Although psychoactive compounds are not legal globally, they have never been more widely available.
Case in point; the practice of microdosing and various protocols and methods.
Currently, microdosing is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:
“The action or practice of taking or administering very small amounts of a drug to test or benefit from its physiological action while minimizing undesirable side effects.”
As I’ve said in a previous article called The Complete Definition of Microdosing, these definitions are incomplete, because they do not mention the dosing schedule, duration, or intent.
Definition aside, there is more than one way to microdose. Various protocols have been created, designed, and even patented.
Many of these microdosing protocols include other compounds. The addition of other substances, vitamins, and/or functional mushrooms is called stacking.
What is Stacking?
Stacking in the context of microdosing, particularly with substances like psilocybin mushrooms and functional mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, refers to the practice of combining different supplements or compounds to enhance or complement their individual effects.
This concept is based on the belief that the combined effects of these substances can provide a more comprehensive or enhanced benefit than each would individually.
In a typical “stack”, each component serves a specific purpose.
For instance, the Stamets Stack is named after mycologist Paul Stamets and combines psilocybin with Lion’s Mane mushroom and Niacin (Vitamin B3).
Among the prominent figures in this field is Paul Stamets, a renowned mycologist known for his contributions to mushroom research.
Stamets was on the Joe Rogan podcast twice, which is when most of us were introduced to him in his legendary Transylvanian mushroom hat.
Then came his own Netflix documentary called Fantastic Fungi, and he arguably has become a household name.
Paul is a gregarious character who has spent his entire adult life learning everything he can about the fungi world and teaching it to the rest of us.
How 1 + 1 = 3
Each component of the Neurogenesis Stack plays a distinct role.
Psilocybin: Often used in microdoses, psilocybin is the psychoactive component currently being studied for its potential to affect mood, cognition, and perception.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: This is a non-psychoactive functional mushroom also currently being studied for its potential cognitive benefits.
Niacin (Vitamin B3): This vitamin is added to the stack to potentially enhance the distribution of the compounds from the other mushrooms throughout the body, as niacin can cause vasodilation, increasing blood flow to peripheral tissues.
The idea behind stacking is to create a synergistic effect where the combined benefits of the substances are greater than what they would be if taken separately.
However, it’s important to note that while stacking is a popular practice among microdosing communities, the scientific research supporting the specific benefits of these combinations is still emerging, and more studies are needed to fully understand their effects and potential risks.
Flushing is Not Ideal For Beginners
If you are new to microdosing, this is not the protocol I recommend starting with and there are two big reasons for this.
Firstly, the use of three different compounds makes it more complicated than the Fadiman Protocol where only one substance is used.
Secondly, this is not a very comfortable protocol.
The discomfort is part of the practice and this is in large part due to the inclusion of niacin in this protocol.
Niacin is a vitamin that is crucial in various bodily functions is a part of energy and protein metabolism and is known for its antioxidant properties.
Niacin B3 also induces vasodilation and is therefore believed to help in the distribution of the psilocybin and lion’s compounds.
The Stamets Stack recommends higher doses of niacin than if just supplementing daily.
When taking larger doses of Niacin, the effects of vasodilation are more pronounced and this is called flushing.
Flushing means that the skin develops a very temporary rash. It might feel itchy like a sunburn would, a bit clammy and uncomfortable.
Luckily flushing does not last very long; no more than 30-40 minutes, but is a very necessary part of the practice.
The Protocol in Practice
The guidelines for the Stamets Stack are:
- Take your sweet spot dose of psilocybin and Lion’s Mane on an empty stomach.
- Waiting 20 minutes
- Then take your Niacin B3 vitamin
Approximately 15-30 minutes after taking Niacin, you will notice the flush coming on.
Don’t panic, this is part of the process. Enjoy it as best you can.
The Neurogenesis Protocol schedule is:
Day 1: Microdose Truffles + Lion’s Mane + Niacin
Day 2: Microdose Truffles + Lion’s Mane + Niacin
Day 3: Microdose Truffles + Lion’s Mane + Niacin
Day 4: Microdose Truffles + Lion’s Mane + Niacin
Day 5: Lion’s Mane
Day 6: Lion’s Mane
Day 7: Lion’s Mane
Dosages For Each Compound:
Psilocybin Truffles: Ideal Sweet Spot dose
Lion’s Mane Erinacines/Hericinones: 50 – 200 mg
Niacin: 100 – 200 mg
Start with a low dose of Niacin (±50mg) and increase daily to ensure that flushing happens.
Tolerance to Niacin develops very quickly and you might need to increase the dosage every time you do the protocol to experience a flush.
Despite the discomfort, the Flush is when the magic happens
Duration of the Neurogenesis Protocol:
Niacin B3 at these dosages is NOT recommended for more than 4 weeks at one time.
This protocol is only to be undertaken for a maximum of 4 weeks in total. Then, take a break from Niacin for at least 6-8 weeks
You may continue to take your sweet spot dose of psilocybin for a total of 6-8 weeks but then take a break from psilocybin for 2 – 4 weeks
As for Lion’s Mane, you may continue at the same dosage daily and throughout the year.
Again, the Neurogenesis Stamets Stack is not ideal for beginners.
If you are a newbie and still finding your way around microdosing I strongly recommend that you start with Lion’s Mane first.
Once you have been taking Lion’s Mane for a couple of weeks, then add psilocybin until you have found your ideal sweet spot dose.
Then, once you are comfortable with both psilocybin and Lion’s Mane, add the Niacin B3.
These three compounds should only be used for 4 consecutive days and a maximum of 4 weeks. Then take a break from Niacin for at least 6-8 weeks.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts with this protocol and it is important to understand all the aspects involved.
If you are currently taking any pharmaceutical medication or are experiencing any kind of chronic condition, you must get the ok from your doctor first and foremost.
We at Microdose Pro are enthusiasts of the Neurogenesis Stamets Stack and have curated our own Neurogenesis Pack.
This pack includes dually extracted Lion’s Mane, organic truffles, and Niacin B3, providing a comprehensive approach to exploring this protocol.
Remember, microdosing is a potent personal journey.
Please do your research, consult with your medical team, and proceed with caution.