The not so common phenibut bolsters a triple effect: enhanced mental capacity, decreased anxiety, and improved sleep patterns. Though marketed as a nootropic supplement, it serves better as an anxiolytic. Chemically speaking, phenibut resembles GABA, an important neurotransmitter and mood regulator.
In high-stress circles, phenibut is dubbed “the Soviet chill pill”.
Developed circa 1960, phenibut is still widely used in its motherland, Russia. In 1975, Soviet scientists made it a part of the Apollo-Soyuz mission and encouraged its use in national cosmonauts. Nearly every condition from stuttering and alcoholism to depression and anxiety found its treatment (if not cure) in phenibut, now also used as a mild sedative before and after surgical procedures across Russia.
But the story of phenibut is less known beyond Russian borders. In the rest of the world, the mysterious drug is marketed and sold as a nootropic supplement with strong anti-anxiety effects. Even though it can be bought over-the-counter, phenibut remains unregulated and unapproved by the FDA.
As an anxiolytic, phenibut shares many beneficial properties with other anti-stress nootropics like L-theanine, Ashwagandha or Kava. Physical relaxation and increased social behaviour complement its gentle effect on mental capacities, primarily attention and focus. While some users report a slight memory boost as well, nearly all of them praise it for its positive contribution to a good night’s sleep.
Phenibut mimics one of the body’s main neurotransmitters, GABA, while binding to the happy hormone, dopamine, at the same time. Both GABA and dopamine act as mood regulators – the first prevents the brain from getting overexcited, and the second brings the feelings of joy and happiness.
Even though provenly effective (in both theory and practice), phenibut is still subject of controversy. FDA keeps postponing its official approval not because it doesn’t deliver the promised benefits, but because it tends to over deliver them. In cases of irresponsible use, phenibut is addictive; it kicks in pretty fast, lingers on for quite some time, and starts to build tolerance after only five to seven days.
When used responsibly, however, phenibut is a brilliant aid. It helps eliminate or at least ameliorate symptoms of both generalized and social anxiety, thus making a user relaxed and friendly at the same time. Improved focus and memory are gladly received side-effects, while feelings of physical tranquillity and mental preparedness together contribute to improved and longer-lasting sleep cycle.
Its potential to treat stress-related conditions like continual nervousness, frequent panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and insomnia is phenibut’s strongest suit
Phenibut Benefits and Effects
Wherever you look, phenibut is labelled as a nootropic. Be they organic or synthesized, these “smart drugs” typically rewire the brain in order to protect it from physical and chemical attacks, simultaneously increasing memory, enhancing mental clarity and focus, improving the overall mood and reducing common symptoms of stress. Needless to say, phenibut possesses all of these qualities.
But phenibut is still better described as anxiolytic. Its potential to treat stress-related conditions like continual nervousness, frequent panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and insomnia is phenibut’s strongest suit. The supplement’s main health benefits stem from these anti-anxiety properties, first documented and researched by Doctor Izyaslav Lapin very recently, in 2001.
Here’s everything phenibut can do.
Anxiety and all of its Forms
Anxiety comes in all shapes and forms, among which generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias are the most common ones. Physically, it manifests itself through symptoms like chest pain, palpitation (irregular or unusually strong heartbeats that resemble a heart attack), tingly, numb, sweaty, or cold feet or hands, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, tense muscles, and dry mouth. Alone, they are not much; together, they make a foolproof indicator.
Even though anxiety is not abnormal – everyone feels anxious from time to time – continual and overwhelming worry, obsessive fixations, drastically low self-esteem, and irrational and excessive tension all call attention to something different: a group of mental illnesses that need to be treated.
Whatever the type, anxiety can meddle with your ability to live a normal life. It almost always leads to physical changes, ranging from mild cases of fatigue to severe conditions like asthma, digestive disorders, and heart disease. Even when it lasts for a very short period of time, anxiety is still disabling.
Phenibut as an Overall Mood Enhancer
As an addition to behavioural changes, phenibut can eliminate common symptoms of anxiety and help you live a more fulfilling life. Its effects are purely biochemical – phenibut, like all other nootropics and anxiolytics, binds to neurotransmitters and hormones in a positive way, consequently improving the mood. The brain is then able to shake off negative thoughts, let go of irrational worries, and stop overworking unimportant details. The results are extreme calmness and the ability to function normally.
Phenibut for Tension, Phobias, and Insomnia
Being potent enough to rewire the brain, phenibut successfully treats a wide range of anxiety-induced and anxiety-like conditions. Whether you’re dealing with chronic worry, experience irrational fear that borderlines with phobia, or have difficulties functioning in social environments, phenibut can help you.
It first manages excessive tension, then prompts the brain into thinking “Hey, this is not all so bad”, and eventually relieves the user of all psychosomatic consequences of anxiety. This includes fear and phobias as symptoms of low self-esteem, just as well as depression as a frequent sidekick of one’s inability to deal with stress. Improved mental state then inevitably leads to a better quality of sleep.
Phenibut as a Social Anxiety Relief
As a social anxiety solution, phenibut delivers a unique blend of sedation and stimulation. The stress is lowered, and so is inhibition, but cognitive abilities and good judgement remain impaired. Physically relaxed and mentally sharp at the same time, a phenibut consumer experiences enhanced sociability.
Such fusion of sedation and stimulation is much healthier than we give it credit for. With alcohol and anti-stress prescription drugs, for instance, a user experiences either cognitive confusion or drowsiness, sometimes both. Though both eliminate tension, they can hardly make you any friendlier.
As a social anxiety solution, phenibut delivers a unique blend of sedation and stimulation. The stress is lowered, and so is inhibition, but cognitive abilities and good judgement remain impaired.
Phenibut for Anxiety-Related Disorders
PTSD, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, hyperactivity, balance disorders, and stuttering have all been linked to anxiety by numerous experts and their studies. In practice, phenibut is said to deliver positive effects on each. Its calming properties on these anxiety-related disorders are yet to be scientifically proven.
From Focus to Creativity to Euphoria
Whether because anxiety influences neurological functioning, making us unable to perform advanced cognitive tasks, or because all nootropics improve mental capacity, phenibut has been described as a “smart drug” too. Some users have reported enhanced memory, problem-solving, and even creativity.
Phenibut as a Mind-Enhancer
It might be that phenibut’s anxiolytic properties relieve a user from fears of failure and consequently boost self-esteem. It might also be that phenibut acts like a mind-enhancing nootropic in every sense of the word, thus gradually rewiring the brain and allowing it to be much faster, better, and stronger.
Be as it may, phenibut will probably boost your focus and alertness, while keeping you calm at the same time. You’ll think fast, but not at spinning speed. Memory retention is allegedly another cognitive boon of this nootropic, and some users claim to feel and experience music like on MDMA.
Phenibut for Motivation and Libido
The prevailing sense of well-being, coming from both increased self-esteem (triggered by mental calmness) and enhanced cognitive abilities, naturally increases one’s motivation and libido. To many users, phenibut provides the much-needed help in learning environments and bedroom situations alike.
How Phenibut Works
The biochemistry of anxiety puts neurotransmitters, hormones, and some enzymes at the very heart of this stress-related health issue. It goes without saying that anxiety can be triggered by external factors too, which in most cases only accelerate the breakdown of biochemical mechanisms developed for regulating the overall mood. Stress affects your neurotransmitters, causing more stress in return.
Alongside serotonin, thyroid hormone, epinephrine, and endorphins, GABA and dopamine play a crucial part in the biochemistry of anxiety. The first is a neurotransmitter responsible for levelling the playing field between brain fatigue and overstimulation, and therefore has a huge impact on the mood. Dopamine, on the other hand, works just like chocolate does – it makes you irrationally happy.
Phenibut affects both GABA and dopamine in a positive way. The nootropic’s interaction with these two mood regulators makes it a mood regulator itself, potent enough to stop the old hamster wheel of problems and worries, and to make you more cheerful, sociable, and mentally sharp at the same time.
Phenibut and GABA
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short, is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. When levels of naturally occurring GABA are low, the brain becomes easily overstimulated. Though GABA supplements do exist, some scientists are still sceptical about whether or not they actually work.
Scientific opinions on this conundrum tend to fluctuate across the board, with multiple studies resulting in mixed results. The main cause of uncertainty is the so-called blood-brain barrier, which is difficult to penetrate – GABA supplements may not be able to cross it, but phenibut definitely can.
The chemical profile of phenibut is nearly the same as that of GABA, but it comes with one important difference. Unlike GABA, the Soviet chill pill includes an additional phenyl group molecule or ring, which allows it to sneak through the blood-brain barrier and reach the neurotransmitter’s receptor.
Once that happens, phenibut restores the balance by lowering levels of neural over-excitement in the brain. More specifically, the neurons responsible for sending neurochemical messages then become way less sensitive, blocking all information except for the most important ones from causing stress.
Phenibut and Dopamine
Being the main source of scientific answers to phenibut-related questions, Lapin’s study from 2001 claims that this tranquilizer and nootropic drug binds not only to GABA receptors, but to another happy hormone as well – dopamine. By stimulating its receptors, it also increases the dopamine levels.
As another neurotransmitter linked to mood regulation, dopamine affects our emotions, promotes our motivation, controls our pleasure/pain cycle, and stimulates the brain’s reward system. It’s found in chocolate, green tea, and apples (among other super-foods), and is increased with exercise and sex.
Basically everything that makes you happy has something to do with dopamine. If its levels are lower than they should be, the results are apathy, fatigue, low motivation, sociability and libido, sleep problems, and frequent moods swings – generally everything that triggers the notorious PMS mood.
When I first heard about phenibut’s ability to battle social anxiety, I screamed “Shut up and take my money!” Though I’m not your typical introvert, long and lonesome study sessions have made me isolated to the core.
After a failure or two, my self-esteem dropped as well. Sooner than I knew, I was pretty unable to dance, talk, and think (in that exact order) in a room with more than two people.
The first thing I noticed upon ta
king phenibut was a sense of simplicity and ease with the world. You know, it’s that feeling we have as kids, when everything suddenly becomes quiet and at peace. I guess the experts are calling it “extreme calmness” or “mild-to-moderate sedation”; I’m calling it “bliss”.
My experience with phenibut was part serene, part euphoric. It kicked in pretty fast, an hour or two after I took it on an empty stomach, and lasted for five hours straight, with some lingering traces throughout the day. The brilliant blend of sedation and stimulation that I mentioned before was without question the most surprising effect, and the best thing I’ve ever felt after any other nootropic.
Apart from that, I noticed a feeling most users describe as a sense of “overall well-being”, as I felt more relaxed and unwind, but clear-minded and alert at the same time. I went to a small get-together with a few of my close friends, and found that I was generally more confident, talkative, and social.
I stopped using it pretty soon, not because its effects were any poorer after a few days, but exactly because they were so great throughout the experiment. Time and time again, I’ve been told that phenibut might be addictive, that it builds up tolerance very fast, and that withdrawal is not pleasant.
My state of “bliss”, similar to a mild high, lasted for two months, before I consciously made a decision not to overdo it. All that time, I never used phenibut more than three days in a row – as recommended by a friend, I took lower dosages for three days straight, and then paused for another two or three.
If you ask me, that’s the perfect amount of phenibut. Around 250mg per day is just enough to get you started, although an optimum dosage may vary from person to person. I met people who were taking about 1000mg every day, and felt great, but I also met those who responded terribly to high dosages.
Being so potent, phenibut is better consumed on its own. If you still want to experiment with stacking, do it responsibly and in agreement with your doctor. For a further enhanced and longer-lasting mood-enhancing effect, phenibut can be mixed with nootropics Bacopa Monnieri and phosphatidylserine.
Phenibut Side Effects
Absolutely no one can argue that phenibut isn’t the best nootropic for social anxiety, but it still doesn’t mean that you should take it on a whim. This nootropic comes with quite a few negative side-effects, neither of which you should be worried about if you stick to the recommended dosage and stacking.
Tolerance to Phenibut
Even though I had neither phenibut tolerance nor phenibut withdrawal in my experience, the things I’ve heard from other users urged me to use it responsibly. From what I’ve felt, I guess that with phenibut less is actually more. Since it takes no longer than five days for tolerance to build up, and considering that this nootropic shouldn’t be used for more than three days in a row, phenibut seems like a drug that delivers its promised benefits only as long as it’s not taken for longer than two months.
Vivid Dreams, Numbness and Drowsiness
Unlike marijuana, for instance, most nootropics regulate your sleep cycle without inhibiting your dreams. The case is the same with phenibut, but there’s a potential downside you should be aware of. While in most users phenibut promotes pleasant, vivid dreams, a handful of them have reported recurring nightmares. My guess is, that’s what happens when you try to fight off anxiety with pills alone, instead of combining them with a much-needed behavioural treatment and self-analysis.
Numbness and drowsiness are another uncommon side-effects of phenibut. Since the effects of this anxiolytic are part sedation and part stimulation, any unexpected kind of pain or symptom of fatigue is probably a consequence of poor dosage and stacking. In case you start to feel a little numb or to experience a sensation similar to drunkenness, lower the dosage or skip a day or two. If side-effects return when you start using again, phenibut might unfortunately not be your smart drug of choice.
Where to Buy Phenibut
Even though a lot of nootropics can be found in local health food stores, phenibut requires some over-the-counter research. For the time being, online specialty vendors are the only reliable source. We recommend AbsorbYourHealth as an online trusted supplier.
Whether you need to feel at ease with your thoughts or safe among your friends, phenibut’s anxiolytic properties will make you relaxed, confident, sociable, and even mildly euphoric. As a nootropic, phenibut won’t make you smarter, but it will certainly open your mind to new and exciting notions. Though the Soviet chill pill might be a bit more difficult to handle, a responsible use prevents any sign of tolerance or symptom of negative side-effects. To enjoy phenibut to the fullest, handle it with care.