Last published: June 24, 2019
Note: Due to the lack of formal research on NBOMes, the information in this article has been informed by anecdotal reports and case studies rather than scientific sources. This page will be regularly updated, as new information is produced.
What are NBOMes?
NBOMe (N-methoxybenzyl) is the name for a series of drugs that have hallucinogenic effects. Reports indicate that there are a number of different versions of NBOMe available – all with differing effects.
Psychedelics change the way a person perceives the world and can affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions.
Other names for NBOMes
N-Bomb, Bom-25, 2C-I-NBOMe, 25-I-NBOMe, 25I, Pandora, Solaris, Divination, wizard and Smiley Paper.2
25-I-NBOMe is not the same as 2C-I. It is important they are not confused because 25-I-NBOMe is a lot stronger and the effects are felt when only a very small amount is taken. It is therefore much easier to overdose after using 25-I-NBOMe.
There have been reports that NBOMes have also been included in some ecstasy pills.3
What do they look like?
NBOMes can be in the form of blotting paper (similar to LSD) with images and logos from popular culture, clear liquid, white powder or a pill. NBOMes have a very bitter taste whereas LSD has no taste.
How are they used?
It was originally thought that 25I-NBOMe was inactive if swallowed, however there have been reports of overdoses occurring after oral administration. The most common methods of taking NBOMe are under the tongue, held in the cheek or snorted.2
Effects of NBOMes
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk – even prescribed medications can produce unwanted side effects.
As no scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of NBOMes on humans, the following effects have been informed by reports from people who think they have used the drug.
Low to moderate doses of NBOMes can produce effects that last between 4 – 10 hours.4
NBOMes affects everyone differently, but reported effects have included:
- seeing and hearing things that aren’t there
- feeling happy and relaxed
- heightened senses (sight, hearing and touch)
- increased sex drive
- feelings of empathy
- large pupils
- memory lapses
- facial flushing, chills, goose bumps
- small increase in heart rate.
If you take a large amount or have a strong batch, you might overdose. Call an ambulance straight away by dialling triple zero (000) if you have any of these symptoms (ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police):
- difficulty communicating
- restless sleep and exhaustion
- paranoia, fear and panic
- agitation and aggression
- rapid spasms in the eye
- difficulty urinating
- rapid heart rate
- rapid or difficulty breathing
- overheating (hyperthermia)
- numbness and swelling of feet, hands and face
- blue fingers and toes
There have also been reports of deaths as a result of car accidents, suicide and drownings.6
Using an NBOMe carries a high risk of overdose due to the small difference between the amount required to produce a high and that which causes overdose. Not knowing the amount contained in the tablet or blotter increases the risk of overdose as it’s easy to take too much.
As the use of NBOMes is relatively new, long term effects have not yet been established.
Taking an NBOMe with other drugs
The effects of mixing an NBOMe with other drugs, including alcohol, prescription medication and over-the-counter medicines are not known. However, reports of people attending emergency departments after taking an NBOMe demonstrate that alcohol and other drugs may contribute to overdose effects.
If your use of NBOMes is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, you can seek help and support.
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- Barratt, M. & Bright, S. (2013). Explainer: What is NBOMe.
- Lawn, W., Barratt, M. Williams, M., Horne, A. & Winstock, A. (2014). The NBOMe hallucinogenic drug series: Patterns of use, characteristics of users and self-reported effects in a large international sample, Journal of Psychopharmacology 28(8), 780–788.
- Gerstner-Stevens, J. (2013). Analysis results for Victorian seizures of emerging psychoactive substances and pharmacuetical opioids for 2012–13. Drug Trends Conference 2013. Melbourne: Victoria Police.
- Zuba, D. et al. (2012). 25C-NBOMe — New potent hallucinogenic substance identified on the drug market, Forensic Science International.
- Erowid. 201325I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) Effects.
- Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (AMCD) 2013 ‘NBOMe’ compounds: A review of the evidence of use and harm. United Kingdom: ACMD.