Top things to know about DMT

Ayahuasca has grown in popularity as a holistic healing tool, but you may be sceptical about its effects. Ayahuasca has been used as a traditional medicine in Amazonian cultures for centuries. However, some people mistake it for a drug due to one of its central components: DMT.

Whether you know about Ayahuasca or you’re researching in preparation to experience this sacred plant, you’ve laid eyes on the right article. 

While Ayahuasca’s wisdom is formless and pure energy, what translates it all into a unique, personal story is DMT. 

Throughout our own experience with medicine, and that of the hundreds of people we’ve guided so far, we’ve acknowledged that there’s always an expectation. 

No matter how much we try to drop it, we are ultimately looking to find answers to our deepest questions and ways to walk to all our wants. 

Our brain “blows up” in awe of how well life is crafted and that’s where DMT runs the show. While the spirit of Ayahuasca is responsible for when wisdom is distributed, DMT is responsible for how it is done. The visions, body movements, awareness of sounds, basically everything that makes your experience unique and custom to your understanding is due to DMT.

Would that make Ayahuasca and DMT a power couple of the spirit world? Oh YES! 

Many misunderstandings surround Ayahuasca due to DMT. If you’re interested in Ayahuasca’s spiritual and medicinal uses, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction. So, let’s take a look at the most important things to know about DMT. 


So, what is DMT?

DMT or Dimethyltryptamine belongs to the tryptamine family and is a powerful psychoactive compound.

Structurally, DMT is similar to psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and it’s known for its hallucinogenic properties. It is a naturally occurring chemical found in the brain and some plant species.

Though DMT is banned in many countries including the US, it is becoming more and more popular because of the healing power of the ayahuasca ceremony.

Top things to know about DMT

Where does DMT come from?

It’s generally known that the pineal gland releases the chemical during mental states like dreaming, meditation, or near-death experiences.

This means everyone has experienced a DMT-induced state to some degree throughout their lives. 

But you might wonder: is this a sustained theory? And if so, who brought it up?

The magic of science is how one picks on another’s perspective and takes it a step further! 

Rene Descartes, a philosopher from the seventeenth century, spoke of the pineal gland to be “the seat of the soul” and its mystical powers. 

In the mid-’90s, Rick Strassman, M.D. with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, conducted an experiment where he injected DMT by IV into humans. When the effect wore off, he interviewed the subjects and that led him to believe the pineal gland made and secretes DMT. 

These two theories later inspired Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, to have them tested. And so, in 2013, she published her study, acknowledging the presence of DMT in mammals’ pineal glands. 

She went on and conducted another study intending to find who and where is DMT synthesized in the brain. What she discovered was brain neurons with the two enzymes required to make DMT. And to their surprise, they were not just in the pineal gland. They were found in various places in the brain, including the neocortex and hippocampus.

We intend to underline that DMT is part of nature, part of us, and just like everything, we can be friends or foes with it. 


How is DMT used? 

As with all substances, the form, route, dose, and application have a direct impact on one’s experience and aftermath. 

While DMT can be found in the brew of Ayahuasca and various other plants, it can also be produced artificially and come across as a white crystalline powder. 

That opens up a series of other ways in which DMT can be served: 

  • intravenous (IV)
  • intramuscular (IM) injection routes
  • inhalation
  • insufflation
  • vaporized or smoked in a pipe.

This gave birth to countless streams of research, testing out a variety of doses combined with various ways of administration. 

To sum this up, it’s important to know that synthetic DMT produces a quick effect within 5 to 10 minutes, whereas people who drink the medicinal brew ayahuasca start to witness the effect of DMT within 20-60 minutes and can last hours. 


The Experience of DMT

DMT is not currently known to be addictive in any form, but that doesn’t mean that the drug is without risk. Perhaps the most significant challenge to users is the inability to measure its effects beforehand. As a result, everything from what you’ll experience to how long the effect will last is unique to the individual.

Some people report out-of-body experiences, using their senses in a new way, or feeling time somehow slow down, to name a few. However, there’s no rhyme or reason to what you’ll experience with DMT. 


DMT Side Effects

The mental side effects of DMT can include depersonalization, euphoria, and a floating sensation alongside vivid hallucinations. However, DMT also carries physical side effects that should be considered. These may include nausea, labored breathing, increased blood pressure, and disorientation.

Because the hallucinations can appear vividly, users may act as though they are real. This is why it is crucial to experience DMT in a safe setting with guides that can usher you through the process and help you remain grounded.


How is Ayahuasca different than other forms of DMT?

The critical difference is strength. The amount of DMT present in Ayahuasca is less than most synthetic DMT. As a street drug, makers of DMT aim to make it as potent as possible, so users experience strong psychedelic effects. In that sense, Ayahuasca is much easier to measure and prepare.

Compared to synthetic DMT, Ayahuasca is often considered safer, because Ayahuasca is usually administered by a shaman in a group setting, such as an Ayahuasca retreat. While you may still experience negative feelings or frightening thoughts at points in the process, trained professionals are on hand to keep you safe and grounded in reality. The community aspect is essential to the spiritual uses of Ayahuasca.

During ceremonies, participants ingest Ayahuasca brewed in a warm cup of tea. They remain calm yet focused during the entire Ayahuasca ceremony. Facilitators help them breathe deeply and stay present with their experience without being overwhelmed by it.

Ayahuasca ceremonies can have different goals. Commonly, they help participants experience great insight or understanding. They can also help participants overcome severe trauma.

What’s also good to know is that in comparison to smoked DMT which takes the molecule directly into the bloodstream through the lungs and hits your brain at once, Ayahuasca DMT is being released slower through the stomach lining. This implies a smoother transition from one state of consciousness to another and a significantly longer experience. 

We are by no means discarding the spiritual power of smoked DMT, but we do suggest you get the proper dose and guidance. 

Experience DMT with Ayahuasca at Avalon

Whether you intend to gain a better understanding of what the world is about, your role in it, your gifts, your blessings, or just become capable of putting a wider smile on your face, we’re here for you. There is nothing Ayahuasca can’t see and with the help of DMT translate it into a revealing experience for you to see it too. 

Discover Avalon’s Ayahuasca retreats in Europe and know that we’re here for all of you, as long as you choose wellbeing. We hope you found our little science tour not only interesting but also reassuring.

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