Lion’s Mane isn’t psychedelic because it doesn’t contain any psilocybin, so it won’t make you high or hallucinate. Although it has no immediate effects, Lion’s Mane has immense long-term health benefits, enabling you to think and feel better.
Table of Contents
- Will Lion’s Mane make me hallucinate?
- How will Lion’s Mane make me feel?
- Is Lion’s Mane addictive?
- Are there any side effects?
- Is Lion’s Mane legal?
Will Lion’s Mane make me hallucinate?
Nope, Lion’s Mane won’t make you hallucinate or make you high.
Psychedelic mushrooms that cause hallucination or make you high contain a compound known as psilocybin (Lowe, 2021). This class of mushrooms are referred to as magical mushrooms because of these effects. However, Lion’s Mane is not a magic mushroom, it is a medicinal mushroom with potent healing properties.
How will Lion’s Mane make me feel?
Lion’s mane mushroom is not psychedelic and doesn’t have any instant mental effects. It’s a medicinal mushroom. So, with long-term, daily supplementation you can expect a range of mental and physical benefits like improved cognitive functioning, memory and mood.
Lion’s Mane doesn’t have any psychedelic properties, nor does it have any immediate effects on your mental state. As with most nootropics, it may take weeks or months to experience the benefits. With the right dosage and amount of time you may experience a range of mental health benefits incluing
- better memory
- enhanced cognitive functioning
- reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety
- improvement in mood
- increase in motivation to learn
For better memory
Studies evaluating H. erinaceus found it improves memory for those suffering from memory impairment (as a result of aging or dementia) as well as for healthy individuals.
Many studies evaluate the effects of Hericium erinaceus on memory, especially as it applies to those suffering from some neurological issues that make their memory worse. This mostly applies to aging seniors or those suffering from dementia. It’s believed to enhance memory because one of its compounds promotes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity (Martínez-Mármol, 2020; Cunha, 2010).
Even for healthy individuals, Lion’s Mane may be beneficial in improving cognition. A study evaluating only healthy, young mice found that those supplemented with H. erinaceus for two months performed much better on tests of recognition memory and were more adventurous in exploring new environments. The reasoning is that Lion’s Mane seems to increase nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain, which plays an essential role in regulating mechanisms for memory (Brandalise, 2017; Conner, 2009). Many studies support this notion (often using mice as test subjects) that Lion’s Mane helps improve memory and prevents cognitive dysfunction and dementia (Mori, 2011; Mori, 2008; Zhang, 2016; Valu, 2021).
The improvement to memory using Lion’s Mane has also been observed on humans. One study evaluating 31 healthy individuals over 50 years old found that those who supplemented for 12 weeks with H. erinaceus (0.8 g/day of powdered fruiting body) improved significantly in their scores on a test often used to diagnose dementia. This test evaluates disorientation, memory, calculation, language, and spatial abilities. This means that just by supplementing with one gram of Lion’s Mane a day, these 50+ year old participants were able to improve their cognitive functioning in 12 weeks (Saitsu, 2019).
To treat depression and anxiety
Lion’s Mane may alleviate your symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Several studies indicate that daily supplementation of Hericium erinaceus may alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Lion’s Mane activates the neural pathways and factors associated with depression and anxiety, like the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathway, nerve growth factor (NGF) activity, and anti-inflammatory processes. Studies indicate that supplementing 2g/day of powdered fruiting body (or 11g/day of amycenone, a standard extract, sold as Amyloban 3399 capsules) may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety after one to two months (Vigna, 2019, Nagano, 2010, Inanaga, 2014).
Check out our in-depth article on how to use Lion’s Mane for depression and anxiety.
For a better mood
One standard extract of Hericium erinaceus, Amyloban 3399, has been associated with a host of mind-boosting effects. Although these have not yet been fully examined in studies, the perceived benefits include mental alertness, improved mood, and an increase in motivation and engagement with one’s surroundings. This supplement may be particularly relevant for the aging population or those with mental and physical disorders (Inanaga, 2012).
To boost energy and avoid fatigue
Lion’s Mane may alleviate fatigue and give you more energy. Mice who supplemented daily with Lion’s mane had a higher exercise tolerance after one month (Liu, 2015).
Studies on mice have found that the polysaccharides in H. erinaceus help decrease fatigue in mice. In one study, researchers administered an extract of polysaccharides from the fruiting body of Lion’s Mane for 28 consecutive days. The mice then underwent a forced swimming test, where they have to swim until the point of exhaustion. The swimming times of mice who had taken the supplement were significantly longer than those who did not, indicating that Lion’s Mane may provide anti-fatigue activity (Liu, 2015).
Is Lion’s Mane addictive?
People seeking treatment for their depression and anxiety may be concerned about the addictive qualities of the antidepressants they use. Although antidepressants are generally not addictive, some people worry that they are because of the possibility of a withdrawal period (Dean, 2009; Stone, 2004).
Thankfully, Lion’s Mane has no identified withdrawal effects or addictive properties. Studies have demonstrated this by examining people at two different times: while they take the supplement and for some time after they have stopped taking it. From these studies, there are no reported withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the only observable change is that the mental benefits gained by the participants went away after they stopped supplementing (Mori, 2009).
Are there any side effects?
Most studies evaluating Lion’s Mane do not report any side effects for those supplementing. However, in one study, four participants dropped out because they experienced abdominal discomfort, nausea, and skin rash (Li, 2020).
The best way to avoid any potential side effects, such as nausea, is to take your supplements with food. Check out our dosing guide for more information.
Is Lion’s Mane legal?
Hericium erinaceus, the Latin name for Lion’s Mane, is legal in all forms to purchase: supplements, extract, fruiting body, and mycelium.
Depending on where you live, it may also be legal to forage. In the U.S., foraging for Lion’s Mane is legal. In the UK, it is illegal to forage for Hericium eirnaceum since 1981 (see the Wildlife and Countryside Act). No matter where you live, check your local guidelines on foraging. Laws vary not just by country, but by state or territory. Even if foraging for Lion’s Mane is legal, it may only be legal to forage mushrooms in certain parks or lands.
Lion’s Mane isn’t psychedelic, so you won’t get high or experience any hallucinogenic effects. Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom with a variety of health-boosting compounds that may improve your health over long-term supplementation. Studies show that one to two months of supplementation may provide mental benefits like improved cognition, memory, and mood.