Disclaimer: I am not promoting illegal drug use. I do not condone the use of this guide where DMT extraction is illegal. I do not condone the use of DMT outside of a legal or traditional context. This guide is for harm reduction purposes.
DMT is known as ‘The Spirit Molecule’ – and for good reason. DMT is one of the most powerful psychedelics on the planet, naturally occurring in many species of plants, and is thought to be released in tiny amounts in mammal brains. Although the issue is controversial, it’s also possible that the release of natural DMT is a factor in out-of-body experiences or spiritual states.
DMT is a molecule that mimics the neurotransmitter serotonin, much like the other classic psychedelics LSD and psilocybin. DMT’s psychological effects are mostly due to its binding to the 5-HT2A receptor, which is found mostly in areas of the brain associated with high-level cognition: self-awareness, emotions and introspection.
When smoked or injected intravenously, DMT causes a very rapid, very intense psychedelic experience which lasts a few minutes. Users report the feeling of being ripped from their bodies, and thrown through space at incredible speeds. DMT produces intense visual and auditory hallucinations of otherworldly landscapes, hidden dimensions and god-like beings. It often produces deep introspection in its users, allowing the revisitation of past memories and providing a fresh perspective on life.
DMT can also be ingested in the form of the ancient psychedelic brew ayahuasca, which is drunk in traditional healing ceremonies throughout South America. This experience is significantly different from that of smoked or injected DMT, lasting several hours rather than several minutes, and often causing vomiting and diarrhea. Despite the relatively unpleasant sounding experience, ayahuasca has been associated with a variety of therapeutic benefits, including the treatment of depression.
Here, I want to provide you with a detailed guide on how to procure DMT-containing plants, and how to extract this powerful psychedelic compound for personal use.
Where to get DMT-containing plants
DMT is illegal worldwide, but the legality of DMT-containing plants varies. In many places, it’s possible to order DMT-containing plants online.
This guide for DMT extraction is specific for the bark of the Mimosa hostilis root, as this is the most commonly purchased DMT-containing plant. However, the extraction should work with any DMT-containing organic material – you just need to make sure you adjust the quantity of starting material depending on how much DMT is present in the species of plant you’re using.
Mimosa hostilis root bark can be bought online from various vendors, but may not be able to be shipped to your country if there are restrictions on DMT-containing plants. This site ships M. hostilis to the US and Canada as well as Europe.
The Psychotria viridis plant contains DMT and is used in traditional ayahuasca brews. It is also known as Chacruna to indigenous peoples. P. viridis can be purchased here for both European and North American residents.
If you are patient, you can grow your own DMT-containing plants from seeds, which are often not regulated to the same extent as plants. An example is Reed Canary Grass seeds, which can be purchased online in some countries.
The DMT-containing plant market is always changing, so keep an eye out for new appearances. Here is a list of dozens of plants that contain DMT, many of which could be available through online vendors to your country.
The chemistry of DMT extraction (simplified)
This is a simplified explanation of what’s happening during the chemistry of DMT extraction. Skip ahead for the step-by-step instructions!
The most common technique is called an ‘acid/base extraction’, but it’s pretty complicated. We’ve decided to talk you through the ‘straight to base’ extraction technique, which is a little easier. Here’s the outline of the chemistry:
Your DMT containing plant is ground into a powder and mixed with a base, most commonly sodium hydroxide (NaOH). This dissolves the plant matter, leaving you with DMT molecules floating around in a base solution.
The next step is to get the DMT out of this base solution. Luckily there’s an easy way of doing this; the base solution is charged (polar), but the DMT molecules aren’t (non-polar). This means that adding a non-polar solvent will attract the DMT molecules out of the polar base solution. This non-polar solvent (now containing the DMT) forms a separate layer from the base solution, and can be siphoned off from the rest of the solution.
The final step involves getting the DMT molecules out of the non-polar solvent, which can be done by evaporation or freezing.
Step-by-step DMT extraction
Adapted from Noman’s tek on the DMT-nexus.
Please read the guide thoroughly and make sure you understand the process before attempting it.
- DMT-containing plant such as Mimosa hostilis root bark (Can be purchased here.)
- Lye (granulated sodium hydroxide)
- Naptha VM&P (if unavailable, 40-60 Petroleum Ether can be used)
- Personal safety: fume mask, safety goggles and rubber gloves
- Grinder or blender that is capable of crushing ice
- Glass mixing jar – with a wide mouth and tight fitting lid
- Collection jars with lids x4 (glass jelly/jam jars will do)
- Coffee filters
- Rubber spatula
STEP 1: EXTRACTING DMT FROM THE PLANT
- Cut and blend your plant material until it’s as fine as you can get it – wear a mask to avoid breathing in the powder.
- Slowly add your lye to your water a tablespoon at a time, mixing until dissolved, in your mixing jar. For 50g Mimosa hostilis bark, use 750ml water and 50g of lye. NOTE: lye can cause chemical burns and should be treated with care. Neutralise any spills with vinegar. Wear gloves and safety glasses.
- Add your powdered plant to the jar, tightly close the lid, shake thoroughly and then leave for about an hour.
STEP 2: EXTRACTING THE DMT FROM THE BASE SOLUTION
- Add your naptha to the mixing jar: for 50g Mimosa hostilis bark, use 50ml naptha.
- Put the lid back on your mixing jar and gently mix it for about a minute, turning it upside down a few times. Don’t shake it, as this will make it hard to separate out the two layers later.
- Set down your mixing jar and allow the two layers to separate.
- Repeat this gentle agitation a few more times.
- Once the layers have separated after your final agitation, use your pipette to move the top (clear) layer into one of your collection jars. This contains your DMT. Try to avoid taking any of the darker, bottom layer, as this contains nasty stuff you don’t want carried over.
- Add more naptha to the mixing jar and repeat the above steps three more times to get every last remaining bit of DMT out of the base solution.
- Optional – leave the last batch of naptha in the mixing jar for a couple of days to get the maximum amount of DMT from the base solution.
- Put all four of your collection jars (containing DMT in a naptha solution) in the freezer and leave overnight.
STEP 3: EXTRACTING THE DMT FROM THE NAPTHA SOLUTION
- The freezer should have made your DMT crystallise in your collection jars. Pour the solutions through a coffee filter to collect the DMT. The naptha can be saved and reused in future extractions.
- Use your rubber spatula to get every last bit of naptha solution out of the collection jars.
- Carefully lay out your coffee filters to dry. When dried, this DMT powder is ready to smoke, but can be refined further in the optional step below.
- Many people find that their DMT remains stuck to the side of the jars – if there’s nothing on your coffee filters, check the insides of the jars for crystals.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 4: RECRYSTALLISATION OF DMT FOR FURTHER REFINEMENT
- Put your DMT powder in a small glass container.
- Put your solvent (either naptha or heptane) in another, separate glass container. You will need about 25ml of solvent for every gram of DMT powder.
- Carefully place both glass containers into a pan of hot water, so their contents start to heat up. NOTE: your solvent will give off flammable fumes, so DO NOT use a gas stove or have open flames around.
- Use an eyedropper to add tiny bits of your hot solvent to the DMT powder. Swirl the glass container around and keep adding solvent until all the DMT is dissolved. Try to use as little solvent as you can get away with.
- Take the pan of water off the heat, and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
- Take the glass container with your dissolved DMT powder, now at room temperature, and put it in the fridge.
- When it has cooled down, move the container into the freezer and leave for a few hours.
- You can now filter out your refined DMT crystal using a coffee filter. This process can be repeated for even greater purity.
The Quick Version
Adapted from Lazyman’s tek on the DMT-nexus
For those of you that don’t like the look of all those steps, and just want to get your DMT out of your plant as quickly as possible (without worrying about purity or yield), here’s a simpler protocol:
- DMT-containing plant such as Mimosa hostilis root bark
- Lye (granulated sodium hydroxide)
- Naptha VM&P (if unavailable, 40-60 Petroleum Ether can be used)
- Personal safety: safety goggles and rubber gloves
- Large ceramic mixing bowl (5L)
- Potato masher
- Large measuring jug (2L)
- Large glass baking dish
- Break up 400-500g of Mimosa hostilis root bark and put it in a mixing bowl. Make sure the bark only fills half the bowl.
- Slowly add 200g of lye to 2-3L of water. NOTE: lye can cause chemical burns and should be treated with care. Neutralise any spills with vinegar. Wear gloves and safety glasses.
- Add your lye solution into the mixing bowl with the root bark. Wait an hour.
- Use your potato masher to stir and mash up your root bark for 20-30 minutes.
- Pour 250ml of naptha into the bowl and mix for another 20-30 minutes.
- Let the solvent separate out to the top of the mixture for a few minutes.
- Pour the top, clear solvent layer off into your glass baking dish. Avoid getting any of the lower, dark layer in the dish.
- Evaporate the solvent by blowing air from your fan across the baking dish.
- The remaining powder is your smokeable DMT.
How do I know the purity of my extracted DMT?
All you have to worry about when you make your own DMT is how efficient you’ve been in following the instructions. If you’ve used poor quality ingredients, or done a messy job (i.e. carried over some of the base solution by accident), you may end up with more impurities in your DMT powder. This can be unpleasant to smoke.
There’s a myth that the colour of DMT powder tells you its purity – this isn’t true, as there are a number of factors that contribute to the colour of DMT powder. Generally, if your powder is white, yellow, red or brown, it is safe to smoke. If it is green or blue, something has gone wrong in your extraction and you should try again.
Alternative extraction guides
As mentioned earlier, many extraction protocols use an acid/base extraction method, which we haven’t covered here as the straight-to-base method is a lot simpler. However, if you are interested in being extremely thorough and want to try an acid/base extraction, there is a large selection of guides here on the DMT-nexus.
DMT is illegal in most places. I don’t condone breaking the law or using DMT outside a legal and traditional context. If you do decide to take DMT, make sure you research its effects and risks.
DMT is a very powerful psychedelic and should be treated with respect. You should understand how best to prepare for a psychedelic experience, and integrate it afterwards.
Be aware of your dosage! A recommended first-time dose of smoked DMT powder is 15mg.
When following these extraction guides, make sure to understand the process before you start. If you are using a DMT-containing plant other than Mimosa hostilis, make sure you are aware of the differences and adjust your procedure accordingly. Always wear rubber gloves and safety goggles, and a dust mask if you are grinding up plant matter.
If using lye (sodium hydroxide), avoid getting it on your skin, and always wear safety goggles. If you get it on your skin, wash it off with copious amounts of water (and ideally use vinegar too, if it’s within reach, to neutralise the lye). If you get it in your eye, run your eye under tap water for at least 20 minutes and see a doctor. If you spill a large amount, neutralise it with vinegar before cleaning it up. When adding lye to water, add it slowly and mix well.