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Mar 2, 2018

Dennis Jon McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.

He is also one of the founding contributors to the modern wave of ayahuasca research in particular and psychedelic research in general. In fact, the book Magic Mushrooms grower’s guide, which he co-authored with his brother Terence in the 70s, presented the first reliable method for cultivating psilocybin mushrooms at home.

Chances are if it wasn’t for Dennis and his brother, none of us would have ever tasted the magic at all.

See below for full episode breakdown.

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Episode Breakdown

  • The early years: developing the magic mushroom growers guide.
  • The limitations of the biomedical model for psychedelic research
  • The encounter and emergence of psychedelics in the culture of the 60 impact - dangerous
  • How and why Dennis and Terence got into psychedelics.
  • The McKenna early journey, from the jungle to the university.
  • What it was like to travel into the jungle for ayahuasca during the early years, before the tourist boom, compared to today.
  • The danger of the cults and power hunger within ayahuasca culture.
  • The role of psychedelics in the modern plight of humanity.
  • The moral dimension of psychedelic technology.
  • Plant intelligence and mycelial brain of the forest (no?)
  • Plant/mammal symbiotic co-evolution.
  • Psychedelic spiritually is cheating?
  • On Terence
    • Beyond the legend. The man, the brother.
    • How Terence privately feel about the time wave?
    • Did he stop taking mushrooms?
    • The challenges of being a psychedelic celebrity
    • How does it feel to watch Terence being torn down by his critics?
    • Did Terence work for the CIA?
    • Dennis favourite story of his brother
  • The difference between Microdosing LSD and psilocybin
  • The possible dangers of microdosing LSD?
  • Cultural implications of microdosing vs macrodosing.
  • Suggestion and cautions in choosing to guide others in psychedelic experience.
  • What psychedelic is Dennis still taking?
  • You don't know shit.
  • If he were to die tomorrow, what piece of advice would he offer us?