James Fadiman is a psychologist and writer who is recognized as one of the pioneering figures in the exploration and study of psychedelics. He was part of the early research on psychedelics in the 1960s, studying their potential therapeutic use and effects on creativity, before the substances became illegal.
Fadiman earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate in Psychology and Personality from Stanford University. He has taught at several institutions including San Francisco State University, Brandeis University, and Stanford University, and co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now known as Sofia University.
Fadiman’s most prominent contribution to the field of psychedelics in recent years is arguably his research on microdosing. He has led the effort in collecting self-report data from individuals around the world who have followed his suggested microdosing protocol—taking a small, sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance (such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms) every three days—and sharing their experiences with him.
In his book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys,” he provides an overview of this practice, and outlines potential benefits that individuals have reported, including enhanced creativity, increased physical energy, heightened awareness, improved relational skills, and alleviation of symptoms from conditions such as depression, migraines, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Fadiman emphasizes the importance of approaching microdosing (and all psychedelic use) responsibly, with a clear intention and respect for the substance. He often reminds audiences that while many individuals report positive experiences, microdosing is not a panacea, and the long-term effects are still not fully understood.
If you want to learn more about microdosing from Jim, see these additional talks: