May 25, 2022 5 min read

Lion’s Mane mushroom is gaining a reputation for it’s potential ability to enhance cognitive function, but many people have questions about it’s mental effects. Most importantly, is Lion’s Mane a psychedelic mushroom, meaning will it get you high?

In short, the answer is no, Lion’s Mane is not a hallucinogenic mushroom like the “magic mushrooms” that are chock full of psilocybin. That means you can reap the cognition-enhancing benefits of Lion’s Mane without experiencing any mental impairment.

Here’s what you should know:

Table of Contents
What is a Psychedelic Mushroom?
Does Lion’s Mane Contain Psilocybin?
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
How to Use Lion’s Mane
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Lion's Mane does not contain psilocybin, the compound that gives some mushrooms their psychedelic effects.
  • It does contain bioactive compounds that may have positive effects on cognition and mental performance.
  • Lion's Mane is generally considered to be safe for most people, except those who have a mushroom allergy or take certain medications.

A bunch of psilocybin mushrooms, or psychedelic mushrooms, growing on a decaying log in the forest.

What is a Psychedelic Mushroom?

Psychedelic mushrooms, sometimes called “magic mushrooms” are a type of mushroom that contain psilocybin or psilocin, drugs that are known to cause hallucinations. These mushrooms can be eaten whole, steeped into tea, or dried and powdered. They are most often used recreationally, although evidence is emerging about their potential medicinal benefits for certain psychiatric conditions, like depression.

In many cases, it is against the law to grow, sell, or carry mushrooms containing psilocybin or other hallucinogenic compounds, although support for legalization of these mushrooms is slowly spreading.

Does Lion’s Mane Contain Psilocybin?

No, Lion’s Mane mushrooms do not contain psilocybin. Therefore, they have no hallucinogenic effects at all and are not considered to be psychedelic mushrooms. They do, however, contain certain bioactive beta-glucans, terpenoids, and other beneficial compounds that may have a positive impact on the brain.

Let’s take a look at the possible benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms:

Lion’s Mane Benefits

Most often, Lion’s Mane mushroom is linked to potentially enhanced cognitive performance, mood support, and various immune boosting functions, but the mushroom may have even greater potential. Lets look at two of the important biological properties of the mushroom that may be beneficial to human health:

Betaglucans

Betaglucans are the more bioactive type of polysaccharide, a carbohydrate tgaht provides energy to the body and brain. Some experts believe that these compounds may be responsible for many of the health benefits asssociated with Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane contains at least 35 completely unique betaglucans that may provide various benefits.

Terpenoids

Lion’s Mane also contains many different terpenoids, a modified classification of terpenes. These are lipids can have a variety of different therapeutic benefits and may even be the reason that essential oils and different cannabis strains have varying effects.

In general, the Lion’s Mane mushroom research dates back decades, but research efforts have recently increased thanks to it’s newfound popularity as a nootropic supplement. We need more research to understand the full benefits of Lion’s Mane, but some potential benefits may include:

  • Mood support
  • Increased cognitive performance
  • Improved Focus
  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Cancer prevention
  • Immune boosting effects
  • Enhanced digestive health
  • Improved heart health
  • Improved blood sugar levels
  • Enhanced nervous system regeneration

To learn more, read “Lion’s Mane Benefits.”

A lion's mane mushroom growing from a hardwood tree just before harvest

Lion’s Mane Side Effects

Lion’s Mane, when used as a supplement, was not found to produce any adverse effects in rodents, even when used in high doses. No serious adverse effects have been identified in humans either, and definitely no reports of hallucinogenic or psychedelic effects have ever been recorded.

In general, some of the possible side effects of Lion’s Mane mushroom include:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive upset
  • diarrhea
  • Allergic reaction
  • Adverse drug interactions

In many cases, this could be linked to poor product quality and not the Lion’s mane itself. It’s also important to discuss changes to your wellness routine with your doctor, especially if you already take other medications.

To learn more, read “Lion’s Mane Side Effects

How to Use Lion’s Mane

Although Lion’s Mane is not psychedelic, you still need to understand proper dosage techniques and some important safety information before you can get started with your new functional mushroom routine. Here are some things to consider:

Source and Quality Importance

Always look for a well made supplement from a trustworthy distributor. The best supplements are made in a cGMP compliant facility nd are third party tested to ensure they are free of harmful contaminants.

Take Lion’s Mane in the Morning

Lion’s Mane is best taken daily in the morning as part of your regular wellness routine. Mos people take Lion’s Mane to enhance cognitive function, and there are some people who have reported bouts of sleeplessness when taking Lion’s Mane at night.

Take Lion’s Mane Every Day

You need to take Lion’s Mane daily for the most benefits. Studies typically involve routine daily doses, and some have shown that the cognitive benefits of Lion’s Mane do not persist after stopping the daily doses.

Start With a Small Dosage

In general, studies use Lion’s Mane doses ranging from 750 mg to 3,000 mg. The amount of Lion’s Mane you should take daily depends on various unique factors, like your weight, age, and tolerance. In general, though, you should start with the smallest recommended dose and increase the dosage slowly overtime until you experience the effects you desire.

To learn more, read “Lion’s Mane Dosage.”

Try Different Forms of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Earlier we mentioned the beneficial biological compounds (like betaglucans and terpenoids) and found in Lion’s Mane. It’s important to note that these compounds are available in different varieties and proportions in the different parts of the mushroom, which is why so many different formulations exist.

You may look for a supplement made from only the fruiting body, or you may choose a “whole mushroom” compound that includes the mushroom mycelium as well. There is some debate about which form is better, so you may need to do some research to determine which is best for you.

Lion’s Mane powder offers a convenient dose that makes it simple to measure and adjust your dosage as often as necessary. Tinctures are fast-acting and incredibly well absorbed. You can also cook and eat fresh Lion’s Mane to enjoy it’s delicate seafood-like flavor, but it isn’t shelf stable for more than a few days, so it’s not the best choice for regular use.

To learn more about Lion’s Mane, you may want to read:

Resources

  1. “Psilocybin Found to Rapidly Improve Depressive Symptoms in Clinical Trial”https://www.columbiapsychiatry.org/news/psilocybin-found-rapidly-improve-depressive-symptoms-clinical-trial
  2. “Haematological, biochemical and histopathological aspects of Hericium erinaceus ingestion in a rodent model: A sub-chronic toxicological assessment” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27816657/


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