Citation: LG. "One Step in Front of Where I Would Have Been Without It: An Experience with Adrafinil, L-Theanine, Coffee & Ginkgo biloba (exp113988)". Erowid.org. Jan 21, 2020. erowid.org/exp/113988
Adrafinil - Solo and w/ Nootropics
Adrafinil, L-Theanine _ Caffeine, Ginkgo Biloba
The purpose of this text is to share my experience with Adrafinil both by itself and combined with a few nootropics. My overall goal has been to increase productivity and contentment while mitigating negative mental and physical effects, both short and long term. I will refrain from getting into the pharmacokinetics of any of these substances as it is covered thoroughly elsewhere, however I should also disclose my understanding of how these substances work on a physiological level from existing literature have influenced and informed my experience with them. Though I have no medical background someone I am associated with is a pharmacologist and it has given me access to clinical data as well as a basic understanding on how to interpret findings. I have never put any substance in my body if I did not compile and study as much as I could about them first. This is not an appeal to authority in any way and should not be taken as such.
Personal Drug Background:
I have drank alcohol and smoked marijuana on and off for about 15 years, nether in excess. I no longer consume alcohol (6 years). I vape high CBD/Low THC marijuana 2-3 times a week as a sleep aid. I have done MDMA approx. 15 times (several months to years in between). Taken Adderall off-prescription on and off for 6 months, have tried other stimulants off prescription such as Ritalin, Dexadrine and Modafinil. I smoked cigarettes (approx. 5 years), I currently vape, 3-6 mg strength daily. No history of substance abuse or mental disorder, have never been diagnosed with or treated for any health related issues. I exercise moderately but would be considered overweight for my height (5’11).
Adrafinil solo usage:
The first time I tried Adrafinil I took a 300 mg dose in the morning after being well rested, no coffee or other substances. I stayed well hydrated throughout the day. My plan was to work on a 1000 piece puzzle as well as play some games of Chess, something I use to self-test my memory and executive functioning from baseline. Approximately 2 hours after ingesting I felt no mental clarity or increase energy, to the contrary I felt tired and sluggish, I was however able to work on the puzzle for several hours but I felt no more focused or motivated to do so. I didn’t play any Chess. I felt annoyed more than anything with this experience. I did not have a problem falling asleep that night and there was no discernible “hangover” the next day.
4 days later (after ensuring all of the drug had cleared my system) I decided to try again, I took a 600mg dose this time, once again in the morning with no other substances. This seemed to do the trick.
Onset - 1.5-2 hours
Length of effect - 8-10 Hours
Comedown - 2 hours
Once again I did not combine the drug with any other substance for the duration of this experience. The onset was subtle, extremely subtle, I felt awake but not wired, I felt a small boost of energy but not directly related to motivation.
I felt a small boost of energy but not directly related to motivation.
I felt a slight mood lift but was unable to attribute this to the drug or if it was a placebo effect. My heart rate did not noticeably increase. I worked on the puzzle for 4 hours, I was able to take breaks in between, I did not feel compelled to keep working or over exert myself as with other stimulants. The negative of this experience is despite a mood lift I felt MILDLY irritated during my various tasks for the day and as a result I did not wish to engage with others, I would say it made me slightly anti-social but not to the point that I avoided contact with others, merely limited my exposure. Once again I had no problem falling asleep that night, however I decided to go to bed a bit later than usual, I can’t say it was because of the Adrafinil.
My 3rd experience (4 days later) I decided to double dose. I took 600mg in the morning again, I began to have a similar experience to my 2nd time but this time I decided to take an extra 600mg after 6 hours. This was WAY too much. After the onset of the 2nd dose I did begin to experience physical and mental stimulant like effects, but to a much lesser degree than other stimulants, this included feeling wired, appetite suppression and increased body temperature, however I didn’t feel like my heart rate had increased and there was no euphoria, I felt very irritable and a bit anxious. Kind of like when you don’t have your cup of coffee for the day (if you drink coffee), my energy and motivation were negatively impacted. As mentioned I felt wired/awake but I felt less motivated to do anything, I was crabby and didn’t accomplish much of anything. The worst part of this was I was unable to get to sleep until close to the 24 hours mark, I was up all night and though my mood has settled after the primary effects began to wane I was simply awake…no big up or down swing in mood or feeling a “hangover” from overstimulation, I was simply awake, my brain just would not turn off. I played online Chess throughout the night and was actually a bit surprised my performance did not suffer as much as I thought it would. The whole next day was lost as I slept for most of it however when I awoke there was again no real hangover to speak of mood wise, I felt a slight brain fog (like I may feel if I’ve overslept) but this passed by midday and no other residual effects were noticed.
Subsequent use and further remarks:
After these handful of experiences I adjusted my usage accordingly while experimenting with what worked best. After allowing several weeks to pass (in part to monitor myself and in part because I had that overall negative experience) I decided to try and dose on consecutive days. I took Adrafinil for 4 days straight, I dosed a single 600mg dose in the morning for these days with no other substances.
Day 1 was everything described as with my 2nd experience. Day 2 was basically the same but by the evening I noticed a very slight, dull headache. Day 3 I felt basically no positive effects I could attribute to the Adrafinil and my dull headache had gotten worse but I could still perform whatever task I had to without feeling impeded otherwise. Day 4 had no effect from the drug and the dull headache persisted (however it did not increase in severity), I felt unproductive and tired. The initial day of abstaining (Day 5) from Adrafinil I felt a mild brain fog once again when I woke up and it lasted longer than before, until about midday/late afternoon, my headache had passed entirely by the time I started my day and the following day (Day 6) I felt back to normal, I did not experience any persistent hangover like effects, ether physical or mental.
Adverse Effects: (600mg dose, usage anywhere from twice times a week to three times a month, period of 4 months):
1. My pee smells bad, not like anything in particular, it just smells much stronger of urea, I could postulate why this is but I am unsure and though at first I was concerned I do not feel any discomfort while peeing nor would I say there was any greater viscosity to the pee that would account for a concentrated urea smell, this persisted a day or two even after I was no longer taking Adrafinil.
2.Another odd effect I noticed is occasionally I would forget words for things in the moment, mid conversation I would blank on a word I was looking for, it could be as simple as something like “pantry” or “astute”, words that I don’t use extremely often but words I absolutely know I have in my vocabulary and should have no problem recalling instantly. I would have to concentrate very hard to remember the word or if in conversation and I passed it by or used a different word/phrase I would have to come back to it to make a conscious effort to remember it. I wouldn’t forget anything important however. This was extremely odd as I did not feel my cognitive function was otherwise impacted. We all miss words from time to time but I found this happened slightly more often when on Adrafinil. It was frustrating but not something of great concern as the frequency to which this happened has not increased over time.
3. Mild irritability, not always but often. I feel that this was perhaps made worse by caffeine which eventually I insisted on always having once I felt comfortable taking it combined with Adrafinil.
Adrafinil w/ L-Theanine + Caffeine + Ginkgo Biloba:
After much research I was looking for things to complement and supplement the irritability and occasional forgetfulness experienced by Adrafinil. To that end I first tried L-Theanine + Coffee, a common nootropic stack, L-Theanine by itself has been the best thing I’ve tried as I found it helped a lot with my irritability, both on and off Adrafinil and also provided mild anxiety relief, I would say I have very general anxiety but it has certainly helped my mood, it appears to have a calming effect on the mind as well which I can attest to. Combined with Caffeine it takes away any jitters from coffee and the coffee also provides a nice boost to the energy provided by Adrafinil. Without going into too much detail the reason I believe this stack is so effective is that Adrafinil is a wakefulness promoting drug as it boosts hypocretin in the brain which leads to its (very) subtle stimulant like effects, coffee on the other hand doesn’t really “wake you up” it primarily makes you feel not tired by blocking adenosine receptors which make you feel tired (although it does have some stimulant effects as well). So you’re more awake and less tired from the Adrafinil/Coffee, you have a slight mood lift thanks to the Adrafinil/L-theanine and the L-theanine helps with jitters from the caffeine as well as the irritability it can cause. Lastly I added Ginkgo Biloba as it seems to have positive correlation with its effect on memory, subjectively I can say it appears to have helped with the forgetfulness of words as that began to happen less frequently and it also has appeared to make my Chess playing stronger (which could be pure coincidence as I have been playing more) so it’s a nice complement to everything else, it does have blood thinning properties which may help with the metabolization and/or absorbtion of everything else.
Caffeine: Approx. 100mg
Ginkgo Biloba: 120mg
I will often take another L-Theanine capsule (225mg) in the late afternoon/evening once the effects of everything else is at a close, rarely will I have another cup of coffee later in the day but if I do it will be combined with the L-theanine. I don’t measure out my caffeine intake as its mostly impractical, for everything else I use capsules I fill myself using a .001g scale. (+-4mg variability)
Adrafinil was effective at providing a slight boost of energy to promote wakefulness while providing a mild mood lift, I would add that I don’t think it helps with motivation. I would say Adrafinil is best to take on days when I'm well rested and have a long work session, not on consecutive days as it seems to provide diminishing returns but taking it 2-3 times a week there does not seem to be any adverse effects (apart from general fatigue if I'm pushing myself, no more so than if I didn’t take it and pushed myself).
For reference I have been taking Adrafinil for about a year.
I have been taking Adrafinil for about a year.
This is a very “as needed” drug, it provides no recreational benefits nor does it turn me into a workhorse, it could best be described as it puts me one step in front of where I would have been without it. When combined with L-theanine + Coffee and Ginkgo Biloba I was able to mitigate the minor negative side effects I did encounter. After my approx. year of use I have not experienced any evident health concerns. Lastly I have tried Modafinil and it is identical in experience, I would prefer Modafinil to Adrafinil if I had a choice however it is harder to obtain without prescription and also much more expensive if I were to do so.
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