Recently, the DMNW Team was approached by BlissX, a nootropic company with a product promising to be “the most potent mood elevating compound available without prescription.” Nootropics, “smart drugs,” and “brain hacking” are huge buzzwords right now, especially in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street. The BlissX team had seen our KATY review, and reached out to ask for our signature brand of supplement review.
Remember KATY? The party pill marketed as a “confident and safe high” and legal party drug? Our review was extremely critical of it back when it was making the rounds. In part, this was because their hype largely took form as sponsored content on a variety of EDM blogs. The real problem, though, was marketing an untested supplement as safe to mix with alcohol and other drugs. Oh, and it seemed to have very little noticeable effect.
It turns out, though, there is some real science that certain nootropic substances are effective. It’s worth noting, for instance, that caffeine is technically a nootropic. The guys at BlissX seemed professional and responsible, requested our completely unbiased review, and as a result we decided to dive back in a second time. Our trademark skepticism is alive and well (see below), but we were surprised to learn a few things along the way we think are worth sharing.
On the surface, BlissX certainly had the possibility of being another KATY: a smattering of “all-natural” herbal ingredients, the promise of a risk-free mind-altering experience, and of course, the claim that it’s “great for parties.” We were determined to go into our trial with an open mind anyway, because the world of nootropics is big and we aren’t doctors. Despite lacking a PhD, we feel what follows is an unbiased, honest assessment of both the BlissX supplement and the industry it inhabits.
So, what was our BlissX experience like, and would we recommend it to you? Let’s dive in.
Note: This is not sponsored or native content. We hope that’s clear already, but we include it again just in case.
I’ve always had a healthy skepticism when it comes to nootropics, and on a larger scale, herbal supplements as a whole. The industry is pretty much the Wild West of regulation, and because of that, there are few (if any) dependable scientific studies that outline the risks and/or benefits of many supplements which claim to improve your health or mood.
So when Glen and I decided to embark on this journey, we did so with a healthy bit of skepticism. Together in my apartment, we both took the recommended dose of BlissX for first-timers, put on a movie (Ed. Note: it was Deadpool), and we waited.
After about 30 minutes, I’ll admit I did start to feel some semblance of an uplifted mood, albeit nothing extreme. In fairness to the folks over at BlissX, nowhere on their site does it claim to “get you high” and ready to rage, making for an intriguing contrast to the early promo for KATY, that marketed itself as a healthy alternative to party drugs.
From there, things pretty much leveled out for me. Long story short, the bulk of my experience was a slight lift in my mood less than an hour in, a brief plateau, and that’s about it. Still though, there’s no doubting that I felt the effect of something, so there’s clearly enough at play in BlissX to convince me this isn’t simply a placebo.
In a phone call with the BlissX folks afterwards, they did note that effective dosages varied person to person based on a variety of factors, which could very well account for the different way it affected me and Glen.
Nick’s bottom line: I’ll concede I feel significantly less critical of this operation when measured up against KATY for a whole mess of reasons. There’s also still a good deal we don’t know about the science behind the primary ingredient in BLISSx (identified on their website as “beta aminomethyl hydrocinnamic acid”), but I’m happy to admit there was enough of an effect during my experience to at least pique my interest.
I’ve taken Kratom twice in my life, once for fun, and once in place of Vicodin for an injury. Both times it reminded me of taking hydrocodone after having my wisdom teeth removed. There’s this fuzzy feeling in your temples, a bit of disassociation, and a general warm happiness. It’s not overbearing, but apparent, and usually lasts a few hours.
The first 45 minutes of BlissX felt very similar. I had a beer with Nick and watched the movie, felt a little fuzzy and happy, but nothing crazy or overt. We finished the movie, I called a Lyft after assessing that I was good to go (in fact, I felt totally normal), and I headed home.
The strangest thing happened halfway through my Lyft ride. It had been a long, stressful week at work, so I had every reason to feel drained, and I had left Nick’s feeling 100% regular. Instead, now I felt energized, unusually upbeat for 8pm on a weeknight, and I was highly-motivated to socialize. When I arrived home, I felt compelled to text people I’d lost touch with, and chat my girlfriend’s ear off. Again, nothing crazy or overt, but inarguably real.
The halo effect lasted well into the next morning. I never felt “high,” but I did feel clearly elevated mentally. I’m an energetic, upbeat person to begin with, and I know my body and brain well. This was definitely something related to taking BlissX or, at least, the ritual act around taking BlissX. It really had achieved the marketing language, and despite a million questions I couldn’t deny that *something* had happened.
Glen’s bottom line: The experience of BlissX was, for me, enough to encourage me to explore nootropics in greater detail. I am still very hesitant to ingest combinations of substances which are untested by rigorous science, but I can’t contest that I experienced “potent mood elevation” with no observable side effects as promised. For me, BlissX delivered above my expectations, but the question does remain “What exactly happened in my brain, and was it safe?” Without that answer, my recommendation includes an asterisk.
So who exactly is making BlissX, and what does their process look like? We spoke with the company’s founders Jesse and Christian, in order to understand the history of BlissX.
The product was originally formulated by Jesse’s wife, who holds a Masters Degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. It was developed as a personal solution to a difficult and emotional time in their lives. Jesse had cashed out investments and moved his family to Utah to take a job, only to find out that job was being phased out months later.
Before this, a fantasy sports company Jesse founded was acquired for $8.5M. He was paid largely in stock options, only to find out a year later that the new CEO had cooked the books and was in legal trouble. His stocks were rendered worthless almost overnight.
Stricken with frustration and depression, BlissX was born. The guys, convinced of the pill’s effectiveness, saw a business opportunity and began the organization. The supplement is made in the USA at an accredited facility, and the BlissX team is proud that “we source our own raw ingredients, and steered away from ‘trendy’ ingredients. All but one ingredient in BlissX is a raw, organic herb.”
The emphasis on ingredients that aren’t “trendy” sounds good, but it also minimizes the research available on BlissX, especially its active ingredient. While studies on some nootropics like piracetam are rigorous, we were unable to find any efficacy research or meta-analysis on beta (aminomethyl) hydrocinnamic acid in either the National Institutes of Health, or Google Scholar. After hours of conversations with Jesse and Christian, we believe their intentions are good, but without peer-reviewed research we are left to take them (and their formulator) at their word that the supplement combination is “safe.”
In a word, “possibly.” BlissX delivered on its marketing claims for performance (though it did affect both participants differently, Jesse and Christian told us the dosage can vary greatly). The company’s founders seem trustworthy and genuine. If you’re looking for a unique way to enhance your mood, BlissX will probably work for you like it did for us.
The field of nootropics is very new, and does show promising signs of success, but we can’t completely recommend you ingest something with so little rigorous, peer-reviewed research behind it. We have to remind you that there are inherent risks to taking any supplement, and the only way to avoid those risks entirely is not to take them.
Our bottom line: BlissX did exactly what it promised to do, and maybe a little more, so if you’re willing to assume the risks, you’re probably going to enjoy it as well.