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The 16 Best Psychedelic Documentaries to Watch in 2024

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Looking to embark on a journey through the world of psychedelics? We would love to share our curated list of the best psychedelic films & documentaries you can watch in 2024, presented by Nino Galvez Leferink. Nino is convinced that this collection is more than just entertainment; it’s a voyage into the depths of consciousness, an exploration of the healing potential of psychedelics, and a testament to the profound connections between nature, science, and the human spirit.

From the scientifically insightful to the deeply personal, each piece chosen by Nino for this collection offers a unique lens through which to view the complex and often misunderstood world of psychedelic substances. Whether you’re a seasoned psychonaut or simply curious about the psychedelic renaissance sweeping across the globe, these films and documentaries promise to enlighten, inspire, and perhaps even transform.

1. Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness (2021)

aware documentary psychedelics
AWAREAware Website

At the forefront of my list, Aware: Glimpses of Consciousness, embarks on a profound journey into what consciousness entails. AWARE holds a special place in my heart. It weaves together the narratives of six researchers, each approaching the mystery from distinct angles—neuroscience, meditation, psychedelic research, and the interconnectedness of all beings. This documentary beautifully melds scientific inquiry with spiritual reflection, inviting viewers to contemplate deep questions about existence and the essence of awareness itself. It’s a thought-provoking piece that resonates with anyone interested in the vast realms of consciousness and the potential paths to understanding our minds and the world around us.

Where to Watch: Aware Official Site

2. The Mind, Explained Netflix Series, Episode Psychedelics (2019)

the mind explained netflix documentary

Emma Stone’s narration in The Mind, Explained: Psychedelics felt like a friend guiding me through the labyrinth of my own mind. Its simplicity in demystifying the science of psychedelics was refreshing. This episode is my go-to recommendation for anyone starting their psychedelic journey because it shows how these substances affect our brains and minds, with visuals and explanations that make complex topics easily understandable.

Where to Watch: Netflix

3. Fantastic Fungi (2019)

fantastic fungi paul stamets netflix psilocybin documentary
YoutubeFantastic Fungi

Have you ever considered how mushrooms could save our planet? Louie Schwartzberg’s exploration of the magical world of fungi, including their ecological importance and potential for healing in Fantastic Fungi transformed my view on mushrooms and their role on our planet. The stunning visuals and profound insights into the fungal kingdom and its potential for healing captivated me. This visually stunning film is not only about the psychedelic “psilocybin” containing mushrooms. It’s a mesmerizing reminder of the interconnectedness of life.

Where to Watch: Netflix

4. The Way of the Psychonaut: Stanislav Grof’s Journey on Consciousness (2020)

the way of the psychonaut stan grof documentary
Amazon primeThe Way of the Psychonaut

What I liked most about this documentary is the showcasing of Stan’s approach to psychedelic facilitation, where, in rare situations that the unconscious inner demons of research participants came to life, Stan faced/confronted these with a fearless yet light and curious presence, with an attitude of “Who are you? You probably dont know where you come from, do you?”.

Another fascinating part was the showcasing of the Esalen Institute, a place where leading researchers, masters and psychonauts gathered around a deep interest in consciousness exploration. Figures like Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield and David Bohm took part in the gatherings.

At times, I found myself trying to see through the narrator who sometimes took over too much from Stan’s incredible story, however, it was managable and I would still recommend this documentary because it truly illuminates the depths of human consciousness and how non-ordinary states can lead to healing, where Stan Grof is a pioneering expert. 

Where to watch: Prime Video

5. Magic Medicine: When Magic Mushrooms Cure Depression (2018)

magic medicine dr carhart harris from imperial college london documentary

Dr. Carhart Harris’s work in Magic Medicine offers hope where there seemed to be none. The stories of healing from depression through psychedelics in this documentary touched me deeply, offering a glimmer of hope in the darkest recesses of human suffering.
Witness the boundary-pushing research of Dr. Carhart Harris in this testament to the power of psychedelics as keys that unlock new doors in the treatment of mental illness.

Where to watch: Netflix

6. Journeys to the Edge of Consciousness (2019)

journeys to the edge of consciousness documentary
Youtube trailerJourneys to the Edge of Consciousness

There’s something magical about joining Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, and Alan Watts on their psychedelic voyages. Journeys to the Edge of Consciousness is a philosophical masterpiece that invites us to question the very nature of our existence. It’s a visually stunning journey that I find myself returning to for inspiration. Inviting you to ponder the nature of consciousness and the unexplored territories of the human mind. It’s thought-provoking and beautifully made.

Where to watch: Prime Video

7. Dirty Pictures (2010)

dirty pictures documentary psychedelics
IMDBDirty Pictures

Alexander Shulgin’s story in Dirty Pictures is fascinating. He gifted the field of psychedelic research with the discovery of over 200 psychedelic compounds, including MDMA. Shulgin’s fearless exploration into the unknown has been a huge inspiration to me.

Where to watch: Prime Video

8. A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin (2015)

a new understanding the science of psilocybin documentary
amazon primeA New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

This documentary opens a window into the souls of these terminally ill patients who find solace and spiritual awakening through psilocybin therapy. It’s a poignant exploration of the end-of-life journey, revealing the potential of psychedelics to bring peace to the final chapter of life. The stories of solace and awakening in A New Understanding are both heart-wrenching and uplifting.

Recently, the EU has funded 6.5M for a multi-site clinical study into psychedelic-assisted therapy to study psilocybin to treat psychological distress in people with progressive incurable illnesses requiring palliative care. Read more here.

Where to watch: Youtube

9. Neurons to Nirvana (2013)

neurons to nirvana documentary
Amazon primeNeurons to Nirvana

Neurons to Nirvana is a clarion call for drug policy reform, weaving together the testimonies of researchers and the transformative experiences of those who have found healing in psychedelics. It challenges you to reconsider the medicinal and therapeutic potential of these ancient substances by featuring leading researchers and personal testimonies. It’s compelling and provides a well-rounded view on the subject.

Where to watch: Prime Video

10. DOSED (2020)

DOSED documentary psychedelics addiction

DOSED presents a story of transformation so profound it deepened my perspective on healing and mental health. Adrianne, who, disillusioned by conventional treatments for her depression and opioid addiction, turns to the world of illegal psychedelic medicine. Her exploration into magic mushrooms and iboga is not just a path to personal healing but a revelation on the potential of plant medicines to redefine our approach to mental health and addiction. It’s a raw and deeply touching narrative that underscores the power of nature in finding peace and clarity. This documentary offers a beacon of hope and an alternative perspective on healing for those who need it.

Watch DOSED trailer here: YouTube. The success of the first documentary has led to DOSED 2: “The trip of a lifetime”. Learn more about DOSED here: dosedmovie.com.

11. Trip of Compassion (2017)

Trip of compassion Tim ferriss documentary psychedelics
VimeoTrip of Compassion

“Trip of Compassion” was a revelation to me, showcasing the incredible potential of MDMA-assisted therapy. Through the lens of patients participating in clinical trials in Israel, it provides a hopeful perspective on overcoming trauma. It’s deeply moving to see the transformation of individuals who had lost hope, finding peace and healing through this groundbreaking treatment. This documentary is a testament to the power of empathy and understanding in healing, making it a profoundly impactful watch on my list.

Where to watch: Vimeo

12. Descending the Mountain (2021)

descending down the mountain documentary
IMDBDescending the Mountain

Set against the serene backdrop of a Swiss monastery, Descending the Mountain captures a groundbreaking experiment where a group of meditation masters are divided in two, one half being taken through a psilocybin journey and the other acting as a control group.

Besides the wonderful connection and exchange between psychiatrist Franz Vollenweider and Zen master Vanja Palmers, what has stayed with me most is the image of the Zen masters, at the peak of a high-dose psilocybin experience, being able to maintain their mediation position, for hours.

Those who have experienced such a dose, will understand the absurdity of maintaining that serenity. Only one of the meditation masters did not keep the meditation posture as his body shook uncontrollably and he showed expressions of strong emotion, often being a sign of something deep being processed as it comes to the surface.

On the one hand, I understood how even experienced meditators can reach new depths through psychedelics. On the other, the familiarity with the experience that some of the meditators reported and showed bridges the gap between different spiritual paths and methods, which in my opinion, can be combined to deepen our paths. 

Where to watch: Prime Video

13. The Last Shaman (2016)

The last shaman documentary
Youtube TrailerThe Last Shaman

“The Last Shaman” introduced me to the raw and powerful journey of healing depression through Ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian brew known for its potent psychedelic properties. It’s a personal story that captures the essence of human struggle and the extraordinary lengths some will go to find relief and understanding. This documentary is a heart-touching narrative that invites us to consider the ancient wisdom of shamanic practices in modern therapy.

Where to watch: Amazon


14. Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia (2013)

Hamiltons Pharmacopeia documentary
Amazon primeHamilton’s Pharmacopeia

Hamilton Morris in “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia” is nothing short of a modern-day psychedelic explorer. His curiosity and dedication to uncovering the truths about psychoactive substances have inspired me to look beyond the stigma and understand the science and culture behind them. Each episode is a unique adventure that educates, entertains, and enlightens.

Where to watch: Youtube

15. How to Change Your Mind (2022)

How to change your mind Michael pollan documentary netflix
NetflixHow to Change Your Mind

Michael Pollan serves as your guide on this enlightening journey through the history and promise of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline in How to Change Your Mind. It’s for the skeptics and the curious alike, challenging preconceived notions and opening up new perspectives on the healing potential of psychedelics.

Where to watch: Netflix

16. Welcome to the Psychedelic Renaissance (2023)

Welcome to the psychedelic renaissance documentary
Youtube ThumbnailWelcome to the Psychedelic Renaissance

Welcome to the Psychedelic Renaissance (2023) offers a panoramic view of the current state of psychedelic research, therapy, and culture. This documentary captures the zeitgeist of a movement that is redefining our understanding of consciousness, healing, and the human experience through the lens of psychedelics. It serves as an inspirational call to action and a reflection on the societal shifts embracing these ancient substances for their profound therapeutic benefits.

Where to watch: Youtube


It’s clear that the world of psychedelics is as diverse as it is profound. From the scientific explorations in The Mind, Explained and Magic Medicine, to the personal transformations depicted in DOSED and the adventurous spirit of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, each story offers a unique perspective on the potential of psychedelics to heal, to enlighten, and to connect us more deeply to the world around us.

They are invitations to explore the edges of human consciousness, to challenge preconceived notions about mental health and healing, and to engage in a deeper dialogue about the role of psychedelics in society. As we continue to navigate the complexities of the human mind and seek out paths to wellness, let these stories inspire us to keep an open mind, to question, to learn, and to grow. Explore, enjoy, and perhaps, change your mind 😉

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