Qualia, for those who have read the description on Neurohacker - the site that develops and sells the stuff - sounds like a miracle drug. Of course, any website that manufactures their own products is going to talk them up to the point of sounding like they were developed by the savior himself. Some people have gone as far to label it the Qualia scam.
If anyone asked, “does Qualia work?” Neurohacker would undoubtedly answer, “of course.” I think the most important thing to do when trying to find valid information about a substance is to seek information from third-party sources. And, here we are!
That’s not to say that Neurohacker is dishonest. The other question most would ask is, “is Qualia safe?” They have a few pages dedicated to answering similar questions. They have a page on side effects, where they mention there that there are a few side effects that a small percentage of people experience. Of course, in a supplement containing 42 ingredients, there’s bound to be some side effects.
Honestly, that page doesn’t provide a lot of information, but they have a troubleshooting section and a medical disclaimer. We’ll paraphrase information from these pages to help you get the best answers to your question.
What I think is most important is listing the potential contraindications of the ingredients. That means the interactions with other substances - medications, vitamins, supplements - that someone is taking that could cause potentially dangerous reactions. When taking Qualia, health should be paid careful attention to.
Ingredients in Qualia
Since there’s 42 ingredients in Qualia, I could spend the length of this entire article writing them all out. (To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s the best idea to combine all these compounds. While they certainly don’t have any interactions with each other, I feel like the manufacturers managed to find every single nootropic and vitamin that don’t have negative interactions and smash them all into one supplement).
Regardless, I’m going to list the few most ‘dangerous’ compounds, for lack of a better word. Volatile, perhaps, is a better descriptor - these are the compounds that are most likely to interact with other substances that you may or may not be taking.
- Forskolin is known to have negative interactions with any and all types of blood pressure medication. These include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and Clonidine.
- Mucuna pruriens is known to have potent interactions with MAOI antidepressants, which can hyper-activate the effects and cause serious problems.
- Bacopa monnieri should not be used in conjunction with large doses of caffeine. Neither should most of the other ingredients, really. Qualia should be stimulating enough on its own to eliminate the need for caffeine.
- N-Acetyl-Tyrosine should be used with caution by people taking any substance that works with dopamine, such as mucuna pruriens but - wait - mucuna pruriens is already included in this supplement. You’ll have to hope that Neurohacker did their research and used an appropriate amount of this substance.
- Lithium is known to hugely interact with antidepressants of all sorts, particularly SSRIs and MAOIs. It also interacts with Dextromethorphan, a common ingredient found in cough syrup, as well as anticonvulsant drugs, Demerol, muscle relaxants, Tramadol, and even water pills.
As we’ve mentioned, we’ve only listed the most volatile compounds here. However, these most volatile compounds show that we should basically take nothing else when we’re using Qualia. The 42 ingredients that make up this supplement are not weak compounds - many of them are powerful, and the combination of them is powerful enough to provide you with most of the nootropic effects you’ll want. You shouldn’t even feel the need to take any other substances, but if you do feel the need… don’t.
Qualia Side Effects
Neurohacker Troubleshooting page, which is written in the form of a FAQ, addresses the many potential side effects that people may experience when using Qualia. We’ve taken care to outline these things so you can have access to them all in one page. The list below is composed of information gleaned directly from the Neurohacker website as well as information from users who have reported side effects on their own.
Remember, you won’t experience all of these side effects, and there’s a good chance that you won’t experience any if you take the recommended dose. It’s important to list these all here though because some people are more sensitive to developing side effects.
- Lucid dreaming. This isn’t really a bad side effect. In fact, I’ve been considering buying Qualia just to enhance my lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when you become fully conscious and aware during a dream and gain the ability to control your actions and, to a lesser degree (depending on your skill) the environment and content of your dream.
- Excessive energy. There are some powerful energetic compounds in here. If you’re noticing too much energy, try to reduce your dose.
- Altered emotional response. This substance contains some ingredients that work with dopamine and serotonin. You may notice either a heightened emotional response, or in rarer cases, an emotional blunting that makes it less easy to connect with yourself and others emotionally.
- Headaches. Some people report experiencing headaches after taking Qualia.
- Sleep disturbances. Many of the dopaminergics in this substance are known for causing insomnia, so you should make sure that you take your dose early in the day to prevent this from happening.
- Nausea. Some of these ingredients might not agree with everyone, so you may feel nauseous or have an upset stomach after taking it. If this happens, try to reduce your dose - nausea may get better over the course of a few days or weeks.
- Spaciness. There’s always a chance of feeling spacey when you eat 42 compounds before trying them all individually.
- Tightness or soreness in the body. Again, this would be a result of the stimulatory nature of the compounds included in the ingredient list of Qualia.
- Increased heart rate. This can happen when you’re taking substances that work with dopamine, as well as adrenergic stimulators like caffeine.
- Increased anxiety. While some of the compounds in Qualiua are known to reduce anxiety, some of them are known to increase it. Depending on your pre-existing levels of anxiety, you may notice an increase instead of a decrease.
If you want to minimize the risk of developing any of the above side effects - or developing potentially more serious, and even fatal side effects, you should make sure to follow the information that Neurohacker has provided in their medical disclaimer.
- Don’t take Qualia with MAOI or SSRI antidepressants. As we’ve mentioned above, many of the ingredients can have serious negative interactions. In fact, it’s best not to take Qualia if you’re taking any medication.
- Don’t take Qualia if you have conditions including high blood pressure, neurological problems, endocrine disorders, cancer, phenylketonuria, muscular dystrophy.
- Qualia shouldn’t be used by pregnant women or anyone under the age of 18.
To quote Neurohacker own medical disclaimer: no claims are made about the safety of this product, nor are any medical or psychological benefits claimed. While this note is largely for legal procedures, it’s also important to realize that this means there are many potential side effects that may not have been observed yet.
It looks like Neurohacker knows what they’re doing. I’d use Qualia in a heartbeat, because everything on the Qualia ingredient list included works well together and are probably dosed to scale. However, it’s also important to note that people who are sensitive to substances may way to exert extra caution when deciding whether or not to use Qualia.