Hulu Series Review: Hamilton's Pharmacopeia

In this two-season docuseries, we follow Hamilton Morris on his journey to experience the world of mysterious, naturally occurring and synthesized mind-altering substances. From the actual effects of the drugs to their effects on society, history, and chemistry, he goes in-depth with each episode on a different substance. Making this show educational for all about the wonderful world of drugs, and the dimensions they unlock by taking them. 

Found on Hulu, the show has a total of 14 episodes. It began airing in 2016 and is put out by VICEland. As a self-proclaimed “psychonaut” we follow him around the world to sites where the various substances are more than just a trip, but a spiritual experience. He not only works with VICE though, as he also contributes to publications such as National Geographic. His approach to “ethno-chemistry” incorporates not only the scientific aspects but also the cultural backgrounds of each substance, which I find very unique as most of the time, drugs are only talked about in respect to their physical effects. To add on to his science, he also literally synthesizes some of the drugs himself, taking the science to a whole new level. 

My favorite episode comes to us from season two called, “The Psychedelic Toad”. Scientifically known as Bufo Alvarius, its venom actually contains the highest concentration of naturally occurring psychoactive substance in the world. Considering you’d have to literally catch a toad instead of going to your local dealer, I’d say it’s a treasure worth the hunt. With similar effects to DMT, but on a much larger scale, the venom once dried and vaporized is said to give you the effects of rebirth and starts working almost instantaneously. Hamilton embarks on a journey in this episode to experience and find the power of love.


In conclusion, all the episodes are worth watching in my opinion, and the two-season length is a perfect length to binge. It’s one of those shows that you feel good about watching because it’s not just mindless entertainment, it's educational and mind-opening as well. The interviews and first-hand experiences with the drugs provide knowledge like no other. I believe it is getting taken off of Hulu soon, so be sure to check it out asap and get some ideas. 

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