The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide – Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More (#66)

smiley 16652277268_381ca34ec5_zI’m not high in this picture, despite my appearance.


JAMES FADIMAN, Ph.D., did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Stanford, doing research with the Harvard Group, the West Coast Research Group in Menlo Park, and Ken Kesey. He is the author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.

Called “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use,” Jim Fadiman has been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s. In this episode, we discuss the immediate and long-term effects of psychedelics when used for spiritual purposes (high dose), therapeutic purposes (moderate dose), and problem-solving purposes (low dose). Fadiman outlines best practices for safe “entheogenic” voyages learned through his more than 40 years of experience–from the benefits of having a sensitive guide during a session (and how to be one) to the importance of the setting and pre-session intention.

We also discuss potential “training” using lucid dreaming techniques, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Cautioning that psychedelics are not for everyone, Jim dispels the myths and misperceptions. He explains how — in his opinion — psychedelics, used properly, can lead not only to healing but also to scientific breakthroughs and spiritual epiphanies.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Ep 66: The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide - Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More

Plus, a bonus you might have missed — Sam Harris, PhD, on meditation, neuroscience, and psychedelics (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep. 14: Sam Harris, PhD - Spirituality, Neuroscience, Meditation, and More

This episode is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you couldn’t use drugs and wanted to experience some of the benefits discussed in this episode, what tools might you use? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks for listening!


These show notes were kindly provided by readers Spencer and Greg. Thanks, guys! There are two different versions, both pasted below. Be sure to also see the comments, which have great additional resources and links…

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

2:45 what is micro-dosing

3:20 Albert Hofmann:

4:45 LSD dose sizing

7:00 psychedelics are “anti-addictive”

8:25 duration of some psychedelics and micro-dosing

12:00 James Fadiman’s background

12:00 Richard Alpert AKA Ram Dass:

18:20 Fadiman’s thesis at Stanford: behavioral change after psychedelic experiences

23:20 aspects of psychedelics that can contribute to overcoming addictions

23:35 ibogaine:

27:00 applications/similarities of different psychedelics

30:00 Alexander Shulgin:

and his books: PiHKAL:


33:00 psychedelics and “integrating” the experience into life

35:30 The Psychedelic Explorers Guide:

37:45 guidelines for “safe and successful psychedelic experience”

41:25 qualities of a “guide” or “sitter”

44:00 revisiting “integrating” psychedelic experience into life

46:45 Kennett Roshi:

48:20 service people and psychedelic impact

52:00 Bill Wilson:

52:00 Bill Wilson, AA, and psychedelics

55:40 problem solving and psychedelics

1:03:00 pattern recognition and psychedelics

1:07:50 lucid dreaming and dreaming in color

1:08:50 David Brown

1:09:45 stuttering and psychedelics

1:12:20 choice of one psychedelic versus another

1:13:50 MDMA and PTSD

1:15:45 “Reefer Madness”:

1:18:00 depression and micro-dosing

1:19:00 ketamine

1:23:00 advancing research

1:23:50 MAPS: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies:

1:27:10 “The Trip Treatment” by Michael Pollan:

1:30:30 Burning Man:

1:31:00 Kary Mullis:

1:34:00 Roland Griffiths:


James Fadiman:

Main Site:




Publisher: Inner Traditions

Additional Books from publisher

Psychedelic Drugs


Levels of Dosage when considering LSD (micrograms)

400 – Transcendental experience, a guide is needed

200 – Used for psychotherapy and self exploration

100 – Can be used for problem solving situations (situations explained in podcast)

50 – “museum” or “concert” level

10/15 – Micro dose

Micro dosing – low enough dose that is “sub – perceptible” – you don’t notice the direct effects – “the rocks don’t glitter”. Could be a replacement for existing cognitive enhancers such as Adderall or Ritalin.

Organizations currently doing research on Psychedelics.


Heffter –

Articles About Psychelics:

New Yorker Michael Pollan –

Dr. Roland Griffiths –

Alexander Theodore Shulgin aka Sasha Shulgin “godfather of Psychedelics”


Pihkal –

Tihkal –

Bill Wilson – founder of AA, experienced LSD

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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139 Replies to “The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide – Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More (#66)”

  1. Dear Tim,

    I just wanted to say thank you… I’ve never commented before and this is my first time. I read your post on “Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide” today. Thank you for giving your time to this and having the guts to share this information and your story for the benefit of others. I myself have not had this particular struggle but have suffered in other areas that you mention in this post and felt very much the same as you did at that time in different points in my life. This post also spoke to me in a huge way because I find myself at a crossroads professionally and otherwise. And I’ve often thought what I would give to have 15 mins of your time to ask you for advice about what I should do??? I’ve had some minor success in life (had a record deal with a rock band at 21 years old with Capitol Records in the 80s- I’m a drummer) then quit the music biz at 25 and climbed the corp ladder. Now I’ve left the corp world due to burn out and most importantly “reading your book” which gave me the courage to jump and find myself again. In any case, I want to thank you for not giving up Tim. And the value you have added to countless people’s lives in this world. And for how the information on your blog has been so impactful in my life and the lives of those I have passed the information on to. So again, thank you for using your gifts and talents to bless so many in this world. And for having the guts to care about others enough to share sensitive information in order to help so many out there.

    Take care….

  2. Speechless Tim. I’ve followed your work, read your books, emails, blog posts and listened to your podcasts for a long time now, but I’m one of those guys whose often too lazy or “Too busy” (in my own head) to comment or offer input. This post got me off my ass. So finally, here is my deepest heart felt expression of gratitude to you brother. Not just for this post but for everything you do. You’ve inspired me, pushed me, made me uncomfortable, made me laugh (many times) and now made me cry (asshole). I love you to bits and look forward to meeting you some day down the track. Thanks again for all that you do! It’s truly valued and appreciated. Cheers

  3. I love the story of taking a test and getting the highest grade in the class. I had a experienced almost the same thing in college in my worst subject!

  4. I am grateful for your post about suicide. To be honest, I almost didn’t read it. I thought to myself, “What could this guy ever know about suicide? Must be a marketing ploy.” I realized the truth in your message right away because I hi too, have been to those dark places, and worse yet, in a time span of less than two years, both my brother and my father took their own lives. Devastating. If your words can help people thinking about suicide stop momentarily to consider some of the things you mentioned, then perhaps that moment will be the one which gives them the clarity to see that there is hope. There is a way to freedom from their pain which does not include suicide. There is absolutely nothing I would not have done to prevent my brother and my dad from taking their own lives. Perhaps your words will save others. Thank you.

  5. I think people would be amazed by how much technology has been created because due to “elicit” drug use. Some of the newer 3D and hologram technology that is being developed was sparked by LSD induced experiences. I wonder if this type of method is similar to how visualization works for athletic training? It’s a little too risky for me but I’m glad this topic was covered. The movie “Limitless” is one of my favorite movies and highlights how these types of drugs/stimulants are in the horizon.

  6. I’m glad we have such a good reputation here in Santa Cuz. We do our best to keep it quality. I’d love you sit and talk with Dr. Fadimen! What a boss!

    Thank you both.

  7. Aloha Tim, I had psilocybin experiances on two occassions in the past two decades. On both occassions I felt well even though I am legally disabled. I fell ill 20 yrs ago and diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), recently named Severe Exertion Intolerance Disease (S.E.I.D) by The Academy of Sciences. Generally called ME/CFS with American patients. Keep us updated if and when possible. Big mahalos!

  8. “With a one-time exposure of a heavy dose of psilocybin – we find extra talent in people after 14 months. They have not continued to take the drug, but 14 months later they still have these effects from the drug.”


    Found on 52 Insights

  9. “With a one-time exposure of a heavy dose of psilocybin – we find extra talent in people after 14 months. They have not continued to take the drug, but 14 months later they still have these effects from the drug.”


  10. Thanks for this podcast. 🙂 Very pertinent on a number of levels (as always). Sent an email directly to Dr. F.

    Unrelated to this post — saw the new show also. Kudos for being fearless on your haircut. Fear is the mind killer… Looks good w/the scruff. I am assuming there was maybe a focus group to determine your best new look? hehehe. Dont bother answering that. But congrats — looking forward to watching more.

    Best regards.

    random listener

  11. Hi Tim, I’ve been reading your blog for years and this is my first comment! I recently conducted a 12-month microdosing experiment, which was presented at Quantified Self Conference in Amsterdam, and have used Iboga, Ayahuasca, psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA for personal growth purposes since 2015.

    I was wondering if you have comments on Dr. Fadiman’s dosage recommendations for LSD, in particular, 200 micrograms for psychotherapy and 400 micrograms for transcendental dose. For myself, 100 micrograms has been more than enough for a psychotherapy dosage, and I would recommend 200 instead of 400 for a transcendental dose.

    Have you tried LSD at those dosages yourself, and if so, what was your experience? Would you say those dosages are accurate for most people?

  12. Tim. I’m extremely interested in using psilocybin for therapeutic purposes (lifelong depression & anxiety), but I’m concerned about the legal aspects of using it in the US. A simple online search led me to a company called MycoMeditations which holds “psilocybin-assisted” retreats in Jamaica. Do you think something like this would be a good way to gain a first experience?

  13. Hi dear, Tim. I think you would enjoy and find interesting the work of Joe Tafur, MD. [Moderator: links removed.]

  14. If I couldn’t use drugs but wanted to have a psychedelic like experience not that I do it often but I would meditate for at least an hour or two which I found to be similar to a microdose of cubensis. Another tool I would use is a sensory deprivation tank with a waterproof (pure imagination) VR headset and I would play a first person porno while being fitted in a Ready Player One like sensory stimuli activated suit. Sick I know but you asked!

  15. Hi Tim,

    I’ve also sent a message to your Facebook, Gmail, and LinkedIn accounts, however, I’m open to communication on whatever platform is easiest for you. Alternatively, if you’d like to email or call, my phone number is in my signature.

    I was a member of Cornell University’s Division One wrestling program and have since graduated with a JD/MBA.

    Last year, I was one of the lucky winners of your How to Change Your Mind giveaway. I’ve since read Mr. Pollan’s book as well as Tools of Titans, specifically Dr. Fadiman’s section. In the preface, you say that after 48 hours of “medicine work” you were able to remove 90% of your latent anger and resentment, as well as your hair-trigger habits of decades. I’m extremely interested in the eradication of your hair-trigger habits; since my parents divorced, I began pulling my hair out. I later learned that this hair-pulling was called “Trichotillomania”, which is categorized as a subset of OCD.

    I would truly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about what your hair-trigger habits were and what your medicine work was that helped eradicate the habits, anger, and resentment. This is an issue that has plagued me for more than 10 years now, and, despite my best efforts, I have yet to find a solution.

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this and would love any and all helpful information.

    Best regards,

    Eli Bienstock
    [Moderator: contact info withheld but email preserved in intake form.]