Which Brain Supplements (Nootropics) are Credible? [2021]

2021 Update: When I got into self-experimentation with smart drugs ten years ago I had hoped that the industry was on the cusp of growing up, that the fly-by-night supplement marketers would be put out of business by consumers choosing Nootropics with rationality and science.
Instead, today scammy Internet Marketing products abound and weird research compounds lacking human studies will hit the market to be voraciously consumed by pharmaceutical thrill-seekers. I’m more concerned than ever about a major ethics crisis giving the Biohacking industry a bad name.
After personally trying over 100 different Nootropics I’m convinced of two things:
1) Enhancing your cognition requires self-quantification; I’ve created a 5-part DIY experiment for determining the impact of smart drugs on Working Memory, Reaction Times, IQ, Verbal Intelligence, Stress Response, and Mindfulness — Download it here.
2) Only consume Pharmaceutical grade Nootropics.

Anyone considering taking nootropics to boost their brainpower is presented with an overwhelming amount of information as they begin their Google searching: competing brands and stacks, along with hundreds of different ingredients both synthesized and organic to consider.

Unless you are a nutritionist or have a formal science education it’s close to impossible to know where to draw the line between fact and disinformation, between credible science and clever marketing.

Anyone who’s seen the film Limitless knows that an NZT-48-like smart drug that really works stands a good chance of increasing your earning potential by several to many thousands of dollars a month. The lost opportunity cost of taking a Nootropic that doesn’t work is ultimately far more than the $35-$100 monthly cost of your average Nootropic. In my long term experience, less than half of them work.

Why Nootropics?

A Quick Story…

I was alone in my office on a Friday night after an eventful and demanding 11 hour day working on an invoice to send out to a client.

  • I was mentally juggling about 10 different projects at the moment.
  • I had not had a proper meal in +7 hours.
  • I was also in the middle of texting friends, solidifying our social plans for the evening.
  • I was worried about a site software upgrade my hosting company was demanding.

As much as I wanted to press the invitingly blue Send Now button, fire off the invoice and shut down my computer I double-checked the accounting on the invoice, cross-referenced my email threads with the client, and caught an error that would have cost me $70.

A couple of evenings later I was on a date; savoring a meal at one of the nicer restaurants in downtown Medellin, Colombia and having a surprisingly stimulating conversation with a 22-year-old girl. The thought crossed my mind that my accounting ‘save’ was essentially paying for the rich ambiance, flavor, and beauty that surrounded me.

At the time I was on a downright expensive Nootropic cocktail. Can I credit all my attention to detail, discipline, and general coolness under fire to the smart drugs flowing in my veins? That’s hard to say for sure…

I’ve had enough moments while on Nootropics that my focus, attention, and creativity either saved the day or delivered the rock star results that people pay me the big bucks for.
This is my system for picking smart drugs that deliver an excellent ROI in productivity, imperviousness to distraction, or rich life experiences.

The System

This article will take a common-sense approach to determine which Nootropic products legitimately have the highest chance of making you feel spectacularly Limitless. Most Nootropic products come in a one month supply, with at least several hundred Nootropic products on the market you could easily spend an entire decade sampling different products until you find what works best for you.

There’s a couple of conspicuous red flags that should raise your level of skepticism towards a Nootropic product that you’re considering consuming or purchasing.

  • Lack of Certificate of Analysis — When you go to a Lexus dealership you know that you’re buying a Lexus and not a Kia. Unfortunately, things as not as clear when buying supplements. There is NO regulating agency which verifies that supplements actually contain the ingredients advertised on their packaging, Nutrition Facts label, or their cool websites. The best thing that someone selling you a supplement can do is publish a certificate of analysis (COA) from a 3rd party lab analyzing the ingredients and showing that they conform. Ingredients that are 97% pure are regarded as Pharmaceutical Grade. It should show very low levels of toxins or heavy metals — it’s next to impossible to get supplements (especially Nutraceuticals) that have no detectable toxins.
  • Low Price — This is more often than not a bad sign. High-quality Nootropic ingredients are not cheap. They need to be produced in pristine environments and undergo stringent testing for purity to verify the absence of toxins or heavy metals. I’m very distrustful of capsuled Nootropic stack supplements for sale for internet marketing prices; $19, $27, or $37. The exception to this is single-ingredient or raw powdered supplements. It’s a whole lot more expensive to combine multiple ingredients in a single capsule. The vendors below sell some single-ingredient products containing just pure, organic Rhodiola, for example, for under $50.
  • Non-Transparency — I’d encourage skepticism of products and brands that don’t have real people standing behind them with reputational skin in the game riding on the quality of what they are selling. You’ll often see e-commerce websites with very generic About Us pages, they might talk about their passion for their product(s) and commitment to quality but they totally fail to prove it if they don’t do what I do; putting their real name and image on their website.

This is somewhat subjective based upon my own very extensive experience taking over a hundred different Nootropics over the past 10 years. In this time I’ve talked with hundreds of biohackers and listened to what is working for them.

We are going to outsource some of our decision-making process to the wisdom of crowds — which products are highest rated and reviewed by real people like you and me?

By the end of this article…

You will have a specific process for determining the credibility of a product or supplement. If you apply this process consistently (as opposed to impulsively clicking ‘Buy Now’ buttons) your chances of ever being duped into buying a bad value (or outright scam) supplement are next to ZERO.

This list was originally +25 supplemental products but upon thorough analysis, we found that some of those products had faked a lot of their reviews or that there were not legitimate companies, businesspeople, or science behind the products. Based upon these 6 objective criteria we’ve determined the top Nootropic stack products and vendors on the market.

Average Rating on Amazon: Amazon.com is the largest consumer supplement marketplace in existence, the economies of scale that exist here allow us to collect meaningful data. Also due to the massive amount of people on Amazon a legitimate product can gain many positive reviews quickly.
Money-Back Guarantee: A credible company selling a product that creates real results should stand behind its product with some kind of guarantee.
Written Testimonials: Credible products naturally attract testimonials from satisfied customers. Everyone knows that written testimonials can be faked, luckily fake testimonials can usually be easily identified by…

  1. Short length.
  2. No photo.
  3. No detailed information about the writer of testimonials (IE: Profession or location).
  4. Lack of verifiable profile.

We will consider these factors in determining the veracity of written testimonials.

  • Video Testimonials: Video testimonials are also a common way that customers express their satisfaction. These can be faked as well but a company rarely goes to the trouble of faking video testimonials and it’s often glaringly obvious when they do.
  • Clinical Studies: While clinical studies are not always 100% accurate, a company distributing a product should have links to published double-blind placebo-controlled human studies done on the ingredients of the product.
  • Web Presence: We will search the web to determine if real companies, people, and science are behind these supplements. We will look for company founders’ (or managements’) names on the website, real addresses, Facebook or social media pages, etc.

You might be thinking…

Jonathan, I see that there are affiliate links for some of the Nootropics listed here. Are these Nootropics really credible? Or are you just listing them because they pay you? Shill much bro?

I am an affiliate of some of these but not all of them. These recommendations I make in good faith, I’ve recommended a couple of products and vendors here who have not paid me even a cent simply because they are great products worthy of a biohacker’s attention. LimitlessMindset.com is an authority in the Nootropics space and as such vendors often offer me 40% or 50% commissions on products. I turn these offers down because I don’t believe that a physical product is a good value to the customer if they can afford to pay their affiliates that much. The reasonable commissions I receive for your purchases via the links below do a lot to support my work. Thank you!

Top-Rated & Reviewed Nootropic Supplements

Listed alphabetically because none of these is “the best Nootropic” — they all have different effects via different mechanisms.

Excelerol

I tried this Nootropic myself a while back and it was quite good. Excelerol does not verify the quality of ingredients by publishing their COAs. It does contain DMAE and 12.5mcg of Huperzine, which are two somewhat problematic Nootropics, I’m no fan of DMAE but Huperzine is tolerable in minuscule amounts under 50mcg. However, I still regard it as credible because of my experience of a very potent Nootropic.

Average Rating on Amazon: 4.0 Stars (+600 Customer Reviews), impressive considering its price tag, usually higher-priced items are more harshly reviewed.
Money-Back Guarantee: You can cancel your subscription at any time and for any reason. No questions asked. If for any reason you are unhappy with any of our products at any time during the first 90 days you may also return them for a full refund or replacement at no cost to you. You only pay for the S & H.
What People are Saying: Yes, Amazon reviews appear legitimate. Although, I think they used to game Amazon’s system by offering customers free product in exchange for a 5-star review.
Video Testimonials: Yes, several pages of results on Youtube, people seem to be impressed with the product. A few of the video testimonials on their website look kind of fake. Most of the testimonials on Youtube seem legit.
Clinical Studies: Yes, on their website you can find links to extensive scientific studies, clinical trials, and peer-reviewed articles.
Web Presence: I’ve talked with the creator of the product a few times and he’s a smart guy but I wonder why he doesn’t publicly introduce himself on the Excelerol website. Excelerol has a Facebook page with +11000 likes.

Neuro-Stack

This product stands out as an outstanding Nootropic stack because of the COA-verified high quality, patented ingredients and omitting popular (and very profitable) red-flag ingredients like Huperzine, DMAE, and Caffeine. I took Neuro-Stack myself for 3 very productive months and while it’s not cheap it’s a pretty amazing value considering the quantity and quality of ingredients.

Average Rating on Amazon: 3.9
Money-Back Guarantee: 100-day money-back guarantee.
What People are Saying: All the 5-star reviews (of which there are many) on Amazon are verified purchases.
Video Testimonials: Several video testimonials can be found even on Amazon.
Clinical Studies: The 27 ingredients of Neuro-Stack have been evaluated in numerous double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials.
Web Presence: Akua Life, the brand behind Neuro-Stack has a Facebook page, Youtube Channel and Instagram.

PeakIQ Energy Shot

Selecting an energy shot is a real crapshoot. PeakIQ stands out because it doesn’t contain any of the problematic ingredients that you can find in the energy shots sold at your local gas station. It contains four of my favorite Adaptogen herbs Eleuthero, Ginseng, Rhodiola and Schisandra. I used it myself for a little more than a month and found it energizing and mood uplifting.

Money-Back Guarantee: Their return policy is not as strong. They offer a 7-day money-back guarantee on the 14 and 28 bottle packages. You do need to ship back the unused, unopened bottles. They do not offer refunds on their 7-bottle package.
What People Are Saying: My vlog and biohacker review are the only testimonials that can be found online.
Clinical Studies: The ingredients are COA verified by a spectroscopy report. The gas station energy shots definitely won’t show you what’s in their product.
Web Presence: They have a nice website in addition to a Facebook page, Youtube channel and Instagram. I appreciate that the product’s creator, Diego Olalde stands behind his product publicly and created it originally as something for his family.

TAO Ultra Nootropic

Tao is a (NOT Cheap!) Nootropic stack that I used for a month and was very impressed with. You only take only a single capsule daily and it will be a very productive day! It contains the patented Nootropics TeaCrine® and Pure Energy along with some other classic nootropic ingredients like N-ACETYL TYROSINE and Alpha-GPC. If you’re a fan of very aesthetically pleasing products you’ll love Tao, it’s the most beautifully packaged Nootropic I’ve ever seen.

Money-Back Guarantee: 30-Day 100% Money Back Guarantee.
What People are Saying: There are some positive reviews on Amazon as well. The main criticism of the product seems to be that some find the Teacrine overstimulating. Teacrine is similar to caffeine, it’s kind of like an upgraded version of caffeine which is not supposed to share the well-known downsides of caffeine; anxiety, jitters, etc.
Clinical Studies: The Nootropic ingredients have been the subject of numerous clinical trials.
Web Presence: Ultra Human is an iconic and very transparent health brand. They sponsor events and athletes, which you can check out on their Facebook page and Instagram.

You might ask…

Jonathan, what about the most iconic Nootropic stack ever? Onnit’s Alpha Brain

Actually, Alpha Brain is problematic on several different levels and Onnit is an untrustworthy operation. Here’s why…

Credible Nootropics Vendors

Auragin

When I thoroughly researched Panax Ginseng, this product stood out as a non-BS source of real ginseng — which can be an amazing herb if you’re getting the good stuff.

Money-Back Guarantee: 1-year money-back guarantee. No product returns necessary. I’ve seen a bunch of supplement return policies and this is, I think, the best!
What People are Saying: This is one of the top-rated ginseng products on Amazon, with nearly 900 (mostly positive) reviews. There are over 200 user reviews on their website as well.
Video Testimonials: A handful of positive videoblog reviews can be found on Youtube.
Clinical Studies: It’s one of the most studied nutriceuticals with over 80 human clinical trials.
Web Presence: The Aurigin guys are very accessible and responsive. They have a Youtube channel and a Facebook page.

ModafinilXL.com

I’ve used Modafinil hundreds of times and talked to numerous biohackers about their experiences with Modafinil. ModafinilXL.com is my go-to source, they sell high quality branded, pharma grade Modafinil and Armodafinil at very competitive prices (especially if you can pay in cryptocurrency!) They have a nice shipping tracking map that shows your package on its way to reach you.

Money-Back Guarantee: I don’t think they offer a money-back guarantee. They offer a refund in the event that the package is lost, damaged, or the wrong thing. According to their website, We’re constantly tracking all orders. Should any issues arise, we’ll automatically notify you and you’ll be able to choose between a full refund or a free shipment.
What People are Saying: They (impressively) +2,000 reviews on TrustPilot.com with an average excellent rating. You can also find some biohacker feedback on Reddit.
Clinical Studies: With almost 200 human clinical studies in the past 10 years, Modafinil is one of the most proven and safe pharmaceutical smart drugs on the market. Check out this article (and very cool infographic) which breaks down the state of the art Modafinil science.
Web Presence: They have no social media web presence but they do have a very responsive customer service department that can be reached here.

Double Wood Supplements

Double Wood is a family business run by two brothers who offer a wide range of Made in America Nootropics and health supplements. I’ve used their Phenibut, Magnesium L-Threonate, Dihydromyricetin “hangover cure,” and HMB supplements. I appreciate that they publish their COAs right on their products’ pages so you know that you’re getting the real thing.

What People are Saying: Double Wood is on Amazon, a number of their products have hundreds of positive 4 and 5-star reviews. You can find some reviews on their website. On Youtube, you can find several vlog product testimonials for their products. They have several 5-star reviews on Trustpilot.com.

Money-Back Guarantee: They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee from the date that the product is delivered. They do not require product returns if you order one bottle of something. If you order multiple bottles I believe that they require the unopened bottles to be returned. So if you want to try something new and you’re not certain that you’ll like it just order a single bottle.

Clinical Studies: Most of their products are very mainstream health supplements that have been thoroughly evaluated with human, placebo-controlled trials.

Web Presence: They have a Youtube channel and are active on Twitter. They offer email and phone support (570–437–0203) between 9 AM — 5 PM EST.

FocusSupplements.co.uk

I recommend this supplement vendor highly to European biohackers, they have higher standards for their Nootropics and antiaging health products than almost anybody else in Europe. I tried their Rhodiola Rosea, LongJack Tongkat Ali, Uridine, and Resveratrol products which produced the effects that you would expect. Importantly, their products are COA verified. They shipped to me several times and I reliably received their packages.

What People are Saying: On the products’ pages of their website you can find numerous Verified Buyer reviews. They are highly rated on both Amazon.co.uk and TrustPilot.com.

Money-Back Guarantee: 30-Day 100% Money Back Guarantee. Items must be returned to their operation in Kettering, UK.

Clinical Studies: These guys sell mainstream, low-risk supplements. On every product page, they describe the science behind their supplements.

Web Presence: They have a Facebook page and Instagram.

Indigo Herbs

My go-to for organic herbs in Europe. I have very high standards when it comes to adaptogenic herbs. In my experience, powdered herbs are a whole lot better value than capsuled herbs.

Locally I haven’t been able to find high-quality powdered Rhodiola and Schisandra, two of my favorite adaptogens for energy, mood enhancement, immunity (important during the wintertime!), and libido. I did some research about European herbal vendors and decided on Indigo Herbs out of Glastonbury, UK.

What People are Saying: Impressively they have a 4.9 stars average score on Trustpilot with +15,000 reviews, wow!

Money-Back Guarantee: Yes, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee which requires product return. From their returns and refund policy page

We offer a Postage Guarantee on all sales. If an item is lost in the post (15 working days for the UK, and 20 working days for international orders) we will send a replacement immediately.

Clinical Studies: On most product pages they link to blog articles done summarizing the clinical trials done on that product.

Web Presence: They have many thousands of followers across social media.

Intellimeds

This website carries a wide variety of a bit edgier, more experimental Nootropics and smart drugs. Intellimeds is the place to get Racetams in Europe. I tried their Bacopa, Tianeptine, and Nefiracetam. They sell both capsuled and bulk powders so if you’ve figured out a Nootropic that works great for you and want to save some money by getting it in bulk, Intellimeds is a smart option. They accept payment in Bitcoin.

What People are Saying: On Reddit, there’s a handful of discussions of Intellimeds.They have an excellent average reviewer rating on Trustpilot.com, where they have been rated by +450 customers (that’s statistically significant!) Apparently, I’m the only vlogger that has reviewed their products.

Money-Back Guarantee: 7-days money-back guarantee (so you’ve got to figure out fast if you like the Nootropics!) which does require returning the products.

Clinical Studies: Their website contains thorough descriptions of the science behind the products often with links to Pubmed. Although, some of their offerings are research chemicals that you won’t find evaluated in human clinical trials.

Web Presence: They have no social media presence. Their customer service is very responsive to inquiries submitted to info@intellimeds.net.

Lost Empire Herbs

All herbs are not created equal. There’s a huge difference between high-quality organic herbs, which Lost Empire Herbs sells and the cheap stuff that comes out of China that you can find in plastic bottles on the shelves of your local pharmacy or grocery store. What’s impressed me about Lost Empire Herbs, is that they are the only seller of Nutraceuticals that I’m aware of that proves their products with a certificate of analysis, a Complete Mineral, and Heavy Metals Report, in addition to Microbiology Report. I used their Rhodiola, Schisandra, Eleuthero, and Bacopa products, of which I was especially impressed by the first three.

What People are Saying: On their website, you can find a bunch of very thorough, detailed reviews of their customers’ experience and the sometimes fantastic results that these herbs can produce. Impressively they have over 2000 customer reviews on Trustpilot with an average of a 5-star rating. On Youtube, you can find several very happy men describing the effects of Lost Empire Herbs products.

Money-Back Guarantee: They offer one of the most generous and reasonable policies. A 365-Day Money Back Guarantee, they don’t require that you ship the product back:

If you don’t get the results you want, simply request a refund/store credit/exchange, even if you’ve used it all, and we’ll refund 100% of your money. This is offered so that you can try out any of our herbs to find if they’re right for you. And since nothing works for everyone we have this refund policy available so you can try out multiple herbs and formulas to find out what is right for you.

Clinical Studies: Many of these herbal products come out of eastern medicinal traditions and have been used for thousands of years to promote everything from fertility to longevity. I’ve written several in-depth articles about Adaptogenic herbs, most of them have impressive clinical data backing up the claims of the medicine traditions.

Web Presence: They have an impressive website with, what looks like, hundreds of articles and podcasts going deep on herbal biohacking. The three brothers behind Lost Empire Herbs, Logan, Zane, and Cloud Christopher are very active (and educational!) on social media. Check their Youtube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram.

Nootropics Depot

NootropicsDepot.com is one of the top American sources of Nootropic capsules and powders. They stand out because they manufacture and test their products in house, posting their certificates of analysis right on their product pages. In 2020 they kicked me out of their affiliate program because I do well-researched content about the science and evidence behind the Nootropics and supplements they sell. It’s disappointing that the regulatory environment in the USA is compelling manufacturers to forsake affiliates who work tirelessly to educate about empowering health. Nonetheless, I recommend them because of their commitment to quality assurance!

What People are Saying: On NootropicsDepot.com you can find a number of customer reviews, there are nearly 200 reviews of their Piracetam alone, some are very short while some are quite detailed. There are a handful of reviews on TrustPilot.com, mostly positive. On Youtube, you can find several positive vlog reviews. Reviews also appear on several popular Nootropics blogs and there are several (mostly positive) discussion threads on Longecity.org.

Money-Back Guarantee: 30-day money-back guarantee. From their website: Nootropics Depot does not accept returns or exchanges for opened and/or used product. Unopened product may be returned for a refund within 30 days of its delivery date.

Clinical Studies: Most of the products they sell have solid science behind them, for example, over 600 human studies and papers about Piracetam can be found on Pubmed.

Web Presence: NootropicsDepot.com is a large and sharply functioning e-commerce website with a great search function. Ample (again mostly positive) discussion of their products can be found on Biohacker forums and Reddit. They have a Twitter profile and Facebook page with over 50,000 “likes.”

Pure Nootropics

As their name implies these guys are a source of high-purity, COA-verified Nootropics. They offer mostly capsuled Nootropics. I used their Caffeine+L-Theanine stack, Oxiracetam, Coluracetam, Piracetam, and Aniracetam.

What People are Saying: On their website, you can find numerous detailed and informative customer reviews of Nootropics, for example, Brett writes about Pure Nootropics’ Noopept:

What an amazing, lifesaving, truly beneficial nootropic. I have experimented with a number of nootropics, and have found Noopept to be “hands down” my the absolute best and my favorite. I work for a start-up company where the pressure and hours can be quite grueling. Noopept has allowed me to continue working 12 hour days, with intense focus, concentration, and overall mental clarity for the entirety of those 12 hours. I ingest acetyl-choline approximately 30 minutes prior to using the Noopept, which has prevented “the headache”. The effects of Noopept are felt within about 5–10 minutes, and last for a sold 2–3 hours without a “crash”. In addition to the cognitive enhancement, I have also noticed better sleep and better mood. I will be ordering several more bottles from Pure Nootropics. I have zero affiliation with Pure Nootropics, just a happy customer.

On Youtube, you can find a handful of biohackers talking about Pure Nootropics. They also have a page on Trustpilot.com with several reviews.

Money-Back Guarantee: 30-day money-back guarantee, if less than half the contents of a package are consumed. Unused product must be returned to their operation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Clinical Studies: They sell a wide variety of Nootropics; Racetams, Cholinergics, Mushrooms, etc. Many of these have been extensively studied with clinical trials. On each products’ page, they link to the Pubmed studies that have been done.

Web Presence: They don’t have a social media presence, but they do have an informative and thorough Nootropics blog.

RUPharma.com

Russia has been a powerhouse of pharmacological research and development since the fall of the Soviet Union. I checked out this vendor, RUPharma based in Moscow which offers some unique Nootropics and performance enhancers that I self-experimented with; the peptides Semax and Selank, exogenous oxytocin, Noopept, and Modafinil along with the eyesight biohacks Visoluten, a smart peptide, and Visomitin, mitochondria-empowering eyedrops.

What People are Saying: On their website, you can find many customer reviews and on Trustpilot.com they have +130 customer reviews with an average of a 5-star rating. That’s impressive!

Money-Back Guarantee: From their service guarantees:

Get 100% refund if your package gets seized by customs or is lost in transit.

Clinical Studies: This website has a nice search function where you can search for almost any given medical condition and it will show you the Russian products that might treat it. Each product page on their website has a nice description breaking down the science done on the Nootropics.

Web Presence: They have an email newsletter and a very responsive customer service department but no social media presence.

In case you’re wondering, yes you can get Russian Nootropics in the United States. One customer reported:

I have ordered from rupharma twice so far and both times the product was delivered to me very fast without problems. This last order was shipped to California in 7 days! The product is authentic and they are a pleasure to deal with. They always reply quickly to any inquiries and will not hesitate to assist you with any issues. I will definitely keep coming back and highly recommend them to anyone!

There’s a couple of other brands and e-commerce stores out there that are noteworthy but don’t reach the level of the credibility of the products and vendors listed above…

In the future, I hope to get more personal experience with these brands and can comment on their legitimacy. At present, only Health Ranger Store proves the purity of their products.

Brain Cross-Training…

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Is a strategy utilized by elite Biohackers to maximize the ROI of Nootropics using brain-training software; it entails brain training under the influence of smart drugs and recording some results. Which is tantamount to a bodybuilder that maximizes their gains in the gym while under the influence of a powerful pre-workout supplement. Get a free download of my favorite smartphone fluid intelligence training App — the only one demonstrated in human studies to have ‘transfer effects’ to real life.

What about the placebo effect/confirmation bias?

Isn’t this crowdsourced approach susceptible to the placebo effect? Yes and no, actually.

No, because the more reviews a product has the more statistically accurate the average rating becomes as a predictor of effectiveness. The preponderance of statistical data will smooth out any wildly positive experiences that result from a placebo effect.
Yes, the placebo effect is inevitable — You don’t need to be a very informed consumer to add a review on Amazon. However, in the case of cognitive enhancers — Nootropics that make you happier and more productive — you actually want the placebo effect.

Over the +10 years that I’ve tried +100 smart drugs, I’ve experienced the placebo effect surprisingly little
I had researched thoroughly, expected big things from, and was downright excited the first times I tried Kratom, Noopept, Coluracetam, and Ayahuasca — I was totally primed for the placebo effect — yet I ended up being totally underwhelmed by my psychopharmacological experience of them!

I have also experienced the nocebo effect very little, which is the effect of negative bias on the pharmacology of a Nootropic.
I suspect that the placebo effect is just a whole lot less common than the average skeptic thinks it is.

If you are the kind of person who takes the time to read a long article like this you probably have a very analytical personality that is a whole lot less susceptible to the placebo effect. The antidote to the placebo effect is thoroughly researching what you are consuming, running self-quantification experiments while on Nootropics, and cycling those Nootropics. The placebo effect is a fascinating and often misunderstood phenomenon, check out my deep-dive podcast, The Placebo Effect Demystified — “You Are the Placebo” Book Review, on it here…

In the comments below…

Please let me know what methodologies, criteria, or critical thinking skills you use to avoid scam or bad value Nootropic supplements and identify the products that deliver the greatest biological bang for the buck.

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

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