Everyone knows nicotine as the wicked addictive chemical in cigarettes that so many millions of smokers crave daily. But, wait. What if we told you nicotine possesses the potential to be used as a brain boosting drug no worse and similar to caffeine. After all, nicotine is one of 5,000+ plus chemicals found in cigarettes. When separated from these toxins and carcinogens, and taken in low doses at its purest form nicotine can be one powerful biohack.
Nicotine is found in a variety of plants called “nightshades.” These include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and of course tobacco. Nicotine is most highly concentrated in tobacco and only found in small amounts in the other nightshade plants. Like caffeine, nicotine acts as a defense mechanism for the plants to fend off animals, bugs and fungus. The chemical is bitter and can be toxic in large doses when eaten by small animals. Humans on the other hand can tolerate sizable doses of nicotine and derive benefits from it.
When taken in the right amount nicotine offers its user similar side effects as caffeine, but with a bit more of a kick. It will give you faster, more precise motor function and make you more vigilant. It can also improve short-term memory and suppress appetite (especially when combined with caffeine). There’s also the feel good effects that keep tobacco users coming back for more. These effects are brought on by the increase of the neurotransmitters known as dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
While nicotine will give you a nice buzz, it’s this buzz that can lead to addiction and craving more and more of the chemical. And taking large doses of nicotine is not advisable. The chemical has been known to increase blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammation when taken consistently. Studies of mice and rats who have been dosed with nicotine led to cancer and faster tumor growth, although this connection has yet to be validated when it comes to humans. The takeaway here is if you are going to experiment with nicotine as a brain booster, do so in small doses and only occasionally.
There are several forms of nicotine that you can consume and they vary in healthiness. You can smoke or chew tobacco, use gum, spray, patches or lozenges and now there’s also the e-cigarette option. In good conscious, we can only advise that you use two of these methods for intaking nicotine. Those are nicotine mouth spray and lozenges. They offer the lowest dosages and the least amount of harmful chemicals. The rest are filled with questionable ingredients, foster greater addiction and can be hazardous to pets and children when left out. One spritz of the mouth spray under the tongue or a half a lozenge should be good to start with. Just remember guys and girls, moderation is key.