Connect with us


2C-B: If LSD and MDMA had a baby



DenysDoskach, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Alexander Shulgin, best known for introducing MDMA to the psychological community, also created over 230 novel psychoactive compounds and documented their effects in the book PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story written with his wife Ann Shulgin. Among the 200+ compounds discussed was a unique molecule called 2C-B.

Also known as, 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine, Nexus or Erox, 2C-B is often unheard of, understudied and the effects are unlike any other psychedelics.

2C-B is part of a list of phenethylamines that Shulgin referred to as the “magical half dozen.” This list includes mescaline and other members of the 2C family such as 2C-E, 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7. Shulgin wrote that 2C-B was by far one of his fondest creations and one of his most preferred psychedelic journeys.

See also  The psychedelic experience: comparing LSD, ketamine and nitrous oxide 

In 2003, he told the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics: “[2C-B] is, in my opinion, one of the most graceful, erotic, sensual, introspective compounds I have ever invented. For most people, it is a short-lived and comfortable psychedelic, with neither toxic side-effects nor next-day hang-over.”

2C-B was popular in the club scene in the 80’s and 90’s. After MDMA was classified as a Schedule I substance in the US, many people migrated to the use of 2C-B, which was relatively unknown by the DEA at the time.

It was common to find 2C-B packaged in head shops, sex shops and some nightclubs from the mid-80’s to the early ‘90s. 

Legal use of 2C-B ended in 1995 when the DEA classified it as a Schedule I substance in the US.

What makes 2C-B stand out compared to the other psychedelics?

The effects of 2C-B as a mix of psychedelic and entactogenic effects, classify it as a cross between LSD and MDMA.

2C-B chemical structure

2C-B creates interesting psychedelic effects because of its chemical structure and is classified as a phenethylamine, a chemical cousin to mescaline. 

Due to this, some effects include open-eye visuals with patterns and outlines of shapes moving and undulating throughout the trip, and giggling and laughing, which remind users of an LSD trip.

People can experience a mood lift and euphoria, with increased feelings of empathy, similar to MDMA. 

Making it sometimes called the love child of LSD and MDMA.

2C-B Dosing Guide

Shulgin describes 2C-B as one of the most potent psychedelics, and as such, users do not need to take a large amount. The effects vary greatly between a low dose (15 mg) and a very high dose (35 mg).

The following dosing guide was produced by using information compiled from the works of Alexander Shulgin, anecdotal sources and PiHKAL.


Minimum Effective Dose, 10 mg

Normal / Museum Dose, 15-25 mg

Strong Dose, 26 – 34 mg

Heroic Dose, 35+ mg

Duration, 4 – 8 Hours


Minimum Effective Dose, 4 mg

Normal / Museum Dose, 5-9 mg

Strong Dose, 10 – 19 mg

Heroic Dose, 20+ mg

Duration, 2 – 4 hours

There is currently no known lethal dose, however, Shulgin cautions against taking anything more than 45 mg.

Research on 2C-B

A recent study of 2C-B’s effects in a double-blind study was conducted for the first time. 22 volunteers were administered 20mg of 2C-B (a normal/museum dose), 15 mg of psilocybin (a medium dose) and placebo with each drug given on separate days.

2C-B shows an experience profile compatible with what is known about MDMA and LSD, psychedelic 5-HT2A agonists, just lighter in experience pertaining to the mystical or anxious realms of ego dissolution.

People reported less negative emotions under 2C-B and felt less impaired, despite showing similar outcomes to psilocybin on cognitive tasks. This data suggests that 2C-B may lead to a clearer headspace than the classical psychedelics.

2C-B as Therapy

2C-B was created in the 1970s, after the golden era of the first psychedelic revolution in the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately, this left little room for the drug to be officially investigated as a therapeutic substance.

It was reported that Alexander and Ann Shulgin used 2C-B to treat more than 200 individuals with anxiety, depression and suffering from PTSD and nightmares before it became illegal in the 1990s.

A German pharmaceutical company Drittewelle briefly marketed 2C-B under the name Erox as an aphrodisiac for temporary alleviation of male impotence and female frigidity.

Dr. Ben Sessa, a psychedelic researcher, published a paper about his conversations with German psychiatrist Dr. Friederike Fischer who, with her husband, frequently used 2C-B in combination with MDMA for therapeutic purposes. They treated 97 clients in total until the couple’s arrest in 2009.

Their psychotherapeutic work did not lead to any clinical conclusions about the use of 2C-B in combination with MDMA, as no quantitative data was collected about clients’ progress. However, Dr. Sessa notes in his paper that patient outcomes of their work were “overwhelmingly positive. There were no serious adverse reactions to the substances, no psychoses, no hospitalizations, and no suicides of any clients who were actively undergoing psycholytic therapy.”

The potential therapeutic effects of 2C-B (as reported by Ann and Alexander Shulgin), along with the few available studies, suggest that it may have potential as a treatment for mental health disorders. 

Given the limited options for treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD, exploring the potential of 2C-B as a treatment option is crucial. More research is required to fully understand the drug’s positive and negative effects and to better determine the appropriate dosing and administration methods.

There is one currently active study, sponsored by University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, comparing the effects of different doses of 2C-B to MDMA, psilocybin, and a placebo on healthy subjects. The study is listed on and estimated to start next week on June 30, 2023. 

Counterfeit 2C-B

“Tusi”, a pink drug cocktail, became popular last year in Latin America’s nightclub scene. 

When news channels investigated this “pink cocaine,” there was a widespread disagreement about what the substance actually was.  In Panama, a police spokesman said Tusi was ketamine cut with the opioid Tramadol. In Venezuela, the media claimed it was LSD with a dash of MDMA. In Uruguay, the Interior Minister suggested it was a mixture of cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD.

All were wrong. Tusi was a brand name, instantly recognizable for its bright pink color and mass merchandising. The name was linked to 2C-B and Tusi (Two-C) became the phonetic nickname. 

In the late 2000s, 2C-B reached Colombia’s nightclubs via rich young adults in Medellin who had brought small quantities from Europe. They sold it in their upper-class circles, as a whitish powder or small pill that 2C-B still comes in today. It gained attention as an “elite drug,” a synthetic European import that was far more expensive than the locally produced cocaine. 

Attention was accelerated by a feat of marketing genius. 2C-B powder closely resembled the white color of cocaine but according to users is notoriously painful to snort.  This led early dealers to begin mixing their powder with an aromatic pink food coloring.

The mix was deemed more pleasant to consume and the bright pink color created a cool and memorable visual aesthetic making it a much more attractive drug.

The pink caught on and demand rapidly increased. But as demand grew, the supply was far too low. Even in Europe, 2C-B was a niche drug and only a tiny portion of that production reached South America. 

To meet the new rise in demand, Columbian vendors began cutting it heavily. Bulking their powder with caffeine and synthetic drugs like MDMA and ketamine, as these European imports were cheaper and widely available.

Soon enough the Tusi fueling the Colombian nightlife contained almost no actual 2C-B, and ran at a price 33 times higher than cocaine. Purity has never recovered and 2C-B is still extremely rare in South America according to a 2021 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC.)

This article was first published on Nina’s Notes on 21 June 2023 and is republished on Psychedelic Health with permission.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Psychedelic-assisted therapy for treating PTSD in Ukraine brings hope



Photo by Karollyne Videira Hubert on Unsplash

The war in Ukraine brings suffering and trauma, which naturally leads to cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers and civilians. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine predicts that about 4 million Ukrainian civilians are suffering from PTSD.

According to the WHO, about a quarter of the Ukrainian population may be affected by disorders of mental health. In order to deal with this challenge, Ukraine must ensure access to safe, effective and adequately regulated therapy.

That is also why Ukraine is trying to support the idea that mental health will become an integral part of Ukraine’s “reconstruction.” Czech Republic can in this regard offer a helping hand in the sphere of innovative therapy. That is also one of the reasons why a Ukrainian delegation took part in the international conference Novel Mental Health Treatments and Sustainability of Healthcare Systems: Czechia as a Leader of the EU? which took place in Prague.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is being increasingly discussed in Ukraine as a way of treating PTSD. Although the use of ketamine as part of mental illness treatment has been legal since 2017, substances such as MDMA and psilocybin are still banned. With a view to global development, which has been inching towards supporting the medical use of psychedelics, Ukrainian institutions are supporting clinical studies for psychedelic-assisted therapy as an innovative way of treating PTSD.

Medical use of psychedelics in PTSD treatment in Ukraine

The potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy in the context of the war in Ukraine was also the focus of one of the conference panels. The panel was attended by Ukrainian MPs Mykhailo Radutskyi, Dmytro Gurin, Rostyslav Tistyk and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Inna Yashchuk.

Over the course of the day, Mykhailo Radutskyi, Member of the Verkhovna Rada of the Parliament of Ukraine and Chairman of the Committee on National Health, Health Care and Health Insurance praised the Czech Republic and said that the country is at the forefront of psychedelic research in Europe.

See also  EMA workshop: One small step for Europe, one giant leap for psychedelics

“We have a large population suffering from mental health problems, but we will most likely never have enough experts. In Ukraine, we have an information campaign on how to treat soldiers who have returned from the front, and we are proposing a law which would ensure mental health,” Radutskyi stated.

“About 3.5 million people in Ukraine, and not only soldiers and veterans, currently have mental health problems because of the war, over a million war veterans will need psychotherapeutic help, and currently about half of the veterans suffer from PTSD,” said Dmytro Gurin, Ukrainian MP and member of the Committee on National Health, Health Care and Health Insurance.

“Mental health must become an issue and must play a part in the reconstruction of Ukraine. Winning the war is one thing, but we must also win the war on mental health. One way to win this war is through psychedelic-assisted therapy, and our Parliament and the Ministry of Health will support clinical trials.

“I hope that we will soon approve a study researching the potential for treating PTSD through psychedelic-assisted therapy. Our task is to create fitting conditions for future clinical trials.”

State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Inna Yashchuk said: “The Ministry of Internal Affairs is setting up mental health centers all over Ukraine, and I estimate that when we win, 80 % of the people will come to their doctors in need of psychological and psychiatric help. So mental health is not a problem today, but it will be a problem for the future.”

Czech Republic wants to help Ukraine with mental health issues

The event also featured a speech by the Governmental Envoy for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, Tomáš Kopečný, who said: “Ukraine’s reconstruction is not only about physical reconstruction, but also about the mental health of Ukrainian civilians and war veterans, it is about increasing capacities on site, so that the support reach is as effective as possible.”

Other experts also believe that one of the outcomes of the panel discussion should consist in the establishment of a structural relationship between the Czech Republic and Ukraine in the field of mental health, which would include scientific cooperation, exchange of know-how and joint research projects.

Scientific supervision of the ongoing exchange between Czechia and Ukraine in the field of mental health is primarily provided by Professor Jiří Horáček of the Faculty of Medicine at Charles University and director of the Centre for Advanced Studies of Brain and Consciousness at the National Institute of Mental Health, who has prepared an innovative clinical study of using ketamine for the treatment of PTSD in Ukrainian veterans.

In Czech Republic, the topic is also addressed by the Psychedelic Research Foundation (PSYRES). Its director, Jana Bednářová, has said that: “Research about psychedelics is crucial for the future of Ukraine and the Czech Republic. While such research will put Czech Republic on the cutting edge of the field in Europe, without breakthrough solutions for Ukraine, it can take an entire generation to regenerate mental health – in comparison, the physical recovery of the country can be a matter of mere years. Our mission is to enlist visionaries, philanthropists, organizations and the general public to support our research projects and activities and help us make treatment available to everyone who may need it.”

The issue has been resonating in Brussels, Czechia among EU leaders in mental health

The Czech Republic was the first country to put mental health back on the EU’s agenda. The Czech trial in Brussels also leads to the topic of psychedelic-assisted therapy in the treatment of PTSD in Ukraine. The topic was first addressed last year by PsychedelicsEUROPE, a platform focussing on the European regulation of psychedelics. The platform has long been working towards the approval of a new regulatory framework for the medical use of psychedelics on the European single market.

“Mental health is becoming a central issue for the EU. We are a little behind the US, the UK and Australia, but the necessary debate about the regulation of psychedelic substances is coming to Europe. In the same way that psychedelic-assisted therapy can help Ukraine, Ukraine can help the EU in this field by providing data from new research which may help with drafting good legislation. This is one of the reasons why mental health ought to be an implicit part of Ukraine’s reconstruction,” said Viktor Chvátal, founder of PsychedelicsEUROPE.

The event was organised by:

The mission of PSYRES, the Psychedelic Research Endowment Fund, is to provide funding to scientific projects and facilities that focus on innovative treatment procedures in the field of mental illnesses. Our task is to support research and study of the potential of psychedelics and their therapeutic use in psychiatry, neurology and addictology. Our activities help with the preparation and implementation of clinical studies and analyses and with the education of the public. We collaborate with doctors, therapists and researchers who deal in depth with altered states of human consciousness.

Institute for Rational Addiction Policies is a multidisciplinary association of independent and prominent experts who address the issue of addiction from all angles – public and individual health, legislation and other legal implications, including security challenges, and economics including market modeling, tax, economic impacts on public budgets, the field of education and prevention, and finally also the fields of social and sociological and political science.

PsychedelicsEUROPE (PE) is an innovative public affairs mental health platform based in Brussels that brings together leading research centres, NGOs, investors, philanthropists and private companies. Based on the latest scientific evidence, PE advocate in the EU for a regulatory environment that promotes modern therapies, cutting-edge research, and innovative industry.

Continue Reading


Psychedelic therapist training programmes are not fit for purpose

We must learn from our mistakes when conducting Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.



Groundbreaking trial to assess real-world efficacy of MDMA therapy for PTSD

Psychologists, therapists and counsellors play a fundamental role in treating common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. With little advancement in treatments for common mental health issues for over half a century, reliance on therapy to support people with such conditions is extremely high in the UK.

However, most training programmes for these professionals do not focus enough on skills acquisition and we are simply not training enough therapists to meet the growing demand. This will not fix the nation’s mental health crisis.

Don’t believe me? Look at the variance in outcomes between therapists. Look at the sheer number of people in England who are prescribed antidepressants by their GP. The figure now stands at more than 8 million people, with over 2 million having been taking them for five years. Look at the number of people on waiting lists to start therapy. It all points to a fundamental problem where many people, with a common mental health problem, are unable to access therapy that works.

One of the reasons lies in the way we train therapists. On most training programmes, students are assessed as competent to practice through their academic writing and the submission of one or two, self-selected, recordings of therapy sessions. They typically have a placement to apply their new skills. However, unlike other healthcare professionals, these sessions occur behind closed doors, without direct observation. Imagine training a nurse, a surgeon or a dentist like this.

See also  Where can I find training for psychedelic therapy?

This lack of direction observation makes it difficult to know what the trainee is doing with their patients, whether they can consistently deliver therapy with fidelity to the therapy model, and how they interact with patients/clients. It makes it difficult to give the trainee meaningful feedback that will enable them to become better at what they do.

The system encourages higher and higher academic qualifications. However, in my own experience of teaching and supervising mental health professionals, there is no association between competence and the level of academic qualification. Dare I say it, but it is not necessary to have a degree in order to be a highly effective therapist.

This is why Clerkenwell Health has recently launched their Foundations Programme – a practitioner programme for healthcare professionals interested in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy (PAT). Programme participants will be provided with the knowledge required to prepare to safely, ethically and effectively deliver psychedelic treatments.

As we move towards a future where Psychedelic Assisted Therapy (PAT) becomes more mainstream in treating metal health disorders, we must ensure all training programmes robustly assess whether a trainee can consistently deliver high quality therapy that makes measurable difference to patients’ lives. This is what really matters.

Clerkenwell Health’s Foundations Programme leaves no stone unturned. The course explores both the ethical and practical aspects surrounding psychedelic treatments within a regulated healthcare setting, with the teaching delivered by practitioners at the forefront of psychedelic research in the UK, including Dr Sara Tai, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester; Dr David Luke, Associate Professor of Psychology; and Dr Jules Evans, the writer, philosopher and award-winning author of Philosophy for Life.

I asked one organisation, that provides training in PAT, how they selected their trainees, and I was told that it was done “with the gut”. The current approach runs the risk of training a new workforce who are not fit for purpose.

What’s more, all of the existing programmes use ‘psychedelic-psychobabble’. Trainees are taught to ‘trust the medicine’, ‘trust your instinct’ or ‘trust that the participant has the power to heal themselves’. These terms are not widely understood within mainstream healthcare and have, in some cases, led to acts of gross misconduct.

We need a more sober, science-led and evidence-based approach to training. Clerkenwell Health’s Foundations Programme tries to achieve this by providing learners with a thorough background in the history, current state of evidence, treatment modalities, putative mechanisms of actions, and future of psychedelics.

Patient safety, robust standards and clinical effectiveness are of utmost importance in our work at Clerkenwell Health. It’s for these reasons that we’ve launched the Foundations Programme, a course which carefully selects its trainees, assesses their competence and efficacy and is scientifically and theoretically robust. This is not the place where you can try out some psychedelics and suddenly feel qualified to be a psychedelic assisted therapist. This is the place where healthcare professionals come to train in evidence-based practices that are proven and safe. PAT must grasp the golden opportunity to set the standard for a new paradigm in mental healthcare.

If you’re interested in learning more about Clerkenwell Health’s Foundations Programme, you can find out more here:

This article was written by Dr Sarah Bateup, Scientific Advisor at Clerkenwell Health. Sarah has delivered over 30,000 hours of therapy and taught at Kings College London and Exeter University before joining ieso digital health where she helped scale the company from 10 therapists to 1000.

Continue Reading


Psilocybin therapy for end-of-life care supported by 79% of Canadians



The Entourage Effect in Mushrooms: Natural psilocybin may outperform synthetic

A new survey has revealed that over 79% of Canadians support psychedelic-assisted therapy for existential distress at the end of life.

People facing a terminal diagnosis often experience significant distress. Depression, anxiety, existential distress and loss of meaning or purpose can make this type of diagnosis difficult to deal with.

Current treatments consist of counselling of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), but these are not always effective for everyone, creating a need for innovative new approaches to end-of-life care.

Increasing research is now showing that psychedelic therapy may be beneficial for treating existential distress in patients diagnosed with incurable diseases.

For example, a review published in 2018 in Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry found that patients with life-threatening diseases associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety benefitted from the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties of psychedelics.

The studies reviewed anecdotally reported that patients experienced quality of life improvements along with a reduced fear of death.

A randomized double-blind trial carried out by John Hopkins University also revealed that high-dose psilocybin produced significant decreases in depression, anxiety and death anxiety, and improvements in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism.

A further clinical trial from New York University found that 60% to 80% of participants experienced anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects from the treatment, along with benefits for existential distress, quality of life, and attitudes towards death, noting that “the psilocybin-induced mystical experience mediated the therapeutic effect of psilocybin on anxiety and depression.”

Supporting psychedelics for end-of-life care

In light of psychedelic therapy’s inclusion in Canada’s Special Access Programme in 2022, which enables authorised patients to receive access to these therapies if other treatments have been unsuccessful, a team of researchers set out to understand the public’s opinion on the potential easing of rules surrounding the medical use of psilocybin.

The survey, published in Palliative Medicine and carried out by Michel Dorval and Louis Plourde at Université Laval’s Faculty of Pharmacy and researchers from McGill University, Université de Montréal and UQAR, revealed that nearly four out of five Canadians support the use of psilocybin as a treatment for end of life existential distress.

In a statement, Dorval commented: “Studies have already shown that psilocybin, combined with psychotherapy, produces rapid, robust and lasting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in patients suffering from advanced cancer.

“This substance can bring about a profound awareness that leads the patient to view existence from a different perspective. Treatment with psilocybin, combined with psychotherapy, can produce relief for up to six months.

“Our results seem to indicate that the social acceptability of this intervention is high in the Canadian population. If we consider only Québec respondents, the acceptability rate is similar to the national average.”

The findings also revealed that public support for psilocybin is higher among respondents who have already been exposed to palliative care, as well as higher in respondents who have already used psilocybin.

“Having been close to loved ones at the end of life, or having witnessed their distress, could explain this openness to new approaches designed to help people at this stage of their life,” added Dorval.

“There are still many prejudices against psychedelic substances. Familiarity with these substances probably helps to better understand their true effects as well as their therapeutic potential.”

The authors write: “The social acceptability of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential distress at the end of life is rather high in Canada. These findings may contribute to efforts to mobilise resources and improve access to this emerging therapy in palliative and end-of-life care settings.”

Continue Reading


Psychedelic Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. We do not provide medical advice or promote the personal use of psychedelic compounds. Please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2023 Psych Capital Plc