Is Lion's Mane Mushroom Psychoactive?
The concrete jungle can be unforgiving, and we know that the stress generated by the hustle and bustle of everyday life can sometimes bring down the spirits of even the strongest lion out there. Fortunately, we are not alone on this path.
Plants and fungi have played a vital role in human health ever since humans discovered that some plants, flowers, and fungi could have healing effects on people.
Such is the case of the lion's mane, a fungus used for a long time in different ancient cultures and that is currently within the category of adaptogens: substances that help the body to better adapt to physical, chemical, cellular stress, and mental.
This fungus is so magical that it can help any lion grow its mane back and restore its strength like Samson. But must not confuse lion's mane with the classic hallucinogenic "magic" mushrooms packed with psilocybin.
Let's start by clarifying the most common doubt.
Does Lion's Mane Make You High?
Although different medicinal mushrooms may have some spiritual benefits and side effects, not all medicinal mushrooms are "magical" or psychedelic. Only some mushrooms contain psilocybin or other active compounds in nature that may be hallucinogenic or mood-altering.
The lion's mane mushroom, on the other hand, can't give you a high. So there is nothing to worry about.
Is Lion's Mane Mushroom Psychoactive?
In short, no. Lion's mane is not psychoactive. Therefore, it cannot give you a high, nor will it alter your perception of reality or your mood drastically.
The effects and benefits of the lion's mane manifest in another way. It may improve your cognitive abilities and help you feel more alert. This boost in your focus will not alter your calm state.
Lion's Mane Side Effects
We still know little about the safety of long-term use of lion's mane and supplements derived from this fungus. Studies are still needed to reach a total compression that corroborates all the positive and secondary effects and the precautions we must take when using lion's mane for a long time.
Nonetheless, we know that the lion's mane mushroom consumption can have some effects that can be counterproductive or unwanted for some people.
One of the side effects that lion's mane could cause is some bleeding conditions. This can translate into an increased tendency to bruise or spontaneous bleed in people with bleeding problems. Due to these effects, the lion’s mane mushroom is contraindicated for preoperative stages. It reduces coagulation capacity and lowers blood sugar levels.
Another side effect reported by some users is that lion's mane could aggravate the symptoms of people with asthma and allergies.
So, especially if you have a history of allergies, asthma, or any other medical condition, it's essential to always consult your doctor before deciding to include lion's mane or any other mushroom supplement in your diet.
Lion's Mane Mushroom Benefits
So far, specific research on the health effects of lion's mane is quite limited. However, evidence from tube studies, animal-based research, and small clinical trials suggest that lion's mane mushroom may significantly contribute to neural and cognitive health.
These findings indicate that lion's mane might help with:
A 2008 study suggests that lion's mane may benefit older adults with cognitive impairments. Further studies in mice in 2011 revealed that lion's mane might help with memory problems by protecting the brain against the formation of amyloid-beta, a substance that forms brain plaques and is linked to Alzheimer's.
Despite these findings, the "NCCIH" or National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warns that: although the evidence found so far is promising, we still need direct and concrete evidence to claim the effectiveness of some natural supplements on cognitive functions.
A 2010 study found that lion's mane could relieve depression, anxiety, and symptoms related to these conditions. This study found that a group of women given lion's mane for four weeks was less irritable, anxious, and have a better ability to concentrate than the group of women given a placebo.
Some preliminary studies suggest that lion's mane might protect against cancer. Research from 2011 showed that lion's mane could help neutralize leukemia cells. Another 2011 study conducted on mice showed that lion's mane helped reduce the size of cancerous tumors in the colon of some mice and increased the response of some cells related to immune responses. Another study showed that lion's mane extract helped slow the spread of colon cancer to the lungs.
However, many of these results come from animal or laboratory tests, so it is still too early to say that the lion's mane fungus can fight cancer in humans, although the results are quite promising.
In summary, due to all this evidence and the many years of use of the lion's mane mushroom in different alternative medicine systems, many proponents claim that lion's mane could help with conditions such as:
- Parkinson's disease.
- High cholesterol.
- High blood sugar.
It is also believed that lion's mane could strengthen the immune system and promote healthy digestion.
Mycelium Health Benefits
Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi. It is a set of multicellular filaments called hyphae that form a root-like structure. Fungal colonies composed of mycelium can grow in and on soil and some other substrates.
Mycelium can provide different benefits depending on the type of mushroom it is from. This is because, in essence, the mycelium of every kind of mushroom is still part of the same mushroom itself.
So, the mycelium of the lion's mane would have virtually the same qualities and would provide the same benefits that the reproductive structure of the fungus can provide, which is the part that we are most familiar with.
With that said, we do have that lion's mane mycelium could provide benefits such as:
- Protect the brain from dementia
- Promote the recovery of wounds of the nervous system
- Relieve symptoms of moderate depression and anxiety
- Improve heart health
- Protects the digestive tract and prevents the formation of ulcers
- It could help fight cancer
- Helps to better deal with the symptoms of diabetes
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
Microdosing Lion’s Mane (Dosage)
The recommended regular dose and the best time to take lion's mane can vary depending on the person and the benefits you want to obtain.
The doses of lion's mane used in various clinical studies evaluating the effects of this fungus on cognitive functions are 750 mg/day, administered as three daily doses of tablets containing 250 mg of 96% lion's mane dry powder. Other studies have used doses of 3 g/day and others up to 5 g/day.
When we talk about microdosing lion's mane, we could be talking about any number of mg below those already mentioned. However, specific studies on the effects of microdosing are almost non-existent.
Many people venturing into this way of consumption assume they get the same benefits from a regular dose of lion's mane, but in a less invasive method for the body.
Lion's mane is also part of one of the newest microdosing methods created by famed mycologist Paul Stamets, inventor of a microdosing protocol of psilocybin-containing mushrooms or "magic mushrooms" combined with small doses of lion's mane and niacin.
The Paul Stamets Stack method uses these three components for an effective microdosing experience. This microdosing protocol uses:
- 0.5 - 1 gram of "magic" mushrooms
- 50 - 200 mg of lion's mane
- 100 - 200 mg of niacin
The theory is that microdosing psychedelic mushrooms could be an effective tool for exploring consciousness, enhancing creativity, or stimulating insight. By taking hallucinogenic mushrooms at a scale of 1/20th of a typical dose, it is possible to reap the potential benefits of these mushrooms without needing to experience a full psychedelic trip.
Although there is no medical research to confirm the possible medical benefits of hallucinogenic mushrooms, Stamets designed this specific method because, from his experience, he feels that it improves the way psilocybin interacts with the human body.
Best Lion's Mane Supplement
There are many great natural mushroom supplements that contain lion's mane as part of their formulation recipe.
Knowing that it can be confusing to choose from the sea of lion's mane supplement options today, we made this list of the best man's mane supplements available on the market.
Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom Capsules
RealMushrooms offers 100% organic lion's mane powder capsules without added fillers. These capsules are perfect for improving cognitive functions and boosting focus and clarity. RealMushrooms lion's mane supplement does not have a bitter or unpleasant taste, so it is much easier to take. Each capsule contains 500 mg of lion's mane extract.
The recommended dose of this supplement is 250 mg to 750 mg daily.
Renew Actives Mushroom 10x Complex
While this mushroom supplement isn't exclusively lion's mane, it earns a high spot because each of the 120 capsules in the Renew Actives Mushroom 10x Complex package is packed with a super-nutritious mix of different mushrooms, including lion's mane.
These capsules also contain extracts of reishi and shiitake.
Peak Performance Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract Powder.
Peak Performance uses fully grown mushrooms, which gives each mushroom time to develop the critical nutrients users have come to expect from this supplement. This lion's mane powder extract can help boost energy, focus, and alertness.
As with any supplement, you will begin to experience the benefits of lion's mane after about two weeks of use.
FreshCap Lion's Mane Capsules
FreshCap's lion's mane mushrooms come from greenhouses, which gives them the chance to grow in sunlight, fresh air, and ample water supply. FreshCap lion's mane supplement doesn't contain any added grains or fillers.
You don't have to worry about going over your carb count, making them perfect for people following the Paleo diet. The 120 capsules are starch-free, vegetarian-friendly, and Halal and Kosher certified.
Gaia Herbs Lion's Mane Mushroom
Gaia Herbs’ mushrooms are organically grown, and each capsule is vegan-friendly and contains 2.5g of lion's mane. Gaia only uses lion's mane fruiting bodies as this ensures that the highest amount of active components is obtained.
Gaia Herbs’ lion's mane extract is perfect for when you're feeling a little anxious or down in the dumps. The recommended dose of this supplement is one capsule per day.