Open Discussion: Nootropics

In a recent comment a reader mentioned taking phenibut, a substance that has a calming effect, lowers inhibitions, and relaxes facial muscles, among others. This reminded me of a number of experiments I wanted to conduct. The wider context are “nootropics”, i.e. substances that enhance your cognitive function.

Substances I wanted to look into are:
– wheat grass
– phenibut
– kava

Last year I tried maca. I went through a 500 gram bag. Frankly, I didn’t experience much of an effect at all.

If some of you have taken nootropics/supplements, or are taking some, I would be very interested in hearing from you. In particular, please mention which effects you experienced and which you didn’t — as opposed to marketing promises. Also, where do you buy your products?

38 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Nootropics

  1. Seems you meant my comment 🙂–Nutritional-supplements–Phenibut-500-mg–H478

    That’s where I got mine.

    You might want to read this, if you haven’t yet:

    My experience (additionally to the mentioned effects in the post on the Open Thread), in no particular order:
    This is my view, my perspective, from late 2013 till early 2014 (probably 6 months). I was 23 then, now 26.
    I do not encourage anybody to consume anything, use your brain, notice, that these observations are subjective even if I write “YOU will feel xyz”. It’s your responsibility, what you do. After all, it is a drug.

    (Long live Russia, the Soviets invented this stuff hehehe)

    1. Sex: Harder to come. Frankly, this shit works against premature ejaculation. Forget the second orgasm. She’s gonna have 2 before you have the first and she’s gonna have 5 while you try having the second.
    2. Attraction: Slower voice, empty head: Fucking works. I think Illuminatus made the following logic chain:
    Thoughts are real. Thoughts represent tension. Tension is visible in your face through muscle contraction. Muscle contraction means you’re worried, means shit is not settled in your live.
    Phenibut makes the chatter in your head go away. You DO have an empty (much emptier head). Very view thoughts, consequently no tension in your face = you have no worries = you are attractive.
    Not sure about the science behind this, but girls can’t take their eyes of me, when I talk to them on phenibut. Also, you know that little guy in your head, who says” oh, no don’t approach her, you might get rejected”? Guess what, he is suppressed, you just fucking do it in an unapologetic way. You know that stare down calm “I’m gonna fuck you and we both know it”-view-attitude? I have it when I’m on it.
    3. Sleep: Very deep, you sleep very long
    4. Music: You fucking love music, it sounds really muuuuch better. Electro music? An orgasm in itself…
    5. Dancing: You can’t dance because you don’t understand music. You will dance better, because you feel every layer of the sound. (“Can you feel it maaaan…da sound maaaaan”) It’s like almost if you can SEE every layer and dance to it, you PAINT the music with your dance)
    (check this out and you’ll understand why:
    6. Comparable to weed without being fuzzy. I fucking hate weed, because I can’t function normally, I get scared as fuck. Phenibut: I have worked a low intelligence job (hotel front desk) without any problem.
    Don’t expect to be able to do complex shit though. You’ll just be fine with what you have at the moment.
    7. How long does it work: First of all, on a full stomach it can kick in after 2h (!), so you’ll feel a little “buzz” all of a sudden and be like “oh yeah I forgot, I took some”. I think if you take 1.5 -2 gr in the evening, you might very well feel it for like 24-36h afterwards
    8. Alcohol: Mixes very well ( i.e. you’ll save money on alcohol because it intensifies the alcohol buzz).
    9. Overdosing: You’ll fucking fall asleep. Starts at 3.5gr. I’d say.
    10. Use: Split it up before going out.
    11. Getting used to it: I think resistance builds up after four to five days of straight use.
    12. Problems: I got random muscle twitching, not cool. I felt a bit dumb after a good dose for the next 1-2 days, but nowhere close to weed (did I say that I hate weed?^^)
    13. Addiction: Puh…tough one, I don’t real think it’s the drug itself, more like the effect it has on one’s dating life. I’m not taking any of it anymore.
    14. You can learn from it: It opens a door you never thought existed. The door to a calm place where you can just go and talk to her. The holy grail? In terms of attitude (looks aside now): I think so, yes.

    Not sure if I listed all, feel free to ask questions.

    1. Would you be so kind and elaborate on your dosing schedule? How much, how often? Is there a tolerance build up? Thanks

      BTW, I repeat myself but the effects described are similar to micro-dosing LSD.

    2. Sure:
      Body weight 77 kg, 182 cm height.

      Going out:
      On a full stomach 1.5 gr about 1.5h before you plan entering the venue/night club. Add a beer. Once your in the club, 0.5 gr and half an hour later again 0.5gr. Get another beer. Watch the magic happen.

      Besides going out, maybe 1 gr maximum later during the day.

      Tell me more about micro dosing LSD.
      Does it come close to the Silicon-Valley-productiveness-raising-holy-grail-stories?
      Can you actually work while on it?

  2. btw, Aaron

    I think Illuminatus made a point where phenibut is similar to mediation in terms of “empty head”. He seems to have some experience with mediation.
    I don’t know and I cannot really imagine what decades of meditation have done to you/your brain/your way of processing reality.

    But, errr, do you really need this stuff?

    Just my 2 cents.
    Again, questions are welcome.

    1. Reading up on its effects, I certainly see a significant overlap with long-term meditation. (For anyone else reading this: no, meditation is not a quick fix.)

  3. From my experience, nootropics are mostly bullshit placebos laced with things like caffeine, taurine, and things that would have an effect on you if you’re not already used to energy drinks. There’s a reason lots of these “nootropics” don’t become scheduled drugs, it’s because they’re ineffective, or have an incredible exponential decay of effect after the first use. Drugs that are scheduled aren’t done so necessarily because they’re “dangerous”, but because they’re absolutely effective. The most effective thing I can recommend are ADHD medications and their counterparts, such as Adderall. I’ve tried much more powerful drugs, but they have too many side effects, like hallucinations, that I wouldn’t want to be on every day.

  4. I use phenibut occasionally, I think it’s incredible.
    The fist time I tried it I remember thinking this stuff does nothing but then I used it once to go out socialising when i took a month off drinking and I was just in the zone.

    There was no buzz as such but I felt calm, confident, no anxiety, effortlessly talking to people. Eye contact with loads of women who found me more attractive etc. It’s difficult to describe, you’re just “on” and able to access your best self.

    I stoked up when the ban came, I have enough to last me nearly 10 years I reckon.

    I take 2 grams about once every 2 weeks. Sometimes a couple of times a week, when I’m on a date or such like, but then I might have none for 6 weeks.

    I rate this stuff very highly! I’m glad I found it!

    1. I get the same effects by micro-dosing LSD. Calm, happy and very effective for socializing. Also best for flow/ creative work.

      source: onions help

  5. None of them are proper nootropics, but I feel the need to share:

    Phenibut (don’t abuse it; 750mg is enough to trigger sozialization).
    Propranolol (I sometimes use 10-20mg for dates and stuff like interviews and a phd defense. Works extremely effective for me)

    Kratom (evil stuff that messes up your personality. Worst advice from GLL)

    1. Kratom is an opiate, as far as I know. What kind of experiences did you make with it?

      Considering that phenibut makes you calm and lowers inhibition, it seems it should likewise help for the kind of situations you recommend propanolol for. What are the differences?

    2. From a very quick glance online it seems propanol needs a prescription.
      Can you say something about that? (If you don’t want to share details, I perfectly understand.)

    3. LOL at propranolol .

      It is a beta blocker prescribed usually for elderly with high blood pressure and heart problems .
      Stop stealing your grandma’s medication 😛
      You should not consider it a nootropic at all.

      I am sure your heart rate won’t go high on your date though .

  6. Kratom:
    I made a lot of progress in 2014 also thanks to meditation until
    I stumbled onto that shitty advice by GLL.
    I cannot pinpoint the effects of Kratom; it certainly made me rather
    lazy. In retrospect it reversed a lot of my meditation progress not only by
    offering a new comfort zone.
    I think this lies in the fact kratom has such a broad range of
    effects on the brain (for me it felt like an opioid + a sinister
    background of effects if that makes any sense).
    Two of my friends got two days of depression only after a single dose
    (this is not normal, of course. But this should be a warning).
    On the plus side, it helped me to stop smoking. Also it doesn’t seem to be
    that addicting.

    I hate the stupefying effects of alcohol and the general toxic feel in the body.
    Here phenibut comes as a nice alternative.

    For me this is like doping (my confidence is usually okay). On that stuff
    I realized that sometimes confidence can actually be too high.
    It is not psychoactive at all, so you are just as sharp as without.
    Can lead to hairloss if used every day… and it works only for a percentage
    of people. Can also be combined with Phenibut for synergy
    (both at lower doses then)

    1. I actually tried Kratom and it didn’t do shit for me. I literally didn’t feel anything. Phenibut seems great, but I’m a bit afraid that it’s gonna be like Kratom : blowing money on stuff that doesn’t do anything.

  7. @Aaron

    May I suggest to make the Open Thread bi-weekly (either in general or after once we go beyond let’s say 50 comments)?
    We are 4 days into December and already at 66 comments 🙂
    I much enjoy reading and participating in the exchanges, beyond a a certain number of comments it just gets a bit confusing, mostly on the phone.

  8. I’ll have to check out this phenibut. It may help me with the extra push I need when I’m out especially at bars and clubs. It’s crazy – when I’m out at dance socials I have a strong sense of confidence and surety. When I go out to the venues where way more women are dtf, I always have high levels of anxiety which leads to me being depressed, and that’s definitely not a good thing since you have to put up with a lot of rejection. I have a hard time shutting my brain off without supplements; it’s like sticking your hand to stop a fan from spinning when it’s going at full blast.

  9. Used L-theanine for a couple of years, some years ago, I belive around 200mg a day or maybe it was 400mg.
    Since it is a couple of years ago I dont remember that much about the effects- but I do remember that it defenately increased dopamine- levels (as it is said to do).

  10. Anyways, I know that Valerian Root and St John’s Wort are the more common mainstream supplements in the same category. Any experience with those?

    1. I’ve tried Phenibut, Kratom and other things, but what really does it for me – no shit – is Valerian Root and St John’s Wort. I take one pill of extract a day and it makes me feel very calm. But I’m very sensitive. Coffee has the same effect like alcohol on me (no shit I get tried from drinking coffee).

    1. Aaron ,

      Maca is said to increase libido significantly.
      What was your experience taking it last year?

    2. Let’s say that if you think maca is a replacement for Viagra, you’ll be disappointed.

    3. meszi,

      Maca is BS.

      You won’t get a boner from it, but the orgasm will blow your brains out:
      mucuna pruriens
      Pro tip: keep your eyes closed after you come.

      Cocaine’s little brother (let’s say a tenth of cocaine’s intensity). Perfectly legal.

      Oh and you’ll spend a considerable amount on various adult sites 🙂

    4. Thanks for your input.
      I am not interested in boosting my erectile function and I haven’t heard about what qualities Maca has.
      I only checked on the website I linked and they list libido boost as the only notable effect.
      So I was curious about your experiences because it would provide a good reference that the website is credible. 🙂

  11. Hey Sleazy

    If you’re interested in science concerning supplements or nootropics. I can definetly recommend

    Here’s their page concerning nootropics:

    You can also find information on supplements. It’s insane but the most effective ones are usually the cheapest. It comes at a price though, but in the long run it will save you lot’s of money.

  12. related – Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia @

    No, it doesn’t come close. At least in my case, it didn’t. You can definitely work on it but it is not recommended for multi-tasking. It just makes me worry a little less. I find it to be an excellent (mild) antidepressant. However, you constantly need to re-evaluate the dose due to different qualities of the substance itself. Also, I am into strength training and its hard to get fired up for the workout when micro-dosing.

    By reading different articles about Phenibut it seems that the effects only kick in combination with alcohol and/or caffeine. What was your dosing schedule to get the positive effects of the stuff as a stand-alone? Daytime, amount, empty stomach etc, any withdrawal effects? Thanks much.

  13. @Neutralrandomthoughts:
    “Cocaine’s little brother (let’s say a tenth of cocaine’s intensity). Perfectly legal.”

    Are you implying that an effective way to consume Mucuna Pruriens is to sniff it?

  14. I’ve been trying a nootropic food based diet, mixed with some popular nootropics and I’ve achieved great results, specifically on my work.

    Right now I take:

    Lions Mane and I mix it with a Light Roasted Coffee Beans, I take this on Mon, Wed and Friday as it helps me get repetitive work done easily.

    I then use L-Theanine with caffeine on Tues and Thursday and whenever I have a social event, as it’s awesome for confidence and lowering anxiety and allows me to stay 100% focused on the task at hand.

    The nootropic I think would help you the most: Yerba Mate Tea, it’s my nootropic of choice when it comes to writing and doing creative work.

    Just sip away while working and the creativity just keeps coming, at least that’s my experiences.

    Anyway I hope this helped, have an awesome day,

  15. phenibut to me feels comparable to

    a) the relaxed feeling of having had a few drinks without being “drunk”


    b) a really good session of mediation

    Its not mind blowing, just nice. But it saved me a lot of money on nights out because I could just nurse one beer the whole evening rather than several to get in the party mood. (be careful with alcohol, it operates on the same area of the brain = compounded effects).

    Modafinil never gave me the brain boosting effects many claim, but it does defer tiredness. And it has a 15 hour half life. I keep some for if I know I’m going to be working till the early hours.

    L-thenanine+caffine is often recommended as a beginners stack in nootropic forums. Again, not mind blowing but ok. All it did for me was taper the “edge” off of caffine so I didnt get a crash like I often do. Its very cheap though so I often have some in the mornings.

  16. I’ve just bought a small pack (25 gram) of Phenibut. I’ve tried it three times and my experience is very positive.

    I will probably continue doing taking it when going out, this is once every two – three weeks.

    I will shortly describe how it went. Keep in mind that I live in Kraków and women are not so much liberating as in other countries. The percent of sluts is not high. I think most educated women here never had one night stand. And even the stupid one don’t want to fuck that easily as women from other countries. Now, I don’t want to boast about myself, but all of the following traits are true: I am good-looking, quite smart (have bachelor in Computer Science from reputed university, have almost-photographic memory and I am a very good dancer (which de facto I learned by myself in very quick time), but still it’s quite hard for me to pull them out from the club. I’ve kissed many of them there, by many I mean something about 50 women, but only had sex with five of them and they were not of the highest quality. In comparison when I met some drunk British in Tenerife all I had to do was to pull them to me and they automatically started grinding on my dick.

    Let’s go to the point.

    The first time I’ve drank too much alcohol. I don’t recommend drinking a lot while taking this substance. The next day was horrible for me.

    The second time I went out I took over the club 🙂 Holy shit, I was literally carrying women on my hands while dancing. I’ve slept at some girl place. She didn’t want to take me to her flat, we were discussing about it for about an hour. I would never ever in my life would do that when sober, i.e. without Phenibut. When at last she allowed me to sleep at her place. Unfortunately, we didn’t have sex. The reason for that is that she is not a slut. I guess she had sex with maybe one or two guys and not more. I could take her number and meet her later but I didn’t want cause she wasn’t that beautiful.

    The third time was yesterday. I went to the same club and the experience was similar 🙂 . I was funny, talkative, haven’t analyzed every sentence I speak and spend overall very nicely time there. I’ve kissed two girls, danced with many more, but again there was no good-looking sluts there. I think there would be good chance for me to fuck them. The next time I will probably chose the club where less conservative girls are coming and things will happen.

    In overall I think I’ve never tried better psychoactive substance than the Phenibut. It opens new doors for me. I recommend it to anyone to try it. But be careful and don’t be an idiot (which you probably aren’t if you are here) as I’ve read some stories on the Internet when people started taking it daily and had some mental problems afterwards.

  17. I wanted to chime in here after a few years because I’ve had some new experiences and data to share. First off to kratom and phenibut, these are simply just drugs IMO — not nootropics. Kratom is an opioid that acts on similar or the same receptors that opiates work on. I actually developed a tolerance to kratom after a short interval of daily use in which I experienced neurpathy-like muscle aches in my forearms an hour after falling asleep, as well as loss of appetite and depression for about a week to 10 days. Taking too much can cause nausea/vomiting and the effects are short lived. I suspect the withdrawal from kratom is mild compared to synthetic opiates and substances like heroin.

    Phenibut works on the gaba B receptors in your brain (whereas benzodiazepines work on gaba A receptors) and is most chemically related to a drug known as Buspar — an anxiolytic. Phenibut also has moderate addiction potential and it’s easy to overdose on. If you’re buying the Hcl stuff, make sure it’s capped because the free form powder is not good for your tooth enamel. I never had any issues with dependence on phenibut since I maybe use it one every 2-3 weeks for sleep or if I were to have to be in a really ‘stressful’ environment. My dose is generally 500-1000 mg, the higher end of that metric used a couple of hours before sleeping.

    Things I consider nootropics that I use primarily before bed:

    Lemon Balm

    I also considered using Valerian Root Extract but read that it could cause false positives for benzos. 5-HTP + L-Tryptophan works pretty nicely for sleep but 5-HTP needs to be used sparingly IMO because of the potential for it to cause serotonin syndrome (esp. if you’re taking anti-depressants, which I don’t recommend). I usually take half the recommended does of 5-HTP once or twice per week and rotate through with the other things mentioned. You’ll notice that most of the things I’ve mentioned are actually amino acids.

    Is there really such thing as a nootropic? Hell, you could argue caffeine is a drug. I used to drink 8 ounces of coffee per morning, but have since dropped it down to 4 ounces of french pressed coffee on work days and opt for one cup of steeped loose leaf green tea on days off.

    I won’t get into recreational stuff at the moment. I have to endure random drug testing so I avoid all the obvious offenders. I think alcohol is disgusting beyond one or two shots of liquor.

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