A Pill To Make You Smarter : A Candid Discussion About Smart Drugs

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If there were a pill that could increase your focus, improve your memory, alleviate your anxiety and protect your brain from age-related decline, would you take it?

On this episode of Remarkably Human Radio, we talk about smart drugs – also known as nootropics or cognitive enhancers – with the host of the leading podcast on the topic, Jesse Lawler of Smart Drug Smarts.

We chat about what smart drugs are, what they are not, and even share “personal reports” of what it’s like to use smart drugs, including piracetam, aniracetam, modafinil, phenibut, l-theanine, caffeine and more.

Plus, we talk about my own very strict and specific personal standards for when one should and should not use smart drugs.



  • What smart drugs are, and what they are not.
  • How smart drugs differ from simple “healthy lifestyle.”
  • The “Hierarchy of Cognitive Enhancers.”
  • How smart drugs often start their lives as something else in the pharmaceutical world.
  • Why modern medicine is not interested in “enhancement” but only “repair.”
  • Why it’s really hard to do caffeine studies.
  • Why taking smart drugs is a proactive and smart choice, and not “cheating.”
  • The granddaddy of all smart drugs – piracetam – and the entire class of “racetams.”
  • What is the “cognitive ceiling?”
  • Anecdotal stories from Roderick and Jesse’s own smart supplementation experience.
  • User reports of modafinil and armodafinil use.
  • The difference between “smart drugs” and “nootropics.”
  • Why the best smart drugs have no “psychotropic” component.
  • The chemical that Roderick likes best.
  • The benefits of combining l-theanine and caffeine
  • The role of genetics, lifestyle and epigenetics in response to smart drugs.
  • What are “dumb drugs?”
  • The dangers of antihistamines found in over-the-counter cold, allergy and sleep medications.
  • Why the term “drug” seems so negative.
  • Tolerance and smart drug use.



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  • Ethan Waldman

    I am ABSOLUTELY floored. I tried adderol once or twice in college but really didn’t like the feeling, though I know several people who have ADHD who take it regularly. My question is this- as a complete and curious beginner to this, where should I start? Modafinil? Piracetam? Also, where can I find guidelines on dosages, etc? Do I try to get a prescription from my doctor? Buy online? Ahhhh.

  • Joel Zaslofsky

    I didn’t know half the words you and Jesse mentioned before this episode. But I’m going to be doing some research on most of them after that schuper schweet show, Roderick. Man … this Remarkably Human thing keeps getting better and better.

  • saulofhearts

    I’m curious about the one you mentioned that helps with overactivity/anxiety. Sounded like “GABA” mixed with “fennepin” but I thought I should check the spelling before giving it a shot. 🙂

    • Juan

      It is phenibut.

  • Hanzolo

    Can not imagine We hadn’t discovered Cognitive Enhancers until finally just lately! Appears accomplishing lots of research and it seems that one could take many of them with each other to make a “Nootropic Stack” to get a more robust influence. There may be a wide variety of nootropics, although the favourite ones I have already been acquiring are classified as the Racetam chemicals.

    These kinds of Racetam chemicals, such as Piracetam, are usually effective stimulators of various neuro receptors as well as parts of the mind of which cope with memory space maintenance as well as recognition. They also most often activate the actual acetylcholine (ACh) receptors, and that is found in believed creation as well as running. It’s most extremely interesting, somewhat puzzling, although definitely one thing that ought to be talked about more extensively.

    Discover intended for studies on Racetams:

  • ru4mj12 (@ru4mj12)

    Nootropics like racetams, phenibut, maybe not so much GABA, seem to live in a strange, legal, but not quite found at gnc or vitacost, so who/where do you trust to buy from?! TruBrain, PeakNootropics? What about for the prescription type (r/modafinil, adderall).. or does everyone here just know a doctor that does off label prescriptions? What about for the more controlled supplements (psilocybin, micro-dosing lsd).. a darknet market paid with bitcoins? Maybe cultivating your own mushrooms from spores (sporeworks)?

    There’s also more common supplements that are said to help with the brain. If the podcast resumes and you ever have Jesse back, maybe some of those can be discussed (Alpha-GPC, CDP-choline, CoQ10, DHA/EPA, Curcumin, Acetyl-L-carnitine, phosphatidylserine, Bacopa, Active form of folate and vitamin B12 (5-MTHF and methylcobalamin) etc).

    I did enjoy hearing Jesse’s regimen of racetam (1x every 2 weeks) and armodafinil (100mg twice a week), although I was surprised no mention of choline, since it’s usually taken with racetam. Interesting how many smart drugs operate at some level with choline, with the opposite also being true.. i.e. taking anticholinergic drugs for sleep and antihistamines (like Benadryl/diphenhydramine), can negatively affect the brain over time.

  • Amit Joshi

    Great content! Smartdrug improves memory, wakefulness,concentration power and let you allow to be more efficient in workspace. Check online smartdrugs at

  • Afinil

    Genuinely valuable input, thank you. I agree: often times it’s hard to take a step back and introduce the topic so that a beginner can understand, especially when you’re in the trenches day in day out with exposure to nootropics. That all being said, you asked the tough questions and I just left a 5 star review on iTunes.

  • jiggaseb

    Artvigil is a drug based on modafinil. What is modafinil? This is substance, which stimulates the work of the nervous system, improves memory and effectively fights with drowsiness. Usually, it is used to treat narcolepsy, as well as to quickly change the regime for shift work. Artvigil, unlike coffee, does not excite the nervous system, causing tachycardia or anxiety. This drug is suitable for recreational use, as it does not cause addiction. With good tolerability, you can buy 300 tablets of Artvigil 150 mg at once – this will be very profitable and convenient.

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