How Long Does DMT Effects Last?


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.

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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.

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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.

The Importance of DMT Dosage

Like any mind-altering substance, the relevance of dosage in DMT usage is vital. The amount ingested considerably impacts both the length and the potency of the ensuing experience. Below, we explore the specifics of DMT dosages, the diverse effects of varying amounts, and the potential risks at each level.

Understanding DMT’s Dose-Response Relationship

A key element to grasp about DMT’s function in the human body is its dose-response relationship. This connection signifies the interplay between the consumed amount of DMT and the resulting outcomes. Generally, a larger dose can lead to a more potent and possibly extended trip, while a smaller dose can trigger a softer, shorter journey. It’s vital to note that doubling the dosage doesn’t necessarily imply a double intensity of effects and may increase the associated risks.

  • Low Dose: The Subtle Encounter

A small DMT dose, typically 5-10 milligrams, is a great introductory experience for beginners. This light dosage tends to bring about effects such as intensified sensory awareness, a sense of mild bliss, and slight visual and auditory alterations. The trip duration usually spans between 5 to 15 minutes. Although the risks at this level are comparatively low, it’s still crucial to have a trusted sober guide present for assurance and safety.

  • Moderate Dose: Journeying Further

A moderate DMT dose, usually 20 to 30 milligrams, leads users to experience more vivid hallucinations, shifts in the perception of time, and glimpses of transcendental states of consciousness. The trip’s length can extend to around 30-45 minutes. While usually safe for those in good physical health, the heightened intensity at this dosage implies a higher probability of encountering overwhelming or challenging experiences.

  • High Dose: Venturing Beyond the Known

At higher dosages, typically 50-60 milligrams or more, DMT often guides users to what is described as a ‘breakthrough’ experience. This might include deeply spiritual or mystical experiences, intense visual and auditory hallucinations, and meetings with seemingly other-dimensional beings. The effects can persist for up to an hour or even longer. However, this dosage carries an increased risk of adverse psychological responses like fear, paranoia, and panic, particularly for those who are unprepared for the experience’s intensity.

Influencing Factors in DMT Dosage

Several aspects can modify the impacts of DMT at different dosages, including individual tolerance, physical health, mental state, and the setting of usage. Moreover, the consumption method also plays a significant role; smoked or vaporized DMT typically leads to a quicker onset and a shorter experience compared to orally ingested DMT, like in the case of ayahuasca brews.

A Comparative Study: DMT, LSD, and Psilocybin

The world of psychedelic substances is broad and varied, featuring compounds that offer unique experiences in regard to duration, intensity, and associated risks. Below, we take a deeper look at three renowned psychedelics: N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and psilocybin (the key ingredient in magic mushrooms).


DMT is celebrated for its fast-acting, intense, and fleeting psychedelic encounters, often termed ‘trips.’ The effects kick in rapidly and dissipate within the span of an hour, making DMT one of the quickest-acting psychedelics. The DMT journey can be extraordinarily powerful, with users recounting interactions with seemingly extraterrestrial beings, voyages across different dimensions, and deep spiritual revelations. However, these potent trips can lead to adverse psychological responses, like anxiety and paranoia, particularly with larger doses.


In contrast to DMT, LSD delivers an experience that spans a significantly longer duration, usually ranging from 6 to 12 hours, based on the dosage. The intensity of an LSD journey can be highly variable, encapsulating amplified sensory experiences, distorted perceptions, and significant shifts in thought patterns and mood. LSD exhibits low toxicity and does not result in physical dependency. However, it bears the risk of activating dormant psychological challenges and can occasionally result in distressing “bad trips” characterized by severe dread or panic.


Psilocybin, contained in magic mushrooms, provides a psychedelic voyage that typically lasts between 4 to 6 hours. The effects of psilocybin can echo aspects of both DMT and LSD, encompassing changes in sensory perception, mood fluctuations, and experiences of profound spiritual revelations. Psilocybin is generally deemed safe, with minimal risk of physical dependency or addiction. However, akin to LSD, it can activate latent psychological disorders, and users can encounter challenging or overpowering trips.

DMT Tolerance and Dependence

Psychoactive substances are generally known to incite tolerance development, where individuals require greater doses over time to experience similar effects. This is seen commonly in psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin. However, according to anecdotal accounts and scientific studies, DMT seems to buck this trend. Many users suggest that repeated DMT usage doesn’t necessitate increasing the dose to attain comparable experiences. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to remember that individual body chemistry can affect drug experiences, and thus results can differ among users.

DMT Dependence and Addiction: Not a Major Concern

In the realm of psychedelics, DMT is widely perceived as having minimal addiction potential. It does not foster physical dependence, typically leading to withdrawal symptoms in its absence. This is due to DMT’s unique interaction with the brain’s reward system, differing significantly from substances known for their addictive qualities, such as opioids or stimulants. While the probability of physical dependence is minimal, it’s worth noting that a rare incidence of psychological dependence can occur. This manifests when a user forms an unhealthy mental fixation on the consciousness-altering state that DMT produces.

Long-term Psychological Impacts of DMT

Owing to the lack of extensive, long-term studies on DMT usage, making definitive assertions about its long-term psychological impacts is challenging. However, Some researchers and users have noted potential positive long-term influences, such as amplified mindfulness, elevated satisfaction in life, and enhanced spirituality.

Simultaneously, there could be potential adverse effects. These may encompass continuous anxiety, depersonalization, or derealization, especially among individuals already predisposed to mental health concerns. Furthermore, distressing experiences during DMT trips could induce lasting psychological discomfort, thus underlining the significance of safe usage parameters, including mindset and setting, when consuming DMT.

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
  • Depersonalization
  • 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.

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.

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Bottom Line

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 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.

How soon do the effects of DMT onset after use?

DMT, when inhaled or vaporized, is notorious for its quick onset. Users generally report perceptual changes within mere moments to about a minute of administration. This immediate and potent onset is part of what distinguishes DMT from other psychedelics, making it a unique journey each time.

How long can one expect a DMT trip to last?

DMT’s duration is heavily contingent upon dosage and consumption method. However, on average, the lifespan of a DMT trip, when smoked or vaporized, clocks between 5 to 20 minutes. The briefness of this experience is another characteristic setting DMT apart from lengthier psychedelic encounters, such as those brought on by LSD or psilocybin.

How much time does it take to recover from a DMT trip?

Recovery from a DMT journey is often swift, mirroring the rapid onset of effects. Users typically find themselves back in their familiar state of consciousness within half an hour to an hour following the trip’s initiation. This quick return to baseline is one reason some individuals prefer DMT to longer-lasting substances.

Does a larger dose of DMT result in an extended trip?

A larger dose of DMT intensifies the journey, pushing users into a deeper and more immersive realm of perception. However, it doesn’t necessarily extend the duration of the trip significantly, given DMT’s unique pharmacological profile. Of course, individual reactions can vary widely, adding a layer of unpredictability to the mix.

Does the way DMT is consumed influence the trip’s duration?

Yes. The method of DMT administration plays a significant role in determining the trip’s duration. When inhaled or vaporized, DMT tends to trigger rapid, fleeting effects. In contrast, when ingested orally as part of an ayahuasca brew, DMT onset is slower, and the ensuing journey can last several hours, providing a starkly different psychedelic experience.

Can one extend the duration of DMT effects by taking more doses?

While taking additional doses could theoretically prolong the journey, this isn’t generally advised due to the profoundly intense nature of DMT experiences. The potential for psychologically challenging or even distressing encounters increases with repeated dosing in a short timeframe.

How long does DMT remain in the body?

DMT is rapidly metabolized by the body, with most traces typically eliminated within a few hours post-administration. That said, detection windows can differ based on the drug testing method, ranging from a few hours to several days.

Are there any lingering effects after a DMT trip?

Some users report subtle after-effects following a DMT journey. These include feelings of profound joy, a heightened sense of introspection, and an increased receptivity to emotions for hours or occasionally days after the trip. However, these experiences are highly subjective and can fluctuate widely between individuals.