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At Elevate Holistics we get to meet people who’ve had very specific beneficial experiences with cannabis and holistic therapies. And we get to introduce those people (and their knowledge!) to you. Some of these people turn their experiences into passions and livelihoods and awesomely root them in advocacy and helping others. 


Our own Aspen Jewel recently interviewed one such person — Alice Mangan of AliceCBD Boutique. Alice shared her story and gave us some fresh insight into cannabis compounds, endocannabinoid deficiency, and some other holistic therapies we were excited to learn about. In this post, hear what she has to say about a fascinating mushroom, lion’s mane. 


We’ll also unlock answers to questions such as What are the benefits of combining lion’s mane and CBD? Is lion’s mane sativa or indica? How powerful is lion’s mane? Does lion’s mane give you a high? Who cannot take lion’s mane?


But first, a little about Alice’s story.

Meet Veteran and Registered Nurse Alice Mangan


Several years back, Alice, a veteran and ICU nurse, was living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and disability. “I had already had several diagnoses with chronic major depressive disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, bulging discs, and others — what seemed like unrelated things.” She was taking pharmaceuticals, injections even. However, the side effects worsened her condition, and eventually, hopelessness took over. 


It was at this time she stumbled across a group of veterans exploring cannabis and other alternative therapies. Their mission was to help prevent the staggering number of veteran suicides. Long story short, she discovered the amazing benefits of cannabis compounds and other holistic therapies. Some scientists and doctors are studying and using these to bring balance back to out-of-whack endocannabinoid systems (ECSs) — including her own! 


Alice played a major role in legalizing cannabis in Missouri. She has helped many people in many ways find healing through cannabis and other holistic methods.

How Alice Discovered Lion’s Mane


At the start of the interview, Alice told Aspen, “At the bottom of it, I think a lot of it’s an endocannabinoid deficiency.” 


She was referring to her health problems. Next she narrated how she came across mushroom therapies like lion’s mane, that helped treat her ECS imbalance.


Alice Mangan (R.N., Veteran): Somehow, I stumbled across something on Facebook that asked about being a veteran, if you’re on opiates or have chronic pain or chronic depression, PTSD. 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. Completing suicide, not just attempting. And really those numbers are probably skewed because a lot don’t get reported. Thomas Mundell, he and 20 other soldiers went with myself. And so we went out to Colorado to look at cannabis as medicine and as an alternative to opiates, to depression, to suicide. And, of course, they had a few other things. They had a little bit on mushrooms, a little bit on other psychedelics and stuff that we do see now, that even DARPA is putting 27 million into psilocybin and ketamine as options for the military.


Aspen Jewel (Elevate Holistics): I’ve seen some amazing work with MAPS, too. I saw them at the Drug Policy Alliance Conference, and I was absolutely blown away. I mean, they described how they’re not necessarily tripping, but they just take mushrooms all day, every day, and it’s just kind of like their cannabis. It keeps them happy and lightheaded, and it doesn’t bring on those heavy, deep emotions.

Lions’ Mane in the Woods


Next Alice tells Aspen how she kept seeing lion’s mane everywhere. Even on a walk in the woods while visiting a friend. 


Alice Mangan (R.N., Veteran): Right. And I just kind of stumbled upon … Well, not really stumbled. It kept getting thrown in my face in multiple ways. I feel like the universe kept bringing it to me. The last thing was when I was down at a friend’s little mountain, playing in the woods with her. And lo and behold, there was this big white mushroom on the side of the tree, and it was a lion’s mane. I knew what it was immediately because it kept coming across my path ever since I learned about cannabis. And lion’s mane is not psychoactive, but it has something pretty cool that I think is going to be a benefit to every human, no different than cannabis being a benefit. Because of the endocannabinoid system.


A lot of the neurological things Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and MS, have to do with the brain and the nerves. Same with seizures. They see that our bodies make something called nerve growth factor. But so does the mushroom lion’s mane. So to wrap this all with psilocybin is Paul Stamets. Everybody who starts getting into mushroom therapies is going to find out about Paul Stamets. And he has a great video called Fantastic Fungi, where I learned about mushrooms being able to clean up oil spills, and I learned about them being able to heal the body. Lion’s mane happens to be one of them.

Lion’s Mane and Psilocybin


Then Alice talks about how Stamets recommends using niacin with lion’s mane and psilocybin, a psychedelic mushroom. Their effects can repair the myelin sheath, a protective tissue around your nerve cells often damaged in patients with MS and other neurological disorders.


Alice Mangan (R.N., Veteran): And he suggests stacking lion’s mane with niacin, the old fashioned kind that you used to try and clean up your pee for a test, if you were a user. I wasn’t a real user, so I never worried about that. I was using niacin for detoxing, but it caused that prickly heat blushing. That’s the kind you want, with lion’s mane and with micro doses of psilocybin, when that becomes available and legal. He believes that that’s the best way to repair the myelin sheath. Still we’re getting protection repair, and then progression because he talks about even collective consciousness. When we raise, the rewiring of our brain, which is what cannabinoids do and what some of these other things like lion’s mane or our plant therapy, the stuff that was on earth to heal us, we gain benefits.


Next, Aspen asks about what taking niacin and lion’s mane feels like.


Aspen Jewel (Elevate Holistics): So is it similar to niacin, the way lion’s mane makes you feel? Is there any immediate, kind of like how you consume cannabis, do you feel euphoric if you have niacin? I personally feel like I have an all over sunburn. Is there any immediate side effect?


Alice Mangan (R.N., Veteran): So that’s what you’re going to feel, if you do stack with the niacin. But if you use the mushroom, lion’s mane, alone, you don’t feel that. I can’t tell you what you would or wouldn’t feel if you had psilocybin with it but I can tell you with lion’s mane alone, you can’t feel it. But I have a lot of people that take it with our CBD or CBG tinctures, and they’re telling me they’re feeling it in days.


I had one person that I sent it to, and I swear that I just got it to her on Monday, and she said her and her wife are already able to tell the effects. They’d used lion’s mane before. But I thought it was going to take at least three weeks to start building up in the system, to get that nerve growth factor that’s in the mushroom, that our body also makes, to kind of see something but I don’t know. I think cannabis helps things just do better, faster anyway, because our body is more optimal … You know.


If you’re interested in trying lion’s mane, check out AliceCBD Boutique in Webb City, MO, or get in touch with her to learn more!

Benefits Of Combining Lion’s Mane And CBD


Combining a lion’s mane mushroom with CBD creates a synergistic powerhouse for both the mind and body. This dynamic duo can significantly enhance cognitive functions, such as focus and memory, thanks to the lion’s mane’s neuroprotective properties. 


Meanwhile, CBD contributes to this blend by offering its well-known calming effects, which can help manage anxiety and stress levels. 


Together, they not only promote mental clarity but also support overall well-being by reducing inflammation and providing pain relief. This combination is particularly appealing for those seeking natural remedies to enhance their mental acuity while maintaining a sense of calm and balance throughout their daily lives.

Is Lion’s Mane Sativa Or Indica?


Lion’s mane is neither Sativa nor Indica; it’s actually a type of mushroom, not a cannabis strain. This fascinating fungus is celebrated for its unique neuroprotective benefits, including the stimulation of nerve growth factor (NGF), which can boost brain health. 


Unlike cannabis, which is categorized into Sativa and Indica strains affecting energy levels and relaxation, lion’s mane focuses on cognitive enhancement and neurological support. It’s a common misconception to classify it alongside cannabis varieties due to its therapeutic benefits, but it stands in its own category as a powerful nootropic.

How Powerful Is Lion’s Mane?


As aforementioned, lion’s mane mushroom is a potent natural nootropic—known for its impressive ability to support brain health. Studies suggest that it can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), essential for the maintenance and growth of neurons. 


This capability makes it a powerful ally in enhancing cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and creativity. Additionally, lion’s mane has been linked to potential benefits in neuroprotection, possibly reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Its potency lies not just in mental support but also in its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, making it a robust supplement for overall health.

Does Lion’s Mane Give You A High?


Lion’s Mane mushroom does not induce a high in the traditional sense associated with psychoactive substances. Instead, it’s known for its cognitive-enhancing effects, such as improved memory, focus, and mental clarity. Unlike compounds that affect mood or perception directly, lion’s mane works by supporting brain health and promoting the growth of new neurons. This means you can expect a boost in your mental capabilities without the psychoactive experiences linked with substances like THC. It’s a great choice for those looking to enhance their cognitive function naturally and safely.

Who Cannot Take Lion’s Mane?


Lion’s Mane is generally considered safe for most people, but there are specific groups who should proceed with caution or avoid it altogether. Individuals with mushroom allergies should avoid lion’s mane to prevent allergic reactions. 


Additionally, since lion’s mane can potentially influence blood sugar and blood pressure levels, those with diabetes or blood pressure concerns should consult a healthcare provider before incorporating it into their regimen. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are also advised to avoid lion’s mane due to the lack of research on its effects in these populations.

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If you want to keep up to speed on topics like these, AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) with industry experts, and share information with a medical cannabis community, we invite you to join our Facebook group.


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About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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