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]