6-APB (also known as Benzo Fury) is a compound with mind altering and stimulating effects. It is usually sold as a powder and people generally consume it after putting it in a capsule or folding it into a piece of rolling paper. 6-APB generates an empathogenic effect that mimics the effects of MDMA.
6-APB is a so called new psychoactive substance (NPS) or research chemical (RC). Generally very little research is conducted on new psychoactive substances. Therefore, very little is known about how addictive these compounds are and what both the short and long term risks of using/abusing this drug may be. Also very little is known about what could be considered the optimum dose.
When trying a new drug, one should always be extra careful, especially when taking research chemicals. You are literally your own lab rat. Also in this case, the best form of harm reduction is abstinence.
6-APB is an empathogenic and stimulating compound. Its effects are often compared to MDMA, but a bit more trippy. Users often report mild to moderately strong visual perceptual changes. As with all other psychedelics, the sensory perception is enhanced and your limbs can feel lighter or heavier. Some users consider 6-APB the “sit & chill” version of MDMA, as the stimulating effects of 6-APB are less overwhelming than with MDMA. It could be that 6-APB has stronger and more side effects than MDMA and MDA would induce, however this is not confirmed by scientific research.
Effects induced by a compound induces are determined by properties of the drug, but also by the set and setting in which the drug is taken. Some general effects induced by 6-APB will be discussed here.
|(negative) Side effects
Euphoria, feelings of love
This substance can make you feel euphoric, like you are in love. You feel comfortable in your own skin and can experience things as pleasant more quickly.
Increase in blood pressure and heart rate
Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.
Altered sensory perception
How you perceive your environment changes, this can affect all of your senses. Sometimes, this could make it seem as if your surroundings differ from reality. More information about tripping and hallucinations can be found here.
Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.
Altered thought pattern
Thoughts are described as more creative and daydreaming may take place. You are able to make connections in your head that you otherwise wouldn’t. This can be very interesting, but also a bit scary. The world can then seem to be a little less logical. This can work both positively and negatively for you.
Your body releases a lot of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) causing you to retain more fluids. There is also more tension in the muscles in your urinary tract, which makes relaxing (and therefore urinating) more difficult.
Thinking seems to go faster. It’s also easier to think clearly. You can go through certain steps in your head faster and make choices faster.
Increased body temperature
Stimulants cause increased activity in muscles, and increase the “base temperature” of the body. This causes the body temperature to increase.
This substance leads to an increase in impulsive behaviour and can make you less aware of the possible consequences that certain actions have. This can be nice because, for example, it is easier to approach someone and have a chat. However, it can also lead to negative situations as you can get into an argument or physical altercation more quickly.
In response to the increased stimulation and changes in body temperature, the skin will start to secrete sweat to cool the body temperature back to normal levels.
Strong sense of connectedness to others or your environment. You can connect more easily with others and notice less inhibitions than you might normally experience in social contact. For example, it may be easier to speak openly about the things that are bothering you.
Grinding your teeth
Spontaneous and uncontrollable laughter, sometimes without anything humorous happening.
Increased muscle tension can cause the jaws to clench together. As a result, the teeth are firmly pressed together and it is possible to bite your tongue and/or cheeks.
More intense music experiences
Music can be experienced louder or more intense. For example, it can feel as if you are completely ‘absorbed’ in the music or that you feel the low tones from the music go through your body more intensely.
It can be difficult to read texts. This is most noticeable with small text, such as on a phone.
Need for contact, conversation and intimacy
Having a good conversation with someone, or cuddling, can be very pleasant and interesting.
You have feelings of being energized. Sitting still is sometimes more difficult and this energetic feeling is often expressed through the urge to dance or move.
Increased sexual desires. You feel more attracted to others and feel a stronger need for sexual intimacy.
Stimulation of sympathetic pathways decrease saliva production, this causes the mouth to feel dry.
More intense experience of touch
Physical/physical contact with other people feels different or more intense than usual. Giving a hug to someone else can be very pleasant. It can also happen that you prefer not to touch others because this can be too intense. This effect can therefore be both positive and negative.
Decreased energy level
Increased muscle tension
Tense muscles and jaws (biting your tongue or cheek)
Generally, people swallow 6-APB (orally). People put the powder in a capsule or fold it in a piece of rolling paper. A small number of people snort it. Snorting 6-APB is considered rather painful by most.
|30 – 75 mg
|75 – 125 mg
It is strongly discouraged to consume more than 200mg of 6-APB per occasion.
It takes quite a long time for the effects of 6-APB to come up. After about 45-90 minutes you will likely start to feel its first effects. After that it will take some time to reach its peak. Effects will last about 8-14 hours. Thus the duration of a trip is a lot longer than with MDMA and it takes longer for the trip to reach its peak.
6-APB is a new psychoactive substance (NPS) and therefore very little is known about the risks of using it. Several deathly incidents involving 6-APB have been reported. It is expected that the risks are comparable to those of MDMA and other stimulants.
6-APB increases the heart rate and blood pressure. It is not advised that people struggling with cardiovascular diseases use stimulant drugs.
When trying a new drug, always be extra careful. Especially when taking research chemicals. You are literally your own lab rat. If you don’t want to run any risks, don’t use drugs.
Short term risks
Stimulants increase your body temperature. Additionally, more physical activity also raises your body temperature. If this happens in an environment that is already warm, where you cannot dissipate heat effectively, it can become dangerous.
Because your body loses heat through sweating, this risk mainly occurs in warm and humid environments. If the air is very humid (muggy or clammy), the cooling effect of sweat is reduced. This can cause your body to overheat. Additionally, you lose a lot of body heat through your head. Avoid wearing a hat or cap when it’s warm so that heat can escape.
Some drugs, especially those that cause a significant release of serotonin, can lead to mild overheating with “normal” use.
Symptoms of mild overheating (hyperthermia):
- Stiff muscles
In this case, seek a cool place and consider wetting your head, neck, and face with water. If you then blow air over these well-vascularized areas of your body with a fan (or ask a friend to do so), you can quickly cool down to a more comfortable temperature.
Symptoms of more severe overheating (hyperthermia):
- Shivering Rapid heartbeat
- Pale appearance
- Reduced consciousness
- Nausea Vomiting
When experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to seek help from a first aid post or other healthcare provider. If the body temperature rises to 40-41 degrees Celsius, the situation is life-threatening. It’s important to quickly move to a cooler place.
Very severe symptoms:
- Breakdown of muscle tissue
- Blood clotting throughout the body
- Impaired functioning of kidneys and liver
- Epileptic seizures
Call 112 immediately if you notice or experience these symptoms.
Because overheating is one of the most serious acute risks of XTC/MDMA, many people who use MDMA know that they need to ‘drink enough water.’ Some people have interpreted this as needing to ‘drink a lot of water’ when using MDMA. Unfortunately, there are cases where MDMA users have died from drinking ‘too much’ water; a condition known as water intoxication.
MDMA causes your kidneys to excrete less water through your urine. So your body retains more fluid when you’re on MDMA. You may find it difficult or impossible to urinate. Drinking a lot of water increases the volume of blood. The concentration of salts (sodium) in your blood decreases. Additionally, due to MDMA, you usually don’t feel hungry, which means you’re not getting any salts (sodium). Because of this low sodium concentration, water flows from the blood into the brain cells, causing them to swell. Women are more affected by this than men. Since your skull cannot move, increased pressure develops in your head. The pressure on the brain becomes too great to function normally. This can lead to coma and eventually death in extreme cases.
The main way to prevent water intoxication is not to drink too much water.
Unity tip: Do not drink too much water when using XTC/MDMA and during the 24 hours afterward. Stick to a maximum of 1 glass of water per hour.
Symptoms of water intoxication include:
- Feeling generally unwell
Later symptoms may include:
- Epileptic seizures
- Reduced consciousness
The serotonin syndrome is caused by an excessive serotonin level in the central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that works in the brain on emotions, sexual functions, hunger, and thirst.
XTC, amphetamine (speed), cocaine, LSD, some pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressants, and certain natural dietary supplements affect serotonin levels and are linked to the serotonin syndrome.
The effect of the serotonin syndrome on individuals depends on which substances and the amount of substances they have used. Not everyone experiences severe symptoms, but sometimes the effects can be unpredictable and even life-threatening.
What increases the risk of the serotonin syndrome?
- The use of large quantities of XTC
- Combining XTC with amphetamine (speed), cocaine, or other drugs.
- Combining XTC with AD(H)D medications (dexamphetamine (Elvanse, Vyvanse, Mydayis, Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), or L-tryptophan.
- Combining XTC with antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, and SSRIs increases the risk of serotonin syndrome and is life-threatening!
The early, mild signs of the serotonin syndrome are similar to the reactions some people have when using substances like XTC or when they have been dancing for a long time. These include sweating, excitement, dilated pupils, trembling, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing. For most people, these complaints are not too serious.
If you see someone with the following signs, it is absolutely necessary to seek medical help. These are serious symptoms of the serotonin syndrome:
- Unusual, convulsive muscle cramps in arms and/or legs
- Stiff muscles
Increased risk of arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke
Taking this drug increases the risk of having an epileptic seizure if you are prone to it.
This is a state of being that is usually caused by excessive alcohol or drug use. Often, it involves stimulants such as cocaine. The acute state of excitement is a life-threatening situation that requires prompt intervention by professional caregivers. You can recognize it because someone behaves very agitated and aggressive motorically. The victim lashes out and cannot be calmed down. The aggression is not directed, but rather random. It is impossible to make contact with the victim. The victim continues to fight, even when subdued by police and security.
Because someone behaves this way, it is understandable that security or caregivers may want to subdue them by pushing them down or restraining them (fixation). However, this is dangerous and can lead to death. When you try to stop someone with an excitement delirium, the person will only resist harder, causing their heart rate/blood pressure to dangerously increase.
After using this drug, a dip can occur. You feel tired, depressed, sad, listless, oversensitive, and empty. The severity of the dip varies greatly from person to person. However, users often report experiencing fatigue and a bad mood in the days after use. It is unclear what exactly causes the dip with a drug. But a high dose, combined use, dancing combined with little food and little or no sleep certainly play a significant role.
Long term risks
This drug can give you brain damage.
The use of drugs can impair memory. Difficulties can arise in processing information for storage, storage itself, and information retrieval.
Different drugs can cause different memory problems. Some substances can directly cause a (temporary) reduced functioning of the memory. For example alcohol, benzodiazepines, cannabis, MDMA and ketamine. And with some drugs it only comes into play after heavy use. For example with alcohol. This often involves a permanently impaired functioning of the memory. Sometimes there is an improvement after stopping use, for example with cannabis.
Increased risk of arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke
Over-fatigue and insomnia
When you use uppers, you usually eat poorly (or not at all), and often you’re also moving a lot on the dance floor. This, together with the higher energy demands of your body during upper use, means that you use more energy than you take in and therefore lose weight.
Deterioration of teeth and gums
Using this drug has a negative influence on your teeth. Your teeth can discolour, but the risk of inflammation or cavities also increases.
Some side effects of 6-APB can last longer than usual. It is possible that medical treatment is necesarry. The Brijder addiction care facility has a special consultancy for these type of complaints: national medical consultancy partydrugs. If you have complaints you can call them at 088- 358 29 40 (Netherlands only).
Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.
6-APB influences the serotonin system. Combining 6-APB with other serotonergic drugs can induce the life threatening serotonin syndrome. Examples of serotonergic drugs are MDMA (and analogs), antidepressants, opiates (Tramadol, codeine, morphine), serotonin precursors (L-tryptophan and 5-HTP), asthma medications and psychedelics.
6-APB and alcohol
Using 6-APB makes you feel awake and cheerful. As a result, you may feel the sedating effects of the alcohol less and you may tend to drink more alcohol. Be careful, because this can cause an extra large hangover. So do not drink alcohol while taking 6-APB or make an agreement in advance with yourself or your friends how many glasses of alcohol you want to drink. This prevents headaches the next day and is better for your health!
6-APB and cannabis
Sometimes people use cannabis after or while using 6-APB to calm down or fall asleep more easily. Cannabis can soften the effects, especially at the end of the rush. However, this is not recommended for everyone, some people may feel anxious or restless. If you suffer from insomnia after using 6-APB, it is advisable to time your use better. Keep in mind what time you want to go to sleep and do not take any more about 12 hours before you want to go to sleep.
There is no 100% safe use of 6-APB, but you can reduce the risks by following these tips:
- Test your 6-APB at a testservice.
- Use in a trusted setting with people you trust.
- Do not use 6-APB if you don’t feel well, both mentally and physically.
- Only use 6-APB to have a good time, not to fight symptoms such as tiredness.
- Do not take the drug if you have (had) psychological problems. Also don’t take it if mental disorders are common in your family (such as depression).
- Eat healthy before and after 6-APB consumption. Especially anti-oxidants and vitamins (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, oranges, kiwis, broccoli). This is probably the most important tip of this list! Even though eating may be difficult when under the influence of 6-APB, you should really try to. Eating well definitely lessens the hangover! If eating solid food really is impossible, consider smoothies, fruit juices or liquid meals.
- Before and after your trip, vitamins and anti-oxidant supplements can be taken.
- Don’t take 6-APB if you are suffering from one of the following condition: diabetes, weak heart, high blood pressure, pregnancy, epilepsies or psychological conditions. Also do not combine 6-APB with medication (especially not with MAOIs or asthma medication).
- Don’t drink more than 2 glasses of water or soft drink per hour to lower the risk of water intoxication.
- Make sure not to overheat when under the influence, don’t wear warm clothes or hats, take breaks between dancing and drink some water every now and then.
- Don’t combine 6-APB with alcohol or other drugs.
- Do not participate in traffic after taking a drug!
- 6-APB causes feelings of intimacy. 6-APB lowers your inhibitions and will make you worry less. You may forget about safe sex. Make sure you carry condoms with you. Before taking 6-APB, set limits about sex with the person you take the drug with and respect them!
Unity tips for using drugs
- When using a drug for the first time, take only a small dose to see how your body reacts to the substance
- Only use drugs when you are feeling well
- Use drugs recreationally, not to combat psychological issues like fatigue
- Avoid using drugs if you have (had) psychological afflictions or if you have a family history of psychological diseases (such as depression) in your family
- Test your drugs before use at a drugs-testing service
- Make sure to prepare a good set and setting for drug use
- Only use drugs sparingly. Keep track of your use over time.
- Decide in advance how much you are planning to use over the evening, and stick to that.
- Do not combine drugs with other substances or medicines
- Do not participate in traffic after drug use
- Prevent infectious diseases; Use your own snorter/sniffer and do not share paraphernalia with others
- After insufflating, rinse your nose well with lukewarm saline water (for example, by using a nasal spray or nasal douche)
- Are you, or one of your friends not feeling well? Keep an eye out for one another, take care of each other and visit the first aid (if one is available)
- Call 112 in a life-threatening situation
- Eat healthy before and after drug use. In particular, foods with lots of antioxidants and vitamins (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, kiwi, broccoli). This is perhaps the most important tip! It can be difficult to eat during and after drug use, but make sure to try to eat something anyway. Eating well is a great way to reduce the hangover! If you can’t hold in solid foods, try juices, breakfast drinks, and smoothies.
Unity tips for using stimulants
- Do not combine high stimulant doses with other stimulants
- Do not use stimulants if you suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy or psychological afflictions. Also, do not use stimulants if you are pregnant, or in combination with medications (especially MAO inhibitors and asthma medication).
- Make sure you don’t get too warm while using stimulants: rest every now and then, don’t wear (too) warm clothes or headgear and drink water/soft drinks occasionally.
- Get enough rest before using stimulants. If you are very tired or suffer from insomnia, do not use stimulants!
- Moderate use is key. Keep track of how much you take.
- Drink enough to keep yourself hydrated, but no more than 2 glasses of water per hour. Exceeding this increases the risk of water intoxication.
- Stimulants can give you a dry mouth, which, combined with teeth grinding, increases the risk of damage to your teeth. It is important to stimulate your saliva production. You can do this by chewing sugar-free gum. Saliva substitutes or artificial saliva (such as Saliva Orthana, Xialine and Oral Balance) can also be used and can be purchased without a prescription.
Unity tips for using psychedelics
- When taking a psychedelic for the first time, try to have your experience in nature or at home
- Do you want to trip at a party or festival? Adjust your dose to be smaller than what you are used to.
- Prevent nausea by eating something easily digestible at least 2 hours before taking your drugs
- Make sure to always have a sober person (a trip sitter) around when tripping.
- Pay close attention to the effects you experience: if you feel that they are too strong or unpleasant, ingesting vitamin C, dextrose or sweet drinks may help to alleviate this.
- Do not fight any unpleasant feelings during the trip, but let yourself float on the flow of the trip
- Do not combine psychedelics with other drugs (including alcohol) and medications. Cannabis in particular can greatly intensify and prolong the effect of psychedelics.
- Make sure you are free from responsibilities the day after using, take some time to process the experience
- Do not use psychedelics if you suffer from epilepsy or have a cardiovascular disease.
What is tripping?
Tripping is the feeling you experience when you take a psychedelic drug. When tripping, your state of mind is altered and reality will be perceived differently. This is called ‘a trip’ or ‘tripping’ because it refers to the mental trip you will experience. A psychedelic can have a strong impact on your mood. It generally increases the feeling you experience before your trip, both mentally and physically. This can result in an intense feeling of euphoria, but also (strong) feelings of anxiety and confusion can arise.
Psychedelics make you more sensitive to sensory impulses. The areas in the brain which are involved in sensory perception work differently. Colors, sounds and shaped are processed more intensely. Physical objects can start to move or ‘breathe’. For example, walls may start to move in waves and patterns may start moving. Colors can also change or melt away. Certain facial expressions may be intensified, almost as if you’re looking at a cartoon.
Sometimes things are perceived differently than normal; you may think a rope turns into a snake, or the face of your significant other suddenly looks very wrinkled or almost like glowing angel. It can really go anywhere. After consumption of high doses, senses may suddenly start working differently. You might start seeing sounds or feeling colors.
Psychedelics influence your perception of time and space, sometimes it feels like time has frozen. When tripping, you might start to see unusual connections between things. This can lead to some very interesting new perceptions on reality or almost psychotic ideas. Sometimes at higher doses your sense of self may start to dissolve. This phenomenon is called ego-dissolution or ego-death. It’s almost like you no longer know where your body starts, it may feel like you are everything and everything is you. It may feel like everything in the universe is connected. This can feel amazing for some people, however it can be frightening if you’re not prepared or ready for this yet.
6-APB and the law
In the Netherlands possession of 6-APB is not illegal. In some countries however it is illegal, such as the UK and Sweden. So always check the legal status in your country.
History of 6-APB
6-APB (6-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran) was first synthesized in 1993 by David Nichols and his team. Users often call the drug ‘Benzo Fury’. David and his team were looking for a compound that would give the same effects as MDMA, without being as neurotoxic. It has never been confirmed whether 6-APB is actually less neurotoxic than MDMA. 6-APB was derived from MDA. MDA is one of the metabolites of MDMA in the human body. 6-APB is often reported to give more hallucinogenic effects than MDA or MDMA. 6-APB made its appearance on the market at the same time as 5-APB, 5-MAPB and 6-MAPB. They all have a somewhat similar mechanism of action, but there are minor differences. Since a couple of years, visitors at the Unity-stand at festivals report 6-APB use.
How do you dose powder or capsules?
To be able to weigh a certain dose properly, you need a good scale. Have a scale that can weigh milligrams, to 3 decimal places (0.001 mg). A scale that weighs 0.01 (2 decimal places) may be just accurate enough for MDMA, but not for many other substances.
Where can you find such a scale?
On the large international online webshops you can find scales for around 20 euros that can weigh 3 figures after the decimal point. You can buy empty capsules in different sizes at pharmacies, smart shops or drugstores. Some are also suitable for vegetarians. You can write the drug and dosage on the capsule with a waterproof marker or a CD marker.
How is it possible that some ecstasy users see bar tables?
A side effect of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, is that your vision isn’t as good as it normally is. For example, you can’t focus as well because your eyes move quickly back and forth. Your brain likes to understand things. So it will then fill in things so that you can see things that are not there (hallucinate). People see bar tables for example, or fences or sunglasses. If you take a high dose, you will get hallucinations faster.
What can I do if I experience complaints after the use of party drugs?
Some complaints after using drugs can last longer and then medical explanation or even treatment may be necessary. Brijder has set up a national consultancy for party drugs for this purpose. If you have complaints, you can call the party drugs medical consultancy: 088 – 358 29 40. It is only available in the Netherlands.