Neurohacker Collective Review: Qualia Mind & “Smart Drugs”

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD

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Find out below how Neurohacker, makers of the nootropic supplement Qualia Mind, earned an overall grade of A in our brand review for their heavily researched formulations, extensive testing protocols, and more.

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Our Rating:

A

» Rating Methodology

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Our Rating Methodology

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality: A+
  • Transparency: A
  • Website Experience: A-
  • Customer Service: B
  • Value: B+
  • Brand Value: A
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The latest stop in our ongoing search for the perfect nootropic supplement, Qualia Mind by Neurohacker Collective ticked most of our boxes with minimal drawbacks.

As self-proclaimed nootropic nerds, the Neurohacker team has invested thousands of hours of researching, testing, and personally using Qualia Mind and their other products to ensure each supplement is as easy to use as it is effective.

Where countless other nootropic supplements miss the mark on the mental energy spectrum—leaving you feeling either jittery or nothing at all—our review team agrees that Qualia Mind is currently leading the nootropic stack market, providing a broad range of sustained benefits that actually made a difference in work productivity and more. 

To provide as comprehensive a review as possible, our review team spoke with Neurohacker Collective Partnership Manager Chase Imbert, in addition to our independent research and product sampling. 

Following is everything we learned from our critical evaluation of Neurohacker Collective and Qualia Mind.

Qualia Mind by Neurohacker
  • Description

    A product of extensive neurobiology and organic chemistry research, Qualia Mind blends 28 synergistic ingredients to promote sustainable improvements in focus, memory, and more.

  • Ingredients

    Huperzine A, Celastrus Paniculatus Seed Extract, Phosphatidylserine, Theobromine, Uridine Monophosphate, Organic Coffeeberry® Whole Fruit Extract, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Niacin (as Niacinamide), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), P5P, Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin), Vitamin B5 (Calcium Pantothenate), DHA (as Docosahexenoic Acid from Algae), Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ), Artichoke Stem and Leaf Extract, Bacopa monnieri Leaf Extract, Coleus forskohlii Root, Ginkgo biloba Leaf Extract, Mucuna pruriens Seed, Rhodiola rosea Root, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Taurine, L-Theanine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, DL-Phenylalanine, Alpha-GPC, Cognizin®

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Synergistic formulations
  • Clinically relevant ingredient concentrations
  • Many ingredients backed by clinician researchers/studies
  • Highly transparent about formulation design and ingredient info
  • Cons
  • Higher price for premium nootropics
  • Customer service issue (more below)
  • Up to seven large capsules per serving

Founded On a Holistic Health Approach

In our conversation with Neurohacker Collective Partnership Manager Chase Imbert, we learned that the company was founded in 2015 by a pair of brothers: James and Daniel Schmachtenberger.

The founders were led half-blindly into the nootropic supplement world by their various experiences with health and wellness education and products; James ran a health and wellness college at a very young age, and Daniel founded The Consilience Project, which uses social science research intended to enhance our collective defense against threats to society. 

The more the founders learned about the nootropic supplement status quo of the day, the more frustrated they became with it.

“Most supplements lack because they hone in on just one ingredient,” Chase told us, explaining that James and Daniel set out from the beginning to devise a holistic, synergistic approach that didn’t just stack five kinds of the same type of ingredient (energy booster, memory booster, etc.). 

Most supplements lack because they hone in on just one ingredient.

Chase Imbert, Neurohacker Collective Partnership Manager

Hence, Neurohacker Collective was founded on the mission of providing truly holistic supplements to help the body heal and improve itself, and before long, the company had developed a line of formulas for better aging, skin, vision, and nootropic supplements under the Qualia line that still grows today. 

If you’re not exactly sure what a nootropic supplement or ingredient is, don’t worry, you’re not in the minority—here’s a crash course.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are compounds that can enhance your brain’s performance in some way—most commonly, memory and general information processing, i.e., cognition.

Natural nootropics abound in the plant world, including ginkgo biloba, bacopa monnieri, and a growing cast of unwittingly helpful fungi. 

There are also synthesized nootropic compounds, partially synthesized compounds featuring plant extracts, and prescription-level nootropics that can have stimulating effects.

In a nutshell, any compound shown to reliably boost brain function (without major blowback, of course) can be considered a nootropic

Even caffeine is considered a nootropic, and for anyone else looking for a holistic approach to optimized mental performance, individual plant extracts as well as synergistic supplements like Qualia Mind from Neurohacker can be purchased without a doctor’s say-so, though it’s never a bad idea. 

Qualia Mind, Neurohacker’s flagship product, is definitely a nootropic supplement, but they also offer products for skin care, immune support, and more functions, as mentioned.

Our Neurohacker Review

Summary:

Overall Grade: A

With industry-leading stack formulations, a highly informative website, and more, Neurohacker has positioned themselves as an authority in the nootropic supplement space.

In order to provide our audience with insider-level information on each brand we review while maintaining an even playing field for scoring purposes, we assign credit under the following universal criteria:

  • Quality
  • Transparency
  • Website Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Value
  • Brand Value

Each of these major points are multifactorial in themselves, which is why we interview key personnel at the company, try the products ourselves, and conduct plenty of research.

In Neurohacker’s case, industry-leading product quality backed by substantial research carried the brand to an overall grade of A

As always, we’ll start our official Neurohacker Review with the all-important issue of quality. 

Quality

Summary:

Grade: A+

Neurohacker’s precedent-breaking research support and formulation know-how shine through each product in their catalog.

The neurohacker team leans on a “strong empirical basis,” as Chase told us, including “over 40+ years international research on nootropic stack formulation,” when deciding which ingredients to include in their formulations. 

Such was the case with Qualia Mind, a 28-ingredient behemoth that took thousands of research hours by a team of neurobiologists and organic chemists to perfect.

Leveraging their well-above-average research capabilities, Neurohacker ensures that each nutraceutical ingredient is present in “biologically active forms” (the examples they provided us: methylated, acetylated, phosphorylated, L-form, D-form, etc.) in order to optimize absorption capability, potency, and other metrics important to user experience.

By staunchly sticking to these industry-leading standards of research, development, and plenty of testing, Neurohacker can increase their formulation density without throwing off the balance between focus-enhancing, calming, and other types of ingredients.

We don’t say this often, and we don’t say it lightly: Neurohacker is the model company for nootropic formulation quality

To show these capabilities in action, here’s a closer look at their flagship product.

Qualia Mind: Neurohacker’s Premier Nootropic Stack

image
A bottle of Qualia Mind, Neurohacker Collective’s flagship nootropic supplement

Formulated to facilitate your body’s uptake of chemical messengers and other compounds that directly support major brain functions, Qualia Mind works with the brain’s complex physiology without relying on heavy stimulation or fostering a dependence.

One such compound enhanced by Qualia Mind is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a naturally produced molecule that is integral to the development, survival, and adaptation of nerve cells in the brain.

Qualia Mind also supports “synaptic formation” and “acetylcholine signaling,” two processes vital to helping nerves communicate with each other.

Considering all of the above, the intended effect of this nootropic stack is meant to improve concentration, clarity, memory, and overall processing.

This means more productivity at work, less forgetfulness throughout the day, and a sense of “flow,” or being fully immersed in a task to the point where you lose track of time, yet are highly productive.

Additional Versions

Before we get into the ingredient list, Neurohacker offers three additional variations of their standard Qualia Mind:

Aside from the self-explanatory Qualia Mind Caffeine Free, Qualia Mind Essentials is a slightly pared down version of the original (no phosphatidylserine, uridine monophosphate, and a few other ingredients), and Qualia Focus uses American ginseng and similar ingredients to help provide sustained energy and block out distractions for more high-intensity tasks like sports competitions or especially busy days on the job.

Ingredients

Here is the main ingredient list for standard Qualia Mind:

  • Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)
  • Thiamine (as thiamine HCl)
  • Niacin (as niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal 5’-phosphate
  • Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin)
  • Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate)
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl
  • Artichoke Leaf Extract (4% cynarin and related flavonoids)
  • Bacopa monnieri Leaf Extract
  • Rhodiola rosea Root Extract (3% rosavins; 1% salidrosides)
  • DL-Phenylalanine
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
  • Taurine
  • L-Theanine
  • Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha GPC)
  • Uridine-5’-Monophosphate
  • Cognizin Citicoline
  • Organic Coffeeberry (90 mg caffeine) Whole Coffee (Coffea arabica) Fruit Extract
  • Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) Seed Extract
  • Phosphatidylserine (from sunflower lecithin)
  • Theobromine
  • DHA (as Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algae)
  • Celastrus paniculatus Seed Extract
  • Ginkgo biloba Leaf Extract (24% glycosides)
  • Coleus forskohlii Root Extract (20% forskolin)
  • Pyrroloquinoline Quinone disodium
  • Huperzia serrata Leaf Extract (1% Huperzine A)

And the “other ingredients” list:

Hypromellose, Rice Extract, Rice Hulls, Gum Arabic, Sunflower Oil, Silicon Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate.

Transparency

Summary:

Grade: A

There’s a whole lot to share, considering the work that went into Qualia Mind, but the Neurohacker site makes reams of scientific data flow like a coffee table book.

Both with our review team during the interview and with the general public on their website, Neurohacker is highly forthcoming with all the information you would need to know about their research, manufacturing, and testing methodologies. 

The “learn” and “science” sections of their site are flush with hundreds of layman-friendly guides on nootropic ingredients and the science behind them, and the formulation design page for Qualia Mind is essentially a white paper with more than 140 academic sources cited.

Where we often see generic buzz words thrown around in hopes of cajoling the first-time shopper out of their skepticism, Neurohacker provides deep, objectively measurable insights into how their products are formulated and manufactured.

And if it’s been a couple dozen “semesters” since your last 4000-level neurobiology course (you know, that easy elective from Junior year), never fear, because Neurohacker provides a comprehensive glossary featuring more than 275 terms, from basal ganglia to the krebs cycle and everything else you need to know for a solid intro to their scientific approach. 

Website Experience

Summary:

Grade: A-

Volumes of beginner-friendly (and more advanced) explainer content is tucked neatly but visibly away from a clean e-commerce setup.

In our case, this category fuses e-commerce functionality, rich and informative site content, and at least a workable, non-distracting design.

There’s no question if you read the “transparency” section above that Neurohacker is the best to do it in the nootropic space when it comes to educational/informative content, so no deductions there.

Regarding e-commerce functionality, browsing and shopping is easy and intuitive.

Customers can enter either the “products” or the “shop” sections of the site to find info-rich, yet clutter-free product images with “reviews,” “science,” and “ingredients” sections nearby in a tabbed box, testimonials from doctors, and still more supportive information as you scroll down.

Aggressive pop-ups and unnecessary splash pages are a non-issue, adding products to your cart doesn’t derail your browsing experience, and checking out is forgettably easy.

Finally, the design is very clean and minimalistic, which makes sense for a site that sells products designed to help you overcome distractions.

Customer Service

Summary:

Grade: B

Neurohacker scores well in accessibility and variety of support services, but they received a letter-grade deduction for not responding to an inquiry made by phone.

Neurohacker offers email, call, and refreshingly, text messaging support channels, which covers the bases we like to see in terms of variety and accessibility of available support services.

However, when we called, we got an automated response saying all agents were busy, which doesn’t automatically amount to a deduction in itself, but after leaving our question in the form of a voicemail, we did not hear back from them.

We received a text response within about seven minutes and a reply email within fifteen, both of which were accommodating and in-depth.

We haven’t had any issues with our shipments to help us gauge how accommodating Neurohacker is when errors inevitably occur, so we determined the one-time “ghosting” issue to be worth a full letter deduction and nothing more.

Value

Summary:

Grade: B+

Neurohacker costs about 10-15% more than most of their closest competitors, but considering their solid subscription program and superior formulations, they recoup most of the credit.

One-time purchasers will pay a premium for Neurohacker’s nootropic products, but subscribers save around 50% on the first purchase and around 15% thereafter.

Here’s a quick overview of the pricing model for the four products in their “cognition” line:

Qualia Mind: $139 (subscribers: $69.50 first/$119 thereafter)
Qualia Mind Caffeine Free: $139 (subscribers: $69.50 first/$119 thereafter)
Qualia Mind Essentials: $69 (subscribers: $29 first/$59 thereafter)
Qualia Focus: $39.50 (subscribers: $19.75 first/$32.95 thereafter)

And here’s an overview of pricing for Neurohacker’s longevity, energy, sleep, beauty, and vision lines. 

Qualia Life: $159 (subscribers: $79.50 first/$139 thereafter)
Qualia Nootropic Energy: $119 (Subscribers: $59.50 first/$99 thereafter)
Qualia Night: $79 (Subscribers: $39.50 first/$69 thereafter)
Qualia Skin: $139 (Subscribers: $69.50 first/$119 thereafter)
Qualia Vision: $39.50 (Subscribers: $19.75 first/$32.95 thereafter)

Neurohacker Coupon

Using the code NUTRITIONINSIDER, you can now save 15% off your entire order of any Neurohacker products.

Even subscribers, who already save up to 15% off products on a regular basis, can take advantage of this offer to save more.

We don’t do this for every brand, but in the case of Neurohacker and similarly well-reviewed health and wellness industry leaders, we are happy to offer our audience a chance to try the brand out (or simply save money on a regular order) with less risk.

Click the button below to be directed to Neurohacker’s online store (coupon code is only valid at Neurohacker).

Brand Value

Summary:

Grade: A

What they use and how they use it in each formulation makes Neurohacker an industry influencer.

To reign in this slightly more interpretive category for you, we consider brand value to be the total impact of a company’s actions and innovations on their industry as well as their local/global communities.

In other words, what has this brand accomplished that has changed their industry and/or the world at large?

In the case of Neurohacker, who has leveraged their study of clinically researched ingredients to create the optimal synergy of 28 nutraceuticals, brand value is not abstract; they simply do what the other brands do, but better.

On the formulation front, Neurohacker knows that what they’re working with is just as important as the how, which is why they offer many of the most potent nootropic ingredients around in their formulations (phosphatidylserine, Bacopa monnieri leaf extract, and Velvet Bean seed extract to name a few). 

Our Experience

Our orders arrived on time and in fairly discrete packaging. 

They were packed well; nothing was loose, the hard plastic bottles are durable and attractively labeled, and Neurohacker included cotton balls so none of the capsules stuck together.

The bottles were easy to open, and all of the packaging (including the lid) stayed functional and fully intact throughout our use.

Effectiveness

The majority of our review team noticed significant improvements in various aspects of cognitive functioning, including alertness, lack of mental fatigue (and/or “brain fog”), improved memory recall, improved sociability in various environments, and more.

Examples of these effects in action include fewer gaps in conversations (“um,” “uh,” etc.), fewer lights left on and doors left open, fewer brain breaks, and much more productive meetings and workdays. 

We’ve felt these benefits a few times before, but never has a nootropic supplement delivered them so consistently or potently; Qualia Mind is the most effective nootropic we’ve tried to date.

The consistency is especially important, as most supplements tend to produce diminishing effects after a few weeks or even within days.

Overall User Experience

Taking seven pills at a time isn’t ideal, but we weren’t surprised at this recommended serving size considering the formulation density and how common larger serving sizes are in the nootropic stack realm. 

Some of our reviewers also noticed the pills tasted a little more bitter than usual, but for the rest of us, it wasn’t perceptible enough to deter the experience in any way.

Other than these two potential issues, which may turn a few people away, if you’re going for pure potency and quality, we stand by Qualia Mind as the most effective nootropic we’ve reviewed. 

Final Thoughts

If we had to summarize Neurohacker and their product offering in a few bullets, here’s the overall impression our review team came away with after all the testing, researching, and interviewing:

  • Their nootropic supplements are among the most effective and thoroughly researched.
  • You’ll pay a premium, but subscription (and the offsetting effect of quality) keep value high.
  • From their website’s layout to the volumes of helpful content therein, Neurohacker is both transparent and knowledgeable.
  • The customer support is there, but needs tightening up for consistency and responsiveness.
  • Neurohacker is an asset to the nootropic supplement space for their precedent-breaking quality and transparency standards. 

As a way of providing each brand with an opportunity to share some of their wisdom with new or potential customers, debunk misconceptions, and so forth, we like to close with the following question:

What’s something you wish more people knew about Neurohacker’s nootropic supplements?

“We are as authentic as it gets; everyone on the team takes our products,” said Chase. “Beyond our products, our content emphasizes education on the ways people can show up each day as a better form of themselves, both physically and psychologically. Nutrition and supplementation can play a powerful role in making that possible.”

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