Let’s start with the basics of what Phenibut is and what it isn’t. The field of herbal and over-the-counter anxiety medication is still in its infancy, but the use of Phenibut is ready to explode during our lifetimes, as researchers gain increasing understanding of why and how it affects the brain. Phenibut is a synthetic chemical which is structurally similar to GABA, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that has relaxing and sedating effects. As a medicine, it has many uses.
For many people, movies like The Aviator and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind offer a glimpse into the possibility of “a pill that can help you relax and be happy,” and while that fiction is a long way from reality, the possibilities – in fact, present-day certainties visible in the daily news – are nevertheless extremely exciting.
You may have heard Phenibut called one of its many different names: beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid, “phenyl-GABA,”“Noofen”“fenibut,” or “phenybut” — they all refer to the same chemical.
“Anxiolytics” is a general term for the class of compounds known as anxiety reducers – herbal or chemical substances that lower anxiety and consequently, enhance mood and learning ability. However, within this general umbrella of “things you can eat that make you calmer,” there are many variations as far as reasons for taking, and also differences in perceptible (and measurable) effects, potential for use and abuse, and the spillover impact on other neurochemical processes in the brain.
Why Is Phenibut Just Now Beginning to Go Mainstream?
Many of the most popular “anti-anxiety nootropics” (Piracetam, Picamilon, and some Benzos) have been around for decades but are still known only in medical circles or among esoteric practitioners of herbal medicine. Why is this?
If these compounds have proven psychological benefits, why are they not ubiquitous? How come every grade-school child gets fluoride for the development of their teeth (despite fluoride’s being a known neurotoxin) but not, say, Piracetam to clear the brain fog of anxiety and depression? Why does the nightly news slant stories to appeal more to a fear-of-change than the promise of a tranquil future?
There is no clear answer to this question. Many of the these anxiolytics have decades of medical research and widespread use behind them, as well as only minor, manageable, or nonexistent side effects, but are still used primarily as a crutch for people already experiencing anxiety disorders, rather than as a nootropic-booster for people with healthy brains.
Probably most significantly, any use of the term “drug” has a significant negative connotation in our culture. Phenibut is a “drug”, and “drugs are bad.”
Uses of Phenibut
There are nine primary uses of Phenibut: anxiety, alcoholism, insomnia, stress, fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, nootropic (memory, learning, and cognition), and premature ejaculation. Despite some overlap and no clear border between some of these indications, Phenibut manifests its effects through the same pathway within the brain — GABA signaling.
All ethics aside, there is ample proof that use of Phenibut can greatly reduce anxiety, and where there is an advantage to be gained – even where risks are involved – some people will leap at the chance to capitalize. At Corpina, we anticipate the social tide will continue to turn in favor of effective anxiety medication (herbal and synthetic), and that the beneficial effects to users who choose to take control of their brains will inevitably outweigh the costs.
Everything you need to know about Phenibut
Scientific studies demonstrate that Phenibut can be safely used to treat anxiety and depression.
Anecdotal reports suggest that it may be helpful in treating a number of other ailments as well.
Researchers have found that Phenibut significantly diminishes tension, alleviates fear, and improves sleep, while enhancing memory and cognitive functioning.
Additionally, it also appears that Phenibut may help to reverse some of the effects of aging.
A number of athletes report that Phenibut improves their performance, and some body builders use phenibut to help them build greater muscle mass during their workouts.
Phenibut appears to have revitalizing and rejuvenating effects on the body, possibly by increasing growth hormone levels, and it seems to improve skin and muscle tone, as well as general health and overall well-being.
Although Phenibut is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States, and although pharmaceutically Phenibut is classified as a drug, it is nonetheless available here, and in much of the world.
Phenibut is generally marketed as a dietary supplement, without a prescription, and it is easily found online, as well as in many vitamin stores.
Although most people aren’t aware of Phenibut, it’s not new, and it has a long track record of safety and efficiency.
How Much Phenibut Should You Take?
Doses range from 250–1500 mg, usually taken two or three times daily. This varies by indication and the health needs of each individual.
Side Effects Of Phenibut – The Good and The Bad
There are very few negative side effects; however, Phenibut can be harmful if abused. Many users say they feel a bit sleepy, however this effect is not nearly as pronounced as with benzodiazepine usage.
Tolerance has been reported with extended use of high doses (e.g. 5–10 grams) of Phenibut.
There are numerous reports of withdrawal symptoms on internet forums.
One reported case of withdrawal involves “nervousness and shakiness, psychomotor agitation, feeling easily annoyed and irritated, fatigue, poor appetite, heart pounding and racing, nausea, insomnia, and feeling tense and keyed up”, consistent with its GABA-B agonist properties.
There has been no systematic study of this problem.
How phenibut came to be
Phenibut was first synthesized in Leningrad, Russia at the Russian Institute of Experimental Medicine.
Phenibut is mandated standard equipment in a Russian cosmonaut’s medical kit. The use of “conventional” tranquilizers for stress and anxiety makes patients drowsy, which was deemed unacceptable for cosmonauts.
Phenibut, however, lowers stress levels without adversely affecting performance.
How long does it last?
Although the chemical half-life Phenibut is only 5 hours it’s effects generally last much longer.
In some respects, it almost seems like Phenibut is a bit like the “methadone” of GABAnergic drugs (drugs that stimulate the GABA receptors in the brain, like alcohol and benzodiazepines), in the sense that a single dose can last for up to 36 hours.
Typically, there are two phases to a phenibut experience. The first phase, which can last from 12 to 36 hours, tends to be primarily sedating.
Second Phase of Phenibut
The second phase, which lasts for around 12 to 24 hours, tends to be primarily stimulating.
However, both phases of the Phenibut experience combine it’s sedating properties with its stimulating properties, due to activating both GABA and dopamine receptors.
Will breaking apart phenibut capsules speed them up?
However, there is a downside to using bulk powders: you will need a scale though to weigh the powder, or resort to measurement by eyeballing. To capitalize on Phenibut powder benefits without the hassle of first hand measurement, you can buy capsules then break them apart.
Broken capsules are the same as powder
Bodybuilders often do this with creatine capsules in their post-workout shakes, and it works equally well with Phenibut.
So to answer the question: yes, breaking apart Phenibut capsules speeds them up and also saves the time and hassle of measuring the powder with a scale.
How to fill your own pill caps
Most people who use nootropic powder in bulk will simply mix their powder into water or juice to take. Fat soluble pills (like aniracetam and pramiracetam) are the one exception that need to be mixed into milk in order to properly dissolve.
However, if you are taking several nootropics at once you might find it more convenient to prepare your stack ahead of time rather than constantly measuring out dosages of multiple raw powders. That is where buying empty pill capsules and filling them yourselves can come in handy.
You can purchase pill caps at very low prices and then use a simple siphon to fill them with your favorite nootropic powders. This can make it easier to travel with your nootropic stack and improve your cognitive performance even when you are on the go.
Phenibut crystal granules or powder form?
This is a question that comes up a lot. There is a deluge of misinformation on the internet about phenibut, mostly about how much someone should take or what vendor to use. In our introduction to phenibut, we suggested Liftmode as a preferred vendor, and later recommended dosages based on publicly available research and user reports.
If you’ve shopped around a bit online, then you know that many leading phenibut vendors and brands sell either a pure powder form, a crystal granule form, or both.
What’s the difference?
Not much. The powdered form is the crystal form ground down into a powder. A small number of reports claim that the powdered form is a bit faster acting; however, this is anecdotal at best. On the other hand, many users appreciate the slower onset and longer “peak phase” that happens with the crystals.
Further, the crystal granules are slightly cheaper than the ground down powdered form, so this would be a personal choice.
Steer clear of phenibut withdrawal
If you have an addictive personality, you are prone to phenibut withdrawal by taking too much powder. From all accounts both scientific and anecdotal, they are painful and depressing. If you decide to buy phenibut powder, DO NOT take it everyday. I wouldn’t recommend taking it any more than 2-3 times a week.
Phenibut intensifies the effects of alcohol, but this would be a worse decision than taking too much.