Reishi mushrooms have made a name for themselves as one of the best mushrooms for brain health. However, with the health benefits of Reishi on the brain, some people often want to know whether hallucinations are one of its side effects.
Moreover, there is a theory that the inhabitants of Central Asia formerly used the enigmatic reishi mushrooms as a psychedelic. Its psychedelic properties have also been the subject of recent research.
So, are Reishi mushrooms psychedelic? While Reishi mushrooms do not contain any known psychedelic compounds, they have some psychoactive properties that could produce mild psychedelic effects. But overall, Ganoderma lucidum is not a psychedelic mushroom.
Then what is this commotion around Reishi mushroom hallucinogen effects? Let's find out!
Reishi Medicinal Mushroom: Its Rise To Fame As A Medicinal Mushroom
Reishi mushrooms, or Ganoderma lucidum, are much more than a glorious fungus with an earthy flavor.
Read More: Learn about the Reishi mushroom taste.
The mushroom has been a part of traditional medicinal practices for more than 2000 years. Reishi was prized for its capacity to protect and nurture the shen, the Chinese term for the idea of a person's unique soul—the consciousness that resides within the heart.
Also known as Ling Zhi, Chizhi, or Zizhi, Reishi mushrooms' main claim to fame is their ability to boost the immune system. Ganoderma contains a host of bioactive compounds like triterpenoids and beta-glucans that have been the subject of numerous scientific studies. These act as immunomodulators and prebiotics that help our immune system activate in times of need.
Today, reishi supplements improve the mental health of their users. For example, reishi mushrooms carry adaptogens that help the body adapt to stressful conditions and environments. Because of its adaptogens, Reishi has depression benefits—the mushroom fights stress that often grows into depression by helping the body adapt and embrace this stress.
Moreover, as part of its mental health benefits, Reishi has anxiety benefits. These functional mushrooms help people relax when they are in situations that tend to stimulate feelings of anxiety.
These mental health benefits of Reishi are legal. However, you may also wonder whether there are side effects like hallucinations in addition to the functional mushroom's lawful uses. Do you start seeing things that are not there after taking reishi powder?
The information in the following section will help you figure out the answer to this question often asked in almost all corners of the world by people new to reishi products.
Is Reishi Mushroom Psychedelic?
The answer to this question is a BIG NO. Reishi is not one of the psilocybin mushrooms. When you take the proper reishi mushroom dosage and follow your doctor's advice, you will not have to worry about side effects like hallucinations.
Reishi magic mushrooms don't have the same psychedelic effects as LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin. Instead, this traditional Chinese medicine is said to offer users a meditative-like sensation. As a result, people call Reishi "mushrooms of immortality."
By definition, a psychedelic is any chemical that broadens our consciousness. Reishi assists us in establishing connections with a more significant, mythic condition of being.
The mushroom is a Shen expander and has the power to alter how we perceive reality. However, it does so in a far more subtle way than a substance like psilocybin.
Therefore, Reishi is not one of those pronounced psychedelic mushrooms that bring up hallucinations and mental health issues that can affect your day-to-day functioning. Instead, taking Reishi at the right time (say, in the morning) gives you biomolecular and clinical aspects that make you more productive by improving your brain's ability to process information throughout the day.
You can see Reishi's beneficial psychedelic-like effects at 200 mg to 300 mg and when you take the capsules twice daily. The mushroom is entirely safe, and you can consume it with pharmaceuticals.
Let's look at how the mushroom may offer psychedelic-like effects.
Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms Has Anti-Depressant-Like Activity
Reishi mushroom is promising in treating depression—it is an effective plant medicine for helping people eliminate the signaling pathway that causes depression. It is the ideal herb and supplement for treating anxiety and depression since it can bring calmness and peace and genuinely soothe the nervous system.
Additionally, it can assist us in preparing our minds and addressing our consciousness to find the source of the issue. Finally, this allows us to let it go and go on with our lives to something more meaningful and appropriate.
Even in a 2017 study (1), researchers explored the antidepressant-like activity of the alcoholic extract of Ganoderma Lucidum. Mice were given the mushroom extract at an oral dose of 20 mg/kg, 75 mg/kg, and 130 mg/kg. Fluoxetine (20 mg/kg) was the antidepressant medication used as the standard drug.
Based on the study's results and the parameters measured, researchers concluded that the extract of Ganoderma lucidum has antidepressant activity.
Ganoderma Lucidum Is An Adaptogenic Herb
A person can adapt to various environmental, biological, psychological, and physical challenges with an "adaptogen." Reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that restores equilibrium in a person.
There are two primary compounds in Reishi mushroom:
- Polysaccharides: These include glucans and the gandelans A and B. The immune system appears to be the primary target of polysaccharides.
- Triterpenes: These include ergosterol, ganodermadiol, and ganoderic acids. Triterpenes contain hormone-like properties that affect the endocrine and neurological systems, blood lipids, allergies, and blood pressure.
According to research, these adaptogens increase your body's production of specific proteins that aid in coping with stress and maintaining healthy cortisol levels. This stress hormone has been associated with excess anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and digestive issues.
Read More: See how Reishi improves your sleep quality.
Reishi Mushrooms Boost Memory
Interestingly, one of the mental health benefits of Reishi is its ability to improve memory. Several research studies have confirmed that the Reishi mushroom is exceptionally effective in boosting memory.
One research study was conducted in 2017 (2). The research study aimed to determine Reishi's impact on Alzheimer's disease. The researchers used mice with Alzheimer's disease (a condition characterized by memory loss) as the test subjects in the research study.
The researchers concluded that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides encourage the growth of neural progenitor cells and improve cognitive function in the mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Based on the research, the scientists concluded that Reishi might be used as a regenerative therapeutic agent to treat cognitive decline brought on by neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer's.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights Alzheimer's.
A second research study was conducted in 2019 (3) to investigate Reishi's ability to boost memory—just like the 2017 study, the 2019 study used mice as the test subjects.
In the 2019 study, researchers assessed the nootropic activity following the oral administration of two different doses (150 and 300 mg/kg) of ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum. Physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg) and Scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg) were used as positive and negative controls. The control was distilled water.
Morris water maze and Elevated Plus Maze were employed to evaluate the learning process. Initial transfer latency and retention transfer latency were assessed in the raised plus maze. TSTQ (time spent in the target quadrant) and transfer latency were assessed in the Morris water maze. Open-field testing was used to evaluate locomotor activity. Ellman's approach was also used to estimate acetylcholinesterase (AchE) biochemically.
The study's findings demonstrated that the Ganoderma lucidum extract dramatically shortened the escape latency (EL) and lengthened the time spent in the target quadrant (TSTQ) in the Morris water maze model. In contrast, the elevated plus maze model showed a reduction in the Initial Transfer Latency (ITL) and Retention Transfer Latency (RTL).
The results of this investigation demonstrated that Ganoderma lucidum has a physostigmine-like impact on the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AchE) in the brain. This further suggested that the mushroom can improve memory.
Research studies have confirmed that psychedelics can play a crucial role in boosting memory. One such study was conducted in 2021.
In the 2021 study (4), researchers concluded that classic psychedelics make autobiographical memories more vivid and frequently prompt their recall and re-experiencing. In addition, these memories are often emotionally charged (positively or negatively valenced) and were avoided and forgotten before the experience.
Reishi can boost memory. Since classic psychedelics produce a similar effect, the mushroom is one of the few fungi that produce a positive psychedelic-like effect.
Read More: See how Lion's mane boosts memory.
How Reishi Is A Non-Psychedelic
After reading how Reishi mushrooms produce positive psychedelic-like effects, you may have assumed that the mushroom is fully psychedelic. But, surprisingly, this is not the case.
Below, we will examine how Reishi, like Cordyceps and Chaga mushrooms, identifies as a non-psychedelic product.
The Mushroom Improves Sleep Quality
Psychedelics impact the quality of sleep negatively. Various research studies have confirmed this—one such study was conducted in 2020 (5).
In a randomized, double-blinded design, twenty healthy volunteers (10 women, ages 28-53) had two drug administration sessions, receiving either psilocybin or a placebo. Slow-wave activity (SWA) during the first sleep cycle, whole-night EEG spectral power across frequencies in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and REM sleep, changes in subjective sleep measurements, and changes in sleep macrostructure were all examined.
The findings showed a tendency toward shortening overall REM sleep duration and prolonging REM sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) following psilocybin treatment. However, NREM sleep patterns remained unaltered.
When the effects of psilocybin were seen over the entire night, neither REM nor NREM power spectra were affected. Psilocybin, however, reduced Slow-wave activity (SWA) during the first sleep cycle.
The 2020 study indicates that psychedelics affect sleep negatively. However, when people take reishi mushrooms, they enjoy better sleep. Several research studies have analyzed the impact of reishi mushrooms on sleep.
One study (6) investigated reishi mushrooms' effect on sleep quality in 2021. The researchers concluded that sleep latency was inversely connected with reishi extract-enriched gut bacteria and metabolites, such as Bifidobacterium, Bifidobacterium animalis, indole-3-carboxylic acid, and acetylphosphate.
In contrast, sleep duration and hypothalamic 5-hydroxytryptamine concentration were positively correlated. After antibiotic-induced gut microbiota loss, the reishi sleep enhancement effect and the changed fecal metabolites associated with sleep behaviors vanished. The findings from the study demonstrated that reishi extract induces sleep in mice via a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-related route.
Another research study was conducted in 2021 (7) to determine the effect of Ganoderma Lucidum on insomnia. The research study concluded that Ganoderma could be an adjunctive treatment for insomnia-related issues.
This shows that reishi mushroom does not carry one of the harmful side effects of psychedelics. The fact that the Reishi mushroom improves sleep quality means it is not fully psychedelic.
What Is Reishi Mushroom Extract Good For?
Reishi mushroom extracts have numerous health-promoting benefits. This traditional herbal medicine aids with high blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels, respiratory problems like asthma, and heart diseases. Additionally, it can help kill cancer cells and fight infections and oxidant injury.
Read More: See how Reishi fights cancer.
What Can You Not Take With Reishi?
In high dosages, the Reishi mushroom increases the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Therefore, you should not take the Reishi mushroom with blood-thinning medications.
Is Reishi Psychoactive?
Reishi mushroom is not a psychoactive fungus as it doesn't contain psychedelic compounds like psilocybin and psilocin.
Is Reishi mushroom psychedelic? We now know that it is not.
But the mushroom does give us a meditative-like sensation and is generally thought to help us connect with a more universal, mythic state of being. Scientific studies also show its apoptogenic and anti-depressant-like effects.
The mushroom does not give you a high but holistically improves your health. Try the mushroom to experience the magic yourself!
Have you taken Reishi mushrooms before? How did the mushroom improve your brain health and brain performance? Let us know in the comments.
- Antidepressant-Like Activity of Ethanol Extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in Mice, (1)https://www.ijmrhs.com/abstract/antidepressantlike-activity-of-ethanol-extract-of-ganoderma-lucidum-reishi-in-mice-12351.html
- Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum Promote Cognitive Function and Neural Progenitor Proliferation in Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5233449/
- Effect of Ganoderma lucidum on memory and learning in mice, (3)https://clinphytoscience.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40816-019-0101-7
- The acute effects of classic psychedelics on memory in humans, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33420592/
- The Effects of Daytime Psilocybin Administration on Sleep: Implications for Antidepressant Action, (5)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.602590/full
- Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice, (6)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92913-6
- Exploration of the anti-insomnia mechanism of Ganoderma by central-peripheral multi-level interaction network analysis, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8555286/