Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris: The Science of Psychedelics for Mental Health | Huberman Lab Podcast

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In this episode, my guest is Robin Carhart-Harris, PhD, distinguished professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is one of leading researchers in the study of how psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD and DMT can change the human brain and in doing so, be used to successfully treat various mental health challenges such as major depression, anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addiction. He explains how psilocybin induces sustained changes in adaptive brain wiring and cognition. We discuss the key components of safe and effective psychedelic journeys, the role of hallucinations, the use of eye-masks to encourage people to “go internal,” and music, as well as what effective therapist support consists of before, during and after the session (also known as integration). We discuss micodosing vs. macrodosing and how researchers control for placebo effects in psychedelic research. We also discuss the current legal landscape around psychedelic therapies. Psychedelic therapies are fast emerging as powerful and soon-to-be mainstream treatments for medical health disorders, but they are not without their risks. As such, this episode ought to be of use to anyone interested in brain plasticity, mental health, psychology or neuroscience.

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Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris
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Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing:
Trial of Psilocybin versus Escitalopram for Depression:
Pivotal mental states:
Increased global integration in the brain after psilocybin therapy for depression:
Structure-based discovery of nonhallucinogenic psychedelic analogs:
Self-Medication for Chronic Pain Using Classic Psychedelics: A Qualitative Investigation to Inform Future Research:
MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study:

00:00:00 Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris
00:02:12 Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Levels, HVMN
00:05:41 The Brain-Body Contract
00:06:31 Origin of the Word: “Psychedelics”; Pharmacology
00:12:05 Psychedelics & Revealing the Unconscious Mind, Psychotherapy
00:17:32 Microdosing
00:26:08 Psilocybin vs. Magic Mushroom Doses
00:28:28 “Psychedelic-Therapy”, Music
00:35:12 Sponsor: AG1 (Athletic Greens)
00:36:26 Psychedelic Journey: “Trust, Let Go, Be Open”
00:43:01 Negative Emotions, Fear & Psychedelics
00:46:21 Global Functional Connectivity, Serotonin 2A Receptor; Subjective Experiences
00:52:33 Pharmacology: Therapeutics without Psychedelic Effects; SSRIs
00:58:45 Psilocybin & Depression; Long-Term Effects: Connectivity & Neuroplasticity
01:09:14 Sponsor: LMNT
01:10:26 Psilocybin Therapy & Anorexia
01:12:56 Integration Phase & Psychedelic-Therapy; Meditation
01:19:50 First-Time Psychedelic Use, “Entropic Brain Effect”, Neuroplasticity, Cognition
01:30:16 Fibromyalgia & Psychedelic Treatment; MDMA Therapy & “Inner Healer”
01:38:55 Placebo Response & Psychedelic Therapy
01:41:39 LSD & Psychedelic-Therapy, Micro-Dose
01:48:19 Combination Psilocybin-MDMA Therapy
01:56:06 DMT “Rocketship” & Serotonin 2A Receptors; Ibogaine
02:01:04 “Ego Dissolution”, Cocaine vs. Psychedelics; Relapses
02:12:26 Psychedelics & Legal Landscape; Decriminalization
02:17:54 MDMA, Trauma & Clinical Trials; Future Regulatory (FDA) Approval?
02:23:25 Psilocybin & Current Clinical Trials
02:28:41 Mental Health & Psychedelic Treatment, Safeguards, Paradigm Shift
02:34:39 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –


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