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DMT - Encyclopedia

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What is DMT?

DMT is a white, pungent-smelling, crystalline solid with a melting point of 49-50 degrees Celsius, hydrochloride salt hygroscopic, picrate m.p. 171-172 degrees Celsius and methiodide m.p. 215-216 degrees Celsius. It is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents and aqueous acids.

DMT is the major constituent of the bark of Virola calophylla, but it is also found in:

  1. the seeds of Anadenanthera peregina.
  2. the inner rootbark of the shrub Mimosa hostilis, used in eastern Brazil to make a drink called ajuca or jurema.
  3. the leaves of Banisteriopsis rusbyana, which are added to the harmaline drinks derived from other plants of the Banisteriopsis genus to make oco-yage.
  4. the leaves of Psychotria viridis also added to the Banisteriopsis drinks.

DMT must be combined with monoamine oxydase (MAO) inhibitors to become active orally and cause hallucinations. This is the case with the shamanic potion ayahuasca. See our ayahuasca page for more info.


DMT was first synthesized in 1931 and demonstrated to be hallucinogenic in 1956. It has been shown to be present in many plant genera (Acacia, Anadenanthera, Mimosa, Piptadenia, Virola) and is a major component of several hallucinogenic snuffs (cohoba, parica, yopo), seeds and drinks.


DMT formula

Name: N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
Chemical name : N,N-Dimethyl-1H-indole-3-ethanamine
Alternate chemical names : 3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]indole, DMT
Chemical formula: C12H16N2

DMT is a derivative of tryptamine formed by substituting methyl groups for the two hydrogen atoms attached to the non-aromatic nitrogen atom in the tryptamine molecule.

Both the parent compound tryptamine and the N-methyltransferase system which is capable of converting it to DMT, occur in humans. In 2013 a scientific study was published which demonstrates the presence of DMT in the pineal gland of rodents. This can be seen as a first confirmation of the earlier proposed hypothesis (amongst others by Rick Strassman in 'The Spirit Molecule') that the pineal gland also is the place where DMT is formed in the human body.

DMT has furthermore been identified in trace amounts in the blood and urine of both normals and schizophrenic patients, but its exact origins and functions are unknown.


Like LSD but often more intense. Since it is not taken orally, the effects come on suddenly and can be overwhelming. The term mind blowing could have been invented for this drug. Thoughts and visions crowd in at great speed; a sense of leaving or transcending time and a feeling that objects have lost all form and dissolved into a play of vibrations are characteristic. The effect can be like instant transportation to another universe.

An unusual feature of the induced intoxication is the speed of onset and short duration. Within 5 minutes of administration, there is mydriasis [dilated pupils], tachycardia [rapid heart beat], a measurable increase in blood pressure, and related vegetative disturbances which usually persist throughout the drug experience.

In 10-15 minutes, the full intoxication is realized, generally characterized by hallucinations with the eyes either open or closed and extensive movement within the visual field.

There is difficulty in the expression of one's thoughts, and in concentration on a given subject. There is usually a mood change to the euphoric with unmotivated laughter, but instances have been reported in which paranoid ideation has promoted anxieties and feelings of foreboding into a state of panic.

The subject is largely symptom-free at 60 minutes, although some residual effects have been seen in the second hour.

With the inhalation route of administration, the time scale is contracted, with the onset of effects noted in 10 seconds, a short period of full intoxication at 2-3 minutes, and a complete freedom from any residual effects within 10 minutes.

At higher drug levels, there are increased vegetative symptoms, and these effectively overwhelm the psychedelic experience at dosages of 150 mg i.m.


DMT is not effective orally; it has to be smoked or injected. With intramuscular injection, there is an abrupt threshold of activity shown with 30mg, and a complete psychedelic experience results from the administration of 50-70mg (75mg subcutaneously, 30mg by inhalation).

Repeated usage does not appear to lead to either physical or psychological dependency.

When taking DMT make sure you are in a comfortable and familiar environment, best is a lit room, where you sit or lay down. Taking a shot of DMT while you're standing, will almost certainly make you fall on your ass when it kicks in.

Recommended is a dosage of about 40-50 mg. The dosage should be carefully weighed out. Dosages below 25 mg yield only physical and threshold psychedelic effects. Dosages between 25 mg and 40 mg are usually not enough to display the full range of the unique DMT effects described above.

Dosages in excess of 55 mg, particularly if you are successful in holding all of the vapour in your lungs, can be VERY heavy and are not recommended for first-time users.

The most common way to inhale DMT is the following.
Obtain a 'freebase' airpipe. Use with the largest funnel type bowl you can find. Insert the largest fine mesh stainless steel screen that will fit into the bowl. Then sprinkle the DMT uniformly over the centre of the mesh screen. Make sure to keep the DMT away from the edges of the screen so that when it melts it does not run over the edge of the screen.

Hold a match or torch above the screen and inhale deeply and slowly. Do not let the flame touch the DMT as this will destroy much of the drug. DMT melts and vaporizes easily so the point is to let the hot air rushing through the flame into the pipe vaporize the DMT. It is quite easy to vaporize the DMT and end up with the air chamber full of white DMT vapour.

On each toke try to hold your breath for as long as possible. Exhale and immediately take a second toke. The physical effects, a buzzing or vibration throughout your whole body, come on first.

The intensity of these effects is not a reliable guide to the dosage of DMT that you have consumed. Keep taking lungfuls and holding them until all of the pre-measured DMT is consumed.


DMT can also be smoked as part of a mixture with other herbs, of which at least one of them contains an MAO-inhibitor. Such a mixture is called 'changa'. The MAOI makes the onset of the trip more gradual and the whole experience will last a bit longer. In addition, different herbs can be added to enhance the flavour.


It is not a party drug: the effects are most entertaining experience in a quiet room.

Also, make sure there are one or more friends who can watch you and take away the pipe (if that's the way you've chosen to consume DMT). Because you'll be in a trance sooner that you will know and from then you will have poor motor control, and probably your eyes closed already.

Do not stand up. Do not operate heavy machinery. Do Not Drive. Individuals currently in the midst of emotional or psychological upheaval in their everyday lives should be careful about choosing to use psychedelics such as N,N-DMT as they can trigger even more difficulty.

Individuals with a family history of schizophrenia or early onset mental illness should be extremely careful because psychedelics have been known to trigger latent psychological and mental problems.

Synthetic DMT has been extensively tested by medical authorities in Europe and America. It is perfectly safe with no lasting physical effects at these doses. However, since smoked DMT causes an abrupt blood pressure increase, it is probably not good for people with abnormally high blood pressure.

DMT's effects are heavily increased when you're taking MAO inhibitors. These are in some medicines and food. See our MAOI's page for more information. Please be careful with this! MAOI's can also be added deliberately, which is the case with ayahuasca and changa.


The brevity of the experience make its intensity bearable, and, for some, desirable. At least two synthetic drugs in which the methyl group of DMT is replaced by a higher radical are psychedelic.

The drug DET is active at the same dose as DMT and the effects last slightly longer, about one and a half to two hours. DPT is longer-acting still and has fewer autonomic side effects.


Except for changa, a plant mixture containing DMT, we do not recommend to combine DMT with other drugs. It should be done on a clean head. Marijuana fogs the effects.

Links / References

This article is based on the following pages:

A1b2c3 on DMT

Erowids DMT Vault

Wikipedia on DMT


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