For questions send us a message through the contact page form

9 Inspiring Documentaries About Psychedelics and Psilocybin Retreats

One of the most enjoyable ways to learn more about psychedelics is by diving into a fascinating documentary. So, lean back and make yourself comfortable. Here are 9 of the most inspiring documentaries about psychedelics and psilocybin retreats.

What is psilocybin?

Psilocybin is the active ingredient in a specific species of mushrooms and truffles. It’s responsible for the life-changing, spiritual trips that people can experience. The mushrooms, also called magical mushrooms, grow above the ground, while truffles grow below the ground.

Psilocybin belongs to a group of drugs called classic psychedelics. This group also includes LSD, DMT, and mescaline. Psychedelics are natural substances, found in plants or fungi, and have strong mind-altering effects.

Consuming magic mushrooms or truffles can lead to hallucinations, changing the user’s perception of space, time, thoughts, and identity. In the Netherlands, magic mushrooms are illegal but magic truffles are legal. That’s why, at Essence, we use magic truffles for our psilocybin retreats.

9 Inspiring Documentaries About Psychedelics and Psilocybin Retreats

For some people, even just watching a documentary about psychedelics or psilocybin retreats can blow their minds. But if you want to learn more and experience it yourself, have a look at our upcoming retreats here.

1. Goop Lab – Episode 1, Season 1

Goop Lab Psychedelics

Although Goop Lab (Netflix) is not known for using the best scientific methods, episode one of season one does have some interesting content. A group of volunteers goes to Latin America for a psilocybin retreat, and you get to see a part of their magic mushroom healing experience.

Note that every psilocybin retreat and ceremony is different. At Essence, our focus is on safety, so we offer professional guidance by certified and experienced mental healthcare professionals. We believe this is the best way for our clients to get the most out of their spiritual healing experience.

In this episode of Goop Lab, however, you do get a glimpse of the healing powers of psilocybin in a therapeutic setting.

2. Fantastic Fungi

fantastic fungi poster

Fantastic Fungi takes you on a captivating journey through the magical world of mushrooms. Did you know that there is a worldwide network of fungi below the ground, sending information across the globe? Like nature’s own WiFi.

Incredible facts like this and much more are shared by a group of interviewees, including acclaimed mycologist (fungi expert) Paul Stamets. His message is that fungi can help save the world. They can clean up oil spills, help treat mental illness, and assist chemotherapy.

Stamets also shares an emotional story about how he used to stutter as a child and how psilocybin radically changed his life.

3. From Shock to Awe

from shock to awe psychedelic documentary

From Shock to Awe follows two American military veterans on their healing journey. They both suffer from depression and are diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Conventional Western pharmaceutical treatments failed to help them so far, so they try an alternative route.

The two men take part in a weekend ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca, a plant medicine, is also called “the vine of the soul” –  its effect is comparable to a very high dose of magic mushrooms.

After the weekend, they return home and integrate this spiritual experience into their daily lives.

4. Neurons to Nirvana

Neurons to Nirvana psychedelics documentary

If you want to learn more about the cultural, political, and legal aspects surrounding the use of psychedelics, this is your pick. Neurons to Nirvana is a beautiful documentary that explores the history of five powerful psychedelic substances: LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, cannabis, and MDMA. It also offers new and interesting insights into what the future holds for psychedelics.

The film interviews many of the world’s leading researchers, writers, and psychologists. They explain how psychedelic substances can be used for the treatment of physical and mental illnesses.

5. Hamiltons Pharmacopeia – Magic Mushrooms in Mexico

psychedelic documentary Hamiltons Pharmacopeia

Hamiltons Pharmacopeia is an American documentary series following Hamilton Morris on his quest to understand the history, chemistry, and social impact of psychedelics.

In this episode, Magic Mushrooms in Mexico, Hamilton explores the world of magic mushrooms, from the Aztec empire to secret laboratories. He travels to Oaxaca, Jalisco, and Florida and receives help from shamans, clandestine growers, and ethnomycologists.

6. A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

science of psilocybin

A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin takes a closer look at the science behind psilocybin. It focuses on how psilocybin can be used to treat fear of death in terminally ill cancer patients.

7. Aya: Awakenings

ayahuasca documentary

Aya: Awakenings follows the journey of author Rak Razam through the Amazon jungle to unravel the mysteries of the plant medicine Ayahuasca.

Plant medicine has been used for thousands of years by indigenous tribes to cure physical illnesses and to cleanse the mind. This film offers an interesting insight into the world of Amazonian shamanism.

8. Heal

documentary about healing

Heal is a documentary (on Netflix) not about psychedelics but the self-healing power of the human body. It explains how stress reduction activates the self-healing power of the body and how psychedelics enforce that power.

Heal teaches you more about how the body works, which is incredibly useful when studying psychedelics and their effects.

9. The Last Shaman

the last shaman documentary

The Last Shaman (Netflix) shows the journey of an American young man called James Freeman and his struggles with clinical depression and suicide. After years of therapy and taking conventional medicine, he decides to go to a traditional shaman in Latin America. Here, he participates in an ayahuasca ceremony and embarks on a healing journey of several months long.

Joining an ayahuasca ceremony has become increasingly popular over the last decade, leading to a rise in the number of scam artists posing as shamans. The film offers some useful insights if you are curious about participating in a legitimate ayahuasca ceremony.

Enjoy a Professional, Safe, and Legal Psilocybin Retreat

Are you interested in experiencing the life-changing effects of psilocybin yourself? Essence hosts professionally guided, safe, and legal psilocybin retreats in the Netherlands. See our upcoming retreats, or contact us for more information.