Paul Austin

Ready to unlock your mind’s potential? Dive into the world of microdosing with Paul Austin in this Underdog podcast. Listeners will be captivated as Paul debunks common myths about psychedelics, explaining how these substances differ significantly from other drugs and how they can be used safely and effectively.

From his conservative upbringing to his adventures in Lisbon, Portugal, Paul’s narrative is a powerful testament to the life-altering effects of psychedelics. As the CEO of Third Wave, he now shares insights into the neurobiological effects of psychedelics, such as increased neuroplasticity, which can lead to significant improvements in mental health conditions like PTSD, depression, and addiction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personal Journey with Psychedelics: Paul shares his experiences with LSD, highlighting its role in breaking free from a sheltered, religious upbringing. Microdosing LSD became a tool for him to address social anxiety, reduce alcohol consumption, and enhance creativity and productivity.
  • Balancing Act and Discernment: Paul emphasizes the need for balance in psychedelic use and the importance of discernment. He discusses how prolonged microdosing without breaks led to manic states, underlining the significance of respecting natural barriers.
  • Comparison with Cannabis: Paul distinguishes psychedelics from cannabis, noting their different impacts on neurological performance. He acknowledges the potential benefits of cannabis but warns about its addictive nature and potential negative effects.
  • Future Societal Impact: Paul envisions a future where psychedelics contribute to reducing mental health issues, fostering community-centric approaches. He speculates on the evolving nature of work, with psychedelics providing a means for individuals to find meaningful and aligned paths. 
  • Advice from Older Self to Younger Self: Paul shares that his older self would advise following one’s gut and pursuing what feels aligned, even if it seems unreasonable. He emphasizes the importance of making decisions with the heart, not just the head.

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Psychedelics and the Future of Wellness with Paul Austin

Paul Austin: Hi, I’m Kevin Harrington, an original shark from the hit television show Shark Tank, and you’re listening to underdog podcast. All we know is over time barking like the Monday all we know is over time barking like the Monday.

Pamela Bardhi: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Underdog podcast. Today I have an incredible guest here with me live from Lisbon, Portugal, my friend Paul. How are you, my friend?

Paul Austin: I’m doing well, Pamela. I’m glad we could connect. It sounds like you’re healing up and getting better, and I’m loving being here in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s like San Diego, but half the price.

Pamela Bardhi: I love Paul. I love that.

Paul Austin: oh.

Pamela Bardhi: We were just chatting right before we got on. I was telling Paul, I got over this horrible flu, but I’m good now. I’m good now. And you’re telling me that you just flew into Lisbon, and I’m like, how are you even on this call? So, thank you so much for being.

Paul Austin dives into psychedelics and microdosing today

Paul Austin: I mean, when it comes mean, the topic that we’ll dive in today is psychedelics and microdosing. And I was just even saying to know, I got about 4 hours of sleep last night on the flight, but then I drank an espresso, and then I took a microdose of LSD, and I microdose here and there these days. But it was really helpful just to stay awake, to stay present. A lot of times when I don’t get sleep like that, my mood is actually the first thing to go. I’m irritable, I’m reactive. I don’t want to talk with anyone.

And so doing a little bit of LSD really helped to give me some energy but also helped to lighten my mood, and so I’m like, all things considered, I took about a 40 minutes nap, but I’m feeling good. It’s about 07:00 p.m. here now, and I love talking about this. Right. Psychedelics, in many ways, have become my life. Micro dosing has become my life. So any opportunity to share that with others is more than welcome.

Pamela Bardhi: I love it, Paul. I can’t wait to dive into the story and dive into microdosing and all the amazing things. And what I like to do is also take it back a little bit, too, to kind of unveil your story, and really, how you got to this point, right. So, as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Like, what was your dream?

Paul Austin: Probably either a professional athlete. So I played soccer through college, so reasonably competitively, I never made it to the thing, you know, when I was six. I wanted to become president of the United States, I think, which that’s still relevant. I still want to become a president of some country. I don’t know if it’ll be the United States or my own country at some point in time, but I definitely intend to start my own sovereign nation at some point down the what I growing always. I was a reader, right? I love to read. I love to learn. I played violin, so I loved music, I loved sports.

And so when I was 1920, when I started to get back into reading and learning and my curiosity, because I had in sort of the high school years that had sort of gone quiet because reading wasn’t cool, violin wasn’t cool. It was just a lot of peer pressure. But once I started doing d when I was 1920, it sort of opened up these dormant desires of learning, personal development, growth, and so my first job out of school was as a teacher. I taught English in Turkey for a year. English as a second language, took that initial skill that I developed, teaching English, built an online business around it.

So at the age of 24, I was living in Thailand, building my first online business, and then soon after that, happened to be in Budapest for the summer. A couple of friends came to visit. We did a higher dose of LSD, about 300 micrograms, which is definitely not a micro dose. And I had this beautiful day outside, and we’re sort of reflecting on psychedelics. This is in 2015, so about nine years ago, psychedelics, more clinical research is coming out. Cannabis is being reevaluated. Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan. These major podcasters are now openly talking about psychedelics. Like, there’s a thing here, and we noticed in particular, a lot of people were interested in microdosing.

So in 2015, I just started to publish education and content around psychedelics and microdosing because the teacher in me was like, a lot of what we’ve been taught is wrong. It’s propaganda. It’s not rooted in science. It’s rooted in fear, and so how do we set the record straight and let folks know? Actually, psychedelics can be incredibly beneficial. They’re nothing at all like other illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines. Actually, completely different how they interact with the brain and the body. And if people knew how to do this in a safe and intentional way, I think a lot of folks could benefit. They could have better relationships, they could have more energy.

The clinical research on medical mental health diagnoses like PTSD, depression, addiction is phenomenal, and so it really just began as like a desire to help people. And now, nine years later, I’ve been doing this full time for six years. We’ve educated 25 million people about psychedelics. We’ve facilitated retreats for over 1000 people with psilocybin, high doses of psilocybin. And I’ve trained over 200 coaches, practitioners, doctors, clinicians, and how to work with psychedelics. So it’s been a fun path and it’s just getting started, which I’m happy to talk more about as we sort of dive in.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah, I would absolutely love to hear a little bit more. I mean, it’s crazy because the world has so much stigma around, right?

There’s a lot of misinformation about psychedelics and its benefits

Like, and it was recently that I saw a documentary on Netflix, too, about this, about microdosing and that kind of thing, and I was like, oh, this is so fascinating, because it’s just like you said, there’s a lot of propaganda, there’s a lot of stigma, there’s a lot going on with it, and it’s like, what are the most typical myths that you get? And what’s the actual truth behind it? Right? Like you said, LSD works totally differently with the brain than cocaine would, right? So for anybody who’s listening, because it’s starting to come up from, it’s actually really beneficial for your mental health for microdosing, all these things. So what are the typical myths about it, and what’s the actual truth behind it and the benefits?

Paul Austin: So some of the myths, which are a bit more far, are like, if you take LSD seven times, you’ll be declared clinically insane. Or if you take LSD, it gets stuck in your spine, and then years later, you can have these flashbacks, which is actually not true and doesn’t happen. So those are some of the more, I would say egregious sort of propaganda lies specifically around LSD. I think some of the more nuanced lies that many people still believe is that psychedelics, because they’re illegal, they must be dangerous, whereas they’re not. The irony of schedule one.

So, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, DMT, which is an ayahuasca, these are all schedule one substances, and what schedule one means is they are addictive and they have no medical value. Now, this is the irony of the United States government, that, in fact, the exact opposite is true. That they’ve had medical value for thousands of years. And modern clinical research supports the efficacy of these substances for PTSD, depression, addiction, alcoholism, anxiety, a range of conditions, and they are non addictive. In fact, they’re anti addictive. They help people heal from addictions, whereas things like cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines are a lot more dopamine. Dopamine, the molecule of more. Right. Psychedelics are much more serotonin, which is the molecule of enough contentment. Right.

And so when folks notice, when they work with psychedelics, when they start to microdose, they’re more present, they’re more connected, they’re more aware. It isn’t this sort of unhealthy, drug seeking behavior that can be associated with things like crystal meth, heroin, cocaine. It tends to be a lot more sort of present, connected, aware. I mean, when we take a psychedelic, what’s happening in the brain, the reason why it’s so helpful for things like depression and addiction is because the brain becomes really rigid. The brain becomes really stuck, and when you take a psychedelic, it’s like shaking up the snow globe. So it introduces what we call plasticity, gray matter into the brain. And when it interrupts that rigidity in the brain, then all of a sudden, I’m not depressed. I don’t crave this alcohol or this cigarette.

It allows, essentially, for a new path to be developed from a behavioral perspective, which people find to be very empowering and helpful. So I would say that’s the biggest thing is the nuance around. It’s not addictive, and it does have medical value. And then I would say the other sort of. One other main myth is like, this is only for hippies. This is only for druggies. This is only for people who have dreads and go to music festivals. Whereas in know Aaron Rodgers, the MVP of the NFL, many of your listeners will know him, has talked about how impactful ayahuasca has been. Steve Jobs talked about how impactful lsd had been. Elon Musk has been very open about his psychedelic use with ketamine and other psychedelics and how helpful it’s been.

So really, what’s actually true is a lot of the best athletes, entrepreneurs, creatives of our time are actively working, currently working with psychedelics to improve communication, performance, mindset, resilience, which I think really makes them invaluable tools in any leader, entrepreneur, CEO’s toolbar. In fact, just today I was checking some email, catching up on email, and I got two different invitations to speak. One at a YPO event at the young president’s organization about psychedelics, and then the other one at an EO entrepreneurs organization event about psychedelics, so it’s happening. And what I tell folks is just like, if you’re a leader and you’re not getting enough sleep, or you’re not really taking good care of yourself physically, or you’re burning out. Right.

Like, all of these put you at, in the long term, a competitive disadvantage. And I would make a similar argument for psychedelics, that not having some sort of intentional practice with psychedelics could potentially put you at a disadvantage compared to a lot of your peers and other folks who are really looking at this as a tool for performance, for awareness, for growth, for new perspectives, creativity, innovation. Right. What defines great leaders is how quickly we can adapt, and psychedelics, the neurobiological level, help us to adapt really quickly to uncertain situations, which is why leaders love them.

Pamela Bardhi: Right. And that’s so fascinating to hear, that it’s being more widely accepted, especially in the business community too.

Paul Austin: Right?

Pamela Bardhi: Because that’s where you’re like, okay, well, here’s the entrepreneurs, the leaders. Everybody’s now interested in it, and it’s actually helping them as know for anybody who’s listening that doesn’t know what microdosing is, can you dial that back a little bit, Paul, and kind of explain, like, okay, what is a microdose of x?

The two most common substances that people microdose with are LSD and psilocybin

Paul Austin: Yeah, for sure. So the two most common substances that people microdose with are LSD, also called acid. LSD and acid are the same thing, just different names for the same thing, which is lysergic acid diethymide. It was the 25th sort of iteration from a chemist who was attempting to invent something to help with childbirth, from a substance called ergot, which is a fungus that grows and rides, so LSD is one commonly microdosed substance. And then psilocybin mushrooms, which we’ve had a relationship with as a human species for potentially tens of thousands of years, and psilocybin mushrooms, they’re a little bit more quote unquote natural. LSD is a synthetic. They’re more somatic. LSD is more cognitive.

Mushrooms are more body, more emotional, whereas LSD tends to be a bit more about performance and efficiency. So depending on the intention of someone in terms of why they’re microdosing, they might choose one. Now, a lot of people end up microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms because it’s Very accessible. They can grow their own mushrooms using our rokit that we have on third wave, or a lot of people just openly sell mushrooms now online because the government is no longer doing anything about it, which is a whole nother topic. And so the idea about micro dosing is that it’s a very low dose about a 10th of a regular dose, so for LSD, that’s about ten micrograms. For mushrooms, it’s about 100 milligrams.

And you take it two or three times a week for a period of, I say minimum, 30 days. Twice a week for at least 30 days is the minimum. Some people do it three times a week, some people do it for 60 days, people do it for 90 days. But really committing to that protocol and having an intention behind that protocol. So what we really emphasize is, like, a lot of folks who microdose are looking to wean off SSRIs or Ritalin or Adderall. Right, Prozac, Zolof. Great. That’s a clear intention, and if that’s, you do so under the guidance of a medical professional that there are things that are happening with your neurochemistry, and so it’s really important that you do that.

Paul: LSD is ideal for people looking to improve their cognitive performance

Now, other folks, they want more flow, they want more energy, they want to be more productive, they want to be more creative. If that’s the angle, typically LSD is ideal. Do you want to be more productive, more creative, more efficient, improve your overall cognitive performance? I find LSD to be really good for that. And then there are other folks who are just looking generally for a little bit of a pick me up. They’re looking to try something new. They’re looking for a new perspective. Maybe they’ve had a friend or two who has tried it, and they’ve been really successful.

In fact, right now with third wave, we have a 45 day microdosing challenge. We enrolled 100 people all over the world who are all microdosing together for 45 days, and we do it every other day. So there’s a few different protocols, but the most common one is every other day we have a call once a week, and then they have exercises, they have a workbook, they have other practices that they move through in this sort of 45 day challenge container. Because the key with micro dosing is that we don’t look at it necessarily as a magic pill. And what I mean by that is we’ve been so conditioned to take a pill for every ill.

If I just take this prozac or I take Zoloft or I take Ritalin or I take modafinil or I need this coffee, whatever it is, whatever drug it is. Whereas with microdosing, it’s like, yeah, use it as a catalyst, like the way I used it today. I got 4 hours of sleep. I’m quite tired. I need a little pep boom, take a little bit of LSD because I know that’s going to help, but I do that once a month at most. And so I think the key with a micro dosing protocol is pick a skill like meditation or breath work, or pick, like I said, an intention, eat healthier, move more, and really look at how microdosing, because of its impact on neuroplasticity.

So even when we take these low doses, it’s increasing BDNF, brain derived neurotropic factor, which is a precursor to neuroplasticity. So take advantage of that open window of neuroplasticity, weave in new behavioral patterns that are going to help you far after you stop that micro dosing protocol, because again, after 30 days, after 60 days, after 90 days, it’s good to take a break for two or three weeks, kind of reassess where you’re at, how things went for you. And then if you want to dive back in the rabbit hole after that, who’s to stop you?

Pamela Bardhi: I love that. I love that. Paul, there’s so many different. It’s so fascinating to. I mean, I grew up with the stigma, right? Like hearing about the LSD and it gets stuck in your spine and oh, my God, you’re going to die if you take it and all the stuff. And so it’s just so fascinating to hear the actual benefits of it and how it actually does make you more productive and more creative and how it’s more serotonin and it’s not this dopamine effect. It’s fascinating to see what the actual benefits of it are and that it’s becoming more widespread.

Paul Austin: Well, and I’m glad you brought that up, the safety thing, because the thing that I forgot to mention is lsd and psilocybin are the two safest drugs that we have available to us. And there was a study that was carried out about 15 years ago, and they looked at heroin, they looked at alcohol, they looked at cocaine, they looked at cannabis, they looked at tobacco, they looked at any drug that could be used and abused, potentially, what was its overall risk profile? So, for example with alcohol, drinking and driving is a huge issue with heroin. The high levels of addiction and the recovery that’s needed is a huge issue with cocaine. You have a lot of crime and psychedelics, you don’t have any of that.

I mean, maybe the rare case of someone who takes too many mushrooms, they don’t have a guy, they don’t have a sitter, and they go drive a car, right? Not smart, but it happens. But it’s so rare compared to a lot of the negative toxic effects of legal drugs currently, alcohol and tobacco and even sometimes cannabis. So I think what really matters and sort of the line between this is a question that I get pretty often, what’s the line between use and abuse? And I think a lot of it comes down to discernment, it comes down to intention, and especially with micro dosing, or even at these higher doses, do you have someone in your corner? Do you have a therapist? Do you have a coach? Do you have a guide?

Do you have sort of a practitioner who knows how to navigate this landscape and can help you have a really meaningful and beautiful experience? Because the difference between having a coach, a guide to practitioner, and not having a coach or a guide or practitioner can be substantial, especially at these higher doses. Microdosing, you can usually do some virtual stuff. It’s why we have our micro dosing challenge. It’s less catalytic, it’s less intense, the lower doses, which is why they’re such a great place to start. But if you’re considering, I might do 5 grams of mushrooms, or I might do a higher dose of LSD or ketamine, right. It’s really good to have a guide, a coach, a therapist who’s there and present with.

Pamela Bardhi: Makes. That definitely makes sense. And it’s good that you’ve got almost a discernment piece of it as well. It’s just so fascinating that it’s becoming such a widespread topic, too.

Paul first did LSD at the age of 19

And I’m curious too, Paul, as to how this integrated into your world. Were there any challenges and things that you faced that this helped you in your world? Because always having that personal story is always really fascinating.

Paul Austin: So I first did LSD at the age of 19, and I was raised in a very religious home environment. It was not fundamentalist and it was not conservative, but it was very sheltered and very disciplined. Like church every Sunday for 4 hours, typically for the first 18 years of my life. Some in the morning, some in the evening, and couldn’t spend the night at a friend’s place on Saturday night, even when I was 17, because I had to go to church the next morning. Right. And no rated r movies till I was 17. I couldn’t play violent video games till I was older. Right.

So a lot of the sort of midwest, sheltered christian upbringing, a lot of my early psychedelic work was in a way, like releasing myself from that shame and guilt that is sort of baked in to an overly sheltered and religious environment and allowing myself to feel really free and capable of doing whatever it is that I wanted to do, which then led me to move to Turkey and start my own business and be this sort of nomadic traveler. Right? So my initial high dose experiences were really helpful, healing that shame and that guilt and providing me the confidence to go out and chart an unconventional path. A few years after that, I heard about micro dosing. And I think this will be most of interest for this audience and crowd.

And I had two core intentions for my initial micro dosing protocol, which in hindsight, usually I tell people, focus on one. But I was a guinea pig. No one was really doing it when I was doing it. There were no teachers or books about it. I was sort of shooting in the dark a little bit. So I had two intentions. One was drink less alcohol. That I had been like many of us, utilizing alcohol as a crutch for social interactions instead of really confronting and facing my social anxiety, understanding where it came from, and then potentially using substances, that I wouldn’t have a hangover the next day and I would actually feel better the next day, and so I started to experiment with very low doses of LSD with the idea of being more extroverted.

And what’s interesting is LSD, because of its impact on dopamine, we can track this, it is known to help with extroversion. So it could be a really useful tool for that, and then the second intention that I had was more flow productivity, basically removing a lot of the egoic resistance that gets in the way of creating. Because I was starting my first business, I was throwing a lot of things at the wall. I was writing a lot, I was creating a lot, and I just wanted to continue to be in that sort of the flow of creation. I wanted to understand how LSD lower doses could help me to focus better and have longer periods of attention and be more motivated to create.

And what I found is at the end of those six months, where I microdosed about twice a week for six months, which, again, is longer than I would recommend. Typically now we say do it for maximum three months, and then take a break and assess, but what I noticed is I pretty much had no interest in drinking alcohol again. I still drink here and there. I’ll have a glass of wine, but in terms of getting drunk and relying on it in a crutch, that was completely gone. And then I wrote my first book within the span of those seven months, and it was like a 90 page self published book on micro dosing, of course. But I was able to write this whole thing in addition to running in another business.

So I just noticed it really helped me to generate a lot of energy. Now, the downside of that, what I found out a year or two later, is sometimes with substance use like this, you push past previous barriers, which can be helpful for growth. Right? We got to push through. We got to get through the discomfort but we sometimes, at least I noticed, I would sort of push back or, I’m sorry, push past barriers that were there for a good reason. We have certain barriers, and of course, as entrepreneurs, we kind of pay attention to them. But probably all of us at some point have experienced burnout, fatigue, tiredness. We went too hard for too long. And that was the case.

I was doing lsd after those six months. I took like a month or two off, and I just kept doing it for a couple of times a week, and pretty soon I noticed I was just becoming more manic, and mania was being introduced because I was always just so stimulated and on. And so what I quickly realized to that is like, oh, there’s a balance here. It can be helpful here and there. It was really helpful in the initial phases, but a lot of folks notice that after they start micro dosing and experimenting with it, the way they utilize it is here and there.

But it’s not necessarily as, like, I’m going to do this every day for the rest of my life. Right? In fact, I highly advise against that because we don’t have a lot of the physiological data yet on how safe microdosing is. If you just do it every day for the rest of your life, which is why I say a couple times a week, two, three times a week, two, three months, give it a break, and then see how you want to re engage at that.

Pamela Bardhi: That. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that, Paul. It’s super fascinating to see how it really integrated into your world and really how you had your own personal little experience with it and how it helped you and how you kind of came to your realizations, too. It’s like, oh, crap, this is making me more manic. I got to tone it down and do this and this and this.

What are your thoughts on cannabis versus psychedelics

So again, that discernment piece that you talked about earlier which I think is really key, it’s so fascinating and I would love to throw this in there but I mean, technically, on a federal level, this is still legal, but the legalization of marijuana has been obviously spreading across the United States, right? Still federally, it’s still deemed illegal. What are your thoughts on that versus psychedelics? And just like any myths we can break there, because so many people, they’re like, yeah, just enjoying that. And it’s like, how does that stack up against the psychedelic piece of it? Because I know it’s helped so many people in their pain and inflammation and stuff like that, so would love to hear that.

Paul Austin: I would say cannabis have done in very high doses, like hashish or edibles, and there are plenty of people that I know that do these sort of cannabis circles where they almost have a psychedelic experience with cannabis. There’s music, there’s meditation, there’s breath work. So cannabis can be psychedelic, and most commonly, cannabis is not used as a psychedelic. Right. Cannabis is most often used more like alcohol, as a way to wind down, as a way to socialize, as a way to connect. And I think a lot of its potential negative aspects have been not swept under the rug necessarily, but they haven’t been as present as a lot of the conversation around legalization has happened, and I do think legalization is totally a net positive. These cannabis should absolutely be legal, and folks should know what they’re getting into, right.

A lot of folks don’t realize that cannabis can be quite addictive. I myself have struggled with cannabis addiction on and off. Cannabis impacts our neurology in a negative way. So if we’re already pretty good and we want to get better, then cannabis can sometimes be a block to reaching our, I would say, highest potential. And I’ve seen this even in my own brain scans when I’ve used cannabis quite a bit, where there’s just a lot more fuzziness, and it kind of makes sense because when you smoke weed, you feel a little fuzzy, right? You feel a little, like, zoned out, so I think there just needs to be awareness around those two things. Like I said, I’ve smoked a lot of cannabis and weed. It’s been a great tool, and sometimes I’ve overdone it and it’s become too much.

So I think, tread carefully when we’re talking about cannabis with psychedelics, what I found is they improve my neurological performance. There’s no downside. The next day, I’m not, like, groggy or a little out of it. There’s no addictive quality to it, meaning I do it here and there, but it’s not necessarily something I crave, whereas with cannabis, it tends to be something more that I start to crave, so I would say, overall, psychedelics are very different than cannabis in terms of what they do neurologically. I would consider them to be more beneficial for particular things. And again, just tread carefully with cannabis. Great tool, but can easily be overused and I think it is by many people at this point in time.

Pamela Bardhi: Thank you so much for that, and I’m wondering too, I’m like, so why the hell did they legalize that? And with psychedelics, they’re still so tempting. Why? Yeah.

Paul Austin: Part of it is that California medicalized marijuana in 1996, right? And so there’s been this basically, I think the first state to legalize recreational was 2008, so it was 22 years between the first state that medicalized and then the first state legalized, and a lot more people have tried cannabis and weed than have tried psychedelics. But still, a lot of people have tried psychedelics, 10% of people, but I think with cannabis, it’s probably something like 40 to 50% to 60% of people, right. So a lot of people know, oh, this is actually quite safe. I think the other thing is, psychedelics are a lot more powerful.

And part of the prohibition of psychedelics is because the folks who were working with LSD in the 60s were these sort of anti war Vietnam protesters. The feeling that we have on psychedelics, the experience that we go through, it’s like what the Beatles said, all we need is love, right? That subjective experience is antithetical to, quote unquote, what the system wants, which is for us to feel disconnected, which is for us to feel disassociated, for us to feel like we need to buy things to make us happy, that consumerism is our greatest God, et cetera, et cetera. And when you take a high dose of a psychedelic in particular, it’s hard to unsee what you see.

It’s like Pandora’s box has been opened, and a lot of what people recognize is how much bullshit we sort of swim in on a daily, day to day basis and how rather not participate in that. Thank you very much, and so I think that is threatening to. And, it’s not a conscious thing. I want to be clear. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, really. It’s not a conscious thing, but it’s an unconscious thing that people who are in power don’t want the elite waking up and creating their own new system that’s actually much healthier and that’s out of the pockets of big oil, big pharma, and big agriculture.

And I think the big thing is big pharma, right? Like, psychedelics represent a totally new paradigm, and I think they will substantially disrupt this sort of extractive, addictive pharmaceutical model that many of us kind of have to live with. And we’ll offer a totally new option and alternative, and before we weren’t ready. For whatever reasons it feels like now, we’re ready more than ever before. The mental health crisis is insane. We’re desperately searching for solutions. We don’t know what I mean. 2024 is going to be a really interesting year. With the election coming up, California will likely legalize psychedelics in 2024. MDMA will likely become approved by the FDA to treat PTSD in 2024.

Pamela Bardhi: Wow.

Paul Austin: So there’s a lot that’s converging where psychedelics are becoming more and more integrated into our system as the old system that we’re so used to is like dying. And psychedelics, I think, are helping it to die. I would argue that mushrooms are really good at death. When we think of mushrooms, we think of death. They can take death and turn it into life. That seems to be what’s happening now a little bit, that we’re experiencing this resurgence of interest in psychedelics because the lessons know these things can teach us, help us to navigate a very uncertain landscape.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s incredible. I love that, Paul.

California might legalize psychedelics in 2020; 61% of Americans support therapy

And speaking of which, what is the future of psychedelics at this point? You kind of gave a little bit of a tidbit there, but I’m just so excited to see it kind of integrate into the realms, if you will, because it’s never really been done like this before. You just mentioned 2020. California might legalize psychedelics. That’s huge. I didn’t even know that.

Paul Austin: Huge. Yeah. They had a bill that got to Gavin Newsom’s desk a few months ago, but he vetoed it because there weren’t enough regulations in place. So they are just basically writing a new bill, putting more regulations in place. And they’ll get that on the governor’s desk, probably by q two, like April, May, and we imagine it’ll be passed, which is huge, so the future of psychedelics. There’s two stats that I’ll lead with. One is the number of people who used a psychedelic quadrupled from 2019 to 2023, so four x number of people who used psychedelics in 2023 was four times higher than in 2019, which is insane. The other interesting stat is that 61% of Americans support legal psychedelic assisted therapy. This was a research study done by Cal Berkeley, so the majority of Americans support legal psychedelics.

The number of Americans who have used a psychedelic has quadrupled since 2019, and so what does that mean? Well, Colorado has legalized all psychedelics, plant medicines, ayahuasca mushrooms, San Pedro, which are cacti and iboga. Oregon has legalized psilocybin mushrooms. So, currently, today, you can go to Colorado, you can go to Oregon, you can legally work with psychedelics. California will likely be next. And there are several other states. New Jersey has something on the ballot. New York has something on the ballot. Massachusetts is actively talking about it. Washington state is actively talking about it. There are a lot of other states that probably in the next year or two, will also legalize psychedelics. MDMA, as I mentioned before, has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for PTSD. Should be available by the end of 2024.

And so if you have PTSD, you can basically get MDMA as a prescription for PTSD and then, by 2027, psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in mushrooms, will be likely approved by the FDA to treat depression. And so my expectation is that by the end of this decade, 2030, the vast majority of Americans, if not all Americans, will have legal access to psychedelic substances, either for clinical challenges, depression, PTSD, addiction, or just simply for exploration, personal development, relationships. Some of these other aspects that I tend to focus more on, what that means. Zooming way out. Well, I think mental health is down. Our mental health issues will go down.

I think we’ll become more community centered, sort of step out of this lane of, I got to be the rugged individualist who does everything on his or her own and really look at the value of doing things collaboratively, doing things in community. I think the way that business will change is you’ll see more and more businesses who prioritize diverse forms of wealth. So there will be still an emphasis and focus on financial well being. P L. But I think more and more companies are going to look at how do I bring meaning into the lives of the people who want to join me on this? And this, of course, is dovetailing with artificial intelligence, remote work, a lot of automations that will become more central to business.

So my anticipation is that within five, six, seven years, work will become more and more optional as ideally we have some sort of UBI that’s built from bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and that psychedelics will be a way that people practice, that they have to find meaning and discover work that really aligns with who they want to become. So that’s the, say, three minute quick version, both practically what we can expect from psychedelics and some of my more sort of far out hypotheses around work and business and the future of who we are as humans.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s so fascinating, and I love how it’s going to contribute to society as a factor. I think the mental health crisis is going to put a huge dent in that as it starts to know legalized and that kind of thing. It’s so exciting. Paul, thank you so much for all of that.

What would your older self tell your younger self based on what you’ve learned

And I’m just, oh man, and this is my favorite question for you. I always save the best for last. But what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you.

Paul Austin: Know now, to follow my gut and to do the thing that seems or sounds unreasonable if it feels aligned, regardless of how difficult it is, regardless of how challenging it is, if there’s something deep inside me that’s saying yes, then to go do that, I have very few regrets, I would say, as an older self speaking to a younger self, but I think just that lesson is one that I continue to reflect on. It’s like we make a lot of great decisions with our head, but we make a lot of, I would say, important and long lasting decisions with our heart. And so to be able to listen to that more and tune into that more, I, think that’s what I would recommend.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that, Paul. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that, too. Oh my goodness. I love hearing your story. I love hearing about everything, the psychedelics, where it’s heading, where it’s at, and kind of breaking all the myths and everything, and microdosing. Ah, all these fascinating things. Paul, thank you so much for being here today.

Paul Austin offers training and educational resources on psychedelics

And now you’ve got to let everyone know where to find you and your awesomeness. Like drop some links and all the things.

Paul Austin: So if folks are interested in this, they’ve heard about it, they don’t know who to go to. I do work one on one with some clients, especially CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, creatives. So if anyone is interested in deepening, whether it’s with microdose in your high dose psychedelic work, I’m at Paulaustin Co. And there’s ways to get in touch with me there. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram at paulaustin. Three w third wave is our main platform, the third Wave Co. You’ll find our podcast. You’ll find educational guides and resources. You’ll find a directory of providers there.

And then finally, we have a training program. If there are any executive coaches, leadership coaches, health and wellness coaches who are listening to this, we have a ten month training program where we train coaches and practitioners on how to work with psychedelics. That’s, the psychedelic coaching institute or psychedelic coaching institute. You can also find that on third wave. So paulaustin co for one on one, the third wave co for general resources and Psychedelic Coaching institute for our training, program for coaches and practitioners.

Pamela Bardhi: I absolutely love that. Paul, thank you so much for dropping those links so everyone can get connected to you and learn more about what’s coming next in our and so many so much stigma broken and just everything kind of being restructured, if you will. So it’s going to be really cool to see what happens over the next few years, so thank you so much for being here today, my friend. I appreciate you.

Paul Austin: Thank you, Pamela. This was a ton of fun, and I appreciate your heart and questions and sensitivity. And, yeah, if your listeners need any support or have any questions, I would encourage them just, to reach out and let us know.

Pamela Bardhi: Thank you so much, Paul. I appreciate you, my friend. So that’s it for today’s episode of Underdog. Catch us next week. Always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real estate or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life, check out and let’s chat. Sending you so, so much love.



Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Paul Austin. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

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