Clonazolam is part of a recent wave of so-called ‘designer benzodiazepines’.
These substances function much like ordinary prescription benzos, but for one reason or another, they never became approved drugs.
Instead, they occupy a kind of legal gray area where unapproved, unscheduled drugs can be legally sold as research chemicals. Several designer benzos have come on the scene in recent years but trust me when I say…
Clonazolam is no ordinary benzo!
It is extremely powerful–even at very low doses–and there is very little research on it at all, so people are just kind of making it up as they go along.
In terms of the pharmacological effects, Clonazolam is similar to other benzodiazepines, but if you read user experiences, you’ll find an abnormally high amount of black-outs, severe memory loss, and of course, the occasional car accident.
For better or for worse, Clonazolam is making quite a splash!
So what’s the deal with this stuff?!
Why is it so powerful?
Is it safe?
How is it legal?!
Don’t worry, we’ll answer all those questions and more in this article and I’ll also share my personal experience as well.
By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about Clonazolam.
Once you’re up to speed, you can make up your own mind about whether it’s worth it or not.
Let’s get started…
What Is Clonazolam?
Clonazolam is a designer benzodiazepine which has gained much recognition in the last couple of years as a research chemical, similar to Etizolam.
It’s not exactly clear why Clonazolam was abandoned, but it likely had to do with the fact that Alprazolam (Xanax) was invented just a few years later by the same pharmaceutical company (Upjohn).
Upjohn is part of Pfizer now, but it wasn’t such a massive company back then. One company with limited resources can only pursue so many drug approvals.
Ultimately, it seems as though the decision to invest resources and attention in Xanax instead was a fruitful one, since it’s now one of the most widely used (and abused) drugs of all time.
Clonazolam faded into obscurity for a few decades but, thanks to the rise of internet-based research chemical vendors, it’s making a comeback.
Users typically liken the effects of Clonazolam to traditional benzos like Clonazepam and Xanax, but with a stronger degree of sedation and amnesia.
Just google around a bit and you’ll read reports of Clonazolam users blacking out, passing out, and not remembering a thing!
As it turns out, some people like that.
What Are The Effects Of Clonazolam?
Like all benzodiazepines, Clonazolam slows down Central Nervous System (CNS) activity and produces depressant effects.
On average, the direct effects of Clonazolam are:
- reduced anxiety
- muscle relaxation
- lowered inhibitions
- impaired physical abilities
You may recognize these effects as basically the same as every other benzo–and that’s true–but due to the unique pharmacological activity of Clonazolam, the effects differ from other benzos.
How Does Clonazolam Work?
Clonazolam is a benzodiazepine, so it works in more or less the same way as the rest of the chemicals in the class:
By interacting with a specific subset of GABA-A receptors (benzodiazepine receptors) in the brain and ultimately increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter, GABA.
GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the Central Nervous System (CNS). It’s job is simply to reduce the firing of neurons (nerve cells) which slows down brain activity.
At its core, anxiety is the result of an overactive brain so increasing GABA activity (and therefore reducing brain activity) tends to have an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effect.
That’s why pretty much all anti-anxiety drugs target GABA receptors on some level.
There are 5 sub-units of GABA-A receptors and the precise effects of benzodiazepines vary depending on which sub-units they have a higher affinity for.
For example, benzos that bind to GABA-A sub-units 1 and 5 typically produce more sedation and amnesia, whereas benzos that bind to sub-units 2 and 3 of the GABA-A receptor tend be more anxiolytic.
Of course most benzodiazepine drugs bind to multiple GABA-A sub-unit receptors, to different extents, so predicting the effects of any particular benzo is far from an exact science.
Still, understanding the basic pharmacology underlying the effects of these substances can help us understand which ones are useful in certain instances.
Unfortunately, not much is known about the pharmacological mechanisms of Clonazolam, other than that it functions like any other benzo.
Based on the fact that Clonazolam is very strong in terms of sedation and prone to causing amnesia, it likely has a high affinity for GABA-A1 receptors and/or GABA-A5 receptors.
That’s pure speculation though.
The truth is, we know nothing about the precise mechanisms underlying the effects other than that Clonazolam is a benzodiazepine which works the same as any other benzo.
Is There Any Actual Research On Clonazolam?
In contrast to other research chemicals like Etizolam, which is a prescription drug in some countries, Clonazolam has no accepted medical use.
Since it’s not a prescription drug and never was one, it’s never been studied in a living organism.
This was a compound which was discovered/invented more or less by accident, as part of a larger initiative to come up with marketable benzodiazepines in the 1970’s and 80’s.
It doesn’t look like Clonazolam was ever paid much attention or taken seriously as a potential drug candidate.
All we really have in the way of ‘research’ is a general mechanism of action based on the fact that we know Clonazolam is a benzodiazepine and we know how benzodiazepines work.
Other than that, most of what is known about Clonazolam comes from user experiences which, although highly subjective and often heavily biased, seem to follow a common theme.
Clonazolam is quite sedating and likely to cause amnesia, even at low doses.
Since Clonazolam was abandoned as a drug candidate and with it, all future research attempts.
This makes it difficult to determine a ‘clinically effective dosage’, but based on anecdotal evidence, an effective dosage of Clonazolam is as little as 0.5mg.
Most users start at 0.5-1mg, but some people have reported taking much higher doses.
I’ll discuss my personal experience with Clonazolam shortly, along with the dosages I was taking, but first, let’s talk side effects.
Clonazolam Side Effects
Like any benzo, Clonazolam comes with it’s fair share of potential side effects
The most common side effect reported with Clonazolam are:
- loss of motor control
- amnesia (blacking out and not remembering anything)
- heavy sedation (more than you might prefer)
- respiratory depression
- rebound anxiety (when you withdraw)
As with any drug–and this is especially true for benzodiazepines–the side effects can range from minimal to severe.
Some users may experience nothing negative while others may have a horrible experience.
Your experience is going to depend on a lot of underlying factors, including your personal tolerance to benzodiazepines as well as individual differences in brain chemistry.
As with any drug, increasing the dosage increases the likelihood of side effects, so starting with a low dose would be wise for first-time users.
My Personal Experience With Clonazolam
I first became aware of Clonazolam actually somewhat recently, after doing some in-depth research for my article on Etizolam and visiting the websites of several research chemical vendors.
I’m nothing if not my own experimental guinea pig, so along with my order of Etizolam, I decided to order some Clonazolam and give it a whirl.
I’d like to preface this by saying I have extensive experience taking benzodiazepines. Xanax, Klonopin, Temazepam, Valium, Lorazepam. You know, all the major players.
So I didn’t expect Clonazolam to be anything special. Man, was I wrong…
Since the pellets I ordered came in 1mg pellets, I decided to just take one the first time around.
To condense a long story that I can’t remember into the bits and pieces I can remember…
I popped 2mg and about a half hour later I felt extremely loose, uninhibited, and mildly euphoric.
About a half hour after that, a powerful level of sedation came over me–more powerful than any prescription benzo I’ve ever taken–and I ended up passing out for several hours.
I woke up with no recollection of the events that had transpired, other than what I just told you.
I decided Clonazolam is probably best for sleeping, so the next time around, I just took 0.5mg right before bed and…lights out.
There was one more instance that’s probably worth discussing because it speaks to the potency of the drug more so than any of my previous experiences.
I was wired on a high dose of Focalin and needed to get some sleep. If you’ve ever used Focalin or Adderall or anything like that, you know how impossible the proposition of sleep seems while your on it.
So, I decided to take my last two Clonazolam pellets (2mg total) at once. I figured 1mg to bring me back down and 1mg to put me to sleep.
About 30 minutes after I took my Clonazolam, I got up to go to the bathroom, made it about half way across the room, then realized my head felt like a bowling ball and I proceeded to lay back down and sleep or about 8 hours.
I woke up feeling mildly groggy and not really remembering what happened other than the events I described.
Overall, my experience with Clonazolam is similar to so many other experiences I’ve read. Benzo-like high followed by intense sedation and a big gap in my memory.
Personally, I like Etizolam better. I can actually function on it. Sad to say that all Clonazolam does it make me pass out or black out (or both).
Is Clonazolam Legal?
The legal status of Clonazolam is a little complicated…
Clonazolam is a ‘designer benzodiazepine’ which means it occupies a legal gray area where it is not an approved (prescription) medication, but is not illegal to possess, buy, or sell.
The DEA designates Clonazolam as part of a group of uncontrolled benzodiazepines along with:
And several other drugs as well.
These drugs are not controlled substances which means they are technically legal to buy and sell, just not for the purposes of human consumption.
Obviously, everyone that’s buying these chemicals is consuming them, but it’s just a legal loophole that exists until they get scheduled at the federal level.
Of course, individual states can also schedule substances, effectively making them controlled substances within that state.
The DEA also possesses the power to ’emergency schedule’ any substance which it deems to be dangerous enough, but so far, it has not done so with any designer benzos.
In Canada, Clonazolam is Schedule IV.
In the UK, it’s illegal under the Psychoactive Substances Act.
Australia considers it a ‘Schedule IV analogue’.
Where To Buy Clonazolam
You can buy Clonazolam from a ton of online research chemical vendors, but not all of them are trustworthy. The clonazolam I ordered was from:
I can’t recommend any other reliable vendors since I haven’t personally ordered Clonazolam from anywhere else.
Unlike Etizolam, which has become a very popular research chemical as of late, Clonazolam is not produced by any pharmaceutical companies.
Any Clonazolam you get is going to be produced by some sort of under-ground (mildly sketchy) research chemical manufacturer.
Most of these guys aren’t testing the finished product, so the amount of actual Clonazolam can often differ significantly from the stated amount.
In fact, considering Clonazolam is cheap to produce, it wouldn’t surprise me if many vendors were intentionally over-dosing their pellets.
The Bottom Line On Clonazolam
Clonazolam is a very powerful depressant and sedative of the benzodiazepine class.
It works similarly to other benzodiazepines, by increasing GABA levels and reducing overall brain activity, but it has a rather unique effect profile, compared to other benzos.
Even at low doses, Clonazolam is quite potent, causing many users to pass out and not remember what happened.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, go for it!
Personally, I’ll stick with Etizolam, which I find to have all the good qualities of of Clonazolam, but without the extreme sedation and memory loss.
To each his (or her) own though. Just be careful…