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Drugs man, drugs!

What is 2C-B?

2C-B is a hallucinogenic recreational drug. It is also spelled as 2CB and is also known as Nexus. The full chemical name is 4-Bromo-2,5-Dimethoxyphenethylamine. See also the Psychedelic Guide: 2C-B.

2C-B was invented by Alexander Shulgin in the 1970s as part of his deliberate, independent search for new fun psychedelics. See Shulgin's book PiHKAL for details. 2C-B is widely acknowledged as one of the best (if not the single best) new recreational chemical that Shulgin discovered in this endeavour.

To dispel a myth, he was not with a pharmaceutical company at the time, in fact he was not on contract to anyone. As far as I know, the US military or any other military has never had any interest in 2C-B as a sensory enhancer or any other use.

2C-B is synthetic analogue of mescaline, with an added bromine atom.

It is a short, light hallucinogen and a good mixer, and has no known serious after-effects. I have never seen a decent justification for banning it. The standard reaction against recreational psychedelics is the most likely reason (god forbid that people might have fun!), as to the best of my knowledge there have never been any studies at all on its effects. Any disinformation that you may read on why its bad will most likely contain vague waffle about the effects of psychedelics in general.

What's it like then?

2C-B is best described as "more trippy than an E, more e-like than a trip, nothing like a candyflip". ie a bit of both of entactogenic and hallucinogenic.

A 2C-B trip lasts around 4 hours, unless you snort it, which is shorter, more intense, and hellishly painful for the first 5 minutes.

The effects are hard to describe, as with most psychedelics. It has nice visuals, but it doesn't mess with your mind as much as LSD, (and on the flip side of that, it's not as deep and profound as LSD). It can lead you into a feral state of vivid awareness of your surrounding, with learned layers stripped away - not dwelling on the future or past, little inclination to talk, just feeling the wind caress your skin.

On the other hand, you could become instrospective and self-analytic instead. Or both, given time. You might feel some e-like empathogenic effects, or you could feel cynical and lecherous. Or both at the same time.

A common quirk is that the cocktail party effect is disabled. You overhear other people's conversations in the middle distance very easily. Normally we tune them out, but this doesn't happen on Nexus, and they appear to be talking right next to you.

Like many psychedelics it seems to me to have a characteristic palette of colours and shapes, for me this being Celtic knots in intense, vivid yet subtle pastel shades. (yes, I know pastels aren't intense. This is hallucination, OK?)

Where and when?

As a street drug, 2C-B is illegal in most countries since the American authorities became aware of it in the 1990s. In my limited experience, supplies are erratic at best. Those who have tried it like it, but the demand is not sufficient to ensure a steady supply.

Nexus is decent dance drug - it won't give you loads of energy, or necessarily make you love everyone, but it will help keep you awake and enjoying the colourful music.

If you're wondering if nexus is for you, it's an illegal drug and that is a risk in itself. No psychedelic is a guarantee of a good time, but nexus is shorter and IMHO safer than most. If you've had acid and liked it, then you will most likely find nexus a pleasant aperitif. If acid is just a bit too wild for you, you might handle nexus OK. If acid is far too wild for you, maybe you should stick to warm fuzzy feel-good drugs like ecstasy, heroin and beer, only please go easy on the ecstasy and skip the heroin entirely.

Standard disclaimers apply about not taking psychedelics if you are depressed, upset, mentally unbalanced, or have a family history of schizophrenia.

It goes great with LSD. Oh gosh yes. See Banana Split There is synergy between the two drugs. The visuals can be very hectic but that's the fun part.

Some like to combine 2C-B with ecstasy. It is said to combine well with other drugs such as Ketamine and DMT. It is generally a good mixer.

What dose?

 5 mg You may not notice anything at all, though if you venture out in public you may notice more freaks than normal.
10 mg Just noticeable. Some entactogenic qualities with little or no hallucination.
20 mg Solid dose, with visual hallucinations. You may not be able to drive or read. You may not want to talk.
25 mg + A strong dose, for seasoned trippers. Not appropriate for any everyday public situation.
35 mg + Too much. Though you are in no physical or long-term danger, you are likely to be uncomfortable until it wears off.

These numbers will vary depending on your body weight, how recently you ate, level of prior experience with psychedelics and other random factors.

Nexus is stronger when snorted: Multiply the effect of the dose by 2 or 3 if you put it up your nose instead of swallowing it.

This is a recipe from PiHKAL. If you're interested in how the hardlinks were chosen, read noding PiHKAL for Everything2.

#20 2C-B


SYNTHESIS: A solution of 100 g of 2,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde in 220 g nitromethane was treated with 10 g anhydrous ammonium acetate, and heated on a steam bath for 2.5 h with occasional swirling. The deep-red reaction mixture was stripped of the excess nitromethane under vacuum, and the residue crystallized spontaneously. This crude nitrostyrene was purified by grinding under IPA, filtering, and air-drying, to yield 85 g of 2,5-dimethoxy-beta-nitrostyrene as a yellow-orange product of adequate purity for the next step. Further purification can be achieved by recrystallization from boiling IPA.

In a round-bottomed 2 L flask equipped with a magnetic stirrer and placed under an inert atmosphere, there was added 750 mL anhydrous THF, containing 30 g LAH. There was then added, in THF solution, 60 g 2,5-dimethoxy-beta-nitrostyrene. The final solution was a dirty yellow-brown color, and it was kept at reflux temperature for 24 h. After cooling, the excess hydride was destroyed by the dropwise addition of IPA. Then 30 mL 15% NaOH was added to convert the inorganic solids to a filterable mass. The reaction mixture was filtered and the filter cake washed first with THF and then with MeOH. The combined mother liquors and washings were freed of solvent under vacuum and the residue suspended in 1.5 L H2O. This was acidified with HCl, washed with with 3x100 mL CH2Cl2, made strongly basic with 25% NaOH, and reextracted with 4x100 mL CH2Cl2. The pooled extracts were stripped of solvent under vacuum, yielding 26 g of oily residue, which was distilled at 120-130 °C at 0.5 mm/Hg to give 21 g of a white oil, 2,5-dimethoxy-phenethylamine ( 2C-H) which picks up carbon dioxide from the air very quickly.

To a well-stirred solution of 24.8 g 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine in 40 mL glacial acetic acid, there was added 22 g elemental bromine dissolved in 40 mL acetic acid. After a couple of min, there was the formation of solids and the simultaneous evolution of considerable heat. The reaction mixture was allowed to return to room temperature, filtered, and the solids washed sparingly with cold acetic acid. This was the hydrobromide salt. There are many complicated salt forms, both polymorphs and hydrates, that can make the isolation and characterization of 2C-B treacherous. The happiest route is to form the insoluble hydrochloride salt by way of the free base. The entire mass of acetic acid-wet salt was dissolved in warm H2O, made basic to at least pH 11 with 25% NaOH, and extracted with 3x100 mL CH2Cl2. Removal of the solvent gave 33.7 g of residue which was distilled at 115-130 °C at 0.4 mm/Hg. The white oil, 27.6 g, was dissolved in 50 mL H2O containing 7.0 g acetic acid. This clear solution was vigorous stirred, and treated with 20 mL concentrated HCl. There was an immediate formation of the anhydrous salt of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine hydrochloride (2C-B). This mass of crystals was removed by filtration (it can be loosened considerably by the addition of another 60 mL H2O), washed with a little H2O, and then with several 50 mL portions of Et2O. When completely air-dry, there was obtained 31.05 g of fine white needles, with a mp of 237-239 °C with decomposition. When there is too much H2O present at the time of adding the final concentrated HCl, a hydrated form of 2C-B is obtained. The hydrobromide salt melts at 214.5-215 °C. The acetate salt was reported to have a mp of 208-209 °C.

DOSAGE: 12 - 24 mg.

DURATION: 4 - 8 h.

QUALITATIVE COMMENTS: (with 16 mg) A day at the Stanford museum. Things were visually rich, yet I felt that I was reasonably inconspicuous. The Rodin sculptures were very personal and not terribly subtle. I saw Escher things in the ceiling design, when I decided to sit in a foyer somewhere and simply pretend to rest. Walking back, the displays seen in the bark of the eucalyptus trees, and the torment and fear (of others? of themselves?) in the faces of those who were walking towards us, were as dramatic as anything I had seen in the art galleries. Our appetites were enormous, and we went to a smorgasbord that evening. A rich experience in every possible way.

(with 20 mg) The drug effect first became known to me as a shift of colors toward golden and rose tones. Pigments in the room became intensified. Shapes became rounder, more organic. A sensation of lightness and rivulets of warmth began seeping through my body. Bright lights began pulsing and flashing behind my closed lids. I began to perceive waves of energy flowing through all of us in unison. I saw all of us as a gridwork of electrical energy beings, nodes on a bright, pulsating network of light. Then the interior landscape shifted into broader scenes. Daliesque vistas were patterned with eyes of Horus, brocades of geometric design began shifting and changing through radiant patterns of light. It was an artist's paradise--representing virtually the full pantheon of the history of art.

(with 20 mg) The room was cool, and for the first hour I felt cold and chilled. That was the only mildly unpleasant part. We had been hanging crystals earlier that day, and the visions I had were dominated by prismatic light patterns. It was almost as if I became the light. I saw kaleidoscopic forms--similar to, but less intense than, when on acid--and organic forms like Georgia O'Keefe flowers, blossoming and undulating. My body was flooded with orgasms-- practically from just breathing. The lovemaking was phenomenal, passionate, ecstatic, lyric, animal, loving, tender, sublime. The music was voluptuous, almost three-dimensional. Sometimes the sound seemed distorted to me, underwater like. This was especially so for the less good recordings--but I could choose to concentrate on the beauty of the music or the inadequacy of the sound's quality, and mostly chose to concentrate on the beauty.

(with 24 mg) I am totally into my body. I am aware of every muscle and nerve in my body. The night is extraordinary--moon full. Unbelievably erotic, quiet and exquisite, almost unbearable. I cannot begin to unravel the imagery that imposes itself during the finding of an orgasm. Trying to understand physical/spiritual merging in nature --.

EXTENSIONS AND COMMENTARY: Four quotations were chosen arbitrarily from literally hundreds that have worked their ways into the files. The vast majority are positive, ranging from the colorful to the ecstatic. But not all are. There are people who choose not to go into the corporeal but, rather, prefer the out-of-body experience. They express discomfort with 2C-B, and seem to lean more to the Ketamine form of altered state, one which dissociates body from mind.

There have been reports of several overdoses that prove the intrinsic safety of this compound. Prove is used here in the classic British sense; i.e., to challenge. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," is not a verification of quality, but an inquiry into the quality itself. (The French simplify all this by using two separate verbs for prove.) One overdose was intentional, the other accidental.

(with 64 mg) I found only mild visual and emotional effects at the 20 milligram dose, so I took the remaining 44 milligrams. I was propelled into something not of my choosing. Everything that was alive was completely fearsome. I could look at a picture of a bush, and it was just that, a picture, and it posed no threat to me. Then my gaze moved to the right, and caught a bush growing outside the window, and I was petrified. A life-form I could not understand, and thus could not control. And I felt that my own life-form was not a bit more controllable. This was from the comments of a physician who assured me that he saw no neurological concerns during this dramatic and frightening experience.

(with 100 mg) I had weighed correctly. I had simply picked up the wrong vial. And my death was to be a consequence of a totally stupid mistake. I wanted to walk outside, but there was a swimming pool there and I didn't dare fall into it. A person may believe that he has prepared himself for his own death, but when the moment comes, he is completely alone, and totally unprepared. Why now? Why me? Two hours later, I knew that I would live after all, and the experience became really marvelous. But the moment of facing death is a unique experience. In my case, I will some day meet it again, and I fear that I will be no more comfortable with it then than I was just now. This was from the comments of a psychologist who will, without doubt, use psychedelics again in the future, as a probe into the unknown.

Many of the reports that have come in over the years have mentioned the combination of MDMA and 2C-B. The most successful reports have followed a program in which the two drugs are not used at the same time, nor even too closely spaced. It appears that the optimum time for the 2C-B is at, or just before, the final baseline recovery of the MDMA. It is as if the mental and emotional discoveries can be mobilized, and something done about them. This combination has several enthusiastic advocates in the psychotherapy world, and should be the basis of careful research when these materials become legal, and accepted by the medical community.

A generalized spectrum of 2C-B action can be gleaned from the many reports that have been written describing its effects. (1) There is a steep dose response curve. Over the 12 to 24 milligram range, every 2 milligrams can make a profound increase or change of response. Initially, one should go lightly, and increase the dosage in subsequent trials by small increments. A commonly used term for a level that produces a just perceptible effect is "museum level." This is a slightly-over-threshold level which allows public activities (such as viewing paintings in a museum or scenery watching as a passenger in a car) to be entered into without attracting attention. There can be considerable discomfort associated with being in the public eye, with higher doses. (2) The 2C-B experience is one of the shortest of any major psychedelic drug. Wherever you might be, hang on. In an hour or so you will be approaching familiar territory again. (3) If there is anything ever found to be an effective aphrodisiac, it will probably be patterned after 2C-B in structure.

There are two "Tweetios" known that are related to 2C-B. (See recipe #23 for the origin of this phrase.) The 2-EtO- homologue of 2C-B is 4-bromo-2-ethoxy-5-methoxyphenethylamine, or 2CB-2ETO. The unbrominated benzaldehyde (2-ethoxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde) had a melting point of 47.5-48.5 °C, the unbrominated nitrostyrene intermediate a melting point of 76-77 °C, and the final hydrochloride a melting point of 185-186 °C. The hydrobromide salt had a melting point of 168.5-169.5 °C. It seems that one gets about as much effect as can be had, with a dosage of about 15 milligrams, and increases above this, to 30 and to 50 milligrams merely prolong the activity (from about 3 hours to perhaps 6 hours). At no dose was there an intensity that in any way resembled that of 2C-B.

The 2,5-DiEtO- homologue of 2C-B is 4-bromo-2,5-diethoxyphenethylamine, or 2CB-2,5-DIETO. The unbrominated impure benzaldehyde (2,5-diethoxybenzaldehyde) had a melting point of about 57 °C, the unbrominated impure nitrostyrene intermediate a melting point of about 60 °C, and the final hydrochloride a melting point of 230-231 °C. The hydrobromide salt had a melting point of 192-193 °C. At levels of 55 milligrams, there was only a restless sleep, and strange dreams. The active level is not yet known.

I have been told of some studies that have involved a positional rearrangement analogue of 2C-B. This is 2-bromo-4,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (or 6-BR-DMPEA). This would be the product of the elemental bromination of DMPEA, and it has been assayed as the hydrobromide salt. Apparently, the intravenous injection of 60 milligrams gave a rapid rush, with intense visual effects reported, largely yellow and black. Orally, there may be some activity at the 400 to 500 milligram area, but the reports described mainly sleep disturbance. This would suggest a stimulant component. The N-methyl homologue of this rearranged compound was even less active.

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The Essential Psychedelic Guide by D. M. Turner

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The Erotic Empathogen


2C-B is highly dosage sensitive. Taking an amount just slightly above the recommended dose can produce an intense experience that most people find forced and unpleasant. With any substance there are a few people who will exhibit unusually high or low sensitivity. Therefore, in order to avoid an undesirably intense experience, many users start with a small dose of 2C-B, around 8 mg., and work their way up.

INTENSITY: 2 to 7, varying with the dosage and the individual's sensitivity to this compound.


2C-B (4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic/empathogen developed by Alexander Shulgin. Shulgin has invented around 200 psychoactive compounds including DOM (a.k.a. STP), an ultra-potent psychedelic that appeared briefly on the street in the late Sixties. Recently a large amount of 2C-B has been distributed under the street name "Nexus." In the past 2C-B has also been distributed as "Eve" and "Venus."


2C-B should be ingested, preferably on an empty stomach. As mentioned above, 2C-B is extremely dosage sensitive, and the amount required is so small that a sophisticated scale is needed to accurately weigh a single dose. With "street" 2C-B it is hard to know exactly how much is in a capsule. This is likely to cause some unexpected heavy trips if 2C-B becomes a popular drug and dosage information and knowledge is not made available. People who have a quantity of 2C-B often dilute it in an inert powder before measuring individual doses to provide greater accuracy.

In PIHKAL Shulgin lists the dosage range as 16 to 24 mg. Another writing on 2C-B lists the range as 12 to 30 mg. Shulgin's descriptions of the effects of different dosages can be summarized as follows: 16 mg. produces a "museum level" experience. One can go about in public with slightly enhanced perception, such as may be appropriate for going to a public museum, etc. 20 to 24 mg. will produce a more psychedelic experience with visuals and intensified feelings.

I've seen no literature on 2C-B which recommends a dose above 30 mg. Gracie and Zarkov, who are very experienced trippers, each took 40 mg. in error and had unpleasant experiences. Shulgin reports on overdoses up to 100 mg. that produced frightening experiences but caused no permanent damage. However, some people, like myself, have an unusually low sensitivity to 2C-B and other substances in the phenethylamine family. I find that I must consume 50 mg. to produce experiences that most people obtain with 25 to 35 mg.


My experiences with 2C-B have been quite varied. With a low, "museum level" dose, I experience what resembles a speedy acid high hardly worth discussing. It is when I take a somewhat larger dose that the unique aspects of this substance begin to manifest. It is definitely an "up" experience. There is lots of physical energy. The visual aspect can be extraordinary, with intense vivid colors and intricate patterning that is reminiscent of mescaline visuals and seems charged with electricity. In one experience the visuals appeared as complete chaos before becoming a portion of a vast cosmic order. On a good dose of 2C-B I'm content to just lay back for hours and trip on watching my mind.

On some occasions 2C-B has given me visibility into what I will call the "assembly" or "machine language" of the mind. As an example, if you see the number 3, the typical response is to identify the symbol as the number 3, and think about its meaning within the context you are seeing it. On a finer scale, many thousands of neurons are connected in the brain's interpretation and identification of the symbol and linkage to the stored memory of 3. While on 2C-B, I've seen that only 80-90% of this mental "signal" comes back as 3, the remaining 10-20% having connected elsewhere in the mind or run into closed synapses, etc. I have found this awareness of the mind's "assembly" language to be simultaneously insightful, discombobulating, and humorous.

2C-B is considered an empathogen and many users have reported powerful and transformative empathogenic experiences from its use. I've only had strong empathogenic content in about 25% of my 2C-B experiences. However, I found this empathogenic quality to be very deep and transformative, much more meaningful than the comparatively shallow emotional bliss that I tend to experience on ecstasy. Where the feelings of ecstasy can be repetitive or predictable, 2C-B allows me to continually explore different types of feelings.

On the negative side, the 2C-B experience has a tendency to feel "forced" in comparison with the more flowing nature of ecstasy or LSD. When taking a large dose of 2C-B, one's ability to accept whatever the mind presents, without trying to push away unwanted thoughts, will reduce the likelihood of an unpleasant experience. 2C-B also seems to produce a constant low-level agitation or interference in the mind. I notice this if I try to quiet my mind to meditate or listen to music. This slight "buzz" that is always present is quite distinct from the ocean of luxuriantly transparent silence that often surrounds one during an LSD trip.

Like ecstasy, 2C-B can not match the depth, purity, or realism of the traditional psychedelics. However, it is much more psychedelic than ecstasy, and its unique attributes make it an interesting substance to explore. One of 2C-B's unique attributes is that it simultaneously strengthens certain aspects of the ego or identity while dissolving others. For myself and many friends who've used 2C-B this has resulted in a highly positive influence on our self-image, both during and after the experience, including the idea that the physical body is a sacred manifestation of the creative consciousness.

Although I have yet to see this amongst the 2C-B users I know, I suspect that for less balanced or grounded individuals 2C-B could strengthen negative aspects of the ego, thereby producing the type of changes one often sees in amphetamine users.

2C-B is known for its ability to enhance sexual perception and performance, and I've found 2C-B to work excellently for this purpose. Whereas on ecstasy, although it is common to feel much love, emotional closeness, and empathy for your partner, it can be difficult to focus on sex or maintain an erection, and it's especially difficult to reach orgasm.

With 2C-B, sexual feeling is greatly enhanced. I can remain in an excited state for hours and the experience of the sexual energy exchange is intense and electric. I've found that with any psychedelic it's best to begin sexual activity either early in the experience before awareness is too spread out, or shortly after the peak. I consider mescaline and LSD to be the best psychedelics for aphrodisiacs, although some people get too spaced out or emotionally involved to concentrate on sex.


ECSTASY - 2C-B is frequently combined with ecstasy. In therapeutic use the 2C-B is generally taken at the tail end of the ecstasy experience. Many people have found that 2C-B allows them to develop and retain the insights from the ecstasy experience which would otherwise have a tendency to slip away. I've also had excellent results taking a small amount of ecstasy (80 mg.) some 1 1/2 hours after the 2C-B. This produces a trip with an incredibly deep empathogenic content that I have never experienced on either of the substances alone.

2C-B combines quite remarkably with Ketamine. See the Multiple Combinations chapter.

2C-B may be significantly intensified and possibly dangerous if combined with MAO inhibitors.

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