Is Phenibut Legal In The USA, UK, Canada Or Internationally?
Is Phenibut legal to use where you live? Laws on Phenbut can be unclear and difficult to determine in your region. In some countries, Phenibut may be considered a prescription-only drug while in others it may be legal as an over-the-counter drug or a dietary supplement. Still, in other countries, this GABA derivative may fall into a grey area of a lack of legislation or current government policy when dealing with the substance.
At present, in the USA Phenibut is sold as a supplement legally in stores like Amazon, Walmart and more online vendors. This points to a well-entrenched legal status as these companies would not risk their business on selling a black-market compound. However, in the UK Phenibut appears to fall into a legal vacuum where there are now laws at all on the books about how this supplement should be handled. The same is the case in Canada and Australia.
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IS PHENIBUT LEGAL TO BUY?
Because of this, you can buy Phenibut powder or capsules in these countries without a prescription since the substance is not considered to be controlled in any way. That means that purchasing, importing or using Phenibut capsule is not illegal. However, the supplement has also not been approved in these countries for use in dietary products which means that supplement companies cannot market it for these reasons.
Why is there so little guidance on the legality of Phenibut supplements? Part of the problem has to do with the novelty of the compound. Until recently, it was only used in Russia and other eastern European countries where it was actually given to Russian cosmonauts (astronauts) to help them sleep on the International Space Station. Most of the research on the drug is in the Russian language and it was only recently that bodybuilders, anxiety sufferers and brain hackers began shopping for it in North American or Europe. Read User Reviews of Phenibut here.
USES OF PHENIBUT PRODUCTS
The most common use of Phenibut is as a nootropic, to reduce anxiety, and to improve sleep. The ideal dose of Phenibut will vary from one person to the next, but generally speaking, it may take 2 – 2.5 grams for men and 1 – 1.2 grams for women per day to get full results. Be warned, though, that Phenibut can cause a hangover the following day, even when used as recommended. People who have never used Phenibut but are considering it often ask what it feels like. In this review, we will discuss the positive and negative side effects of legal Phenibut Use.
HOW DOES PHENIBUT FEEL?
The easiest way to explain Phenibut’s positive effects is to say that it is an odd blend of mild sedation and mild stimulation. This mix leads to a combination of physical relaxation and mental focus. This typically manifests as increased sociability, reduced stress, and lowered inhibitions, without impairing judgment.
While is can and does happen, Phenibut is difficult to abuse. It doesn’t produce a high or cause any kind of intense euphoria. Taking more than the effective dose isn’t going to make much difference.
How long it takes the effects of Phenibut to be felt varies from user to user, but taking Phenibut powder dissolved in water or juice on an empty stomach seems to give the fastest results, as quickly as 20 minutes for some people. In other users it may take as long as a couple of hours, especially when taking capsules or taking it with food.
Most users report it takes around 1 or 2 hours to start to feel the effects, most of which last around 4 or 5 hours. In some cases some of the effects may last well into the next day. While you won’t know exactly how Phenibut will affect you, these descriptions can give you an idea of what you might expect from the positive Phenibut effects:
• The most common report is described as “extreme calm”
• Reduction in anxiety especially social anxiety that may be moderate or dramatic
• Increased desire to be social, in some cases dramatic sociability
• Increased “sense of well-being” that may be pronounced
• Mild euphoria, some users experience greater euphoric feelings
• Greater enjoyment of music
• Increase in alertness that varies from slight in some people to dramatic in others
• Improved cognitive processes allowing faster and clearer thinking
• Pupils may dilate at high doses, around 3000 mg or more in a 24 hour period
• Improved memory retention
• Increased sexual performance at low doses
• Enhanced motivation
PHENIBUT DOES HAVE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS
Building up tolerance to Phenibut is quite common, but tolerance does not correlate with any change in Phenibut’s nootropic effects. More Phenibut offers little or no further cognitive benefit, but it will exacerbate the hangover. In some cases tolerance may be noticeable in as little as five days. Because of this, many users will cycle it every week or two, or increase dosage by 25-30% after two weeks.
Phenibut is ideal for limited periods of stress or anxiety as needed, but not ideal for prolonged use. Taking Phenibut only once a day could delay or reduce tolerance. Phenibut can offer temporary relief from insomnia and anxiety, but symptoms will eventually return. This may be one of the reasons why Phenibut is not explicitly legal in some countries as their equivalents of the Food and Drug Administration are still deciding whether this drug is safe or not.
Ideally, Phenibut should not be taken for more than a few months. Over longer time periods, even when taken as recommended, can lead to withdrawal when the drug is discontinued. Phenibut is not intended for long term use and is not a substitute for lifestyle changes that can help reduce anxiety. As much as possible, find other anxiety reducing medications and supplements that you can cycle with Phenibut.
DO NOT COMBINE PHENIBUT WITH CARBAMAZEPINE OR MAOIS
Combining Phenibut with certain other prescription or illegal medications can have very serious side effects and can even be fatal. Do not take Phenibut if you’re taking medications like carbamazepine (an anticonvulsant frequently prescribed for depression or bipolar disorder), oxcarbazepine, (a mood stabilizer), or MAOIs. Overdose of Phenibut can cause pronounced drowsiness.
Though Phenibut can reduce anxiety, it is generally not recommended for long term treatment of General Anxiety Disorder. Phenibut can cause withdrawal or “hangover” effect when discontinuing use due to GABA receptor tolerance.
Some experienced users recommend a three day cycle taking Phenibut followed by at least two to three days off. This kind of cycle has been shown to minimize or prevent withdrawal symptoms. It’s unclear exactly where the Phenibut hangover comes from, but some studies suggest that Phenibut could interact with certain epilepsy and sleep medications.
When you stop taking Phenibut, excess glutamate in the brain stimulates neurons, causing anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Depressive symptoms are exacerbated by a decrease in the activity of dopamine receptors due to Phenibut having some stimulant effects. These symptoms are not typical. They are usually seen in people who have taken Phenibut in small doses consistently for prolonged periods, years in some cases.
Many new users make the mistake of taking Phenibut at random times. Because tolerance can build so quickly and because intensity of symptoms is dependent on dose, sporadic dosing schedule can cause effects that are quite the opposite of what it’s intended for, including irritability and disturbed sleep. Some users respond by using Phenibut every day, which can start the downward cycle of daily use.
PHENIBUT WITHDRAWAL EFFECTS
If you’ve done this, then you’re quite familiar with Phenibut’s potential unpleasant side effects. To get off the roller coaster, many individuals attempt to stop cold turkey. This is rarely a good idea. For the majority of people who attempt this, the GABA receptors are thoroughly disrupted and anxiety intensifies. The best way to resolve this is to taper your dose slowly. Withdrawal typically isn’t noticed until 24 hours after stopping Phenibut, especially when it is stopped abruptly.
Withdrawal symptoms will peak about 3-4 days after stopping, and there will still be a few rough days while the brain regains balance. Symptoms include dysphoria, anxiety, sleep disturbances and flattening of emotions. These symptoms will vary depending the person, the dose that was used and the duration of use. Decrease your dose by about 100 mg per day, depending on how you feel. The worst withdrawal symptoms don’t typically appear until after about 72 hours.
If you start feeling withdrawal symptoms, stay at that dose for a couple of days before dropping your daily dose again. Consuming healthy amounts of magnesium bi-glycinate, L-theanine, and Taurine along with certain other nutrients can help manage symptoms. You can also experiment with low-dose NMDA antagonists to manage withdrawal symptoms as well. You may continue to experience sleep disturbances for about 2 weeks after discontinuation.
HEALTH RISKS MAY EXPLAIN LACK OF LEGAL APPROVAL FOR PHENIBUT
Tapering off of Phenibut in this way is not always comfortable. Some people use Klonopin or Baclofen to help with the transition, but it really is better and healthier overall to undertake the process in the same way that you went down the road to tolerance and dependence.
If you happen to have access to a low dose, fast acting benzodiazepine, it can help you through the first 10 days. If you go this route, then use the medication at as low of a dose as possible, as infrequently as possible.
If you’re researching Phenibut, then odds are you’ve already read the stories of people who have had to wean themselves from the supplement. Learn from the experiences of those who have traveled the road before you. Phenibut is a drug that should be used with caution, the same as any other drug. It is a phenomenal substance with tremendous therapeutic uses, when used as recommended. When not used as recommended, it can have some highly unpleasant side effects.
The difference between use and abuse will differ from user to user, but hopefully this discussion helps clarify the proper use of Phenibut and the possible consequences of misuse. Phenibut doesn’t actually cause addiction in the conventional use of the term. Users going through withdrawal don’t actually crave more of the substance. Instead, the body becomes dependent on the drug and the effects tend to diminish over time. At higher doses, it has a more stimulant effect and can disturbs sleep. This is yet another reason to limit Phenibut to only occasional use.
When most people develop tolerance to alcohol, they may lose consciousness or at least hit a wall of drunk behavior. Tolerance to Phenibut doesn’t quite work in the same way. As Phenibut users become tolerant, higher doses don’t increase motivation, sociability or good sleep. Instead, higher doses will have the opposite effects, including sleep disruptions and increased anxiety.
A research study conducted in 2013 examined an individual who used Phenibut to self medicate anxiety, insomnia and alcohol cravings. While Phenibut did help for a while, within 3-4, the patient developed tolerance and experienced significant withdrawal symptoms within 3-4 hours of each use and began to have difficulty functioning normally at work and home.
Eventually, the patient sought medical assistance at an addiction clinic. It was only after 9 weeks of consistent treatment before he was able to overcome his withdrawal symptoms. The treatment involved substituting Phenibut with Baclofen, which has similar properties, and then the patient was able to taper off the baclofen.
Although Phenibut withdrawal can be extreme if the drug is not used properly, Phenibut is essentially harmless. This drug is not toxic and had not been recorded to cause overdose. For this reason, Phenibut remains legal in the USA and is not a controlled substance in countries like the UK or Australia or Canada.