Psychedelics are far from reserved for the gen Z in Silicon Valley. It’s not uncommon to read about the microdosing adventures of baby boomers and gen Xs living in the suburbs. By 2013, the National Library of Medicine reported that there were already over 30 million psychedelic users across the USA alone.
The motivations for such prevalent use are wide and varied but for this discussion, we are looking at how the specific use of psilocybin is proving to be a game changer in the field of neurological rehabilitation for a specific demographic of the population.
Paul Stamets is rapidly becoming a household name with many accomplishments under his belt. His multiple conversations with Joe Rogan, discovering new fungi species, creating a Neurogenesis Protocol, holding eight patents, and now, having his own Netflix documentary just to name a few.
In my view, the recent release of a scientific report in Nature proving the benefits of his Neurogenesis Protocol, also widely known as the Stamets Stack, is indeed notable.
To fully grasp the magnitude of these recent research findings, we need to start at the beginning. The Stamets Stack Stamets created is the most precise and layered of all microdosing protocols.
For context, we start by outlining the routine, to then unpack the value in each of its components. Once we’ve covered that, we will discuss why the benefits of the Stamets Stack specifically impact older adults to finally close off with some best practices.
What is the Stamets Stack?
Stacking is a term used when more than one mushroom is used during a microdosing protocol. Many mushrooms (both psychoactive and functional) often have complementary benefits combined.
Stamets came up with the combination of Lion’s Mane and psilocybin as a multifaceted approach to potentially reversing neurological damage.
It’s hypothesized that psilocybin, a psychoactive, and Lion’s Mane, a nootropic, when combined allow for the creation of new neurons and pathways and the repair of any existing damage. Incorporating a vitamin into the stacking protocol is the exception and not the rule.
Adding Niacin to this stack is to more effectively distribute the beneficial compounds in the Lion’s Mane and psilocybin to the brain, therefore working its magic. More on Lion’s Mane and Niacin later.
How the Stamets Protocol Works
When it comes to the Stamets Stack, there is a precise sequence of events that is recommended.
- Take your ‘sweet spot’ dose of microdosing truffles and Lion’s Mane together on an empty stomach
- Wait 20 minutes
- Then take the Niacin B3 vitamin
Approximately 15-10 minutes after taking the Niacin, you will feel some redness and itchiness on your skin that is very similar to a light sunburn known as a ‘flush’.
This is not a comfortable sensation but an important part of the protocol. Flushing is harmless and only lasts for a maximum of 45 minutes.
Start with a low dose of Niacin (±50mg) and increase daily to ensure that flushing happens. We will explain why this is important later on.
The dosage calendar looks like this:
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
Based on a person of 70 kilograms, the following dosages are advised:
Psilocybin Truffles: 0.5 – 1 gram
Lion’s Mane Erinacines/Hericinones: 50 – 200 mg
Niacin: 100 – 200 mg
Take a break from psilocybin for 2 – 4 weeks
Take a break from Niacin for at least 6 weeks
Nb: You may continue with Lion’s Mane daily and throughout the year.
More about Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane is a non-psychoactive nootropic mushroom that comes with a long list of benefits for the brain and overall health. Read more about that in our previous article Lion’s Mane and Brain Health.
Suffice it to say that these endlessly surprising fungi are stimulating enzyme production that releases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This study from ScienceDirect taught us that Niacin is the compound responsible for the production, growth, and maintenance of brain neurons and ultimately supports serotonin production.
NGF also protects the myelin sheath which is the layer around the brain cells that is conducive to stimuli between cells. As we age, the sheaths and therefore conduction speed is compromised causing a decrease in brain functions.
Lion’s Mane is currently being studied for its ability to reduce amyloid plaques that block signals between neurons and are therefore correlated with other neurological diseases.
Last but not least, HealthLine reported on Lion’s Mane’s powerful antioxidants. These anti-oxidants not only reduce systemic inflammation, are supportive of a healthy digestive tract, and ultimately benefit our overall health in very unique and comprehensive ways.
More about Niacin B3
The International Journal of Molecular Science describes Vitamin B3 (Niacin) as a vitamin created in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. Obtained in the diet from a variety of foods, Niacin plays a vital role in energy and protein metabolism. A powerful antioxidant that participates in many enzymatic processes essential for the regeneration of the skin, muscles, nerves, and DNA.
According to Paul Stamet’s currently pending patent, the magic of Niacin happens when it induces vasodilation (expansion of the blood vessels) also known as a ‘flush’. This flushing carries the molecules of the compounds found in Lion’s Mane and psilocybin to carry them across the blood-brain barrier and into every crevice of the nervous system.
This is when neurogenesis occurs, according to Stamets, in the nerve extremities. Niacin is the perfect vehicle to transport the beneficial compounds found in Lion’s Mane and psilocybin.
It is possible to find No Flush Niacin because some people find the flushing rather unpleasant (and it is), however, this is the exact delivery mechanism that unlocks the neuroregenerative benefits.
Important to note:
When taking Niacin, if experiencing liver disease, ulcers, gout, low blood pressure, or decreased kidney function should avoid Niacin but may find that Lion’s Mane and psilocybin are still beneficial.
Why do older adults show the best results from Neurogenesis Stacking?
So far, the benefits of the Stamets Stack have been largely anecdotal. The reports from the field were wonderful, and as usual, we are waiting for science to catch up. Well, it looks like that’s exactly what happened in June of 2022.
The scientific research paper published in Nature has shown that the benefits of the Stamets Stack are most pronounced for older adults, more specifically improvements in psychomotor skills.
Changes in psychomotor skills were measured using the finger tap task requiring participants to tap on two adjacent circles on the screen of a mobile device. Tapping would be in an alternating pattern using the index and middle fingers of the dominant hand.
The results of the study were largely arguable and perhaps even inconclusive when only psilocybin or Lion’s Mane were supplemented. The results came to life when psilocybin, Lion’s Mane, B3, and older age were factored together.
The study reads:
“Supplementary analyses of Psilocybin + HE (Lion’s Mane) vs psilocybin + HE (Lion’s Mane) + B3 * Time revealed a trend toward significance, and the three-way Psilocybin + HE vs psilocybin + HE (Lion’s Mane) + B3 * Time*Age interaction was identified, indicating that effects were more pronounced among older respondents.
The impact of microdosing on tests of cognitive and psychomotor functioning was mixed and limited to psychomotor performance, with no apparent impact on spatial memory or processing speed. Moreover, the magnitude of these effects appeared to be contingent on age and on combining psilocybin with both HE (Lion’s Mane) and B3.”
Finger tapping is a very important metric as it may point toward signs of mild dementia, according to the Sage Medical Journal. Improving the tapping rates and patterns of older adults is proving to be strongly correlated with the prevention of cognitive decline and therefore improving the overall quality of life.
What about everyone else?
So if the Stamets Stack is so beneficial for older adults, can younger adults still benefit from this protocol? Absolutely!
Stamets initially added Lion’s Mane to psilocybin believing that this particular combination has the potential to reduce generalized anxiety, reduce social anxiety, enhance cognition and creativity, reduce the effects of aging and boost the immune system.
If you are a more experienced microdoser and know your sweet spot, you may want to try the Stamets Stack for no longer than one month per season.
After four weeks, you are likely to notice that your eyes are brighter, your skin is glowing, your mind is sharp, your gut is happy and life has a whole new layer of sparkle.
Last tips for the Stamets Stack
- The Stamets Stack is a more advanced protocol and it is recommended that microdosers do a microdosing cycle of truffles and Lion’s Mane only for 4 – 6 weeks. Once you feel comfortable microdosing and know your ‘sweet spot’, only then add the Niacin to your regimen.
- Make sure to take regular breaks between psilocybin doses every few days.
- Start with a low dose of Niacin, increase slowly to make sure you always ‘flush’, after 4 weeks of the Stamets Stack, take a 6-8 week break.
- Be sure to source high-quality dually extracted (ethanol and aqueous) Lion’s Mane for maximum bioavailability.
- Lion’s Mane does have a compounding effect on the body and can be used every day and throughout the year without pause.
- Lion’s Mane effect on the gut and brain means that dreams might be more vivid for a while; which may be a great time to start a dream journal.
We at Microdose Pro are huge fans of the Stamets Stack plus we believe in taking our own health to heart so we’ve created our own Neurogenesis Pack.
Our pack includes dually extracted Lion’s Mane for maximum bioavailability, organic psilocybin truffles, and Solgar’s Niacin B3.
Flushing the reparative and restorative compounds found in psilocybin and Lion’s Mane to the very tip of every capillary and vein will make you feel like a new person.
Get yours here and flow strong!