A novel psychoactive substance (NPS) that has become popular in recent years is the phenethylamine 25i-NBOMe, often referred to as smiles, pandora, 25I, legal acid, solaris, and divination. There are several other amphetamine derivatives that are similar to 25i-NBOMe, including 25C-NBOMe and 25B-NBOMe, and these are collectively called N-bombs.
These drugs are synthetic, meaning they are made in a lab. As of October 2016, they are permanently classified as a Schedule I controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), making them illegal to possess, sell, and use. There is no amount of 25i-NBOMe that is considered safe for human consumption as there are no published studies regarding its safety.
Considered a club drug for its use at parties, in nightclubs, and at all-night dance parties, 25i-NBOMe is often sold as LSD or mescaline, and sometimes even ecstasy. It is both a stimulant and a hallucinogenic drug that acts on the serotonin receptors in the brain.
A 25i-NBOMe trip can be achieved with very small doses, and the DEA warns that the compound is extremely potent. During a trip, a person may experience visual and auditory hallucinations, heightened senses, increased empathy, an elevated sex drive, a tingling feeling, rapid heart rate, chills, dilated pupils, facial flushing, memory lapses, and feelings of happiness and relaxation.
Conversely, a trip can also be negative. Confusion, paranoia, fear, aggression, agitation, nausea, overheating, rapid and involuntary eye movement, seizures, breathing issues, communication difficulties, difficulty urinating, restless sleep, and numbness of the hands and feet can occur.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) reports that 25i-NBOMe stays active in the bloodstream for about 4 to 10 hours after taking it. Once it wears off, the crash, or comedown, from 25i-NBOMe can be unpleasant.
Generally speaking, 25i-NBOMe is not known to cause physical or chemical dependence; therefore, there is no specifically documented withdrawal syndrome. The comedown effects from 25i-NBOMe. However, can be uncomfortable and may last a few days.
Usually, 25i-NBOMe is taken by sucking on a piece of drug-laced blotter paper or placing it under the tongue. This is called sublingual administration. The powder form of 25i-NBOMe can be snorted, and in rare cases, the drug may be injected.
How the drug is taken influences how quickly it takes action in the body and how soon its effects take hold. Method of use can affect how long it takes for 25i-NBOMe to wear off. For example, the journal BioMed Research International outlines how 25i-NBOMe’s close chemical relative 25C-NBOMe is processed in the body.
Other factors can influence how long the drug will stay in the body, such as personal metabolism and biological factors. If another drug or alcohol was taken in combination with 25i-NBOMe, this also can affect the withdrawal timeline.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the effects of 25i-NBOMe can linger for one to seven days. The comedown can include feelings of anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, memory lapses, “foggy” brain, lack of energy, and insomnia.
It is not clear whether a person can become physically tolerant to and/or dependent on 25i-NBOMe; however, psychological dependence may still occur. Drug cravings and compulsive drug use may be the result of regular and prolonged use of 25i-NBOMe. Any drug with psychoactive and euphoric effects can encourage a person to want to keep taking it again and again. The adverse side effects of the comedown may affect this desire as well and make it more appealing to take 25i-NBOMe more often.
Drugs can stay in a person’s body for variable amounts of time through different ways. For example, a drug will generally stop being active while it is still detectable via a drug test. Generally speaking, 25i-NBOMe will be detectable in a person’s hair the longest. Drug metabolites from 25i-NBOMe likely will be present in hair within about a week to 10 days after using the drug, and it can be detected through a hair drug test for about three months. A urine drug test may be able to detect 25i-NBOMe for about a week after taking it and as soon as four hours after ingesting the drug. Drugs also can be detected through a saliva drug test, which may be able to recognize 25i-NBOMe for about two days after taking it.
Considering that 25i-NBOMe has not been clinically tested in humans, these timelines are generalized. In short, 25i-NBOMe processes out of the bloodstream in about half a day, but it is still present in saliva for a few days, urine for a few more days, and hair for up to a few months.
(October 2016). Final Rule: Placement of Three Synthetic Phenethylamines Into Schedule I. Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved August 2018 from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2016/fr0927_2.htm
(November 2013). 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe. Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved August 2018 from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/nbome.pdf
NBOMes. Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Retrieved August 2018 from https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/nbomes/
(July 2014). 25C-NBOMe: Preliminary Data on Pharmacology, Psychoactive Effects, and Toxicity of a New Potent and Dangerous Hallucinogenic Drug. BioMed Research International. Retrieved August 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106087/
(June 2014). 25I-NBOMe Critical Review Report. World Health Organization. Retrieved August 2018 from http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/4_19_review.pdf