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CAS number 66142-81-2
PubChem 98527
ChemSpider 88978
Molecular formula C10H14BrNO2
Molar mass 260.13 g/mol
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

2C-B or 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine is a psychedelic drug of the 2C family. It was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin in 1974. In his book PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved), the dosage range is listed as 16–24 mg. 2C-B is sold as a white powder sometimes pressed in tablets or gel caps. The drug is usually taken orally, but can also be insufflated. It has sometimes been referred to as "Nexus", "Venus", or "Turfington" when being taken recreationally, or purchased.



2C-B was synthesized from 2,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde by Alexander Shulgin in 1974. It first saw use among the psychiatric community as an aid during therapy. It was considered one of the best drugs for this purpose because of its short duration, relative absence of side effects, and comparably mild nature. Shortly after becoming popular in the medical community, it became popular recreationally. 2C-B was first sold commercially as an aphrodisiac under the trade name "Eros" which was manufactured by the German pharmaceutical company Drittewelle. For several years, it was available in Dutch smart shops under the name "Nexus" as predosed tablets, however, it was placed on List I of the Opium Law after being sold without any incidents occurring, and which led to the replacement of 2C-B by other phenethylamine psychedelics like 2C-I, 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7, which weren't controlled substances in the Netherlands at that time (but were banned as well by the Dutch government, after being sold in smartshops for short periods).

Internationally, 2C-B is a Schedule II drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1]. In the Netherlands, 2C-B became a list I substance of the Opium Law, after being legally sold in smartshops, and which led to the follow up by other, at that time, legal phenethylamines. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to subsequently ban 2C-B (as well as 2C-I, 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7). In the United States, a notice of proposed rulemaking published on December 20, 1994 in the Federal Register (59 FR 65521) and after a review of relevant data, the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proposed to place 4-bromo-2,5-DMPEA into Schedule I, making 2C-B illegal in the United States. This became permanent law July 2, 1995.

It is used in the rave subculture, commonly mistaken for and/or sold under the name of ecstasy (MDMA). Street prices range between $10–20 per tablet in the United States when bought in small quantities.[citation needed]

Toxicity and dosage

The September 1998 Journal of Analytical Toxicology reported that very little data exists about the pharmacological properties, metabolism, and toxicity of 2C-B. The relationship between its use and death are unknown.[2] The common oral recreational dose is around 15–25 mg[3], at which visual and auditory effects are experienced.


1000 Milligrams (1g) of 2C-B
2C-B pill with heart logo.

The effects of 2C-B include:

  • The onset, or ‘coming up’, happens very rapidly, usually reaching the peak at about 20–40 minutes lasting any where from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on dosage. When orally consumed, 2C-B has a much longer delay before the onset of effects than when it is insufflated. Oral ingestion generally takes roughly 30–90 minutes for the effects to be felt; while with insufflation the onset may be immediate. 2C-B is also considered one of the most painful drugs to insufflate, with users almost always reporting intense nasal burning lasting as long as 5 minutes.
  • This radical change is not usually overwhelming to most users, but the intensity of the experience can make them nauseated and/or frightened. Plateau effects are reached in about 20-40 min and last for about 2–3 hours, but this also depends on the method of ingestion: with insufflation the effects are more abrupt and intense but have a significantly shorter duration, while oral usage will result in a milder longer experience (occasionally swallowing will significantly increase the effects; depending on dose). The hallucinations are much less intense than LSD with the ‘rush’ that users feel off MDMA and grinding of teeth is often reported in less experienced users. There have been cases where 2C-B has been reported to be more intense than LSD with extremely high doses.

The visuals ‘waver’ or come and go in a carousel-like pattern meaning that when the effect is strong then dies down, users may feel that the trip is over, only for it to come back stronger. The duration as a whole, though is only about 2–5 hours depending on dosage.

  • Some users report aphrodisiac effects at lower doses (5–10 mg).
  • At 5–10 mg, laboratory results have shown to have it produce effects similar to low dosage of amphetamines.[4]
  • At higher dosages (greater than 15 mg) some users consider the hallucinations a “turn-off” or distracting.
  • The hallucinations have a tendency to decrease and then increase in intensity, giving the users a sense of “waves” or even glowing, and are popularly described as “clichéd ’70s visuals” or objects taking on "water color" like textures. Other users have also noted DMT-like Brain movies.
  • While more often than not the effects of the drug render most users unable to concentrate deeply on anything in particular, some can become engrossed in an activity such as watching a movie or playing a video game, effectively having distracted themselves from the visual and auditory effects of the drug.
  • Excessive giggling or smiling is common, as is a tendency for deeper “belly laughs”. Some users report mild “jitters” (body tremors), shuddering breath, and/or mild muscle spasms after snorting (not immediate). Whether these effects are enjoyable is purely up to the user.
  • Some users say that the hit is more intense when listening to music and report that they can see sounds and noises.
  • Some users experience a decrease in visual acuity, although others report sharper vision.
  • At low doses the experience may shift in intensity from engaging to mild/undetectable. Experienced users report the ability to take control of the effects and switch from engaged to sober at will.
  • Increased awareness of one’s body; attention may be brought to perceived ‘imperfections’ or internal body processes.
  • Possible side effects include: mild diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Some users have said to experience a slight irritability for roughly a day or so after use. However, these effects are rare and the drug is generally easier on the body than MDMA (Ecstasy).
  • Severe headaches after coming down from large doses
  • Many users report a lack of “comedown” or “crash”, instead noting a gradual return to sobriety. However, there are reports of hangover effects, especially when combined with alcohol.
  • At doses over 30/40 mg there may be frightening hallucinations and it may induce tachycardia, hypertension and hyperthermia.[5]

The following effects are highly dose-dependent.

  • Open Eye Visuals (OEVs), such as cartoon-like distortions and red or green halos around objects are common. Closed Eye Visuals (CEVs) are more common than OEVs.
  • Affects and alters ability to communicate, engage in deep thought, or maintain attention span.
  • Some users report experiencing frightening or fearful effects during the experience. Users describe feeling frigid or cold on reaching a plateau, while others feel wrapped in comfortable blankets/ultimate pleasure.
  • Coordination may be affected, some users lose balance or have perceptual distinction problems.
  • Effects last roughly 2–5 hours.


Oral Dosage
ED50 10 mg

15–20 mg


21–35 mg

Extremely Intense

>35 mg




2-7 Hours

Insufflated (Snorted) Dosage
ED50 7–10 mg

13–19 mg


20–30 mg

Extremely Intense

>31 mg


2-5 Hours


Unlike most hallucinogens, 2-CB has been shown to be a low efficacy serotonin 5-HT2A receptor partial agonist[6] or even full antagonist.[7] This suggests that the 5-HT2C receptor is primarily responsible for mediating the effects experienced by users of 2-CB, although functional antagonism of 5-HT2A or activation of the 5-HT2A-coupled phospholipase D pathway may also play a role.[6] The rank order of receptor antagonist potency for this family of drugs is 2C-I>2C-B>2C-D>2C-H.

2C-B has been shown to be metabolized by liver hepatocytes resulting in deamination and demethylation that produces several products. Oxidative deamination results in the 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-ethanol (BDMPE) and 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylacetic acid (BDMPAA) metabolites. Additionally, 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxybenzoic acid (BDMBA) can be produced also by oxidative deamination. Further metabolism of BDMPE and BDMPAA may occur by demethylation. Alternatively, the later metabolites can be generated by demethylation of 2C-B followed by oxidative deamination.

There is species differentiation in the metabolism of 2C-B. Mice hepatocytes produce 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-phenol (BDMP) a previously unknown metabolite. 2-(4-bromo-2-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-ethanol (B-2-HMPE) was produced by hepatocytes from human, monkey and rabbit but not by dog, rat and mouse.[8] 2C-B also reduces aggressor responses in drugged rats.[9]

Legal status and scheduling

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs added 2C-B to Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances in March 2001. LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline are in the more restrictive Schedule I.

Although still available through online stores in some countries as a "research chemical" not for human consumption, 2C-B is scheduled as a drug in most jurisdictions[10]. The following is a partial list of territories where the substance has been scheduled.

  • Australia: Controlled and on the list of substances subject to import and export controls (Appendix B: Substances Subject to import and export controls).
  • Brazil: Controlled substance, making production, distribution, or possession illegal.
  • Estonia: Schedule I.
  • Canada: CDSA Schedule III[11] as "4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxybenzeneethanamine and any salt, isomer or salt of isomer thereof".
  • Japan: Scheduled Summer 1998. Previously marketed as "Performax".
  • Netherlands: Scheduled on July 9, 1997.
  • Norway: Schedule II[12] as of March 22, 2004. Listed as 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine.
  • Poland: 2C-B is schedule I (I-P group) in Poland.
  • Spain: Added to Category 2 prohibited substances in 2002.
  • Sweden: Schedule I in Sweden on Jun 13, 2002.
  • Switzerland: Listed in Anhang D[13] of the DetMV and is illegal to possess.
  • US: CSA Schedule I Section (d) Subsection (3) 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine.
  • UK: All drugs in the 2C family are Class A under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act which means they are illegal to produce, supply or possess in any form.

See also


  1. ^ "List of psychotropic substances under international control" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  2. ^ Drug Enforcement Administration (May 2001). "2C-B (Nexus) Reappears on the Club Drug Scene". Press release. Retrieved 2006-10-04. 
  3. ^ "Erowid 2C-B Vault : Dose/Dosage". 
  4. ^ Bronson ME, Jiang W, DeRuiter J, Clark CR (1995). "A behavioral comparison of Nexus, cathinone, BDB, and MDA". Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 51 (2-3): 473–5. PMID 7667371. 
  5. ^ Carmo H, Hengstler JG, de Boer D, et al (January 2005). "Metabolic pathways of 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B): analysis of phase I metabolism with hepatocytes of six species including human". Toxicology 206 (1): 75–89. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2004.07.004. PMID 15590110. 
  6. ^ a b Moya PR, Berg KA, Gutiérrez-Hernandez MA, Sáez-Briones P, Reyes-Parada M, Cassels BK, Clarke WP. "Functional selectivity of hallucinogenic phenethylamine and phenylisopropylamine derivatives at human 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A and 5-HT2C receptors." Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2007 Jun;321(3):1054-61. PMID 17337633 doi:10.1124/jpet.106.117507
  7. ^ Villalobos CA, Bull P, Sáez P, Cassels BK, Huidobro-Toro JP (April 2004). "4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B) and structurally related phenylethylamines are potent 5-HT2A receptor antagonists in Xenopus laevis oocytes". Br. J. Pharmacol. 141 (7): 1167–74. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705722. PMID 15006903. 
  8. ^ Carmo H, Hengstler JG, de Boer D, et al (January 2005). "Metabolic pathways of 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B): analysis of phase I metabolism with hepatocytes of six species including human". Toxicology 206 (1): 75–89. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2004.07.004. PMID 15590110. {
  9. ^ Muehlenkamp F, Lucion A, Vogel WH (April 1995). "Effects of selective serotonergic agonists on aggressive behavior in rats". Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 50 (4): 671–4. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(95)00351-7. PMID 7617717. 
  10. ^ "Erowid 2C-B page". 
  11. ^ "CDSA Schedule II". 
  12. ^ "Norway Drug Schedule". 
  13. ^ "Switzerland Drug Law" (PDF). 

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