Last published: November 23, 2023
What are NBOMes?
NBOMes (N-methoxybenzyl) are a group of psychedelic drugs. which means they can affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions. Psychedelics can cause a person to hallucinate, seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted.1
There are a number of different NBOMes, including 25B-NBOMe and 25C-NBOMe. While they belong to the same drug type, their chemical structures have differences.2
NBOMes are also referred to as a New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) because they are designed to mimic or produce similar effects to common illicit drugs such as the so-called ‘classical psychedelics’ like mescaline or LSD.1
What do they look like?
NBOMes can be in the form of blotting paper (similar to LSD) with images and logos from popular culture, a clear liquid, a white powder, or a pill.3, 4
Other names for NBOMes
N-Bomb, Bom-25, 2C-I-NBOMe, 25-I-NBOMe, 25I, Pandora, Solaris, Divination, Wizard, and Smiley Paper.
There are concerns that NBOMes may sometimes be incorrectly sold as other drugs, such as LSD. 4
How are they used?
NBOMes may be taken under the tongue, held in the cheek, snorted.3
NBOMes are only active when taken through a sublingual route (under the tongue) or insufflated route (snorted).
Effects of NBOMes
There is no safe level of drug use. Severe intoxication and death has been linked to the use of NBOMes, which are reported to be very potent in small doses.2,4
NBOMes can affect everyone differently, based on:
- size, weight and health
- whether the person is used to taking it
- whether other drugs are taken around the same time
- the amount taken
Using NBOMes carries a high risk of overdose due to the small difference between the amount required to produce a high and that which causes overdose. The inconsistent amount of NBOMe on a blotter or in a pill means it can be easy to take too much.
The amount of time someone experiences the effects of NBOMes will be different for each person and depend on the dose and the batch of the drug they have, but might range from 4 – 10 hours.3
NBOMes affects everyone differently. Reported effects have included:
- seeing and hearing things that aren’t there
- mood changes which can include relaxation or agitation
- increased appreciation for music
- enhanced sense of touch
- short term memory problems
- high blood pressure
- fast heartbeat
- high body temperature
- panic and paranoia.2,5,6
Impact of mood and environment
Drugs that affect a person’s mental state (psychoactive drugs) can also have varied effects depending on a person’s mood (often called the ‘set’) or the environment they’re in (the ‘setting’).
Set is a person’s state of mind, previous encounters with psychedelic drugs, and expectations of what’s going to happen. For example, feelings of stress or anxiety before using NBOMe may result in an unpleasant experience (bad trip).7
Setting is the environment in which someone consumes NBOMe – whether it’s known and familiar, who they’re with, if they’re indoors or outdoors, the type of music and light. For example, using NBOMe in a calm, quiet and relaxed environment could lead or contribute to a pleasant experience but being in a noisy, crowded place may result in a negative experience.7
Being in a good state of mind, with trusted friends and a safe environment before taking 2C-BNBOMe reduces the risk of having a ‘bad’ trip.
NBOMes can be very potent even in moderate doses, which increases the risk of overdose. In case of a suspected overdose, triple zero (000) should be called immediately (ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police).
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- intense confusion
- severe agitation
- kidney failure
- nausea and vomiting
- rapid heart rate
- rapid or difficulty breathing
- attempted suicide
- coma 2, 4-6
As the use of NBOMes is relatively new, long-term effects are still being determined.
NBOMe and mental health
People with a mental health condition or a family history of mental illness are more likely to experience anxiety or paranoia after using NBOMe.8,9
Some people may have negative experiences taking psychedelics, or experiences they find challenging. This can include experiencing:
- frightening or confronting hallucinations
- intense anxiety and confusion
- fear and paranoia.7, 10
Tolerance and dependence
Similar to other psychedelics, NBOMe does not produce dependence. People who have taken NBOMe report that a tolerance begins almost immediately and can take around 2 weeks to return to zero.11
MIxing NBOMes with other drugs
The effects of taking NBOMe with other drugs – including over-the-counter or prescribed medications – can be unpredictable and dangerous.
NBOMe + cannabis = can increase the risk of anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks and psychosis.11
MBOMe + cocaine = can increase stimulation considerably and result in narrowing of the arteries, increased heart rate and blood pressure.11
More on polydrug use
'Polydrug use' is a term for the use of more than one drug or type of drug at the same time or one after another.
Polydrug use can involve both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medications.
If your use of NBOMes is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, or you’re concerned about a loved one, you can find help and support.
Call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015 for free and confidential advice, information and counselling about alcohol and other drugs
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- Nichols D. Psychedelics. Pharmacological Reviews 2016;68:264–355.
- Poulie C, Jensen A, Halberstadt A, Kristensen J. DARK Classics in chemical neuroscience: NBOMes. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2019.
- Lawn W, Barratt M, Williams M, Horne A, Winstock A. The NBOMe hallucinogenic drug series: Patterns of use, characteristics of users and self-reported effects in a large international sample. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2014:1-9.
- Suzuki J, Dekker M, Valenti E, Cruz F, Correa A, Poklis J, et al. Toxicities associated with NBOMe ingestion, a novel class of potent hallucinogens: A review of the literature. Psychosomatics. 2015;52(2):129-39.
- Kyriakou C, Marinelli E, Frati P, Santurro A, Afxentiou M, Zaami S, et al. NBOMe: new potent hallucinogens – pharmacology, analytical methods, toxicities, fatalities: a review. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2015;19:3270-.
- Zawilska J, Kacela M, Adamowicz P. NBOMes - Highly potent and toxic alternatives of LSD. Frontiers of Neuroscience. 2020;14.
- Nutt D. Drugs without the hot air : making sense of legal and illegal drugs. Cambridge: UIT Cambridge Ltd; 2012.
- Drugs SBEWS. 25I-NBOMe 2018 cited: 06.10.2022].
- Krebs T Johansen P. Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study. PLoS One. 2013;8(8).
- Brands B, Sproule B, Marshman J. Drugs & Drug Abuse. 3rd ed. Ontario: Addiction Research Foundation; 1998.
- Psychonaut Wiki. 25x-NBOMe 2020 cited: 06.10.2022.
- World Health Organization. Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms 2021 [19.03.2021].