– New documentary
(pop music) “Smart Drugs” will air on
the documentary Channel on Sunday at nine p.m. Eastern. It follows award-winning
futurist, researcher, and keynote speaker, Nikolas Badminton. It’s directed by Emmy-nominated, multiple-award-winning director, Ann Shin, both of whom join us on Canada Now. Good to have you both here. – Hi, Jeff.
– Thanks for having us. – [Jeff] Thanks, guys. And thanks for coming back, Ann. I appreciate it.
– Yeah, it’s great to be here. – [Jeff] It’s been a little while but it’s good to have you back. So, university students,
lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs are taking drugs to sharpen their focus and help them get an edge in an increasingly competitive society. It’s happening around the world. It’s happening here in Canada, right? – [Nikolas] Yeah, it’s
happening everywhere. When I first started to look
at these kind of smart drugs, also known as nootropics,
I started to realize there was this entire
subculture of people, and it really does come from the people that wanna be able to read more, attain more (chuckles) information, do more work, stay awake for longer. Yeah, it covers everything from students, security guards working
in warehouses at night, – Wow.
– people like me that are writing books and doing all sorts of crazy stuff as well. – [Jeff] Yeah, well, and
at one point in the film, okay, ’cause you made yourself a lab rat for this, right?
– Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think this is why Ann
and the team approached me because they’re like, “People tell me that you’re
willing to do anything, “to try these.”
(Jeff chuckles) I’ve got microchips in my
hand, I’ve been trying– – [Jeff] Wait, did Ann make you do this? – No.
(Jeff laughs) – [Nikolas] And it was like, “Oh, you already, you’ve
done some of this before?” And I’ve done a whole bunch of things. I continue to experiment on my life. So, yeah, lab rat, futurist.
(Jeff laughs) You know, whatever, right? – [Jeff] But at one point
in the film, you were, and I don’t know if it’s like this for all kinds of these smart drugs or if it was just the
one that you happened to have taken in this
particular point in the movie, but you were talking about how it was like you’ve had five espressos at
once, something like that? – [Nikolas] Yeah, yeah. That was one of, I think, one of the– – [Ann] It was the Nootro, I think. – [Nikolas] Yeah, it was the
Nootro, one of the gold pills. I’ve tried some of these before and it’s done very little for me and some of the things in the documentary, I’d try and be like, “Eh, whatever.” This one was like, “Okay. (laughs) “Let’s go.”
– Well, you’re a big guy. – Yeah.
– So, maybe you need like a good shot of something
for it to work, right? – [Nikolas] You know, physiologically, you gotta find things that
do work for you, right? And that one, wow, that hit
the nail on the head, for sure. – [Jeff] But did you talk
to a doctor or something and say, “Hey, this is something
that I’m gonna be doing”? – [Nikolas] Yeah, I mentioned it. The year before, I was diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure. I burnt out in my career and whatever. There was a doctor, Molly
Maloof, in the documentary– – [Ann] But before we found her. Your doctor, your personal doctor, didn’t know a lot about it.
(Nikolas chuckles) A lot of, you know, regular GPs, they don’t, they can’t
really advise on it. First of all, it’s a lot of
unregulated medication or drugs. – Right.
– Or else, it’s off-label use of prescription drugs
which they definitely won’t be in favor of.
– So you couldn’t say a whole lot about what kind of
activity you might be up to? – [Nikolas] I mean, this
is all legal stuff, right? This is, you know, there’s some gray area when you order things like
Indian modafinil, you know, and stuff like that
(Ann laughs) off of some website.
(Jeff chuckles) There was one day where I did that and it was actually really
great but very scary. Expired drugs, right? But yeah, I sort of, (chuckles) Molly Maloof that is in the documentary made me run like 90 tests – Wow.
– before we did everything so she could get a full profile. – [Jeff] Well, good. – [Nikolas] Running
one test when you go in to get some blood taken
scares the hell out of you. – [Jeff] Yeah, I did that once. – [Nikolas] Yeah, imagine doing 90. (Jeff laughs)
It’s like… I was mortified. Everything’s fine, I’m fully fit. – [Jeff] So, you’re fit. Did you feel confident? Okay, I can take this and
feel the effects of it and be okay in the end? – [Nikolas] I didn’t know when I started. – Mm.
– You know, it’s just like, it’s the leap of faith,
and some of it was like– – [Jeff] But based on
what, faith based on what? – Based on the idea of–
– The other leaps he made before that. (laughs)
– Yeah, that the biohacking, you know, you read things,
you chat to people. There’s an amazing online community. Reddit’s got this big sort of
community around nootropics. You get in there, you
understand, that, you know. And a lot of these nootropics,
they’re like supplements. They don’t get metabolized by the liver, so it’s not gonna harm you physically. You do too much of this,
you’re gonna go nuts, just like drinking 10 espressos at once or something like that.
– Right, okay. Yeah, yeah. Nik, you traveled from Silicon Valley to Toronto and Vancouver. Who did you talk to? Who did you meet with? – [Nikolas] Yeah, we went
down to Silicon Valley and there were doctors down there. We chatted to Molly Maloof. She sort of gave me a health check. She gave me a solid six
out of 10 for my health which actually isn’t,
(Jeff laughs) apparently is better,
better than a lot of people. I’ve made some really great
improvements because of her. There was a guy down
there called Eric Matzner who was like the, you know, the Nootro, San Francisco bro, you know. There’s part of the documentary where he’s literally
pouring pills into his hand and just, like, taking 25, 35 at a time. – Unbelievable.
– And I’m looking at him. He took me through all these charts of the neurological reactions
and the precursor drugs that you take for this and that. But do you know what? He makes the best ones
that I took, you know? – Oh, really?
– Yeah. – [Jeff] Wow. So, you did advance to a point where you could compare and contrast between what you’d taken and what had a more significant effect
versus others, right? – Yeah, absolutely.
– Mm-hmm. There’s a whole range
from herbal supplements and stacks that companies
like Nootrobox created where there’s something to
help with long-term memory and they take slow, but it’s
like a slow burn, it builds. And then there’s other
where it’s like, yeah, there’s phenylpiracetam
or Citicoline in here and it’s gonna, you’re gonna
feel it in the next 40 minutes. And then there was also
wearables, tech wearables, which has become a huge industry now. These kind of headsets you can wear where it monitors your brain activity and help you try to get in the flow or get focused more or to meditate. – [Jeff] Well, that’s what’s
so great about the film is that you, Ann, you presented
kind of like the visuals. When you talk about the
brain, I could picture, like Nik’s brain, like it was, you know. As soon as he had something on, like boom, there was a
visual, you could see, there was a graphic, it was pretty cool, and it’s got a fast pace to it which, I mean, one would
think you would have to have based on the subject of this movie. – Yup, yeah.
– Yeah. – [Ann] And so, yeah, it
was hard to show the effect of LSD microdosing visually because when you do 1/10 of a tab, you don’t really have any,
you don’t really feel anything aside from being a bit more
up and maybe a bit more lucid and in the flow, people say, they feel like they’re in the flow and that’s why they do it. But how do you show that filmically? We had fun playing with,
you know, the graphics. Just in a coworking space in
San Francisco, we filmed that and then we just gave it
a little bit of an effect. – [Jeff] You know, I was
fascinated with, you know, because, okay, talking
about taking supplements, okay, so I can move faster,
I could think quicker, I could, you know, be more active. How much time do I have in a day? Well, I wanna get this much done. I get that, but the enhancement towards meditating, being
more in touch with yourself, by taking something that isn’t natural that is within you, that’s what I can’t wrap my head around. What was that like? – [Nikolas] Well, I see
everything as fair game, you know? I believe we’re born as human ones or zero and everything from the
point when you’re born is like your own upgrade to your life. So, a lot of these things natural, a lot of these supplements are
actually naturally occurring sort of, you know, powders,
well, they’re powdered, but, you know, these
things are already there. So, I don’t see it as being
anything too unnatural. A lot of people look at me
strange when I talk about this. – [Ann] I’m one of them, too. I’m actually on the other
side of the fence here. I think meditation works best when you’re without any
technology and you’re centered and you’re focused within yourself, right? – [Jeff] That’s what I’ve
always been led to believe but I’m by no means an expert. – [Ann] Yeah, but then we saw Nik do a meditation death battle, (chuckling) death match with Eric Matzner, both wearing these headsets that are supposed to help them
get into the meditation zone. I don’t know, what did you think? Did you think that it
helped you get meditating? – No, no.
(Ann chuckles) It didn’t help me at all. I mean, you were focusing on
trying to win the death match – Exactly, right.
– Right. – rather than relaxing
(Ann laughing) and he had it like set– – [Jeff] How introspective would it be when you’re trying to win something? – [Nikolas] He had it set up with speakers that birds tweeted when you’re
in the ultimate state of calm so I was there, I was like, “Damn it! “The other guy’s got birds tweeting.” (Jeff and Ann laughing)
Closing my eyes, desperately trying to get
down and failing, you know. You know, we gamify
all of these, you know, gamifying yoga and meditation and what we eat and how we run and it kind of destroys the very essence of the center of what that
mysticism and grounding is. That was something,
during this documentary, I really held in sort of stark
relief to what I was doing where it’s like, if I didn’t do this, what would the world be like? In fact, the one thing, over and above the drugs
and everything else, that blew my mind and I still do it today was the cold water therapy,
the Wim Hof Method. It literally uses breathing
and cold water therapy to get centered, to
create cellular health, and a whole bunch of different things. – [Jeff] Okay, can you
tell us more about that? – [Ann] First, I wanna set the picture. – Yeah, do, Ann.
– Imagine Nik and then, you know, a dozen other guys on the shores of San Francisco waters, and it’s about 10 degrees. It’s not beach weather at any chance but they’re breathing, (inhales
sharply) they’re huffing, and there’s drone music going and then, okay, hold
your breath, let it out. And after about five minutes of this, “Okay, we’re gonna go in the water now.” Nik was in his long underwear. He was like, “No, no way.” – I wasn’t gonna do it.
(Jeff chuckling) I didn’t wanna do it. I was like, “I’m not doing that, Ann.” – [Jeff] That, you won’t do? – [Nikolas] I’m not
gonna get in the water. But do you know what? After doing the circle, I was like, “My god,
these guys are awesome.” And they were, I loved, you know. And there were guys and the women there. You know, it was a
diverse group of people. It was 50 degrees in the water. – [Jeff] Wow. – It was fricking cold.
(Jeff laughs) And we go in and it’s so strange. You go in, in the first two minutes, you lose all the sensation
in your arms and legs. All the blood’s rushing
into the center of your body to keep your organs warm. And it’s hurting and hurting and hurting. And then you realize that
the center of your body and everything feels like
you’ve got a furnace inside and you could literally
sit there for hours. – Really?
– It’s incredible. – [Jeff] But what’s happening
with your arms and legs at that point?
(Ann laughs) They can’t feel them anymore. – [Nikolas] Yeah, you gotta
be super careful, you know, at staying in there too
long because of that. But no, it’s like the body
just knows how in those, it’s a stressful body
situation, how to manage it. And because what happens
with the breathwork, and they call it Holotropic Breathwork, you oxygenate the blood
higher than you’ve done before and reduce the level of CO2 as well in what’s going in and out of the body, and it just creates this sort
of superhuman kind of ability. – [Jeff] Yeah. I wanna get back to the LSD thing but, at first, would this compare, ’cause I’m trying to think, with everything that you guys had tried, first of all, do you recall everything? Like, was there ever
anything where you were like, “Boy, I was out of my mind there, “I don’t know what happened”? – [Nikolas] Yeah, I didn’t do LSD as part of the documentary. That was someone else. Anecdotally, when people do microdosing, they’re taking very small
amounts, like maybe 15 or 20 mics, and when they take that, you actually don’t go into
the hallucinogenic phase of what LSD can deliver to the brain. What it does, it just
ignites your entire brain and creates new connections synaptically between different centers. So, your logical side will
boost into the creative side. Set and setting is what people in the research community around this say really determines what you can do. There have been people
like Dr. James Fadiman down in the Bay Area. He gets people to undertake different mathematical exercises, you know, architectural drawing, whatever. Anecdotally, people have
been able to change the world by the new ways that
they’ve been able to think. Some people say that the entire
personal computer movement, which was born in 1968
in Stanford University by a guy called Douglas Engelbart, was born out of the use
of psychedelic drugs and new ways of thinking. – [Jeff] See, now, that’s
where I wanted to go because I’m looking at
this and I’m thinking, “How does this compare “to the Beatles’ mid-’60s
Sgt. Pepper, you know, “and them taking LSD at the time?” – [Ann] That was macrodosing. – Yeah, okay.
(Ann chuckles) – [Ann] That was, like, full doses. – [Jeff] Right, right, right. I’m looking at that and saying,
“Well, how does it compare?” So, it’s funny you talk about that in the tech age and how
it had had that boost in the late ’60s given that. – [Nikolas] Yeah, and
Steve Jobs went on record before he died, rest in peace. He went on record to say that taking LSD was one of two of the
most important experiences he ever had in his life. – Wow.
– Yeah. We didn’t get into the
psychedelic side of it in this documentary.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. – [Nikolas] We were very
much in the, you know, in the approved, well, – Yeah, I get it.
– we’re working on it. – [Jeff] My comparison
with the Beatles taking LSD is because… It enhanced their creativity. They put that out. I’m not giving the drugs all the credit for what they put out, but nevertheless they were
taking those drugs at the time and that’s what came out and
it was such a big influence in the world of music. So, I was wondering if there
was any parallels with that. – [Ann] Well, I think that’s
an interesting thought because so many people in San
Francisco and Silicon Valley in the tech industry are
either microdosing with LSD, which creates a sense of, you know, more synaptic connections
between new centers that haven’t been connected before, or taking different kinds of
cognitive enhancement drugs. So, wondering how much of
the advancements in tech are part of this kind
of drug culture, really. – [Jeff] Well, yeah,
the advancements in tech and the kind of work that’s put into it, everything just feels like
it’s connected in some way because we live in an age right now where we’re working 24/7, where we feel like we have to
get ahead of the next person, we always have to be connected, we can’t take, you
know, the off hours off. Everything feels connected, so
if somebody is taking a drug that’s helping them advance, well, that’s gonna get out there and everybody else is
gonna start taking it. – Yeah.
– Seems like that’s the case now.
– Yeah, absolutely. What happens when you let your ego die? That’s where we are with psychedelics. It means that you’re wide open to any possibility in the world. And that’s what changes. The smart-drugs side of it
just gives you the energy and the drive and an
ability to just do more – And I think–
– over and above. Sorry, Ann.
– Yeah, no, agree. And I think that that’s where you see this cultural kind of change and shift. It started, I think, in San
Francisco, Silicon Valley, and it’s in all cosmopolitan city centers, but this sense of not only do
you work hard and play hard but you do it with these
cognitive enhancement drugs with the idea of upgrading yourself, upgrading your intelligence,
and maximizing yourself through cognitive enhancement drug, nootropics or something like that. – I was–
– And that’s a kind of biohacking mentality
that’s really part and parcel with this whole culture of
working hard and getting ahead and, you know, getting to
IPO before the next guy, that kind of thing. – [Nikolas] I’ve actually
been in situations, I went into a very, very famous, world-recognized consultancy, huge company, hundreds of
thousands of people work there. The people that work there
are top of their game. I was chatting to a friend, we
were doing a research report. She leans over and she goes, “I’ve been microdosing mushrooms. “And it’s awesome.” And I’m like, “Wow.” She goes, “Sometimes, it takes me an hour “to get out in the morning “but that’s ’cause I
don’t get the dose right.” – [Jeff] (laughing) Wow. – [Nikolas] But it’s everywhere. It’s everywhere, but
no one talks about it. It’s illegal activity, right? Sourcing things like LSD, it’s illegal. Can you imagine telling your boss that that’s what you’ve been doing? – [Jeff] Yeah, oh my goodness. – [Nikolas] All they
see is incredible work. – And maybe they look
– Well, here in San Francisco – the other way on it.
– your boss is probably microdosing, too.
– Yeah, yeah. – That’s true.
– A lot, yeah. I’ve met several CEOs who do.
– But no one’s talking about it. – [Ann] No, in San Francisco, they are. – [Nikolas] In San Francisco, they are. Someone said to me a couple of days ago, they go, “Oh, I hear that
some of the tech companies “down there, they
actually distribute this.” And I’m like, “I think that
some of this is folklore.” I don’t honestly think that that’s it. I think behind the scenes there
are people using smart drugs to enhance the ability to code, to write, to do more, to last longer. There are people microdosing LSD. There are people doing ayahuasca retreats where they go really deep, like DMT, which is the active part of ayahuasca. It’s the most powerful psychedelic. And that doesn’t destroy your ego. It completely reprograms
how you see the world. (Jeff chuckles)
It’s like everyone’s in it. I would actually say, and I’m not sure what
your perspective is, Ann, I would say we’re in the
high 60 to 70% of people that are in those organizations that are willing to step into that world. – [Jeff] It doesn’t seem like
that number is gonna go down. – [Nikolas] Nope. – [Jeff] It’s just gonna get higher. So, maybe you’re kind of
on the cusp of something, you know, with this film. – [Nikolas] It’s been
around for a long time. These smart drugs have
been around for a while, it’s just they haven’t been made popular, they’ve been in the shadows,
they’ve been edge behaviors. – [Ann] Yeah, they’re
becoming mainstream now. – [Nikolas] Yeah, I think, yeah. Once you go down to one of the pharmacies and it’s like the nootropic section? That’s it, game-changer. – [Jeff] Do you think
Toronto and Vancouver as a couple of Canadian
cities that you could see being the new Silicon Valley in this respect with smart drugs? – [Nikolas] Yeah, and Montreal. – Montreal.
– Yeah. I actually think places like
Calgary-Edmonton as well. – [Ann] Yeah, it’s been happening already. I worked with a graphic designer years ago who was like, he was one
of the early biohackers, I didn’t know this, but he’s Toronto-based and he was creating his own
cognitive enhancement stacks. So, people who are really into biohacking will create their own stacks of drugs. And he was like, “I’ve made
the best work I’ve ever done.” – [Jeff] Do you think
that we’ll get to a time where everybody is just doing this and there’s gonna be
like a biohacking expert that you go to, you know, kind of like having your local doctor but your local biohacking
expert that you would go to and say, “Hey, this is what I
need, this is what I require”? – [Nikolas] The biohacking shaman. – (chuckles) Yeah, sure, sure.
– Maybe. I think that you will see people like professionally qualified naturopaths and people like that
really step into the fray. It’s still gonna be like,
“Hey, this is what I’ve done, “you should try it as
well,” kind of advice. – [Ann] I think there’s
a bit of a divide here. I think there’s a class
divide that’s happening where those who are richer
are going to medical clinics that are private that have these machines that will monitor a lot of things about your body and performance that average people just
don’t get feedback on from their general practitioners. And so, then, they’ll get
supplements and things and they’ll be able to
address health concerns, even before they become a concern, and that’s definitely a
trend in medicine now. – [Jeff] That’s very concerning because I feel like the social divide is kind of doubling up
on a couple of fronts, like in talking about smart drugs, and also in talking about food, if food prices are going to go up. I was talking this week with a professor out of the University of British Columbia, talking about how food
prices are going to go up because, in part, we’re
not taking care of nature in the country and in the world, so food is, the prices of
food are gonna go on the rise and there’s gonna be more
infighting with people, there’s gonna be more class divide. So, (chuckling) there might be a time where there are going
to be a class of people that can afford food and
can afford super drugs, and then everybody else. – [Nikolas] Yeah. – [Jeff] It could get to
that by the sounds of it. – [Nikolas] Yeah, I think, definitely. I went into a hyperbaric chamber. That’s part of the documentary as well. It’s $350 an hour to do that.
– Oh my gosh. – [Nikolas] These smart drugs, you know, you buy these stacks, they are not cheap in any way, shape, or form. This is like, you know,
some people like Eric must spend thousands of dollars
on these drugs every year. – [Jeff] But thinking that
that’s an investment, right? – Yeah.
– Because of what the outcome is going to be. – [Ann] To be frank, it’s
not that far of a stretch. One of them pointed out to me anyone who takes vitamins are already, they’re biohacking their bodies. You’re trying to create a better body through nutrition that you
might not get in your meals. So, it’s not that far of
a leap from average people who pop vitamins and whatever
supplements in that regard. But I think what is interesting is the amount of intervention
on natural body processes that people are willing to do if they’re really wanting to experiment in terms of biohacking it. I’m personally interested in seeing an anti-biohacking
movement. (chuckles) – [Jeff] Would you ever
consider, Ann, doing this? Not that you need to
– I tried it. – because everything you seem
– I tried it. – [Jeff] to get your hands on turns into gold.
(Ann and Jeff chuckling) You had
– Nik hit this out of the park.
– a career in radio, obviously a successful career in film. You’re a poet, it seems like
you can do anything you want to so you don’t need anything else. – Oh, it’s not… (chuckles)
– You’re fine. (Jeff laughing) But would you consider getting in on this? – [Ann] Oh yeah, I do take
things like vitamin B complexes and ubiquinol and omega-3s
and other things which help, and I’ve taken herbal brain booster stuff. I haven’t kept with it regularly. I tried modafinil once
and it just kept me up. I’m kind of an anti-pill person in general so I don’t stick with it but I think– – [Nikolas] I loved modafinil. – [Ann] You still take some supplements and stuff, right?
– Oh yeah, yeah. I take a lot of vitamins and whatever. They give you the guidance,
only like 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day. It’s like, screw that,
5,000 is gonna basically keep you really over and above and the body will get rid
of what it doesn’t need. I sort of push it a little bit further and I do still take the nootropics, I still do meditation, I
still do cold water therapy. – Mm.
– Yeah, amongst other things. – [Jeff] How do you sleep? (Ann laughs) I don’t mean like guilty
conscience or something, like how do you sleep at night, Nik? I just meant are you able to
get seven, eight hours a night? – [Nikolas] Well, you
know, I sort of survive on about five hours a night. I often have polycyclical sleep which means you have multiple times. You’re awake for five hours, sleep for three, awake for five. – [Jeff] I used to do a morning show. That used to be my life. – [Ann] Speaking like a true biohacker. Polycyclical. – [Jeff] (laughing) Yeah. – [Nikolas] It’s because I travel so much. Now, I’m in Toronto. I just moved here a couple of weeks ago. – Oh, really?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. – From where?
– From Vancouver. I’m Canadian as well now. – [Jeff] Welcome to Toronto. – [Nikolas] But like, it’s, I can, but what I do
is really interesting. I actually use Active B12 on occasion to put myself into a
heavily lucid dream state. – [Jeff] Really? – [Nikolas] Yeah, because I help– – [Jeff] I have only taken salsa. I just have a bit of salsa at night. – [Nikolas] But try it. Go and get Active B12 and take a fair dose before bedtime, about an hour before bedtime. You’re gonna have the
wildest, most vivid dreams that you’ve ever had.
– Really? – [Nikolas] What I actually find is, because I do so much research and I look at the world in so
many different perspectives, it gives me the ability to
start telling stories in my head and I’ll wake up with all sorts
(chuckling) of great ideas. – Oh, really?
– Yeah. – [Jeff] Yeah, see, ’cause I’ve had a, not, they weren’t scheduled,
they weren’t planned, but I’ve had a couple of dreams
that don’t feel like dreams, they feel like memories. – Yeah.
– That’s cool. – [Jeff] Like, I’ll look back and I’ll go, “Oh, I remember the time,
oh wait, I dreamt that. “That wasn’t.” But it really, I felt, I don’t
know, it’s hard to explain but I felt like I was
actually in the moment, like that had happened, and I was controlling myself
like I was on the verge of coming out of a sleep and I was able to keep
myself asleep enough to keep the dream going on. – [Ann] Right, so you’re managing how– – [Jeff] I was managing it. And I think it only happened once. I was dreaming about my grandfather who passed away when I was like six, and this was a dream I had
only like five, six years ago, clearly well beyond being the age of six. I remember talking with him and we were having a good conversation. He was getting an update on my life and I was talking to him. I remember I was feeling
myself coming out of this dream and I was pushing myself back to sleep because I wanted more time with him. And I managed to keep sleeping until the conversation came to an end. Maybe I dictated that in my
own lucid state or something but I feel like I’ve had this
experience with my grandfather and I haven’t seen him in about 35 years. – [Nikolas] Yeah, there’s some
pretty wild ideas behind this and I’ve sort of been tapping into this in the past year as well myself. There’s the idea that
your cells actually carry the memories of your grandfather,
actually genetically. So, you were born and you were born with the genetic memories of those people who have come before you and generations, so you’re tapping into that. Here’s something pretty wild as well. Consciously, we process around 50 bits of information per second. Subconsciously, we process about 50 million bits of
information per second. When you dream, you
swim in the subconscious and you uncover those bits of stimulus that you have over the years that give you important
lessons and you go deeper. It’s pretty wild and this
is what meditation can do, this is what a number
of different things do. This is what psychedelics
taps into as well and that’s why that’s pretty wild. But coming back to this, dreaming as a biohack is amazing. (Ann chuckles) I’d do that more than.
(Jeff laughs) And I wake up, I wake up, – [Jeff] This could be a hobby. – [Nikolas] I wake up
next to my girlfriend and she goes, “You okay?” “Oh, I had a really bad
dream” or “I had a wild dream” and all she was is like, “Shut
up and go back to sleep.” (Jeff laughs) I’m like writing away or
tapping on my computer. – [Jeff] Boy, I haven’t even thought about you having a partner. No offense, but you having
someone in your life… For your girlfriend, you
being number one in her life, that must be really tiring, no offense. – [Nikolas] She’s a wonderful person. – [Jeff] (laughing) She is, she must be. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. You have so much energy,
it’s just like, wow. – [Nikolas] What’s really interesting is I was single for a long, long time. I was work, work, work, work, work. The liberation I actually got from the process of doing this documentary actually released more
time and ability for me to be able to reach out and be calmer and be fitter and healthier, lose weight. And then, literally, about a month after we first started filming,
boom, I met my girlfriend. – [Jeff] Wow. – [Nikolas] And she was 100% on board with everything I was doing. – Wow.
– I mean, she looks at me a bit strangely sometimes.
(Jeff laughing) She gets a cold and I’m barking at her, “Take 5,000 milligrams.” She’s like, “I’m only
supposed to take one.” It’s like, 5,000, do this, do that. It’s like, trust me. Anyway, but yeah, she trusts that I’m
gonna look after myself. – [Jeff] Well, good. We’re hoping you’re gonna do that. Ann, I gotta ask you lastly ’cause I’ve occupied so much of your time but I really appreciate
you guys being here. We last spoke in October when your doc “The
Superfood Chain” came out and it seems like you’ve gone
from superfoods to superdrugs. Initially, what drew
you to making this film? – [Ann] It was that animator,
that graphic designer friend that I had who told me about this. And then I was talking with
my friend Melanie Horkan about it who was saying, you know, 25 to 30% of
students are taking it. And so, we thought, “Wow, this is crazy,” because it’s actually, aside
from the biohacking community, more and more people just generally are taking cognitive
enhancement supplements whether it’s Adderall, modafinil, or somebody’s Ritalin or ADHD drug, taking it off-label to
help sharpen their focus. We started looking into
it and met up with Nik and realized there’s a whole movement that’s propelling this experimentation. A lot of it’s happening without people actually thinking of it as,
“Hey, I’m biohacking today.” They’re just, “I just need to stay awake,” or, “I need to stay focused,”
and they’ll take these pills. – [Jeff] Well, I’m glad you guys have brought this to the forefront. “Smart Drugs” will air on
the documentary Channel Sunday at nine p.m. Eastern. Subject Nikolas Badminton
and Director Ann Shin. Guys, I can’t thank you
enough for joining us. Really appreciate it. – [Ann] Thanks for having us on. It was great. – [Nikolas] It’s been a blast. – [Jeff] Good, come back. – [Nikolas] Yes, I will.