Author: James Anderson

DMT: Uses, Side Effects, and Risks

what is dimethyltryptamine

DMT is a powerful substance that can cause several mental and physical effects. We rely on donations to continue to promote evidence-based information about drugs without political or commercial interference. While they may look similar, and have similar chemical structures, they induce different experiences and should not be confused. The presence of a sober sitter is particularly recommended with DMT.

  1. If DMT is stored in synaptic vesicles,[169] such concentrations might occur during vesicular release.
  2. Serious side effects occur more frequently if you have pre-existing mental health or physical conditions.
  3. This decoction is a tea made from boiled leaves and vines, known as hoasca within the UDV, and ayahuasca in different cultures.

Several scientific experimental studies have tried to measure subjective experiences of altered states of consciousness induced by drugs under highly controlled and safe conditions. DMT is a naturally occurring chemical that’s been used for centuries in religious ceremonies in several South American cultures. Today, its synthetic form is used for its powerful hallucinogenic effects. Practitioners traditionally prepare ayahuasca using two plants called Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis. The latter contains DMT while the former contains MAOIs, which prevent certain enzymes in your body from breaking down DMT. Many South American cultures use ayahuasca in religious and spiritual ceremonies and have done so for centuries.

Harm reduction

DMT belongs to a class of chemical compounds called tryptamines, which primarily alter serotonin levels in the central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, and memory. Known for its extremely intense but relatively short trip, people who use DMT report it catapults them into another dimension. Indigenous cultures have used DMT in ceremonies for thousands of years. Researchers can’t confirm whether DMT is addictive, like other psychedelics in its class. This means they’re not sure if you’ll develop a dependency on it.

what is dimethyltryptamine

Similar to all psychedelics, the psychological risks can be minimised by ‘set and setting’, ensuring that both your mind-set is stable and well prepared, and that the environment is safe and encouraging. A sober sitter is an important safety measure to mitigate psychological harm. Scientific studies have demonstrated similarities between DMT and psilocybin, whereby DMT is able to produce a comparable mystical experience to that of psilocybin. It is suggested that psilocybin alters brain activity and enables the brain to reset.

Other potential treatment applications

That means you might need to take more DMT to get the same effect. But even if you inject DMT, the chances of an overdose are very small. That’s because it can take more than 5,000 milligrams of DMT to overdose – nearly 100 times the amount in a single injection. This can happen especially if you don’t use the drug in a safe, controlled setting.

Know that DMT is a very powerful compound that can have a dramatic effect on your consciousness. While avoiding a bad trip is impossible, with the right mindset and preparation, you may set yourself up for a transformative experience. But several street drugs including DMT are often laced or mixed in with other dangerous substances such as fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, or morphine. People who sell them often lace DMT with additional substances as they can produce a stronger trip. As with most drugs, DMT can affect people in very different ways.

Are ayahuasca and DMT the same?

Although DMT occurs naturally in plants, it can also be synthesised chemically, producing DMT in its base or salt form. The term ‘freebase DMT’ refers to DMT in its pure alkaloidal form and is insoluble in water, whilst ‘DMT fumarate’ refers to the salt form and is water soluble. Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body accumulates an excessive amount of serotonin. The condition is more likely in people taking a combination of different drugs. DMT users frequently claim that it has fewer side effects than other psychedelic drugs, but this is a difficult claim to measure and quantify.

The first comprehensive analysis of the DMT experience is now available, and a clinical trial for its therapeutic benefits is underway. This will help you manage the unpredictable effects of the drug. If you have concerns about using DMT, tell your doctor about it. You can also reach out to addiction recovery centers that offer in-person or out-of-office treatment options to help you get your substance use disorder under control.

Its street names include dimitri, businessman’s special, the spirit molecule, changa, or fantasia. People from various cultures have used it for hundreds of years for ritual and religious practices as well as recreationally. A variety of plants contain DMT at sufficient levels for being viable sources,[4] but specific plants such as Mimosa tenuiflora, Acacia acuminata and Acacia confusa are most often used.

A recent study delivered the first in-depth analysis of DMT, revealing the intensity of a DMT trip. The analysis asked 39 mentally healthy participants to share their experience of what their DMT trip was like. When it’s taken in a plant-based brew like ayahuasca, DMT can take up to an hour to have an effect and leaves you tripping for anywhere from 2 to 6 hours.