PT275 – James Fadiman, Ph.D. – Transpersonal Psychology, Microdosing, and Your Symphony of Selves

In this episode, Joe and Kyle finally interview legendary author and microdosing popularizer, James Fadiman, Ph.D. 

He talks about Tony Sutich, Abe Maslow, and the emergence of transpersonal psychology in an era when psychology was especially uncomfortable with spiritual experience; the early days of the Transpersonal Association and their relationship with Ram Dass; how easy it was to get LSD from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and the vastly different ways people started experimenting with it; and how society dealt with him, his ideas, and these new substances as they started to become more mainstream.

He discusses microdosing: how it emerged, dosing amounts, how you’re supposed to feel, and how researchers are finally starting to look at brain waves of microdosers. And they discuss the recent self-blinding microdose study and how he thinks the “not statistically significant” difference was actually notable; the strictness of clinical trials and how researchers often stack the deck to get the results they want, and how real world evidence (which psychedelics has a ton of) is seen as the defining factor of a successful trial. 

And he talks about his newest book, Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are, which he sums up quite well with: “Have you ever argued with yourself? Who is the other person arguing?” He believes (and psychology believed, before Freud) that we are made up of several different shifting selves and the key to a happy and healthy life is to embody the right self at the right time. 

Notable Quotes

“I’m still not acceptable. I have no University affiliation, no hospital affiliation, no clinic affiliation, and I talk about the correct use of psychedelics in ways that the people who are doing the fundamental research either don’t know or can’t talk about.” 

“The level of oversight from the federal government – you cannot imagine it, knowing anything about the federal government today. You wrote Sandoz and Sandoz said, ‘I don’t know who you are. Here’s a whole bunch of LSD.’ Literally, the instructions you would get is: ‘Tell us what you’re doing.’ Because Sandoz had this wonderful problem: they had this substance that was the most powerful substance per molecule that they’d ever found and they didn’t know how to make any money out of it.”

“The secret of microdosing is if you’re noticing it, that’s a little too high a dose. …The perfect definition of a microdose is: You have a really good day, you get things done that you’ve been putting off, you’re nice to someone at work who doesn’t deserve it, after work you do one more set of reps at the gym than you usually do, you really enjoy your kids, and at the end of the day you say, ‘Oh, I forgot I had a microdose.’”

“The last step is always real world evidence, which is why drugs get recalled. …The funny thing with psychedelics is we have all the real world evidence pretty well stacked up to start. So I’m not waiting for the clinical evidence, because it comes in last.

“The image of the healthy self is more like a choir, where everyone is singing their correct note, but not the same note. And also they’re singing at the right pitch, at the right tempo, at the right volume, so that it works. And a beautifully organized choir doesn’t need a leader because they’re hearing each other.”


Pubmed: Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration

YouTube: Psychedelics Today: Exploring LAPSS – Los Angeles Psychedelic Science Symposium

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, by James Fadiman, Ph.D.

Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are, by James Fadiman, Ph.D. and Jordan Gruber, J.D. The Stephen Hawking of Psychology: Anthony “Tony” Sutich The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology

The Only Dance There Is: Talks at the Menninger Foundation, 1970, and Spring Grove Hospital, 1972, by Ram Dass Human Potential Movement

About James Fadiman Ph.D.

James Fadiman, PhD., has been researching psychedelics since 1961 and the effect of microdosing since 2010. His most recent books are The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys and Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are (with Jordan Gruber). He is working on a new book about microdosing and wants to hear remarkable microdosing stories:

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PTSF86 – Ayahuasca, Chronic Pain, and Legal Psilocybin, with Payton Nyquvest of Numinus

In this week’s Solidarity Fridays episode, we have another split podcast, with side A bringing you a short PTSF check-in from Joe and Kyle, and side B featuring an in-person interview recorded at Wonderland with Numinus Co-founder and CEO, Payton Nyquvest.

Joe and Kyle first talk about upcoming courses (and possibly an in-person pop-up in Breckenridge?), Wonderland, Covid, and whether or not psychedelics are in an “ivory tower,” as Dr. Alex Belser, Chief Clinical Officer of Cybin, suggests they are. And they discuss Mike Tyson: his insistence on saying “toad,” his relationship to Gerry Sandoval, and the dangers of celebrities promoting the further endangerment of such highly threatened species. 

Then we go back to Miami where Joe and David speak with Payton Nyquvest of Numinus, a company with two major pieces: ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and a clinical platform offered through Numinus Health, and Numinus Biosciences; which recently produced the first legal psilocybin product derived from natural psilocybin-producing mushrooms. He discusses how his mother’s substance abuse recovery and a trip to an ayahuasca retreat center taught him how to reimagine his chronic pain as a gift, the need for reciprocity, and what the recent Compass Pathways results show us about integration. And he asks an important question we don’t often ponder: Why do healthcare providers only offer psychedelics after they’ve tried everything else? Why not first?

Notable Quotes

“I was in the trauma ward at Lion’s Gate Hospital, I booked my flights while I was in the hospital, went home, packed my bags, and got on the plane. I’m hesitant to create an expectation of a panacea or anything like that, but one week with ayahuasca and I never had any chronic pain issues ever again.” 

“We keep talking about treatment-resistant depression, treatment-resistant anxiety or treatment-resistant PTSD, and the reason why the psychedelic space has seen this re-emergence is there’s a huge burden on the healthcare system at the moment, and there’s this recognition that psychedelics could take some of that burden off of the healthcare system. So why are we putting psychedelic treatments at the end of a patient’s life-cycle? Why should they have to go through this prolonged period of suffering? …Why is it not a standard of care, with curative intent? Put it at the beginning. …If they’re safe and effective, why are they not prioritized?” 

“When I speak with institutions and stuff like that, they say, ‘Wow, you guys really seem to be approaching this from a 3-5 year standpoint, and intentional.’ And my response is: ‘Who’s not?’ …Let’s not be short-sighted, and recognize [that] a paradigm shift in healthcare is so significant. We haven’t seen significant innovation in mental health in 35-40 years. So that’s a big shift. …Let’s not try and squeeze psychedelics into old paradigms of the pharmaceutical space or something like that. Let’s recognize that these are interventions, and where do they fit within the healthcare system?”


From Joe and Kyle’s segment:

Psychedelics Today: PT259 – Dr. Devon Christie and Will Siu, MD, DPhil – The Mind-Body Connection, MDMA, and Chronic Pain Cybin Awards Grant for Psychedelic Treatment Clinic at Lenox Hill Hospital to Benefit Underserved Communities Mike Tyson Says He Smokes Toad Venom As Much As 3 Times In A Day Bufo Deaths & Fraud Involving Toad “Shamans” Octavio Rettig & Gerry Sandoval (the DMT malpractice link is dead, even on wayback machine, but this explains a lot of it)

From Payton Nyquvest’s segment:

Instagram: @paytonnyquvest

Instagram: @numinusinc

Facebook: NuminusWellness

Twitter: @NuminusWellness COMPASS Pathways announces positive topline results from groundbreaking phase IIb trial of investigational COMP360 psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression

About Payton Nyquvest

Payton Nyquvest is the Co-founder, Chair & Chief Executive Officer of Numinus, a company that empowers people to heal and be well through the development and delivery of innovative mental health care and access to safe, evidence-based psychedelic-assisted therapies. He has a deep understanding of the psychedelic industry from its infancy, driven by life-saving personal experiences with multiple therapy modalities. At Numinus, he guides teams leading strategy, innovation, research and clinic network expansion, and supports the marketing and capital markets functions. He is responsible for raising more than $70 million for Numinus in the past year, and is quotely widely in media such as CTV, Forbes and the New York Times. In addition, he brings more than 15 years working in finance, investment and retail banking with some of Canada’s leading independent investment firms, including Jordan Capital Markets, Canaccord Financial and Mackie Research Capital. In these and other roles, he has raised more than $100 million for a variety of small cap companies.

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PT274 – Juan Pablo Cappello – Nue Life: Using Digital Phenotyping to Personalize Healthcare

In this episode, Joe and Kyle interview CEO & Co-founder of Nue Life, Juan Pablo Cappello, from his home in Miami during the Wonderland conference.

Cappello first talks about growing up in Chile and provides some history; covering how peyote became religious and how Catholicism spread through the Americas like a franchise system. And he talks about his family’s relationship with San Pedro, his entrepreneurial past (starting the first online bank in Latin America), and how selling that company for $700 million felt like an abject failure.

He discusses how the idea of depression and PTSD being symptoms of an unaddressed root cause led to the creation of Nue Life, and what he wants to do with what he considers a primarily data-based company: use the massive amounts of data connected devices are already harvesting from us (digital phenotyping) for our benefit rather than our detriment. He believes most medical models focus primarily on the continued income from maintenance medications like antidepressants, and instead, A.I. could use this data to recognize patterns in behavior and make recommendations based on each user’s specific data points – a sort of health ecosystem attuned to what works best for each person.

While he’s very excited about the progress so far (data from 2k people, Nue Life being licensed in five states with five more coming soon), he also talks about his concerns with the current psychedelic gold rush: how Big Pharma is pushing pioneers in the space into restrictive models, and why we will soon see a flame-out of many of these emerging highly-appraised companies.

Notable Quotes

“At the height of the drug war under Clinton, we had 2.2 million people going to jail for drug crimes. This year, it’ll be 2.1 million. So we still have huge, huge numbers of people being incarcerated and going to jail, and for me, that’s because of the way we’ve managed the cannabis industry. And I really, especially at a conference like this where it becomes about the money (not about the impact); I’m very, very concerned that we’re going to find ourselves missing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make real progress. And real progress really begins with decriminalizing these amazing substances.” 

“We’re not a psychedelics-focused company. We’re a mental wellness-focused company that’s going to use whatever technologies are available to drive these extraordinary patient outcomes.” 

“How can we, rather than having our phones be a source of body dysmorphia and negativity and a place I feel compelled to go to but it ultimately is bringing me down – how can we turn that technology around and have it be something that helps elevate our patients? …We’re constantly giving out [data] but that data can be used, like a lot of tools, for good as well as for bad, and we’re in a position where we’re really saying: let us be one of the first companies that’s going to use this data for good.”



Facebook: NueLifeHealth

Twitter: @nuelifehealth Michael Pollan: ‘Capitalism is falling in love with psychedelics. There’s a gold rush’

About Juan Pablo Cappello

Juan Pablo Cappello is a passionate entrepreneur who believes in the power of technology and innovation to address humanity’s biggest challenges — mental wellness being one of them. In his home country of Chile, Juan Pablo has seen both the trauma caused by years of a military dictatorship and the power of psychedelic therapies to heal that trauma. As Nue Life‘s CEO & Co-founder, Juan Pablo measures the company’s success by how many lives Nue Life positively impacts.

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