Focus experiment

therealbrandonwilson  •  25 Jan 2023   •    

There’s a nootropic on my list to try for a while after I heard Dave Asprey mention it, and I finally took delivery of some. It’s not exotic. When you hear what it is, you might only think of it as an addictive and carcinogenic compound. Today, I experimented with nicotine.

No, I didn’t start smoking or vaping, or chewing tobacco. I’m using clean nicotine in the form of gum from the company Lucy. Nicotine is an addictive substance because it increases dopamine in the brain. It’s not carcinogenic. The carcinogens are all the other chemicals found in tobacco and whatever chemicals they put in vape cartridges.

A quick search on the Consensus website reveals various studies that suggest nicotine can increase focus. Here’s a short clip of Dr. Huberman discussing nicotine’s effects on the brain and the body.

I am not interested in increasing my focus at work. Some might say it’s silly, but I want to increase my focus and gain an edge in playing ping pong.

I tried one piece of gum with 2 mg of nicotine. You chew it until it tastes spicy, then park it between your gum and cheek to allow the slow release of nicotine into the bloodstream. You can start chewing it again when you want another hit. It wasn’t overwhelming, but I felt like I got into the groove at one point. I didn’t feel the urge to have more, and I will use it sparingly to avoid any risk of addiction.


Wow. I read about this in a book about neurofitness or something a while back. I got so tempted to try since the evidence was so compelling. But I never did it. I don’t know if I still have the courage to but I wonder if there is a correlation between the very creative people in the world and their smoking habits.

Very interesting experiment.

keni  •  25 Jan 2023, 8:58 pm

24 hours later, I don’t have a pressing need to have more nicotine. Then again, the gum only has 2mg. I also have lozenges with 4mg, so those might pack more of a punch. I shall see whether it’s worth it for the improved focus.

therealbrandonwilson  •  26 Jan 2023, 12:27 am

Interesting! You get the benefits without the ills. Isn’t that gum the stuff people chew when they want to quit smoking?

jasonleow  •  28 Jan 2023, 1:56 am

Yes Jason. They have a small amount of nicotine so the potential for addiction is reduced greatly while you could still reap the benefits. It is great that you don’t have a need to have more Brandon. I know a few people that smoke and they just can’t quit. It is a hard addiction to stop.

keni  •  28 Jan 2023, 4:17 am

I used the smoke. I think the socialization and lifestyle habits around smoking are harder to quit than the nicotine I feel

jasonleow  •  29 Jan 2023, 1:34 am