2CB, 2C-I (TheSite.org, 2010)
The 2C families are relative newcomers to the club scene, so learn about the effects and the risks with TheSite.org
Developed by Alexander Shulgin, the US chemist famous for his work on MDMA, this psychoactive drug is usually sold in the form of small pills or white powder. Part of the phenethylamine class, it is structurally similar to mescaline and MDMA. Fairly new to the UK club scene, 2CB was a popular legal substitute for ecstasy in the mid-80s in America. This drug is generally taken instead of ecstasy or alongside it to extend the high. It is usually swallowed but can also be smoked or snorted.
What are the effects of 2CB? 2CB usually takes around an hour to take effect (although some say the come up time is as little as 20 minutes) and lasts for four to six hours, or longer if taken with ecstasy. This is then followed by another two – four hours where the user may find it hard to sleep.
2CB is very dose sensitive; a standard oral dose is between 10 and 40 mg. At a lower dose the experience is similar to that of ecstasy, while higher doses are reported to combine effects of both ecstasy and LSD
â€¢ This drug gives a similar trip experience to LSD or magic mushrooms but to a gentler degree – heightened visual imagery, acute awareness of body, increased sensitivity to taste, touch, smells and sexual stimulation
What are the risks of taking 2CB? Unpleasant stomach effects can include diarrhea, cramps, and wind
â€¢ Avoid mixing with other drugs, however if you do take 2CB with ecstasy you may experience stronger feelings of euphoria for a longer period, while more intense nausea, anxiety and confusion coming up and coming down are likely
â€¢ Do not take this drug if you are on MAOI anti-depressants. It is also ill advised if you are at risk of depression or psychosis such as schizophrenia. Vulnerable individuals may find they experience psychotic syndromes, visual illusions, panic attacks and depersonalization. It could also trigger latent psychological problems.
Also in the 2C family: 2C-I (aka CID or 2, 5-Dimethoxy-4-odophenethylamine)
There has been a sudden surge of this ‘trippy pill’ on the festival and dance scene since the summer of 2003, as reported by both Mixmag and Drugscope. Another phenethylamine developed by Shulgin, 2C-I is thought to be stronger than 2CB and the effects last longer (eight hours or more). It gives the hallucinatory aspects of LSD but less ‘full on’ along with the energy and chattiness of ecstasy. It comes as a small white 16mg pill with the letter ‘i’ printed on it.
If you are planning on taking 2C-I: This drug can be quite overwhelming. If you must take it, then start on a small dose, some find even a quarter of a pill too much at first
â€¢ Don’t overdo it; it isn’t a drug to abuse, or use regularly. The experience can be scary.
â€¢ Don’t snort it, it’s painful and triples the strength of the drug which can be fatal. Working out the correct dose for taking this drug in powder form is incredibly difficult.
2C-T-7 (aka blue mystic, T-7, 7-up, Tripstacy) Found in both pill and powder form, is still relatively unknown as far as the effects and safety of this drug go. Of the three recorded deaths, two have involved mixing 2C-T-7 with MDMA, although this might just be coincidence. According to Erowid: “2C-T-7 is a psychedelic phenethylamine developed by Alexander Shulgin around 1980. The effects of 2C-T-7 share general similarities with LSD and 2CB. Its length of action is more like LSD.”
The law and the 2Cs:
All drugs in the 2C family are Class A under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Acts which means they are illegal to produce, supply or possess in any form. Maximum penalty for possession is seven years in jail.
Other terms for 2Cs:
Bees, Nexus, Bromo, CB, 2CV.
If you are planning on taking any of the 2C family:
â€¢ If you’ve never tripped before, or even if you have, it is best to do it in the presence of people you know, and in a safe environment i.e. your living room rather than a big disorientating festival
â€¢ If you have had traumatic, sad or unsettling news or experiences in the days before taking this drug it is advisable not to take it or you could have a frighteningly bad trip
â€¢ As with ecstasy, the 2C family of drugs affects the body’s thermostat. Dancing for long periods in a hot place such as a club increases the chances of users overheating and/or dehydrating
â€¢ Long-term effects from regular use, as with ecstasy and LSD, can include extended feelings of fatigue, disorientation and anxiety
â€¢ It is not thought to be psychologically or physically addictive, however some people may use it more than they plan to and tolerance builds up with repeated use.
â€¢ An e-mail undergraduates received from Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs, Jan. 21 mentioned that 2C-I and 2C-E, two types of designer psychedelic phenethylamines, had surfaced on campus. The e-mail described them as â€œclub drugs.â€ Although typical â€œpartyâ€ or â€œclubâ€ drugs have been MDMA (ecstasy), ketamine and GHB, Tom Szigethy, associate dean and director of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Center, said the characterization of 2C drugs as â€œclub drugsâ€ is due to their origin. Theyâ€™re part of a host of different drugs that emerged from the rave scene, which prompted the combining of drug analogs to create different experiences of â€œa high,â€ he added.
â€¢ â€œThe mentality in the rave scene has been that people would accomplish whatever they wanted in life through the use of pharmaceuticals,â€ said Szigethy.
â€¢ Jeff Kulley coordinator of Clinical Services and liaison for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for Counseling and Psychological Services noted that much of the information publicly available on 2C drugs comes from their proponents. 2C drugs are known for their hallucinogenic properties, because those are the effects of use most written about, Kulley said. However, he added that 2C drugs also have stimulant properties, making them similar to ecstasy, which has the characteristics of both LSD and amphetamines.
â€¢ Szigethy said most information on 2C drugs comes from a 1991 book entitled PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved): A Chemical Love Story by Alexander and Ann Shulgin. However, Alexander Shulgin didnâ€™t just write the book on 2C drugs, he designed or created many of them as well, Szigethy added. Kulley said Shulgin is to 2C drugs as Timothy Leary was to LSD.
â€¢ Szigethy noted he was concerned that students were attracted to the drugs because they currently lack legal ramifications.
â€¢ But, according to the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, 2C-B (Nexus), another drug in the 2C family, was listed to Schedule I, first temporarily in the Controlled Substances Act on January 6, 1994 and then permanently in the CSA on July 2, 1995. Because 2C-E and 2C-I are similar in structure to 2C-B, which the Office of National Drug Control Policy states is most often found in powder, tablet or capsule form and is generally orally ingested or snorted, they could be considered analogs of 2C-B. They could, therefore, be illegal due to the Federal Analog Act of 1986.
â€¢ â€œ[2C-I and 2C-E] are likely covered under the Analogue provision of the DEA Drug Schedule as related to other drugs (2C-B) that are Schedule 1,â€ Dr. Cynthia Kuhn, professor of pharmacology and cancer biology and professor in psychiatry and behavioral science, said in an e-mail. â€œAs such, they would be illegal to possess for any reason. This is being tested in the courts.â€
â€¢ On April 4, 2003, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction submitted risk assessment reports on 2C-I, 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7 to the European Council and Commission. The European Council and Commission concluded that the drugs were structurally similar to hallucinogens/stimulants that were previously classified under Schedules I and II. They stated that the drugs should be controlled due to their potential for serious health risks. Some experts did not agree with the decision due to its little scientific evidentiary support. 2C-E is a controlled substance in some European nations such as Denmark, and Sweden.
â€¢ Kuhn noted that the only data existent on the drugs is from incident reports on the Drug Enforcement Administration web site that have been contradicted by people involved in the documented incidents and from user testimonials in Shulginâ€™s book and on Erowid.com.
â€¢ â€œThere simply is not any information from credible sources,â€ Kuhn said. â€œI consulted with the two foremost hallucinogen experts in the country, Dr. Richard Glennon and Dr. Mark Geyer, and they confirm that there are no published reports, and the research community knows little to nothing about these drugs.â€
â€¢ Kuhn adds, however, that the drugs resemble other drugs with â€œknown mechanisms of action.â€ She said 2C-I and 2C-E probably fuel hallucinations primarily through stimulation of serotonin 5Ht2 receptors, but that they, specifically, have not been tested. The risks of the drugs are most likely â€œfrightening and unpleasant reactions depending on the nature of the experience,â€ Kuhn said. She noted that â€œwith large doses, ecstasy-like increases in heart rate and body temperature that could be dangerous,â€ adding that â€œthis is speculation but is possible based on similar drugs.â€ Kuhn said, like all hallucinogens, 2C-I and 2C-E could cause â€œtransient psychotic reactions in vulnerable individuals.â€
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