25I-NBOMe is a synthetic psychedelic drug that mimics the effects of MDMA and LSD. The drug is powerful in small amounts which makes it distinct from similar synthetic substances.
For the past decade, the use of designer drugs has grown. Today, drug users can get synthetic substances over the Internet that are disguised as innocent products like bath salts. However, there are hundreds of options and it can be difficult to tell the difference. Some dealers actively sell new synthetic substances as if they are known drugs like LSD or MDMA. However, drugs like 25I-NBOMe require smaller doses than similar psychedelics and can have life-threatening results.
If you find yourself with a synthetic drug, even if friends assure you that it’s a familiar substance, it could be something deadly.
What is 25I-NBOMe?
25I-NBOMe, also called 251 or N-Bombs, is an intense psychedelic drug that was originally synthesized as a way to map the brain’s use of type 2a serotonin receptors. It is also a recreationally used designer drug, which means it was created in a lab and mimics the effects of other illegal street drugs.
25I-NBOMe was synthesized in 2003 but didn’t see wide recreational use until seven years later. As a street drug, it’s called N-Bomb, Solaris, or Smiles (which is also the name of the less potent drug 2C-I). 25I-NBOMe is often introduced to the body sublingually, or under the tongue. It’s often soaked into blotter paper much like LSD. There are also some reports of the drug being introduced intravenously or inhaled.
It gained popularity as a street drug because it’s much cheaper than more traditional psychedelics like psilocybin or LSD. Plus, it has a very low effective dosage, which means that potent hits are very small. However, because of that fact, cases of mistaking 25I-NBOMe for another drug can lead to overdose and death.
25I-NBOMe is potent in the microgram range, meaning that, while other psychedelics require a dose of at least a few milligrams, 251 requires less than a milligram to have an effect. Because of this, it’s dangerous to insufflate or vaporize. It’s extremely difficult to measure out the proper dose in liquid form and inhaling the drug makes its effects more immediately active.
Physical Effects of 25I-NBOMe
Unlike other psychedelics, 25I-NBOMe has some significant physical effects. Since the drug is relatively new to the recreational community, there are very few studies of its effects. Many effects are reported anecdotally, while some have been examined in case studies. Physical effects of 25I-NBOMe may include:
- Stimulation, or increased energy
- Tingling or warmth, also called “body high”
- Numbness in mouth when taken sublingually
- Muscle tension, cramps, or contractions
- Increased heart rate
According to a case study that looked at seven instances of hospitalizations after patients used 25I-NBOMe recreationally, the patients suffered from tachycardia, hypertension, fever, and kidney injury. The results pointed to the possibility that 251 can have serious toxic effects with high doses.
In psychonaut circles, 25I-NBOMe is known to be highly dangerous when insufflated or inhaled. The effects are more powerful when users take it in this way but they are also more potentially toxic. Plus, when measuring out liquid amounts it’s difficult to meticulously determine the right dosage. Since 251 has a very small potent dose, even a little more liquid can lead to serious side effects.
Psychological Effects of 25I-NBOMe
Like other psychedelic drugs, 25I-NBOMe has several psychological effects that are comparable to the effects of LSD. However, some report milder effects by comparison. And, in some cases, negative effects are experienced, especially in high doses. Psychological effects can include:
- Rapid thoughts
- Feeling of impending doom
- Heightened empathy
In some cases, including one published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology (AJFMP), 25I-NBOMe is thought to have contributed to rage and aggression before users eventually died. Severe psychological effects have been seen in case studies and reported anecdotally by users. Still, agitation and aggression are commonly reported in users that took high doses. In the AJFMP case, one user’s enraged flailing caused contusions and abrasions all over his body.
25I-NBOMe and Mistaken Identity
One of the biggest cause of 25I-NBOMe overdose is mistaken identity. 25I is one of the hundreds of synthetic psychedelic drugs that are used as designer drugs. Other substances in the NBOMe family and the 2C family of drugs are very similar to 25I. Plus, they are all used to mimic more mainstream street drugs like MDMA and LSD and are frequently sold as those other substances.
However, the majority of those drugs require a higher dose to be effective. When a user unknowingly gets their hands on 25I and takes a dose that would be appropriate for LSD, they are taking a dangerously high dose.
In one case, a user took what they thought was LSD and attempted suicide while under the influence of a powerful 25I trip. In another report, a healthy 19-year-old with no history of substance use jumped or fell from his apartment balcony to his death. He had been “trip sitting,” watching friends who were taking psychedelics to make sure they didn’t hurt themselves. Later, he decided to participate for the first time.
Like other psychedelics, 25I-NBOMe may be more potent to first-time users and can lead to devastating psychological effects.
Psychedelic Drug Abuse
25I-NBOMe has a low potential for addiction but it has a high potential for abuse. As it mixes with the catalog of other available designer psychedelic drugs, it may be difficult to predict when it will show up. Designer drugs can even be purchased online, and to the layperson, it can be difficult to tell 25I apart from a more mild option.