Why Choose Pharmaceutical Grade Nootropics + 3rd Party Verified Sources

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.

Let me confirm something you already know on a gut level...

The supplement industry is a capitalist wild wild west, a profiteers' paradise, an unregulated free market, and consumers should beware.

While the ubiquitous white Nutrition Facts box you see on the labeling of the packaging looks official, anyone with basic word processing software can create such a representation of the ingredients ostensibly in a product. When you realize that no one verifies that the actual individual ingredients are in a given product, you realize how much of a decision to buy and take a supplement is based upon trust.

The Nutrition "Facts"

Fake-NutritionLabel...are often Nutrition Fiction

When supplement companies sell products to consumers they can count on most consumers not verifying what they are consuming. Sure, the consumers could send products off for testing at a third-party laboratory but that costs between hundreds and thousands of dollars. While some consumer spectroscopy devices are coming to market that promise to disrupt multiple industries that prey on the voracious consumer, at the current time consumers have virtually no way of personally determining what they are actually putting in their bodies.

The good news: to make almost certain that you are getting the real stuff insist on always buying pharmaceutical-grade supplements.

Why trust Pharmaceutical Grade?Pharma Grade

When a University spends six figures (or more) to conduct a major double-blind, placebo-controlled study with dozens of human participants they verify that the compounds, ingredients, drugs, or supplements they are using are real. The potential negative repercussions of not doing so are huge...

  • A study conducted with illegitimate ingredients would produce inaccurate results. Scientists know that once their study is published in a journal, their colleagues at other universities will recreate their experiments to verify their findings. Not to mention these scientists have to spend sometimes as much as $30,000 – $40,000 just on the publishing of their studies.
  • Many a feud between scientists and universities has its origins in one researcher challenging the conclusions another reached after a study.
  • Making a mistake in process or methodology during a study, referred to as having "dirty test tubes," can result in a researcher being fired, a University's reputation being damaged, or an organization losing its funding from the government.

These guys are seriously motivated to make certain they are using the real stuff and in their laboratories, they have the means to do so. They spend extra to get Pharmaceutical Grade and so should you! Pharmaceutical-grade manufacturers and distributors aren't intrinsically more ethical, it's just that they know their products are going to be tested for legitimacy and purity by their most important customers - business they stand to lose if they put out anything less than the real thing.

What are the grades of supplements?

Pharma-Grade300Pharmaceutical Grade

The purity, dissolution, and absorption of a given vitamin are third-party tested and verified to meet regulatory standards that come from the national Pharmacopeia. Pharmaceutical Grade can be obtained without a prescription but typically they are sold by licensed health care practitioners. Companies that distribute this grade will typically be Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, so look for GMP Certified on the labeling and websites of the products you order from. It's required to be 98-99% pure, you're never going to get 100% pure, but this grade is required to be within a couple of percentage points of it.

Medicial Grade300Medical Grade

Are also high-grade, high-purity vitamins, although they may not undergo the stringent third-party verification process that Pharmaceutical grade vitamins have to. If Pharmaceutical grade is not available you will usually be fine taking Medical grade supplements and the benefits you experience will be very similar.

Nutritional Grade300Cosmetic / Nutritional Grade

These are what you will typically find on the shelves of health food stores. They are not tested for absorption or purity, indeed no one actually tests the contents of these products. Usually, there's not a huge price difference between this grade and pharmaceutical, and in this age of convenient eCommerce, you are better off just avoiding this grade altogether and ordering Pharmaceutical grade online. Supplements of this grade will contain some very dubious extra ingredients; like cornstarch, folic acid, and chemical preservatives - some that the FDA does not even require the manufacturer to list on the label.

Food Grade300Food Grade

For additions to food products; think about "healthy breakfast cereals" that boast about being fortified with vitamins and nutrients - typically this will be very low quality. The food business is a doggedly competitive arena, where most consumers make decisions completely on price, so food manufacturers are almost always looking for the lowest cost individual ingredients.

Feed or Veterinarian Grade

For consumption by our furry friends and industrial animals.

Let's take a further look at the eight most popular types of Nootropics...

The human brain is an incredibly complex system with thousands of different types of processes occurring at any given moment. For Biohackers, this gives us a lot of different angles to take on cognitive enhancement. These categories represent hundreds of different mechanisms of action that enhance cognition, improve memory, treat depression, empower neuroplasticity, speed up skill acquisition, help with focus, and minimize stress along with preventing and even reversing cognitive decline.

Amino Acids

Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsDouble Wood SupplementsIntellimeds, PureBulk.comPure Nootropics

Acetylcholine Precursors

Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsDouble Wood SupplementsIntellimedsPureBulk.com, Pure Nootropics


Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsHealth Ranger StoreLost Empire HerbsPureBulk.com, Pure Nootropics


Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsDouble Wood SupplementsHealth Ranger StoreIntellimedsPureBulk.com,

B Vitamins

Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsPureBulk.com, Pure Nootropics


Pharmaceutical Grade Vendors: Double Wood Supplements, Health Ranger StoreIndigo Herbs (UK)Lost Empire HerbsPureBulk.com,

Mitochondrial Support

Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsDouble Wood Supplements, PureBulk.com, Pure Nootropics


Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsModafinilXL.com, RUPharma

Modafinil by RUPharma
4.4 (1)
4.4 (1)
0.0 (0)

NAD+ Boosters

Pharmaceutical Grade Vendors: PureBulk.com, Do Not Age


Pharmaceutical Grade Vendors: Double Wood Supplements, Health Ranger StoreIndigo Herbs (UK)Lost Empire HerbsPureBulk.com,


Pharmaceutical Grade Vendors: Health Ranger StorePureBulk.comPure NootropicsIndigo Herbs (UK)Intellimeds


Pharmaceutical Grade VendorsNootropicSource.comPure NootropicsIntellimeds

 Pharmaceutical Grade Stacks?

I've been a hardcore consumer of Nootropics for over a decade now and I'm increasingly less and less of a believer in the majority of Nootropic Stacks. You can't fit three grams of Piracetam and a gram of choline in a single pill, so manufacturers trying to add 5-10 different ingredients to a single pill will need to decrease the quantities to truly insignificant amounts. I believe in taking Nootropics in the dosages recommended by the human studies that demonstrated a cognition-enhancing effect from them in the first place, and most Nootropic Stacks just don't offer this.

Also, supplement stack distributors are less likely to have stringent quality standards for individual ingredients, most stack distributors are just white-labeling ingredients. Which is a business model prone to low quality; let's say their source of Pharmaceutical grade B vitamins (which comprises 40% of the ingredients in their stack) runs out, are they going to stop selling their product while they look for another source of equal quality? Not likely. What they will typically do is switch to another vendor who can get the raw materials to them as soon as possible, regardless of quality. Whereas a company that sells a single-ingredient product is much more liable for the quality of that ingredient.

My reservations made, there are several stacks I have been impressed with personally so I recommend them enthusiastically, they are also confirmed to use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients in their stacks.

Worst Case Scenario?

Craze supplement

In the past decade, there's been a couple of highly publicized instances of supplement manufacturers putting out products that harmed the health of their customers, like Fen-Phen and Craze - the popular pre-workout powder which turned out to be meth. The jail sentences and lawsuits resulting from these instances will hopefully motivate even the most unethical, opportunistic supplement distributor to make sure they aren't selling poison to their customers. The odds of non-pharmaceutical-grade products poisoning you or making you sick? Low.
As some Biohacking experts have said, the biggest risk of being a supplement junkie is: having expensive pee. Your liver will automatically filter out superfluous vitamins, nutrients, or supplement filler that your system doesn't need or can't absorb.

Certificates of Analysis

Certificate of authoritySeveral leading Nootropics distributors (Like PureBulk.comPure Nootropics, Lost Empire Herbs, or Intellimeds in Europe) provide certificates of analysis by third-party laboratories, usually in the form of PDF documents, on their websites or by request. These certificates of analysis will show the percentage of the advertised ingredients the product actually contains, any microbial presence (like yeast or mold), along with any trace amounts of compounds like lead or arsenic found. The COAs also provide the name and contact information of the laboratory that did the testing, so you could call them up and confirm the results if you wanted.

Avoid Cheap Supplements

no sale discount

Finding the best deal on any given commodity is highly encouraged, indeed we are regarded as foolish if we don't shop around just a little bit. If you are going to buy a house, car, or pair of shoes you want the best deal since you are getting the same product regardless of how much money you spend. Common sense would dictate that applying the same philosophy to buying supplements would be disastrous, yet cheap wins out consistently online over quality and credibility. There are two really big problems with buying cheap or on-sale supplements...

1. Counterfeiting


Any drug or supplement that commercially does well is assured to be ripped off by counterfeiters in China.
To quote former FDA Agent and Forensic Investigator Gary Collins, on counterfeit supplements:

"During my FDA tenure we ran lab tests on all kinds of lookalike pills and capsules. Some cheap/counterfeit supplements had ten times or more the amount of "medicinal" ingredients as was indicated on the label. Worse, some had none, and others simply contained large amounts of sawdust!"

Sawdust is a lot less expensive than producing, sourcing, testing, packaging, transporting, and storing some exotic molecule or rare nutraceutical plant extract. So it can be a very profitable business to come up with a cool product name, build a sharp website, design cool packaging, and sell sawdust at a massive markup.

2. Expired Ingredients


Distributors overorder raw supplies from manufacturers, and as the expiration dates approach they grow antsy to move the products off their shelves and avoid taking a loss. They will begin to sharply discount the product, if you buy it you are buying a product with plummeting potency and possibly risking toxicity as the ingredients age and break down. Even worse, sometimes even well-known distributors will sell their expired supplies to third parties that are fronts for criminal organizations. They will white-label, create fake expiration date labels, and sell the supplies online at a steep discount since they paid just pennies on the dollar for the supplies. Obviously, you want to get the best deal on your supplements, but if a particular brand or product is significantly cheaper than others on the market, it's a good sign it's not legitimate. Additionally, if the product or product's website lacks...

  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Names and email addresses of the people behind the product and company

You can be almost certain it's an illegitimate product that you DO NOT want in your body.

You are going to pay a premium but quality supplements, especially Nootropics, will enhance your economic productivity (perhaps to the tune of thousands of dollars a month). So economically it's a pretty clear choice between a credible $70 supplement and a $39 similar product on sale from a dubious source.

Great example of why to avoid supplements without COAs... A representative contacts me offering a white labeled 'brain...

Posted by Limitless Mindset on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

So while there are some risks, it's pretty easy to avoid the low-quality, scammy, and counterfeit Nootropics:

  1. Look for Pharmaceutical Grade or GMP Certified.
  2. Don't buy On Sale, deeply discounted, or Nootropics that are priced drastically lower than what seems to be fair market value for them.
  3. Look for a Certificate of Analysis; ask for it if they don't have it displayed on their website.
  4. Purchase from someone that you can contact easily. Look for a phone number, address, and bios of real people behind the company).


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