Phenibut and Marijuana: Can You Mix the Two?

Phenibut powder and marijuana

Table of contents

  1. What Is Phenibut?
  2. Uses and How It Works
  3. Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Phenibut
  4. What to Do If You Need to Use Both Phenibut and Marijuana
  5. The Bottom Line

Phenibut, formulated to treat anxiety, has gained popularity in the United States for several reasons. People use phenibut as medicine and recreationally, similar to how some use marijuana for its therapeutic and euphoric effects. However, unlike cannabis, little scientific research is available on how phenibut affects the body.

Many people who mix phenibut and marijuana report that it enhances marijuana’s stimulating effects, referring to phenibut as a “happy” drug. The medical community, however, often advises against mixing phenibut with other substances, including marijuana, due to limited research on the outcomes.

Here we’ll explore the latest research to consider before mixing phenibut with marijuana.

What Is Phenibut?

Phenibut is a synthetic drug created by Russian scientists in the former Soviet Union in the 1960s. In Russia, phenibut is a prescription medication; in Australia and Hungary, it’s a controlled substance. Throughout the rest of the world, phenibut’s status is less defined.

Although phenibut has alleged health benefits, there are no official studies to confirm that it effectively treats any disease or disorder. In the U.S., the FDA’s official stance is that phenibut does not meet the criteria to qualify as a dietary supplement. While phenibut lacks approval for clinical use in the U.S., it is legal to buy online as a nutritional supplement.

Uses and How It Works

Phenibut is a nootropic drug (also called a smart drug or cognitive enhancer). It’s a central nervous system depressant that started as an anti-anxiety drug for Russian cosmonauts. From there, phenibut spread throughout Eastern Europe for use targeting various ailments, including:

Today, many people refer to phenibut as a “wonder drug.” In low doses, research suggests this wonder drug may increase dopamine, the hormone responsible for pleasure and motivation, giving the drug a stimulant-like effect. Phenibut users report feelings of euphoria and enhanced learning, memory, concentration, and social skills, in addition to relieving social anxiety.

Phenibut works as a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonist, which raises levels of this neurotransmitter in the body. GABA blocks signals between brain cells and calms the nervous system. As a result, GABA antagonists like phenibut have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, relieving tension or anxiety by making GABA receptors more active.

Phenibut products come in capsule form, including Anvifen, Adrafinil, and Noofen, as well as phenibut powder.

Potential Benefits and Risks of Mixing Cannabis and Phenibut

Looking at the known effects of both substances, here are some potential benefits and risks when mixing phenibut and marijuana.

Potential Benefits

The potential benefits of mixing phenibut and marijuana might arise from the link between the body’s endocannabinoid system(ECS) and its GABA receptors. Cannabinoids in marijuana affect receptors that localize close to GABA receptors throughout the brain, and CB1 and CB2 receptors are the main two.

Some preclinical research directly compared CB receptor agonists, such as marijuana, and drugs that elevate GABA, claiming they overlap some of their central effects. In combination, GABA drugs enhance THC’s stimulus effects and might improve its clinical outcomes.

Additionally, phenibut users in online groups like Reddit share positive anecdotal reports, saying that phenibut and cannabis both increase dopamine levels in the body, enhancing happy feelings. Phenibut’s anxiolytic effects can also reportedly help offset the panic attacks or increased anxiety sometimes caused by high THC levels.

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Potential Risks

Based on patient reviews and limited scientific research, phenibut alone may cause some adverse side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stomach cramps

According to the CDC’s poison center notes, phenibut’s side effects can be more dangerous when combined with other substances in high doses, such as marijuana or alcohol. Recreationally, combining phenibut and marijuana can lead to higher tolerance levels and needing to increase your dosage to continue feeling the same effects. Higher doses can lead to substance use disorder, addiction, and phenibut overdose. 

What to Do If You Need to Use Both Phenibut and Marijuana

Phenibut is not a prescribed drug in the United States. Talk to your doctor if you need to take phenibut and marijuana together.

The Bottom Line

Research today doesn’t offer extensive data on phenibut, a GABA analog invented to treat anxiety. Most information comes from “wonder drug” users online and physicians with patients reporting phenibut overdose or withdrawal symptoms.

Anecdotal reports indicate mixing phenibut and marijuana in low doses results in “happy” effects and might tame possible unwanted side effects from marijuana, such as paranoia. However, it’s essential to consult a medical professional and monitor intake to avoid developing a tolerance to higher doses.

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Article written by

Elena Schmidt