Phenibut from Amazon? It’s a thing of the past. Amazon used to allow other third-party vendors to sell Phenibut on Amazon.com, but it’s since been banned. This change reflects an increasingly stringent regulatory environment for nutraceuticals in the United States.
Amazon also removed Piracetam product listings during the same time period. Despite these changes, Phenibut can still be legally sold as a dietary supplement over-the-counter in the United States.
The US government is unlikely to crack down on Phenibut sales unless there is a major public safety incident, like deaths linked to Phenibut overdose. The LD50 of Phenibut has been characterized in rodents, but remains unknown in humans.
Where’s the Best Place to Buy Phenibut?
Phenibut is available from these well-regarded nootropics vendors:
Choosing A Vendor: Verdict
I think that BlueBrainBoost, Nootropics Depot and PowderCity have the most compelling value proposition for Phenibut HCL. These vendors have the lowest prices without sacrificing quality control. My next choice would be LiftMode.
Phenibut Vendors Comparison Chart
|Vendor||Quality Control||Price||Free shipping?|
|BlueBrainBoost||3rd-party lab testing ([COA](https://www.bluebrainboost.com/content/images/2015/08/BBB-phenibut-2016.pdf))||$||Over $20|
|Nootropics Depot||In-house lab testing||$$||Over $50|
|PowderCity||3rd-party lab testing (not posted but available on request)||$||Over $20|
|LiftMode||3rd-party lab testing (some results not posted)||$$||Over $25|
|Ceretropic||In-house lab testing||$$$||No|
|New Star Nootropics||3rd-party lab testing||$$||Free shipping over $50|
|Peak Nootropics||3rd-party lab testing (possibly not up to date)||$$||No|
The most important criteria for selecting a nootropics vendor are: 1) quality control (independent laboratory testing), 2) reputation, 3) price, 4) *convenience. *
All of the vendors below are reputable and reliable. Ceretropic has the most novel, high-end products, and is therefore able to charge a large premium for staples like Phenibut.
PowderCity is considered the “Walmart” of the nootropics space. Their products are cheap, and their packaging is minimalistic.
Nootropics Depot has recently overhauled their website and packaging, resulting in significant aesthetic improvement. The company is managed by Matt, who has historically helped the nootropics community with independent lab testing and seems to have a lot of integrity.
LiftMode is managed by friendly people, and (in my opinion), has the most aesthetically pleasing packaging. However, LiftMode has a narrow selection, which may be inconvenient if you want to order a lot of different nootropics in one sitting.
Phenibut HCL vs Phenibut Free Base
Phenibut is available both as a hydrochloride salt and as a freebase. Many pharmaceutical drugs are sold as hydrochloride salts, due to their stability. I am not aware of any difference in efficacy between Phenibut HCl vs the free base variety. Phenibut HCl does seem to be more widely-used.
Chemically speaking, the salt is formed by acidifying phenibut free base with hydrochloric acid. The acid protonates the carboxylic group and the amine group, leaving the free chloride ion to bond ionically with the positively charged quaternary amine.
What the hell is organoleptic identification? It’s a fancy word, but refers to a pretty crude method. The idea is that nootropics users can make an educated guess about the identity of a compound by ascertaining whether online reports match the observed physical properties of a substance. Organoleptic identification is used in the absence of more reliable methods (e.g., melting point test, HPLC).
For reference purposes, here’s Reddit’s organoleptic characterization of Phenibut:
Appearance: White granular powder.
Taste: Ranges from cool and extremely tart (similar to Lik-M-Aid candy) to sour and acidic and electric/caustic. Maybe a little “irritating” in taste.
Phenibut’s Physical Appearance
Phenibut is a white, granular crystalline solid. It’s granularity is reminiscent of table salt. Phenibut is either odorless or has a subtle odor. Phenibut HCl unmistakably tastes very sour, like a warhead (the candy). The hydrochloride salt is obviously acidic has been known to cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort.
Still Wish Amazon Phenibut Was Available?
I know, me too. Amazon affords unparalleled convenience. Nootropics probably shouldn’t be sold on Amazon anyway, and since there are now a number of reliable vendors to choose from, it’s probably for the best.
Phenibut is a central nervous system depressant, but it has limited abuse potential (it doesn’t elicit much of a high). This lack of abuse potential is partly due to its lack of potency. The threshold of detection for Phenibut is a dosage of 150mg-200mg, which is over a hundred-fold higher than the therapeutic dose for most benzodiazepines.
For these reasons, the US government is unlikely to crack down on Phenibut sales unless there is a major public safety incident, like deaths linked to Phenibut overdose. The LD50 of Phenibut has been characterized in rodents, but remains unknown in humans.
Phenibut is a Russian-derived nootropic with anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) properties.
It differs from other nootropics in that it’s a central nervous system depressant, which is why it’s fallen out of favor in the nootropics community. I think that Phenibut does have a place in the psychonaut’s armamentarium, inasmuch as it can be helpful for social anxiety and insomnia.
However, Phenibut probably lacks nootropic effects in healthy individuals. It’s possible that Phenibut would enhance cognition for some individuals, but only if they had severe anxiety/insomnia that was impairing their functioning in the first place.
Phenibut Quick Summary
- Is able to cross the blood brain barrier due to the addition of lipophilic (fat-loving) aromatic ring
- Activates GABA(B) receptors and blocks voltage gated calcium channels 1 link, decreasing neuronal excitability
- Activates GABA(A) receptors at high doses (controversial)
- Decreases anxiety and social inhibitions
- Is a structural analogue of GABA (the neurotransmitter)
- Is most similar to the drug baclofen (which is Phenibut with a chlorine atom at the para position of the aromatic ring)
- Was developed in Russia, where it is used to treat a variety of disorders, but is sold as a nutraceutical/dietary supplement in the US and elsewhere
- Is dangerous in overdose, since it’s a central nervous system depressant
- Phenibut is less potent than other drugs (like benzodiazepines, where only a few milligrams is required for therapeutic effects), which gives people a false sense of security about taking higher than normal doses
- Phenibut is associated with dependence, withdrawal and addiction in vulnerable individuals
- Lacks actual nootropic effects, despite being marketed as a nootropic
Zvejniece L, Vavers E, Svalbe B, et al. R-phenibut binds to the α2-δ subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels and exerts gabapentin-like anti-nociceptive effects. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2015;137:23-9. ↩