The Bad News about Nootropics and Smart Drugs

By Jonathan Roseland

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 thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Of the many thousands of people who have posted online their experiences with Nootropics, the vast majority are overwhelmingly positive.

People report feeling amazing and are significantly more productive. However, there are a few negatives you should be aware of before dabbling with the seductive world of smart drugs.


Nootropics, especially the Racetams and Modafinil, are jet fuel for productivity and workaholism. During my years as a digital nomad, I did a lot of smart drugs and I was very productive but frankly, I traded what could have been some unforgettable experiences for that productivity. Too many Saturdays and Sundays I spent working when I probably should have thrown on my backpack and gone out to explore the world.

If you're going to dabble with the more powerful side of the force, Racetams, and Modafinil, do check your workaholic impulses.

Irritation with Slow People


Smart drugs do make you think faster and more clearly. You'll come to conclusions and make good decisions in a fraction of the time it used to take you. My personal experience has been that this makes me occasionally irritated with those who (obviously not dosed on Nootropics) are operating a whole lot slower than me.

  • I find myself agitated when my friends second guess the agenda for a night out on the town or struggle to make plans.
  • I'm more cognizant of bad service from apathetic retail or service employees.
  • I get a little irritated when I have to repeat myself because the people I work with don't remember the specific details I shared with them.
  • I get quite annoyed by people who insist on chain-smoking cigarettes (I hang around a lot of Europeans...) Not only is it killing them, but it's also hurting my health too!

Honestly, it's a constant challenge of mind over ego, to NOT pass judgment and label certain people as 'stupid'. Once you categorize someone as mentally inferior to you (even if they objectively are) you eliminate the opportunity to learn from them.

The Come Down


While on Nootropics you do feel 'enhanced' AND when you're not on them a lot of times you will notice that you are 'slower'. In one respect Nootropics do train your brain to operate more efficiently but it's undeniable that when you go off them you don't feel quite as sharp. In this respect, someone could make the argument that Nootropics are addictive or habit-forming. I've had times when I was traveling to exotic destinations that were difficult to get Nootropics shipped to and I had to go without them for extended periods, I found myself getting frustrated with myself due to occasional moments of absentmindedness or laziness.

On the other end of the spectrum: Dual N-Back IQ Training, which has been around for +40 years has been demonstrated in university studies to increase Intelligence Quotient and Fluid Intelligence in perpetuity. If you devote 20 minutes daily to Dual N-Back training for a minimum of 20 days, your mind will internalize the mechanisms of action the software builds in your conscious mind. This means that if you commit some time to upgrade your IQ using the software you can quit training and will maintain the IQ gains for months or even years.

Category: Software & Apps
Category: Software & Apps

Experimentation Curiosity

Once you do experience You 2.0 as a result of smart drugs, you like many biohackers may find yourself "chasing the dragon" of memory and productivity gains. This can, for some, result in the obsessive constant tweaking of your Nootropic stack and diet.



Getting high-quality Nootropics ingredients that put you into stratospheric cognitive performance territory is not cheap, with shipping it's going to run $60 to +$100 monthly. My personal experience has been that stacks that are in the under $50 monthly range just don't put me into the productive 'zone' that I like to be in. Individual ingredient supplements can be as little as $10 for a monthly supply but typically you will want to take 3-5 of these together to achieve some synchronicity of Nootropic effects. Either way, to feel 'upgraded' you are going to be in at least the $60/monthly price range when you include shipping expenses and taxes.

Judgment from Others

Nootropics Bad News

As you talk to friends, family, and acquaintances about your Nootropics usage you will eventually get some negative judgment from offers. Many people believe things like:

  • You should play fair in life, upgrading your memory with drugs is "cheating".
  • The secret to being healthy and happy is just to "eat right, exercise, work hard, and think positively".
  • Humans are meant to eventually decline and die, by taking drugs that extend the time and quality of your life you are somehow cheating society.
  • You should not consume things that change your state of mind.

Nootropics fly in the face of these traditional ideas, a lot of these sentiments ironically come from people who are out of control of their own lives, consumption habits, and biology. Unfortunately, most of these people will not be able to share your scientifically quantifiable journey of self-improvement.

Personality change

Personality change

Another debatable downside of smart drugs is personality change. They may inject a quantum of psychopathy into your personality that makes you a bit more functional in a cynical, unfair world, as explained here...

Despite these detracting factors if you still want to try Nootropics, the Mind Power Products directory and the Nootropic Ingredients directory are great places to begin your research. 

Sorry, the smart drug stack mentioned here, Caballo, is no longer for sale. You can try to duplicate it by stacking different Racetams.


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