Phenibut vs. GABA – Which is More Effective for Anxiety and Sleep Disorders?

phenibut vs. gaba

Phenibut and GABA are two supplements that are often compared for their effects and benefits. Both of these chemicals are associated with a reduction of stress, anxiety inhibitions and insomnia. Phenibut and GABA will sometimes be used together by individuals who want to combat anxiety as well as bodybuilders and weight lifters. What you should know is that Phenibut is actually a derivative of GABA designed to be a lot more effective than its parent. This is because Phenibut can cross over the blood-brain barrier while GABA cannot unless it has a dedicated carrier. This makes the effects of Phenibut as an oral supplement far more pronounced than any GABA pills or powder you might take. Click here to buy Phenibut online.

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Phenibut Supplements

What’s unique about phenibut as a supplement is that it falls into three classifications:
• A nootropic which improves cognitive functions
• An anxiolytic which relieves anxiety
• A sleep aid to promote a sounder deeper sleep

There really isn’t a standard dosage for phenibut. Different people require different doses due to several factors which are covered below.

Phenibut vs. GABA

Phenibut crystals are the solids synthesized from gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain. You may find brands of phenibut in powder form which is really the result of grinding down the pure crystals so they can easily be dissolved in liquid.

When GABA molecules stimulate the GABA receptors the ion channels open on the neurons. Once the ion channels are opened chloride ions seep into the surface of the cells of the neuron. This has the effect of reducing the neuron’s ability to activate or fire. Therefore the nerves are not as sensitive to outside or environmental stimuli and don’t react as readily.

When neurons are in this state other areas in the brain are not as reactive either. This will result in a lessening of anxiety because you understand that your mind is reacting less to outside stress and you calm down. Read User Reviews of Phenibut here.

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Medications that Increase GABA Activity

There are a number of medications designed to trigger a release of GABA and these include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. The GABA that is released from consuming these substances affects the GABAa receptors.

Drugs that increase GABA activity by stimulating GABAa receptors once the synapse is complete, have long been prescribed as sedatives, tranquilizers, hypnotics and anti-convulsants. Benzodiazepines rapidly emerged as the most popular among doctors and patients. They even replaced barbiturates and in the 1970s became the most frequently prescribed medication in the Western hemisphere.

Withdrawal and Tolerance

Problems with these types of drugs emerged in the 1980s having to do with dependence and the subsequent reactions to withdrawal. Medical professionals needed to limit their use. As a result the focus of the medical community has recently shifted to a new classification of drugs. These drugs promote GABA-ergic actions which involve a number of chemical mechanisms that do not directly involve the GABAa receptor. Check out our complete guide on the best way to take Phenibut.

The drugs included in this group are gabapentin, tiagabine, vigabatrin, pregabalin, lamotrigine among others. These drugs were initially developed to treat epilepsy as anticonvulsant medications. However it’s been discovered that they are effective in treating a wider application, that of treating affective disorders, specifically anxiety disorders, bipolar depression and various pain conditions. It still has not been determined whether or not there would be problems associated with developing a tolerance, becoming dependent and having symptoms of withdrawal with long-term use.

Phenibut is a Better OTC Alternative

Then phenibut enters the market as an over-the-counter alternative to stronger pharmaceutical medications. While phenibut can be as effective as these other medications the side effects are much lower in intensity and the potential for becoming dependent is relatively low when you compare it to pharmaceuticals.

When phenibut is taken orally the answer is YES it can be more effective than GABA. Although this seems counterintuitive that something derived from GABA would be more effective than GABA, the real thing.

Because phenibut is able to cross the blood-brain barrier it has more ability to affect brain chemistry when compared to orally-ingested GABA. Being capable of penetrating the blood-brain area is significant because as the brain’s biological shield from bacteria and toxins in the bloodstream, it’s almost impenetrable.

Note: There are some structural similarities between phenibut and Baclofen and phenylethylamine (PEA), both derived from GABA. We discuss these here.

Phenibut for PTSD and Insomnia

Phenibut has positive secondary effects as a treatment to relieve stress for those suffering from PTSD and as a sleep-aid. Because of the similarity in molecular structure between phenibut and GABA, phenibut triggers many of the same physiological responses as GABA. There have been many reports of other benefits than just an anxiolytic. Phenibut is extremely good at inducing sleep even in people with extreme insomnia.

Those who use phenibut feel a sense of well-being and happiness; they’re able to combat insomnia, stress and anxiety and are better able to cope with PTSD. Below is a deeper exploration of Phenibut’s benefits due to GABA stimulation.

1. To induce a deep sound sleep – Phenibut is often used as a sleep-aid and many who use this report that it is very potent. There are abundant reports that “nothing else comes close” when it comes to helping those with chronic insomnia. There is evidence that a trend has emerged among drug users that, due to phenibut enabling them to sleep they are more comfortably able to withdraw from drugs.

The primary paradigm seems to be that not only does phenibut enhance the quality of sleep it also brings about a distinct feeling of calm. As is true with other cognitive enhancers, phenibut provides benefits for strength trainers and bodybuilders because when someone is in a deep REM state of sleep growth hormones are secreted. This expedites muscle recovery when someone has been exercising intensely.

2. Improved Cognitive Ability – Research done on mice who’ve been given higher and higher doses of phenibut showed significantly faster reaction times each time the concentration of phenibut increased. This was even more apparent when the mice were put in social situations with groups of other mice. This makes Phenibut more superior to other GABAergic drugs like Benzodiazepines.

Trials are continuing and the results are promising. Similar effects are being shown on the brains of primates. The subculture community of Brain Hackers has mixed reviews, but for the most part they are positive.

3. Creates a Sense of Well-being – Because phenibut also stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine at low levels in addition to GABA, users often notice an increased sense of confidence, which is separate from a lowering in anxiety levels. Dopamine is the brain chemical that regulates the pleasure/pain cycle as well as motivation. This means Phenibut’s effects cover a wider range than GABA on its own. If you are deciding between Phenibut vs. GABA supplements, there is a clear winner.


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