What Phenibut does
Phenibut is a Russian Nootropic that is most commonly used for boosting mood, treating anxiety and helping to promote healthy sleep. Phenibut has a pretty complicated way that it interacts with the body, but interestingly, it is almost exactly the same way that alcohol works. In this article we will guide you to the right dosage for taking Phenibut. If you’d like to read more about it, we’d recommend reading our Phenibut article under the product description.
How Phenibut works (easy description)
Very briefly, the Phenibut molecule can be thought of as a ‘key’ to unlock ‘locks’ in the brain called GABA-receptors. The body’s own ‘key’ is called GABA, and when this unlocks the GABA-receptors, our brains have a lower response to signals from the Central Nervous System. This is what creates the effects of relaxation, social ease, pain relief and drowsiness when our bodies produce GABA. This tends to happen at night or when we are really tired.
Our bodies are constantly regulating signals from the Central Nervous System using GABA molecules. Mostly, we hardly even notice the effects. However, when we take a substance like Phenibut, which is also a ‘key’ to unlock the GABA-receptor ‘locks’ we get the same effects but stronger and more noticeable.
Like we said earlier, alcohol is also a ‘key’ that unlocks GABA-receptors. Of course, things get even more complicated when we think about all the different types of GABA-receptor ‘locks’. Certain ‘keys’ unlock certain ‘locks’. That is why alcohol and Phenibut work in a very similar way, but they do not produce exactly the same effects – alcohol unlocks mostly GABA-A ‘locks’, while Phenibut is better at unlocking the so-called GABA-B receptors, causing slightly different effects.
Phenibut dosage guide
One of the best things about using Phenibut HCl or Phenibut FAA is that you can use a different dosage for different effects.
A recommended lower dosage of Phenibut HCl would be around 250-350 mg, taken two to three times daily. This lower dosage provides a mild mood increase and feeling of calmness. It has been said by some to also improve sociability at this lower dose.
For a higher dose, between 500 – 750 mg could be taken twice daily, depending on how strong you’d like the effects to be. At these higher doses, you still get the mood-lift and calm sensation, and some increased sociability, but it also helps with getting to sleep and maintaining good, healthy sleep throughout the night. Read more here.
Whatever effects you’d rather have, we always recommend starting with a lower dose and seeing how it goes before moving onto higher dosages. Some people’s bodies can react differently, or more intensely than others, so rather play it safe to begin with.
It is definitely not recommended to exceed the maximum dosage of 1000 mg per serving, or 2000 mg daily. It IS possible to overdose on Phenibut, so please use responsibly. Any GABA – like chemical, including Phenibut, lowers the responses to the Central Nervous System, and if you take too much this can cause low heart rate, low breathing rate, dizziness, and sweating. Users have also reported that a tolerance builds up after taking Phenibut continuously without cycling. Phenibut should not be used more than twice a week to prevent a tolerance build-up.
A tolerance build-up means that you need more of the substance to achieve the same results, and this is one of the most common causes of overdoses in chemicals like benzodiazepines or even alcohol. If you feel like you aren’t getting the same results from your usual dosage please take a week or two off, rather than simply increasing the dose.
Addiction to Phenibut is possible but only through sustained high dosage for long periods of time. This is mostly because of the effects of tolerance and the user taking larger and larger doses to counter-act the tolerance, instead of using cycling methods.
Phenibut is a great substance with multiple calming and mood-enhancing effects and, as with all GABA agonists, it can have some side effects.
Mild side effects of using Phenibut can include stomach cramps or an upset stomach, dizziness, tiredness, short-term memory reduction and lethargy and these are common side-effects with the use of all GABA-like substances.
How long does Phenibut last?
The half-life of Phenibut is around 5 hours, at a dosage of 250 mg. This means that after 5 hours, the chemical will have lost half of its potency in the body. However, once the body has metabolized over half of the dose, it is not going to be felt by the user.
So, at a dose of 250 mg you can expect to feel effects for around 5 – 6 hours. At higher doses the effects may last for longer than this.
Phenibut FAA versus Phenibut HCl
Phenibut FAA means Phenibut “free amino acid”, which differs slightly to Phenibut HCl in the way that the body absorbs it. Phenibut HCl is called a “salt” in chemistry, while Phenibut FAA is a free-existing amino-acid.
Phenibut HCl is the more common form of Phenibut product. It is quite acidic, is easily dissolvable and is sold in a crystalline form. Phenibut FAA, on the other hand, is closer to neutral pH, less dissolvable, and is not sold in a crystalline form. Phenibut FAA contains a fair amount more Phenibut per milligram than Phenibut HCl does. Phenibut FAA is often more expensive per weight, but requires a slightly smaller dosage than Phenibut HCl for the same effects.
How to take Phenibut
There are lots of ways that people chose to take Phenibut. How you take it also depends on whether you are using Phenibut FAA or Phenibut HCl, as the recommended dosages are slightly different for these two products.
Some people prefer to add a well-measured scoop of Phenibut HCl to a glass of water and drink it just like that. Phenibut HCl does tend to have a rather chemical, bitter taste to it. It may be useful to mix a measured scoop of Phenibut HCl into a short glass of sweet juice to minimize the bitter taste.
Others recommend putting Phenibut FAA in a folded piece of paper, an empty capsule or even some folded rolling paper, and swallowing with water. This method will prevent the sour taste experience. You can do the same with Phenibut HCl.
We’d recommend either, as they both work as efficiently as the other. However, Phenibut FAA is not very soluble in water.
Mixing Phenibut with other substances
Phenibut works in the same way that alcohol and benzodiazepines do. It is very important to NOT mix Phenibut with either alcohol or benzodiazepines because these substances act in the same way and potentiate each other's effects.
Like benzodiazepines, Phenibut has a long half-life, which means it is active in your body for longer periods of time. This is useful because you only really need to take it once or twice a day to experience the prolonged effects, but it also means that you need to wait for AT LEAST about 6 hours before using alcohol and even longer for benzodiazepines.
Using Phenibut with either alcohol or benzodiazepines increases the effects of both substances and increases the risk of an overdose.
However, when using Phenibut alone, and not exceeding the recommended dosage, risk of overdose is negligible, especially when using cycling and making sure not to counter-act a tolerance build-up with extra Phenibut.
Phenibut and alcohol
Some people chose to use Phenibut in small to medium doses instead of drinking, to minimize the negative effects of alcohol use. Phenibut and alcohol work in very similar ways, unlocking slightly different “GABA receptors”. At certain doses, the effects of Phenibut are noticeably similar to the effects of alcohol, without some of the negative side-effects of alcohol.
In fact, a few studies have shown that even small doses of Phenibut provide a neuro- and cardio-protective effect, helping the heart and brain to cope with stress (see our longer product description). When you think about the negative effects of alcohol use, its easy to see why some people chose to vary between alcohol and Phenibut, or even to replace alcohol entirely with Phenibut.
As mentioned above, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to exceed 2000 mg daily or 1000 mg per dose. Neither is it advised to use Phenibut FAA more than 2 times per week, as this lessens the benefits and may increase the negative side effects.