The 2C family is a group of synthetic psychedelics used as designer drugs and MDMA analogs. They were first synthesized by chemist Alexander Shulgin in the 1970s. Since then they have been used to circumvent legal bans on MDMA. Many members of the group, like 2C-I and 2C-B cause stimulation, euphoria, increased heart rate, color enhancement, and hallucinations. Different members of the 2C family have different effective doses, and they can be hard to tell apart. This can lead to overdose in cases of mistaken identity.
2C-B was synthesized from 2,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde by Alexander Shulgin in 1974. It first saw use among the psychiatric community as an aid during therapy. 2C-B was first sold commercially as a purported aphrodisiac under the trade name “Erox”, which was manufactured by the German pharmaceutical company Drittewelle. For several years, it was available as tablets in Dutch smart shops under the name “before it later on spread to other parts of the world.
2C-B has been shown to be metabolized by liver hepatocytes, resulting in deamination and demethylation that produces several products. Oxidative deamination results in the 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-ethanol (BDMPE) and 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylacetic acid (BDMPAA) metabolites. Additionally, 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxybenzoic acid (BDMBA) can also be produced by oxidative deamination. Further metabolism of BDMPE and BDMPAA may occur by demethylation. Alternatively, the later metabolites can be generated by demethylation of 2C-B followed by oxidative deamination.
There is species differentiation in the metabolism of 2C-B. Mice hepatocytes produce 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-phenol (BDMP), a previously unknown metabolite. Meanwhile, human, monkey and rabbit hepatocytes produce 2-(4-bromo-2-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-ethanol (B-2-HMPE), but dog, rat and mouse hepatocytes do not. 2C-B also reduces aggressive responses in drugged rats.
TCB-2 is a hallucinogen discovered in 2006 by Thomas McLean working in the lab of David Nichols at Purdue University. It is a conformationally-restricted derivative of the phenethylamine 2C-B, also a hallucinogen, and acts as a potent agonist for the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors with a Ki of 0.26 nM at the human 5-HT2A receptor. In drug-substitution experiments in rats, TCB-2 was found to be of similar potency to both LSD and Bromo-DragonFLY, ranking it among the most potent phenethylamine hallucinogens yet discovered. This high potency and selectivity has made TCB-2 useful for distinguishing 5-HT2A mediated responses from those produced by other similar receptors. TCB-2 has similar but not identical effects in animals to related phenethylamine hallucinogens such as DOI, and has been used for studying how the function of the 5-HT2A receptor differs from that of other serotonin receptors in a number of animal models, such as studies of cocaine addiction and neuropathic pain.[