DMT

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (also known as DMT, N,N-DMT, Dimethyltryptamine, Dmitri, and “The Spirit Molecule”) is an infamous naturally-occurring psychedelic substance of the tryptamine chemical class that produces an unusually intense, short-lived version of what has come to be considered the “classical psychedelic”experience (i.e. those traditionally associated with Mescaline, Psilocybin Mushrooms, DMT, and LSD) when administered.[1]

Depending on the dosage and method of administration, the effects of DMT can range from mild psychedelic states to powerfully immersive life-altering experiences which are often described as the ultimate displacement from ordinary consciousness, in which users are placed in a subjective state where they can experience exploring ineffable spiritual realms or alternate dimensions.[2]

DMT is present in over 65 species of plants and has been identified as being a normal constituent of human metabolism and an endogenous neurotransmitter in certain rodents. Its presence is also known to be widespread throughout the plant kingdom.[3][4] Although various theories have been postulated, the substance’s neurobiological function has yet to be determined.[citation needed]

In modern times, DMT is viewed as an extremely powerful visionary psychedelic entheogen that, when vaporized or smoked, produces short-lived effects with a very rapid onset that are sometimes compared to an “unimaginably high-speed roller-coaster ride.” When ingested in combination with a MAOI or RIMA agent, it becomes active orally and thus significantly longer lasting, immersive, and interactive in nature; this combination is known as ayahuasca.[5] Ayahuasca brews have been used traditionally in South America since at least around the year 1500.[6]

Unlike most highly prohibited substances, DMT is not considered to be physiologically toxic or addictive by the scientific community.[7][8] Nevertheless, unpredictable adverse reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, delusions and psychotic breaks can always still occur, particularly among those predisposed to psychiatric disorders.[9]While these negative reactions or “bad trips” can often be attributed to user inexperience or improper preparation of set and setting, they have been known to happen spontaneously among even the most experienced of users as well.

As a result, it is highly advised to approach this incredibly powerful and unpredictable hallucinogenic substance with proper harm reduction practices if choosing to use it.

DMT Crystals[10]

Chemistry

Substitutive structure of a tryptamine molecule

DMT, or N,N-dimethyltryptamine, is a naturally-occurring indole alkaloid molecule of the tryptamine class. Tryptamines share a core structure comprised of a bicyclic indole heterocycle attached at R3 to an amino group via an ethyl side chain. DMT contains two methyl groups (CH3-) bound to the terminal amine RN at the end of this chain. DMT has many homologs and analogs from base tryptamines like MET and DPT, to four and five position substituted variants such as 4-PO-DMT (Psilocybin), 4-AcO-DMT (Psilacetin), and 5-MeO-DMT.

Pharmacology

Further information: Serotonergic psychedelic

DMT’s psychedelic effects are believed to come from its efficacy at the 5-HT2A receptor as a partial agonist. However, the role of these interactions and how they result in the psychedelic experience continues to remain elusive.

In addition to this, N,N-dimethyltrytamine is believed to be an endogenous ligand for the sigma receptor. However, the significance of the sigma-1 receptor remains the subject of ongoing scientific research.[11]

The compound’s affinities for various receptor sets have been well-studied and are listed in the table below:

Binding Sites Binding Affinity Ki (nM)[citation needed]
5-HT1A >10,000
5-HT1B >10,000
5-HT1D 93
5-HT1E 455.7
5-HT2A 2323
5-HT2B 107.6
5-HT2C 334.6
5-HT5A 611
5-HT6 487.4
5-HT7 87.5
D1 271.1
α1A 1745
α1B 973.7
α2A 1561
α2B 257.7
α2C 258.6
SERT 3742
σ1R 2.23

Subjective effects

The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include injury or death (via behavorial toxicity).

Physical effects

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Visual effects

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Cognitive effects

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Auditory effects

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Multi-sensory effects

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Transpersonal effects

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Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index include:

Additional experience reports can be found here:

Progressive stages

When smoked or vaporized at moderate to heavy dosages, the DMT experience manifests itself in a consistent progressive sequence which is described below.

1. “Breaking Through”

The first step of a DMT trip is the come up that leads onto an experience commonly referred to as “breaking through.”[14] This seems to have at least a few different ways of presenting itself to the user.

The first thing that a person notices is an extremely distinct set of visual enhancements such an increase in visual acuity and colour intensity. This is followed by a sudden onset of high level 3 geometry which increases in its intensity until it envelopes and covers the external environment. These effects are often accompanied by auditory hallucinations such as soft crackling sounds or high pitched extended tones. There is also the possibility of accompanying physical sensations as one “breaks through.” These can include feelings of suddenly being pushed through and onto the other side of a membrane or feelings of shooting through space at high speeds.

2. “The Waiting Room”

Almost immediately after a person has inhaled enough DMT to have “broken through”, they often find themselves spending a brief amount of time in what is sometimes described as a psychedelic “waiting room” or “loading screen.” The appearance of this space can assume a seemingly infinite variety of forms but generally appears in the shape of an enveloping tunnel comprised of rapidly shifting, interlocking geometry. This lasts approximately 10 – 20 seconds and feels qualitatively different from other stages of the experience.

3. “The Other Side”

Once the waiting period is over, the user will feel that they have “broken through” onto the other side. It is here where users experience intense level 7 geometry and level 3 – 4 internal hallucinations. It is worth noting that although experiences vary between individuals, DMT trips often follow common archetypes, scenarios, content, and plots. These scenarios generally consist of visiting what appears to be an alternate reality that is often described to contain autonomous entities, settings, sceneries, and landscapes as well as themes of a cosmic, transcendental, or transpersonal nature.

4. “Drifting Down”

The final stage is experienced as the sensation of being pulled further and further away from the scenario until it is no longer visible and one finds themselves back in reality. This is typically accompanied by level 3 – 4 geometry as well as a sense of general exhilaration and awe. The moderate to mild geometry stays for a further 10 – 15 minutes before disappearing completely, sometimes leaving a noticeable “body high” that lingers for up to an hour.

Natural plant sources

Main article: DMT-containing plants

Mimosa hostilis root bark

Further information: Mimosa tenuiflora (botany)

Mimosa hostilis root bark.

Mimosa hostilis (also known as Mimosa tenuiflora, Jurema and Tepezcohuite) is a perennial tree or shrub native to the northeastern region of Brazil and is found as far north as southern Mexico. Around 1% of the dried weight is DMT. It is legal to purchase online in many parts of the world and a commonly used source for performing DMT extractions or brewing into ayahuasca.

Acacia confusa root bark.

Acacia confusa root bark

Further information: Psychoactive acacias

Acacia confusa (also known as Acacia Petit Feuille, Small Philippine Acacia, Formosa Acacia (Taiwan Acacia) and Formosan Koa) is a perennial tree native to South-East Asia. It is legal to purchase online and easily accessible in many parts of the world. The plant matter itself contains the following chemicals:[15]

  • N-Methyltryptamine: 1.43% (not psychoactive without MAOI)
  • DMT/N,N-Dimethyltryptamine: 1.15%

Preparation methods

Preparation methods for this compound within our tutorial index include:

Toxicity and harm potential

DMT is considered to be non-addictive, is not associated with any form of neurotoxicity, and has an extremely low toxicity relative to dose. As with other psychedelic substances, there are relatively few physical side effects associated with acute DMT exposure. Various studies have shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it has little to no negative cognitive, psychiatric or physical consequences.[13]

However, as with psychedelics generally, DMT is thought to be able to act as a potential trigger for those with underlying psychiatric conditions.[citation needed] Those with a personal or family history of mental illness are advised not to use this substance unless under medical supervision.

Despite the lack of physical risks, it is highly advised to approach this substance with extreme caution and harm reduction practices due to the lasting mental imprint it can leave on the user.

Lethal dosage

The median lethal dose (LD50) of DMT in humans has never been reached in any setting, nor is this expected to change due to its pharmacological properties.[citation needed]

Tolerance and addiction potential

DMT is not habit-forming and the desire to use it can actually decrease with use.[13] As with most psychedelics, it is generally considered to have a built-in, self-regulating aspect. This can either occur subconsciously or even during the experience itself in which an autonomous entity will seemingly warn the user to discontinue their usage.[citation needed]

Tolerance to the effects of DMT does not occur. DMT presents cross-tolerance with no other psychedelics, meaning that after the consumption of DMT psychedelics will not have a reduced effect.

Dangerous interactions

Although many psychoactive substances are safe on their own, they can become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below contains some common potentially dangerous combinations, but may not include all of them. Certain combinations may be safe in low doses of each but still increase the potential risk of death. Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.

Legal status

  • International: DMT is classified as a Schedule I drug under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, meaning that international trade in DMT is supposed to be closely monitored and its use is supposed to be restricted to scientific research and medical use. Natural materials containing DMT, including ayahuasca, are not regulated under the 1971 Psychotropic Convention.[17][18]
  • Australia: Between 2011 and 2012, the Australian government was considering changes to the Australian Criminal Code that would classify any plants containing any amount of DMT as “controlled plants”.[19]
  • Brazil – Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.[20] Rules are relaxed regarding religious use.[citation needed]
  • Canada: DMT is a Schedule III drug.[21]
  • Estonia: DMT is a Schedule I drug.[citation needed]
  • Germany: The production, distribution, or possession of DMT is illegal.[citation needed]
  • Latvia: DMT is a Schedule I drug.[22]
  • New Zealand: DMT is classified in New Zealand as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.[23]
  • Norway: DMT is a Schedule I drug.[citation needed]
  • Russia: The production, distribution, or possession of DMT is illegal.[citation needed]
  • United Kingdom: DMT is a Class A drug.[24]
  • United States: DMT is a Schedule I drug.[citation needed] Rules are relaxed regarding religious use, however. In the US, dried root bark of Mimosa hostilis had been considered a “grey area” item for a long time. However, recent efforts by the DEA appear to be focusing on eliminating internet sales of the bark, citing 21 USC § 841, which states that “(IV) any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to in subclauses (I) through (III)” is also considered an illegal substance. Many USA based vendors have since been stocking Acacia Confusa bark as a result due to its very similar alkaloid content.[citation needed]
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