What is 2C-B?
2C-B is gradually becoming popular as a synthetic drug due to its hallucinogenic and stimulating effects. First manufactured in 1974, it has been used as a legal alternative to ecstasy for a long time. Belonging to the category of drugs called 2C, the chemical structure of these drugs involves a phenethylamine backbone.
Despite the availability of newer variants like 2C, many people continue to use 2C-B to get high because of its low addiction potential. Before you or a loved one consider using this drug, it is imperative to research what 2C-B is and how it affects the body to prepare the body and mind for what’s about to happen next.
The world knows 2C-B as a psychedelic drug which was first manufactured in 1974 to support therapy. Belonging to the class of drugs called 2C drugs, it has many structural similarities with MDMA and Ecstasy. When MDMA was declared illegal in 1985, the prevalence and use of 2C-B suddenly increased, especially on the streets. Today, 2C-B is categorised as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse with no known medical use. Other drugs included in this category include LSD and Heroin. While 2C-B is not as popular as other members of Schedule I, it has slowly begun to show in nightclubs across the globe.
So far, there is very limited research available regarding 2C drugs; hence, experts are not sure if these drugs carry any real benefits as a therapy aid. Some experiments performed in Spain found 2C-B to make people less aggressive and more open, but the overall results were not significant enough to cause real therapeutic effects. During the 1980s, 2C-B was also used as an aphrodisiac. However, later reviews found that taking this drug led to aggression, agitation, hyperthermia, hallucinations, seizures, violence, and other side effects.
Many people prefer using 2C-B instead of MDMA as the former does not cause serotonin depletion, a neurotransmitter responsible for producing feelings of happiness and well-being. Instead, the drug copies the effects of serotonin, like antidepressants, to improve mood and the overall sense of being. Today, people continue to smoke, swallow, and snort 2C-B to experience a strong euphoria without the usual side effects of MDMA. However, many of them are unaware that this alternative also comes with various side effects and carries a risk of addiction.
The 2C-B drug is commonly available as a tablet, powder and capsule. Some people prefer mixing the powder in a liquid and swallowing it. The tablet form comes in various colours, such as pink, red, purple, off-white, or beige and sometimes contain a bullhead logo stamped on them. Capsules, on the other hand, may contain a white, off-white, or pink powder.
Users who snort 2C-B are the ones to experience the effects more quickly than others. Snorting this drug often leads to a burning sensation and can be extremely painful. The rest of the effects begin to kick in within 30 minutes of consumption, the initial ones being feelings of anxiety, tingling, warmth, and anticipation. With time, users may experience physical and sexual arousal, which persists through the euphoric state. Some signs of this arousal may include muscle spasms, tremors, chills, raised hair, dilated pupils, and erection. Soon after the ingestion, most users experience an intense euphoria similar to the one created by MDM.
Most users who use 2C-B describe its effects as a cross between LSD and MDMA. These effects may include hallucinations with mild visual effects, such as moving surfaces, shifting or enhanced colours, facial distortions, or a feeling like seeing sounds. Higher doses of 2C-B can intensify these hallucinations to the extent that they may become frightening or unpleasant. Some users have also reported experiencing muscle clenching and claustrophobia while on 2C-B. Others experienced negative emotions like grief, anger, fear and physical symptoms like diarrhoea, gas, nausea, and vomiting. 2C-B is also known to cause introspective thoughts in addition to experiencing empathy and a softened ego.
So far, experts are not sure about the fatal dose of 2C-B. However, many reports confirm that taking the drug in higher doses can put users at risk of severe psychosis, panic attacks, headaches, overstimulation, and delirium. Because the drug also acts as a mild anaesthetic, it can also put people at risk of injuries while under the influence. Reports have emerged about individuals getting injured and bleeding yet dancing without realising the pain under the influence of 2C-B. Similarly, others have experienced cardiac arrest while on the drug, unable to call for help.
2C-B is readily available through dealers and the dark net. The Global Survey suggests that its sales and purchase have been increasing over the past five years, along with other notable drugs like ketamine and DMT. Many of these dealers were found to be selling 2C-B while confusing it with MDMA, while others were deliberately trying to pass off the former as the latter to the customers to earn more profits.
So far, very little information is available regarding the addiction potential of 2C-B and other drugs in this class. Many people believe that 2C-B has a low addiction potential like other hallucinogenic drugs. This is because most hallucinogenic drugs act in the serotogenic pathways in the brain. Similarly, no convincing evidence proves 2C-B to induce tolerance in users. However, certain reports have confirmed people becoming tolerant of it following its regular use.
The latest research has revealed that 2C-B acts on the nucleus accumbens in the brain to boost dopamine levels. The nucleus accumbens is an area of the brain involved in regulating the reward pathway and producing responses to any rewarding stimulus. Taking into account this effect, 2C-B could have potentially addictive properties. This impact of 2C-B on dopamine levels is consistent with the symptoms of a potential 2C-B intoxication, characterised by symptoms of excited delirium, such as hyperthermia, hypertension, euphoria, and agitation. Until experts have more answers regarding 2C-B’s addiction potential and liability, the best advice is to refrain from using it to protect yourself.
Remember to avoid using 2C-B in public places and especially before taking part in any risky activity, such as driving. This is because the drug can negatively impact visual perception and attention span. 2C-B can also negatively affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to issues such as diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. The drug can even lead to frightening symptoms at higher doses, such as morbid delusions, hallucinations, and panic attacks.
Following are some symptoms of 2C-B intoxication to keep in mind:
- Tachycardia (very high heartbeat)
- Mydriasis (dilation of the pupils)
- Respiratory depression
Remember that overdoses related to 2C-B and other drugs of a similar category can easily lead to cardiac arrest and death. Some reports also indicate the potential of this drug to cause neurological damage. So far, no fatality that specifically involves the use of 2C-B has been reported. However, the risk is likely to increase when a person combines it with other substances, such as alcohol.
The use of 2C-B can lead to a psychedelic experience along with specific stimulant-like properties, which can quickly lead to side effects. Experts advise keeping the following strategies in mind to mitigate the associated risks:
Be Educated and Prepared
Before trying out 2C-B, educate yourself on what the drug is, how it affects the body, and the associated health risks and drug interactions. Ensure that you use an appropriate dose without crossing the safe limit. Because 2C-B acts like a stimulant, drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
Pay Attention to the Set and Setting
Set describes a person’s mindset, including their thoughts, moods, and expectations. These aspects can have a significant impact on the 2C-B-associated experience and trip. Hence, experts advise using the substance only when you are in a stable and positive state of mind. The setting describes the social situation and environment in which a person is using a drug. Always remember to consume 2C-B when you are in a familiar and safe environment to avoid experiencing a bad trip.
Get a Sitter
Having a sober sitter around when you consume 2C-B is highly recommended, especially if you have limited experience with psychedelic drugs. The sitter can act as an accountability patterner to ensure you do not overdose while providing reassurance and support during and after the euphoric trip.
How does 2C-B make people behave?
2C-B and other drugs belonging to the 2C category can mimic the effects of ecstasy and other psychedelic effects, such as LSD. Hence, users may feel shaky, lightheaded, euphoric, calm, and even hallucinate.
How long do 2C-B effects last?
The duration of effects secondary to 2C-B may vary depending on how much a person has taken, their body weight, metabolism, and whether they have used additional drugs or alcohol.
Is it possible to develop 2C-B addiction?
So far, experts have minimal information about the addiction potential of 2C drugs, including 2C-B. Studies have reported tolerance and addiction to drugs like ecstasy, and because 2C-B mimics these drugs, the possibility of addiction to its use is high.
What are the risks of using 2C-B?
Most of the manufacturing of 2C-B takes place in secret laboratories; hence, it is difficult to comment on how pure they are or the amount of this substance present in a tablet or powder. People who take this drug in higher quantities, either deliberately or accidentally, risk experiencing intense hallucinations, which may put them in risky situations. Additionally, the use of 2C-B drugs with other substances can lead to an overdose and even death.
Are there any medicines I should avoid with 2C-B?
Inside the human body, 2C-B is broken down and metabolised by a group of enzymes called monoamine oxidases (MAOs) A and B. People deficient in these enzymes may start accumulating 2C-B in their bodies and may be at risk of significant side effects. Hence, it is advised not to combine 2C-B with MAOI inhibitor drugs, such as phenelzine and selegiline. Other prescription drugs that must be avoided with 2C-B include the following:
Vasodilators, such as nitrates
Central nervous system depressants
What are some common names for 2C-B?
2C-B has many alternative names on the streets, such as the following:
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