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2CB, 2C-i

The 2C family are relative newcomers to the club scene, so learn about the effects and the risks with

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 mid-80s America. This drug is generally taken instead of ecstasy, or alongside it to lengthen 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 despite everything else feeling back to normal
  • 2CB is very dose sensitive. 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
  • 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 diarrhoea, cramps, and wind
  • 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
  • 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 depersonalisation. 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 to 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
  • Don't overdo it, it isn't a drug to take lots of, or regularly. The experience can be scary
  • Don't snort it, it's painful and triples the strength of the drug which can be fatal. Working out the correct smaller 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, there is still relatively little known about the effects and safety of this drug. 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:

  • 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
  • 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
  • As with ecstasy, the 2C family of drugs effects 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
  • Long-term effects from regular use, as with ecstasy and LSD, can include extended feelings of fatigue, disorientation and anxiety
  • 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.

Updated: 10/12/2012

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