Microdosing has emerged as a trending subject, capturing growing interest in contemporary discussions. The practice revolves around ingesting minimal amounts of psychedelic compounds like psilocybin mushrooms and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), carefully calibrated to avoid hallucinations and adverse effects commonly linked to these substances.
- Mycologist and author Paul Stamets introduced the Stamets Stack, a microdosing protocol involving psilocybin, Lion’s Mane, and niacin.
- Psilocybin microdosing entails regularly self-administering small quantities (1/10 to 1/20 of a typical dose) to avoid impairment of normal human functioning.
- The Stamets Stack is believed to offer cognitive enhancement and neuroregenerative effects, among other potential benefits.
- Psilocybin is illegal in many countries, and psychedelic microdosing lacks definitive evidence regarding its effectiveness and safety.
Paul Stamets, a pioneering mycologist and author, introduced the groundbreaking microdosing method known as the ‘Stamets Stack.’ Comprising psilocybin, Lion’s Mane, and niacin, this stack aims to enhance cognition and promote brain health.
Before delving deeper into this article, it’s crucial to recognize that psilocybin falls under Schedule I drugs according to U.S. law, indicating substances with no recognized medical uses and a high potential for abuse.
This classification makes the possession or cultivation of psilocybin-containing mushrooms illegal for personal use or sale. Similar regulations exist in various countries. However, ongoing efforts to decriminalize psilocybin are underway, supported by studies highlighting its potential in treating mood and substance use disorders.
Who is Paul Stamets?
Paul Stamets is an American mycologist, author, and advocate for the benefits of fungi. Born on July 17, 1955, Stamets has dedicated his life to the study of mushrooms and other fungi. He is considered one of the leading experts in mycology, the scientific study of fungi.
Stamets is known for his work on the health benefits of mushrooms, particularly their medicinal properties. He has written several books on the subject, including “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World” and “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms.” In his research, Stamets explores the potential of mushrooms for various applications, from environmental uses to human health.
One of Stamets’ notable contributions is the development of the “Stamets Stack,” a combination of psilocybin, Lion’s Mane mushroom, and niacin, which is proposed to have cognitive and neuroregenerative effects when used in microdosing.
In addition to his scientific work, Stamets is a popular speaker and has appeared in various documentaries and interviews to share his knowledge and insights on the fascinating world of fungi.
What is Microdosing?
Microdosing involves taking a small dose of a psychedelic substance, typically 1/10 to 1/20 of a normal dose, such as 0.1g-0.3g of psilocybin mushrooms. The practice aims to harness the positive effects without inducing hallucinations or adverse effects.
Possible Benefits of Microdosing:
- Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Aid in alleviating tobacco and alcohol dependence.
- Improved focus.
- Enhanced creativity levels.
- Increased energy.
- Emotional openness.
- Enhanced self-awareness.
Other substances, like Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), are also used for microdosing. While studies on microdosing psychedelics are limited, its rising popularity and positive impact on anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders are driving more research into its effects on mood, cognition, and overall wellness.
The Stamets Microdosing Stack
The Stamets Stack is a protocol designed by Paul Stamets, with a pending patent application, believed to enhance neuroregeneration and cognition in humans.
What We Know:
- Stamets Stack is a cognition-enhancing and neuroregeneration stack.
- Components include mushroom supplements: psilocybin mushrooms, Lion’s mane mushrooms, and niacin.
- Psilocybin mushrooms and Lion’s mane may jointly create new neurons and repair neurological damage.
- Niacin serves as an anti-abuse component and acts as a vasodilator, aiding psilocybin’s distribution across the blood-brain barrier.
Note: Microdose Bros is not affiliated with Paul Stamets. For our version of the Stamets Stack, click here.
The Stamets Stack is a blend intended to synergistically enhance and repair neurological functions.
A stack merges a psychoactive microdosing substance with a non-psychoactive microdosing substance, producing a synergistic effect.
Unlocking the Power of Lion’s Mane: Exploring Its Benefits and Uses Lion’s Mane, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, is a non-psychedelic functional mushroom renowned for promoting brain health and combating inflammation. Discover the rich history, traditional uses, and compelling research behind this extraordinary fungus.
Niacin Vitamin B3, or Niacin, is a vital water-soluble B vitamin found naturally in foods like beef liver and brown rice, and available as a dietary supplement. It plays a crucial role in converting food into energy and maintaining the health of the skin, nervous system, and digestive system.
Niacin acts as a flushing agent, causing vasodilation and facilitating the transportation of psilocybin and lion’s mane molecules across the blood-brain barrier, enhancing their benefits. Paul Stamets underscores its importance, emphasizing that most neuronal development occurs in nerve extremities.
As an anti-abuse agent, niacin is a key component of the stack. Flushing, induced by 30 to 50 mg of niacin, leads to redness of the skin on the face, chest, and arms due to the dilatation of small dermal blood vessels. Sensations of tingling, burning, and itching accompany flushing. While these effects are normal and temporary, occurring within 30 minutes after ingestion, they provide a significant reason to avoid niacin overdose. Overdosing can result in more severe side effects, including diarrhea, increased bleeding, hypotension, and impaired vision.
It may result in more pronounced side effects:
- At doses exceeding 500mg/day, individuals may experience diarrhea, easy bruising, and increased bleeding from wounds.
- At doses surpassing 1000 mg/day, adverse effects may include hypotension and impaired vision.
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Magic mushrooms, scientifically referred to as psilocybin mushrooms, represent the most extensively researched classic psychedelics with clinical applications. Psychedelics are a category of psychoactive hallucinogenic drugs known for their capacity to alter perception, mood, and cognitive processes.
Psilocybin serves as the principal active compound in psilocybin mushrooms, undergoing conversion into its active form, psilocin, within the body. These mushrooms have a rich history of spiritual use in Latin America.
Psilocybin microdosing involves the repetitive self-administration of small quantities of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, carefully calibrated to avoid interference with normal human functioning.
In a randomized, double-blind trial conducted by John Hopkins researchers in 2016, the impact of psilocybin on life-threatening cancer patients was assessed. The findings revealed a substantial and sustained reduction in depression and anxiety among the patients.
A pilot study in 2017 examined the long-term effects of a psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation program, conducted 12 months or more after psilocybin administration. At the 12-month follow-up, 10 out of 15 participants were confirmed as abstinent, suggesting psilocybin’s potential role in promoting long-term smoking cessation.
According to Paul Stamets, psilocybin has the potential to enhance intelligence, kindness, and courage, attributing these effects to its ability to stimulate neurogenesis, the growth of nervous system tissue.
To determine the appropriate dosage for a psilocybin stack, Paul Stamets, in his presentation at the Psychedelic Science 2017 conference, recommends the following formula tailored for a 74 kg individual:
- Psilocybin mushrooms:
- Low dose: 0.1 g
- Medium dose: 0.1–0.3 g
- High dose: ≥ 0.3 g of dried mushrooms
For those new to Stamets’ stack or beginners, it is advisable to commence with the low or medium dose recommendations.
- Lion’s mane mushrooms:
- 5 to 20 grams of the 1% concentration.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3):
- 100 to 200 milligrams.
These dosage guidelines provide a structured approach for individuals seeking to explore the benefits of the psilocybin stack, with specific recommendations based on weight and experience level.
Benefits and Safety:
Stacking together psilocybin, Lion’s mane, and niacin offers a synergistic effect on cognition and neurological growth. Stamets said stacking psilocybin and Lion’s mane creates an entourage effect of neurogenesis (in animals) in one session of the Bioneers virtual conference.
Some benefits of the stack, as described by Paul Stamets, include:
- Promotion of neurogenesis.
- Reduced anxiety and depression.
- Improved memory and cognition.
- Improved motor skills.
- Stabilized mood.
- Enhanced creativity.
- Improved hearing and vision.
- A greater sense of interconnection.
- Relief from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms.
- Reduced incidence of neuropathy.
- Increased ability to socialize, empathize, and feel courageous.
- Enhanced self-awareness.
The combination of these elements in the stack provides a range of benefits, contributing to mental well-being and cognitive enhancement. As always, it is crucial to approach such practices with caution and be aware of individual sensitivities.
A question may arise: “Is the stack safe?” The answer is that we do not know for sure as there are no clinical trials yet confirming the safety of the stack.
However, the individual components of the stack are generally safe. They do not have serious adverse effects when consumed in the recommended doses.
- Niacin can cause an allergic reaction.
- It can interact with alcohol and other drugs like antidiabetic medications.
- For health reasons, it is not recommended for people with: Liver disease; Kidney disease; Diabetes; Gout; Peptic ulcer disease.
- There are few studies about niacin in pregnant women, lactating mothers, seniors, and children.
Consult a healthcare provider if you are uncertain about niacin before starting Stamet’s stack.
Safety considerations are paramount, and it is crucial to be aware of potential interactions and contraindications, particularly with the use of niacin. Seeking professional advice is advisable, especially for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
Considerations and Guidelines:
Microdosing Protocol: The microdosing protocol recommended by Paul Stamets on Joe Rogan’s show is four days on and three days off to avoid building tolerance to psilocybin. Complete a four-week cycle and take a two to four weeks break before restarting the process.
Niacin Dosage: You can reduce the flushing effects of niacin by gradually increasing the dose over time. Avoid the no-flush niacin type because it will not work with the protocol. Note that the daily recommended intake of niacin is 14 mg to 16 mg, and the stack recommends a higher dose, though it is not likely to be toxic unless in higher doses (1000 mg upwards). Also, niacin doses greater than 1000mg/day can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage.
Legal and Sourcing Considerations:
- Psilocybin is illegal in many countries, and unauthorized cultivation or possession could land you in jail.
- Get your psilocybin mushrooms from a trusted source, as it is easy to get poisoned with the wrong type of mushroom because many mushrooms look alike.
These considerations and guidelines are essential for a safe and effective experience with the psilocybin stack, emphasizing responsible use, proper dosing, and awareness of legal restrictions.
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- J-STAGE. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.
- Food Science and Engineering. View of Neuroprotective and Anticarcinogenic Properties of Hericium Mushrooms and the Active Constituents Associated with These Effects.
- Taylor and Francis Online. Hericenones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF) biosynthesis in Hericium erinaceus.
- International Journal of Molecular Science. Niacin in the Central Nervous System: An Update of Biological Aspects and Clinical Applications.
- National Institute of Health. Niacin – Health Professional Fact Sheet.
- MAPS. Johns Hopkins Study of Psilocybin in Cancer Patients – Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
- The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation.