The Ultimate Guide to
(Nexus, Venus, Bromo mescaline, Bees, Toonies)
2C-B has been used as an aphrodisiac, entheogen, dance drug, ecstasy adulterant, and psychotherapeutic aid. However, it has yet to gain widespread acceptance and it has been banned in most countries since the mid-1990s.
In his book PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved), the legendary psychopharmacologist and author Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin named 2C-B one of the six most important phenethylamines for healing trauma.
What to expect
Shulgin claimed that 2C-B was one of his favorite psychedelics, and wrote in 2003 that the drug was “one of the most graceful, erotic, sensual, introspective compounds I have ever invented.”  Many people report that the experience has the groundedness of mescaline, the empathy of MDMA, and the visuals of mushrooms or LSD, but with more connection to reality. It’s known for enhancing one’s senses and feelings and amplifying visuals, sound, and touch.
2C-B is usually swallowed in the form of a tablet, capsule, or powder, which can also be dissolved in liquid. The threshold oral dose is 2-5 mg, while a light effective dose is around 5-15 mg. Most people take between 15 and 25 mg for a full experience, and anything above that is considered strong. 50 mg seems to be a good upper limit.
The onset of 2C-B lasts about 45-75 minutes, with a 15-30 minute “coming up” period. During this time, it’s common to feel a sense of anticipation or even anxiety. This is often coupled with a pleasurable warmth or tingling—like electricity or pins and needles—going up and down the body. There may be signs of physical and sexual arousal, including raised hairs, muscle spasms, erection, chills, tremors, and dilated pupils. Some people report experiencing gastrointestinal issues such as gas, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
At high enough doses, 2C-B produces visual effects, which often include geometric patterns, after-images and tracers, facial distortions, environmental drifting (e.g. melting or flowing surfaces), and enhanced or shifting colors. Closed-eye visuals are often richer, with profound fantasy imagery. Auditory hallucinations are also common. At higher doses, these hallucinations can become unpleasant, ugly, or even frightening.
The peak effects of the 2C-B experience last for two to four hours. Any nausea and discomfort have generally faded by this point. Touch, smell, taste, color, and sound all tend to be enhanced during this time, and many people report feeling squarely “in the body”—aware of their muscles and nerves and merging with physical nature. Unlike on MDMA, sexual arousal can be maintained throughout the 2C-B experience.
During the peak, people report enhanced moods and feelings of stimulation, but with less “pushiness” than MDMA. People often describe 2C-B as far more malleable, allowing them to go in and out of baseline consciousness, sometimes abruptly, even during peak effects. Others find themselves dealing with difficult emotions such as anger, grief, and fear.
Communication can break down during the height of a 2C-B experience, although talking to others can become easier for some people. In any case, people usually see an increase in their empathy and sociability. Conceptual thinking, introspective insights, and spiritual ideation are also common—especially when alone. There may be a slight softening of the ego.
Coming down and after the trip
After the plateau, the effects of 2C-B can take up to two hours to wear off. Some find their appetites returning and can eat immediately. Sleep may also be possible, and it’s often characterized by vivid dreams. An afterglow of cheerfulness can persist for days—even after an unpleasant trip. 
Phenethylamines like 2C-B are known as “simple” psychedelics for their one-ring structure—contrasted with the more complex structure of indoles (e.g. tryptamines). Some other phenethylamines include amphetamines, mescaline, mephedrone, ephedrine, and cathine and cathinone from khat. 2C-B gets its name from the two carbon atoms (2C) that join the phenyl ring to the amino group, and for the bromine atom (B) substituted at the R4 position. Like the other 2Cs, 2C-B has methoxy groups at positions R2 and R5.
Not much is known about the pharmacodynamics of 2C-B, but it shows a binding affinity for the 5-HT2 serotonergic receptors. Unlike the classical psychedelics, it selectively antagonizes (blocks) the 5-HT2A receptor subtype usually involved in hallucinogenic effects. Its psychoactivity is thought to be at least partially related to the activation of 5-HT2C receptors or to signaling pathways coupled to 5-HT2A. Further activation of α1-adrenergic receptors may be responsible for 2C-B’s stimulant effects.
The compound has been shown to increase levels of dopamine in rats.
Benefits & Risks04
Though there isn’t much research into the psychological or physiological effects of 2C-B, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it could be beneficial for both therapeutic purposes and personal/spiritual development. Shulgin himself recommended the use of this compound in therapy and gave it to a handful of psychologists to use with patients. He also suggested that the drug could be used in conjunction with MDMA to ease the comedown and solidify any revelations brought on by the experience.
People have also reported profound spiritual and personal experiences during a 2C-B trip, including feelings of connections to the self, others, and the universe, which can last long after the trip has come to an end.
2C-B is metabolized by the monoamine oxidases (MAOs) A and B, so it likely poses a risk for people on MAO inhibitors (MAOIs). These include some types of antidepressants, as well as ayahuasca.
Research into the safety of 2C-B is otherwise lacking, which could have a lot to do with its legal status. What we do know about the drug is mostly anecdotal. For instance, some users report taking up to 10 times the highest recommended dose with no lingering health problems. While some fatalities have been linked to other substances in the 2C family (including 2C-T-7 and 2C-I-NBOMe), none have been attributed to 2C-B alone. That said, virtually nothing is known about the medium- to long-term health risks and some users may be more susceptible than others.
One female user experienced severe headaches, brain dysfunction, and weak limbs within 48 hours of taking liquid 2C-B. In a similar sort of time frame, a male user with no family history of psychosis began to experience auditory hallucinations, increased irritability, and paranoid delusions. These symptoms persisted for two months until he was treated with the antipsychotic medication risperidone. It should be noted, however, that in neither of these highly unusual cases was the presence of 2C-B confirmed.
As with other psychedelics, set and setting are pivotal to the safety of a 2C-B experience. It’s best to avoid this drug during times of psychological distress, or too soon after difficult life experiences. Public settings should also be avoided, at least to begin with.
Because 2C-B can inhibit one’s spatial coordination and attention span, a space as free from hazards as possible is the ideal setting for an experience. The drug’s mild anesthetic effect can sometimes allow injuries to go unnoticed. Driving is especially dangerous while under the influence and should always be avoided.
Dosage is another important factor, as increments of just 2 mg can disproportionately affect the experience. It’s best to start with a low dose of 8 mg, weighed on a precisely accurate scale, and taken on an empty stomach. Confirming that a substance is in fact 2C-B before taking it is also good practice. This can be done using a Marquis reagent test (available online), as 2C-B is the only drug known to turn this reagent a bright greenish-yellow color.
Shulgin—who is known as the “Godfather of Ecstacy”— believed the compound’s relatively short duration and empathogenic effects would be of value to psychologists and psychotherapists. He was especially enthusiastic about its synergy with MDMA and believed the insights from an MDMA experience could be reinforced by using 2C-B at the end of an MDMA session, or even in a separate session.
After developing the drug, Shulgin gave it to a small handful of psychologists who found that the compound created a “warm, empathetic bond between themselves and their patients.” They also reported that 2C-B helped their patients “get in touch with suppressed emotions and repressed memories, thereby helping to resolve psychological problems.”
Anecdotally, one user reported that the post-peak period of the 2C-B experience was conducive to working through general personal development stuff, as well as “accessing ‘earlier stages of my self’ and being able to use it in a way that’s meaningful for my present-day self.” In an amateur survey of 48 people who agreed to take 2C-T-7 (another Shulgin chemical similar to 2C-B), six participants said they experienced therapeutic or healing effects, including the resolution of deep emotional issues.
If (or when) MDMA becomes a mainstream tool for use in psychotherapy, 2C-B is likely to receive more attention. But for the time being, the cost of research outweighs any returns expected by pharmaceutical companies footing the bill.
Many users find 2C-B to be a kind of cathartic self-therapy tool, fostering powerful and sometimes life-changing insights about themselves and the nature of their reality. Feeling “at one with the universe” is common, as are fresh perspectives on negative personality traits, thought patterns, and destructive behaviors.
The malleability of the 2C-B experience allows users to focus on positive thoughts over negative ones and leads to an understanding of the impact of habitual thought processes. According to psychedelic researcher D. M. Turner, 2C-B can also be used to strengthen parts of the ego while dissolving others, ultimately resulting in a more positive self-image.
In South Africa, 2C-B (as Ubulawu Nomathotholo) has been linked to revelatory visions of spirit animals and tribal ancestors, including meetings with the Xhosa creator deity. Following these “journeys,” users reported becoming more confident and resolving longstanding grief, among other personal benefits.
Like MDMA, 2C-B promotes empathy and understanding between people. One mother who took the drug with her son—who had recently moved away—learned how to let go as a parent and accept his individuality. Importantly for their relationship, she came to appreciate him as a separate, self-contained being. Others report its usefulness in strengthening bonds between couples.
Getting started with psychedelics and finding consistent legal access is a challenge. That’s why we built an online community of trusted providers ranging from therapists to clinics, to retreats. We hope you find what you’re looking for.
At present, 2C-B doesn’t appear to be legal in any country. It is illegal in the United States, Canada, the European Union (except the Czech Republic and Portugal), Australia, and more.
Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicines provides tips and resources to obtain psychedelics in most countries–from trusted sellers.
History & Stats08
2C-B remained largely underground throughout its early days. It was first encountered by the DEA in 1979, but—aside from the seizure of several clandestine laboratories—no legislative action was taken.
When MDMA was banned in 1985, 2C-B’s popularity surged as a legal alternative. It was also developed as an aphrodisiac by the German pharmaceutical company Drittewelle (meaning “third wave,” interestingly enough!), and marketed under the brand names Erox, Nexus, and Performax. By the early 1990s, America had become the world’s largest consumer of this over-the-counter treatment for impotence and “frigidity,” although many were using it for its psychedelic effects.
The FDA banned the remedy in 1993 and urged other countries to do the same. In South Africa, it had already become popular among Xhosa-speaking sangomas (or “diviners”), who used Drittewelle’s product instead of their own increasingly scarce traditional plant medicines. Specifically for them, the drug was repackaged and distributed as Ubulawu Nomathotholo: “Medicine of the Singing Ancestors.”
Between 1994 and 1995, 2C-B was added to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. South Africa and others followed with legislation of their own. In response, numerous research chemical analogs, such as βk-2C-B, were developed to circumvent the law.
According to the 2014 Global Drug Survey (of a limited sample of self-selected respondents who use psychoactive drugs), 2C-B ranks among the top 20 substances used in the past year in nine different countries. The highest prevalence was in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands.
2C-B also appears to be one of the most commonly sourced substances on the darknet.
Third Wave’s Ultimate Guide to Sourcing Psychedelic Medicine offers step-by-step instructions for navigating the dark web and recommendations for lesser-known (legal) psychedelic alternatives with similar effects.
“2C-B is a cheap MDMA substitute”
Although 2C-B has sometimes been sold as MDMA, the effects are substantially different. Also, 2C-B doesn’t tend to be much cheaper. In the United States, it can reach similar prices to MDMA and sometimes even more.
“2C-B causes violent aggression”
Horror stories in sensationalist media have portrayed 2C-B as a deadly, threatening drug. And while its toxicity profile has yet to be fully established, such reports are dubious, to say the least. Aside from the fact that aggression and violence are rarely mentioned in users’ reports, 2C-B is difficult to detect in the body. So unless the compound is confirmed in a lab, it’s fair to assume that other, lesser-known drugs are responsible.
Can it be detected in a drug test?
2C-B cannot be detected in either standard or extended drug tests. While it could potentially trigger a false positive for amphetamines, this is unlikely given the small doses involved.
The detection of 2C-B usually requires technical analysis by a specialist lab using GC/MS (gas chromatography mass spectrometry) or LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry).
Can I test my 2C-B to see if it’s safe to take?
Testing your 2C-B is always good practice even when you trust your supplier. Reagent test kits from Bunk Police can identify hundreds of adulterants and substitutes—offering peace of mind and potentially saving your life.
The Mecke and Froehde reagents, for example, can help identify real 2C-B. Simply place a tiny amount of 2C-B into a sterile test tube or onto a sterile white ceramic surface and add a few drops of the reagent. 2C-B is the only drug known to turn this reagent a bright greenish-yellow color.
Can 2C-B cause psychological trauma?
Despairing thoughts, paranoid delusions, and frightening visuals (like facial distortions) may occur during a 2C-B trip. At very high doses, some have questioned their sanity. One user even reported an alarming fear of anything alive—even plants.
Nevertheless, the few cases of long-term psychosis attributed to 2C-B are highly questionable, and it’s not known that the drug was even involved.
To minimize negative experiences on 2C-B, always keep in mind the 6Ss of psychedelic use and prepare appropriately.
Are there risks?
2C-B affects the heart rate, blood pressure, and the central nervous system, which could make it unsafe for people with convulsive seizure disorders (e.g. epilepsy), heart problems, diabetes, schizophrenia, or a history of mental illness. See the Benefits & Risks section above for more information.
What is the best way to take 2C-B?
The most common way to take 2C-B is also the easiest: swallowing it as a liquid, tablet, or capsule. Other methods include snorting, vaporizing, and “plugging” (rectal administration).
Snorting 2C-B is almost unbearably painful because of its insolubility in water. However, the effects tend to be more intense, with a shorter onset, and a much smaller required dose. Shulgin suggested snorting the more water-soluble acetate or hydrobromide salt for the same effects with little to no pain.
Vaporizing freebase 2C-B in a glass pipe is reportedly more potent and faster-acting than oral use, but with a shorter total duration. “Plugging” liquid 2C-B into the rectum with a needleless syringe has similar effects, even on a full stomach.
Can I microdose with 2C-B?
Users who microdose with 2C-B have had mixed results, with some casual experimenters getting nothing out of the experience. Others have reported crisper vision, enhanced tactile awareness, and a mental energy boost comparable to caffeine.
At this time, it’s unclear whether it’s worthwhile to microdose with 2C-B.
Does it produce tolerance?
Most but not all users report a tolerance effect from regular use (more than once every five to seven days). Since 2C-B doesn’t tend to be habit-forming, this isn’t usually a problem.
Can I mix it with other drugs?
Shulgin’s recommendation was to take it at the tail-end of an MDMA trip. Others have found it combines well with ketamine, making it easier to move without nausea and improving recollection of the K-hole.
There are some drugs that 2C-B should not be mixed with, however. It is potentially very dangerous in combination with MAOIs, tramadol, mescaline, amphetamines, cocaine, and others.
Click here for a detailed chart of safe drug combinations.
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