2C-I & 2C-B: Research Chemicals Before It Was Cool


The 2C family of drugs is one of Shulgin’s famous progeny. He synthesized over 250 psychoactive chemicals, nearly all of them never having been consumed by humans before. As DanceSafe reminds us, there are 30+ unique chemicals in the 2C family of drugs, including 2C-I, 2C-E, 2C-D, 2C-T7 and 2C-B. So yes, that crazy dude at Entheogen Village years ago wasn’t kidding. That really was a drug name he was talking about & he wasn’t just tripping really hard.

They’re in the class of psychedelics known as phenethylamines, and came to prominence in the late 90’s & early 2000’s until the most populat of them, 2C-B, was scheduled internationally in 2001. Before that, you could still buy it on the internet. And yes, plenty of burners, ravers, psychonauts, taggers & straight-up gangsters purchased a whole bunch online while the getting was good. Sound familiar to anyone? It should, considering Erowid removed the “Research Chemical” label from 2C-B last year. We actually had a drug graduate from “new wackiness” to “yup, the kids are doing that now.”

That’s right, 2C-B & 2C-I served as some of the first examples of “research chemicals” entering the mainstream, especially as MDMA & LSD hit spotted rough patches in availability in the late 90’s & mid-2000’s across the country. Some users came to prefer the 2C’s to LSD or magic mushrooms because of the intense visuals higher doses of the drug provides. While lower doses give people a feeling of connection, at higher doses, many report intense visual illusions & effects. Trails, geometric patterns, carpets breathing & rainbow emanating from what seems to be nowhere, all reported by random users on & off playa of course. These symptoms come without the commensurate crush of thought & “back of the head” work that most report with traditional psychedelics.

This lightness can be a double edged sword. While many enjoy it and use it as a party drug, the lack of mental symptoms can sometimes convince people they’ve not taken enough. Leading many of my friends to the inscrutable “Oh shit the walls are melting” moments after they re-up their dosage. I can say (with confidence) I have seen more people fuck up their dosages & re-dose on the 2C family of chemicals than any other kind of drug. Whether at a burner party, a bar, club, on the deep playa, or at some stupid EDM brand orgy we call a festival now, I’ve seen the intensity knock even the most seasoned psychedelic user on their glowing ass.

It’s a potent reminder of the power of designer drugs. While it doesn’t seem as powerful as LSD or as binding/psychedelic as ayahuasca or psilocybin, set & setting need to be taken into account before doing fistfuls of psychedelics. Additionally, when the difference between the “low” & “high” dose is 5-10mg, dudes at festivals claiming they can eyeball the dose need to be shut down with extreme prejudice.

I do mean this. All of you playa-bound peoples, if you’re not rolling up with a milligram scale, take a pass on this one if some guy says he can dose you out on an index card inside of a tent. Unless you’re a fan of nausea, trembling, chills, anxiety or death, as someone in the UK in 2012 discovered.

2C-I also has a curious side effect that has only been in anecdotal reports around the internet, so hasn’t made it into the clinical documentation. That being one of the longest come-up times of any designer drug I’ve ever seen. When you see someone dose at 11:30 & it not hit them until 2am, you know you’re dealing with something a little out of the ordinary. This is even more of a reason to give yourself time, sometimes 4+ hours, before “doing more” or taking something else. Even in Black Rock City.

Have fun you crazy kids! But be safe, piss clear & don’t re-dose! The playa commands it!

Global Drug Survey 2015 Results

The Global Drug Survey 2015 is the biggest survey of drug use ever conducted, with results from 102,462 people in over 50 countries.

And the winners are:

Image: The Independent/Global  Drug Survey 2015

Image: The Independent/Global
Drug Survey 2015

The previous year’s results (2013) were based on a sample size of 78,819:


Previous Year’s results, 2013

LSD, Amphetamine, and Cocaine use have all dropped. MDMA and Ketamine are about the same. Weed has grown from 48.2% to 55%, perhaps because of the major public moves towards decriminalization and legalization of marijuana all around the world and the accompanying boom in “good news stories” about positive medical benefits.

Research chemicals may be increasing in popularity in the US EDM scene, but the survey shows their use is declining around the world – except maybe in Poland. 


Research Chemical Use, 2014

Image: globaldrugsurvey.com

Image: globaldrugsurvey.com

This year’s results show that the closure of Silk Road in 2013 did nothing to stop drug sales on the Darknet – in fact, quite the opposite. More than a quarter of respondents bought drugs for the first time online in 2014.

Image: The Guardian/Global Drug Survey

Image: The Guardian/Global Drug Survey


The Global Drug Survey has been tracking the rise of e-commerce for drugs for some time now.

British addictions psychiatrist and survey founder Dr Adam Winstock said the safety and quality online drug stores provide is also attractive to buyers.

“Buying things online gives you product range,” he said.

“I think there is an opportunity of getting improved quality. I think some people would perceive it as safer and certainly a lot of people say it’s safer to buy drugs online. There’s less risk of, you know, getting involved in face to face dealing.”

Dr Winstock said while the shift to online may attract new buyers, it is mostly existing dealers making the move at present.

“What we’re seeing is simply a displacement of people who would otherwise buy drugs on the street,” he said. [Source]




2015 how-has-accessing-drugs-via-the-darknet-affected-the-drugs-you-use

Molly and acid were particularly popular for online shoppers.


Image: globaldrugsurvey.com

Image: globaldrugsurvey.com


Buying drugs anonymously over the Internet is much less likely to lead to violence and threats than buying them in person from criminals. The downside is, you may send the money but the product never shows. If it does arrive, you are much more likely to get what you paid for.

Screenshot 2015-06-10 02.37.05



Image: globaldrugssurvey.com

Image: globaldrugssurvey.com

For the first time, the Global Drug Survey compiled a “Net Pleasure Index” from more than 22,000 respondents.

Image: Global Drug Survey 2015

Image: Global Drug Survey 2015

One somewhat surprising finding of the survey was that Hippie Crack aka Nitrous Oxide is the second most popular drug in the UK.

Police intervention was one of the least likely reasons to make someone stop taking drugs.

People who stopped using illicit drugs tended to give responses suggesting they had grown out of using them: 38% of cannabis and cocaine users; and 42% of MDMA users said they made no conscious decision to stop and that “it just happened”. Common responses included “I do not like the effects anymore” and “using it doesn’t fit with my lifestyle anymore”.

Almost no respondents cited police intervention as a motivating factor in stopping. Less than 1% of respondents said they had rethought their behaviour after being caught by the police, and worries about getting caught were cited by only 3% of those who stopped taking cannabis and 2% of those who stopped using cocaine or MDMA. [Source]

In Australia, the high price of imported drugs is leading to a boom in crystal meth, with all the associated negative social issues.


According to the survey, Australians are among the biggest users of prescription drugs.

“The Americans remain the world leaders in prescription drug use but Australia’s not far behind,” Dr Winstock said.

But Australians are increasingly misusing prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and sleeping tablets, Dr Winstock said.

“I think, in part, that’s because other sorts of opiate drugs that are available in Australia are really expensive,” he said. That’s the other thing that probably characterises the Australian drug scene more than anything else … your really expensive drugs.

Dr Winstock said Australia’s strict border security meant drugs were more expensive because they were harder to get into the country.

“It’s really difficult to get anything into your country,” he said. But the high drug prices in Australia mean many often choose to buy cheaper alternatives, including crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

“The fact that you’ve got one that’s incredibly dangerous and is causing havoc for a lot of people’s mental health and well being is a bit unfortunate,” he said. “I think the reason Australia will probably be protected from running into serious cocaine problems is because [it costs] about $350 a gramMost people are probably going to think there’s better ways they can spend their money.” [Source]


Image: globaldrugsurvey.com

Image: globaldrugsurvey.com

Ecstasy in Australia costs about double the global average. Despite this Australians lead the chart in pill-popping.

2015 ecstasy-mdma-dose

Read the official findings for 2015 here.

More videos can be found here, including Alcohol, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Nitrous Oxide.