What are the differences between 25I-NBOMe and LSD-25?

25I-NBOMe is a hallucinogenic compound that was discovered in 2003 that is used for recreational purposes. It functions through a similar mechanism as LSD (also known as LSD-25), causing it to have similar effect. Because 25I-NBOMe is cheaper to produce than LSD-25, it is often sold as LSD-25 by unscrupulous vendors. Despite the similarity in effect, 25I-NBOMe and LSD-25 have significant differences. In particular, unlike LSD-25, 25I-NBOMe can be fatal at higher doses. In this article, we compare LSD-25 and 25I-NBOMe and explain how they can be distinguished from each other. Image

In the US, 25I-NBOMe is a Schedule I controlled substance.1 Similar legislation exists in many other countries banning 25I-NBOMe specifically. Practically, this makes trying to purchase 25I-NBOMe difficult as is cannot be bought as easily as similar unscheduled chemicals sold for research purposes.

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It's always a good idea to test your substance before using it. Buy reagent tests at Elevation Chemicals. Learn more about reagent testing for LSD and its analogs here at Explore Psychedelics.


In contrast to LSD-25 where even massive doses are not fatal, 25I-NBOMe is potent. To date, there has not been any clinical research determining a lethal dosage of 25I-NBOMe. However, there are numerous anecdotal and clinically researched cases of death as a result of 25I-NBOMe overdosing. 23456

25I-NBOMe is typically taken nasally (by snorting) or by blotter. The combination of the rate of uptake and 25I-NBOMe potency has led to the suggestion to not use a nasal route.7

A variety of anecdotal experiences have been described for various dosages. 89 While dosages vary from person to person, it’s generally thought that a blotter dosage between 50 and 250 micrograms is the threshold level to have any effect, with strong experiences resulting from doses up to 1,500 micrograms.10 However, the concentration of blotters is largely uncontrolled and it’s thought that the dosage can vary at least threefold.11 Due to the unknown concentration of blotters, it’s possible for a single blotter to induce anything from a light to strong experience.

The effects produced by taking 25I-NBOMe are mostly similar to LSD-25. Physically, 25I-NBOMe is described as more energetic and stimulating than other psychedelics, including other energetic ones like LSD-25. Similarly, visual hallucinations from 25I-NBOMe are similar to LSD-25 and include distortions and intricate visual geometry. Cognitively, 25I-NBOMe is considered more mild than LSD-25 and many other psychdelics. Anecdotal reports at light to moderate dosages suggests that thinking is not significantly altered. While higher dosages may lead to feelings of anxiety and confusion. Because of this, feelings of transpersonal effects, spirituality and grand knowledge revelations are rarely reported with 25I-NBOMe.89

Reagent Tests

Both 25I-NBOMe and LSD-25 are commonly distributed on blotter paper. Because of their similar effect and distribution, 25I-NBOMe can often be sold as LSD-25.

Taste is often used to distinguish between the two since 25I-NBOMe is reported to taste bitter.12 This method obviously does not avoid ingestion. Flavors can also be added to blotters that may mask the bitter taste of 25I-NBOMe.

An alternative test is to expose the chemical to UV or black light. LSD-25 is strongly fluorescent and produces bluish-white light under a black light, while 25I-NBOMe does not.13

Both taste and fluorescence are not considered definitive ways to distinguish between LSD-25 and 25I-NBOMe. Instead, this is typically done by consumers using Ehlrich’s reagent test. This test has a reaction that changes color in the presence of a structure known as an indole. LSD-25 has an indole and 25I-NBOMe does not, making this test particularly effective for comparing these two.

Various more advanced laboratory techniques exist that can distinguish the two compounds more definitively, including mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography. These techniques are highly accurate and have even been successfully used to determine 25I-NBOMe consumption six months later from single hair samples.14 These techniques make use of specialized laboratory equipment and are not generally available to the public.

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