8 Best Nootropics For Pain In 2022

Written on July 21, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

In this article, I'll take a closer at the 8 best nootropics for pain. I'll also cover the potential risks and side effects you may run into, as well as the benefits you can expect.

Within the biohacking community, various methods for reducing or managing pain exist.

One popular approach is to use nootropics – compounds that can enhance cognitive function.

There are a number of different nootropics that have been shown to be effective for pain relief, and in this article, I will take a look at 8 of the best.

So without further ado, let's dive in, shall we?

The best nootropics for pain, according to scientific evidence, are:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Resveratrol
  • Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Vinpocetine 
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • Curcumin + Piperine Stack
  • Ashwagandha 

Let's take a closer look at each of these noots down below.

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a comprehensive nootropic stack that contains 11 nootropic ingredients with demonstrated efficacy for cognitive function and pain relief.

These nootropic ingredients include Rhodiola Rosea and Bacopa Monnieri.

Bacopa Monnieri has shown to attenuate opioid tolerance, enhance opiates-induced analgesia, and has a morphine-like analgesic effect without producing any tolerance to its own analgesic effects, according to a recent study [1]Shahid, Muhammad et al. “A bacosides containing Bacopa monnieri extract alleviates allodynia and hyperalgesia in the chronic constriction injury model of neuropathic pain in rats.” BMC … Learn more.

In addition, Mind Lab Pro also contains Lion's Mane Mushroom, which has been shown to promote nerve growth and regeneration and thus may help to reduce chronic pain [2]Liu, Pei-Shan et al. “Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), Modulates Purinoceptor-Coupled Calcium Signaling and Murine Nociceptive Behavior.” International journal … Learn more.

Mind Lab Pros

  • Well-rounded nootropic stack
  • Contains some of the best nootropics for pain
  • Safe and natural

Mind Lab Pro Cons

  • Can be a bit expensive

Mind Lab Pro in Summary

Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic blend containing many cognitive-enhancing compounds.

Two of these – Bacopa Monnieri and Lion's Mane Mushroom – have shown to be effective for pain relief in human and animal studies, respectively.

In addition, Mind Lab Pro is also one of the safest nootropic stacks on the market, as it only contains natural and well-tolerated compounds.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in red wine and grapes with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

It's thought that these effects may help to reduce pain by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, two important contributors to pain.

In fact, resveratrol has been shown to be effective for the treatment of various types of pain in animal studies, including neuropathic pain [3]Xu, M., Cheng, Z., Ding, Z., Wang, Y., Guo, Q., & Huang, C. (2018). Resveratrol enhances IL-4 receptor-mediated anti-inflammatory effects in spinal cord and attenuates neuropathic pain following … Learn more.

Resveratrol Pros

  • Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Helps to reduce various types of pain
  • Found in red wine and grapes

Resveratrol Cons

  • May not be effective for all types of pain
  • May cause side effects in some people

Resveratrol in Summary

Resveratrol is a popular supplement for its potential health benefits.

It's also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, which helps to reduce pain by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

However, it's important to note that resveratrol may not be effective for all types of pain and may cause side effects in some people.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a fatty acid amide found naturally in the body with powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

It's thought to work by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory compounds, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

PEA has been shown to be effective for the treatment of various types of pain, including neuropathic pain, in human studies [4]Clayton, Paul et al. “Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Compound for Health Management.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 22,10 5305. 18 May. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijms22105305.

Although PEA has poor bioavailability when taken orally, supplements containing PEA bound to phospholipids or fatty acids have been shown to increase its absorption and, thus, effectiveness.

PEA Pros

  • A natural compound found in the body
  • Inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory compounds
  • Effective for the treatment of various types of pain

PEA Cons

  • Poor bioavailability when taken orally
  • May cause side effects in some people

PEA in Summary

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an excellent natural option for pain relief. It's a fatty acid amide found naturally in the body with powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

It's readily available in supplement form and has been shown to be effective for the treatment of various types of pain in human studies.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine for its various health benefits. It's thought to work by reducing stress and inflammation, two important contributors to pain.

In animal models, Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to be effective in the treatment of various types of pain, including thermal pain, mechanical hyperalgesia, and inflammation [5]Doncheva, Nina D et al. “Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract in rats.” Folia medica vol. 55,3-4 (2013): 70-5. doi:10.2478/folmed-2013-0030.

Rhodiola Rosea Pros

  • Reduces stress and inflammation
  • Shown to be effective in the treatment of various types of pain

Rhodiola Rosea Cons

  • May cause side effects in some people

Rhodiola Rosea in Summary

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine. It's thought to work by reducing stress and inflammation, two important contributors to pain.

In animal studies, Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to be effective in the treatment of various types of pain.

Vinpocetine 

Vinpocetine is a very popular nootropic supplement with powerful cognitive-enhancing effects.

It's also an excellent pain reliever, thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow [6]Medina, Alexandre E. “Vinpocetine as a potent antiinflammatory agent.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 107,22 (2010): 9921-2. … Learn more.

Vinpocetine works by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improving blood flow, which helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Vinpocetine Pros

  • Inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines
  • Improves blood flow
  • Reduces inflammation and pain

Vinpocetine Cons

  • Can be difficult to find in stores
  • May cause side effects in some people

Vinpocetine in Summary

Vinpocetine is an excellent pain reliever, thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. It works by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and is readily available in supplement form.

If you're looking for a potent pain reliever, vinpocetine is a great option.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane, more commonly known as MSM, is a popular supplement that is often advertised as a natural pain reliever.

But how does it actually work? MSM is a source of sulfur, which is an essential mineral for the human body. Sulfur plays a role in many different bodily functions, including the production of collagen and keratin.

It also helps to improve the elasticity of connective tissue, making it an important component of joint health. In addition, sulfur is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce pain and swelling.

MSM supplements provide the body with a concentrated source of sulfur, which can help to promote joint health and reduce inflammation.

Additionally, some studies have shown that MSM can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the muscles. This makes it an effective treatment for both acute and chronic pain [7]Butawan, Matthew et al. “Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement.” Nutrients vol. 9,3 290. 16 Mar. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9030290.

Methylsulfonylmethane Pros

  • Concentrated source of sulfur
  • Promotes joint health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves circulation
  • Treats both acute and chronic pain

Methylsulfonylmethane Cons

  • Can cause nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach discomfort

Methylsulfonylmethane in Summary

All in all, methylsulfonylmethane is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and inflammation. It's a concentrated source of sulfur, which is an essential mineral for the human body, and it has been shown to improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the muscles.

If you're looking for a natural pain reliever, methylsulfonylmethane is a great option.

Curcumin + Piperine Stack

Curcumin is a chemical compound found in the spice turmeric. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including pain and inflammation.

Piperine is an alkaloid found in black pepper. It is commonly used as a culinary spice but has numerous health benefits. When taken together, curcumin and piperine have been shown to be more effective at reducing pain and inflammation than either compound alone [8]Hewlings, Susan J, and Douglas S Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 6,10 92. 22 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3390/foods6100092.

Curcumin is thought to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that are released by cells in response to inflammation [9]Yadav, Renu et al. “Curcumin Suppresses the Production of Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Interleukin-18 in Lipopolysaccharide Stimulated Murine Macrophage-Like Cells.” Indian journal of clinical … Learn more.

They play an important role in the immune system but can also contribute to pain and swelling. By reducing the levels of cytokines in the body, curcumin can help to relieve pain and inflammation.

Piperine, on the other hand, enhances the bioavailability of curcumin. Curcumin is poorly absorbed when taken on its own. However, piperine increases the amount of curcumin that enters the bloodstream, making it more effective at reducing pain and inflammation.

When stacked, curcumin and piperine provide powerful relief from pain and inflammation.

Curcumin + Piperine Stack Pros

  • Works to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines
  • Enhances the bioavailability of curcumin

Curcumin + Piperine Stack Cons

  • Can cause gastrointestinal side effects
  • May interact with certain medications

Curcumin + Piperine Stack in Summary

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Piperine is a substance found in black pepper that helps increase the absorption of curcumin.

A Curcumin + Piperine stack is a supplement that combines these two ingredients in order to provide greater therapeutic benefits. Curcumin is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and pain, while piperine has been shown to improve the bioavailability of curcumin.

Together, these two substances offer a potent combination that can be helpful for treating a variety of conditions.

Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress. It is also an anti-inflammatory and has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in the joints [10]Ramakanth, G S H et al. “A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study of efficacy and tolerability of Withaina somnifera extracts in knee joint pain.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative … Learn more.

Ashwagandha is thought to act on the body's stress response system, helping to reduce inflammation and pain. In addition, Ashwagandha is thought to boost levels of the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin [11]Lopresti, Adrian L et al. “An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled … Learn more.

As a result, this potent herb may offer significant relief from various forms of pain, including arthritis, back pain, and menstrual cramps.

Ashwagandha Pros

  • Reduces inflammation and pain
  • Acts on the body's stress response system
  • Boosts levels of natural pain-relieving chemicals

Ashwagandha Cons

  • May cause gastrointestinal side effects
  • May interact with certain medications

Ashwagandha in Summary

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known for its ability to help the body cope with stress and its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

Ashwagandha may be effective in treating various forms of pain, including arthritis, back pain, and menstrual cramps.

What Are the Best Nootropics for Pain?

The 8 best nootropics for pain relief, according to my research, are:

  1. Mind Lab Pro
  2. Resveratrol
  3. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)
  4. Rhodiola Rosea
  5. Vinpocetine 
  6. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  7. Curcumin + Piperine Stack
  8. Ashwagandha 

I've chosen these nootropics for pain based on their ability to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve the body's response to stress.

My recommendation is to start with Mind Lab Pro. This all-in-one nootropic has a wide range of benefits, including reducing inflammation and pain.

If you're looking for a more targeted approach, I recommend taking Resveratrol or Curcumin + Piperine.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement for Pain?

best-nootropics-for-pain-relief

The way you choose the right nootropic supplement for pain relief will depend on a few factors, including the type and severity of your pain and any other health conditions you may have.

Are you looking for a natural way to reduce pain and inflammation? If so, then I recommend starting with Mind Lab Pro. This all-in-one nootropic has a wide range of benefits, including reducing inflammation and pain.

If you're looking for a more targeted approach, I recommend taking Resveratrol or Curcumin + Piperine.

Do you have any other health conditions that may be causing or exacerbating your pain? If so, then it's important to choose a nootropic supplement that will not only relieve pain but also address the underlying cause of your pain.

For example, if you have arthritis, I recommend taking Ashwagandha.

That being said, most nootropics on my list are safe for most people to take. However, it's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a health condition.

If you're unsure where to start, I recommend taking Mind Lab Pro.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for Pain?

The benefits of nootropics for pain relief include:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Relieving pain
  • Improving the body's response to stress
  • Boosting levels of natural pain-relieving chemicals

Nootropics not only offer relief from pain but also address the underlying cause of your pain. Most nootropics for pain relief work by reducing inflammation, which is a common cause of pain.

In addition, nootropics can improve the body's response to stress, which can help to reduce pain. Nootropics can also boost levels of natural pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin.

Finally, some nootropics, such as Ashwagandha, have a long history of use in traditional medicine for the treatment of pain.

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for Pain?

The side effects of nootropics for pain relief are generally mild and may include:

  • Gastrointestinal side effects
  • Interactions with certain medications

The most common side effects of nootropics for pain relief are gastrointestinal side effects, such as upset stomach and diarrhea. These side effects are typically mild and go away on their own.

In rare cases, nootropics may interact with certain medications. Therefore, it's important to speak with your doctor before taking any nootropic supplement, especially if you take medication for a chronic health condition.

Finally, some nootropics may cause anxiety or irritability in some people. If you experience these side effects, I recommend discontinuing the use of the supplement.

Do Nootropics Really Work for Pain?

Yes, nootropics really do work for pain relief.

The vast majority of nootropics for pain relief work by reducing inflammation, which is a common cause of pain.

There are a few different mechanisms by which nootropics can reduce inflammation, but the most common is by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines.

Nootropics that reduce inflammation can be very effective for treating all sorts of different types of pain, from headaches and migraines to arthritis and back pain.

Final Thoughts on the Best Nootropics for Pain

Nootropics can be extremely helpful for pain relief. The best nootropics for pain relief that I've come across are those that reduce inflammation, such as Mind Lab Pro and Resveratrol.

If you have a chronic health condition that is causing or exacerbating your pain, then I recommend taking a nootropic that will address the underlying cause of your pain, such as Ashwagandha.

Finally, always speak with your doctor before taking any new supplement, especially if you have a health condition.

References

References
1Shahid, Muhammad et al. “A bacosides containing Bacopa monnieri extract alleviates allodynia and hyperalgesia in the chronic constriction injury model of neuropathic pain in rats.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 17,1 293. 5 Jun. 2017, doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1807-z
2Liu, Pei-Shan et al. “Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), Modulates Purinoceptor-Coupled Calcium Signaling and Murine Nociceptive Behavior.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms vol. 19,6 (2017): 499-507. doi:10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v19.i6.20
3Xu, M., Cheng, Z., Ding, Z., Wang, Y., Guo, Q., & Huang, C. (2018). Resveratrol enhances IL-4 receptor-mediated anti-inflammatory effects in spinal cord and attenuates neuropathic pain following sciatic nerve injury. Molecular Pain, 14, 174480691876754. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744806918767549
4Clayton, Paul et al. “Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Compound for Health Management.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 22,10 5305. 18 May. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijms22105305
5Doncheva, Nina D et al. “Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract in rats.” Folia medica vol. 55,3-4 (2013): 70-5. doi:10.2478/folmed-2013-0030
6Medina, Alexandre E. “Vinpocetine as a potent antiinflammatory agent.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 107,22 (2010): 9921-2. doi:10.1073/pnas.1005138107
7Butawan, Matthew et al. “Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement.” Nutrients vol. 9,3 290. 16 Mar. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9030290
8Hewlings, Susan J, and Douglas S Kalman. “Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 6,10 92. 22 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3390/foods6100092
9Yadav, Renu et al. “Curcumin Suppresses the Production of Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Interleukin-18 in Lipopolysaccharide Stimulated Murine Macrophage-Like Cells.” Indian journal of clinical biochemistry : IJCB vol. 30,1 (2015): 109-12. doi:10.1007/s12291-014-0452-2
10Ramakanth, G S H et al. “A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study of efficacy and tolerability of Withaina somnifera extracts in knee joint pain.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine vol. 7,3 (2016): 151-157. doi:10.1016/j.jaim.2016.05.003
11Lopresti, Adrian L et al. “An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Medicine vol. 98,37 (2019): e17186. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017186