PSYCHEDELICS: James Fadiman on Frank Ocean’s podcast

The psychedelic renaissance is in full swing. Mainstream coverage of new developments in clinical studies on treating physical and mental health issues with plant medicines and master molecules has gotten so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to keep up with all of it. For those who interested in psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy and/or those who are curious about the value of psychedelics for “the betterment of well people,” we’ve entered a whole new paradigm. Michael Pollan’s best-selling book How To Change Your Mind went a long way toward making these subjects known and speakable to a wider audience. The Netflix series based on his book dropped this summer and also provides a valuable introduction, alongside Louis Schwartzberg’s documentary Fantastic Fungi.

One of the most interesting media manifestations for me is a recent podcast by groovy queer musician Frank Ocean in conversation with guest speaker James Fadiman. Fadiman is one of the chief authorities on the subject of microdosing. He and his collaborator Sophia Korb have collected thousands of anecdotal reports from people who have experimented with microdosing, and they are doing their best to create solid data from these reports. On this podcast, Fadiman gives an excellent and succinct description not only of the purposes and effects of microdosing but also, at Ocean’s prompting, provides a wonderfully detailed explanation of what it feels like to undertake a high-dose LSD session, with valuable information on the conditions under which such an experience would best take place. The entire conversation is underscored with a groovy loop, so it sounds like a lecture taking place at Burning Man with an art car nearby cranking in the background. The podcast can be found on Apple Music. You can listen to it here. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up for a three-month free trial. Check it out and let me know what you think.