Noopept — A Poor Man’s Cognitive Enhancing Drug
Another exotic Russian smart drug and the best value offering of the Racetam family.
It’s an economically unique Nootropic with a high affinity to Piracetam, although with a more subtle psychostimulatory effect.
This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Noopept and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.
While Noopept is a favorite of Biohackers — you could spend many hours reading online in forums and watching Youtube videos with first-hand accounts of its Nootropic effects — as a Nootropic supplement, it has a lack of human studies documenting cognition-enhancing powers. Noopept is no stranger to the international research community with +70 listings for it on Pubmed, however, keep in mind that when it comes to studies quality outweighs quantity and in this respect, it is quite possibly the least documented member of the Racetam family. Many of the benefits presented in this article will be based on animal studies and anecdotal accounts.
Noopept — PubMed — NCBI
PubMed comprises more than 27 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and…
The big difference though, from a consumer perspective, between Piracetam and Noopept is the dosage required for effect.
- Piracetam dosages can be as high as several grams daily (Personally I take 3–4 grams)
- Noopept recommended dosage is 10 Milligrams — 30 Milligrams daily (less than 10%)
Some Noopept researchers pointed out that…
The use of piracetam was associated with a greater frequency,severity,and spectrum of undesirable effects in the patients,which were dominat-ed by effects linked with the excessive stimulatory action of the agent
A Nootropic Value
The bang for the buck this Nootropic represents is like a Russian hydrogen bomb exploding in some extreme corner of Siberia. It’s an impressive value in comparison to Piracetam and virtually every other Nootropic on the market. The standard 5 gram supply of Noopept ($12), at a higher dosage of 20 Milligrams daily will last you 250 days — the better part of a year!
It comes in a much smaller container which is convenient for those taking Nootropics while traveling or packing light. The small size of the package, also makes it more affordable for those abroad who need their Nootropics shipped internationally.
For the cognitive enhancement atheists out there, Noopept couldn’t be a more affordable experiment with supplies starting at 15 Gram for $19. For those who insist upon taking their smart drugs in capsule form, you can get 90 capsules for about $20 (or better yet, get a pill capping device).
Noopept is water-soluble, which makes consumption super convenient, it will dissolve uniformly in a glass of water or (my favorite) green tea. Although the most effective way to take it is sub-lingually, meaning that you place it below your tongue and let it dissolve into the floor of your mouth.
Self reporters throughout popular biohacker forums seem to agree that the taste isn’t great but not as bad as some powdered Racetams.
Many reviewers report exciting effects on the senses, at higher dosages:
Sight — Reds are redder, blues are more blues.
Sound — Conversations with friends are more engaging, nature sounds are more pronounced, music and bass are more enjoyable.
Touch — Increased awareness of hot/cold, sensations are heightened while touching animals or loved ones.
The Moscow Study
The single high-quality human study of Noopept, Comparative studies of Noopept and piracetam in the treatment of patients with mild cognitive disorders in organic brain diseases of vascular and traumatic origin, was conducted in 2009 over 56 days at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow.
It was comprised of:
- 53 persons with cognitive issues
- 10 milligrams twice a day
- This human study also collaborated the conclusion of the animal studies in regards to its positive effect for those suffering from depression.
To quote the conclusion of the Moscow study
The results of the present trial of Noopept and piracetam supported previous data  on the characteristics of the actions of Noopept,which form a combination of nootropic, mild psychostimulatory, and anxiolytic effects. Noopept was found to produce positive therapeutic influences on cognitive deficit and neurosis-like symptomatology in patients with emotional lability (asthenic) disorder of vascular origin andpost-concussional syndrome. There were no significant differences in the extents of the nootropic effects of Noopept and piracetam.
Noopept produced heightened alpha/beta1 EEG brain wave patterns, according to a 2011 Moscow study, which we associate with intellectual activity and outwardly focused concentration.
Excitatory Psychostimulatory Effect
To quote a 2003 Russian study
“…Possible mechanisms underlying changes in the membrane potential of synaptoneurosomes induced by nootropic agents are discussed. It was interesting whether modulation of electrogenesis can improve memory and potentiate the neuroprotective effect of the test nootropic agents.”
Throughout the scientific literature and first-hand accounts, I kept hearing it described as subtle; it does not hit you with a jolt of energy or creativity 15–30 minutes after dosing as some Nootropics do. It seems to have something of a cumulative effect that grows over time, after a few days or weeks of supplementing it delivers its memory and sense-enhancing effects to a higher degree.
Skeptics will, of course, attribute this to a placebo effect. Which could be the case but I bet you could find at least 50 Noopept human study participants in Moscow who would strongly beg to differ.
Low priced yet highly beneficial, it’s no surprise that it’s a product of the free market, first synthesized in Russia in 1996.
Mechanism of Action
There are two proposed mechanisms of action of Noopept:
Sensitizing effect on acetylcholine processes — Noopept has a ‘cholinosensitizing’ effect, wherein acetylcholine delivery to the neuron is improved.
Induction of neurotrophin production — according to a 2008 study, which found that it calibrated Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. To quote the study:
“Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that neurotrophin synthesis in the hippocampus determines cognitive function, particularly in consolidation and delayed memory retrieval… In light of this our findings suggest that Noopept holds much promise to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with mild cognitive impairment.”
Based upon an examination of brain concentrations it can cross the blood-brain barrier.
On the Longecity forums it is frequently praised as a social smart drug, to quote one Biohacker’s detailed account:
“…subtle yet profound. First of all if I didn’t feel any thing other than the improved coordination and mental functioning after consuming many alcoholic drinks I’d say that alone was an amazing discovery. Think of the social ramifications! Moving on. Many people report this serene feeling. To me its more of a reassuring feeling. But, again, very subtle. What is not subtle has less to do with overall mood and more with verbal fluency. And by that I mean the ability to easily express your thoughts without having to pause very often to search for words. Speech is free flowing and, while not a euphoric high some might be searching for, it serves a great benefit for social situations”
At least one video blogger anecdotally reported that it helped a lot with remembering people’s names along with language learning.
There’s also a number of anecdotal reports of it improving quality of sleep along with stimulating more vivid dreams with J.J. Abrams-esque arching storylines.
Like other Racetams, it is created synthetically in a lab. It differs chemically from Piracetam because of a single hydroxyl. Noopept is available in two formats
- Powdered, the most cost-effective form. You just drop a couple of hundred milligrams of the white powder under your tongue and wash it down with a beverage (I like black tea)
- Capsuled, while a bit more expensive, the most convenient form is vegan-friendly capsules which contain usually 500 milligrams. Unlike some Nootropics, I could not tell much difference between the effect taking it powdered vs capsuled.
The important thing with selecting a source to get Noopept from is to make sure there is a certificate of analysis or spectroscopy report that verifies that it’s above 97% pure and thus Pharmaceutical grade.
Taste and Aesthetics
Aesthetically, as a generic white powder with a bitter taste, it’s virtually indistinguishable from Piracetam.
The Red Pill Formula for Cognitive Capital
Pharmaceutical grade Noopept is an ingredient in Caballo, the red pill formula for cognitive capital.
Professor Jerry Muller, author of The Mind and the Market, articulated it best:
“…a period of growing equality of access to education and increasing stratification of marketplace rewards, both of which have increased the importance of human capital. One element of human capital is cognitive ability: quickness of mind, the ability to infer and apply patterns drawn from experience, and the ability to deal with mental complexity. Another is character and social skills: self-discipline, persistence, responsibility. And a third is actual knowledge. All of these are becoming increasingly crucial for success in the post-industrial marketplace.” (March 2013, Foreign Affairs)
The extinction of jobs comprised of rote, repetitive, and unsophisticated tasks is a dire inevitability thanks to the aggressive innovation that our economy fundamentally relies on. In the past, those of low or average intelligence were practically guaranteed an unremarkable life of labor in a factory or a field, fast forward to the very near future and nothing is guaranteed. The only hope is to stay well ahead of the curve of automation. It’s time to invest in your own cognitive capital.
I don’t see what all the hype is about
I’ve been doing 30 milligrams of Noopept almost every day for the past 3 weeks, I did Liftmode Noopept for about a week also.
Noopept is not supposed to be a blast-your-face-off effect, I haven’t noticed much honestly. I think that Noopept is more of a tool for Biohacking than lifehacking… Let me explain what I mean by that:
Noopept is suggested by some human studies to improve memory and cognition, I think it probably has a long-term positive effect on memory, so it’s a Biohack in that respect.
However, lifehacking is tools and strategies to improve productivity right now. In that regard, Noopept was of dubious value to me.
It’s hard to say that it had any noticeable effect on my memory after 3 weeks. I already have a pretty good memory thanks to lots of brain training, meditation, optimized diet, reading, exercise, writing and being 29 years old. It didn’t noticeably improve my brain training scores in Lumosity.
You take it sublingually, so you dump the little spoon load under your tongue and let it sit there for a few minutes. It has a druggy but not really unpleasant taste.
I varied the dosage up and down and noticed next to nothing. I pushed the dosage up to as much as 100 Milligrams once and it still didn’t make much of a difference to me. The first I did this high dosage it felt like a cup of coffee for about an hour.
I stacked it with a bunch of different things, Phenylpiracetam, Aniracetam, Alpha GPC, Theanine, Horny Goat Weed, and even Modafinil — nothing interesting to report.
Some people on a few of the Biohacker forums were talking about Noopept being a libido enhancer. It definitely wasn’t for me, I was even no-fapping while taking Noopept and there was no noticeable difference. If you want a libido enhancer Bachata or Reggaeton dancing at a nightclub!
Maybe Noopept just doesn’t agree with my constitution, I don’t see what all the hype is about. It’s cheap, so I guess you are getting what you are paying for. I would not recommend ordering it alone as I think you will be bored with it.
Orally 10 Milligrams and 30 Milligrams, although dosages as high as 60 Milligrams are reported.
The human study found that, like other Racetams, it’s very well tolerated. The worst side effects reported, even anecdotally were headaches or brain fog at mega-doses, which is what you would expect from a Racetam. According to the Moscow study
In most cases, undesirable effects on treatment with Noopept were transient and of insignificant severity.