces visual hallucinations involving intense colors and distortion of objects. It may also produce synesthesia, which causes sounds to produce the perception of color.
Higher doses can produce frightening hallucinations and cause anxiety, hypertension, tachycardia, dilated pupils and hyperthermia. 2C-B intoxication may also lead to a state of excited delirium, which involves violence, agitation, hypertension, tachycardia, and hyperthermia.
The effects of an oral dose of 2C-B are generally seen one to three hours after intake, and the average duration of effects is between four to eight hours. The residual effects of drug intake may last up to 48 hours.
2C-B’s chemical name is 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine, and it is synthesized by bromination of 2,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde. 2C-B is often used in MDMA tablets as a contaminant, and many people are known to ingest it involuntarily.
The sale of 2C-B is unregulated, and the drug may be tainted with other substances or be a different drug altogether.
2C-B use should be avoided in public places and before driving because it can negatively affect attention span and visual perception. 2C-B also has adverse effects on the gastrointestinal system, leading to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. At high doses, 2C-B can cause extremely frightening hallucinations, morbid delusions, and panic attacks.
Symptoms of 2C-B intoxication may include:
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Mydriasis (dilation of the pupils)
- Respiratory depression
Intoxication with 2C class drugs can lead to cardiac arrest and death. There are also a few reports of exposure to 2C-B leading to neurological damage. As of now, however, fatalities have been related to other 2C drugs like 2C-T but not 2C-B specifically.
Using alcohol or other illicit substances at the same time as 2C-B can increase the risks posed by 2C-B use.
In addition, 2C-B is metabolized by monoamine oxidase, an enzyme in the brain. Some antidepressant drugs work by inhibiting this enzyme, and 2C-B should be avoided by individuals who use these medications.
Is 2C-B Addictive?
Very little is known about the addictive properties of 2C-B or other, newer members of the 2C class of drugs. 2C-B is considered to have a low potential for addiction, which is common to hallucinogenic drugs. This is because hallucinogenic drugs act on brain pathways involving serotonin, a neurotransmitter.
Many drugs can cause tolerance, which is characterized by the need for increasingly higher doses to produce the same effects. Although 2C-B is generally considered not to produce tolerance, there are reports of individuals developing tolerance after regular use of 2C-B.
Impact of 2C-B on Dopamine Levels
2C-B use also increases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of rats. The nucleus accumbens is a brain region in the reward pathway that is involved in responses to rewarding stimuli. The increase in dopamine suggests that 2C-B may be potentially addictive.
The impact of 2C-B on dopamine levels is consistent with the symptoms of 2C-B intoxication, which include excited delirium (hypertension, hyperthermia, agitation, and euphoric state).
Drugs like cocaine that affect dopamine also produce similar symptoms. More scientific research needs to be carried out on the long-term effects of 2C-B to determine its potential for causing addiction.
Signs of 2C-B Addiction
2C-B has been considered a relatively safe recreational drug with a low potential for addiction. There is a lack of scientific research on the long-term use of 2C-B, but a few anecdotal reports suggest that regular use may be associated with fatigue, disorientation, and anxiety. 2C-B users may also exhibit various symptoms of intoxication, such as agitation, gastrointestinal symptoms, hyperthermia, and tachycardia.
Although there is very scarce information regarding 2C-B addiction, evidence shows that acute use can have lasting consequences, such as permanent neurological damage.
2C-B Addiction Statistics
Currently, there is no data available regarding 2C-B addiction or addiction to other 2C drugs. This may be due to the low addiction potential of 2C-B or the inability to detect 2C-B in urine samples. This inability may affect accurate diagnosis, and it could be responsible for the absence of clinical records of 2C-B addiction cases.
If you or a loved one suffers from 2C-B addiction or other substance use problems, The Recovery Village can help. The Recovery Village is a drug rehabilitation center that specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mood disorders. Contact us today to learn more about treatment plans that could work well for your situation.
Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., Athanaselis, S.” 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers.” Forensic Toxicology, January 2015. Accessed June 11, 2019. Dean, B.V., Stellpflug, S.J., Burnett, A.M., Engebretsen, K.M. “2C or not 2C: phenethylamine designer drug review.” Journal of Medical Toxicology, June 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019. Páleníček, T., Fujáková, M., Brunovský, M., Horáček, J., Gorman, I., Balíková, M., Rambousek, L., Syslová, K., Kačer, P., Zach, P., Bubeníková-Valešová, V.” Behavioral, neurochemical and pharmaco-EEG profiles of the psychedelic drug 4-bromo-2, 5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B) in rats.” Psychopharmacology, January 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019. The United States Department of Justice. “2C-B (Nexus) Reappears on the Club Drug Scene.” May 2001. Accessed June 11, 2019. González, G., et al. “Acute Effects of the Novel Psychoactive Drug 2C-B on Emotions.” Biomed Research International, 2015. Accessed July 1, 2019.
Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., Athanaselis, S.” 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers.” Forensic Toxicology, January 2015. Accessed June 11, 2019.
Dean, B.V., Stellpflug, S.J., Burnett, A.M., Engebretsen, K.M. “2C or not 2C: phenethylamine designer drug review.” Journal of Medical Toxicology, June 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019.
Páleníček, T., Fujáková, M., Brunovský, M., Horáček, J., Gorman, I., Balíková, M., Rambousek, L., Syslová, K., Kačer, P., Zach, P., Bubeníková-Valešová, V.” Behavioral, neurochemical and pharmaco-EEG profiles of the psychedelic drug 4-bromo-2, 5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B) in rats.” Psychopharmacology, January 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019.
The United States Department of Justice. “2C-B (Nexus) Reappears on the Club Drug Scene.” May 2001. Accessed June 11, 2019.
González, G., et al. “Acute Effects of the Novel Psychoactive Drug 2C-B on Emotions.” Biomed Research International, 2015. Accessed July 1, 2019.