Psychedelics — Microdosing, Mind-Enhancing Methods, and More (#377)


Tim Ferriss (Milken Global Conference

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:

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Castbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.

#377: Psychedelics — Microdosing, Mind-Enhancing Methods, and More

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.

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

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…


  • 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


  • 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]


Posted on: July 15, 2019.

Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.

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16 comments on “Psychedelics — Microdosing, Mind-Enhancing Methods, and More (#377)

  1. 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.


  2. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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.


  4. 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!


  5. 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.


  6. 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?


  7. 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.]


  8. 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.


  9. 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.]