The Most Expensive “Smart Drug”…

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It’s a Nootropic stack that combines 28 different synergistic ingredients…

Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 100 mg, Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) 25 mcg ( 1,000 IU), Thiamine (as thiamine HCI) 50 mg, Niacin (as niacinamide) 50 mg, Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal 5' -phosphate) 20 mg, Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) 1000 mcg, Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate) 50 mg, Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCI 500 mg, Artichoke Leaf Extract (4% cynarin and related flavonoids) 500 mg, Bacopa monnieri Leaf Extract 300 mg, Rhodiola rosea Root Extract (3% rosavins; 1% salidrosides) 300 mg, DL-Phenylalanine 300 mg, Uridine-5' -Monophosphate heptahydrate disodium 250 mg, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine 250 mg, Taurine 200 mg, L-Theanine 200 mg, Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha GPC) 200 mg, Cognizin® 150 mg, Organic Coffeeberry® ( 90 mg caffeine) Whole Coffee (Coffea arabica) Fruit Extract 129 mg, Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) Seed Extract 100 mg, Phosphatidylserine (from sunflower lecithin) 100 mg, Theobromine 100 mg, DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae) 80 mg, Celastrus paniculatus Seed Extract 60 mg, Ginkgo biloba Leaf Extract (24% glycosides) 50 mg, Coleus forskohlii Root Extract (20% forskolin) 20 mg, Pyrroloquinoline Quinone disodium 10 mg, Huperzia serrata Leaf Extract (7% Huperzine A) 5 mg

That’s a lot!

Yours for ONLY 4 easy payments of $199!

At +$100/bottle Qualia is a lot cheaper than the $800 price tag of the fictional drug, NZT-48, and some people say it makes them Limitless. Should you shell out the big bucks for it? I’m not sure, I actually have some critiques of this product (and others like it) that I break down here…

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Watch: Qualia (Maybe) Problematic

To summarize my objections to Qualia…

1. It contains ingredients at insufficient dosages. I believe in taking Nootropics in the dosages that are demonstrated as being effective in human trials. For example, it contains 200 milligrams of Alpha GPC which is insufficient, the dosage range recommended in studies is 400–600 milligrams. There’s little good reason to assume that it benefits you in a minuscule dosage.
2. Nootropic stacks deprive you of the opportunity to experiment with different dosages and figure out what dosage works for your unique neurobiology.
3. Dosage tolerance curve, if you use all of those Nootropics daily you build up a tolerance to them. I recently designed a cool infographic where I have two data plots illustrating this.
4. Questionable quality of ingredients. When they include 28 different ingredients you have to question the quality of the individual ingredients. They have no incentive for the quality of the individual ingredients. There’s no public COA for the ingredients, although according to the FAQ on their website: We receive and review a COA (Certificate of Analysis) for each batch of every raw ingredient coming in, conducted using HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) and MS (mass spectrometry). You have to believe that it contains all 28 of those ingredients on the label.
5. They pay their affiliates a pretty high commission percentage (25%), so you have to consider the financial incentive of those recommending it so enthusiastically. It looks like the true price of Qualia is around $100 so I’m not sure if I want to pay $25 to someone just for sending me a sales email with a link.

To my surprise…

The main man over at Neurohacker Collective, Daniel Schmachtenberger, called me up and did his best to address my objections to his product. He actually did a bullet-pointed write-up responding to every point I made which you can and should read (here) before trying Qualia. A lot of Entrepreneurs would try to use dastardly lawfare to get me to take down a video like the one above, but Daniel handled it diplomatically in a high-integrity way. This just about changes my mind on Qualia. If you can afford it, you might want to try it

It’s a popular product and a lot of Biohackers swear that it’s the best Nootropic stack they’ve ever tried…

Feel like the Best version of Self — N. Cooper

I really enjoyed how this product enhanced my focus, mental agility, and physical energy! It was so easy to get into “flow” mode — I have subscribed for monthly delivery; if I can feel such results after just the first use, I can’t imagine how amazing it will be over time. What I like the most is that I didn’t feel like I “needed” it on the days that I didn’t take it — it actually helps you to exercise those cognitive “muscles” and make them stronger — so that you don’t become dependent on them, but you grow — cognitively! I’m generally always in a good mood, but I felt significantly better (which is saying a Lot), and I noticed a huge improvement in my quick problem resolution ability. Would recommend!

Perfect Formula — Dusty S.

I have tried many different nootropics over the years and I can honestly say Qualia is on a whole different level. I have experienced profound increases in cognition, focus, motivation and overall sense of well being. The effects last for much of the day and fortunately do not interfere with sleep, if anything it seems to aid in getting to sleep quicker.

It works. It’s amazing. — Chase and Janessa Ramsey

I am a forever fan of Qualia! This is not my first purchase with them and won’t be my last. I have been using in the morning to help curb my appetite and help me focus. It has been working wonders. The biggest difference I discovered tonight and brought me to the review page… I can’t eat fatty or fried foods. I just feel gross and this used to never happen. I hope to keep staying away from the bad as it doesn’t please me like it used to.

These reviews and a lot of others you can find on Amazon — others say it’s “not worth the money.”

Some other “expensive” smart drugs…

That I’ve tried and done biohacker trials of which you’d also want to take a look at…

Neuro-Stack — A Nootropic Stack rich in Lion’s Mane and 26 other COA-verified Nootropic ingredients.

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Watch: Neuro-Stack [Biohacker Review] Finally! An Ethical Nootropic Stack…

QUANTUMiND — Produces the desirable state of relaxed-arousal with a balance of stimulating (Caffeine, Vitamin B12, ALCAR, Tyrosine, and Alpha-GPC for cognitive enhancement) and tranquilizing (L-Theanine, Ashwagandha, Panax Ginseng) ingredients.

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Watch: An Energizing Stack that Unleashes Relaxed-Arousal [QUANTUMiND Biohacker Review]

Tao Ultra Nootropic — I used the product for about a month and count it as one of the better pre-made Nootropic stacks I’ve tried. Tao seems to be an extended-release Nootropic, you just take a single capsule daily instead of a morning dose and an afternoon does — I found this gave me an uptick in energy, focus, and cognition for the duration of the workday. Tao has, hands-down, the most beautiful packaging of any supplement I’ve ever tried, it’s a beauty!

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Watch: Tao Ultra Nootropic [Biohacker Review] A Sublime Nootropic Stack with Style!

Modafinil — This is NOT a stack, it’s a quintessential cognitive-enhancing smart drug (and it’s not cheap!)

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I have an ambivalent view of it.

Semax — This Russian peptide is a quintessential smart drug in that it fires up cognition as opposed to wakefulness, focus, or motivation. So it will help you work smarter as opposed to harder, which sometimes is exactly what we need. Apparently, it really blows the socks off some veteran Nootropics enthusiasts. You have to order it from Russia with cryptocurrency and you take it nasally, not orally (and it’s not cheap!)

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Listen to my podcast about it: Semax the Clarity promoting Insta-Nootropic to become a BDNF Badass

ESS60 — This is next level C60, the carbon buckminsterfullerene superantioxidant used in the landmark French anti-aging study that doubled-lifespans. It’s more of an anti-aging tool than a Nootropic but some people report a holistic Nootropic effect from it. It’s spendy stuff, if I were a billionaire I’d bathe in ESS60 olive oil daily!

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Watch: ESS60 is next-level C60…

But, frankly, as enticing as an expensive “Smart Drug” is, some more affordable Nootropics are great…

  • Piracetam is probably the best Nootropic value, it’s a potent full-spectrum smart drug.
  • Nicotine (5% in PG or VG solution) and a tall, strong coffee (organic toxin-free) is my daily driver Nootropic.
  • Energetic breathing is FREE and in my brain training self-quantification has a short-term cognition-enhancing effect tantamount to the pricey Racetam Phenylpiracetam.

If you try any of these PLEASE drop me a line letting me know how you respond to them.

Cognitively Capitalized,

Jonathan Roseland

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Originally published on I’m not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I’m a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinking. You should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health.

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

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