2C-I, 2C-E, and 2C-B are all psychedelic drugs in the 2C class that have recently become popular as “designer drugs.”
These are synthetic substances that mimic the effects of common illicit drugs but have been designed to bypass laws against similar intoxicants. 2C-B was outlawed in many nations in the late 1990s or early 2000s, only to be replaced with 2C-E and 2C-I, both of which were recently classified as Schedule I controlled substances in the US.
In 1994, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided his lab because the agency considered PiHKAL to be “cookbooks on how to make illegal drugs.” They also asked him to turn over his DEA license and fined him $25,000. However, this did nothing to stop the spread of information that Shulgin released, especially with the dawn of the Internet. By the late 1990s, 2C class substances and other designer drugs were being sold online in huge numbers under the term research chemicals. By marketing these intoxicants as being for scientific research, dealers hoped to circumvent drug laws. In 2004, a massive DEA operation was launched to put a stop to this, and online “research chemical” vendors widely vanished.
Designer drugs like those of the 2C class have as much potential for abuse and adverse health effects, including overdose, as well-known intoxicants like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and cannabis. The fact that they’re tweaked to avoid drug laws until governments can catch up can make them even more dangerous, as research is also unable to effectively keep up on the negative effects. Lack of common knowledge about appropriate dosages and effects can also put users in greater danger of overdose.
2C-I, 2C-E, and 2C-B primarily cause stimulant and hallucinogenic effects, including increased visual, auditory, and tactile sensations. Moderate doses can cause full hallucinations. These drugs can also produce a euphoric high. 2C-B in particular has been described as ecstasy with a psychedelic experience. As such, these are popular “party” drugs found at nightclubs, dance parties, and raves. The United Nations classifies them as new psychoactive substances or NPS.