New Tropical Island - Part 2: The Legalities
This is a project that I started for a website that has the goal of being an affiliate site for nootropics. The writing and graphic design are my original works. I hope you enjoy!
New Tropical Island - The story so far...
Part 2 - The Legalities
Mr Barrister - The Lawyer
After meeting with the doctor I realized that I have so much to learn about nootropics! Did you know that nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and various vitamins are considered nootropics?
There are so many, with different effects, and different kinds, like totally natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. This got me thinking… “So what does that mean if I want to take them off the island to my travel buddies?” “Are they legal?” “Who decides what?” “Is it considered a dietary supplement or a drug?” I knew I had to find someone to answer these questions. I needed to know the legality of buying, selling, using and traveling with nootropics.
Rain, my now official guide on New Tropical Island, said that she would introduce me to Mr. Barrister, a lawyer that has been studying to be an expert in the legalities of nootropics. No one can really say how he found the island, but rumor has it that since he has arrived and found his elixir vitae, he hasn’t focused on much of anything else.
I shook Mr. Barrister’s hand, began to explain to him that I had found my new mission and that I would need his assistance, a lot of it. I wanted to sponge up as much knowledge as I could about nootropics so that I could help others. Since learning that there were so many ailments that they could alleviate I wanted to not only know more, but to experience it first-hand.
“Great!” he said in an authoritative, low voice. “Let’s get started then. Let’s begin with defining what are nootropics, but keep in mind that there is such an expansive database of information about the subject in general we will have to swallow it in small doses.”
“I’m ready to begin!” I said as I took out a notebook and pen. I didn’t want to forget anything!
As a “Nootropics Expert we define a nootropic as a natural or synthetic substance, vitamin, mineral, amino acid or antioxidant that will enhance alertness, cognition, memory, recall and mood.” These are considered to be in the natural category of nootropics, however, there are at the other end of the spectrum, the synthetic ones. “We consider other cognitive enhancers “smart drugs” which include stimulants used to treat medical conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy. This includes Ritalin, Adderall, modafinil and their cousins. And nearly always require a prescription from a doctor. Some even consider micro-dosing LSD as a smart drug.”
There is a wide spectrum from natural to synthetic and what one country considers to be in one category, the next might consider it to be further down that spectrum. Some substances can even be confusing to the most knowledgeable. An example of this is “Huperzine-A, a Chinese club moss compound straddles the line between organic and synthetic.” You have to know the differences to know which ones you can travel with, to which countries and if you need a prescription from a doctor, if it’s even permitted at all.
“The term "nootropic" was coined by Corneliu Giurgea in 1972 to describe a new classification of molecules that acted selectively towards the brain's higher-level integrative activity. In order for a product to qualify as a true nootropic, it must fulfill Giurgea's five criteria for the category.
It should aid with improvement in working memory and learning.
Supports brain function under hypoxic conditions or after electroconvulsive therapy.
Protection of the brain from physical or chemical toxicity.
Natural cognitive functions are enhanced.
It requires to be non-toxic to humans, without depression or stimulation of the brain.”
“Ok, I’m following so far, but can you explain a little better the difference between natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic?” I asked Mr. Barrister.
Natural nootropics are just that, natural. They are made from organic material and are oftentimes found naturally in the foods you eat every day. The benefit of going 100% natural is that you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects. Some examples are, and you probably have heard of one or two; Green Tea and L-Theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Ginkgo Biloba, Choline and Piracetam.
“Aside from a few rare examples, nootropic herbs and herbal extracts are completely legal to buy, own, and consume, even without the caveat that they be sold as research compounds. Most regulatory government agencies regard nootropics as dietary supplements, which are lightly regulated.”
Nootropic Semi-Synthetics are synthesized from natural sources. Semi-synthetic nootropics, such as vinpocetine and huperzine-A, greatly vary in their legality from country to country. This is because the government or agency in some countries view them as natural dietary supplements, others as controlled substances.
Synthetic nootropics are made in a lab completely from inorganic materials and have an enhancing effect on your cognitive thinking. Many people take these to improve their performance and concentration at work or in school. Some of the most common are Modafinil, Methylphenidate (the active substance in Ritalin), Vinpocetine and Racetams. A key example of a synthetic nootropic, in fact the first synthesized nootropic, is piracetam, the original nootropic cognitive enhancer in a long series of cholinergic racetams. To demonstrate the complexity of synthetic nootropic legality: piracetam is legal to order and consume in Canada and the USA, but is barred by prescription in the U.K. and scheduled in Australia, however, U.K. residents may freely purchase similar racetam variants, such as aniracetam and oxiracetam.
“Thanks! That’s a lot of information so far! Now how do I know in which category each one falls into and how each country categorizes that particular substance?”
“Yes, although I can help you with that I must go. I don’t want to be late to my meeting with the professor. He gives a weekly seminar at the beach club about nootropics and I always assist him in preparing the presentation. You should speak to another great source, my colleague, Kelvin.”
“Man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” – Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea
** Nootropics are not meant to cure nor treat any disease. The New Tropical team are not doctors nor physicians and give no medical advice. If you have concerns please consult a real doctor or physician. The storyline and characters are fictional. Factual information is cited and as far as we know accurate.*