Humans have always dreamt of a magic pill that could elevate the brain’s potential to the ceiling, so no wonder movies like Lucy or Limitless have gained so much popularity since their release. However, do drugs like CPH4 and NZT really exist, and do human beings really use merely 10% of their brains?

We are going to shed light on CPH4, but before we do so, let’s talk about Lucy for a while.

What is Lucy?

Lucy is a motion picture released in 2014, starring Scarlett Johansson and God himself – Morgan Freeman.

If you have watched the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper, you will notice many similarities between the plots of both. To cut the long story short, Lucy, Scarlett’s character who is used as a drug mule, discovers a highly experimental medication called CPH4. When the drug leaks into her system, Lucy gets completely lost in its power because the substance allows her to use 100% of her brain, and therefore, control the world surrounding her.

Sounds quite fun, doesn’t it?

Now, let’s elaborate a bit more on CPH4

Lucy CPH4 (Smart Drug) from the movie Lucy

CPH4 is a smart drug that can be compared to the philosopher’s stone, but in a modern way. It acts just like NZT, a fictional medication which Bradley Cooper used in Limitless to become the best at literally everything.

Reading thoughts, decoding radio waves as they’re floating in the air, and being faster than the “here and now” – who hasn’t ever dreamt of such superpowers? CPH4 can make you capable of such things. All you need to do is take the blue, intriguing pill and revel in almost instant effects.

When the hype on NZT was raging, many people succumbed to the temptation of earning quick cash by trying to convince uninformed customers, who actually believed the whole story presented in the movie was true, that they can buy this magical pill from them.

As you might have guessed, things were pretty similar when Lucy was released. Needless to say, those offers were a complete scam.

The truth behind CPH4

There are two myths we must debunk. As much as we regret to say it, there is no such a drug like CPH4. The whole concept of CPH4 as a magical pill to boost the brain’s potential was invented solely for the purpose of filming Lucy.

To answer the yet unasked question: NZT, too, does not exist.

There’s yet another myth to be debunked once and for all. Human beings DO USE 100% of their brains. The all-famous 10% is nothing but an urban legend which has been repeated so many times that the vast majority of people still believe in it.

In fact, all areas of our brains are engaged in numerous activities; however, some of them act on the subconscious level, so although you’re not aware of it, those areas are actually working. For example, when you’re walking, different sites of the brain are making an effort to ensure stability, keep you on the move, and control breathing.

Besides, if we were using just 10% of our brains, we could deal with the remaining 90% being damaged. However, as studies have shown, damaged caused to any region of the brain results in a function loss.


How does Lucy CPH4 work in the movie?

According to the explanation offered by the movie, CPH4 is reflected in a molecule called 6-carboxytetrahydropterin synthase, an enzyme located in the cells of millions microorganisms. As the movie is trying to convince us, this molecule helps infants ignore the pain caused by growing bones.

In fact, the aforementioned enzyme produces Quenosine, a molecule that keeps bacteria cells together and working like glue. It has no impact on intelligence or brain capacity

because bacteria don’t have any brain cells, so to cut the long story short, there is no reasonable connection between CPH4 and its real-life equivalent.

Lucy and LSD

According to what we can read on different drug forums and blogs, Lucy and the way CPH4 was depicted is a metaphor of LSD as the ultimate brain booster. Supporters of this theory claim that the movie tries to tell us LSD is the key to revealing the whole potential of one’s mind.

Different things can happen when you’re tripping on LSD or cannabis strain called LSD. Some people experience the feeling of almightiness, being able to shape the reality surrounding them. Stories of flying, cutting clouds, discovering the meaning of life, seeing objects which other people cannot see – many of them are reflected in Lucy.

And while it’s not possible to literally move objects that do not exist or cut clouds, you can eliminate them from your personal reality. After all, isn’t the world we know merely a brain’s interpretation of stimuli? Moreover, some biohackers microdose LSD to boost cognitive output, which is why the whole metaphor makes sense.

Similar to this theory Lucy, too, can control the surrounding world. But is this the real world? Or just her brain’s interpretation of stimuli?

We will leave the verdict up to you.

The real smart drugs  similar to Lucy in real life

Okay, now you know that drugs like NZT or CPH4 do not exist and human beings already use 100% of their brains. Nevertheless, there are substances which can actually improve your brain’s performance and help you become a better person in the everyday life.

These substances are called nootropics. L-theanine, Piracetam, and Adderall have the most similar effects to Lucy. Of course, nootropics won’t make you capable of such things as if you took CPH4 and their effects are minimal, but on the other hand, they are very noticeable. Nootropics affect reaction time, memory enhancement, attention, focus, mood, alertness, motivation, and excitability.

Although the long-term side effects and benefits of nootropics remain unknown, the existing evidence seems to support the short-term advantages. However, keep in mind that nootropics shouldn’t be used until the age of 25 because most brains are not fully developed until then.

Last but not least, before you take nootropics, you need to become familiar with the laws and regulations around them in your country/state.

Lucy Movie: Full Overview


From the visionary director of La Femme Nikita and The Professional and starring Scarlett Johansson and Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman comes an action-thriller about a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors. Altered by a dangerous new drug allowing her to use 100% of her brain capacity, Lucy transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON (Lucy) has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most talented young actresses. The Golden Globe Award nominee recently starred in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter, opposite Chris Evans; Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin(Click here for more)

LUC BESSON (Written and Directed by) began his career in cinema in 1977, working a number of assistant director positions in France and the United States, and thereby gradually positioning himself as one of the few French directors and producers with an… (Click here for more)

MORGAN FREEMAN (Professor Norman) is one of the most recognizable figures in American cinema. His works are among the most critically and commercially successful films of all time. Freeman himself ranks 10 th among the world’s top- grossing actors of all time, with his films having earned more than… (Click here for more)

AMR WAKED (Pierre Del Rio) studied economics and theater at The American University in Cairo. At the beginning of his career as an actor, Waked joined the Temple Theatre troupe in 1994 and the Yaaru Theatre troupe in 1999, where he received his training and… (Click here for more)

Technical Information


  • Theatrical Run Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.
  • Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), DVS Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English), DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (French Canadian), DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.40:1)


  • Theatrical Run Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality.
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English), DVS Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English), Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround (French Canadian), Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Picture: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1)