Unfortunately, GNC Phenibut is no longer available in stores (or on the GNC website). But high-quality Phenibut, in powder and capsule form, is widely available on the internet.
Where To Buy Phenibut Online
Though GNC Phenibut is not available, Phenibut can be purchased online from a number of nootropics vendors.
Though GNC Phenibut is no longer available, GNC does sell other nutritional supplements that may help alleviate both stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking for Phenibut alternatives, I recommend things like l-theanine, glycine, and magnesium. I’ve written previous about the best nootropics for social anxiety; many of these nootropics have analogous effects to phenibut.
Phenibut Organoleptic Analysis
Organoleptic analysis refers to the practice of using your senses to validate the identity of a compound. Obviously, laboratory testing is much more reliable. However, organoleptic verification can also be helpful to make sure a compound wasn’t mislabeled.
Phenibut powder should appear as a white crystalline powder. Phenibut has an acidic, sour or caustic taste due to the hydrochloride counterion.
Most Phenibut available online is actually Phenibut hydrochloride (HCl), though some vendors also sell the free amino acid, labeled Phenibut FAA. Unsurprisingly, it’s the Phenibut HCl that has an acidic, sour taste.
How Phenibut Works
Phenibut alleviates anxiety, facilitates sleep, and decreases social inhibitions in a manner analogous to alcohol.
Phenibut may have therapeutic use in the treatment of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Phenibut is a derivative of GABA, which is the most important naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.
Unlike GABA, Phenibut can cross the blood brain barrier, which is required for therapeutic effects. Phenibut blood brain barrier permeability is enhanced by the addition of the phenyl ring.
Phenibut was originally developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960’s and has since been used to treat a wide array of mental health issues. Phenibut is unregulated in the US and can therefore be legally sold as a nutritional supplement. Like any other psychoactive drug, Phenibut use is associated with risks, including dependence and withdrawal.
Interest in Phenibut has grown substantially in recent years. This is due in part to the recognition that there are few safe and effective treatments for chronic anxiety.
For the acute treatment of severe anxiety, benzodiazepines are the gold standard and are highly efficacious. Yet benzodiazepines are ultimately deleterious to health, and are associated with cognitive impairment and withdrawal that can in some cases be severe and prolonged.
Phenibut too is not without serious risks. However, Phenibut is much less potent than benzodiazpeines (and is therefore safer in overdose). Moreover, Phenibut preferentially affects GABA-B receptors (instead of GABA-A receptors), which is arguably less likely to result in dependence and cognitive impairment.
Phenibut's Major Downsides
Phenibut has some downsides worth mentioning.
Daily phenibut use can lead to dependence and withdrawal. Phenibut writhdrawal is no laughing matter. While it’s not a benzodiazepine, phenibut does have benzodiazepine-like effects. Phenibut activates the GABA(B) receptor (as well as inhibiting the alpha2delta calcium channel). GABA receptors tend to downregulate when they’re overstimulated by phenibut. When the phenibut clears from your system, receptor density may temporarily remain low, which manifests as well withdrawal symptoms.
Of course, this picture is oversimplified. The neurobiology of addiction and withdrawal is more nuanced than mere upregulation/downregulation of GABA receptors. But it’s still an illustrative example.
Though Phenibut is no longer sold at GNC, Phenibut is easily purchased from reliable vendors online.