Somewhat similar in structure to amphetamine, the phenylethylamine drug is considered an influencer of hormones that promote happiness and wellbeing. By modulating dopamine and serotonin, one can use phenylethylamine to alter mood [1].

Often referred to as PEA, phenylethylamine is quickly broken down in the body rendering it less useful than compounds with similar structures. In fact, because phenylethylamine is broken down in such a way, many do not consider it a useful drug for supplementation.

Also Known As

PEA, β-phenylethylamine, phenethylamine, β-phenethylamine, Benzeneethanamine

Editors’ Thoughts on Phenylethylamine

I’ve never tried it and I don’t believe I ever will. It looks like it could be effective, but happiness and mood aren’t really what I’m chasing with nootropics. If I wanted those things there are more powerful illicit options that are probably more affordable and ubiquitous.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor


Benefits of Phenylethylamine

Phenylethylamine benefits are primarily around mood and enhancing feelings of happiness. The primary mechanism for this is an increase in dopamine, which has been replicated in studies many times [2]. One of the ways that PEA does this is through inhibiting dopamine uptake [3].

Even though PEA has not been studied in a laboratory setting for these disorders, the dopamine and serotonin enhancements suggest it could be used for treating feelings of anxiety or even depression. One study showed that exercise reduced depression, but within the urine of the participants there were trace amounts of phenylacetic acid [4], which suggests some interaction with phenylethylamine in the body.

Finally, there is some evidence to suggest phenylethylamine benefits include aiding in alcohol (and stimulant) addiction [5]. This occurs because PEA is useful in “agonist therapy” (using dopamine encouraging drugs) to treat cocaine addiction [6]. Essentially, the drug seems to be rewarding enough to wean drug addicts off of their choice substance, but not enough to cause addiction itself.

Side Effects of Phenylethylamine

Phenylethylamine is metabolized by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) and some people anecdotally inhibit this enzyme to get stronger effects. When doing so, the benefits of phenylethylamine explained above might be greater.

Also, one of the side effects of phenylethylamine is a very short bioactive experience. In fact, the metabolism is around 6 – 16 minutes in dog experiments depending on the dose [7]. Some people don’t take PEA because of how quickly it is metabolized and rendered useless in the body.

One 2015 study suggested that phenylethylamine could be associated with panic attacks and mood instability, but this study was confounded by the addition of selegiline [8].

Phenylethylamine Dosage

There is little evidence on the proper phenylethylamine dosage, but some sources recommend anywhere from 300 mg phenylethylamine HCL to 1 gram. If you are going to choose to take PEA, we recommend you start on the lower end of the spectrum to prevent any long-term damage or side effects.

How and Where to Buy Phenylethylamine

Phenylethylamine is not the more easy nootropic to find. You’re going to experience some difficulty finding it in your local health food store or shop. If you are adamant about trying phenylethylamine, it would be a good idea to find a reliable vendor.

Nootropedia doesn’t find much use in PEA, but if you are going to buy phenylethylamine, you should probably use Liftmode PEA HCL. It is 99% pure tested based on the HPLC analysis. Given this third party verification and testing, we recommend Liftmode as our vendor for this particular product.

Selected Community Experiences

This is a field report of combining hordenine with PEA. This will also be a review of sorts; I ordered both supplements from LiftMode…With a complete empty stomach, I ingest 100 mg hordenine, wait 20 minutes, then take 1 gram of PEA. The effects are noticeable within 10 minutes. They include euphoria, energy, and a peculiar sensation I can best describe as lightness and tingling. This lasts about an hour, with perhaps some lingering effects for a few hours.” [9] – kratomicbomb

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Nootropedia is meant to be a resource for individuals researching drugs and supplements that are good for brain health, otherwise known as nootropics, and thus we are the Nootropics Encyclopedia. Because of our in-depth coverage of this topic, our community has requested that we cover other brain health topics and "lifehacks" so that has become the focus of Nootropedia.