Phenibut: The socially-lubricating anti-anxiety Nootropic that cosmonauts used
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Phenibut has a special relationship with the GABA receptors; it's a purveyor of a tranquil and euphoric mind that you can use to replace a social drinking habit for about a dollar a night.

Soviet Nootropic
Scientific Research
Mechanism of Action
Sleep Hack
Social Lubricant
Music Enhancer
Heroin Addiction
Taste and Aesthetics
Usage and Cycling
Biohacker Review
Side Effects
Bottom Line
Phenibut video

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Phenibut and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 A Soviet Nootropic

Along with Noopept, it is one of the Nootropics that emerged from the communist Soviet block, Phenibut was first synthesized behind the iron curtain in the USSR. It's one of the few Nootropics we know has been to space and back; it was included in soviet cosmonaut's medical kits.

soviet union

 Scientific Research

It has been studied worldwide with over 250 scientific papers found listed on Pubmed, including 12 human clinical trials.

To quote a definitive article on Phenibut by the Department of Clinical and Experimental Psychopharmacology in St. Petersburg which was published in CNS drug reviews

Phenibut is a neuropsychotropic drug that was discovered and introduced into clinical practice in Russia in the 1960s. It has anxiolytic and nootropic (cognition enhancing) effects...


As you delve deeper into the world of smart drugs the word Anxiolytic keeps popping up. Our experience of reality is colored vividly by the neurotransmitters Cortisol and Norepinephrine. We have our evolutionary psychology to thank for everything from mild tension before a big meeting, and road rage while in a traffic jam to physiological fight-or-flight responses. As laypeople, we think of this simply as stress. The world of popular psychology and personal development deconstructs this into...

  • Self-sabotage
  • Performance anxiety
  • Fear of success
  • Self-defeating thoughts
  • Approach anxiety

While we think of these things as being defined by unquantifiable meta-factors the fact of the matter is that they are a result of specific brain chemistry. Phenibut is a powerful tool for controlling this chemistry.


It has the following effects according to a study that appeared in The Pavlovian Journal of biological science:

  • Decreasing stress and anxiety
  • Potentiation of tranquilizers, narcotics, neuroleptics, and booze.
  • More restful sleep.

One self-experimenter succinctly described the experience of being on Phenibut as...

"Extreme calmness"

It is purported to have a half-life of about five hours but this varies drastically according to various users' experiences reported, sometimes up to 24 hours.

 Mechanism of Action


Part of its mechanism of action is that it inhibits the neurotransmitter phenylethylamine, which is a versatile excitatory chemical in our system that has a role in stressing us out.

 Sleep Hack


If you ever suffer from a racing mind that keeps you tossing and turning in bed for hours Phenibut may be for you. It promotes deep, fulfilling sleep.
Which holds exciting potential for lucid dreamers but due to the tolerance curve of the substance it's not really appropriate for use as a nightly sleep supplement. For those that need a consistently performing sleep supplement that can be taken nightly, I recommend a pre-bedtime cocktail of supplements; Ashwagandha, Magnesium, and CBD - which is further detailed in this sleep hacking manifesto.

 Social Lubricant

recreational party drug

Some people describe the euphoric sensation of being on it as being similar to GHB or MDMA. While not suggesting it directly, many of the anecdotal reports indicate it has potential as a recreational drug or as a more healthy alternative to booze, the original social lubricant.

It's reported as having very interesting effects on the sexual experience and is sometimes described as a potent aphrodisiac for women. Gentlemen, please resist the temptation to offer this drug to random women you're trying to seduce.

Although discouraged by Wikipedia and other official sources online, there are a couple of anecdotal reports of people drinking (somewhat) responsibly while on Phenibut. The consensus is that a glass of wine or a beer while on a moderate dosage of Phenibut is not going to kill you. However, as a GABA stimulator, it does potentiate the effects of alcohol. Bottom line is that combining Phenibut with binge drinking is a recipe for an epic hangover.

 Music Enhancer


"It makes music better than any other substance I've tried." Reported Chris (Good Looking Loser).

I can confirm that Phenibut has an uncanny effect on music listening. I recall one time I did Phenibut in Colombia, a friend invited me out to a small hole-in-wall bar where a band was playing folky Colombian music - the kind of stuff I usually don't enjoy. Yet, I found myself remarking on how good the band was. Then I realized, it was the Phenibut!

 Heroin Addiction Therapy


At least one study demonstrated that it's a positive influence as a treatment for heroin addicts:

The course therapy with Noofen reduced intensity of memory and attention disorders and improved general cognitive status of the patients.

 Taste and Aesthetics

It's a white powder that tastes pretty sour and is water-soluble. So best to skull it (as my Aussie friends like to say) as fast as possible in a glass of water or (my favorite) green tea.


Although Phenibut is sold as a supplement for around $30, it is a drug and it should not be used daily to manage anxiety.

 Usage and Cycling

There are multiple cycling strategies that people use when using it:

  • One week on, one week off
  • 5 days on, 2 days off
  • 1 day on, 1 day off

Chemically it's a phenyl derivative of GABA, this means that it is similar to GABA, so much so that the brain's receptors assume they are getting the tranquility-promoting neurotransmitter. Like other GABA receptor-binding chemicals, like alcohol, you build up a tolerance to it quickly. It's highly bioavailable and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

 Phenibut is potentially addictive


It's easy to find dramatic reports of addictive and withdrawal effects. To the extent that a paper was published in Clinical Toxicology, entitled Phenibut Withdrawal - A Novel 'Nutritional Supplement'. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Feeling tense and keyed up
  • Nervousness and shakiness
  • Poor appetite
  • Feeling easily annoyed and irritated
  • Fatigue
  • Heart pounding
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

The vast majority of these anecdotal reports were incidences where the user was some degree of an abuser and they were taking Phenibut impulsively at irresponsibly high or unmeasured dosages.

 Biohacker Review

Phenibut by the tub!
My first night on this was a little weird... I did about 800 milligrams, went out with my new German roommate (who it turns out, also drinks non-alcoholic beer), we bounced around a couple of spots in Berlin, then I went to bed quite tired at around probably 3 AM. I tried to meditate - like I always do before sleep but was not even complete my meditation process. I fell asleep and awoke at about 3 PM in the AFTERNOON, the next day.

I forgot to set my wake-up time in Sleep Cycle but 12 hours is an obscene amount of sleep for me. Suffice to say; I awoke feeling very rested and a little irate at myself for whiling away half the day horizontal.

My typical bedtime routine is to stretch, read in a dark room while listening to music, and then do 10 minutes of meditation in bed to clear my mind before sleep. I find that Phenibut is somewhat counterintuitive to a good meditation session, I find my mind wandering more as I advance through the Blue Sky Meditation Protocol.

You should definitely plan on not getting shit done if you do Phenibut in the day...

It's a little bit devious because you feel quite lucid on Phenibut, you don't really feel drunk. However, I'm becoming warier of Phenibut as an intoxicant, I really do notice the drunk Jonathan coming out while I'm on Phenibut...
I went out to a Colombian-themed party (here in Berlin), which concluded with a live band, which was awesome, then I went and impulsively bought pizza around 4 AM - which is not like me...
I've noticed myself tripping upstairs.
I'm more likely to forget people's names or details that were shared earlier in the conversation.

Once I finish this supply of Phenibut I probably will not reorder it because I'm feeling more and more like it's an intoxicant, that could become a vice, that will bring out the worst in me.


Bad news: it's getting hard and harder to source high-quality Phenibut. Regulation has scared many good vendors in North America away from offering it, but there are a few options...

  • Capsuled Phenibut is offered by RUPharma, based in Moscow.
  • Powdered Phenibut is offered by Swiss Chems; they carry both the HCL and Free Amino Acid forms.
  • Intellimeds, based in the EU, has both capsuled and powdered Phenibut for European Biohackers.

Downloadable Phenibut?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device... 

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...


It's commonly used in Nootropic stacks to take the edge off the intensely focused and energetic state of mind that smart drugs induce.

Vitamin B6, which is an ingredient in the chemical manufacture of GABA.

Oxiracetam is another Nootropic that enhances music listening and unlike Phenibut is a quintessential smart drug. You could try combining them for an epic day of productivity while vibing to holosync-style tunes or for a booze-free night at a music festival.


Split up into two daily doses.

 Side Effects 

It can intoxicate you and there are even some anecdotal reports of "Phenibut hangovers" at higher dosages.


Under no circumstances to be mixed with GHB or benzodiazepines. Mixing it with alcohol may result in unconsciousness and blackouts.

 Bottom Line

🚫 Those with addictive personality types should avoid things like Phenibut.
😎 For everyone else, it can be a great tool for stress management, sleep, enjoying music, and even as a social life hack. In my past life as a digital nomad, when I would spend time in countries where boozing was pricey I would go off it for 30, 60, or 90 days and use Phenibut as a social lubricant.


The socially-lubricating anti-anxiety Nootropic that cosmonauts used
Powdered Phenibut


Phenibut - Sedative review
Phenibut by PowderCity Review: A Devious Lifestyle Tool...
Phenibut as a Nootropic: The Socially Lubricating Anti Anxiety Smart Drug Cosmonauts Used
Review of Phenibut by Peak Nootropics: a Tangy Nootropic that makes you downright Frisky
Phenibut - Decrease Anxiety Without Losing Motivation? (Good Looking Loser Review)

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