This article is a OptiMind review. But, in order to understand a pill that will boost your brain, we need to place it in a much larger context. What is enhancement really? What are the ethics of biohacking? And how does our review of optimind fit in this all?
Our brains are brilliant organic machines, capable of firing billions of neurons in synchronized waves every second, incessantly digesting a near-infinite amount of information. This mysterious grey-pinkish blob of matter somehow unconsciously filters out the non-relevant, the noise and static of the universe, and forces our focus instead on our primal needs. In an enigmatic way, our brains ‘decide’ what phenomena float up to the surface of our awareness and what non-necessary data will be left behind.
To find out how to get your free samples,
just scroll down and skip all the ‘non-necessary data.’
Evidence suggests that this ‘deciding’ has been strongly influenced by our evolutionary past. We are undeniably hairless animals, bags of bones covered in flesh, and our senses have been tuned to care about our own survival above all else. Activities that are strongly related to survival, like playing sports and socializing, are fun and effortless, and we can focus on them for hours on end. Others, like shifting through endless abstract cogitations can deplete our focus very rapidly. For the people behind the ‘smart drugs’ company OptiMind, this can change, as easily as switching your morning coffee with a couple of researched natural supplements.
For them, it is obvious that what humans are capable of doing is not set in stone. If anything, humans are masters of self-enhancement. We have designed endless weapons to aid our claw-free hands. Our own operating system, culture, can overrule almost any biological instinct and replace them with novel tendencies. Diverse forms of rituals and disciplines have increased our organism’s perseverance and fitness to unseen heights, and new and undiscovered techniques can extend the range the possibilities of the human species even wider.
One such new technique is to overclock our minds, the neurochemical way.
Actually, it is a new variation on a very old theme. We have been consuming consciousness altering food and chemicals long before written history. These neurochemical keys can alter the pathways and rhythm of firing neurons just enough to unlock the ‘doors of perception’, some of which are portals leading to mystical dream worlds, like ayahuasca; others makes you feel indestructible, like pervitin.
Examples abound. Psilocybin, structurally similar to serotonin and the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, can unlock an experience of mystical oneness that transcends time and space. Datura, which contains scopolamine, can unlock the fearsome dark reaches of the human mind, as depicted in some of the paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. And the most widely known and used enhancer today, caffeine, found in coffee, tea and chocolate, can unlock a distinct feeling of wakefulness.
Neurochemical keys of a new class are designed to powerfully enhance the mental qualities our current competitive culture values most, like focus, memory, motivation and attention. These nootropics include a wide variety of natural and synthetic compounds to boost peak performance. Some of these are prescription medicines like piracetam and modafinil, others are untested amphetamines like 2-fma, and, yet others, defy every class, are brand new are expected to stimulate neural growth, like NSI-189.
There’s a whole black market dealing with these semi-illegal and potentially dangerous drugs, fueling diverse subcultures of individuals willing to be a human guinea pig. What motivates them? Some are trying to cure existing conditions like ADHD or sleep deprivation, others have to sole aim to push the boundaries of human existence itself.
As the market for enhancement grows, it comes as no surprise that new innovative companies are stepping in to claim their piece of the pie. Since most of these nootropics are untested and never sold before as a supplement, some companies market their pills and powders as ‘not for human consumption’, hereby trying to insulate themselves from the wrath of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Others take a more gentle approach, brilliantly combining long known and tested (FDA- approved) neurochemical keys into a powerful ‘stack’.
Is enhancement cheating? Read about the ethics of biohappiness.
I had the pleasure of testing one of these stacks for the last few months. OptiMind approached us, and being US based smart drugs company claiming to boost our brains in a safe and legal manner, I was happy to give it a fair shot.
I’m intimately familiar with mind-tickering. I’ve dabbed into Ritalin, noopept and aniracetam, I’ve reviewed TruBrain, a stack that is centered around piracetam and pramiracetam here, have played some-what successfully with modafinil, the fighter pilot pill, and recently I’ve been exploring all things related to micro-dosing, taking sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics like LSD and ibogaine.
That said, don’t expect any objective indictment of their brain fuel. I wouldn’t be able to produce something like that, even if I tried. So here’s a disclaimer for you: Please note that the following report on OptiMind is completely biased and subjective. It is not written to cure anything. Please consult with your physician first.
The people behind OptiMind recommend taking 1 to 2 capsules at a time. They claim that in an hour or so you can feel a laser-sharp focus.
With 1 capsule I definitely notice a distinct feeling after an hour, subjectively similar to caffeine, but without the jittery edge. I suspect this is because of the GABA and green leaf extract in the stack, both effective anxiolytics. It is hard to say how long the feeling stays, as it seems to blurs into the rest of the day. It feels too subtle to find a true distinctive cognitive effect, especially compared to micro-dosing, Ritalin and modafinil. I wonder if I am not spoiled having these other powerful enhancers at hand.
At two capsules the effect is more pronounced. I’m wakeful and focused; caffeine has always worked well for me. I find the anxiolytic effect of OptiMind increases my motivation. Tasks that are normally anxiety inducing, prompting me to give in to feel good and procrastination, now seem less daunting. It is now clear why it seems to blend in with the rest of the day, the comedown is later than just caffeine (5 hours as opposed to 3 hours) and it is a much softer landing, I am suspecting the taurine and tyrosine here, but it is very hard to tell with so many interesting other compounds.
To sum it all up: It is no fix-all magic pill, so much is clear.
The effects are subtle, often not strong enough for the cognitive enhancing effects I need. While the anxiolytic effects are great, it does little for creativity. I don’t like that is purely designed and promoted to enhance qualities that I deem self-destructive, as being able to work more and go on longer with less sleep.
That said, on many other occasions it seems the perfect fit.
I especially love to take it before a yoga class, as it’s easier to focus on the subtleness of the effects. I have late philosophy classes, and taking two before is much preferred to taking coffee. Combining it with modafinil seems to bring the best out of both, giving me insane focus and motivation. Combining it with micro-dosing is another great way to use it because it enhances the alertness of the altered state. And the few test runs I had combining it with coca-leaf tea was certainly promising. OptiMind can be called an enhancer in its purest sense, for a subtle boost or to enhance the effects of other neurochemical keys, it is a solid and consistent building block. Our intricate brains need clean nutrition to function properly, and I believe these blue and white pills could function as the extra vitamins in a balanced diet.
To conclude: We were approached by OptiMind to test their product out, free of costs, without binding obligations, but with the added request of writing an article to get the word out. As mentioned, this fact alone makes this write-up tainted. So why trust anything I say at all?