There's a line in the subjective effects list describing Phenibut as "significantly more recreational than alcohol or benzodiazepines". Any idea or reference for this, even anecdotally? I can't imagine, personally. -- sunfilter
@sunfilter: Both ethanol and benzodiazepines enhance GABA receptors; gabapentoids effectively function like endo-GABA due to their agonism to the GABA receptors. That is, they are substantially stronger and may be lethal when combined with benzodiazepines. --Kenan (talk) 13:45, 12 June 2017 (CEST)
- @sunfilter: There seem to be at least two distinct populations that use phenibut. One is those who tend to identify as nootropic users, who use it at doses that primarily produce long-lasting, mild-to-moderate anxiolysis (doses under the 1 gram range or so) that evidence suggests is due to direct GABA-a agonism as Kenan suggested (or perhaps α2δ-1 calcium channel blockade which is the primary activity of pregabalin which is also not particularly recreational until you take it past the recommended dose range). Then there are those who are better defined as "recreational users", who use it as a "legal high" or grey-area pseudo-research chemical due to its euphoriant properties at doses beyond this range (doses starting at around 2-3 grams tends to produce a distinctly different response in all the reports I've reviewed). At this dose range, the effects seem to shift from functional anxiolysis to inebriating disinhibition as observed with benzodiazepines or ethanol at higher doses.
- I remember briefly skimming through a paper the other day that says the GABA-a direct agonism has not been fully established, but if this is the case I suspect it is because they are using at doses equivalent to the ones used by the nootropic-user population (IIRC). So my random guess that I'm too lazy to go deeper into right now is that the recreational aspects of phenibut only become apparent at doses that elicit the GABA-a agonism. F-Phenibut, which functions as a more potent and rapidly acting analog of phenibut, has been reported to elicit strong states of euphoria that is said to be almost GHB-like. I also suspect this direct GABA-a agonist properties that both phenibut and f-phenibut presumably share induces dopamine release in the mesolimbic pathway (i.e. the "reward pathway") through some indirect mechanism or downstream interaction. But anecdotally, you can find plenty of reports of phenibut's distinct recreational/rewarding/reinforcing properties here: https://erowid.org/experiences/subs/exp_Smarts_Phenibut.shtml Whether that justifies the "significantly more" is fairly subjective though I'd say; it could probably be more accurately re-worded Clarity (talk) 09:20, 13 June 2017 (CEST)
In the section quoted below, it states that phenibut is highly caustic, and therefore SHOULD be taken on an empty stomach. I'd expect the opposite to be true and so it struck me as an obvious typo - I've not edited it however as in truth whilst understanding the words I've not the first clue what the "ionization state" referred to really means...
So, raising it as a query here instead.
"Phenibut hydrochloride is highly caustic and in many sensitive users can cause intestinal discomfort and diarrhea with some lower digestive tract bleeding. The digestive issues can present themselves within an hour of dosing, or not occur until the next morning. This compound should therefore be taken on an empty stomach as the ionization state of the compound dictates its absorption. After dosing there will be an acute rise in stomach acidity and high doses can cause acid reflux, vomiting, and nausea."
@Corax: I have no idea where this information came from. Due to the confusing wording and lack of citations, I decided to just remove it from the article. If someone reads this and can back the veracity of this claim with the proper citations and reasoning, feel free to add it back in. --Clarity (talk) 02:08, 18 January 2018 (CET)
This is largely, although not all, based upon personal experience so I can't supply references - so opening the subject for discussion instead of editing. I understand that (unlike Wikipedia) PsyconautWiki inherently has to rely on personal experiences though, and all of this is written from a neutral PoV. I'm a n00b editor, so be gentle with me if I'm totally off track... and someone please tell me if I should have just made the changes.
Definitions below (in italics) from https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Duration.
- "The onset can be defined as the period of time until the first noticeable changes in perception become apparent."
- Four hours IME, so seems about right.
- Come up
- "The "come up" can be defined as the period between the first noticeable changes in perception and the highest intensity of subjective effects. This is colloquially known as "coming up.""
- The "come up" is about 4 hours I think. This info is particularly important given the GABAergic nature of the substance (see my new section below) and the long onset - thus risk of overdose through re-dosing. From my reading this appears to be a real issue. If harm reduction is a primary purpose of the wiki, this ought to be here.
- "The peak can be defined as the height of intensity for the substance's effects."
- Good information here could also be valuable for harm reduction, in the same way as the above. I suggest 4 hours. It's certainly a long time in relation to comparable substances.
- "The offset can be defined as the amount of time between feeling the full effects and coming down into sobriety. This is colloquially known as "coming down.""
- Not sure - but I believe as much as nine hours. The reason I'm unsure is because of the definition; nine hours is right IMO for the first sentence, but doesn't fit the colloquial "coming down" as I've heard it used. My personal experience of a colloquial usage is an unreliable measure of how the world at large perceives a term though.
- After effects
- "The after effects can be defined as any residual effects which may last after the experience itself. This is colloquially known as a "hangover" or an "afterglow" depending on the substance."
- Another one that it's important to get right for harm reduction, as people may plan to drive to work (for instance) the next day when they're still unfit to do so. In terms of risk to both themselves and others, this is essential information for []. Nothing I can suggest for this, but numerous people report a "hangover" effect.
- @Clarity: :@Josikins: :@Oskykins: - any thoughts on the two sections above, or know of someone who might? Or am I not Wikinauting right?Corax (talk) 01:26, 2 January 2018 (CET)
- @Corax: Thanks for bringing this to our attention and apologies for the late response. I agree that the unusual duration of this substance warrants a more detailed breakdown for the purposes of harm reduction. I've gone ahead and updated the 'Duration' article and a more detailed breakdown of the phenibut time course. Let me know if these changes seem reasonable to you. --Clarity (talk) 03:56, 18 January 2018 (CET)
- @Clarity: Looks good to me. Maybe a bit longer for after effects? At large doses I think they're still noticeable at least 24 hours after initial ingestion.
Shouldn't this page have the standard red skull and crossbones warning that other GABAergic substances have? GABAergic status as per https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/GABA#GABA_receptors
- @Corax: Yes, it should. Thanks for pointing this out!The warning panel has been added. --Clarity (talk) 01:33, 17 December 2017 (CET)
1) Here's a particularly unpleasant effect I experienced after a *very* high dose - finding myself trapped in an inescapable "thought loop" where the end of one thought led inevitably to the beginning of the first one, and round and round and round it went. The only way out was once I fell asleep. I suspect if anyone had witnessed it they may have called an ambulance, and A&E would have diagnosed it as general "drug induced psychosis." Don't know if it deserves an entry - it was only after a moronic quantity.
2) "Dissociation"? As an after effect, I've felt in some way detached and apart from the world, whilst operating within it, for some time afterwards. It's only after it's lifted that I've been able to put a name to it, but I'm unsure of the correct terminology or where/if to add it.
- @Corax: 1) Yeah, that definitely sounds like drug-induced psychosis to me :-/ I hope you're alright. May I ask how much you took specifically? Either way, I think it's safe to assume that this is a byproduct of an overdose, and not a primary pharmacological property of the substance. 2) I think what you're thinking of is depersonalization/derealization, which can be described as in terms of psychological dissociation. In this case, I do think this is an effect of the phenibut rebound. I will add this in now. Thanks! --Clarity (talk) 08:32, 31 January 2018 (CET)
- @Clarity: Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking. Only remembered in in flashback half way through the next day. Even at the time, I kind of knew it for what it was, but I think I would have been something of an incoherent rambling mess obsessing about *how we could in fact be the same person experiencing the world through multiple lives over and over again until we find the perfect existence, and maybe we in fact created existence ourselves and the entire universe only actually exists inside the mind of us all, who are in fact a single being* Or something... Ummm.... :-/ :-D
- On that occasion, over the course of the day, it totalled... 44g. Yeah, I know. I'm a bit unusual though, I should be dead multiple times by rights (for other reasons), and I've yet to experience any kind of major withdrawal from phenibut even after ramping it up to about 24-30g (which I find to be a nice personal sweet spot) for many days on end. Steep taper, and I'm done. Eg 32g Wed, 28g yesterday, 10 today, all fine. Will go 6, 4, and zero and expect no issues with that. Nonetheless, that experience was not one I wish to repeat. Neither is the occasional sleep paralysis, which is a new thing for me and really horrible. Needless to say, I am not a good example that anyone should copy... :-/
@Clarity: a few more:
3) Twitching/jerking, both during and for up to 24 hours after. Totally uncontrollable jerking of the hands, mainly. Eg suddenly dropping whatever you're holding, even when concentrating on it fully. Occurs during phases of high doses.
4) *Nodding" - I think, maybe. This can occur out of the blue, and are only brief - ie seconds. A very fast loss of consciousness, followed by full awakeness instantly. I've headbutted the desk in front of me on a couple of occasions, or fallen sideways out of bed whilst trying to read. I'm unsure how much of this is the substance though, and how much may be pure sleep deprivation...?
5) Lucid dreaming. More detailed and convincing than anything I've experienced- to the extent that on waking it's taken a few minutes to establish which version is reality. I'll not detail as I know that's boring... but it's truly amazing. Disconcerting, but not necessarily unpleasant.
@Clarity this one is perhaps more interesting. I think of them as "temporal blips". These happen at relatively moderate doses, so might be worth some thought.
To describe: When listening to to music I'll go through a period where I'll think the tracks are corrupted, as they'll skip slightly. On listening again I find they're fine. It's as though my consciousness has been removed for the briefest period possible. It's so short that it is for only a single drumbeat. I'd never notice it at all if I weren't listening to something. Corax (talk) 03:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
- @Corax: The effects you are describing are difficult to link to the pharmacological properties of the substance. At this point, it seems like they could better be accounted for by a neurologist. It seems like you may be in a chronically sleep deprived state, perhaps having phenibut constantly in your bloodstream (assuming you are dosing in such a manner as to sustain this) is disrupting REM sleep. I'm not going to lie, I have serious concerns for your health, specifically for organs like the liver. Please go get a full health check up as soon as possible. Things can't keep going on like this =/ Feel free to message me if you'd like. --Clarity (talk) 05:33, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
- @Clarity: That's kind of you, but there's really no reason to worry. I've regularly tapered down to zero and maintained it for periods with no hint of a problem. I have zero symptoms of liver problems - eg https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502. I've experienced substance dependency before and have no wish to repeat it, and am thus well on guard against the risks of what I'm doing. I also gave my liver one hell of a beating in years past, and when they ran tests in my final days they found it was... fine. As was everything else. They were a bit surprised. I sleep well and none of any of those effects persist into the next day. I'm working during the day, and performing well. I appreciate your concern, but it's misplaced. I'm now seeking much more the 'nootropic' effects of Phenibut, but have enjoyed the experience of pushing its boundaries, and have kept detailed hour-by-hour logs of my experiences. None of this has been willy-waving, but purely because I'm a curious mofo with an oddly high natural resilience, which makes it relatively safe for me to do so. It's been for my own curiosity, but having stumbled across psychonaut I thought that this would be the appropriate place to share it? If not, I guess I can collate stuff and whack it on reddit or something.
ETA: I'm a bit pissed off tbh. Or maybe just disappointed. I thought this was a place with a genuine exploratory attitude, instead of the well meaning paternalism that's so often the case. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand where it's coming from, but I'm a 38 year old with extensive psychoactive experience, not some kid who's just been given his first taste of sherry. I'd have messaged you with this but I'm not sure how and I've got too much of a childish strop on to bother finding out now. And yes, I'm aware of the irony in what I'm posting...
- @Corax: Okay, well you know yourself better than I do. Do keep in mind that this is a public discussion space, and that I'm necessarily operating on limited information. If I hear someone has taken 20+ grams of phenibut a day, and I don't know the specific circumstances of that person's life, I'm going to be concerned as a matter of course. There's no reason to take any offense to what I say. If you're in good health and I was wrong to assume that you weren't, then I'm glad. That being said, I still think the underlying point that the effects you are reporting may not be generalizable enough to include in our pages stands. You are of course, entirely welcome to keep reporting them here, as long as it's understood that they're going to be taken as preliminary evidence and avenues for future investigation. Otherwise, you're going to have to be more specific as to what effects were experienced at what doses and with what degree of tolerance (natural or acquired) for me to be able to properly contextualize and interpret them. Feel free to submit them in trip report format if you'd like. --Clarity (talk) 03:33, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
- @Clarity: All good and reasonable. I'll leave it there.
- @Clarity: On further research, I'm pretty sure that all of these effects can be attributed to temporary low blood pressure syncope, so whilst not great, neither a cause for great concern. More pertinently to this wiki though, they're as you say, not direct pharmacological properties of the substance then - but perhaps worth feeding in to the data IYKWIM.
Usage as Tripping Aid
I'm not a frequent user of anything but I really enjoy combining trips with Phenibut. Matches its pharmaceutical use case etc. Phenibut seems to strongly reduce trip anxiety whilst enhancing sensory experiences unlike stronger depressants that severely blunt the trip.. I did my research before my first time trying it, other people also have positive reviews. Should Phenibut get a section mentioning usage as a trip aid?
Unwarranted statements on phenibut being "caustic"
The line "Phenibut hydrochloride is highly caustic and in sensitive users can cause intestinal discomfort and diarrhea with some lower digestive tract bleeding", currently marked as "citation needed", should be removed unless it can be backed with any evidence. Anecdotal evidence points to Phenibut not being more acidic than a soft drink, for example this Reddit post in which someone measures the pH. --P002 (talk) 15:52, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
I was just browsing and noticed onset is shown as 1.5-3 hours. Phenibut definitely comes on slow, but the lower end of this seems too high. I very often notice first effects on an empty stomach at about 45 minutes. What are others' thoughts?