What Is N-Bomb?

N-bomb is a street name for three psychedelic drugs. They’re sometimes individually referred to as 25I, 25C or 25B. N-bomb drugs were once sold as legal hallucinogens, but the Drug Enforcement Administration banned the substances after they caused several deaths.
Topics On this page
| | 10 sources

Three man-made hallucinogens commonly referred to as n-bomb grew in popularity around 2010. Any of the three drugs may individually be called n-bomb. The drugs were sold online and on the street as legal hallucinogens. Some drug dealers secretly sold n-bomb drugs as other hallucinogens, such as LSD or mescaline.

But n-bomb drugs are stronger than other hallucinogens. People who unknowingly use the substances can overdose and experience serious side effects. Counterfeit drugs containing n-bomb drugs have been associated with numerous overdose deaths.

Fast Facts: N-Bomb

Abuse Potential
Scientific Name
25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe
Drug Class
Street Names
25i, 25C, 25B, Smiles, Solaris, Wizard
How It's Used
Swallowed, Snorted, Sublingual, Buccal
Side Effects
Hallucination, Seizure, Heart Failure, Breathing Failure
Legal Status
Schedule I

N-bomb drugs include 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe and 25B-NBOMe. They’re sometimes referred to by the abbreviations 25I, 25C or 25B. Other street names include Smiles, Solaris and Wizard. N-bomb drugs are sometimes called synthetic hallucinogens because they’re man-made.

They may also be called designer drugs because they were designed to circumvent drug laws. Before 2013, n-bomb drugs could legally be sold online and delivered through the mail. They became coveted as stronger, cheaper and legal alternatives to other hallucinogens.

The DEA temporarily classified the substances in Schedule I in 2013. Schedule I drugs have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. The agency permanently banned the drugs in 2016. But n-bomb drugs remain in-demand among people looking for cheap hallucinogens and among dealers who sell counterfeit drugs.

N-Bomb Effects

Like other hallucinogens, n-bomb drugs are misused for their hallucinatory effects. People who have used n-bomb drugs have reported seeing nonexistent objects, hearing noises, seeing enhanced colors and experiencing other visual distortions, according to a 2014 review published in the journal BioMed Research International.

Other effects of n-bomb drugs include:

  • Euphoria
  • Stimulation
  • Teeth grinding
  • Shakes
  • Time distortion
  • Depersonalization
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Panic

N-bomb drugs are relatively new compared with other drugs of abuse. People who use the substances may experience side effects that aren’t listed. Combining the drugs with marijuana, alcohol or other drugs may increase the risk of serious side effects.

N-Bomb vs. Other Hallucinogens

In a survey published in 2014 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, 582 respondents who had taken at least one n-bomb drug in their lifetime reported that the substances caused a high similar to that of other hallucinogens.

The strength of the effects, the crash and the “urge to use more” were similar to those caused by LSD abuse and mushroom abuse, two hallucinogens with a low risk of addiction.

However, the survey found n-bomb drugs caused more negative effects during drug use and a higher risk of harm after drug use than LSD or mushrooms. In these categories, the ratings for n-bomb drugs were similar to ketamine. Ketamine abuse is associated with serious side effects, including deadly overdose.

Long-Term Effects of N-Bomb

The long-term effects of n-bomb drugs are unknown. In general, long-term effects of hallucinogens include increased risk of flashbacks, psychosis and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.

It’s unknown whether n-bomb abuse causes HPPD or other long-term health problems, such as tolerance, dependence or drug addiction.

How Is N-Bomb Used?

N-bomb drugs come in powder or liquid form. Liquids are sometimes soaked into blotter paper, and powders are sometimes placed within capsules. The method of use depends on the form of drug.

Common ways to use n-bomb drugs include:

  • Swallowing
  • Placing under the tongue (sublingual administration)
  • Placing between the tongue and cheek (buccal administration)
  • Placing on the tongue
  • Snorting

The effects of the drugs differ depending on method of use. According to the Journal of Psychopharmacology survey, people who consumed the drug orally felt peak effects in about 2 hours. Those who snorted felt peak effects within 45 minutes.

The duration of effects ranged between two and 13 hours. The average duration of effects was six hours, and people who snorted n-bomb drugs were more likely than those who swallowed the substances to report shorter effects.

N-Bomb Overdose

Most people who abuse hallucinogens worry about experiencing a bad trip. A bad trip is a slang term for negative effects, such as paranoia, panic or fear. Some people experience scary hallucinations described as living nightmares.

People who use n-bomb drugs should also worry about overdosing. The DEA reported 19 deaths involving the substances between March 2012 and August 2013. Media outlets have also documented several cases of deaths involving n-bomb in recent years.

A 17-year-old teen from Minnesota who thought she was using LSD overdosed on n-bomb in 2015, according to the StarTribune. The drug was also implicated in the death of an 18-year-old who thought he was taking psilocybin, the psychoactive drug in magic mushrooms, according to CNN.

Symptoms of an n-bomb overdose include:

  • Agitation
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Delirium
  • Seizure

Call 911 immediately if someone experiences these symptoms.

The only way to prevent an n-bomb overdose is to avoid the drug. The drugs are too potent to visually identify a safe dose. A dose 25 to 50 times stronger than the psychoactive dose appears the same size as a single grain of salt, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Psychosomatics.

Hallucinogens are dangerous drugs capable of causing unpredictable side effects. N-bomb drugs are potent hallucinogens that have caused an unknown number of overdose deaths. 25I, 25C and 25B should never be used recreationally.

Medical Disclaimer: DrugRehab.com aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Chris Elkins, MA
Senior Content Writer, DrugRehab.com
Chris Elkins worked as a journalist for three years and was published by multiple newspapers and online publications. Since 2015, he’s written about health-related topics, interviewed addiction experts and authored stories of recovery. Chris has a master’s degree in strategic communication and a graduate certificate in health communication.
Kim Borwick, MA
Editor, DrugRehab.com

Was this article helpful?

How helpful would you rate this article?


    DrugRehab.com logo

    Thanks for helping us make our website better for visitors like you!

    View Sources

    Ready to make a change?

    Get cost-effective, quality addiction care that truly works.

    Start Your Recovery
    We're here to help you or your loved one.
    Question mark symbol icon

    Who am I calling?

    Calls will be answered by a qualified admissions representative with Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS), the owners of DrugRehab.com. We look forward to helping you!

    Question mark symbol icon

    Who am I calling?

    Phone calls to treatment center listings not associated with ARS will go directly to those centers. DrugRehab.com and ARS are not responsible for those calls.