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The 10 Best Psychedelic Documentaries

The 10 Best Psychedelic Documentaries

Looking to combine your interest in psychedelic drugs with your interest in staring at a TV? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a variety of psychedelic documentaries and series out there that explore the wide world of psychedelics.

Here are ten of the best — most of them available for streaming. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but to offer an option for many different kinds of viewers when it comes to psychedelic documentaries.

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Psychedelic Documentaries For Beginners – The Mind Explained: “Psychedelics”

This episode of Vox’s The Mind Explained Netflix series is a great place to start. With narration by Emma Stone, this short documentary gives the viewer a brief history of psychedelics, including early medical research into their uses, and shares promising new findings about how psychedelics could help patients with anxiety or depression.

  • Streaming Platform: Netflix

For Nature Lovers – Fantastic Fungi

Combining stunning CGI, time-lapse photography, and world-class experts, this is one of the best psychedelic documentaries going. Brie Larson narrates, and the movie features interviews with psychedelic experts and horticulturalists, like Paul Stamets and Michael Pollan. Viewers come away from the film with a new appreciation for fungi, and their ability to feed and heal human beings. Also, it’s a pretty good film to watch after consuming magic mushrooms.

  • Streaming Platform: Netflix

Psychedelic Documentaries For The History Buffs

The Sunshine Makers

This psychedelic documentary tells the story of an unlikely pair who found themselves at the heart of 1960s psychedelic counterculture. Producing millions of doses of their legendary “Orange Sunshine” LSD in a single month, the film shows how the eccentric chemist Nick Sand and the cerebral Tim Scully distributed the drug around the world — all while remaining one step ahead of the law.

  • Streaming Platforms: Pluto TV, Tubi, Roku, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video

Psychedelia

This hour-long psychedelic documentary is an absorbing rundown of the history and therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Featuring vintage footage of counterculture America, interviews with leading experts in the field and first-person accounts from patients, Psychedelia tells the story of how psychedelic research was cut short during the 1960s and the herculean efforts taken to revive it decades later.

  • Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime Video

RELATED: The Conundrum Of Microdosing

For Patriots – From Shock to Awe

This is one of those psychedelic documentaries that is not for the faint of heart. It gives a stirring and honest look at two veterans suffering from PTSD after returning from combat. With the help of psychedelics, both found a healing path — and their trips are harrowing. From abandoning traditional medicine for marijuana and, finally, ayahuasca and MDMA, the entire film is extremely introspective.

  • Streaming Platforms: YouTube TV, Google Play Movies & TV, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

For The Spiritual – DMT: The Spirit Molecule

Narrated by Joe Rogan, this psychedelic documentary is based on Rick Strassman’s best-selling book of the same name. The film offers an informative look at DMT, and the intense, mystical experiences it can produce. And although the film had a 2010 release, it’s still one of the earliest and most formative documentaries on this list.

  • Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime Video

For True Crime Fans – My Psychedelic Love Story

This film from legendary documentarian Errol Morris takes a look at the life of bombastic, notorious, “high priest,” Timothy Leary through the eyes of his lover Joanna Harcourt-Smith. She regales viewers with tales of Leary as a fugitive, his imprisonment, and his eventual entrance into the Witness Protection Program. Her account of life on the lam is as compelling as it is unreliable. Was Leary’s “perfect love” a CIA plant or a mere Swedish socialite? The truth may well have gone to the grave with Harcourt-Smith.

  • Streaming Platform: Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu

For Comedy Lovers With Strong Stomachs – Psychonautics: A Comic’s Exploration of Psychedelics

This film follows comedian Shane Mauss as he seeks to deepen his understanding of psychedelics. How? Well… by doing all of them. Entertaining and informative, this psychedelic documentary also includes experts as Mauss experiments with a variety of drugs.

  • Streaming Platform: tubi, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV, Tubi, Google Play Movies & TV

For Chemistry Nerds – Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia

Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia follows Hamilton Morris, coincidentally, the son of Errol Morris. The docuseries shows Hamilton’s travels around the globe exploring the history, science, and social impact of psychoactive substances. In total, there are twenty (very) entertaining episodes. The series includes deep dives into chemistry and brave personal experimentation. Entries about peyote, ketamine and psychedelic toads are clear standouts.

  • Streaming Platform: Pluto TV, Roku, Hulu, Sling TV, Philo, YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video

For The Celebrity-Obsessed – Have A Good Trip

This psychedelic documentary, hosted by Nick Offerman, features a cavalcade of famous faces sharing anecdotes about times they took psychedelics. For example, actors Carrie Fisher, Sting, Natasha Lyonne, Will Forte, Anthony Bourdain, Rosie Perez, Ben Stiller and many more are all interviewed.

  • Streaming Platform: Netflix

Honorable Mention Psychedelic Documentaries

  • As an honorable mention, try Dosed for those interested in addiction
  • María Sabina, Mujer Espíritu is a great Spanish-speaking psychedelic documentary
  • Horizons Media is developing several films of interest — especially for the social justice-minded
  • Prescription X is a much anticipated psychedelic documentary about Rick Doblin’s journey to legalize MDMA. It will be released in 2022 (or whenever MDMA is legalized)

RELATED: Where Are Psychedelics Legal Around the Globe? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Sarah Rose Siskind

Sarah Rose Siskind

View all posts by Sarah Rose Siskind

Sarah hosts a monthly live science comedy show on psychedelics and performs at comedy clubs around NYC. Previously, she was the head writer for Neil deGrasse Tyson's Emmy-nominated TV show, StarTalk, and has written comedy for UCB, Fox, CBS, and the White House Press Correspondents Dinner. She wrote her Harvard thesis on Comedy because what screams funny like 130 pages of MLA-formatted, academic text.

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