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2C-B is a synthetic psychedelic drug that was first synthesized in 1974 to be used as an aid in therapy. It is part of the family of 2C drugs, which belong to a group of designer agents similar in structure to Ecstasy and MDMA. When MDMA became illegal in 1985, 2C-B appeared as a street drug in the nightlife scene. Today 2C-B is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include Heroin and LSD. While 2C-B is not as popular as other drugs that are typically used at parties and raves, in recent years it has begun appearing more often at nightclubs across the world.
There is limited research on 2C drugs, so it is unproven that there is any real benefit in using this family of drugs as a therapy aid. One study out of Spain in 2015 suggested that people who took 2C-B were more open and less aggressive, but the results were not impressive enough to demonstrate it had real therapeutic effects. Some sources state that 2C-B was used as an aphrodisiac in the 1980s. Today, most users take 2C drugs to experience the euphoric and psychedelic effects. A review published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology found that people who had taken 2C drugs displayed agitation, aggression, hallucinations, hyperthermia, hypertension, seizures, violence, and a general state of unease. Some users prefer 2C-B to MDMA because it doesn’t deplete serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. Instead, it mimics serotonin, similar to Antidepressants. 2C drugs are snorted, swallowed, or smoked and are typically found in a tablet form or powder.
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The drug 2C-B is usually swallowed as a capsule, tablet, or powder; sometimes it is dissolved in a liquid and then swallowed. Tablets have been reported to be pink, purple, red, off-white, off-white with brown specks, or beige, sometimes with a bullhead logo stamped on the pills. Capsules may contain pink, white, or off-white powder. Snorting the drug leads to a burning sensation and is very painful. Beginning a high with pain from snorting may lead to an unpleasant experience overall. Users will start to feel effects in about 30 minutes of consuming the drug. The first effects are reportedly feelings of anticipation, warmth, anxiety, and tingling. Sexual and physical arousal may occur and may remain throughout the high. Signs of this include erection, raised hairs, chills, tremors, muscle spasms, and dilated pupils. Feelings of euphoria, similar to the effects of MDMA, will likely occur. A light dose is considered to be between 5 and 15mg, while anything above 25mg is considered strong.
2C-B has been described as a cross between MDMA and LSD.
Users may experience hallucinations that are usually mild visual effects like facial distortions, moving surfaces, enhanced or shifting colors, or feeling like they can see sounds. Higher doses may lead to more intense hallucinations that are unpleasant or frightening. Claustrophobia and muscle clenching have been reported. Some users experience nausea, vomiting, gas, or diarrhea, while others may have a surge of negative emotions like fear, anger, or grief. Overall, users should experience increased sociability; it may be difficult or confusing to have a conversation with another person, however. It is common to have introspective thoughts while under the influence of 2C-B and to experience increased empathy and a softening of the ego.
It is currently unknown if there is a fatal dose of 2C-B; higher doses do put users at risk for panic attacks, severe psychosis, delirious states, headaches, and the risk of over-stimulating the heart and circulatory system. Because of the drug’s mild anesthetic properties, an injury sustained while under the influence of 2C-B may go unnoticed. A 2017 news report from Ireland stated that 6 young people were hospitalized after consuming 2C-B. Two of the individuals were reportedly injured, covered in blood, and dancing naked, unaware of their injuries. Another appeared to be in cardiac arrest on the floor. The lack of quality control when consuming illicit drugs means that there is never a guarantee that any drug is pure.
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2C-B is sold by dealers and can also be purchased on the darknet. The 2019 Global Drug Survey stated that darknet purchases of 2C-B have increased over the last 5 years, along with DMT and Ketamine. Information from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) explains that many dealers believe they are distributing MDMA; in reality, is it 2C-B. Others may be trying to pass off 2C-B as MDMA to their customers. The street price for 1 tablet of 2C-B is between $10 and $30 (between $200 and $500 per gram). Purchasing in bulk can lower the costs to $100 to $300 per gram. This drug is created in a laboratory. Some street names for 2C-B include:
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While Hallucinogens have a lower risk for addiction than other drugs, the stimulant effects of 2C-B may lead to an addiction. Abusing any illicit drug is cause for concern, as these unregulated drugs can cause serious side effects. Depending on a substance to feel enlightened or happy can be a sign of an addiction. If you or someone you know is abusing 2C-B, reach out for help. Contact a treatment provider who can help answer rehab-related questions and options.
Hayley Hudson is the Director of Content at Addiction Center. She earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Central Florida and has 6 years of professional writing experience. A passion for writing led her to a career in journalism, and she worked as a news reporter for 3 years, focusing on stories in the healthcare and wellness industry. Knowledge in healthcare led to an interest in drug and alcohol abuse, and she realized how many people are touched by addiction.
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional
Deborah Montross Nagel
Deborah has a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CAADC. She is nationally certified as a MAC – Master Addictions Counselor – by NAADAC (The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no "bad guy" in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!
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