The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave

The Case for Microdosing: Why Legalization Matters

Episode 179

Microdosing Collective Panel Discussion

Paul F. Austin hosts a panel discussion on advocacy for legalizing microdosing, and why it matters in the psychedelic movement.

This episode is a re-broadcast from the Into The Multiverse Podcast and was recorded in July 2022 in Los Angeles, CA, at the launch party of the Microdosing Collective, a non-profit dedicated to advancing and protecting the right to microdose. In a special panel discussion hosted by Paul F. Austin, four passionate leaders in the world of psychedelics discuss topics such as the history of microdosing, sacred rituals, the legal landscape, and how to safely advocate for microdosing. This discussion is a rebroadcast and was originally released on the Into The Multiverse Podcast

About the panelists:

Alli Schaper
Alli Schaper is an entrepreneur, community builder, speaker, mental-wellness advocate, and enthusiast for mushrooms and other psychedelic medicines. She is currently the CEO & Co-Founder of Into The Multiverse, an education-first ecosystem for all things fungi, whose mission is to rebrand functional mushrooms and encourage collaboration in the psychedelics industry. Her team has created the world’s first functional mushroom marketplace, The Multiverse, and SuperMush, their in-house consumer lifestyle brand.

Her passion for bringing microdosing psychedelics to the mainstream wellness conversation led her to collaboratively launch The Microdosing Collective. She is also the host of Into The Multiverse Podcast.
Instagram: @allischaper

Marie Mbouni, M.D.
Born in Cameroon, Africa, Marie Mbouni, M.D. felt a calling toward healing and was initiated into iboga at the age of 14. Ultimately she would go on to pursue her education in Canada and the United States, following the Western medical route as an anesthesiologist. After years in this profession, Marie realized it did not fully align with her vision of healing and embraced a new career as a shaman, energy healer, and mentor. Marie has studied and cared for the body for over 20 years. Opening herself to the power of the mind, the beauty of intuition, and the all-encompassing power of love changed her, she stepped into her destiny as a healer and embraced her potential beyond the confines of the mainstream.
Instagram: @mariembounimd

Joshua Kappel
Joshua Kappel is a founding partner of Vicente Sederberg with a practice devoted to helping entrepreneurs and like-minded professionals build human-centric and regenerative companies in the cannabis and psychedelic communities. Joshua also has a passion for helping advocates draft legislation and build sustainable legal vehicles that will  influence these emerging industries going forward.

Recently, Mr. Kappel was a co-author and chair of the campaign committee for Colorado’s Proposition 122, which was the first successful state ballot measure to create access to natural psychedelic healing through both a state-regulated and a decentralized community-healing model. Joshua also helped draft Denver’s psilocybin decriminalization initiative and has assisted in drafting cannabis and psychedelic measures across the country for over 12 years.

Paul F. Austin (Host)
Paul F. Austin is a 21st-century pioneer of the responsible use of psychedelics for healing, leadership, and personal transformation. He has been featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and WebMD for his work amplifying awareness around the benefits of microdosing psychedelics. Paul is the author of the book Mastering Microdosing: How to Use Sub-Perceptual Psychedelics to Heal Trauma, Improve Performance, and Transform Your Life and the founder of two companies in the emerging psychedelic space, Third Wave and Synthesis.
Instagram: @paulaustin3w

Podcast Highlights

  • Why microdosing advocacy matters.
  • A brief history of microdosing and its potential role in mainstream acceptance of psychedelics.
  • Panelists share their “why” in promoting responsible psychedelic use in mainstream society.
  • On sacred reciprocity and microdosing with plant medicines.
  • The current legal landscape of microdosing and the work ahead towards legalization.
  • Harnessing neuroplasticity for wellness and optimization.
  • Drawing on lessons from cannabis when it comes to microdosing psychedelics.
  • How to share support for microdosing without putting yourself at risk.
  • Defining microdosing.

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.4 Josh Kappel: There’s a movement happening around psychedelic reform. There’s probably a dozen some bills in different states, but none of them touch microdosing. And the best we could get in that Colorado bill, there’s supposed to be a study produced about what sort of microdosing could look like, and that’s the best we could get. And why is that the best that we could get? Because there is no voice of the microdosing community, and that’s sort of like why we’re here. If we want to be part of this wave of reform, we have to have a voice.

0:00:33.3 Paul Austin: Welcome to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance and collective transformation.

[music]

0:01:08.7 PA: Hey listeners, welcome back to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave. Today we have a special episode which is a panel from our launch event for the Microdosing Collective. This is a 501 [c] [3] nonprofit out of California that I helped to start in 2021. And the focus of the Microdosing Collective is to legalize microdosing supplements, so anyone and everyone can access them. And so we did a four-person panel. I moderated the panel, we had Alli Schaper, who is my co-founder of the Microdosing Collective and also the co-founder of SuperMush and Into The Multiverse, Josh Kappel, who is a lawyer who’s been very influential in both the cannabis and the psychedelic space. And then Dr. Marie Mbouni, who is a faculty in our training program for coaches and a plant medicine facilitator. And we really went into the topic of microdosing, accessibility around microdosing, the legal landscape and why we believe it’s so necessary and important that the emerging framework for how we hold these substances puts microdosing at the center.

0:02:21.0 PA: Because the truth is the vast majority of people who come into the psychedelic space are interested in starting with microdosing. And right now none of the sort of legal structure supports that process. And if you are interested in supporting the Microdosing Collective, if you’re interested in joining as a founding member or as a founding organization, after you listen to the episode today, just reach out to me, reach out to us over social or over email and we’d love to give you a little bit more information about how you can become involved to help legalize microdosing supplements. Before we dive into today’s episode, a word from our sponsors.

0:03:00.5 PA: Hey, listeners. Today’s podcast is brought to you by the Apollo wearable. I first started wearing the Apollo in the midst of the COVID quarantine over two years ago. It helped my body to regulate itself, to calm down, to stay more focused, and to meditate in the morning. And I use it to really regulate my nervous system in a time of incredible stress, and I’ve continued to use it on a day-to-day basis. It is indispensable in my daily routine. Here’s the thing. The Apollo is a wearable that improves your body’s resilience to stress by helping you to sleep better, stay calm, and stay more focused. Developed by neuroscientists and physicians, the Apollo wearable delivers gentle soothing vibrations that condition your nervous system to recover and rebalance after stress. I tell folks that it’s like a microdose on your wrist that helps you to feel more present and connected, especially when in the midst of a psychedelic experience. It’s a phenomenal compliment to any psychedelic experience.

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0:04:44.7 PA: Hey, listeners, I am excited to announce that we are now taking applications for the next round of Third Wave’s Coaching Certification Program. This is the highest level and most impactful program that we’ve developed at Third Wave over the last five years. In fact, it is one of the only programs in the world that focuses on leveraging psychedelics to achieve non-clinical outcomes in a one-on-one coaching context. We developed this in collaboration with high profile executive coaches as well as psychedelic clinicians to ensure that you have the tools that you need to create accelerated transformation in the lives of your clients. So if you’re looking to incorporate psychedelic work into your existing coaching practice or you just want to gain high quality training from the forefront of human potential, peak performance executive training and leadership development, go to thethirdwave.co/coaching-certification. You can fill out our application form and put down your deposit to ensure that you can secure a spot in our next program.

0:06:01.3 PA: Alright, that’s it for now. Let’s go ahead and dive into this special bonus episode. I hope you enjoy this panel from our launch event in July at the Petit Ermitage.

0:06:14.5 Alli Schaper: We’re gonna have a short little conversation around microdosing and then we’re gonna open it up to questions. And we’re so excited to share this concept with you guys. And this has been something that’s really close to all of our hearts. So I will be brief with kind of introducing it and then we’ll get into a little bit more of like the details and the science and the actual legal policy, which Josh will speak to much more eloquently than I can. And just to like kick it off, if you can just by a show of hands, who here has microdosed?

[applause]

[laughter]

0:06:48.5 AS: Lovely, lovely. Who here has had their life, significantly improved by the practice of microdosing? Amazing. The reason why we started this nonprofit, it’s called the Microdosing Collective. And the short answer is Microdosing has made a major impact on my life, Paul’s life, on Josh’s life, on everyone that’s involved in this coalition and this collective and hundreds of people around us. We’ve heard incredible stories. Paul has been in this space for a really long time, so I’m excited for you guys to hear about what he does. But the way that we are forming policy right now around psychedelics in the United States and Canada, as I’m sure a lot of you know, because a lot of you work in this space, is all around microdosing at service centers. And that’s amazing and so needed and everything we’re doing we really wanna work in synergy with all of the amazing clinical trials that are going around for clinical disorders: PTSD, anxiety, depression, there’s so much amazing work happening in that space.

0:07:56.6 AS: But microdosing and using sub-perceptual supplementation of psychedelics has been completely forgotten in public policy. And that’s a major oversight for a lot of different reasons. COVID, mental health is arguably one of the world’s biggest problems that trickles down into a lot of the other largest problems that the world is facing. And microdosing really helps. We know this. But the research around it is very bleak. It’s all anecdotal, it’s growing at an exponential rate. And while many of us here are in a place of privilege, if you’re at this venue and you live in this part of the world or you’re connected with this community, you probably have a great source of microdosing supplements. And so while we’re all here and many of you probably have it in your systems, I know multiple people on the panel have it in their systems right now. [laughter] While that’s happening and we’re super open in public and sharing all of our stories, there are people across the country that are getting arrested and facing incarceration and like years in prison.

0:09:01.2 AS: Specifically one case, many of you have heard of this because I’ve talked a lot about this with many of you tonight as you guys have been coming in. But there’s a woman named Jessica Thornton and she’s a nurse in Indiana. She’s a mom. She has five kids. And she was just arrested because someone at her hospital turned her in for making her own mushroom supplements because she’s trying to take better care of her mental health and now she’s facing potentially 10 years in prison. This is something we care a lot about. The goal of this initiative is to increase legal access to microdosing, psilocybin to start, and then eventually other psychedelics. That’s a really lofty initiative because we were talking about rescheduling and making it over the counter market for a current schedule one substance. This is not something that’s easy, but we have an amazing group of people that we’re working with.

0:09:49.6 AS: We’re looking at collaborating with clinical trials to actually prove more of the efficacy of microdosing and also just normalizing this conversation, having companies, individuals come be a part of this. So many of you here have signed up to be a founding member, which is amazing. Many of your companies have already donated to come fund and be a part of this initiative. And the goal is we want people to be able to have access to this stuff, hopefully in the near future. So I will pass it over to Paul now at this point, and we’re gonna do a short little panel conversation like 20 minutes or so, 25 minutes.

0:10:26.1 PA: 30 minutes.

0:10:26.7 AS: 30 minutes, 40 minutes. [laughter]

0:10:28.7 PA: Go the rest of the night.

[laughter]

0:10:32.1 AS: But seriously, thank you guys all so much for coming. So excited to see all of you and yeah, Paul.

0:10:38.3 PA: Thank you Alli. And let’s just give a big round of applause to Alli for helping us get together…

[applause]

0:10:46.9 PA: Leading the charge. We were in Butcher’s Daughter what? Six months ago, seven months ago, and she just dropped this as an idea and I couldn’t say no. And even though it’s a daunting challenge in some ways. We’re talking about schedule one substances, we’re talking about microdosing, and the very topic of legalizing microdosing supplements is it’s a hot one even in the psychedelic space because it brings back memories of the ’60s and what happened then. And so just to set the scene a little bit for how we found ourselves here tonight, I think some historical context is always helpful for microdosing. So microdosing as a concept came about as a result of Albert Hofmann. Albert Hofmann was the inventor of LSD and in 1943, he had the first high dose LSD trip where he rode his bike.

0:11:44.9 PA: If any of you have seen Michael Pollan’s new docuseries, you might have seen a phenomenal artistic representation of this. And later on in his life, Albert Hofmann lived till he was 102. He used to microdose LSD, and he said that it was incredibly helpful as an antidepressant and as a general euphoriant. Now word of that got back to a guy named Dr. James Fadiman. And Dr. James Fadiman was involved in the 1960s in research on psychedelics for creativity and problem solving. And he wrote a book called The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide in 2011 which talked about the concept of microdosing. In 2015, he was on the Tim Ferriss podcast and that’s when it started to take off. So seven years ago I heard about microdosing through the Tim Ferriss podcast of amphetamine. I started microdosing LSD about twice a week for seven months. I haven’t really looked back because as a result of that I started a platform called The Third Wave which is an educational resource for psychedelics, for microdosing, to really help bridge the gap…

[applause]

0:12:50.6 PA: Around the intentional and responsible use of psychedelic substances. Because at this point in time we know the science, we’ve had heard the science for over 70 years. Now it’s largely a matter of disseminating that information in a way that’s palatable for a mainstream audience and that’s what microdosing does so well. And so what I’ve landed on for any of you who may be Taoists or interested in the Tao Te Ching they often talk about the middle way as part of the Tao Te Ching. And what microdosing does is it lands in that middle way. You’re not not taking psychedelics. You’re also not doing a journey dose. And it allows people to navigate some of those unseen worlds without having to totally leap into the unknown. And we think this is critical then for mainstream adoption of psychedelic substances because we’re quickly going into cultural integration in places like Oregon. It won’t just be medical. And people need to access this in a responsible way. So that’s what we’re here tonight to talk about. We have Dr. Marie Mbouni who is a consciousness coach, a shaman, an energetic healer, a plant medicine facilitator, so many other things as well that I could talk about. We have Josh Kappel.

0:14:08.5 PA: Josh is a lawyer who has been highly influential in the cannabis scene, and now in the psychedelic space. Josh was influential in getting the ballot in Colorado in 2022 for psilocybin. And signatures collected for that, which you can talk more about. And then many of you already know Alli, the founder of The Multiverse and SuperMush and a beautiful human who we get to honor tonight for really, again, driving this project forward to where it is. So thank you for that. So where I’d like to start with all of us is just a bit of an opener. And Marie, I’ll start with you. The question that I want to ask is why. Why plant medicine, why microdosing, why consciousness? What is it about this that is so special for you?

0:14:57.3 Marie Mbouni: Okay, thank you. Wow, I don’t even remember the question, but I have an answer. [laughter] So I wanna start by saying that the next frontier is not outta space. It’s inner space. We haven’t even discovered like 100th of what’s going on within ourselves. And these substances, these plant medicines, are our gateways. They’re portals that help us bypass in a good way whatever stops us from accessing the parts of us that are divine, that are elevated, that are dark, so that we may become whole, so that we may become true, so that we may really be human. That’s what I call being human because a lot of us are lost within ourselves, lost within our society, lost within our families, lost within our friendships.

0:16:25.6 Audience: Yes.

0:16:27.1 MM: How do we find ourselves? How do we call ourselves back home? How do we be? I know it’s not grammatically correct, and I like and love that question, how do we be? So I’m really passionate about this because I had lost myself in my job, in my achievements, and in the matrix of whatever it was I was focusing at the time. And one day I realize I’m like a robot. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I like. It’s all informed by the outside. And that’s how I started the journey of reclaiming myself. And so yes, that’s what it means for me.

0:17:35.5 PA: Thank you Marie. Josh?

[applause]

0:17:44.7 JK: My story it goes back a little bit. I was a young just Christian charismatic child wanting to save the world from hell. And one day the… [laughter] I was 17, I had a beautiful experience with psilocybin. I was floating in this river. And it dawned on me that I was like, “Hey my purpose isn’t to save the world from hell. It’s actually to bring heaven on earth.” And that led me to this career for the last 18 years of working on drug policy reform and trying to open up consciousness and really expand access to different plants that in that time, it’s like help draft laws in Colorado for medical cannabis was part of the campaign to make recreational cannabis legal. Worked with MAPS in some of their studies. Worked with Courtney and we helped decriminalize psilocybin in Denver. Did a similar measure in Detroit. Courtney’s amazing by the way. And recently, I’ve been working on this measure in Colorado, The National Medicine Health Act have certain natural psychedelics available in a regulated model but also just sort of legalize the current underground community. And along the way it’s like there’s this monumental time and I was 17, that put me on this path, but I was checking in with the medicine along the way is sort of what kept me on the path. And yeah, super excited to be here and super excited to see all of you. And I think this sort of movement with the Microdosing Collective is such a key piece of what our future could look like.

[applause]

0:19:25.4 PA: Thank you Josh.

0:19:32.4 AS: So I came to mushrooms through functional mushrooms originally. And a lot of what we talk about, my team is here as well, Nini, Emily, we say this all the time, but lion’s mane is equally as powerful as psilocybin. So a lot of what our work is in my own personal journey was discovering the power of fungi in general. This is not just psilocybin and a lot of what we believe is the gateway to people understanding and having an open mind to psychedelics is coming to understand the fungi kingdom in general and how powerful it can be across the board. So my personal story was functional mushrooms and then starting to learn about psilocybin through the Tim Ferriss’ of the world and people that were really starting to speak out but had built a completely different audience.

0:20:19.6 AS: And why that’s relevant to tonight’s conversation is a lot of what we’re trying to do, whether it be with our podcast or this initiative, is like help normalize these conversations. The most powerful people in the world all microdose psychedelics or macrodose them, right? And that’s still fully illegal. And so if you’re someone that’s suffering in the middle of the country, you’re not at a place of privilege where you have access to these things. And most of the products that are being sold all across the United States and Canada, all these black market brands, are coming from a guy who knows a guy on Signal. I just found out a product I used to take is now being made at the same facility that produces heroin and fentanyl. And those substances actually in and of themselves aren’t bad. Read the book Drug Use for Grown-Ups. Lauren tells us she’s a huge fan of this work as well.

0:21:07.4 AS: My team’s doing a book club on it. It’s a really amazing book that talks about drug policy and that drugs can massively enhance our lives when they’re used in a responsible adult way. It’s impossible to do that if they’re illegal. Anyway, that’s a large part of the passion behind it. I really believe that mushrooms of all types can save the world. And this is really a passion project that was started by all of us that are working on separate projects in this space with the intention to bring all of it together and actually inform change. There’s so many cool people in this room. And so a lot of what Paul’s gonna talk about as well but like we really wanna encourage people they come get involved. Public policy is not cool. No offense, Josh. [laughter] It’s not sexy, it’s not exciting, and we wanna create something that is like a community that people wanna be a part of. We’re gonna have really amazing events. And we actually, in the future, want people to be able to go and have access legally to psilocybin microdosing because you guys just all raised your hand. We know it works. We need to get it out there to people that need it. So anyways, that’s kinda why.

0:22:14.8 PA: Thank you, Alli. So the high doses, these profound doses, these mystical doses, right? They have these phenomenal healing powers. And yet all of us in this room we’ve microdosed, many of us have probably gone on journeys. We know the power of that. There are a lot of people who they don’t necessarily have that courage, at least initially. They don’t necessarily want to face themselves in that way. And so what microdosing does is it allows someone to go in the shallow end before they swim into the deep end of their own consciousness, right? So Marie was talking a lot about that how do we be, right? How do we come to recognize what is truth? And microdosing can be that first step for folks as they navigate that journey. And so, Marie, the follow-up question that I’d love to have you sort of riff on or speak about is talking a little bit about these plant medicine microdoses. Because a lot of us here we’ve heard about psilocybin microdosing, we’ve heard about LSD microdosing, but I know you’ve practiced with more indigenous plant medicines in this way. And I’d love if you could talk about the power of reciprocity, the power of ritual, the power of a sacredness, even when it comes to microdosing.

0:23:24.6 MM: So I work with… I microdose Ayahuasca, Iboga, psilocybin. Those three plant medicines are my allies, meaning they call me to work with them. Because in shamanism, you don’t choose. You’re not, “Oh, I’m gonna serve.” No, they choose you, right? So these are my people. And I think that when you microdose plant medicine, it’s easier to remember that we are part of nature. It is easier to remember that the power of ritual is super important in our lives. And when we talk about rituals, people think it’s saging. It is a ritual, but everything can become a ritual. And when you learn that, the way you make your bed, the way you drink your water, the way… People call rituals routines. Your morning routine, right? So when you are able to create a relationship with a plant, the plant will teach you back. Sacred reciprocity, right relationship. The plants will teach you how to pause. Because the power of microdosing, I like to equate it to pause, press pause. If we forget that, it’s just another pill, it’s a magic pill, it’s a quick fix.

0:25:19.1 MM: So if you really want to enhance, which I’ve learned and I’ve received with the plant medicine microdosing, if you want to enhance your experience, you have to bring in the sacredness of being with you, the sacredness of your life, the sacredness of how you show up. And I think that’s one of the biggest things that plant medicines bring. Because you can’t… When it’s LSD it’s like, “Oh, acid.” Even the name acid makes me smile. [laughter] But when it’s like Ayahuasca [laughter] it’s like, “Oh. I have to sit down and really think about this,” right? And so it brings you within and it brings you back into your consciousness, into your intentionality. Why am I microdosing? Why am I doing this? Because we forget. You do it two weeks and then you just do it and you don’t even know why everybody else is doing it. So this is important. This is how we create impact. This is how we create change. This is how we transform when we can press pause.

0:26:44.1 PA: Thank you. I think that pause is particularly relevant now in sort of a fast ascending sort of acceleration of the psychedelic movement. There are a lot of people that I’ve spoken to even here tonight but also over the last few months, who are expressing concerns about how quickly this is going, because it is going quite fast. And there are a lot of people who are doing ceremony after ceremony after ceremony after ceremony. So there’s a way in which these medicines can just become drugs. There’s a way in which these medicines can just help us to further disassociate. There’s a way in which these medicines don’t allow us to drop in unless we’re intentional with that pause. And so I think that sense of bringing a reverence to the medicine and the way we approach it is important.

0:27:34.6 PA: So now spirituality aside, Josh, let’s talk about the legal sort of like tactical, practical, brass tacks of how the hell do we make this happen? When we’re looking at legal policy, what’s the current landscape? And from a legal perspective, we wanna be successful with the Microdosing Collective in passing legal regulatory policy. What do we need to do?

0:27:58.5 JK: Yeah. Appreciate that and appreciate the pause. Right now, surprise, microdosing is not legal. [laughter] The current state of affairs is that there’s a movement happening around psychedelic reform. We see Oregon, here in California it has to be 519, hopefully that moves forward. You have this bill in Colorado and there’s this movement happening. There’s probably a dozen some bills in different states but none of them touch microdose. In Oregon, the Oregon people are trying to sort of like fit the square peg in the round hole where they’re trying to say like, “Well, maybe you can go to a healing center and if you get a sub perceptible dose, you can then leave because you’re not feeling it.” And it’s like it was never the intention of that Oregon law to allow for microdosing.

0:28:52.4 JK: In Colorado, this historic bill that we’re working on that would legalize all sorts of natural psychedelic medicines and decriminalize them, there’s still not an intention there to legalize microdosing. Under the decrim provision, yes, it would allow people to grow their own to share it and it’ll provide some protections, but there’s not any offsite sales. And the best we could get in that Colorado bill was the study. There’s supposed to be a study produced by what sort of microdosing could look like and that’s the best we could get. And why is that the best that we could get? Because there is no voice of the microdosing community.

0:29:29.2 JK: And that’s sort of like why we’re here if we want to be in… If we want to be part of this wave of reform, we have to have a voice. And once we have a voice, once we organize and once we have a policy that we all support, then we can advocate for it. And I think one big thing I’ve been thinking about, I love all of you guys, like join us to think about this is like what do you want microdosing to look like? Do you want it… If we don’t do anything, it’s gonna be pretty simple. It’s like big pharma comes in, be prescribed, be limited doses. It’s pretty simple of how this looks.

0:30:05.0 JK: But if we do something like what do we want it to be? Do we want it to be sort of like a decriminalized model where it’s like maybe there’s sales of one dose that’s permitted? Do we want to have stores set up? Do we want just healing centers to be able to sell these products? Do we even want these products to be sold? It’s like I think there’s like so many questions of like as a community, we need to come together and envision what we want this to be. And that’s sort of why I helped start this. With all of us is like, “Hey, let’s have these conversations. Let’s do the work. Let’s envision the future, and then collectively, all of us can bring it about.” It’s really not that difficult. But we all have to be a part of it.

0:30:49.2 PA: Thank you, Josh. And a lot of the medical, right? A lot of the focus so far has been on the medicalization of psychedelics. It’s essentially replicating what we might call a sick care system, right? Where the focus is on pathology, the focus is on labeling, the focus is on identifying someone as X. And I think the opportunity that we have with microdosing and the opportunity that we have, even with creating a new paradigm with psychedelics, not trying to fix what’s broken, but instead create something new, is looking at microdosing not just as a pill, like an SSRI, but it’s actually what I call a vitamin for vitality. It’s a wellness supplement. It’s a supplement that can help bring more energy. And Alli, I’d love to hear sort of your thoughts and perspectives about that. Why do you think it’s so important that we look at microdosing not just as a pharmaceutically prescribed pill, but as this wellness supplement? And how do you envision that might be rolled out in the next three to five to ten years?

0:31:56.0 AS: Yeah, so I guess the direction I kinda want to take this is like what does… I’m gonna answer your question. I’m just gonna loop around back to it. But what does the world need most of right now? And it’s more open-minded people. In my personal opinion, I think the world needs more open-minded people. We’re not trying to Timothy Leary this whole thing. We’re not trying to give the whole world psilocybin microdosing of people that aren’t ready for it, right? But the quickest way to increase neuroplasticity in the brain, or one of them, is to consume microdoses of psychedelics. And why I think it’s so important right now is because it should be a part of the wellness conversation. The healthiest, happiest people I know have some sort of psychedelic ritual. You figure out what your plant is or what your entheogen is or what substances work for you and your body. And everyone is different, right? Like some people cannabis works wonders with their system for a season and their seasonality to all of these things.

0:32:53.8 AS: But what I have found in the hundreds of people that I’ve had conversations with, I think we all have, that have used microdosing as a part of their wellness ritual and are including it as a part of a healthy lifestyle, it’s allowing for live pattern interruption. Instead of going and doing a macrodose, whether it’s ceremonial or recreationally or however you consume psychedelics, supporter of all is microdosing allows you to have this slight neuroplasticity while you are in your life. So while you are in a habit loop, we’re all just walking habits that we accumulate over our years, and while you’re having a challenging conversation with someone, this habitual loop of how you respond, you’re actually able… I’ve caught myself like stopping the pattern. And I think that’s so important to have this open-minded way of thinking.

0:33:49.0 AS: And just at baseline, I’ve had conversations with people all across the board that are using microdosing for just human optimization going from an eight to a twelve. And then people that are using it that are experiencing really severe depression anxiety and that are just looking to get to that healthy normal pace. And it’s remarkable the stories that I’ve heard. And I’m not trained in microdosing. There’s a lot of people here that are. And if you are one of those people actually raise your hand. Who’s a microdosing coach here that works in the space? There’s quite a few of them. John. Yeah. So there’s like 10 or so of you guys like find these people and if you’re interested in working on a protocol. But I just think from an impact perspective, the slight neuroplasticity for as many people that want to explore it, to have access to it is so important.

0:34:41.7 PA: Well, it goes back to Marie’s point about the pause, right? So as above, so below, that’s one of my favorite phrases. And so if we’re looking at that pause externally, that pause internally allows for that chance not to react, but actually to create. And then microdosing could be that tool. It could be that catalyst to help with that creation process. Marie, yes.

0:35:01.1 MM: I just wanna add something really quick. I love what everybody’s saying. So the way the brain works is it likes patterns, it recognizes patterns. So having rituals and pauses is you saying, “Okay, I’m gonna witness myself, I’m gonna witness my patterns.” Because patterns happen because we are not conscious, which is why you can drive from a place to another. It’s like, wait, how did I get here? Patterns. And with a pause, it’s like I know what’s happening. Conscious neuroplasticity is how you actually know that you are changing, you are transforming. If not, it’s just another pattern, like the microdosing pattern, you don’t know it’s happening. So bringing ritual, sacredness, consciousness, interrupting your patterns. Boom. Lastly, I received that you guys need to organize envisioning events or visionary events about dreaming collectively about how we want this to look.

0:36:25.4 PA: While microdosing, all of us.

[laughter]

0:36:28.8 MM: I mean, of course.

0:36:32.0 PA: Thank you. So I want to open it up for a little Q&A. We’ve been talking over here and doing some curation, but I’d love to hear some questions from the audience about microdosing, about policy, about any of us and what we’ve talked about up here today. We have time for a few questions.

0:36:49.1 Audience: An idea I had was that thinking about microdosing, if we position it in the way that cannabis was positioned, ’cause nobody says you can only smoke one joint or you can only have one gummy. The agency is with the person in possession of the cannabis. So I’m wondering in the success of that, what are those successes, that’s success that we can draw with respect to the use of other plant medicines, including microdosing. So that’s one question. Has anybody thought of that? And then the other, I just wanna comment about the neuroplasticity and these wellness supplements, and I think, “Wow, how cool is it?” We can have turkey tail and some lion’s mane and psilocybin, all compounded together. So for me, I really feel like there’s such value in that. And as far as I know, there’s probably people putting things together, but there’s the Stamets stack, but beyond that, there isn’t a lot of education about neuroplasticity and about the actual physiological benefits. So I also think that that is a really powerful inroad. So the question though is what is it about cannabis that made it so unique and why is it so different than psilocybin and mushrooms in this application?

0:38:17.1 JK: Cannabis and psychedelics. I mean, a lot of people say like, “Oh, it’s like psychedelics are like cannabis circa 1996.” And in some cases we are. You have one state that passes a law that’s very limited that only allows for supervised use of psilocybin. But you also, on the other hand, have a ton of pharmaceutical companies that are going through trials, not pharmaceutical products, very soon or maybe in the next couple years. And cannabis is nowhere close on the pharmaceutical side. So just putting into perspective, but in terms of this is a question a lot of people ask is like, “Hey, do we wanna be like cannabis? Do we want that same structure or do we wanna do something different or something better?” And I think when we think about what this looks like from a state perspective, really it’s like anything’s possible. We just have to put it to… We can say like, “Hey, instead of having stores, we want facilitators to be able to sell these, we want a facilitator microdosing license.” We could advocate for that. We don’t have to follow the same stories of the past. I think in Oregon why do they not have retail sales?

0:39:29.2 JK: I think part of it was like, hey… I can’t put myself in their shoes, but I think a lot of it was like, “Hey,” what they really were pushing for was like, “Hey, we want to provide psychedelic therapeutic access to as many people as possible, and we don’t know what this is gonna look like because it’s never really been done before openly. And so we’ll do it in a very controlled setting.” And so they started very small. And I don’t think we have to do that. I think we can… Really I think we can do whatever we want to if we can all come together and get behind it.

0:40:00.5 PA: Thank you, Josh. And I think on the physiological note, microdosing is also… Psychedelics are anti-inflammatory. And we know that a lot of diseases, we know that a lot of issues are related to inflammation. They’re also… They activate serotonin, a lot of serotonin. And the vast majority of serotonin receptors, 90% are in the gut, right? And so there’s a phenomenal then physiological impact on when we heal the gut, we also heal the brain. And that’s actually where a lot of neuroplasticity comes from because of the clearing of that inflammation. In terms of education that’s specific to that, that’s something that we’ve done quite a bit through Third Wave in terms of resources and blogs and, of course, and even our coaching training program that we have. I do think it’s probably one of the weakest points of the current psychedelic renaissance that there’s not a lot of focus on the physiological. And that I think we have an opportunity with microdosing to really go and ask… Another phrase that I love is transformation not transcendence, right? We can sort of do the why we a lot, but it’s more so about the now what, right? When we come back, how do we root that? How do we ground that? And I think microdosing can help with that process.

0:41:12.4 Audience: How do you give a voice to something like this that’s currently illegal? On social media and if you have a podcast, what would you guys recommend? How would you verbalizing our support for this while still being able to have an audience? I would love to talk about this without risking.

0:41:31.3 PA: Sure. So how do you verbalize support for microdosing without risking your platform necessarily? I can handle that ’cause our Instagram just got taken down a few weeks ago. [laughter] So I’m currently navigating that. We’re almost back to where we need to be. A lot of it has to do with education and as long as you are not “selling” something and you’re saying, “Hey, this is what I know. This has been my own personal experience.” If you really feel called to say that. I’ve been publicly talking about how I’ve been on acid on stage for like six years now. And I mean, I’m still surprised that nothing has ever happened at this point in time. And I really think it’s because when we look at the larger drug war, a lot of the focus is on fentanyl and harder drugs that are incredibly harmful or they can be incredibly harmful.

0:42:20.2 PA: And the microdoses are not that way. So I think if wanting to talk about this publicly and you feel comfortable talking about it from the I perspective and then education and research. Here’s what we know about it, here’s how it might be helpful, here are some of the risks that might be available. Because I think it’s also important not to whitewash this and sort of present this as a panacea. It establishes trust to go, “Okay, there are both these benefits and there are potentially these risks or negative things as well.” Because this is not just all beautiful stuff. Just like high dose psychedelic work when you start to touch into the shadow, there’s naturally gonna be some yucky stuff. And when you microdose, that can also be the case.

0:43:03.0 JK: And I’d also say… I can use this one. Part of the collective is for people who don’t wanna be out there publicly, that’s why these nonprofits form so we can… You can support us financially and we can be the voice so you don’t have to be out there publicly. And that’s a key part of the mission here too.

0:43:25.7 AS: The goal of this in a lot of ways is to help people that want to come out of the psychedelic closet do, but actually do it in a way where you’re supporting something where it’s not just like you’re announcing on Instagram that you microdose, right? Which is great. That helps normalize the space and helps drive change because people are more aware. And people that will resonate with you and your audience that may be close-minded will now be more open-minded. But a large purpose of this, the range of companies that we have coming on board to be founding company members are CPG brands, they’re psychedelic companies, they are tech companies. It is a wide range of brands out there that really believe in this space but don’t really have… Right now there’s the donate to MAPS, right? Or another psychedelic organization. But there’s not something that’s specifically focusing on the future of consumer products. And the goal with this is to help people that want to come outta the psychedelic closet support something that’s actually actionable.

0:44:28.4 PA: We have time for one more question and then we’ll… the gentleman.

0:44:32.3 Audience: Is there a general agreement on exactly what microdosing is? And do you have a definition? I’m loving it and I’m trying to explain it to people around me and I’m not exactly sure what to say.

0:44:44.9 PA: So that’s a great question ’cause we didn’t really set the frame for that. So what is microdosing? [laughter] So microdosing is a sub perceptible dose of a psychedelic, typically about one tenth of a regular dose. So when it comes to LSD, there tends to be between five and twenty micrograms of LSD. When it comes to psilocybin mushrooms, that’s between let’s say 100 and 200 milligrams of psilocybin mushrooms. Now, there’s a lot of sort of underground or other… I hear a lot of people say they took a microdose today and I ask them, “How much did you take?” And they said, “I took a gram of mushrooms.”

[laughter]

0:45:21.3 PA: Now, what’s important to emphasize is for some people that could be a microdose for people who have been on SSRIs for a long time, for people who are maybe highly neurotic or have a lot of blockages. That gram might be a microdose for them. But for most people it’s 100-200 milligrams. And what’s important is this is the calibration, right? So a lot of this is the personalization. Whereas Marie talked about we are engaging with a medicine, we are engaging in relationship with that medicine, and we’re asking of it what do I want to create and manifest with this? So for some days a microdose is 100 milligrams. Today it was 200 milligrams. On other days it might be even slightly more than that. And I think it’s important not to get hung up on this definition of microdosing.

0:46:03.4 PA: We could even call it low dosing or what I call mini dosing, right? The point is that it’s an amount of a substance that you take where you can still basically navigate your day-to-day existence without it feeling like, “Holy shit, what just happened?” [laughter] And so there’s no visual changes. There’s no significant sort of sensual changes. And a lot of this is why it’s important to have coaching. It’s why it’s important to have support. Because when people start microdosing, they’re not gonna know off the bat. And so what we always say is start low and go slow, right? You can always take more. You certainly can’t take less. And so that’s, I think, also important to know.

0:46:40.9 AS: The quick thing I’ll add to that, how I explain microdosing to people that ask me whenever I post something on Instagram or podcast, anything is it’s more about what you don’t feel rather than what you do. If you’re feeling your microdose you took too much or you took it with a lot of caffeine or you took it before you you ate food, there’s a lot of things at play there. And if you’re doing it correctly, you should not be feeling it. You should not be hallucinating on Zoom.

[laughter]

0:47:05.5 PA: Unless you want to, and then you know, it’s your prerogative. So thank you. Thank you for your attention. I know this is quite a packed house. Thank you for the questions. Thank you for showing up tonight. Thank you for all of you for doing this work yourself, for having the courage to go inwards, for having the courage to show up, for having the courage to support this. As we said, it’s still illegal and it will require a significant effort to push this forward. And so we really appreciate all of you coming out to show us support. Much love.

[music]

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