“What is Phenibut?” I get asked this question almost every day because two of our most popular formulas, Tranquility and Sleep Easy, contain Phenibut as a key ingredient. So I figured it was time to put my answer in our newsletter.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) had been known as an effective neurotransmitter, but it is not very effective in crossing the blood brain barrier. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid HCl) was discovered in 1963 by Russian scientists in St. Petersburg, Russia. These scientists had been experimenting with how they could make GABA be more effective in crossing the blood brain barrier to treat and calm psychiatric children. By adding a phenyl ring, it enabled GABA to easily cross the blood brain barrier creating a much more effective neurotransmitter.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is found throughout the central nervous system. GABA has assumed an ever-enlarging role as a significant influence on stress, anxiety, depression and pain. Phenibut has been shown to be even more effective as a neurotransmitter (since it crosses the blood brain barrier) for treating anxiety, stress, and depression.
There seems to be some misinformation online regarding phenibut. Some reports imply that it is habit forming, since people that take it on a regular basis don’t easily quit using it. This is not dependence, but rather a realization that one’s symptoms of anxiety are significantly decreased when they are taking it. Also it has been said that phenibut causes grogginess along with low motivation. I find this claim rather odd because the Soviet Ministry mandates the use of phenibut for all its astronauts in space flights due to the calming, yet cognitively stimulating, effects.
Like all medications, one should exercise attention and report back to one’s health care providers on questions regarding possible reactions when taking any medications. Phenibut is used all over the world as a smart medicine, mood enhancer, anti-anxiety remedy, sleep aid, anti-depressant and as a recovery booster. I personally feel very fortunate to have been able to discover how effective this raw material is and to be able to share this with my patients and fellow practitioners.