Citation: The Errant Boatman. "A Nootropic, Stimulant, and Depressant: An Experience with Phenibut (exp114968)". Erowid.org. Nov 27, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114968
Introduction: This was my 5th experience with Phenibut. Over the course of me first acquiring it, I experimented with the following does: 0.25 g, 0.5 g, 1 g, 1.5 g, and then the experience being discussed today. 0.25 to 0.5 mg were therapeutic doses which helped with sleep. 1 and 1.5 grams were lightly stimulating and nootropic in effect. After my previous experiences, I decided I wanted to venture into a more recreational experience with Phenibut. I was also curious about potential nootropic benefits, so I had the goal of working on a paper while also allowing for myself to not get much done on it should the drug not be conducive to productivity. My mindset was eager and unconcerned, due to positive effects of previous experiences and an understanding that negative experiences are not commonly associated with this drug. The only potential negative was nothing of note happening, which luckily was not the case. It should also be noted that I suffer from HPPD, and have been for about 2 months at this point. I am taking prescribed clonidine for this condition, as I was thankfully able to find a Neuropsychiatrist who was aware of the condition. The condition is improving, and Phenibut did not seem to worsen it. I had been completely free of psychoactive substances other than Kava root and Amitriptyline for sleep, and I was missing intoxication. The setting was mostly in my room alone, with my brother, dog, and parents being elsewhere in the house. This report is garnered from timestamped notes I took during and after the experience.
T+0:00. I took my first dose of 1.5 grams at 11:00 am, and started to play a video game and watch some youtube videos.
T+1:30. Onset. As with previous experiences with this drug, there is a very long duration between taking a dose and its onset.
As with previous experiences with this drug, there is a very long duration between taking a dose and its onset.
This was actually the quickest onset I had hitherto experienced with Phenibut. Previous doses took 3-4 hours before I started to notice any effects. Going off of Psychonaut wiki duration information, I figured it would be another 1.5-3 hours between now and the peak of the effects. I decided at 2:00 pm I would attempt to work on my paper. I felt identical effects as that I had previously experienced on 1.5 grams of Phenibut: increased libido, increased orgasm satisfaction, empathogenic effects, and intense music enhancement. This is a quite enjoyable recreational dose, although the effects are not particularly intense. I experienced an odd mix of sedation and stimulation comparable to Pregablin or Gabapentin. I noticed mild analgesic effects. These were relegated solely to suppression of pain rather than induction of physical euphoria or full-body orgasm like with opioids. I noticed that my joints and back were less achy than they usually are. I also noticed immersion enhancement effects, as youtube videos and video games were quite enjoyable.
T+3:00. First peak. Surprisingly, the peak of the 1.5 gram dose occurred after another 1.5 hours. It seems that higher doses, and perhaps with higher tolerance, each stage of the experience is quicker. It was 2:00, so it was time for me to work on my paper. I really didnít want to do it and it was like pulling teeth. It took me about 10-15 minutes to finally get on my paper, telling myself that I didnít have to work on it for any set period of time. Once I got going, however, I was able to get an appreciable amount of work done. There was motivation enhancement and extremely mild (perhaps placebo) thought acceleration. I would say this was mildly nootropic in nature, similar to caffeine. After about an hour of work, I decided to take a break, satisfied with what I had got done but hoping I could do more later on. I also experienced increased hunger, which was a pleasant surprise. I ordered some food at this point.
T+4:00. I took my second 1.5 gram dose at 3:00 pm, approximately during the peak of the first dose. My rationale here was that I would be on the offset of the previous dose during the peak of the current dose, to mitigate the risk of an unpleasantly high dose. It should be noted that 1.5 grams is considered a common dose, 3 grams a strong dose, and 4.5 grams a heavy dose.
T+5:30. In accordance with the first dose, I started to notice the onset of the second dose after 1.5 hours. Empathy was further increased and music appreciation was dramatically increased. Music was incredibly enjoyable at this point. Interestingly enough, I listened mostly to Depeche Mode, which is not a band that is typically in my heavy rotation. I also mixed in Captain, Weíre Sinking, which is one of my favorite bands and is more indicative of the orgcore style punk rock I usually listen to. Both bands were really good. I started binge watching a relatively new youtube discovery of mine, FascinatingHorror which makes well-produced and respectful mini-documentaries about tragic or bizarre incidents in history like the the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, the Tunguska Event, and The Strasbourg Dancing Plague. This youtube channel was very highly enhanced by the Phenibut and immersion enhancement was potent. The video game I was playing was also very enjoyable despite it being basic and not all too stimulating. I also started reading about examples of the intelligence of elephants, which brought me to tears. I felt very empathetic towards animals in general. I went and interacted with my dog, which was also very enjoyable. Food arrived and I eagerly consumed it.
T+7:00. Peak effects of the second dose while still being in the high to medium stage of offset for the first dose. This drug lasts for a long time. At this stage, I felt very stimulated, similar to the effects of Adderall. However, I experienced nowhere near the nootropic benefits of Adderall. I found that I had high intensity bursts of productivity which lasted 30-120 seconds. During these bursts, I accomplished far more than I could have in such a short amount of time at baseline, but they were interspersed with 10-30 minutes of playing video games, listening to music, or watching youtube videos or episodes from TV shows. There were moderate analgesic effects at this point; I experienced a complete absence of pain. However, I would still not describe the effect as being physically euphoric or orgasmic. At this point I texted a friend to see when she wanted to chat that night; it was our ritual to chat twice a week on the same days.
T+8:00. At 7:00 pm, I took my third and final dose of 1.5 grams. I was still under peak effects from the second dose and medium offset effects from the first. I noticed even further enhanced orgasm and libido enhancement. I also was hungry again, but decided to hold off on food until the third peak, as I was worried about nausea at the high dose.
T+10:00. At this stage my memory begins to grow spotty. I am not sure if this third dose took longer for onset, or if I simply didnít notice it until later. My understanding of Phenibut biochemistry is that it primarily antagonizes the GABA-B receptor at therapeutic to strong doses, but at heavy doses switches to antagonizing the GABA-A receptor, which results from the drug switching to a nootropic and stimulating effect to a sedating, alcohol-like effect. At this stage, I felt as though I had consumed 4-6 drinks. I was wobbly but not nauseous. I was disinhibited but not particularly inebriated. I had a brief conversation with my parents and I am sure I appeared as though I was completely sober.
T+11:00. Third peak while still maintaining noticeable effects from the first and second dose. The offset of this drug is particularly long lasting. I think I was still under the effects of all three doses by the time I went to bed for the night. I felt quite drunk at this point, as if I had 8-10 drinks. I was very wobbly and slow. I would have appeared noticeably uncoordinated and unsteady. However, I still did not feel as nearly as intoxicated as I would have been on similar amounts of alcohol. I was still coherent and was able to text without making errors and while remaining articulate. I got the munchies again at this point, and ate some strawberry Sour Punch Straws, which were hella good. I was quite disinhibited at this point, and snooped around in my momís office for pills. I didnít find anything, which I think was honestly for the best. I also bought some Noopept online without doing as much research on the substance as I normally would on a new drug. My friend texted back that she wasn't feeling social that night and asked if we could talk on Wednesday instead. I was disappointed at this revelation, but told her no worries.
T+12:00. I think this was the point where I was most inebriated for the day. I felt very drunk and heavily sedated, and I wanted to go to sleep. I also felt nauseous and was experiencing peak empathogenic effects. I brushed my teeth and went to bed for the night, taking some Kava to help me sleep, which was likely unnecessary. In bed, I texted my friend from earlier, asking if everything was okay between us. She had cancelled our planned chat sessions for two weeks at this point, and I was worried something I said had troubled her. In hindsight, this was an irrational fear, but in my character. This was a text I had wanted to send for a few days, but I donít believe I would have sent it without the Phenibut. I also texted a different friend asking her if she wanted to hang out and go on a friend-date some time, as I hadnít gone out much at all since I got HPPD. I tried to go to bed at this point. I noticed some mild closed-eye visuals (CEV) although I am unsure how much CEVs would have occurred if I did not have HPPD. Still, I can confidently say I would not have experienced them without the Phenibut because they were unique. They consisted of amorphous, moving blobs of color, particularly blues and purples. My CEVs on other drugs tend to be warm colors, so it was interesting and pleasing to have a change of pace. My first friend texted back, and it was a very difficult task to read it because of anxiety and also sedation. I noticed myself nodding off, and woke a few times because I found that I was snoring loudly. I eventually was able to read her text, and found out that there was nothing wrong and that she was simply anxious and had been spending time with her new boyfriend. She said she was looking forward to talking on Wednesday. This was a pleasing revelation and I felt very at peace. I then fell asleep. I have insomnia, which has been particularly bad since I got HPPD, but the high dose of Phenibut actually allowed me to stay asleep until my alarm sounded the next morning, which was a very joyous occasion.
T+23:00. The next morning when I woke up I was definitely hungover. The hangover was similar to alcohol but not as intense.
T+23:00. The next morning when I woke up I was definitely hungover. The hangover was similar to alcohol but not as intense.
I felt nauseous and had a very mild headache, the latter of which went away within minutes of me waking up. I also had an aversion to loud noises. Contrary to hangovers, they seemed to make me more nauseous as opposed to causing head pain. I also noticed a strange intensification of HPPD. I say it was HPPD, but perhaps people experience this effect on similar amounts of GABA antagonists. Before getting HPPD, I was not very aware of any visual changes with other drugs, including alcohol and cannabis. It is difficult to describe. It was as if there was a pulsing array of black dots or fuzz at the periphery of my vision, but it was not the same as visual snow. The dots were darker and more superimposed. I was lethargic and simple actions such as brushing my teeth and turning on my computer were slow. At one point I decided to lay down and jumped into bed rather quickly. This was a mistake, as I nearly threw up. I ran to the bathroom because I was so sure I was going to vomit, but thankfully I never did. I was surprised to find that at this stage I was still experiencing empathogenic effects and actually was experiencing the most intense analgesic effects, which extended into body euphoria like a less intense version of opioids. I was also experiencing intermittent tingles and painless shocks on my limbs, primarily my right hand. I initially thought my right hand was asleep when I woke up. These after effects gradually dissipated throughout the day, and didnít fully go away until around 24 hours after the last dose.
Conclusion: Overall, quite a pleasant experience. Phenibut is an interesting drug that seems to have opposite effects at different doses. The most prominent mainstay effects which did not change from dose to dose were increased empathy, increased music appreciation, and immersion enhancement. 1.5 grams was nootropic, 3 grams was stimulating, and 4.5 grams was depressing. The hangover was unpleasant and long lasting although not as intense as would be expected from similar levels of inebriation caused by alcohol. It was very difficult to be productive the day after, so I would only be taking doses exceeding 3 grams if I have two full days where I do not need to do much of importance.
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