NP&PP department, psychedelics

How does 2C-B compare to psilocybin and placebo regarding subjective effects, mood and cognition?

2C-B is a hallucinogenic phenethylamine derived from mescaline. First made by the grand wizard of psychedelic biochemistry Sasha Shulgin in 1974, 2C-B became his favourite of the “magical-half dozen” of substituted phenethylamines. Published in his seminal book PIHKAL, 2C-B promptly reached the wider world of recreational users.

However, despite being the most popular 2C-X compound around, little is known regarding it’s effects – let alone how it might compare to the classics (think LSD, MDMA and psilocybin).

Here, we checked out for the first time it’s effects in a double blind study of 22 volunteers who were administered modest doses of 20mg  2C-B, 15mg psilocybin and placebo on separate days.

Well what did we find? It seems that 2C-B shows a profile really compatible with what we know about psychedelic 5-HT2A agonists, just lighter in specific realms pertaining the mystical or anxious realms of ego dissolution.

Interestingly, people reported less negative emotions under the drug and felt less impaired, despite showing similar outcomes to psilocybin on cognitive tasks!

These findings may point to 2C-B have a clearer headspace that it’s classical brethren. Going forwards, we’ll be seeing what it’s actually doing to the brain, bodily perception and whether it may have any possible persisting effects.

Of course take these findings with a pinch of salt. While markers subjective drug intensity was well matched, we only used fixed doses of each drug. This is because no previous study has assessed it’s effects in a lab, let alone quantified it’s receptor occupancy. So it may be the case differences may be the result of differing pharmacokinetics!

We invite all labs to study it further – currently little is known regarding its receptor occupancy or effect on most preclinical models of psychedelic effects.

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