2C(-B/E/I) or not 2C – just say know.

Know Your Stuff with KnowYourStuffNZ

Image, chemical structures of 2C-B and 2C-I

2C or not 2C is the question, so we’re going to highlight some of the 2Cs. This family includes 2C-B, 2C-E, and 2C-I, with similar effects and risks for you.

Unfortunately, 2C-B, 2C-E, and 2C-I have had reports of hospitalisations and long-term impacts thanks to shitty mixes made by shitty people or impurities and high dose experiences. SO – come and get your 2Cs (or any drugs!) tested with us (read more about our service here). And if you’re going to take them, then we strongly advise doing the following

Measure your risk

The 2Cs, particularly 2C-B, are very dose sensitive – just a few milligrams more can create a much more intense effect. 2C-I is less safe than the others at a higher dose, so don’t eyeball it! Use a milligram scale to measure your dose, and if you’re under 80kgs we recommend a lower dose. The standard doses for ingestion are:

2C-B: 15-25mg
2C-E: 10-15mg
2C-I: 10-20mg

If you have a history with mental health curveballs, send these 2Cs for six and give them a wide berth. The 2C family are psychedelics, so there’s a chance of having to deal with anxiety and significant mood swings. There have also been reports of panic attacks, confusion, and paranoia.

Mix and match your outfit, not your drugs

We strongly advise against take 2C-B, 2C-E and 2C-I with other substances or if you are on prescription medication. Let’s deal with some of the deets:

  • MAOI antidepressants like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Zelapar and so on – mixing these increase your chances of life-threatening levels of serotonin (= dangerous).
  • Alcohol – it can be particularly dangerous to mix 2Cs with alcohol because alcohol can substantially increase the risks of 2C stimulant-style effects (see below).
  • Cannabis – cannabis can unpredictably intensify the effects of 2Cs and therefore increase the risk of things like anxiety and psychosis. Read – not much fun. If you’re going to, start with just a fraction of your usual cannabis dose and take long breaks between hits.
  • Other psychedelics or stimulants – these are likely to increase the intensity of effects leading to a shit time with things like thought loops and anxiety, and an elevated risk of paranoia or confusion

TL; DR – that top does look good with those pants, but that cap doesn’t go with your 2Cs.

I’ll be there for youuuu

Who doesn’t love Friends!?
Exactly. Ensure you take substances in a supportive environment with trusted friends and when you’re in a good mental state.

And you’ll be there for me toooo

These substances can increase your libido. So, remember, like the advice we gave in our methamphetamine post

  • If it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a fuck no. Enthusiastic, informed consent is key. It’s also important to have a conversation about boundaries before dosing – you’ve got to be there for each other so have a conversation about what might happen if you’re going to be having an emotionally close time with your people.
  • Condoms, dental dams, and lube are your friend (and we’ve already established that everyone loves friends) and help stop the not-friends like chlamydia and HIV from ruining your day.

How will it make me feel?

2C-B, 2C-I, and especially 2C-E are known for having spontaneous bodily sensations that can feel like your body is glowing. These substances also significantly amplify sound, visuals, and touch; and can cause very colourful and active hallucinations. Users have also reported enhanced empathy and euphoria.

On the flip side, those bodily sensations can feel like a significant load, and result in intense pins and needles and other physical discomfort. Other shitty experiences have had users dealing with headaches, nausea/vomiting, teeth grinding, and insomnia.

2Cs can be intense and overwhelming. Make sure you have somewhere you can go to take it easy for a while. Know where a chill space is and be ready to use it if you need to. Taking a break can be the best thing you should do to get through an excessive experience.

While they are psychedelics, 2C-B, 2C-E, and 2C-I also have stimulant effects and users might behave like they have taken MDMA or LSD. 2Cs can make you energised and alert while equally restless and at risk of a dangerously high heart rate.

How long will it stay in my system?

As with any drug, how long you will feel the effects of 2C-B, 2C-E and 2C-I depends on individual body weight, tolerance, metabolism, and personal sensitivity – basically what makes you, you. We’re all unique so no one number will be the same for everyone. 2C-P is a rare drug that lasts even longer than these three – up to 20 hours – and has been associated with deaths, so we’re hoping it stays rare.

2C type Onset Duration After effects
2C-B 1-1hour 40mins 3.5-6 hours 2-4 hours
2C-E 1-2hour 45mins 5-8 hours 6-24 hours
2C-I 1-2hour 15mins 5-8 hours 6-24 hours

Information Sourced from Psychonaut June 2021

Like the dosage information, these numbers are based on ingestion. We do not recommend snorting because it carries its own set of risks:

  • Snorting 2Cs can be very painful. You’ll have to deal with that pain while coming up rapidly.
  • Snorting potentially irritating powders can damage the nasal lining leading to injury, loss of sense of smell, and long-term respiratory problems
  • Snorting also means that much of a substance goes directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and liver filters. This lack of filtering can exacerbate negative effects that can come with 2C-B, 2C-E, and 2C-I, such as intense physical discomfort, nausea, and anxiety.

You can read more about these risks in our blog post on why snorting is a bad idea.

The more you know

Image, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin in his lab, The Farm
Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin in his lab, The Farm. Image by Lorenzo Tlacaelel on Flickr

2C-B, 2C-E and 2C-I were all discovered by Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin during his efforts to document over 150 psychedelic phenethylamines in his 1991 book PiHKAL (“Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”).

Shulgin originally synthesised the 2Cs hoping they would be used as a therapeutic aid. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of information out there on the 2C family in general, which creates a tricky catch-22: without information there’s not enough justification to conduct clinical trials (which are crazy expensive) to better understand certain effects or dangers. With increased interest and clinical work on MDMA, it will be interesting to see if any conclusions from this work highlight potential links to other substances Shulgin synthesised, and whether this provides justification for further studies into the likes of the 2Cs.

Before it was made illegal, 2C-B was sold under the alias’ of ‘Nexus’ and ‘Eros’ as an aphrodisiac.

Legally speaking

All 2Cs are illegal in Aotearoa under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. This is different to most drugs, which are regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act, but the end result is the same – it’s illegal to buy, sell, or possess.

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