DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychedelic compound found in dozens of plants and is released naturally in the brain. It is one of the classic psychedelics (along with LSD and psilocybin) and is the prime psychoactive component of the traditional ayahuasca brew.
Ayahuasca is a traditional tea that has been brewed for centuries, and is highly ingrained in several cultures, particularly in Mesoamerica. It is made from brewing plants containing DMT with plants containing monoamine oxidase inhibitors, to allow for DMT to be absorbed through the stomach. Ayahuasca brew is currently the subject of considerable medical research, and has potential for the treatment of diseases such as addiction and depression.
DMT can induce intense cognitive effects lasting from a few minutes to several hours (depending on the method of ingestion). Like the other classic psychedelics, DMT works through 5-HT2A receptors in the brain. DMT can have profound spiritual effects, causing users to experience encounters with deities, aliens and inter-dimensional beings. In addition, users may experience the typical effects of classic psychedelics such as visual hallucinations, sensory enhancement and ego dissolution.
As with all psychedelics, DMT is a powerful drug and should be treated with respect. It is a controlled substance in most countries.
Posts about DMT/ayahuasca on The Psychedelic Scientist
Domínguez-Clavé et al (2016) Ayahuasca: pharmacology, neuroscience and therapeutic potential. Brain Research Bulletin, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2016.03.002
Carbonaro & Gatch (2016) Neuropharmacology of N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Brain Research Bulletin, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2016.04.016