Safer Using – 2C-B

About 2C-B

2C-B (also known as nexus, venus, bees, or 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic drug belonging to the phenethylamine class, which also includes MDMA and mescaline.1,2 2C-B is a member of a family of drugs known as the 2C-X series or the 2C family, all of which are phenethylamines.1,3 This family includes other psychedelic drugs such as 2C-E and 2C-I, but 2C-B is the most well-known of the family.1,3 The effects of 2C-B vary depending on the dose and the individual consuming it. At lower doses, it is described as having empathogenic/entactogenic and tactile-enhancing effects like MDMA, and at higher doses, it is described as having strong psychedelic effects like mescaline.1,2,3 2C-B is also known for its tendency to increase sexual arousal and some consider it to be an aphrodisiac.2,4

2C-B was first synthesised in 1974 by Alexander Shulgin and its synthesis was published in his well-known book “Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved” (PiHKAL).2 According to media interviews, 2C-B was Shulgin’s favourite drug.1 2C-B became popular in the rave and dance music scene in the mid-1980s as a legal substitute for MDMA but, in most countries, it has since been criminalised.2 Due to its relatively recent synthesis and popularity as a recreational drug, 2C-B is sometimes considered a “designer drug”.2

2C-B is mostly taken orally as a powder or in a tablet/pressed pill.2 2C-B powder can also be snorted, but this is considered especially painful by users.3 Dealers can easily adulterate powders and pills with potentially harmful substances and no one can determine the composition of a powder or pill simply by looking at it. Hence, it is especially important to test your 2C-B using a reagent test kit at home (e.g.,, or by taking it to a drug checking service such as CanTEST, Canberra’s free health and drug checking service. At CanTEST, numerous samples expected to be 2C-B have contained different drugs entirely, including MDMA, ketamine, and dimethylpentylone, a cathinone stimulant.5Psychedelic experiences can be intense and profound, so it is recommended to have a tripsitter present when someone is taking 2C-B. A tripsitter is a sober friend who assists a person taking psychedelics by giving them water, engaging in conversation when needed, helping to move them around and generally keeping a person comfortable throughout the trip.6 A tripsitter can be present in a separate room and stay mostly uninvolved until the person calls on them.6

2C-B Effects

As a psychedelic, the effects of 2C-B can depend on the set (mindset of the user) and setting (environment in which the drug is used). It is important that the person feels safe in the environment, and it is best to trip around people one is familiar with. In highly stimulating environments such as music festivals, a person may need to spend time in a quiet space away from the crowds and loud music. It can be helpful to find such an area before taking 2C-B. 

The commonly reported effects of 2C-B can include, but are not limited to:2,3,4

  • Enhanced touch sensation and music appreciation.
  • Enhanced visual sensation and colour vibrancy. 
  • Altered perception of space and time. 
  • Giggling and laughing.
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations. 
  • Mood lift, euphoria.
  • Increased sex drive. 
  • Profound religious and mystical experiences.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea.
  • Decreased appetite. 
  • Dilated pupils (mydriasis).
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia).
  • Increased blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Jaw clenching (bruxism).
  • Coughing.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache. 

The effects of 2C-B generally take 20-90 minutes to kick in and the peak effects typically last 2-7 hours.2 People often also experience after-effects (e.g., insomnia, coughing or headache) lasting 2-4 hours following a trip on 2C-B.2

2C-B Dosing

It is always recommended to start at a low dose and to wait before redosing recreational drugs (start low and go slow). The strength of a dose of a recreational drug depends on various factors including body weight and metabolism, meaning some people require a smaller dose than others. Additionally, the effects of 2C-B can take up to 90 minutes to kick in, so it is important to wait for the full effects to come on before deciding whether to redose.2

The following is a rough dosage guide for 2C-B:2

LOW DOSE – 5-15 mg


STRONG DOSE – 25-40 mg


2C-B Overdose and Toxicity

There have been no reported deaths resulting from consuming 2C-B, and one study from 2018 found that a dose of 10-20 mg of 2C-B is relatively safe in healthy people.2,4 However, there have been a few reports of rare but serious adverse reactions resulting from ingesting 2C-B including persistent psychosis.rev The risks associated with recreational drugs are generally greater with higher doses, when taken alongside other drugs, and for people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart problems and/or psychiatric conditions. People with pre-existing heart conditions are advised to avoid 2C-B.1

Unexpectedly high doses of 2C-B can result in distressing and potentially dangerous side effects including:2

  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia).
  • Increased blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Dilated pupils (mydriasis).
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Cramps.
  • Coughing.
  • Headaches.
  • Confusion.
  • Agitation.

Mixing 2C-B with cannabis or stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can potentiate the effects and increase the risk of anxiety.7 Mixing 2C-B with tramadol (a.k.a. Tramal) or lithium (a.k.a. Lithicarb or Quilonum) is considered dangerous since the risk of seizures is increased.1,7 Additionally, some people are at an increased risk of adverse effects from consuming 2C-B likely due to differences in metabolism.2

If someone is experiencing adverse effects from consuming 2C-B and you are concerned, consider seeking medical attention and wait with them until they recover

It is important to stay hydrated on stimulants, but overhydration can be a risk with 2C-B.3 Drink 1 cup (250 mL) of water per hour when relaxing or 2 cups (500 mL) per hour when exercising/dancing.3 Eating can help to replenish electrolytes and prevent overhydration. Consider eating a meal before taking 2C-B since 2C-B can suppress one’s appetite.3

The long-term effects of 2C-B are largely unknown.2 Some users report that regular use of 2C-B results in general tiredness, disorientation, and anxiety.2 Some people also experience more serious effects such as depression, panic attacks, depersonalisation, and psychosis.2 If you are concerned about persistent symptoms associated with 2C-B use, consider seeing a non-judgemental health professional, such as the nurse or GP at the CAHMA clinic.









Written by Darcy Lynch

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