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What is DMT
N-Dimethyltryptamine, commonly known as DMT, is a powerful Hallucinogen. DMT is one of the active ingredients in the ayahuasca plant. Recent research has discovered that our bodies creates DMT naturally, but not enough to exert any hallucinogenic effects. Until the chemical itself was synthesized in a laboratory and available on its own, ayahuasca was the primary source of DMT. Ayahuasca trips, especially those guided by shamans, have attained popularity and notoriety over the past 5-10 years.
How is DMT Taken?
- Insufflating (usually means snorting)
Taking DMT orally is the most common method, and it generally lasts the longest. Some chemicals can be mixed into DMT to prolong the effects of the drug, but those additives react violently with some prescription medications.
How it Works in the Body
The brain is full of receptors that control what chemicals are released and when. Certain chemicals, like DMT, interact with those receptors and cause a rush of hormones and chemicals in response. DMT binds to almost all serotonin receptors, causing a massive rush of serotonin throughout the brain.
The DMT Trip
Every hallucinogenic substance creates an effect that can vary from person to person. The nature and contents of someone’s “trip” can change depending on the amount the take and their mindset as they start hallucinating.
The changeable nature of hallucinogenic experiences defies any real attempt to predict the type of experience someone will have on DMT. Testimonial evidence given by people participating in DMT studies suggests their experiences highlight the extremely individual nature of DMT.
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Several studies reported people talking about their experiences with hallucinogenic effects of DMT. Some popular hallucinations occurred, often non-human beings like gnomes, elves, and dwarves would appear during their trip. This sensation is frequent enough for the term “machine elves” to have worked its way into the vernacular of DMT users. Others recount experiences of interacting with an all knowing, higher power. Frequently, people come out of a trip unable to properly verbally describe the emotions and sensations they just experienced during the primary effects of DMT.
The hallucinogenic effects of DMT last for around 30 minutes depending on dose, which is relatively short considering the length of time some other hallucinogens last. There are certain methods that cause the high to last much longer, but they’re commonly violently reactive with many prescription drugs. After the DMT trip finishes, other, non-hallucinogenic effects may take a few hours to wear off.
Length of time depends on method of ingestion. Smoking DMT results in the quickest trip.
LSD trips can last for as long as 15 hours, but more than 12 hours is rare.
The dose of psilocybin greatly effects the amount of time it takes for a trip to conclude.
While the usual high is relatively short, users have reported an extreme sense of time dilation while under the effects of DMT. The trip seems to interfere with people’s ability to perceive time as they usually would, causing the sensation that it’s taking much longer than it is in reality. Unlike the other popular hallucinogens which may take over an hour to fully kick in, DMT can be felt almost immediately after ingestion.
Immediate Effects of DMT
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Loss of coordination
- Dilated pupils
Long Term Effects of DMT
Psychedelic drugs like DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD all possess the ability to impact you after the trip ends. Some people experience a lasting psychological difference after using hallucinogenic substances. It’s rare, but people can seem to exhibit changes in their personalities or differences in their mental health.
Scientists don’t quite understand the full scope of hallucinogenic effects on the brain, but they seem to allow different parts of the brain to communicate when they otherwise wouldn’t. This can be what leads to the hallucinations, but it can also impact mental health moving forward.
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There’s not an abundance of research that explicitly covers the long-term health impacts of using DMT specifically. The “War on Drugs” started in the 1970s established several hurdles between hallucinogenic drugs and research. Recently, these barriers have lowered slightly, and studies on the possible uses of hallucinogenic substances are starting to pop up more often.
Studies focusing on the long-term effect of hallucinogens like psilocybin (magic mushrooms) have found that prolonged exposure to these types of drugs can alter the ways in which the brain is formed and communicates. More research needs to be done on DMT in order to establish an understanding of its long-term effects.
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Most hallucinogens aren’t as chemically addictive as drugs like nicotine, alcohol, and heroin, but it’s still possible. Struggling with a behavioral addiction can sometimes be even more punishing socially than a chemical addiction. You shouldn’t feel like you have to go through the process alone. If you or a loved one need help with a use disorder, please reach out to a compassionate provider today.
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