Psychedelic Medicine


Microdosing Q&A with James Fadiman


James Fadiman, PhD, was a part of the first wave of pioneering psychedelic researchers in the 1960s in the US. He’s the co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now known as Sofia University, and he’s the author of several well-known psychedelics books, including The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.

From his initial rediscovery of microdosing and developing a protocol based on early reports, Dr. Fadiman teamed up with Dr. Sophia Korb to record and pattern-map the microdosing experiences of several thousand individuals from 51 countries.

In this episode, Dr. Fadiman answers listener-submitted questions regarding microdosing psilocybin and LSD. He discussed dosing recommendations, tolerance, microdosing’s general effects on healthy normals, and its specific effects on a number of conditions, ranging from depression to PMS. He also covered a variety of additional areas where people benefit from microdosing, including academic performance and athletics.

In the last part of the episode, Dr. Fadiman discusses his new book, Your Symphony of Selves. He points out that we have not one, but a multitude of selves, and that we can learn to shift between them consciously. Further following this idea, he illustrates how we can save a lot of mental distress by not over-identifying with any particular one of our selves, and how we can extend that concept to those around us. This helps us not only forgive others when one of their selves may have acted in a displeasing way, but also helps us forgive and go easy on ourselves when we act in a way that we later find distressing or shameful.

In This Episode

• The reported benefits and risks of microdosing psilocybin mushrooms and LSD
• Whether someone’s height and weight make a difference in their dosage
• The overwhelming number of those suffering from depression who reported significant improvements in their survey
• Why microdosing may not be advisable for those with anxiety
• Dr. Fadminan reports on study findings regarding conditions including: depression, PMS, migraine headaches, and bipolar


“A lot of people have found that when they’re tapering off of an SSRI, which means taking it down very, very slowly over a period of maybe a couple of months from full dose to zero, that microdosing helps. That makes it easier. Makes it maybe even a little faster.” [14:13]

“I’m an enthusiast for the effect of microdosing, but I never recommend that anyone microdose. That’s a personal decision based on information, but the nice thing is the risk/reward ratio, which is how dangerous versus how beneficial. It’s very good for microdosing. Meaning, if you take it, it’s very low risk, and yeah, from the reports, we have a lot of possibility of benefits.” [35:00]

“What we’ve found is that about 80% of the people who come in with heavy depression, and again, most of them having failed medications or other therapies, we’ve about an 80% turnaround rate where they’re not depressed. That’s really striking.” [42:00]

“They (students) say: “Microdosing is very much like Adderall, except with none of the very disturbing side effects.” Adderall includes crashing, by the way. And addiction.” [49:18]

“Individual neurons in the laboratory, exposed to microdoses, grow into more healthy, more complex neurons with more dendrites, meaning more communication capacity.” [52:17]

In discussing his new book, Your Symphony of Selves: “The inconsistencies you see in yourself and particularly in the people you love are not inconsistencies. It is that they have several selves, and you do too. And if you begin to think in that way, curiously, the world becomes easier. You understand things differently and you are kinder to yourself and more compassionate to others.” [1:10:43]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.