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Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms with the Stamets Stack

Kyle Dow · November 19th, 2019

Imagine yourself in the body of an ancient ancestor, Homo Erectus, a species of archaic humans that lived millions of years ago. Your primitive drives are predicated on survival and genetic flourishing. The canopy of your natural habitat is deteriorating, forcing you to emerge out into the savannah. As you walk across the grassy fields tracking footprints and scat, you see an unfamiliar fruit body growing from the earth. Hungry and curious, you eat the mushroom.

Soon enough, you’re catapulted into a different consciousness, subject to massive inputs of data. Various parts of your brain interact like never before, distorting your visual field in a way that both terrifies and inspires. Beyond your conscious capacity, neurogenesis begins to initiate, helping you develop a new way of thinking and acting as a catalyst for human evolution.

The Stoned Ape Theory

Paul Stamets is one of the most reputable, decorated, and self-practiced mycologists in the world. He has dedicated his life, energy, and enthusiasm to the study of fungi and is the owner of a gourmet and medicinal mushroom distributor, Fungi Perfecti. Paul has also written six books on mushrooms and starred in a recently released documentary on the amazing benefits of mushrooms, Fantastic Fungi.

Paul’s most recent patent application is for a nootropic stack (a combination of cognitive enhancers) that contains psilocybin mushrooms, lion’s mane, and niacin. He would like to see this supplement available as a vitamin, claiming that its efficacy in epigenetic neurogenesis has the potential to initiate “the next quantum leap in human consciousness.”

When speaking about human evolution, Stamets often discusses the Stoned Ape Theory. Initially proposed by Dennis and Terence McKenna, it is considered one of the first hypotheses to explain the homo sapiens “quantum leap in human consciousness.” The McKenna’s created this narrative to explain the rapid doubling in size of the human brain, which occurred in as little as 200,000 years.

The brothers proposed that in small doses, the psychedelic compound increased visual acuity, making the consumer a better hunter, resulting in an increased food supply and a higher rate of reproduction. Larger doses led to greater arousal and bonding, diversifying the gene pool.

Perhaps this notion is more digestible if one has experienced the profound and expansive states of being from entheogenic substances. Even for the unpracticed psychonaut, one might consider the likelihood of psilocybin catalyzing the evolution of language, strategic thinking, imagination, and the emergence of the arts.

Stamets is a proponent of the Stoned Ape Theory but prefers to call it a hypothesis, indicating it has strong supporting evidence, but no conclusive science to back it. Stamets believes that psilocybin will continue to help humans evolve, raising the level of global consciousness.

Regular, intentional use of this plant medicine is restricted by its categorization as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, suggesting that it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Yet, from clinical research, we know that psilocybin is non-addictive and useful for treating an array of clinical conditions. Paul also speaks to the medicinal benefits of the substance, crediting the plant medicine with curing his chronic stutter in an exceptional experience.

The Evidence

Stamets refers to multiple research studies that show how psilocybin creates an extension of the fear response, creating new neurological pathways when faced with threatening situations. For some, these situations often occur as anxiety interferes with social interactions and the ability to cope with the demands of life. Not only does psilocybin promote courage, but it enhances empathy, two characteristics of quality leaders. In more intentional, clinical applications, the extension of the fear response has proven effective in helping people with PTSD.

Stamets’s primary attraction to combining psilocybin mushrooms and lion’s mane is for its dual capacity to both create new neurons and neural pathways, and also to repair existing neurological damage.

Stamets refers to two mice studies where the scientists intentionally damaged the brains of the mice through the introduction of a neurotoxin. The scientists observed the mice’s behavior and noted that they exhibited dementia-like symptoms. Upon introducing lion’s mane, the effects of the neurotoxin reversed.

“The reduction of beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of mushroom-fed mice vs. the mice not fed any mushrooms was remarkable. The formation of amyloid plaques is what many researchers believe is a primary morphological biomarker associated with Alzheimer’s. Plaques linked to beta-amyloid peptide inflame brain tissue, interfere with healthy neuron transmission, and are indicated in nerve degeneration.”

Lion’s mane and psilocybin mushrooms have a complementary relationship that optimizes returns. Niacin is in the stack for deliverability. Stamets reports that the majority of neurogenesis occurs in the extremities; since niacin works as a flushing agent and carries GABA across the blood-brain barrier, it helps with the distribution of the mushroom molecules. From the combination of these three substances, Stamets hypothesizes the benefits of this nootropic stack:

“This unique combination of compounds can be incorporated into other therapies with such combinations providing unique advantages for medically significant advancements in repairing neurons, removing amyloid plaques, improving mental health, cognition, agility, and improving overall the ecology of consciousness.”

The Stamets Stack

Stamets provides quite a bit of variance in the recommended dose, so it might take some experimentation for what is appropriate for you. Generally, larger people require a larger dose. However, it is best to start with a lower dose and increase the amount bit by bit. Niacin has an uncomfortable effect as it leads to vasodilation and flushing of the skin.

To better gauge your overall sensitivity and risk profile when using hallucinogenic substances, you can use Halugen’s Psychedelics Genetic Test Kit. The test kit analyzes a series of relevant DNA biomarkers, along with data collected from various pre-screening surveys, to provide users with personalized reports & actionable insights into the short and long-term potential of psychedelic-induced risks, such as psychosis.

The Microdosing Protocol

Stamets suggests a dosing protocol of five days on, two days off, so one does not build up a tolerance. A traditional mushroom microdosing protocol is one day on, 2-3 days off. Again, some experimentation might be required to figure out what works best for you. General thoughts on vitamins and supplements are that you should cycle them periodically rather than follow the protocol indefinitely.

Psilocybe Mushroom at 1% = 100mg – 1g
Lion’s Mane = 50 – 200 mg
Niacin = 100 – 200 mg

Of course, microdosing is a science that should be personalized to your unique body, goals, and situation. Third Wave’s Microdosing Course can show you to develop your very own microdosing protocol.

The Future

Humans have more common ancestry with fungi than any other kingdom; humans came from fungi and they are our elders. Mushrooms can kill us, feed us, send us on a spiritual journey, and they can heal us. At the microdose level, psilocybin does not have a noticeable effect. Instead, it has the potential to reduce anxiety, reduce irritability, increase cognitive function and creativity, increase sociability, provide a greater overall sense of wellbeing, and reduce the effects of aging.

This combination of psilocybin mushrooms, lion’s mane, and niacin has the potential to course-correct the direction of humanity by promoting self-awareness, health, well being, and recognition of the interconnectedness of all life.

This blog article uses affiliate links. Third Wave receives a small percentage of the product price if you purchase through any affiliate links. Read our ethics and affiliates policy here.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. AvatarDarren Palliaer says

    Hi
    I’m interested in purchasing this Stamets Stack product. ( Nootropic Psi Vitamin Complex ).
    Is there anywhere in the world I can order this? Money is no issue.
    I don’t care about legalities.
    My health is more important.
    I’m in Australia. Any information is appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Regards
    Darren

  2. AvatarDarren Palliaer says

    Exellent information.
    Much appreciated.
    I only wish I could purchase this product.
    Tried online with no success.
    Please let me know if there is somewhere I can obtain it.
    I am in Australia.
    Thanks.

    • AvatarBill Smith says

      Hi Darren,

      I am in Brisbane and have spent the last month setting everything up to produce the above in capsule form (for myself).

      Let me know if you are still interested and we can communicate through Reddit.

  3. AvatarJean Paul Meek says

    Your suggestion of 1-10 mg of psilocybin as the daily dose is, well, ridiculous in my opinion. 1/1000th of a gram? Really?!? I have read a wide variety of research and the most recent evidence points to between 50-100 mg as the sweet spot. Am I missing something here?!?

    • AvatarAwake4real says

      That was 1-10 mg of Psilocybin or Psilocyn (which are pure extracts or lab made chemicals)
      or
      .1-1G of Psilocybin Mushrooms

  4. AvatarLauran says

    It’s legal to purchase psyllocybin spores in the states and grow your own. Fungi Perfecti sells dried Lions Mane mycellium online. You should be able to buy niacine in any health food store. Hope this helps…

    • AvatarNate says

      This is not quite correct. The spores are legal to purchase in any state except California, Georgia and Idaho, but under no circumstance are they legal to cultivate. They only logical reason to legally use spores in the US is to study them under a microscope.

    • AvatarDavid Wright says

      No the flushing effect is what makes transport across the blood brain barrier easier for larger molecules.

  5. AvatarTracy Leszczynski says

    You were doing well until “Humans came from mushrooms…they are our elders”!? Think you have been taking too many my friend 😂

    • AvatarChris says

      You’re uneducated. Mushrooms were the first biological life over 700,000 years ago there’s a CBC article on this. Look here

  6. AvatarLuke says

    I’m trying to find a source that comments on how to actually ingest the three?

    Do I take them all together, or in a specific order. Any time in between? Do I wait for the flush to take the rest?

    So many questions… LOL

  7. AvatarDiana says

    I’m very interested in this Formulation. I would like to know if Niacin can be substituted for niacinamide. Niacin causes intense burning in flushing in me.

  8. AvatarTavis says

    In response to Luke – I believe stamets said to take the fungi, then ten minutes later take the niacin. Im curious but might try just lions mane and niacin due to legality

    • AvatarRD says

      The niacin is to prepare the nerves for the psilocybin so no use taking it with lions mane. Lion mane covers the exterior of the nerve aka the myelin sheath. Lions mane keeps the outer body of the nerve healthy while the Niacin stimulates the nerve receptors to receive the psilocybin. Try microdosing if you can get access to it. Start with 25mg a day and slowly work your way up. I’m only up and writing this cause I microdosed today. 🙂

  9. AvatarBaseOne says

    I’m making my own stack right now. Does anybody know if it’s okay to combine all ingredients in 1 capsule? I have 500mg capsules so 200mg truffles dried, 200mg lions mane and 100mg niacin? Or is it better to leave the niacin separate and take it later?

    • AvatarNate says

      Great question. Wondering the same thing. Have you had a chance to experiment or found any answers on this?

  10. AvatarJoel McCann says

    Tracy, maybe give recent Joe Rogan podcast a listen with Paul Stamets in it as he explains in greater detail the link between Human’s and mushrooms and just how plausable it really is

  11. AvatarPatrick says

    Trying to get a grasp on the Lions Mane dosage. Is it 50-200 mg of dried LM mushroom, or 5-20 grams? This article seems to present conflicting information

    • AvatarDacian Empire says

      Hi Patrick,

      The recommended dose for Lions Mane is between 50 and 200mg for an active substance of 5-20gr.

  12. AvatarAndrew says

    We humans split from fungi around 650 million years ago Tracy. Have a watch of the doco Fantastic Fungi …. 100% rating on rotten tomatoes.

  13. AvatarWanda Rivera says

    I too am very interested in Nootropic Psi Vitamin Complex. I dont go to Drs cause they will have me on meds that will do more harm than good. Who would I need to contact?

  14. AvatarCalvinK says

    If anyone wants an easy way to cultivate your mushroom spores then take a look at r/unclebens!
    It’s a subreddit that uses Uncle Ben’s rice bags as grain for inoculation.

  15. AvatarIan says

    People growing this shit is literally one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. Once you obtain the spores and you’ve started the growing process if your dog in the next room farts you gotta start all over. They contaminate from thinking negatively lol it blows. so yeah its much easier to buy the finished product.

  16. AvatarTim says

    Still confused about the dosing and contradictory formulas in this article.

    Is it .1 to 1g of mushrooms or 1 – 10mg?

    Is it 5 – 20g of Lions Mane or 5 – 20 mg?

    Thanks

  17. AvatarChris Amacher says

    I’ve been micro dosing since June of this year. I follow Paul’s recommendations with 4 days on 3 days off. This is not intended for recreational purposes. The effects are minuscule on a conscious plane. I’m a veteran and suffer from PTSD, depression and anxiety. I have found that micro dosing has alleviated some of those symptoms from my day to day life. However, I can still have my bad days but they seem few and farther in between. I still seek counseling and I’m honest about my micro dosing with my therapist and doctors. Never have contempt prior to investigation, you will live your life in the dark.

  18. AvatarRoommush says

    Paul Stamets has always said don’t eat the mushroom itself. You will not get any benefits out of it (excluding the psilocybin psychedelic). You can only benefit by taking the EXTRACTED chemicals from these mushrooms in pill, powder and liquid. Sometimes the mushroom specie will need a specific boiling process. Other species require an alcohol extraction process. So it is best to either buy from his store brand name “Host Defense” or the Canadian brand that is sold in America called “Real Mushrooms”. I have researched all the manufacturers. These are the only two reputable manufacturers on the planet. The rest refuse to tell you anything about their product when many of us have emailed, called and written them requests for more information. As of today, these are the common mushroom extracts sold; Royal Sun Blazei, Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Mesima, Turkey Tail. Two are considered the most important; Turkey Tail and Lion’s Mane. But you can do your own homework.

  19. AvatarCurtis says

    Well cyanobacteria is actually the oldest organism on Earth and Paul is actually studying how such bacteria can be causing ALS and how Lions Mane maybe an effective treatment or aid with Lions Mane.

  20. AvatarPaul says

    I’m lost in the dosage- 1-10 mg?
    Can any one help me with a dosag on the niacin and lions mane? I’m taking 125 mg psilocybin 1 day on and 2 off…

  21. AvatarB.F. says

    i’m confused about the dosages listed here- 1-10 mg of psilocybin? everywhere else I see 100-250 mgs. how would you even get 1 mg of this? that’s like 1 piece of dust! and also confused b/c the lions’ mane amount seems way too high. I was just looking at Host Defense and 2 caps of Lions’ Mane contain 1 gram of the shroom, so this article would be suggesting to take 10-40 of those capsules of Lion’s Mane?!?!?!? there’s only 60 caps in the bottle. Kinda seems like when you’re writing an article about micrcodosing, getting the ratios and amounts is key.

    • AvatarGinger Strand says

      Hi B.F., thank you for pointing this out. We can see how the verbiage surrounding “psilocybin” was confusing so we’ve clarified it a bit. Psilocybin is the psychoactive compound that has been isolated from psilocybe mushrooms. Unfortunately, the term “psilocybin” is often used interchangeably with the word “mushroom”, which is confusing and incorrect. Pure psilocybin makes up only a fraction of the psilocybe mushroom, so its dosage does not scale equally. Most of the people using pure psilocybin are research scientists and using that as a baseline for regular people doesn’t translate, so we have changed the terminology in this article to reflect the following: When referencing the stack itself or any practical application of the compound, we’ve changed it to say “psilocybin mushroom” instead of “psilocybin”. When referencing the chemical compound in general, we’ve left it as “psilocybin” since that’s what’s causing the physiological effects.

      As for the overall stack dosage, what we posted is correct. You can see Paul giving a presentation at a MAPS conference here, with the stack recipe at 26:57 mins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFWxWq0Fv0U&ab_channel=MAPS

      Hope that helps!

  22. AvatarJustin says

    This article was great, thank you! It did bring up some questions for me…

    1. The way the ingredients are listed are in a range. When working with different amounts, does the ratio between the 3 ingredients stay the same? For example if I start with .3 of psilocybin, would I also take 15g of lion’s mane and ~130mg niacin? Seems like an obvious yes but maybe people found other ways to work with the amounts.

    2. For the Lion’s Mane @ 1%: 5-20g

    I have a product that is in powder form, the website says the product is made of 100% fruiting bodies and its polysaccharides are 54,000 parts per million (5.4%). Does that mean I take 1-4g of my product? Are the 1% and the 5.4% even related?

    3. Is it bad to take more Lion’s Mane?

    4. Any recommendations on Lion’s Mane products? Has anyone tried Fungi Perfect’s products?

    5. It’s been said that the original protocol was 5 days on, 2 days off, but recently Stamets was said to have recommend 4 days on 3 days off. Any insights or recommendation on this?

    I hope these get answered and are helpful to more people than just me!

    • AvatarGinger Strand says

      Hi Justin, great questions!

      First, it’s best to start at the lowest dose for all three ingredients and gradually move your way up until you think you’ve reached the right dose for you. Whether you increase each ingredient at the same time or do one at a time is up to you (for example, increase the dose of mushrooms but keep the other two the same). That would be a good way to determine the right dose for each ingredient. Note, too, that for some people, .3g of psilocybin mushrooms is more than a microdose. And many people are sensitive to niacin. Everyone’s bodies are different, with different levels of sensitivity and metabolism, so trial and error is really the only way to find what works best for your unique body.

      4. Any recommendations on Lion’s Mane products? Has anyone tried Fungi Perfect’s products?
      ANSWER: Host Defense is Fungi Perfecti’s brand; I take their Lion’s Mane in loose powder form and I like it. It’s best if you put it in a liquid and let it sit for about 10 minutes to reconstitute because the dried powder is grainy otherwise. I totally trust Fungi Perfecti because it’s Paul Stamets’ company and he, as we know, is the Mushroom Man. 🙂

      5. It’s been said that the original protocol was 5 days on, 2 days off, but recently Stamets was said to have recommend 4 days on 3 days off. Any insights or recommendation on this?
      ANSWER: I haven’t heard about Stamets changing his protocol, but James Fadiman’s protocol is 1 day on 2 days off. Again, it’s best to experiment with what works for your body.

      For personalized dosing, it’s best to get one-on-one coaching. There are too many factors to consider to address in a comment thread, including medications you may be on or other health conditions. You might consider talking to one of our Microdosing Coaches (https://thethirdwave.co/microdosing-coaching/), or there are many others out there that you can find with some Google searching.

      Hope that helps!
      Ginger

  23. AvatarRyan Bradley says

    Any thought on using a blend of mushrooms? Lions Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, Maitake. I’ll be experimenting with this anyway but wondering if any has some thoughts on it.

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