DMT has been consumed throughout history and into prehistory by indigenous peoples, especially in South America, where it is consumed during shamanic rituals and called ayhuasca. This is done by combining plant material that contains it with a monoamine oxide inhibitor, a special chemical that allows the drug to avoid digestion by the stomach and reach the bloodstream. Evidence of DMT consumption by indigenous peoples in South America stretches back to at least 2130 BC. A pipe made from puma bone of that age was tested positive for the substance. Smoking it would give the users visions and feelings that they associated with magical sources, putting them into contact with “spirits” they could consult on matters of plants, disease, etc
Inhalation (most common route of administration)
Light: 10 – 20 mg
Common: 20 – 40 mg
Strong: 40 – 60 mg
Common: 30 – 60 mg
DMT is typically inactive orally. This changes when it is combined with an MAOI. An example of this combination is ayahuasca, which contains Banisteriopsis caapi (MAOIs) and Psychotria viridis (DMT).
An analysis of 16 ayahuasca preparations found the following concentrations per 100 mL:
- Beta-carboline (MAOI) average: 158 mg
- Range: 20 – 401 mg
- DMT average: 29 mg
- Range: 25 – 36 mg
Another analysis yielded a similar result, with a 100 mL dose providing an average of 24 mg of DMT.
The concentrations in ayahuasca can vary significantly.
Total: 10 – 15 minutes
Onset: Under 30 seconds
The effects can begin in as little as 15 seconds. Peak effects arrive between 1 and 2 minutes.
Total: 3 -4 hours
Onset: 00:30 – 00:45
- CEVs and OEVs
- Spiritual or otherwise meaningful experiences
- Mood lift
- Auditory hallucinations
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
Full dose experiences
Taking DMT at a full dose (one capable of yielding a “breakthrough” experience) leads to highly variable effects. Although there’s a lot of variation, we can place the effects/experiences into groups and a general outline can be provided.
Among the common elements of an experience are:
- Full replacement of normal reality with an “alternate universe.”
- This may contain visual effects as well as seemingly sentient, intelligent, or powerful entities.
- Complex rapidly changing “kaleidoscopic” imagery
- Present with eyes open or closed.
- Colors are frequently said to be brighter and more intense than when sober.
- Some auditory changes, mainly in the form of distortions.
- Whining, whizzing, and crinkling sounds.
- Whispers are sometimes reported.
- Auditory effects are less common and less prominent than the visual alterations.
- Dissociation from the body and a disconnection from normal reality.
- The experience is ineffable.
- It’s difficult to put the effects into language and it may also be difficult to fully remember/process what occurred