Dr. Matthew Johnson: Psychedelic Medicine

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In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses medical research on psychedelic compounds with Dr. Matthew Johnson, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. They discuss the biology and medical clinical-trial uses of psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, DMT, and LSD. Dr. Johnson teaches us what the clinical trials in his lab reveal about the potential these compounds hold for the treatment of depression, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD, and other disorders of the mind. Dr. Johnson describes a typical psychedelic experiment in his laboratory, start to finish, including the conditions for optimal clinical outcomes. And he explains some of the potential hazards and common misconceptions and pitfalls related to psychedelic medicine. Dr. Johnson explains flashbacks, the heightened risks of certain people and age groups using psychedelics, and the evolving legal and pharmaceutical industry landscape surrounding psychedelics. Dr. Johnson also describes how the scientific study of psychedelics is likely to set the trajectory of psychiatric medicine in the years to come. Dr. Johnson is among a small handful of researchers who have pioneered the clinical study of these powerful compounds. He has unprecedented insight into how they can be woven into other psychiatric treatments, changing one’s sense of self and reality.

Dr. Matthew Johnson’s Social Media


  • 00:00:00 Introducing Dr. Matthew Johnson
  • 00:02:10 Supporting Sponsors
  • 00:06:40 ‘Psychedelics’ Defined
  • 00:14:09 Hallucinations, Synesthesia, Altered Space-Time Perception
  • 00:19:56 Serotonin & Dopamine
  • 00:23:50 Ketamine & Glutamate
  • 00:28:00 An Example Psychedelic Experiment
  • 00:37:30 ‘Letting Go’ with Psychedelics
  • 00:44:10 Our Mind’s Eye
  • 00:48:00 Redefining Your Sense of Self
  • 00:58:56 Exporting Psychedelic Learnings to Daily Life
  • 01:04:36 Flashbacks
  • 01:12:10 Ayahuasca, & ASMR, Kundalini Breathing
  • 01:15:54 MDMA, DMT
  • 01:26:00 Dangers of Psychedelics, Bad Trips, Long-Lasting Psychosis
  • 01:38:15 Micro-Dosing
  • 01:56:45 Risks for Kids, Adolescents & Teenagers; Future Clinical Trials
  • 02:03:40 Legal Status: Decriminalization vs. Legalization vs. Regulation
  • 02:18:35 Psychedelics for Treating Concussion & Traumatic Brain Injury
  • 02:27:45 Shifting Trends in Psychedelic Research, Academic Culture
  • 02:44:23 Participating in a Clinical Trial, Online Survey Studies, Breathwork
  • 02:50:38 Conclusions, Subscribing & Supporting the HLP, Supplements