This episode features a panel that I moderated in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference 2019. It includes a great overview of psychedelic science, investing opportunities, anecdotal personal benefits, legal challenges, and much more. I think it’s one of the more comprehensive panels ever done on the subject. Here are the participants:
Matthew Johnson — Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit
Ayelet Waldman — Author, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
Robin Carhart-Harris — Head of Psychedelic Research, Centre for Psychedelic Research, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London
Christian Angermayer — Founder, Apeiron Investment Group and ATAI Life Sciences
You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Castbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.
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Want to hear another podcast discussing psychedelics? — Listen to my conversation with James Fadiman, who has been called “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use.” Stream below or right-click here to download.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Matthew Johnson:
Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit | Twitter
- Connect with Ayelet Waldman:
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Connect with Robin Carhart-Harris:
Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London | Twitter | Facebook
- Connect with Christian Angermayer:
Apeiron Investment Group | ATAI Life Sciences | Twitter
- Milken Institute
- Milken Institute’s Global Conference 2019
- Psychedelics: Mind-Enhancing Methods to Well-Being, Milken Institute
- A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life by Ayelet Waldman
- Here’s Why We Should Never Forget Katharine McCormick’s Special Role in the Birth Control Movement, History A2Z
- Human Hallucinogen Research: Guidelines for Safety, Journal of Psychopharmacology
- Psilocybin: An Overview, ScienceDirect
- Drug Scheduling, DEA
- The slides by Matthew Johnson can be found by clicking here.
- The Abuse Potential of Medical Psilocybin According to the 8 Factors of the Controlled Substances Act, Neuropharmacology
- Psilocybin Produces Substantial and Sustained Decreases in Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Life-Threatening Cancer: A Randomized Double-Blind Trial, Journal of Psychopharmacology
- The Heretic, The Morning News
- A New Chapter in the Science of Psychedelic Microdosing, The Atlantic
- How New Ketamine Drug Helps with Depression, Yale Medicine
- Pilot Study of the 5-HT2AR Agonist Psilocybin in the Treatment of Tobacco Addiction, Journal of Psychopharmacology
- Open Label Study, MedicineNet
- Chantix (Varenicline), RxList
- Study Design 101, Himmelfarb, Health Sciences Library
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), The Mayo Clinic
- A Case Against the Drug War, The Harvard Gazette
- Burning Man
- Ask the Doctor: What Is Hypomania? Harvard Medical School
- The Entropic Brain: A Theory of Conscious States Informed by Neuroimaging Research with Psychedelic Drugs, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
- What is Serotonin? Hormone Health Network
- Serotonin and Brain Function: A Tale of Two Receptors, Journal of Psychopharmacology
- History of Psychedelics: How the Mazatec Tribe Brought Entheogens to the World, Psychedelic Times
- Compass Pathways
- R-ketamine: A Rapid-Onset and Sustained Antidepressant Without Psychotomimetic Side Effects, Translational Psychiatry
- The FOMO Is Real: How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness, Healthline
- What is MDMA? NIH
- MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Study Protocols, MAPS
- Ibogaine Therapy for Drug Addiction, MAPS
- This Is How Ayahuasca Affects the Brain, Vice
- Meaning of a Bad Trip, Verywell Mind
- Syd’s First Trip: Home Footage of Pink Floyd Founder Syd Barrett’s First Experience with LSD, Happy Mag
- What Is Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)? Medical News Today
- Opiate, Opioid, Narcotic — What’s the Difference? IWP
- Residential Psychedelic (LSD) Therapy for the Narcotic Addict, Archives Of General Psychiatry
- Psilocybin-Facilitated Treatment for Cocaine Use by Peter Hendricks, University of Alabama at Birmingham
- The Surprising Failures of 12 Steps, The Atlantic
- Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM), American Psychiatric Association
- Marcus Raichle on the Default Mode Network, VPRO Labyrint TV
- Six NASA Astronauts Describe the Moment in Space When “Everything Changed” Inverse
- Canyon Ranch
- Exploring the Potential Recreational Psilocybin Market, Psychedelic Science Review
- Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month, tim.blog
- Psilocybin-assisted Treatment for Alcohol Dependence: A Proof-of-Concept Study, Journal of Psychopharmacology
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
- An encouraging story about how well-funded research can change lives for the better. [03:25]
- Matthew Johnson stresses how understanding the downsides and risks of psychedelics is key to their responsible use in research. (The slides by Matthew Johnson can be found by clicking here.) [06:02]
- Matthew Johnson lays out the benefits, as we currently understand them, of psychedelics on mental health and addiction. [07:21]
- How did Ayelet Waldman begin her experiences with microdosing, and in what ways did the practice affect her depression and productivity? [12:17]
- Robin Carhart-Harris explains our current understanding of why these compounds do what they do — even beyond the duration of their physical presence — in what he describes as the entropic brain. [16:48]
- Christian Angermayer tells us why his biotech company, ATAI Life Sciences, is currently one of the largest global investors in bringing psychedelics — including psilocybin — back into the legal realm. [21:37]
- Treating PTSD with MDMA, how Ayelet and her husband use MDMA to process “the mundane PTSD of a long marriage,” and the risks involved. [28:16]
- Matthew speaks to the potential toxicity of some of these compounds. [31:41]
- Matthew takes us through current studies applying psychedelics to opiate and opioid addiction, and Ayelet weighs in on why traditional methods have not proven successful thus far, and why we need to reclassify some schedule one psychedelics to schedule four. [37:33]
- Robin explains the context-shifting power psychedelics have over certain diagnostic categories, the problem with diagnostic categories as they traditionally stand, and current thinking around the default mode network. [40:45]
- Why Christian believes psychedelics should be used in a strictly controlled environment by prescription rather than provided over the counter. [45:48]
- Ayelet’s ideal paradigm for psychedelic decriminalization: the psychedelic spa. [47:04]
- Christian points to The Netherlands as an example of a place where psychedelics are available recreationally, but not applied in a way that puts a dent in that country’s mental health crisis. [47:59]
- How does Christian envision a sustainable business model for single-dose psychedelic therapies? [48:39]
- How did these compounds come to be classified as schedule one drugs, and how can we potentially get them reclassified as schedule four drugs? Matthew has answers. [52:54]
- What would Ayelet hope this field looks like a few years from now? [59:16]
- Katharine McCormick
- Gregory Pincus
- George Goldsmith
- Sasha Shulgin
- Ann Shulgin
- Michael Chabon
- Syd Barrett
- Peter Hendricks
- Tom Insel
- Michael Bogenschutz
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24 Replies to “Psychedelics — Microdosing, Mind-Enhancing Methods, and More (#377)”
Interesting topic…struggle with the Milken Institute as a whole though…Funded by a convicted felon…always two sides to a story…and yes his philanthropy is nice…and hopefully it is his way of balancing the negatives he created in the world with some positives…your podcast has at the least helped me look deeper for a way to manage this moral dilemma and maybe utilize the Milken institute’s findings more.
LOVED this podcast. As someone who has dealt with both depression and addiction, it’s so affirming to hear intelligent, compassionate, honest and groundbreaking information on using psychedelics to better our mental health. This will change the world and save lives. Like mine!
Thanks for championing this message Tim, and taking the potential risks doing so has. When used right, psychedelics seem to hold phenomenal potential for most of our greatest issues. I’m excited to see how they affect society and help those in need.
Also excited for your next book about their effective and tactical implementation (if I heard right). I’ve been experimenting alone, with what guidance I can find, and to learn the most effective approaches from your research would be invaluable.
Thank you very much for your (and y’all’s) work in this field! Life-changing stuff!!! Can’t wait until it’s more available to those who will benefit!
Is there a video of this?
The video of this show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RIVQDZH4Q4
You are becoming Ken Wilber. Just sayin’.
I wonder it Tim has read some Ken Wilber ? I like both their styles. Tim would learn a lot from Kens stuff for sure.
Christian Angermayer mentioned that psilocybin (magic) mushrooms are legal in the Netherlands, this is not true, they got banned a while ago. But I agree, it would be interesting to see data on depression rates in countries which have magic mushroom legalised (if there are any).
Yes, but psychedelic sclerotia are totally legal in the Netherlands and contain the same compounds psilocin and psilocybin. So I can give Christian that creative license.
Always so encouraged by the acceleration of interest on this front.
MAPS and Heffter are of course profoundly impactful organizations well worth supporting on a donation basis, but I’m curious if anyone (Tim?) is aware of resources that exist for small-scale investors (read: under $20k) to get involved in sponsoring psychedelic research?
This is my first introduction to this topic and I’m hopeful. As someone who suffers from depression I would love to try micro-dosing but have no idea how to go about it. Can’t just run down to LSD-R-US you know? [Moderator: additional text removed.]
This topic is so great and I’m excited at the traction it is receiving. I am wondering if there is any work on using microdosing to treat PMS? Based on other research topics and issues that are being tested, it would seem to be in line with that and could be massively beneficial to a large percent of the population suffering from this.
Hi Jullian. I had a found a nice video featuring Dr. James Fadiman where he does mention the application for PMS briefly as a benefit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AfFM8pfy4s
Very cool. The more discussions around this topic the better! Microdosing needs to be in the mainstream – it could benefit so many people.
[Moderator: link removed.]
Great to see this shift in perception regarding these substances. Even in the chemical literature, articles are now talking about anti-addiction rather than their psychoactive properties
Sorry about the misplaced comment, could not find the correct feed to inquire but hope this will suffice! Thank you for the Helix recommendation! Question… did you go for their standard line or do you have their Birch line?
Did someone notice that Matthew Johnson says exactly like Timothee Chalamet!
Tim, I think I have something worth sharing. My husband has stage 4 lung cancer that recently spread to his brain. He had to switch chemo – to one that crossed the BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER.
Here’s the thing, there are EERIE similarities to his chemo and the ‘psilocybin effect’ described in this podcast. Both cross the blood brain barrier, both disinhibit.
My husband has had a similar experience on his chemo drug that crosses the blood brain barrier. These effects dissipated when they had to lower his dose.
After listening to this episode he has a renewed desire to go back to where:
“psychedelics relax beliefs, and open a window for change, for revision. If that opportunity is seized with the right kind of psychological support, then you can work towards cultivating a healthy revision of these pathological beliefs and habits.”
My husband is literally the patient Matthew Johnson described in the episode: “Based on the data, the most promising indication would be depression and anxiety. You can call it psychiatric distress associated with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. That’s what the most advanced research with psilocybin as a therapeutic has been focused on.”
He wants to get busy livin’
Thank you, Tim for all the work you are doing in this field.
I have been a therapist for over 30 years and look forward to the use of psilocybin therapy. It will change the world of psychotherapy as we know it!
So grateful for your work in this!
I was the original petitioner and primary corporate sponsor for the Decriminalize Denver I-301 campaign. Decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms in Denver I funded the campaign using proceeds from our CBD/Hemp company, http://www.straighthemp.com
We did not come out about this publicly but are considering aligning our brand in a much more prominent way, and dedicating the companies profits to worthy efforts, like MAPS, John Hopkins, and others driving the Psychedelic Renaissance.
I am doing all of this out of deep personal experiences, not to get rich, but to make an impact.
I am seeking your counsel on the best way to approach this. How to craft the narrative, who to support, how to build the brand to have the maximal impact.
I have had some challenges in finding like-minded business mentors, and am hoping you hear and see what we are trying to get done in conjunction with other leaders.
I know you state you are not doing 1-1 work, or start-up advising, however, I believe this may be something different for you.
Hi Tim. I’ve been following your work related to psychedelic research with interest and agree about the importance of perceptions and attitudes – on this topic as on many others, of course. I’ve been toying with the idea of a photographic project, documenting various traditional cultures who make use of psychedelics – the rituals and individuals themselves, but also attempting to find ways of representing the relationships and spiritual (using the Sam Harris version of the word here) aspects they believe these signify and strengthen. My feeling is that if done right – with respect and subtlety, emphasizing both common humanity and the connection with nature (insofar as those are part of this – which I would imagine that they are, but wouldn’t want to make any assumptions) – something like this could be used to change public perception of the potential use of psychedelics, and perhaps paint a different picture of it to the public. I mainly focus on conservation and humanitarian photography, but this is such an important topic, and in many ways ties in with those subjects, too. An idea worth exploring, at least – I will reach out to some of the parties I’ve come across through your work and that of Sam, but thought I’d leave a message here, too.
Is there any research on psilocybin safety regarding cardio toxicology? As I understand it, there may be risk of cardiac fibrosis since psilocybin is a 5-HT2B agonist.
The concern comes from speculation, that as with other 5-HT2B agonists, development of heart valve damage is possible. It seems that this may be dependent on the frequency and duration of use and the total cumulative exposure over time. If that is the case, then the heaviest users are likely to face the greatest risk of heart damage. If there is a potential risk, might a 5-HT2B agonist drug like Carbidopa (Lodosyn), help prevent damage by preventing the peripheral decarboxylation of 5-HTP to serotonin and so ensures that only brain serotonin levels are increased without producing peripheral side effects?
Great podcast, indeed! Thanks for sharing. Hopefully that this podcast will help others to fully understand the upsides of psychedelic mushrooms and serves as an eye-opener for all those people who don’t know about this psychedelic mushrooms.