The Future and Science of Psychedelics Featured Session at SXSW 2018 [Video]

“About 25 years ago I started a meditation practice, and that got me really interested and curious about the nature of altered states of consciousness, spiritual experiences, and the like.” - Dr. Roland R. Griffiths

Roland Griffiths Ph.D., professor at the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, joined bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans Tim Ferriss for a conversation on the medical applications of psychedelics. The national conversation around mental health has only intensified in recent years despite our efforts as a community to address the issue, and this session takes a look at alternative treatments that may provide breakthroughs in the future.

Ferriss, who serves as the moderator of the discussion, begins by introducing Dr. Griffiths and his body of research into mood-altering substances as well as providing a baseline of information about research into psychedelics — a history of the first wave of research during the 1950s and its subsequent halting by the US government, the different types of “classic” psychedelic compounds, and the therapeutic applications of psilocybin.

“I could not think of something more important and interesting that I could spend my time on. This is a window into the nature of consciousness.” — Dr. Griffiths

Griffiths admitted an initial skepticism when he began studying psilocybin 20 years ago — suggesting that it may have helped him gain clearance to begin his testing — but now describes the effect of the drug on the mind as like an inverse PTSD. He elaborates that psilocybin provides an acute positive experience that in some cases has benefits lasting long after the treatment.

Learn more about Dr. Griffith's research, including opportunities to participate, and Ferriss’ financial backing of psychedelic research by watching the full 2018 SXSW Featured Session below.

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The Science of Psychedelics - Photo by Michael Caufield

By Hayden Bagot