9-Me-Bc Review: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses & Where To Buy (2024)

Updated June 13, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 13 minutes)

9-Me-BC, or 9-Methyl-β-carboline, is a novel nootropic compound that has garnered attention for its potential neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects. Targeting dopaminergic neurons shows promise in addressing conditions such as ADHD, depression, and cognitive decline. Despite positive anecdotal reports, the comprehensive understanding of 9-Me-BC's safety profile, pharmacokinetics, and long-term impacts is still in its infancy, highlighting the need for further research. Its legal status and FDA approval vary, making it a subject of interest primarily among nootropic enthusiasts and scientific researchers.

In this 9-Me-BC review, I'll look at the compound's mechanism of action, exploring how it interacts with the brain's dopaminergic system to potentially offer cognitive and neuroprotective benefits. I'll examine the existing body of research, including both animal studies and anecdotal evidence from human users, to provide a comprehensive overview of 9-Me-BC's efficacy and safety. I'll discuss the legal status and availability of 9-Me-BC, offering guidance on responsible use.

By evaluating the potential risks and benefits, this review aims to equip readers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about incorporating 9-Me-BC into their cognitive enhancement strategies.

What Is 9-Me-BC and Its Chemical Composition?


9-Methyl-β-carboline (9-Me-BC) is a heterocyclic amine belonging to the β-carboline family of compounds. It is a methylated derivative of the naturally occurring β-carboline alkaloid norharmane. 9-Me-BC has the molecular formula C12H10N2 and a molar mass of 182.27 g/mol.

CAS Number2521-07-5
Chemical ClassificationHeterocyclic amine of the β-carboline family
Molecular FormulaC12H10N2
Preparation MethodEschweiler–Clarke reaction on freebase β-carboline (norharmane)

What Is the Origin of 9-Me-BC?

9-Me-BC is a synthetic research chemical that can be prepared by performing the Eschweiler–Clarke reaction on freebase β-carboline (norharmane). Norharmane itself is found naturally in cooked meat and is formed endogenously in humans and mammals. 9-Me-BC does not appear to have any known natural sources.

What Is the Chemical Structure of 9-Me-BC?

The chemical structure of 9-Me-BC consists of a β-carboline core with a methyl group attached at the 9-position of the pyrido[3,4-b]indole ring system. Its IUPAC name is 9-methylpyrido[3,4-b]indole, and common synonyms include 9-Methyl-9H-β-carboline and 9-Methylnorharman. The planar aromatic structure of 9-Me-BC allows it to potentially interact with various receptors and enzymes.

How Does 9-Me-BC Enhance Cognitive Function?

9-Me-BC has demonstrated cognitive-enhancing properties in animal studies. In rats, 10 days of 9-Me-BC treatment significantly improved performance in the radial arm maze, a test of spatial learning and memory.[1] This cognitive enhancement was associated with elevated dopamine levels in the hippocampus and increased dendritic formations in this brain region.9-Me-BC appears to enhance cognition through multiple mechanisms. It upregulates tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, leading to increased dopamine levels. 9-Me-BC also inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity, preventing the breakdown of dopamine and other monoamine neurotransmitters. Additionally, 9-Me-BC stimulates the expression of neurotrophic factors by astrocytes, promoting neuronal growth and survival.

What Are the Biochemical Processes Influenced by 9-Me-BC?

9-Me-BC impacts several biochemical pathways crucial for cognitive function. It modulates neurotransmitter systems, enhancing acetylcholine and dopamine levels, which are vital for memory, learning, and attention. 9-Me-BC also promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons, by increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels. This dual action on neurotransmitter modulation and neurogenesis underpins its cognitive-enhancing effects.

What Are the Primary Uses and Benefits of 9-Me-BC?

9-Me-BC is primarily used as a cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent. It is sought after for its ability to improve memory, learning, and overall mental performance. Additionally, 9-Me-BC's neuroprotective properties make it beneficial in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases by protecting neurons from damage and supporting brain health.

How Does 9-Me-BC Benefit Cognitive Disorders?

9-Me-BC offers therapeutic potential for cognitive disorders by enhancing cognitive functions and protecting the brain from neurodegenerative damage. Its mechanism of increasing neurotransmitter levels and promoting neurogenesis can counteract the cognitive decline associated with disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. By improving neuronal health and function, 9-Me-BC can alleviate symptoms and potentially slow the progression of cognitive disorders.[2]

How Can 9-Me-BC Improve Cognitive Performance in Healthy Individuals?

In healthy individuals, 9-Me-BC can enhance cognitive performance by optimizing neurotransmitter levels and supporting neuronal growth. This leads to improved memory, focus, and learning capabilities. The compound's ability to increase BDNF and NGF levels also contributes to long-term cognitive health, making 9-Me-BC a popular choice among those seeking to boost their mental performance and protect against cognitive decline.

User Experiences and Reviews of 9-Me-BC

User experiences with 9-Me-BC vary widely, reflecting its complex effects on cognitive function and mood. Some Reddit users report significant improvements in alertness, mood, and cognitive abilities, attributing these benefits to the compound's dopaminergic activity. However, concerns about potential side effects, including photosensitivity and neurotoxicity, temper enthusiasm for 9-Me-BC as a nootropic. The lack of comprehensive studies and established dosing guidelines further complicates the assessment of 9-Me-BC's safety and efficacy.

What Do Personal Experiences and Reddit Discussions Reveal About 9-Me-BC?

Reddit discussions and personal experiences reveal a mixed picture of 9-Me-BC's effects. Users describe both positive outcomes, such as enhanced cognitive function and mood improvement, and negative experiences, including photosensitivity and inconsistent effects. The compound's potential for neurotoxicity and the need for cautious use are frequently highlighted. These discussions underscore the importance of further research to clarify 9-Me-BC's safety profile and optimal usage.

My Personal 9-Me-BC Experience and Results

My personal experience with 9-Me-BC underscores its potential as a cognitive enhancer, with noticeable improvements in focus and mental clarity. However, the experience also highlighted the compound's side effects, such as increased sensitivity to sunlight and concerns about long-term safety. The variability in individual responses to 9-Me-BC suggests that its effects may be influenced by personal biochemistry and the presence of underlying health conditions.

How Does 9-Me-BC Feel and What Results Were Observed?

9-Me-BC's effects can feel profound, with users reporting enhanced alertness, mood elevation, and cognitive improvements. However, the compound's side effects, including potential photosensitivity and neurotoxicity, necessitate caution. The subjective nature of these experiences and the lack of rigorous scientific studies make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about 9-Me-BC's efficacy and safety.

Practical Aspects of Acquiring 9-Me-BC

9-Me-BC, a research chemical with potential cognitive-enhancing properties, is available through select online vendors specializing in nootropics and research chemicals. Due to its status as a research compound, purchasers should ensure they are dealing with reputable sources that provide product purity and safety documentation. It's crucial to verify the legal status of 9-Me-BC in the purchaser's country to avoid legal issues, as regulations can vary significantly.

Where and How to Purchase 9-Me-BC Safely and Legally?

9-Me-BC can be acquired from online suppliers that offer nootropics and research chemicals. Buyers should prioritize vendors that provide comprehensive lab reports and have a transparent quality assurance process. Ensuring the vendor operates within the legal frameworks of the buyer's jurisdiction is essential to avoid contravening local laws. Some suppliers also offer secure shipping options to protect the product during transit.

How Much Does 9-Me-BC Cost?

The cost of 9-Me-BC varies depending on the supplier, quantity, and form (powder or solution). For instance, a 500mg powder can be priced at around $49.99, while capsules and solutions may have different pricing structures. Bulk purchasing options are often available, providing a cost advantage for larger orders. Prices are subject to change, and potential buyers should check current rates and available discounts directly with suppliers.

Understanding 9-Me-BC's Side Effects and Safety Profile

While 9-Me-BC has shown promise in preclinical studies for its neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects, its safety profile is not fully understood. Users have reported a range of side effects, including potential photosensitivity and concerns about neurotoxicity with long-term use. The compound's interaction with monoamine oxidase inhibitors and its effects on dopamine levels necessitate caution and further research to elucidate its long-term safety. As with any research chemical, individuals should approach 9-Me-BC with caution and consider the potential risks and benefits.[3]

What Are the Known Short-Term and Long-Term Side Effects?

Short-term side effects of 9-Me-BC include photosensitivity, which necessitates avoiding sun exposure while taking the compound and for several days after discontinuation. Users have also reported headaches, nausea, and dizziness as common short-term side effects. Long-term side effects are less well-documented due to the compound's relatively recent emergence and lack of extensive research. However, there are concerns about potential neurotoxicity and DNA damage, particularly when exposed to UVA radiation. The risk of developing tolerance or dependence on 9-Me-BC over long-term use remains unclear, underscoring the need for further investigation.

What Are the Major Drug Interactions with 9-Me-BC?

9-Me-BC interacts with dopaminergic agents and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), necessitating caution when combining these substances. Its inhibitory effect on monoamine oxidase activity could potentially enhance the effects of other dopaminergic drugs or lead to adverse reactions when used with MAOIs. Additionally, due to its photosensitizing properties, combining 9-Me-BC with other medications known to cause photosensitivity could increase the risk of adverse skin reactions. Users should consult healthcare professionals before combining 9-Me-BC with other medications, especially those affecting the dopaminergic system or those with known photosensitizing effects.

Administration and Dosage Guidelines for 9-Me-BC

Determining the optimal dosage of 9-Me-BC requires careful consideration due to its potent effects and the limited availability of comprehensive dosage studies. The commonly recommended dosage range is between 5mg to 20mg per day, with variations depending on individual sensitivity and the desired cognitive effects. It is advisable to start with the lower end of the dosage spectrum to assess tolerance before gradually increasing the dose if necessary.

What Are the Different Forms and Methods of Taking 9-Me-BC?

9-Me-BC is available in powder, liquid, and capsule forms, offering flexibility in administration methods. The typical dosage range for 9-Me-BC is between 10-30mg per day, with some users preferring sublingual administration for potentially better absorption, despite the risk of oral irritation. Oral administration is more common and may be more tolerable for most individuals, though it might offer slightly less bioavailability. Cycling 9-Me-BC—using it for a period followed by an equal or longer break—is highly recommended to maximize benefits and minimize potential side effects. Due to individual variations in response, starting with the lowest effective dose and adjusting based on personal tolerance and effects is crucial.

How Much 9-Me-BC Is Recommended for Desired Effects?

The recommended dosage of 9-Me-BC for cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects typically ranges from 5mg to 20mg per day. This dosage may vary based on individual response and the specific objectives of use. It is crucial to start with the lower end of the dosage range to gauge individual tolerance and avoid potential side effects. Due to the potent nature of 9-Me-BC and the lack of extensive human studies, users should exercise caution and consider consulting with a healthcare professional before use.

Pharmacokinetics of 9-Me-BC

The pharmacokinetics of 9-Me-BC, including its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, are not fully detailed in the literature. However, its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier suggests effective systemic absorption, likely contributing to its neurostimulative and neuroprotective effects. Once absorbed, 9-Me-BC exhibits inhibitory effects on monoamine oxidase A and B, with IC50 values of 1 µM and 15.5 µM respectively, indicating its metabolism involves interaction with these enzymes. The specific pathways through which 9-Me-BC is excreted remain unclear, necessitating further research to fully understand its pharmacokinetic profile.[4]

How Is 9-Me-BC Absorbed, Metabolized, and Excreted in the Body?

9-Me-BC's pharmacokinetic properties, including absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), are not fully characterized in the available literature.[5] However, as a lipophilic compound, it is likely to cross the blood-brain barrier effectively. Once in the system, 9-Me-BC exhibits monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity, which affects its metabolism and the metabolism of other neurotransmitters. The specific pathways of excretion for 9-Me-BC have not been detailed in the available research, and further studies are needed to understand its pharmacokinetic profile fully.

Tolerance and Dependency Issues with 9-Me-BC

Tolerance and dependency potential for 9-Me-BC have not been extensively studied. However, given its pharmacological activity on dopaminergic systems, there is a theoretical risk for the development of tolerance or dependency with prolonged use. Users often cycle 9-Me-BC to mitigate these risks, although empirical evidence supporting this practice is limited. It is essential to monitor for signs of tolerance and adjust usage patterns accordingly to maintain the compound's efficacy and minimize potential risks.

Can Users Develop Tolerance to 9-Me-BC?

Users may develop tolerance to 9-Me-BC, particularly concerning its dopaminergic effects. Tolerance development can lead to a reduction in the compound's efficacy over time, necessitating periodic breaks or cycling to maintain its cognitive enhancing benefits.

Interactions and Synergies: 9-Me-BC Combinations

9-Me-BC may interact synergistically with other substances, potentially amplifying their effects or contributing to more complex pharmacological profiles. Careful consideration is required when combining 9-Me-BC with other compounds due to the risk of unforeseen interactions.

What Substances Interact with 9-Me-BC?

Substances that interact with 9-Me-BC include dopaminergic stimulants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which can affect the compound's efficacy and safety profile. These interactions may alter the pharmacokinetics of 9-Me-BC or the co-administered drugs.

What Are the Most Effective 9-Me-BC Stacks?

Effective 9-Me-BC stacks often include antioxidants and neurogenic agents, which may support cognitive function and mitigate potential oxidative stress associated with 9-Me-BC use. Stacking should be approached with caution to avoid adverse effects.

Exploring Alternatives to 9-Me-BC

There are several nootropic substances considered as alternatives to 9-Me-BC, each with unique mechanisms of action and potential cognitive benefits. Bromantane, for instance, is noted for its stimulatory effects without the typical stimulant side effects, making it a potential alternative for those seeking cognitive enhancement. Other substances like racetams, modafinil, and certain adaptogens may also offer cognitive benefits, including improved memory, focus, and neuroprotection, albeit with different safety profiles and mechanisms of action compared to 9-Me-BC.

What Are Viable Alternatives to 9-Me-BC?

Viable alternatives to 9-Me-BC for cognitive enhancement and neuroprotection include racetams, such as Piracetam and Aniracetam, which are known for their neuroprotective properties and ability to improve memory and cognitive function. Modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, offers cognitive benefits, particularly in the enhancement of executive function and attention. Additionally, adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea and Bacopa Monnieri have been studied for their stress-reducing and cognitive-enhancing effects, making them suitable alternatives for those seeking natural nootropic options.

Insights from Scientific Research on 9-Me-BC

Scientific research on 9-Me-BC has revealed its potential neuroprotective and neurodegenerative effects, particularly in the context of dopaminergic neurons. Studies have shown that 9-Me-BC can stimulate the gene expression of several important neurotrophic factors, such as Artn and Bdnf, which are crucial for the health and function of dopaminergic neurons.[6] In vitro studies have demonstrated increased expression of tyrosine hydroxylase and associated transcription factors, increased neurite outgrowth, and regeneration of neurons after chronic administration of neurotoxins. Rodent studies in vivo have shown elevated hippocampal dopamine levels, improved spatial learning performance, and increased dendrite outgrowth in the hippocampus. 

These findings suggest that 9-Me-BC holds promise for enhancing cognitive function and treating neurodegenerative diseases, although further research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and long-term safety profile.

What Have Animal and Human Studies Revealed About 9-Me-BC?

Animal studies on 9-Me-BC have demonstrated its potential neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects, particularly in models of Parkinson's disease, by increasing dopamine levels and promoting dendritic and synaptic proliferation.[1] Human research is limited, but anecdotal evidence suggests improvements in cognitive function and mood. The compound's ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase and stimulate neurotrophic factor expression may underlie these effects. However, comprehensive human studies are needed to fully understand its efficacy and safety.

Evaluating the Value of 9-Me-BC for Cognitive Enhancement

9-Me-BC's potential for cognitive enhancement is supported by preclinical studies showing its neuroprotective effects and ability to increase dopamine levels, which could translate to improved cognitive function. However, the lack of extensive human research and concerns about long-term safety, including potential neurotoxicity, make it difficult to conclusively evaluate its value as a cognitive enhancer. Users and researchers alike call for more rigorous studies to establish 9-Me-BC's efficacy, optimal dosing, and safety profile.

Is Investing in 9-Me-BC a Good Decision for Cognitive Enhancement?

Investing in 9-Me-BC for cognitive enhancement is a decision that should be approached with caution due to the compound's limited research and potential safety concerns. While some users report positive cognitive effects, the lack of comprehensive human studies and the risk of side effects such as photosensitivity and neurotoxicity make it a speculative investment in one's cognitive health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About 9-Me-BC

Your questions about 9-Me-BC are answered below.

How Long Does It Take for 9-Me-BC to Kick In?

The onset of effects from 9-Me-BC can vary, with some users reporting improvements in cognitive function within a few days of consistent use. However, it typically takes around 10 days for the compound to build up in the system and produce noticeable effects.

How Long Does the Effect of 9-Me-BC Last?

The duration of 9-Me-BC's effects is not well-documented, but anecdotal reports suggest that the cognitive enhancement benefits may last for several hours after administration. The compound has a relatively long half-life compared to other nootropics, which may contribute to its lasting effects.

What Does 9-Me-BC Taste Like?

Users report that 9-Me-BC can have a significant impact on taste, particularly numbing the ability to taste sweetness while using the compound and for a period after cessation. The taste of the compound itself is not often described, but taking it sublingually can result in an unpleasant burning sensation.

Is 9-Me-BC Legal?

The legal status of 9-Me-BC varies by country and it is not approved for medical use in many regions. Potential users should verify the legality in their jurisdiction before purchasing or using 9-Me-BC.

Is 9-Me-BC FDA-Approved?

9-Me-BC is not approved by the FDA for any medical use and is classified as a research chemical. Its use is primarily within the nootropic community and for research purposes, not as a recognized treatment or supplement.

Can 9-Me-BC alleviate symptoms of ADHD and anxiety?

9-Me-BC may offer potential benefits for ADHD and anxiety due to its dopaminergic activity, enhancing focus and reducing impulsivity, though comprehensive studies are needed.

Is 9-Me-BC effective in managing ADHD-related cognitive deficits?

Preliminary evidence suggests 9-Me-BC could improve cognitive deficits associated with ADHD by enhancing dopaminergic neurotransmission, potentially improving attention and executive function.

How does 9-Me-BC compare to traditional ADHD medications?

While traditional ADHD medications primarily focus on increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels, 9-Me-BC's unique action on dopaminergic neurons may offer a novel approach, but direct comparisons are lacking.

Can 9-Me-BC reduce anxiety symptoms?

Anecdotal reports indicate 9-Me-BC may reduce anxiety symptoms in some individuals, possibly due to its dopaminergic effects, but empirical evidence is required.

Does 9-Me-BC have antidepressant properties?

9-Me-BC's dopaminergic activity suggests potential antidepressant effects by enhancing mood and motivation, though clinical evidence is needed to confirm its efficacy.

Can 9-Me-BC induce psychedelic-like cognitive or mood effects?

While not psychedelic, 9-Me-BC may enhance cognitive function and mood through dopaminergic pathways, differing from the mechanism of traditional psychedelics.

How does 9-Me-BC affect anhedonia?

9-Me-BC may alleviate anhedonia by enhancing dopaminergic activity, potentially improving pleasure and motivation, though specific studies are needed.

Does 9-Me-BC have an impact on libido?

9-Me-BC may enhance libido through its dopaminergic effects, as dopamine plays a key role in sexual desire and motivation. The mechanism likely involves the stimulation of dopaminergic pathways, which are closely linked to sexual arousal and desire.

How does 9-Me-BC affect the hippocampus?

9-Me-BC has been shown to induce growth of hippocampal dopaminergic neurons, which is crucial for short-term memory formation and storage, potentially enhancing cognitive functions related to this brain region.

Does 9-Me-BC cause DNA damage?

Studies have indicated that β-carbolines, including 9-Me-BC, can cause photosensitized damage to DNA, particularly under UVA irradiation, raising concerns about potential genotoxic effects.

What is the half-life of 9-Me-BC?

The specific half-life of 9-Me-BC in humans has not been extensively documented in the available literature, making it difficult to provide precise information on how long its effects last or how frequently it should be dosed.

How does the half-life of 9-Me-BC influence its dosing schedule?

Without clear data on 9-Me-BC's half-life, users and researchers must rely on anecdotal evidence and cautious experimentation to determine optimal dosing intervals, emphasizing the need for more pharmacokinetic studies.

  1. Gruss, Michael et al. “9-Methyl-β-carboline-induced cognitive enhancement is associated with elevated hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation.” Journal of neurochemistry vol. 121,6 (2012): 924-31. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07713.x ↑ ↑
  2. Polanski, Witold et al. “Stimulation, protection and regeneration of dopaminergic neurons by 9-methyl-β-carboline: a new anti-Parkinson drug?.” Expert review of neurotherapeutics vol. 11,6 (2011): 845-60. doi:10.1586/ern.11.1 ↑
  3. Keller, Sebastian et al. “9-Methyl-β-carboline inhibits monoamine oxidase activity and stimulates the expression of neurotrophic factors by astrocytes.” Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) vol. 127,7 (2020): 999-1012. doi:10.1007/s00702-020-02189-9 ↑
  4. Keller, Sebastian et al. “9-Methyl-β-carboline inhibits monoamine oxidase activity and stimulates the expression of neurotrophic factors by astrocytes.” Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) vol. 127,7 (2020): 999-1012. doi:10.1007/s00702-020-02189-9 ↑
  5. Li, Yuhua et al. “Current trends in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.” Acta pharmaceutica Sinica. B vol. 9,6 (2019): 1113-1144. doi:10.1016/j.apsb.2019.10.001 ↑
  6. Keller, Sebastian et al. “9-Methyl-β-carboline inhibits monoamine oxidase activity and stimulates the expression of neurotrophic factors by astrocytes.” Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) vol. 127,7 (2020): 999-1012. doi:10.1007/s00702-020-02189-9 ↑