2CB is a "phenethylamine" (related to mescaline, mda, mdma etc). It usually takes the form of either a red pill or sometimes a white powder or if mixed with MBDB it may be a white tablet with a or $ sign printed on it.

Its full name is 4-Bromo-2,5-Dimethoxyphenethylamine and it is sold under street names such as "Bromo", "Nexus" and "Spectrum".

What is 2-CB? (source Trimbos institute)

2-CB is a synthetic substance with the official name 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenylethylamine.The chemical structure of 2-CB shows similarities to the hallucinogenic drug mescaline - component of the peyote cactus which is used by Middle-American Indians during ceremonial activities. 2-CB is known under a variety of names, such as Nexus and Erox (pills that are sold in so-called smart shops (see note 1). At the illegal drugs market 2-CB is also sold under the name of XTC. 2-CB is usually offered in pill formulation.

Note 1. Shops where one can buy a variety of substances with putative cognition or libido enhancing properties - often from herbal origin.

Is 2-CB a legal substance?

2-CB has been brought - or will be brought soon - under control of drug laws in several countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France. In order to reduce or prevent a possible shift in the supply of 2-CB from these countries to the Netherlands, the Minister of HWS recently decided to bring 2-CB under control of the Dutch Opium Act. In july 1997, 2-CB has been listed on Schedule 1. This Schedule contains the so-called hard drugs, i.e. drugs with an unacceptable risk of use. Schedule 2 contains cannabis products or so-called soft drugs, amongst others. Possession, trade, production, exportation and importation of both hard drugs and soft drugs have been declared punishable offences by this Act, except for medical purposes, provided permission has been granted by the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports (HWS). The maximum punishments for hard drug offences are considerably more serious than for soft drug offences.

What are the patterns of use and effects of 2-CB?

2-CB is a hallucinogenic substance producing particularly marked visual hallucinations with an intense color play, intriguing patterns emerging on surfaces and distortions of objects and faces. There is also an intensified perceptual experience in other sensory modalities. Where MDMA (XTC or ecstasy) may reduce male potency, 2-CB appears to have sexuality enhancing effects both in men and women. It is therefore not surprising that 2-CB - under the name of Erox - is sold as aphrodisiac. The reaction to 2-CB may be different in the same subject from time to time. The particular psychedelic effects depend to a considerable extent on the prevailing mental state of the user (the set) and the circumstances under which the drug is taken (the setting). Because hallucinogenic effects of 2-CB predominate, it is not so much used at parties but rather at home or outside in nature. However, use in the party and nightclub circuit is rising due to the increasing frequency this drug is offered as XTC.

2-CB may be consumed in combination with MDMA. It is usually taken when effects of the latter wear off. Experimenting with other drug combinations has also been observed. As drug interactions are even more difficult to predict than the separate drug effects it is strongly advised to avoid taking 2-CB in combination with other drugs and also with alcohol.

What about dosages?

A 2-CB trip lasts 3 to 6 hours. The drug is more potent than MDMA and doses needed to achieve noticeable effects are much lower than those needed of MDMA. Effects of 2-CB are highly dose- dependent and there is considerable variability between subjects in their response to the drug. A low dose (5 to 10 mg) has mild stimulating effects. With twice the dose hallucinogenic effects readily appear. High doses intensify the psychedelic effects. The margin between the dose at which an intended psychedelic experience occurs and one that produces a strong unpleasant effect (bad trip) is quite small. This, and the strong dose dependency, imply that great care should be taken at dosing. The dependence potential of 2-CB is low but tolerance may occur following frequent use (more than once a week).

Is 2-CB use harmful?

There is little information about the toxicity of 2-CB. Based on what is known about drugs that are chemically related to 2-CB, some statements can be made about its possible toxic effects. But it must be made clear that any information derived in this way is just suggestive and should be interpreted with caution.

2-CB binds to serotonin receptors ( see note 2) in the brain which probably explains its hallucinogenic effects. Because 2-CB lacks an alpha-methyl group it does not belong to the class of amphetamines - in contrast to MDMA, MDEA ('eve'), MDA, methamphetamine, amphetamine or fenfluramine (weight reducer). In contrast to most amphetamines, 2-CB does not seem to deplete brain serotonin concentrations. This suggests that it probably does not share the neurotoxic properties of some amphetamines.

There are no case histories associated with 2-CB use. As to mescaline - a chemically related substance- there are no case reports of fatal accidents either. Because of its resemblance to mescaline and high affinity for serotonin receptors it is expected that 2-CB may stimulate sympathetic activity and thus increase heart rate and elevate blood pressure and body temperature.

Note 2. Serotonin is a 'messenger substance' or neurotransmitter exerting its actions on the peripheral and central nervous system. Amongst others it is involved in the regulation of mood, sleep, sexual behaviour, temperature and appetite. Serotonin elicits responses through so-called receptors that are located on cells

What are the risks of using 2-CB?

Several factors may increase the risk of adverse reactions. First, effects of 2-CB are noticeable at relatively low doses. Second, the effects are highly dose-dependent. Third, the sensititvity to its effects varies widely between subjects and, finally, the concentration of 2-CB in pills being sold as XTC is often not known. Too high doses may cause very intense psychedelic reactions that can be frightening especially to unexperienced users. If perceptual distortions occur as well as a loss of thought control one might speak of a transient toxic psychosis. These acute reactions can be brought under control by sympathetic handling of the subject, trying to reassure one and to point to the temporary character of the adverse effects ('talking down').

Use of psychedelic drugs at times when one does not feel well increases the risk of bad experiences. Further, persons with psychiatric disorders, epileptic disorders and blood circulation deficits also run an increased risk of adverse reactions when using 2-CB. Hence these situations should be avoided. In general, substance use by pregnant or lactating women is strongly discouraged. Finally, like many psychotropic drugs, 2-CB may impair mental functions and increase the risk of accidents. Therefore persons should not operate motor vehicles or engage in other dangerous activities while under the influence of 2-CB and a certain time span thereafter.

MORE INFORMATION on 2-CB (source: Trimbos Instituut)