“Almost everything that we call a poison, under some circumstances—at least conceivably—could have a therapeutic effect.”— Hamilton Morris
Welcome to The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is usually my job to deconstruct world-class performers, to tease out their routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life.
This time around, we have a very special edition featuring two of your favorite guests: Dr. Mark Plotkin and Hamilton Morris.
Mark takes over my duties as host and interviews Hamilton for an episode of the Plants of the Gods podcast. You, my dear listeners, are hearing the audio before anyone else, so this is a Tim Ferriss Show exclusive. I’ve previously featured some of my favorite episodes from that show at tim.blog/plantsofthegods. These episodes cover a lot of fascinating ground.
Who is Mark? Mark (@DocMarkPlotkin) is an ethnobotanist who serves as president of the Amazon Conservation Team, which has partnered with ~80 tribes to map and improve management and protection of ~100 million acres of ancestral rainforests. He is best known to the general public as the author of the book Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, one of the most popular books ever written about the rainforest. His most recent book is The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know. You can find my interview with Mark at tim.blog/markplotkin.
And the guest today is Hamilton Morris. Hamilton (@HamiltonMorris) is a chemist, filmmaker, and science journalist. A graduate of The New School, he conducts chemistry research at Saint Joseph’s University. Hamilton is the writer and director of the documentary series Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, in which he explores the chemistry and traditions surrounding psychoactive drugs. You can find my most recent interview with him at tim.blog/hamilton.
This is a tightly packed 60-minute interview. Mark and Hamilton cover the history of different psychoactive substances, Timothy Leary’s legacy, the “drunken monkey” hypothesis, conservation, microdosing, the differences between 5-MeO-DMT and DMT, a disease that afflicts people who smoke enormous quantities of cannabis, causing them to vomit continuously and only find relief from their nausea by taking a hot shower (yes, really), the impact of the placebo effect, a synthetic vs. a natural product, the role of ritual, and much, much more.
This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system.
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This episode is brought to you by 5-Bullet Friday, my very own email newsletter that every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.
It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at tim.blog/friday.
Do you want to hear the last time Hamilton Morris was on the show? Listen here to our conversation in which we discussed Alexander Shulgin’s alchemy, keeping the psychedelic renaissance honest, concerns about accelerated research of psychedelics in the for-profit sector, conscientious chemistry, sustainable alternatives to popularly used compounds, fly-by-night rent-a-shamans, and much more.
What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…Continue reading “Hamilton Morris and Dr. Mark Plotkin — Exploring the History of Psychoactive Substances, Synthetic vs. Natural Options, Microdosing, 5-MeO-DMT, The “Drunken Monkey” Hypothesis, Timothy Leary’s Legacy, and More (#605)”