Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a hallucinogenic, psychedelic drug sharing a chemical structure with LSD and other hallucinogens it is the active ingredient in Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a combination of plant materials, found in many preparations in South America.
DMT is found naturally in the blood and the brain, where its function is not yet completely known. It is also found in animals and different plant species.
We can at least be more certain about the effects of DMT on the brain when ingested. When DMT is taken, there are changes to serotonin levels and processing in the brain. These changes likely produce diverse psychological effects.
When smoked, the effects occur within seconds, producing intense, very visual and auditory hallucinations. There may also be extreme shifts in mood and a sense of bodily dissociation. The “trip” lasts around 30 minutes total.
DMT was synthesized and illicitly manufactured in the 1960s when it became a popular recreational drug. Unlike LSD and other hallucinogens, DMT is quickly destroyed by stomach acids and is ineffective if taken by mouth. When smoked or injected, it produces a very brief experience lasting no more than 15 to 30 minutes. Users could have a wild psychedelic trip but get back to normal a half-hour later. They called it the “businessman’s high.”
In its pure form, it is sold as a white powder that smells like mothballs. If it has not been completely purified, it may have a tan or brownish colour, or an orange, waxy appearance. When smoked in pipes or mixed with marijuana, it is reported to taste and smell like burning plastic. A single inhalation is usually enough to produce a five-or ten-minute intense hallucinatory experience.
The usual dose is 20 to 50 mg, injected or smoked, although as little as 5 mg will have a significant effect. A dose of 75 mg or more will result in a loss of consciousness.
Very little synthetic DMT is available on the black market, and it appears to have been replaced by the milder, natural analogues such as are found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
DMT hallucinations typically are described as a visual pattern of overlapping small two-dimensional elements in vivid hues of red, yellow, green, and blue, sometimes referred to as the “chrysanthemum pattern”. The overall experience is much more intense than that of most other hallucinogens.
Common Side effects include:
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