What is Lucy? CPH4, LSD and Closest Nootropic Alternatives

Recently, we’ve been getting plenty of questions regarding CPH4: is the drug real? How does it work? Do we really use only 10% of our brain’s potential? And last but not least, what are the closest alternatives to CPH4 in real life?

As an educational platform focused on the smart drug business, we feel obliged to elaborate on this. For those of you who consider CPH4 an illegible sequence of letters and digits, here’s a quick explanation:

CPH4 is a mind-enhancing drug that was introduced to the global audience in the film called Lucy.

Okay, time to draw the big guns out. Let’s answer another question.

What is Lucy?

Lucy is a movie launched in 2014, featuring one of the most recognizable actresses of our generation Scarlett Johansson and a true acting legend Morgan Freeman.

The main plot of the movie revolves around a story similar to the one presented in the movie Limitless including Bradley Cooper. Lucy, who is a character played by Scarlett, becomes good friends with a medication called CPH4 in her air conditioner.

This, in turn, results in a complete change in her life as she realizes what the human brain is really capable of.

What Exactly Is Lucy CPH4?

CPH4 is a smart drug that works in the same way as the purely fictitious medication NZT, a drug used by Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless.

Basically, CPH4 is believed to unlock the true potential of the brain by using the 100% of its power instead of only 10%. When under the influence of the drug, people can become what is believed to be a definition of a biochemical superhuman.

As you might have guessed, many folks have jumped on the CPH4 bandwagon and are actually wondering if they can get their hands on the smart drug. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of becoming an omniscient human being capable of reading thoughts and decoding radio waves floating in the air at least once in their lifetime?

Come on, we all have!

Unfortunately, here is where we need to burst the bubble.

The Truth Behind CPH4

The sad truth, dear friends, is that CPH4 does not exist. The blue intriguingly looking medicine presented in the motion picture Lucy is fake to the bone, not to mention that it resembles meth from Breaking Bad rather than a secret molecule that is generated by your body.

Now, there is one extra myth which gets repeated in movies time and again, and believe us, we have no clue why…

Yes, you are right, it’s the myth about using only 10% of our brains, and that if people could use its full potential, they could move mountains with their willpower and things like that. The truth is that human beings make use of 100% of their brains, but they do it in different ways.

Let’s get this straight once and for all: the “10%” figure is a fiction, an urban legend similar to the one that Einstein failed his math classes at school. In truth, numerous parts of our mind are not accessed consciously, meaning they can work even if you think they are off.

Perhaps you’re watching a TV show and singing the song in your head while rhythmically thumping on the floor, and you’re not aware of these things happening simultaneously. Even during simple activities like walking, different regions of the brain are working on how to maintain stability or where to put your feet now.

Last but not least, it’s been scientifically proven that damage caused to any part of the brain results in a function impairment or even a total loss. If we were using just 10% of our brains, then we could easily deal with the 90% of it being damaged.

How Does It Work In Lucy Movie?

In Lucy, there is a medical reference to CPH4 in a molecule called 6-carboxytetrahydropterin synthase. This is an enzyme located in the cells of millions of bacteria and microorganisms in general. According to the explanation offered by the movie, the molecule helps infants and foetuses ignore the pain caused by growing bones.

However, this chemical does not have anything to do with CPH4 in reality.

Like all enzymes in cells, this one is also responsible for producing molecules that are required for the cell to function properly. The scientific model for the fictional CPH4 enzyme creates Quenosine. Quenosine is a molecule that works as glue for bacteria cells and holds them together – nothing beyond this.

In the real word, “CPH4” has no impact on intelligence or brain capacity whatsoever, let alone that bacteria don’t have brain cells at all.

Lucy and LSD: Possible Connections

Let’s make a deal. Find a movie to which one couldn’t attribute a conspiracy theory, and we swear by our word, we’re going to leave no stone unturned in order to actually create CPH4.

We, too, believe that every story has an underlying message the author is trying to convey. When you scan through forums in search of “Lucy and LSD”, you will find many people claiming that the movie tries to tell us that LSD is the key to unlocking the whole potential of your brain.

Some of the LSD enthusiasts claim they were able to cut the clouds and move them around, shaping their actual surroundings when tripping. While, from the rational point of view, this is not possible since clouds are out of your reach and you simply can’t touch them, this is where the underlying message comes in.

When talking about LSD without referring to tripping on acid, “LSD” is an Indica dominant hybrid marijuana strain that raises the bar to a whole new level when it comes to getting lifted. The THC content found in this strain has been measured up to 24% with a CBD of 1.3%.

To cut the long story short, the world that we know is merely a brain’s interpretation of stimuli. That being said, while you cannot literally destroy a cloud, you can eliminate it from your personal, internal world.

Lucy was capable of controlling the entire world around her with the use of CPH4; however, whether this world was not only her is up for discussion.

The Real Smart Drugs – Closest Alternatives to Lucy in Real Life

Even though there is no magic pill that could make your brain a powerhouse capable of controlling the whole universe, there are some smart drugs that actually exist and can help your brain work at higher capacities. These drugs are called nootropics.

The main role of nootropics is targeting neuron’s metabolism and oxygen with the brain. Despite being minimal, these effects are noticeable. They won’t get you high in a way Lucy and Limitless painted such drugs to work, but instead, they will affect your mood, reaction time, memory enhancement, motivation, excitability, alertness, attention, and focus.

The long-term side effects and benefits of nootropics remain widely unknown, but the current evidence shows to support the short-term advantages. Nootropics are not suitable for anyone under the age of 25 because until then, most brains are not fully developed.

But most importantly, you need to fully understand the laws and regulations in regards to the subject of nootropics in your country/state. Whatever you’re trying, always make sure it’s legal. Otherwise, not only can you get into troubles with the law, but you also don’t know what you’re actually buying from the black market.

Oh, and keep in mind to choose an area which you want to boost with nootropic – do your research and don’t just take anything.

Here’s the list of some popular nootropics that are worth considering.


If you are looking for stimulating wakefulness and something to combat your sleep deprivation with, Modafinil may come in handy; it can also improve reaction time. As for the possible side effects, you can expect irritability, anxiety, or increased blood pressure. But if you’re a performer who needs to stay sharply focused most of the time, this is likely to work best for you.


Guess what? One of the safest nootropics on this planet is found in tea. L-theanine performs best when combined with caffeine. It serves as a powerful attention enhancer while promoting relaxation. Nonetheless, remember that in higher doses, L-theanine may trigger anxiety and cause headaches. The good news is that you can’t build up a tolerance or become addicted to this. L-theanine usually kicks in after about 30 minutes.


Piracetam is a textbook example of the term nootropic. This substance is capable of boosting one’s energy levels, focus, motivation, and mood. It’s the most thoroughly researched nootropic so far. Studies have shown that it may aid the memory of the elderly, but the constant use of piracetam may increase decline in cognition over time. In addition, it can cause headaches and digestive issues. The headache part can be eliminated by combining piracetam with choline, though.


Also known as Mixed Amphetamine Salts, Adderall can enhance cognition for those who need real improvement, but it can be risky for high-performers. Just like its cousin methylphenidate, Adderall can cause insomnia, heart palpitations, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, loss of appetite, and nausea. It is strongly addictive, too, so it’s all the better if you know your limits in this case.

Final Hit on Lucy, CPH4, and Nootropics

On the whole, such drugs as CPH4 do not exist, and if someone is trying to sell you something that will help you use 100% of your brain, be aware it’s a 100% scam since humans already use 100% of the brain, but some of these processes function under the level of  your consciousness.

Nevertheless, if you still want to improve your mental and physical performance, you can use the courtesy of nootropics. Nootropics are considered safe when applied properly and kept in moderation. Usually, the negative side effects are often minor and few, and the benefits hands down outnumber them.

That being said, although you may not be capable of such great things as Lucy was, you will probably achieve a better version of yourself that is focused on “here and now”, can think clearer, remember better, and squeeze the most out of life.

Kent Bennington

Kent Bennington

Kent is our in-house authority on nootropics and cognitive enhancement. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and has a long-running interest in nootropics. Over the years he’s tried dozens of different nootropic stacks and has a strong understanding of what works, and what doesn’t. Kent spends most of his free time sharing his experiences with nootropics and writing an upcoming book on the subject of cognitive enhancement.

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