Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance Episode 4 – Dr. Dennis McKenna

The fourth episode features Dr. Dennis McKenna – an esteemed ethnobotanist, pharmacologist, author and lecturer. As followers of MAPS Canada may be familiar with psilocybin mescaline and ayahuasca, Dennis will explore the less popularized plant medicines enticing the next generation of ethnobotanists.

Date: Tuesday, June 16th

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM PST (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST)

About Dr. Dennis McKenna

In the 1970s Dr. Dennis McKenna, along with his brother Terence, were crucial to the popularization of psychedelic culture in North America. After a trip to South America to search for new psychedelic plants, they developed a method to cultivate psilocybin-containing mushrooms with spores from the Amazon. They published their experiences and methodology in Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide – which achieved notoriety as the first manual for psychedelic mushroom cultivation.

The publication was the pre-cursor to a long and illustrious career in botany, in which Dr. McKenna has authored and co-authored of over 50 scientific papers. The focus of his research has been Amazonian plant medicine, with his doctorate exploring the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-hé, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens. Recognizing the pharmacological benefits of indigenous medicines, he led a four-year campaign to investigate the potential for entheogens to treat cognitive deficits.

Despite his specialist expertise, Dr. McKenna is a Renaissance man – having studied Jungian psychology, shamanism, anthropology and mysticism. In 1993 he co-founded the Heffter Research Institute, to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicines, and also helped create the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation into the use of ayahuasca. More recently Dennis founded the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, with the goal to explore practices and technologies that foster an understanding of nature, consciousness and the cosmos’ connection with humanity.

In the next episode of Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance, Dennis will touch upon the current state of psychedelic research, before moving on to explore the less popularized plant medicines enchanting the next generation of botanists. He will also discuss the rationale for pursuing ongoing investigations into novel natural psychedelics.

You can read more about Dr. McKenna and the McKenna Academy here.


MAPS Canada has priced the Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance webinar series at an affordable $111 for the full 14 episodes. Single episodes are available for $22 each, with discounted rates for students, seniors and those affected by COVID-19. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mapscanada.org/webinar

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