DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic drug referred to by many names, such as Dimitry, fantasia, businessman’s trip, 45-minute psychosis, and the spirit molecule. The substance produces effects almost similar to other psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms and LSD.
DMT is a fast-acting drug, but how long do its effects last? It depends from person to person. You can expect the effects to last around 30 to 45 minutes when smoked and about 4 hours when ingested. Let us look closely at what DMT is, how it works, how it affects the mind and body, and how long its effects last,
What Is DMT?
DMT is a compound that exists naturally as an endogenous hallucinogen in animals and various plant species, specifically from the Amazonian forests. It can be extracted from plants such as Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis.
DMT is traditionally taken orally through a psychedelic plant brew made from the ayahuasca plant. The plant contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that make the DMT orally active. It may also be synthesized in a lab. Synthetic DMT is a white crystalline powder that users can snort, smoke, or inject into their bodies. Even at low doses of 0.2 mg, DMT can cause hallucinogenic experiences.
The DMT experience or the DMT trip can last around 30 to 45 minutes when taken in smoke form. The drug goes through the lungs and directly to the bloodstream. This consumption method makes the drug fast-acting but with a shorter duration of effects. Some users prefer to consume DMT over LSD and psilocybin mushrooms because the effects finish quicker. Hence, it is called the businessman’s trip because it usually provides a short duration of effects that even a busy business person can enjoy.
It is often called the spirit molecule because the psychoactive effects place users’ consciousness in another dimension. They usually communicate with other-worldly entities and seek their wisdom. When consumed as a brew, the psychoactive effects of DMT start anywhere after 30 to 45 minutes and will peak after a few hours. It may last as short as four hours or extend as long as six hours, depending on the strength of the brew.
A Brief History
DMT has been used traditionally in religious rituals and practices for centuries in South America. Shamans often prepared ayahuasca brews for participants seeking to gain wisdom from the spiritual realm, healed from spiritual or psychological ailments, or go through a life-changing experience.
In 1931, DMT was synthesized in British chemist Richard Manske lab. DMT and other psychedelic drugs became popular in the 1960s and have become subject to substance abuse. Hence, the Controlled Substances Act of 1971 classified it as a controlled drug to prevent further misuse.
It has gained popularity among recreational drug users seeking new mental and spiritual experiences during the last decade. Between 2006 and 2012, the use of the substance doubled.
How it Works
DMT and other hallucinogenic drugs produce psychoactive effects by influencing the brain’s serotonin receptors. Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood and impacts behaviour. The production and release of this neurotransmitter are critical to excellent mental health and well-being.
The hallucinatory effects of DMT occur in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This specific brain area is involved in cognition, mood, and perception. It also influences regions of the brain that regulate the body’s responses to panic and stress.
There is evidence that the body produces small amounts of DMT in the pineal gland. Some researchers even speculate that the DMT may involve near-death experiences, spontaneous mystical experiences, alien abduction phenomena, and other controversial theories.
Is DMT the same as Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca refers to the Amazonian brew that contains DMT as its active ingredient. When taken orally, DMT does not produce any psychoactive effects because the DMT is made inactive by monoamine oxidase. However, shamans prepare the brew with other plants that contain alkaloids that prevent the metabolism of DMT. Hence, the brew can deliver a potent psychedelic and almost spiritual trip.
Drinking ayahuasca brew makes the DMT trip last a lot longer than synthetic forms of DMT. However, it can cause many uncomfortable physical effects, including nausea and vomiting, that is not usually experienced when smoking the substance. Nevertheless, many users experience a life-changing trip that they will never forget.
Effects of DMT on the Mind
Users who smoke DMT experience the psychedelic effects within just a few minutes after taking the substance. The effects include physiological and psychological effects. The experience can involve excellent feelings and sensations (a good trip), but it can also involve negative and frightening emotions and sensations (a bad trip).
DMT should not be taken in high doses because it may result in respiratory arrest. It should not be consumed with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, prescription drugs, and other drugs. Furthermore, people who have psychological issues, such as schizophrenia, should consider taking it.
Some of the psychological effects of DMT include:
- Altered states of consciousness
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Feelings of euphoria
- Epiphanies or perceived insights
- Reliving memories
- Sense of losing control
- May also involve negative emotions, fear of dying, and unpleasant hallucinations
The Length of the DMT Trip
How long does DMT last? DMT products produce effects that last depending on many factors. When synthetic DMT is vaporized or smoked, people experience the trip for up to 30 to 45 minutes. In some instances, it may only take around 5 to 10 minutes. When ingested as a drinkable brew (ayahuasca), the trip can last for an average of four to six hours.
The length of the DMT trip depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Amount of DMT consumed
- Method of consumption
- Your body’s chemical makeup
The duration of the experience is affected by DMT dosage. Firstly, the typical dose ranges from 10 to 60 mg. 10 mg will provide you with a very light experience. The trip’s visual, auditory, and psychological effects are very mild. The onset starts after 15 to 45 seconds, and the trip will last only around 5 to 10 minutes. The effect will be a lot heavier when you take more, and the trip will last longer.
The method of consumption also matters. Smoking and vaping lead DMT to be processed faster than the oral route by the body. The duration of the trip usually lasts anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the amount of DMT you smoke and what other ingredients are involved. When combining DMT with other herbs such as cannabis and blue lotus, the duration often lasts longer than the experience involving freebase DMT.
Taking DMT orally is a different story. When drinking ayahuasca, it may take 30 to 45 minutes for the brew to start producing hallucinatory effects. The trip can last somewhere around four to six hours on average but may last as long as 10 hours, depending on the amount of DMT contained in the brew.
Lastly, the duration of DMT trips can be affected by your body’s chemical composition, metabolism levels, and tolerance to the substance. Some people manage to feel the effects of DMT a lot faster and experience the trip a lot quicker. When the trip is over, you will not experience perceptual distortions anymore. Hence, you can go back to your normal activities without any issues.
How long will it take to kick in?
When DMT is smoked, vaped, or administered intravenously, you will begin to experience the effects as quickly as 15 seconds to 45 seconds. The DMT goes directly to your bloodstream and into the brain receptors.
If you consume ayahuasca brew orally, it has to pass through the digestive system and the liver. Hence, it may take around 30 to 45 minutes for the effects to start manifesting finally. The onset varies depending on how much food you have in your stomach and how fast your body assimilates digested substances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does DMT have comedown effects?
DMT has fewer comedown effects, unlike LSD and other psychedelics. Nonetheless, there are few instances when users experience rough comedowns. Some experience an abrupt comedown and later return to experiencing hallucinatory effects. Others are left in confusion, especially after a bad trip, and become unable to sleep, usually for several days.
Will DMT show up on a drug test?
It is not easy to detect hallucinogens like DMT in the body because they metabolize quickly. However, hair follicle and urine tests may detect trace amounts of DMT around 24 hours to a few days after use. Nevertheless, most drug tests do not focus on detecting DMT, so you should be safe.
Are there potential risks to taking DMT?
DMT is a powerful substance that produces short-term psychological and physiological side effects. Two potential physical side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate. Hence, if you have a heart condition or hypertension, you may avoid taking DMT.
You must worry about adverse physiological effects when taking DMT in high doses. These include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Lack of coordination
- Nausea and vomiting (when consumed orally)
- Dilated pupils
- Involuntary rapid eye movement
- Respiratory arrest
- Coma (worst case)
If you suffer from severe psychological conditions, such as schizophrenia and psychosis, you should stay clear from using DMT. Furthermore, it may cause hallucinogen persisting perception disorder or HPPD.
Lastly, taking DMT at high levels for an extended period can result in high serotonin levels, leading to serotonin syndrome disorder, a potentially life-threatening condition. You are more likely to develop the condition when taking antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
The symptoms of serotonin syndrome disorder include:
- dilated pupils
- muscle rigidity
- muscle spasms
- overactive reflexes
Whenever you experience any adverse side effects, seek medical help immediately.
Are there long-term effects of consuming DMT?
Some of the possible long-term effects of taking DMT at high levels include hallucinations even when not using DMT, psychosis, and frequent flashbacks. Some users may even experience flashbacks and hallucinations even when they have stopped using DMT for months.
Other long-term effects have already been mentioned previously. These include persistent psychosis and HPPD. Psychosis can involve mood disorders, visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, and persistent paranoia. HPPD, on the other hand, involves visual disturbances and hallucinations and may even lead to brain tumours or stroke.
Is DMT addictive?
As of now, there is no indication that DMT is addictive or causes physical dependence. Similarly, users do not tend to develop a tolerance to it. Nevertheless, frequent use may cause psychological cravings. Also, if you combine it with other substances, particularly other psychedelics, you may end up having additional problems.
Tips to Reduce Harm When Taking DMT
Whenever you take DMT, you should consider the following tips to keep the experience safe:
- It is better to take DMT with other people you trust.
- Always have a sober person around in case something happens.
- Be sure to take DMT in a safe environment.
- Consider lying down or taking a seat to avoid falling or getting injured while tripping.
- Take DMT at the proper time when your mind is in a positive state to avoid bad trips.
- It is safer not to mix DMT with other psychedelics, alcohol, and drugs.
- Skip DMT when you have high blood pressure or heart conditions.
The best way to avoid bad trips and adverse side effects is to take moderate doses of DMT. Always start with a low dose and gradually increase it if you need a more potent dose.
On average, DMT effects can last 30 to 45 minutes when smoked, vaped, or injected. When consumed orally through ayahuasca brew, the effects can last four to six hours. It all depends on the method of consumption, dosage, and your body’s chemical makeup.
DMT can give you an unforgettable, life-changing, and spiritual experience. However, it would be best to take caution to take it moderately and at the proper dosage. If you want to have a good trip, take it only when your mind and body are ready. Your mental state should be positive, and your body should be healthy.
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