Subscribe Today & Receive 15% Off

< class="article__title title is-lions-mane-psychedelic-we-discovered-the-truth"> Is Lion's Mane Psychedelic? We Discovered The Truth!>
Is Lion's Mane Psychedelic? We Discovered The Truth!
Feb 07, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Is Lion's Mane Psychedelic? We Discovered The Truth!

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 15 min read
Is Lion's Mane Psychedelic? We Discovered The Truth!

Lion's Mane is not a psychedelic mushroom. While it has gained popularity for its potential cognitive and neurological health benefits, it does not contain psychoactive compounds like psilocybin or psilocin found in psychedelic mushrooms. 

Instead, Lion's Mane contains bioactive compounds, such as hericenones and erinacines, which are believed to support brain function, memory, and overall nervous system health. For this reason, Lion's mane mushrooms are often called a 'brain tonic.' 

Lion's Mane's brain health benefits result from neurogenesis. The bioactive constituents in Lion's Mane can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of NGF (nerve growth factor), facilitating new brain cell generation. 

In this article, we will take a deeper look at how Lion's mane mushrooms operate. Moreover, we will show you why the adaptogenic mushroom differs from shrooms or magic mushrooms, which cause hallucinations. 

What is Lion's Mane Mushroom: Appearance, Historical Use, and Recent Discoveries

What is Lion's Mane Mushroom: Appearance, Historical Use, and Recent Discoveries

Description of Lion's Mane

Lion's mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are unique, edible fungi characterized by their cascading, icicle-like spines, and white, fur-like appearance. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, Lion's mane mushrooms grow on hardwood trees in the wild and are also cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Interesting Read: Learn how to grow Lion's Mane at home.

The Historical Use Of Lion's Mane In Traditional Medicine

Lion's mane medicinal mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to enhance cognitive function and promote overall health. The benefits of Lion's Mane have been revered for their potential to support the nervous system, immune function, and digestive health.

The Growing Interest In Lion's Mane For Its Health Benefits

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in taking Lion's mane mushrooms for their numerous health benefits. In addition, research on the benefits of Lion's Mane has expanded, revealing potential cognitive-enhancing and neuroprotective properties. As a result, Lion's mane extract has become increasingly popular as a dietary supplement for those seeking to improve brain function and support overall health.

Taking Lion's Mane has been linked to several positive effects, including enhanced memory and focus and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Moreover, Lion's mane mushroom benefits extend beyond cognitive function, as studies have shown that it possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may contribute to its neuroprotective effects.

The growing interest in the benefits of Lion's Mane has led to a surge in the availability of Lion's Mane extract supplements and products, making it easier for individuals to experience the potential advantages of taking Lion's Mane. With ongoing research and a long history in traditional medicine, Lion's mane mushrooms continue to captivate health enthusiasts seeking natural ways to boost cognitive function and overall well-being.

The Difference Between Lion's Mane and Psychedelic Mushrooms

The Difference Between Lion's Mane and Psychedelic Mushrooms

Defining Psychedelic Mushrooms

Psychedelic mushrooms, also known as Psilocybin mushrooms or "magic mushrooms," contain psychoactive compounds called psilocybin and psilocin. These psychedelic compounds induce hallucinogenic effects and altered perceptions when ingested. Unlike Lion's mane mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms are typically sought for their mind-altering properties rather than their potential health benefits.

Lion's Mane And Its Bioactive Compounds

Hericium Erinaceus, commonly known as Lion's mane mushrooms, are a type of medicinal mushroom that contains beneficial compounds called hericenones and erinacines. These compounds have been shown(1) to promote nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis in the brain, facilitating Lion's mane neurogenesis.

NGF is essential for maintaining and growing brain cells. Therefore, the potential benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms, such as improved cognitive function and protection against neurodegenerative diseases, are primarily due to these bioactive compounds.

Comparing The Effects And Purposes Of Both Types Of Mushrooms

Lion's mane mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms serve different purposes and have distinct effects on human health. While psychedelic mushrooms are primarily used for their mind-altering, psychoactive properties, Lion's mane mushrooms are sought for their potential health benefits and incorporation into a wellness routine.

Lion's mane mushrooms are considered adaptogenic, meaning they help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance. In addition, these functional mushrooms have been shown to(2) support the immune system and gut health and even help with mild cognitive impairment. Lion's Mane is legal in most countries and contains no psychoactive or psychedelic properties.

On the other hand, psychedelic mushrooms are used recreationally or in some therapeutic settings for their mind-altering effects. However, they are not typically considered medicinal mushrooms, as their primary purpose is to induce altered states of consciousness rather than to provide health benefits.

Health Benefits of Lion's Mane

Health Benefits of Lion's Mane

Cognitive Function And Neuroprotection

Hericium Erinaceus, or Lion's Mane, is a functional mushroom gaining popularity for its potential benefits in improving cognitive function and providing neuroprotection

Research has shown that(3) the beneficial compounds found in Lion's Mane can enhance memory and learning capabilities, making it a valuable addition to medicinal mushrooms known for supporting brain health. Lion's Mane may also play a role in mitigating the effects of cognitive decline associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Antioxidant And Anti-Inflammatory Properties

In addition to its cognitive benefits, Lion's Mane exhibits antioxidant(4) and anti-inflammatory properties(5). These properties may protect the brain and overall health, setting Lion's Mane apart from psychoactive mushrooms often used for spiritual practices rather than health benefits.

Immune System Support

Lion's Mane can also support the immune system thanks to its unique composition of polysaccharides and other bioactive compounds. These components can help modulate immune responses and promote gut health, improving overall well-being. As a functional mushroom, Lion's Mane offers a natural way to strengthen the immune system, unlike other mushrooms that may not have the same therapeutic potential.

Other Potential Benefits

Lion's Mane has been researched for(6) its potential benefits in alleviating depressive symptoms and promoting new brain cell growth through neurogenesis. While more research is needed to understand the extent of these benefits fully, early findings suggest that Lion's Mane may offer a range of therapeutic applications beyond its well-established cognitive functions.

Safety and Consumption of Lion's Mane

Safety and Consumption of Lion's Mane

Recommended Lion's Mane Dosage

As with any supplement, following the recommended dosage for Lion's Mane is essential to experience its full benefits. Although no one-size-fits-all dosage exists for functional mushrooms like Lion's Mane, most experts suggest starting with a daily dose of 500-3,000 mg, divided into two or three doses

Potential Side Effects

Lion's Mane is generally considered safe for consumption, with few reported side effects. However, individuals with a mushroom allergy should avoid Lion's Mane, as allergic reactions can occur. 

In addition, some people might experience mild gastrointestinal discomforts, such as gas or bloating, when first incorporating Lion's Mane into their diet. However, these side effects are usually temporary and can be mitigated by starting with a lower dosage and gradually increasing it over time.

Precautions And Interactions With Other Medications

While Lion's Mane is a natural and safe functional mushroom, it's essential to be aware of any potential interactions with medications or pre-existing conditions. For example, Lion's Mane has been shown to(7) improve the body's ability to manage diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels. As a result, individuals taking medications for diabetes or other conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before adding Lion's Mane or any adaptogenic mushrooms to their regimen.

How to Incorporate Lion's Mane Into Your Diet

How to Incorporate Lion's Mane Into Your Diet

As a functional mushroom, Hericium Erinaceus, or Lion's Mane, offers numerous health benefits without any psychoactive effects. Incorporating Lion's Mane into your diet is a natural and legal way to support cognitive function, immune system health, and overall well-being. Here are some ideas for adding Lion's Mane to your meals:

Use Lion's Mane Supplements

One of the easiest ways to include Lion's Mane in your daily routine is by taking supplements. These are typically available as capsules, powders, or extracts from the mushroom's fruiting body. Choose a high-quality Lion's mane product from a reputable supplement brand and follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided by the manufacturer or your healthcare professional.

Cooking With Fresh Lion's Mane

It can be a delicious and nutritious meal addition if you can find fresh Lion's Mane at your local grocery store or farmers' market. Lion's Mane has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a tender, meaty texture that can be easily incorporated into various dishes.

To prepare fresh Lion's Mane, gently clean it by brushing off dirt or debris, then slice or tear it into smaller pieces. It can be sautéed, roasted, or even grilled, making it a versatile and tasty ingredient in your culinary creations.

Recipes And Ideas For Incorporating Lion's Mane Into Meals

There are countless ways to include Lion's Mane in your diet. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sautéed Lion's Mane: Sauté Lion's Mane with garlic, onions, and your favorite herbs for a simple yet flavorful side dish.
  • Lion's mane stir-fry: Add Lion's Mane to a vegetable stir-fry, along with bell peppers, broccoli, and tofu or your choice of protein, for a delicious and healthy meal.
  • Lion's mane pasta: Toss cooked pasta with sautéed Lion's Mane, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a tasty and nutritious dinner.
  • Lion's mane "crab" cakes: Combine shredded Lion's Mane with breadcrumbs, egg, and seasonings to make a vegetarian alternative to crab cakes.

Incorporating Lion's Mane into your diet is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of this functional mushroom without worrying about psychoactive effects. Whether you choose supplements or fresh Lion's Mane, adding this unique and flavorful ingredient to your meals can support your overall well-being.

FAQs About 'Is Lion's Mane Psychedelic?

Does Lion's Mane Make You High?

No, Lion's Mane mushroom does not make you high. It is not known to have psychoactive effects and therefore does not make you high in the way that psychedelic mushrooms and drugs like marijuana or hallucinogens might. 

While some people may report feeling more alert or focused after consuming Lion's Mane, this is not due to any psychoactive properties of the mushroom. Instead, it is likely due to the potential cognitive-enhancing effects of its bioactive compounds.

How Does Lion's Mane Make You Feel?

Some people report feeling various effects after taking Lion's Mane, including improved mental clarity and focus, reduced anxiety and depression, increased energy, improved sleep, and reduced inflammation. 

Lion's Mane is thought to support the production of nerve growth factors in the brain, which can help to improve cognitive function, memory, and focus. In addition, some research has suggested that Lion's Mane may have anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, potentially helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. 

Lion's Mane may improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Additionally, Lion's Mane contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Read More: See how taking Lion's Mane before bed can benefit your sleep

Is Lion's Mane Addictive?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that Lion's Mane is addictive. Lion's Mane is a natural supplement derived from a mushroom and is not known to contain addictive substances. 

While Lion's Mane is not addictive, it's essential to use it responsibly and to follow dosage instructions carefully. Taking excessive amounts of Lion's Mane may lead to unwanted side effects and harm your health.

Read More: See our detailed guide on whether Lion's Mane is addictive

Is Lion's Mane A Nootropic?

Lion's Mane is considered a nootropic, a substance that can improve cognitive function, including memory, creativity, and focus. It contains compounds called erinacines and hericenones, which stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. 

NGF is a protein that plays a crucial role in the growth and maintenance of neurons, which transmit information in the brain. Therefore, the mushroom's ability to increase NGF production makes it a nootropic. 

Key Takeaways

Is Lion's Mane mushroom psychedelic? Fortunately, no, it is not. Psychedelic mushrooms, commonly referred to as magic mushrooms, are varieties of mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a psychedelic substance that occurs naturally and gives users a high. Psilocybin is not present in Lion's Mane; hence you do not have to worry about Lion's Mane psychedelic effects.

Lion's mane mushroom, however, has many mental health benefits. Studies show that this type of fungi functions as a brain health booster, with each dose you add to your diet providing positive changes in your cognitive function. The mushroom boosts your memory, fights brain fog, gives you clarity, and even fights brain health issues like Alzheimer's and dementia. 

Making Lion's mane part of your life is extremely easy—you can use products like capsules, powders, and tinctures. However, while men, women, and children do not have to worry about hallucinations when using Lion's mane mushrooms, the mushroom may have some side effects. However, talking to a doctor before using the mushroom can help avoid side effects.

Have you used Lion's Mane before? What benefits did you enjoy? Let us know in the comment section.

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (1) 
  2. Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (2) 
  3. Dietary Supplementation of Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (3) 
  4. Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom, (4) 
  5. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion's Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages, (5)
  6. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder, (6) 
  7. Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (7)

Let Us Know Your Comments