What is Phenibut?
Phenibut (contracted from β-'''pheny'''l-γ-amino'''but'''yric acid) is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and derivative of the naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The addition of a phenyl ring allows phenibut to cross the blood–brain barrier. Phenibut is sold as a nutritional supplement, and is not approved as a pharmaceutical in the United States or Europe, but in Russia it is sold as a psychotropic drug. It has been reported by some to possess nootropic actions for its ability to improve neurological functions, but other researchers have not observed these effects. It is generally accepted that phenibut has anxiolytic effects in both animal models and in humans. Phenibut was discovered in the Soviet Union in the 1960s, and has since been used there to treat a wide range of ailments including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and insomnia.
The name phenibut, along with many of the other names for the compound, comes directly from the chemical name for the compound, β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid.