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The Essential Psychedelic Guide
by D.M. Turner
1994

DMT

CANDY FOR THE MIND

INTENSITY: 9 to 10  

SAFETY FACTORS:  
    5-MeO-DMT is an MAO inhibitor. See list of items not to take with MAO inhibitors on page 19. [Erowid Note: This is probably wrong. Although 5-MeO-DMT is metabolized by MAO and occupies some amount of the enzyme, it is not considered an MAO-inhibitor in the normal sense.] Since DMT takes effect almost immediately, users normally lie down or sit in a reclining position prior to taking a hit. One will neither be able to stand up, or have the ability to recognize their surroundings if they get a good hit.  

MATERIAL:  
    N,N-Dimethyltryptamine and 5-Methoxy-Dimethyltryptamine are naturally occurring psychedelics found in a variety of plants around the world, several of which are native to the Amazon region. These alkaloids, which are usually found together in the plants, are also found in the human brain as neurotransmitters, as well as m our blood, urine, and spinal fluid [1]. DMT is produced in the human pineal gland which is correlated to the "3rd eye" or Ajna Chakra in the Indian spiritual system. Meditative states attained by yogis who concentrate on the 3rd eye may be the result of increased DMT levels. DMT is produced in heavy concentration in the glands of some tropical toads, such as Bufo Alvarius. Some people actually make a practice of squeezing out this venom, then drying and smoking it to get high.  

    N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are also manufactured synthetically, as separate compounds, and sold on the underground market And although it's quite rare in the psychedelic underground, synthetic DMT is used much more often than DMT from natural sources.  

HISTORY:  
    There are several plant sources of DMT, many of which have uniquely different histories of use. Normally DMT is not active if taken orally. It must be either smoked or snorted for any psychoactive effects. To obtain a full strength DMT experience, one must take the entire dose into their system in a short period of time.  

    Two sources of DMT, Anadenanthera peregrina and Virola theiodora, are made into snuffs, commonly known as Yopo and Epena, respectively. The natives of the Amazon region have ingenious methods for getting a good dose of these snuffs. One method calls for a "snorter" through which they inhale with both nostrils at once. The most effective is a snorting device for two people. This device has a tube going from the mouth of each person to the nose of the other Rather than snorting, once the device is loaded, one person "blows'; the DMT snuff into the other's nose, getting a large amount deep into the nasal cavity. The person who received the first hit must quickly blow a dose into the other person's nose before falling into a tryptamine trance, "trypping."  

    Elsewhere in the Amazon, DMT-containing plants like Psychotria veridis are included in brews known as Ayahuasca or Yage. These brews include Banisteriopsis caapi, which is a source of Harmala alkaloids, and occasionally plants from the Belladonna family. The combination of Harmala alkaloids and DMT is amazing. The Harmala alkaloids intensify the DMT "tryp," and in my opinion produce a deeper, more spiritual experience. The Harmala alkaloids which are MAO inhibitors, also allow the DMT to be active when taken orally.  

    How the natives discovered this combination boggles the mind. The healers and shamans that work with Ayahuasca claim that the spirits of the plants talk to them, telling them which plants to use in their brews, and which plants will heal various diseases. I believe their claims, since they certainly didn't have modern technical knowledge to predict the results of such combinations. And it's unlikely they could have tried all of the combinations of the thousands of plants growing in the Amazon jungle. I've also noticed increased synergy with plant consciousness in my own DMT experiments.  

DOSAGE and ADMINISTRATION:  
    The dosage for 5-MeO-DMT is 5 to 10 mg. The dosage for N,N-DMT is about 40 mg. Smaller amounts will produce some perceptual changes but will not bring one to the unique dimensions normally reached on DMT. The entire dose of DMT needs to be consumed in a short amount of time. If one doesn't get enough within the first 60 seconds they won't get much higher by smokmg more.  

    Synthetic DMT usually comes in a crystalline form as an off-white to brownish or yellowish powder. Smoking DMT can be tricky. I load the DMT into a glass pipe with a fine mesh stainless steel screen. The flame should be kept about 1/2" away from the DMT. Toking very slowly, I draw in enough heat to melt and then vaporize the DMT. The flame should never touch the DMT as burning it will destroy some, as well as producing a nasty taste. I've found that the slower the DMT is vaporized, the more I seem to get out of it. I've also found it helpful to place a small amount of ash in the bottom of the pipe bowl. This will work to hold the melted DMT before it is vaporized to prevent it from running through the screen and down the stem of the pipe. One can also use a hash oil pipe, but it's easy to burn your mouth with a concentrated hit of hot vapor. The smoke has a harsh, plastic-like taste, and tends to make people yak. I've had to train my lungs not to cough it out. Although it's harsh comma in, it doesn't expand like cannabis, and the smoke cools quickly.  

    Glass pipes can be difficult to find. Many head shops don't sell them since they are often used for crack cocaine. A pipe made of another material will work, but does not allow one to look into the bowl to monitor the melting/vaporization of the DMT, and to see if it's leaking through the screen and running down the stem of the pipe. I also enjoy watching the intricate patterns of the DMT recrystallizing inside the stem, and more importantly, once enough has collected on the inside of the stem, I can heat up a glass pipe for a few good hits.  

    Sometimes DMT comes soaked into parsley flakes or cannabis. This is frequently done with 5-MeO-DMT since the amount required for one high, 5 to 10 mg., can only be weighed on a sophisticated scale. In this case one must smoke the DMT by burning the parsley or cannabis This will work, but not quite as well as vaporization.  

    Plant material containing DMT requires some method of extraction prior to use. Most of the plants containing DMT are scarce in this country, and instructions for a pure DMT extraction are hard to find. Typically, DMT-containing plants are used in a brew, in combination with Harmala alkaloids. This way one need not be concerned with getting the entire dose in a short amount of time, and a simple water extraction should suffice.  

THE HIGH:  
    The highs from N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are similar yet have some distinct differences. The typical DMT tryp is an order of magmtude more potent than a trip on the traditional psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin or mescaline). When smoking DMT the high comes on within about 30 seconds. Within the next 30 seconds I am propelled to a high as intense as the peak of a 1000+ mcg. acid trip. Generally by this point I will be completely out of my body and unaware of my physical surroundings. This intense part of the experience, although seeming timeless while I'm in it, lasts only 2 to 5 minutes. I then drift back quickly to regular consciousness. On 5-MeO I am back within 20 minutes, with N.N.I am back in 30 minutes. In the Sixties DMT was called "The businessman's lunch trip."  

    What one will experience on DMT is impossible to predict. It can range from heaven to hell, cyberspace to jeweled palaces, fear or personified evil, visions of jungle animals, contacts with extraterrestrials, links with ancient spirits, or adventures with fairies and elves. The DMT user should be prepared for anything. On a full dose of DMT (or Ketamine) one can not guide the tryp with the mind or thoughts the way an LSD trip can be guided. One can, however direct the tryp by what I will call the "intent of the soul" or will.  

    Many users, including myself, have felt possessed by various spirits while on DMT, as if becoming a medium and channeling alien thoughts. This can be quite heavy. It has been generally positive for myself and the people I've smoked DMT with, but I've heard stories from others who have expenenced the opposite extreme.  

    On DMT the perception of time slows to nearly a complete stop. During this stage one may feel that they are not breathing, or that their heart has stopped. However, this is due to one's state of perception. Many users report being aware of millions of vibrations and sounds going through the universe and their bodies, the body often bursting with energies they never knew existed. One can let these feelings flow through them, or if appropriate, direct the movements to some type of dance, yogic exercise, or drumming. These "physically manifesting" energies are gentler on N,N-DMT than on 5-MeO-DMT.  

    DMT frequently produces changes in the facial expression of the user, which can appear quite bizarre to an onlooker. It would seem as though the human face has the potential for a far greater number of expressions than we normally use, possibly even the ability to carry on sophisticated communication through facial expression. DMT acts as a catalyst to awaken this realm of movement by exercising the muscles involved and realigning the underlying energies. It's also possible for this realignment of energies to take place in other areas of the body, occasionally instigating a shamanic dance.  

    In recent years DMT has become quite notorious in the psychedelic underground, primarily through the writings of Terence McKenna. And despite the fact that it is rare and highly sought after, once it becomes available to those who are seeking it, very few people use it frequently after a short period of initial use. I've assumed that many people have joy rides for their first several trips, then have an experience which is extremely frightening or intense, leaving them intimidated about continuing DMT use. However, I like a friend's recent explanation for this observation better: "DMT gets progressively 'weirder' as you keep smoking it."  

    What I've described about DMT so far can be applied to both varieties. However, some characteristics of the two are quite different. I had been using 5-MeO-DMT for a few years before obtaining any N,N-DMT. After I first tried N,N-DMT I concluded that 5-MeO-DMT feels like sheer force, whereas N,N-DMT feels like sheer perfection.  

    5-MeO-DMT is the more potent of the two in terms of: the size of the dose required, how quickly it comes on and how forcefully it blows apart my universe. On 5-MeO I can literally feel my mind exploding and expanding outward to encompass first the area near me, then the planet, and eventually the cosmos. This takes place over a span of 15 seconds or so.  

    5-MeO does not produce as spectacular visuals as N,N-DMT. Most frequently for me the 5-MeO visuals are intensely complex, multidimensional, and quickly-moving geometric designs. These, however, are primarily in black and white, checkerboard style. At times there is some color, and on occasion the visuals are abundantly colorful, especially with large doses. I've found taking a hit of 5-MeO just before having an orgasm to be most enjoyable, and this often makes the visuals abundantly colorful. However, getting the timing right on this can take some practice.  

    5-MeO increases pulse rate and blood pressure, more so than N,N-DMT, but not to the extent as a whiff of amyl nitrite. 5-MeO can also produce breathing irregularities which may take some getting used to. If one does not get a good dose of 5-MeO all they will feel are some bodily symptoms, and a slight alteration of consciousness especially in the visual field. A small dose of N,N-DMT will stili produce a psychedelic trip, but without the intensity and depth of a full-dose experience.  

    N,N-DMT comes on a bit slower, less forcefully, enchanting the smoker with its magical nature. I've often found myself transported to a fairy tale world where little gnomes pop out of nowhere, laugh, and smile at me. On N,N-DMT I've never had to worry that the universe is too small to contain me and that I might crash into its boundaries when my mind has expanded all the way. Where 5-MeO-DMT can awe or frighten with its incredible power N,N-DMT tends to delight with its brilliant, magical, and hypnotic nature. This is not to say that N,N-DMT experiences can not be frightening. In a way they can be the most frightening of all psychedelic experiences, since they leave a portion of the ego intact while allowing access to realms of discarnate entities and awesomely powerful psychic energies. Almost everyone I've known who has used N,N-DMT repeatedly, eventually encounters deeper fear than they've ever felt before.  

    The visuals produced by N,N-DMT are spectacular. I see more swirling, kaleidoscopic universes per square millimeter of visual space than on anything else. The detail and intricacy of the patterns and the brilliance of the colors is also unsurpassable. The visuals are usually a mixture of kaleidoscopic-geometric forms, archetypal symbols, and outlandish and unimaginable images of people, places and things. The images also "move" and are arranged in a manner which is different than the traditional psychedelics and in keeping with N,N-DMT's enchanting nature.  

    If one smokes a smaller amount of N,N-DMT, say around 20 mg., they will tend to experience only the visual aspect of the high, without getting in touch with gnomes and discarnate entities. Following is a friend's description of DMT visuals produced by smoking 20 mg. doses every 20 to 30 minutes. "The vibration is still very strong at this level and objects in the room become cartoonish and jeweled with rotating 'pools' of interlocked spiraling gems on wall surfaces and ceiling. At the peak of the 20 mg. tokes, brilliantly changing latticework becomes apparent within. A gooey liquid of phosphorescent brilliance knits itself into neon lattices of emerald green and iridescent blue against a molten gold background. Always changing, always new, always novel, these geometric storms of shape and color never cease to amaze me with their beauty and intricacy; something one can FEEL as well as see. Clouds of molten gold liquid, boiling, seethe into arabesques and chainwork networks. Each node of each net and lattice form a jeweled point of incredible pure color, all rotating and pulsating through the eyes, brain, and stomach, as one becomes a transparent electric ghost deciphering mysto-glyphs for eternity! "  

    This next experience comes from a friend who smoked a full-strength dose. "The stuff hit me instantaneously. MILLIONS of brilliantly colored little 'skull clowns' swarmed me in a most visionary way while emitting crickling, tinging sounds which looked like violet sparks coming out of their mouths. These tiny skull clowns were laughing most musically as I died in the light. Melt down - feels like drowning and being electrocuted at the same time. Some fear is good though, and pretty soon the skull clown swarm had laughed me through death to a place of jeweled coiling roots and capillaries, swaying endlessly in a gem lit sea... The glowing, ember-like afterimage instantly swirls and shatters into blue and red sizzling domes that pinwheel ecstatically into a Creative, God-Thing with a trillion jeweled eyes that dissolves into an atomic ocean. This is the multi-eyed God that is my Creator, Master, Destroyer. I am nothing compared to this Thing which has no ego boundaries whatsoever and can turn into anything it damn well wishes, even death itself if it wants to!"  

    DMT visuals are best in diffused sunlight, in contrast to something like mushrooms whose visuals are best in a pitch black forest. With DMT I've had excellent results adjusting my venetian blinds so that grids of sunlight are bouncing around the room. Since all psychedelics greatly enhance visual perception, I enjoy trying them with as many different visual stimuli as possible: a pitch black room, a desert sunset, full moonlight, blacklights, strobes, Pink Floyd concerts, raves, multi-media images, and lasers.  

    N,N-DMT also has a unique "selective anesthetic" property to it. Both body and mind feel simultaneously stimulated and anesthetized, as though every other nerve were switched full on or full off.  

    I've also been noticing an attribute of DMT and psilocybin mushrooms (which are essentially long-lasting tryptamines) which set these substances apart from other psychedelics such as LSD or Ketamine. With LSD, Ketamine, or any other synthetic psychedelic, I typically feel that I am interacting with my mind, and a universal process of consciousness change where the self-identity is dissolved and then reformulated. These same processes occur with DMT and mushrooms. However, with these substances I often get the sense that I am also interacting with an intelligent entity who is vastly superior to me in knowledge and breadth of consciousness. This entity seems to be quite aware of what's transpiring in my mind, and is able to instruct and to tailor the experience so that it's personally suited to me.  

With DMT one tends not to go through the personality breakdown and rebuilding process that takes place with the traditional psychedelics. Or if one does go through it, the process is so quick they tend not to notice it happening. Under the force of DMT one must relax, release, and let it come over them. Trying to resist DMT's overwhelming influence and the inevitable dissolution of the identity will be unpleasant, and it won't work. A DMT tryp tends to be out of body, out of personality, and sometimes outside of the mind. For these reasons some people I know who've used DMT do not consider it a good tool for psychological development. The DMT experience can be like a quick trip to the void or the funhouse. Since it is so different than normal reality it can be difficult for the user to bring any of the tryp back to daily life. However, this changes significantly when DMT is done in combination with the Harmala alkaloids.  

THE DMT HIGH WITH HARMALA ALKALOIDS:  
    Harmala alkaloids potentiate DMT, not only in intensity and duration, but also in content and quality. The Harmala alkaloids also make DMT orally active, this being the method by which DMT is traditionally consumed in the Ayahuasca brews of the Amazon region. I have only recently begun experimenting with ingested DMT, and these experiences are described later in the chapter DMT ~ Water Spirit. The Harmala alkaloids also intensify smoked DMT, and I have described this method of administration below.  

    Prior to smoking or ingesting the DMT one should wait until they are feeling the effects of the Harmala alkaloids. This will prevent the DMT from being metabolized prematurely. (See chapter on Harmala alkaloids.) Harmala only slightly intensifies 5-MeO-DMT. Therefore, one still needs to smoke 5 mg. or so to get a powerful high. It does, however, prolong the normally 2-3 minute peak to 10-20 minutes, with the total experience lasting between 40 minutes and two hours.  

    N,N-DMT is significantly intensified by Harmala. Smoking 15-20 mg. of N,N-DMT while on Harmala will produce an experience as intense as smoking 40 mg. of N,N-DMT by itself. This is especially useful because it's difficult to smoke 40 mg. of harsh tasting DMT. Harmala will also extend the N,N-DMT experience to about 30 to 40 minutes total.  

    The high of both types of DMT while on Harmala is a much slower process. I don't feel "blown out of my mind" quite so quickly. The focus of the experience becomes personally involved, rather than the feeling that I'm a voyager in some alien realm. I tend to experience an increased awareness of my mind, body, and subtle energy. I often feel that my body and Being are "embraced" by an ancient earth spirit. And this earth spirit is instructing me to become aware of, and open up, many lines of communication that exist between my mind, body and the extemal world. In combination with Harmala the DMT high does not "disappear," leaving me suddenly back in normal reality. I have more time to absorb the experience and make it a part of me.  

    The combination of 5-MeO-DMT and Harmala produces the most powerful experience I have ever felt. This tends to be both physically and mentally overwhelming. I've had some good journeys with this combination but I've also become violently nauseous and experienced extreme discomfort, and I've witnessed other people go through sheer misery. One friend who ingested 5-MeO + Harmala felt he had entered into an ill-intentioned pact with a spirit, and while trying to fight his way out of the pact, went into convulsions and bit the inside of his mouth. Since there is such a high percentage of intensely unpleasant experiences with this combination I've recently reverted to taking 5-MeO-DMT alone, and most acquaintances of mine who've used this combination have done likewise.  

    Some users feel that the DMT high is "warbly" in combination with Harmala and lacks the "Diamond Consciousness" of DMT alone. Since Harmala slows the onset of 5-MeO-DMT so drastically, I've found that I lose much of the brilliance that can be experienced using 5-MeO-DMT alone. However, I don't find that Harmala produces any degradation of the N.N. DMT experience. N,N-DMT is like a rocket to another dimension, with or without the Harmala alkaloids. 

  


1. See The Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford