This is one of a large number of psychoactive substances first isolated by the American libertarian pharmacologist Dr Alexander Shulgin, which collectively form an alphabet soup of psychedelics, of which the better known are DOM, STP, DOB, DOI, and MDMA. Though not new, 2C-B has only recently started to be used as a street drug, beginning to appear in Britain in the mid nineties. Its full chemical name is 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine. Its short name (which is sometimes written as 2CB or 2-CB) may have been chosen because it has a chain of two carbon atoms attached to a ring, hence 2C, with the B added to indicate the presence of a bromine atom. Chemically similar to the amphetamines, 2C-B is an hallucinogen similar to LSD but without some of its more alarming side effects; it is most potent when used in conjunction with Ecstasy (MDMA); it has reportedly been distributed under the street names Nexus, Venus, Eve, and (because of its use with Ecstasy) Synergy. Its possession is illegal.
In April, police said that cut-price ecstasy was flooding the market. One new drug, known as 2CB, can be bought for as little as £3, and another, a stronger variant known as DMT, can be bought for £15.
Guardian, June 1997
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