DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine found in many plants and animals. Because of the intense psychedelic experience, it has been dubbed the “spirit molecule” by some.
Although less well-known than LSD or magic mushrooms, DMT produces a brief but intense visual and auditory hallucinogenic experience.
DMT is sometimes used in religious ceremonies and other settings to achieve “awakening” or deep spiritual insight. Here are some key points to remember about DMT. The main article contains more details and supporting information.
For thousands of years, people have used DMT, often in religious rituals.
The drug is commonly used in shamanic rituals in South America.
Strong hallucinations are among the side effects.
Because of the nature of the drug, some refer to DMT as the “spirit molecule.”
DMT is a white crystalline powder derived from Psychotria viridis, a plant found in Mexico, South America, and parts of Asia. Cohoba, a hallucinogenic drug derived from the seeds of Piptadenia peregrina, contains it.
It is commonly consumed in the following ways:
On rare occasions, it is vaporized or smoked in a pipe, consumed orally in brews such as ayahuasca, and snorted or injected.
DMT’s chemical root structure is similar to that of the anti-migraine medication sumatriptan, and it acts as a non-selective agonist at most or all serotonin receptors, particularly the serotonin 5-HT2a receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects the vast majority of our brain cells.
DMT is typically snorted, smoked, or injected when taken alone.
When DMT is injected into a vein or muscle, the effects are felt faster than when the drug is taken orally.
When DMT is smoked, the effects can be felt almost immediately. When DMT is smoked, it is difficult to determine how long it takes to reach peak effects.
When consumed as a brew in ayahuasca, the effects may take longer to manifest and peak between 2 and 3 hours.
To be broken down when taken orally, DMT must be combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). The ayahuasca vine is an example of an MAOI. MAOIs enhance DMT’s pharmacological effects.
Side effects of DMT may include:
Distorted sense of time
Increased/rapid heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Chest pain or tightness