Published On: April 23, 20211152 words5.8 min read

In a world obsessed with health and anti-aging, it is not surprising that a new “mind-altering” substance has found its way onto the shelves. Nootropics are the new addiction. If you are into health and anti-aging that is. And if you are trying desperately to end your addiction to alcohol or cigarettes or other drugs.

Wikipedia states that nootropics is another word for smart drugs. Or cognitive enhancers. Which means that they are drugs! Or rather, supplements. The marketing speak around these things brags about “improving cognitive function” or “boosting memory, creativity or motivation in healthy individuals”.

A Drug for the Healthy?

Say what? So not alcoholics or dug addicts or smokers or sugar addicts? Just healthy individuals?

The tiny catch here is that nootropics have no medical evidence to substantiate that they work. So, no one really knows if this is an ethical health trend, if it is fair and if anyone has ever had any negative side effects from using them? No one really knows if they are safe!

But it goes to show that they are very popular and already selling like hot cakes in the USA – to the tune of US$1 billion in 2015 already! This is 2021 so sales have no doubt trebled.

CBD is a Nootropic

I remember when I stopped drinking wine and I discovered CBD oil. The real name is cannabidiol and it is derived from the cannabis plant. I learned a lot about this health supplement, and I even blogged about it for a few CBD websites.

The benefits of CBD oil are too numerous to list here, but for me, the effects were much needed at the time of my grieving for my wine:

  • I slept very well
  • I managed my menopausal mood swings very well
  • I felt amazing thanks to the multivit qualities of CBD oil
  • I cured my joint pains.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana or dagga. It’s a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive.

This is good news because us non-drinkers do not want to feel high again (or me especially!). We do not want to tempt our allegiance to anything mind altering again. But we do want to ease our depression, our insecurities and our guilt and shame. CBD is one of the most popular nootropics right now and a safe one at that. And it does all of the above.

Dealing with Mental Issues

We can all agree that 2020 was a tough year with the Covid 19 pandemic and plenty of unnatural lockdowns worldwide. People felt trapped and desperate when they lost their innate autonomy and freedom. Mental issues and depression rose sky high and increasing numbers of people sought out booze, drugs, cigarettes and over the counter pills to make their abnormal lives appear better to them.

That horrid year is almost past us, history in the making. And with that comes a surge of health freaks trying to take their lives in both hands and really live it up. People are realising that they have to deal with their addictions. Many are finding nootropics as an attraction to assist with mental and physical health needs. Exercise is on the up, yoga and Pilates, kickboxing and karate! Whatever blows your hair back.

A New Era of ‘Clean’ Drinking

The word may be new and trendy, but the concept is not: Bar Chick writers found out that nootropics will usher in a year of moderate drinking, alcohol-free drinks and even medicinal mushrooms and cannabis-laced drinks.

A new beer called Fungtn is brewed from medicinal mushrooms which are supposed to relieve stress and exercise the mind. Kumbucha also gets 10 points for its fermented health qualities and more drinkers want to be ex-drinkers, looking for soft drinks with an added effect for health. I have been making my own Kumbucha since I became sober 5 years ago and it is good!

Are you also looking for the “buzz without the booze”? Time to invest in some CBD oil that you can add to your soda, your kombucha or your coffee maybe? I tried CBD coffee twice and, at huge expense, fell asleep at my desk in the afternoons! That is not nice!

“… as well as giving cocktails an earthy herbaceous flavour, CBD’s hot property in the NA world, working as a wicked alternative to alcohol in more ‘grown-up’ drinks that still give you a little extra something than your soda.”

But nootropics? Hmm that could be something I would try. I wonder what they cost? As usual, most of these new-fangled ideas are super expensive and out of the league of us middle class aliens, let alone the poor people who struggle to eat every day!

Time Magazine has this to say about nootropics: “The idea that a pill can supersize human intelligence is decidedly science fiction. But plenty of real-world researchers and drug-makers are working to develop nootropics: pills, supplements and other substances designed to improve various aspects of cognition.

A rough translation for the word “nootropic” comes from the Greek for “to bend or shape the mind.” … Some of the most popular supplements are a mixture of food-derived vitamins, lipids, phytochemicals and antioxidants that studies have linked to healthy brain function.”

The Health Industry and Climate Change

Oh, and while we are at it, the earth needs saving too! There are way too many people on our planet, scrambling for resources like nootropics. The health industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to habitat destruction, species loss, climate change and more. Materialism and people’s obsession with health and appearance are the root causes of earth degradation.

Luckily, it seems that the drinks industry is taking note of their impact on the earth. It is true that lockdown opened people’s minds to the beauties of our earth. Realisation dawned about the human impacts on everything in nature – simply by being here.

Our needs surpass our resources. If consumers change their habits, brands must step in line and follow the consumer. The consumer has power. And more and more non-drinkers out there mean more and more alcohol-free drinks. And more nootropics. And hopefully less alcohol and less alcoholism.

It seems that brands which are carbon-footprint conscious are increasingly popular – as are brands which use recycled bottles and packaging and less plastic. Even plastic labels are falling by the wayside to be replaced with paper, a biodegradable option.

Sustainability is becoming part of marketing, of brands and of corporates who lead the fray. Drinks companies also want to promote things like ginseng and CBD as natural additives to their drinks, to boost health, whether alcoholic or not!

What do you choose? Will nootropics become your next addiction?

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