In the last month there have been at least two major-media press stories regarding nootropics. CNN did a profile of a smart-drug-using entrepreneur, and TechCrunch did an article about the growing interest and future of nootropics.
If nootropics no indeed become mainstream, there will be some positive as well as negative results. In general, with more interest and more nootropics users there will be more innovation and greater availability of various nootropics. That’s good. There may even be lower prices on some nootropics, if and when production increases. That could be also good.
What’s most definitely bad – if you like to experiment with various nootropics – is impending regulation that comes with greater public (and government) awareness. Right now, nootropics are popular to some extent but still not “mainstream”. The word “nootropic” still isn’t part of the vernacular. But the term “smart drug” and also “nootropic” are both appearing more and more in the press. The more this happens, and the more that people become aware of nootropics, the closer we get to nootropics becoming noticed and then regulated by the government.
Not only will regulatory agencies want to exhibit control over these “dangerous” substances, but governments will look for ways to extract more revenue from nootropics producers as well as normal people who want to try different nootropics. Laws, fees and taxes all come with oversight and bureaucracy. While it’s true that some regulation might provide a few benefits, the cost (overall) to both nootropics users and supplement companies won’t be worth it. It could spell the end of what is currently a thriving, enjoyable, and free subculture of sorts.
So, what should you expect as a nootropics user? Prepare for more and more people to know what nootropics are in the first place. While it might be rare for your friends and acquaintances to even know what “nootropic” even means currently, the terminology will become more common soon. Along with people hearing the terminology, expect there to be misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding what nootropics can and can’t do for the user. People will have the wrong idea about “smart drugs” – possibly confusing reality with movies (like Limitless) and possibly getting incorrect ideas about supposed dangers.
I don’t expect nootropics entering the mainstream consciousness to help those of us who enjoy experimentation and research. I expect a loss of freedom in choice and selection as soon as regulation becomes a real possibility.
What are the solutions to impending regulation? I would say, aside from possibly stocking up on some of your favorite supplements, looking into herbal nootropics as a possible alternative. While most of us are familiar with powders and pills, it’s worth exploring natural herbs and plants that affect cognition, memory, and focus. Natural nootropics have the benefit (from the user’s perspective) of being harder to restrict and regulate.
When your favorite pill becomes impossible to get without a prescription (and the price doubles), or when your favorite nootropic powder of choice becomes a speciality product and is no longer sold to consumers directly, natural nootropics will be the only option for most people. When you can control production and availability by growing and harvesting herbs and plants for your own consumption, no one can tell you what to do or regulate your ability to improve your brain. Think about it, and prepare!