Phenibut is one of the most popular nootropic substances out there right now. That’s because it’s affordable, easily obtainable in money countries, and its effects are notable.
However, what I want to get across you in this Phenibut usage guide is that it’s not all happiness and positive effects.
Phenibut can come with some bad side effects. It’s one of the worst nootropics for getting away from if you are a regular user.
So what I want to do here in this quick review/guide is tell you everything you need to know about Phenibut. Positive effects, and problems with side effects and withdrawal.
Plus, it similarity to just taking GABA for nootropic benefits, effects by dose and generally, whether you should mix Phenibut and alcohol, and where you can buy a Phenibut supplement that’s safe and potent.
A Quick History Of Phenibut
Phenibut was developed in Russia during the 1960s. It was developed to treat problems with sleep, anxiety and stress, and some other conditions such as ADHD.
It’s still widely available on prescription in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, and many other countries within the sphere of the old Soviet Union where it was developed.
However, despite it’s widespread use, it hasn’t actually had that much rigourous testing amongst the general population. It has a range of problems that can be quite bad, and it’s because of the lack of rigourous study and medical consistency that Phenibut still is so widely available.
It was famously used by Russian cosmonauts, which is why it’s known as the cosmonauts or spaceman’s smart drug (although these days with course have to say astronaut rather than spaceman).
It was used by cosmonauts to ease the anxiety at takeoff and during landing through the atmosphere. That’s when things get tricky, and Phenibut help to ease anxiety, increased focus, and enhance mental capability.
How Phenibut Works
Phenibut works as an analogue of the main human inhibitory neurotransmitter, called GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid).
GABA helps to regulate the impulses that occur between nerve cells in the brain. That helps to calm us down by ensuring that messages between nerves are not overexcited.
This is the complete opposite of glutamate, which is our main excitatory neurotransmitter. This makes as more vigilant, alert, upbeat, and active both physically and mentally.
The GABA receptors create a sense of relaxation. They help to reduce anxiety and regulate our moods. So Phenibut keeps you calm.
However, Phenibut is also an agonist of the dopamine receptors. That means it up regulates dopamine production and keeps the dopamine in the system longer.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter linked to focus, determination, and reward seeking behaviour. So you’ll get determined, focused, satisfied, and at higher doses, a feeling of mild euphoria (especially when you achieve something).
So overall, these are the effects you will get from using moderate doses of Phenibut:
- An increased sense of control and focus
- Positive attitude and happiness
- Greater feeling of accomplishment
- Improved focus on important tasks
- Better motivation
- Enhanced cognitive performance
- Greater calmness and lowers anxiety
Now you can see exactly why Phenibut is so widely used. Let me now talk you through exactly what the benefits by dose can be in practical terms
Phenibut Effects: By Dose & Benefits Per Dose
Phenibut effects by dose will obviously depend on the level of dosage you take. However, as set of typical feelings and benefits will always be felt, although sometimes they will be imperceptible until after the event.
Mostly, people who use Phenibut report an increased sense of calm and confidence. One of the main reasons people use this smart drug is for social confidence, particularly amongst introvert and those who have anxiety.
Although you can get a Phenibut high, this is only at extreme doses, and it’s not recommended. If you want to get high, there are far better ways of doing it then using Phenibut.
So what we are looking at in terms of the main effects and benefits of using Phenibut are confidence, reduction in anxiety, and increased motivation.
Another point I will make about Phenibut dosage is that it requires time to build up. Although you will feel an immediate benefit at higher doses, at lower doses the effects have to build up over several days.
That leads to a situation where people think they are not getting any benefits, so they up the dose. This is needed, and can lead to higher levels of tolerance and dependence.
Overall though, the benefit of taking Phenibut is around calmness, confidence, motivation, and an increased level of focus. Overall, people describe it is like having a few drinks, but without the decline in motor skills and mental aptitude.
That’s why Phenibut is still prescribed in Eastern Europe for ADHD sufferers, despite the fact that there are more appropriate modern medications with less potential for tolerance or dependency.
Is Phenibut Hard On The Liver?
Phenibut enters the bloodstream after being metabolised by the liver. This is a process that can take up to 4 hours, but usually happens in around two hours.
Many substances can be hard on the liver, and Phenibut is one of those substances at higher and more persistent doses.
If you are in a regular user, a few days at a time, a couple of times a month, then Phenibut is really no harder on the liver the most other medications or chemicals.
Are Phenibut Nootropic Supplements The Same As GABA Supplements?
Because the main effect of Phenibut is to mimic the activity of GABA, people wonder if Phenibut supplements could simply be replaced with GABA itself, minimising the unwanted side effects that persistent Phenibut usage can bring.
The problem with GABA supplements is that GABA itself has trouble crossing the blood-brain barrier, a problem Phenibut gets around.
GABA isn’t well studied, but some of those studies have found that very large doses are required to get even a small dose to where it’s needed.
On the flipside though, a lot of people swear by GABA supplements, saying that they are great for reducing ADHD symptoms, increasing focus, and helping to lower anxiety.
One study found that GABA had a better effect on anxiety levels than some prescribed medications and widely used L-Theanine.
However, as I say, the actual chemical evidence seems to suggest you will need a very high dose to get anywhere near the same benefits as taking a dose of Phenibut.
How Long Does It Last? Phenibut Duration & Half Life Information
Phenibut is slow acting. You have to take it for several days and allow the effects to build up so that you can get the maximum focus, calmness, and confidence from it.
A single dose doesn’t have a very long duration, just a few hours. It’s at that more consistent daily dose level that the effects become pronounced, usually kicking in fully after three or four days.
When used under prescription, it’s actually recommended to dose it three times per day, rather than once. So Phenibut seems to work best with a constant drip, drip, drip, supply rather than a single strong dose.
But saying it’s slow acting doesn’t mean that the Phenibut half life is long. In fact, it’s calculated at around five hours. That explains why it’s required to be dosed at multiple times per day to build up to consistent level of benefit.
How Good Is This Stuff? My Experiences With Phenibut Supplements
Phenibut is good if you want it for the right reasons. Phenibut supplements can be beneficial, as has been shown by their prescription for more than 40 years.
They can really help you socially, and I found that anxiety was significantly lowered when using Phenibut in moderation.
It’s also good for confidence and calmness. If you need to achieve something, moderate dose over a few days can really help you to get that project finished.
Plus, it can really help to encourage you socially. If you struggle with social anxiety then it can really help to turn that corner when it comes to key social occasions.
You’ll also get cognitive enhancement. Some people claim you don’t, but it’s simply untrue. The increase in serotonin and dopamine alone allows you to feel more positive and focused. It certainly builds up, but it definitely helped people with ADHD to focus, which means it will help other people as well.
So yes, pluses of Phenibut are that you will get a higher level of sustained attention, you will get lowered social anxiety, and you’ll feel calmer. That was definitely my experience.
I wouldn’t describe it as a social drug though. Although you’ll feel calmer, and a lot of people using it experience a feeling that everyone are talking to is somebody they know, rather than a stranger, it’s not euphoric, and it’s certainly not a long-term solution.
Phenibut Dosage Range
So what does a typical Phenibut dose look like?
Well, the common dosage is around 500 mg per day, split into three doses. Medically, people talk about topping out at around 750 mg, split into 3 x 250 mg doses.
Recreationally, I’ve seen people talk about 4000 mg, 4 g of Phenibut. That’s extreme, and certainly the level at which you would very quickly suffer from a dramatic drop in the effects felt (growing tolerance), and the risk of significant withdrawal symptoms when you stop.
Of course, it depends what you want to use Phenibut for. If you want to use it over a few days to get a cognitive confidence boost, then something around 750 mg three times per day will be fine.
For a way out there single experience, maybe 2000 mg, but that’s something you should be doing more than once every month or so.
And as I’ve already mentioned, if you do need to get off Phenibut, then you will need to taper down, and the higher the dose you are used to, the longer that will take.
Can You Take Phenibut With Alcohol Safely?
Phenibut messes with several key chemicals, specifically GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.
But overall, it’s a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol is another CNS substance.
At high doses, the pair of them together can overwhelm you. This can lead to sedation and slower and shallower heartbeat.
Although the general population should be an issue, if you already have a slow heartbeat, then it could be fatal.
Likewise, if you take large doses of alcohol and Phenibut, it could put you into heart stopping level of sedation.
Therefore, I simply cannot recommend that you experiment with Phenibut and alcohol together.
What About Problems With Withdrawal Symptoms When Getting Off Phenibut?
Phenibut can be really beneficial as a cognitive enhancer, and confidence booster.
However, what a lot of Phenibut review skip over is this issue around withdrawal symptoms. But more than that, it’s also about tolerance.
I’ve experienced this, and read it so many times. Your first Phenibut dose is always your best. Then you read about people who go through the experience of ever increasing doses trying to chase that initial feeling again. This is something that kratom also seems to do in some people.
So the negative problems you have with Phenibut as a supplement for non-medical purposes are:
- The possibility the physical and emotional addiction
- Rapidly increasing tolerance
- Significant withdrawal symptoms
- Long lasting journey to get free from withdrawal symptoms
Let’s not sugar coat this, it’s well known from a lot of people who the experience Phenibut, that it’s quickly and notionally addictive because it alleviates things like anxiety.
It also suffers from the problem of rapidly increasing levels of tolerance. Within a few weeks you will be taking significantly higher doses than you would be at the beginning.
Plus, if you want to stop taking it, the withdrawal symptoms can be significant. In line with trying to get off benzodiazepines or alcohol.
Overall, Phenibut is great if used very occasionally specific purposes. But if you use it more frequently than that, especially at higher doses, you do stand a significant chance of having problems around addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal, that can last for months.
Where Should You Buy Phenibut From?
I’ve seen some real rubbish out there on the Internet claiming that you can buy Phenibut over the counter in the USA, UK, Australia, and elsewhere.
That’s absolute nonsense and completely untrue. Currently, Phenibut is not available under prescription anywhere other than Russia, and it’s certainly not available on open sale through shops or pharmacies/chemists in any country that I’m aware of.
The only way to get your hands on a smart drug like Phenibut is through the online grey market. That’s where independent lab to recreate the formula, make the powder, and it’s then processed into pills, liquids, or sold as powder, by the company’s buy it in bulk.
Phenibut is very affordable, even dirt cheap. But that is unfortunately another problem, because it can lead to people taking larger doses and increasing the risk of tolerance.
Phenibut HCL is the most common form available. This is hydrochloric salt format, where the free amino acid reacts with salt. Taking it is simple, because it can simply be dissolved in water. It isn’t the most efficient way of taking it though, all the most efficient format of Phenibut.
Phenibut FAA is Phenibut free amino acid format. This is the format that is suitable for sublingual administration. So it can be placed under the tongue, and absorbed more readily and speedily. This form is not suitable for dissolving in liquid though, which is a mistake many people make.
For me, I would experiment with the FAA format Phenibut first, because it can be sublingually administered, bypassing the need to mess around with powder and liquid. However, for some people, it does have a bitter taste they cannot tolerate the 15 minutes or so that it takes to be absorbed.
If that’s the case, go for the HCL format Phenibut. You don’t have to use water, you could use something with more taste to it, to get around some of the bitter taste the powder has.