Hamilton's Pharmacopeia

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Hamilton's Pharmacopeia
Created byHamilton Morris
Directed byHamilton Morris
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes20
Executive producerHamilton Morris
Running time45 minutes
Original networkViceland
Picture formatHDTV
Original releaseOctober 26, 2016 (2016-10-26) –
February 8, 2021 (2021-02-08)

Hamilton's Pharmacopeia is an American docuseries, which premiered on Viceland on October 26, 2016. The show follows Hamilton Morris as he explores the history, chemistry and social impact of psychoactive substances. It chronicles Morris' travels and first-hand experiences, as well as interviews with scientists, shamans and fringe culture figures.[1]


Hamilton's Pharmacopeia is a documentary series created, written, and directed by Hamilton Morris. It has been produced in various forms since 2009. Hamilton's Pharmacopeia began as a monthly column about psychoactive drugs written by Morris for Vice magazine. When given the opportunity to film short documentaries to accompany his written pieces, Morris began to produce Hamilton's Pharmacopeia as an online documentary series starting with the release of The Sapo Diaries that same year. Initially the series was only available on VBS.TV, but after its release on YouTube the series began to gain a wider international following.[2][3] From 2009 to 2017, Morris produced ten Pharmacopeia documentaries before the show began its first season on the cable television channel Viceland (now Vice TV). From 2016 to 2020, Morris directed twenty episodes of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia for Viceland. After delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the third season was released on January 4, 2021.[4][5][6]


Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16October 26, 2016 (2016-10-26)December 7, 2016 (2016-12-07)
28November 28, 2017 (2017-11-28)January 16, 2018 (2018-01-16)
36January 4, 2021 (2021-01-04)February 8, 2021 (2021-02-08)

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal air date
11"The Story of the South African Quaalude — South Africa is the last place on earth Quaaludes can still be found. Hamilton travels there to study the drug and finds a dark history of medical experimentation.[7]"October 26, 2016 (2016-10-26)
22"A Positive PCP Story — Hamilton travels across the USA meeting with addicts, dealers, chemists, and celebrities to trace the history of PCP from its pharmaceutical origins to its escape onto the streets.[8]"November 2, 2016 (2016-11-02)
33"Shepherdess: The Story of Salvia Divinorum — From the heavenly cloud forests of Oaxaca to a viral video of Miley Cyrus, Hamilton investigates the inconspicuous yet extraordinary psychedelic plant Salvia divinorum.[9]"November 9, 2016 (2016-11-09)
44"Magic Mushrooms in Mexico - Hamilton examines the historical and ethnobotanical uses of Psilocybe species. He travels to Oaxaca, Jalisco and Florida. On this journey he attends a traditional ceremony hosted by Maria Sabina’s son."November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16)
55"Fish N' Trips — Hamilton embarks on an aquatic adventure to Reunion Island and Madagascar to investigate ichthyoallyeinotoxism and a twisted history of hallucinogenic fish.[10]"November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30)
66"The Lazy Lizard School of Hedonism — Hamilton meets with famed LSD chemist Casey Hardison in the Nevada desert and embark on a road trip to visit an unsung hero of psychedelic history - Darrell Lemaire.[11]"December 7, 2016 (2016-12-07)

Season 2 (2017–18)[edit]

No. in
TitleOriginal air date
71"The Psychedelic Toad — Hamilton embarks on a quest to answer the most important question in ethnoherpetological history and along the way, he finds the power of love.[12]"November 28, 2017 (2017-11-28)
82"Peyote: The Divine Messenger — From the greenhouses of Thai cactophiles to the Tamaulipan thornscrub, Hamilton traces the history of peyote with the help of a Native American peyotist.[13]"December 5, 2017 (2017-12-05)
93"Kratom: The Forbidden Leaf — Hamilton investigates the pharmacology and traditional uses of Kratom, a Thai tree with opioid-containing leaves.[14]"December 12, 2017 (2017-12-12)
104"Wizards of DMT — Hamilton travels across North America to study how and why DMT exists in the environment and the laboratory.[15]"December 19, 2017 (2017-12-19)
115"Ketamine: Realms and Realities — Hamilton heads to India to see industrial Ketamine synthesis, and speak with therapists and luminaries in an attempt to understand the role of dissociative anesthetics in society.[16]"December 26, 2017 (2017-12-26)
126"A Clandestine Chemist's Tale — Hamilton meets an unsung hero of the psychedelic underground and hears a tragic tale of MDMA synthesis and chemiluminescence.[17]"January 2, 2018 (2018-01-02)
137"A Fungal Fairy Tale — Hamilton ascends the Carpathian Mountains, microscope in hand, to learn how Europeans use Amanita muscaria, and uncovers the chemistry behind a mushroom-inspired pharmaceutical.[18]"January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)
148"The Cactus Apprentice — Deep in the Andean highlands of Peru, Hamilton becomes the apprentice of a local shaman, learning how to use the night-blooming San Pedro cactus as a medicine.[19]"January 16, 2018 (2018-01-16)

Season 3 (2021)[edit]

No. in
Title [20]Original air date [20]
151"Synthetic Toad Venom Machine — Haunted by past mistakes, Hamilton embarks on a journey to correct an error in his reporting and identifies the origin of an international toad venom smoking phenomenon.[21]"January 4, 2021 (2021-01-04)
162"A Positive Methamphetamine Story — Hamilton explores the simultaneous chemically seductive and insidiously dangerous world of crystal methamphetamine. A drug that has by rule of economics become one of the world's most popular ones.[22]"January 11, 2021 (2021-01-11)
173"Xenon: the Perfect Anesthetic?"January 18, 2021 (2021-01-18)
184"Synthetic Ibogaine: Natural Tramadol — Hamilton travels to meet with several research scientists to understand how or why tramadol, believed to be a purely synthetic lab created substance, was found in harvested African ibogaine root. He then travels to Africa to learn how this plant is being used as a treatment for tramadol addiction and a variety of other physical and mental ailments.[23]"January 25, 2021 (2021-01-25)
195"Bufotenine: In Search of Hataj - Hamilton responds to viewer demands for a review on bufotenine. He travels to Northern Argentina to observe Anadenanthera in its native environment and examine the ancient ethnobotanical uses."February 1, 2021 (2021-02-01)
206"Ultra LSD — With the precise structure of LSD's molecular target identified, Hamilton discusses a new era of psychedelic research and, along the way, meets pioneers of the field.[24]"February 8, 2021 (2021-02-08)


The show has received widespread critical acclaim for its alternative and unusually honest approach to the portrayal of recreational drug use. Writing for The Guardian, Tim Jonze drew comparisons between Morris' obsessive dedication to his subject and similar qualities in his father. Praising his demeanor on the show, Jonze writes: "Morris is a good presence on screen – dressed all in white, he has a sort of charming awkwardness not dissimilar to Louis Theroux (they share the same disarming smile) and he allows his subjects plenty of space to tell their stories."[25] In another review for The New York Times, Ross Simonini praised the show's unique tone: "Mr. Morris has a grinning, laid-back persona, with an approach not dissimilar to Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism. In person Mr. Morris, son of the filmmaker Errol Morris, is bookish and intense, speaking with a fastidious attention to word choice."[26] Hermione Hoby made similar remarks, writing that Hamilton Morris proceeds with "a mix of gonzo abandon and scholarly rigour".[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonze, Tim (16 Jan 2017). "PCP to Psychedelic Fish: Uncover the Stories Behind the World's Strangest Drugs". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  2. ^ Green, Penelope (10 Jun 2015). "Nesting, the Vice Media Way". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  3. ^ Mound, Katharine (3 Mar 2017). "Morris Reveals the Genius Behind His Drug-Centered Series 'Hamilton's Pharmacopeia'". The Brandeis Hoot. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  4. ^ Simonini, Ross (10 Feb 2012). "A Psychonaut's Adventures in Videoland". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  5. ^ "VICE - Hamilton Morris". HBO.
  6. ^ "Season 3 Trailer". VICE TV. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  7. ^ "The Story of the South African Quaalude". IMDB. 20 Sep 2016. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  8. ^ "A Positive PCP Story". IMDB. 27 Sep 2016. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  9. ^ "Shepherdess: The Story of Salvia Divinorum". IMDB. 9 Nov 2016. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  10. ^ "Fish N' Trips". IMDB. 30 Nov 2016. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  11. ^ "The Lazy Lizard School of Hedonism". IMDB. 7 Dec 2016. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  12. ^ "The Psychedelic Toad". IMDB. 28 Nov 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  13. ^ "Peyote: The Divine Messenger". IMDB. 5 Dec 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  14. ^ "Kratom: The Forbidden Leaf". IMDB. 19 Dec 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  15. ^ "Wizards of DMT". IMDB. 12 Dec 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  16. ^ "Ketamine: Realms and Realities". IMDB. 26 Dec 2017. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  17. ^ "A Clandestine Chemist's Tale". IMDB. 2 Jan 2018. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  18. ^ "A Fungal Fairy Tale". IMDB. 9 Jan 2018. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  19. ^ "The Cactus Apprentice". IMDB. 16 Jan 2018. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  20. ^ a b "Hamilton's Pharmacopeia – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  21. ^ "Synthetic Toad Venom Machine". IMDB. 4 Jan 2021. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  22. ^ "A Positive Methamphetamine Story". IMDB. 11 Jan 2021. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  23. ^ "Synthetic Ibogaine: Natural Tramadol". IMDB. 25 Jan 2021. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  24. ^ "Ultra LSD". IMDB. 8 Feb 2021. Retrieved 28 Jan 2022.
  25. ^ "PCP to psychedelic fish: uncover the stories behind the world's strangest drugs". the Guardian. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  26. ^ Simonini, Ross (2012-02-10). "A Psychonaut's Adventures in Videoland (Published 2012)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  27. ^ "Hamilton Morris gets high for a living – and invites you to watch". the Guardian. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2021-02-23.