Tim Ferriss interviews Jim Fadiman re/LSD

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More


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.


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

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibogaine
27:00 applications/similarities of different psychedelics
30:00 Alexander Shulgin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shulgin
and his books: PiHKAL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PiHKAL
TiHKAL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiHKAL
33:00 psychedelics and “integrating” the experience into life
35:30 The Psychedelic Explorers Guide:http://www.amazon.com/Psychedelic-Explorers-Guide-Therapeutic-Journeys/dp/1594774021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308850343&sr=8-1
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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houn_Jiyu-Kennett
48:20 service people and psychedelic impact
52:00 Bill Wilson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_W.
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”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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:http://www.maps.org/
1:27:10 “The Trip Treatment” by Michael Pollan:http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment
1:30:30 Burning Man: http://burningman.org/
1:31:00 Kary Mullis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kary_Mullis
1:34:00 Roland Griffiths:http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/1311852/roland-griffiths


James Fadiman:
Main Site: http://jamesfadiman.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jfadiman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Psychedelic-Explorers-Guide/184770801541184
Book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594774021/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1594774021&linkCode=as2&tag=offsitoftimfe-20&linkId=7VIQDTWH6S5VU6VC
Publisher: Inner Traditions http://www.innertraditions.com/
Additional Books from publisher
Psychedelic Drugs
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_drug
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.
MAPS – http://www.maps.org/
Heffter – http://www.heffter.org/
Articles About Psychelics:
New Yorker Michael Pollan –http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment
Dr. Roland Griffiths – http://janetkornblum.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Stevenson_Mag_SprSmr2011_Griffiths-1.pdf

Alexander Theodore Shulgin aka Sasha Shulgin “godfather of Psychedelics”
Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shulgin
Pihkal – http://www.amazon.com/Pihkal-A-Chemical-Love-Story/dp/0963009605
Tihkal – http://www.amazon.com/Tihkal-The-Continuation-Alexander-Shulgin/dp/0963009699/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XDHXY2AMTR7W21PJMY0
Bill Wilson – founder of AA, experienced LSDhttp://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/aug/23/lsd-help-alcoholics-theory