How can you have a trip with DMT?
DMT can produce powerful visual and auditory effects and cause profound inner transformation. It is with reason that the substance is referred to as 'entheogenic': it shows the divine in ourselves. Trying to explain what happened in a trip with DMT can be very difficult.
When I first took DMT to myself, in the form of Ayahuasca, I experienced a journey I had never imagined possible. The aftermath of this trip still resonates and I can say it has changed my life in a profound way. I cannot put into words what has happened and how it has had an impact on my existence. The shaman who led the ceremony advised me not to share my experience right away, at least not the literal events. At that moment I was absolutely incapable of doing so. However, after the ceremony I did write in a few sentences some loose fragments which, now that I read them back, are meaningful and sound like lessons to me that I can apply in my life.
What is DMT?
DMT, or N,N-dimethyltryptamine, is a psychedelic, entheogenic substance with a reputation for being one of the most potent hallucinogens known on earth. DMT is also found in the human body and that of many other animals and certain plants. The reason why our body contains DMT is still a mystery. DMT is chemically similar to the body's own neurotransmitter serotonin.
Like with other psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD and mescaline, serotonin receptors in our body react in a similar way. These serotonin receptors can be found in several places in our body, including our muscles, glands and intestines. Because the body naturally contains small amounts of DMT, it knows exactly how to deal with this substance. In contrast to products such as cigarettes and alcohol, DMT is a substance specific to the body and is therefore easily and trouble-free to process.
What are the effects of DMT?
Depending on the way DMT is taken and the dosage, it can cause a whole range of effects. From powerful visuals, to auditory effects, to penetration of other dimensions and ego-death. There is a lack in human logic and language to capture in words what happens during such a journey.
Moreover, a DMT experience generally lasts significantly shorter than other psychedelics, such as LSD. The effects are intense and come on quickly. In the 60's there was also talk of the 'business trip' in the United States. Short, fast and intense. Roughly put, someone could experience a profound psychedelic journey during their lunch break and be back on the surface after fifteen to twenty minutes. Of course, the trip is not over after this period of time anyway. I would even say that it only begins then. The intensity of the experience can, as is the case with me, be felt for a whole period of time. My personal experience with DMT was taking it orally, in the form of a traditional Amazonian beverage that is well known in the western world nowadays. By the way, a trip with Ayahuasca takes a lot longer and the effects of the psychedelic are more gradually expressed. However, DMT can also be taken in other ways, for example by smoking, snorting or injecting.
Ayahuasca: DMT Oral Activation
Taking DMT orally works in a significantly different way than if it were smoked, for example. This is because DMT is easily broken down in our body, so the effects do not occur. To understand how DMT can still be made orally active, as is the case with Ayahuasca, a rather physiological technical story needs to be told.
The breakdown of DMT in our body is caused by a certain type of enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO). Monoamine oxidase performs the important function of eliminating certain substances (so-called monoamines), which could otherwise be dangerous (in certain concentrations). For example, we get these substances from our food. Fortunately, thanks to MAO, eating a piece of chocolate is not a life-threatening activity. But MAO's also ensure that certain neurotransmitters in our body remain in balance. These neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, play a major role in mood, appetite, energy and libido. Research shows that people with a depression, anxiety disorder or other psychological disorder have too little or too much MAO in their system.
To make a long story short: MAO in our body fulfills a vital function for our general well-being. However, from time to time it is necessary that this enzyme is temporarily switched off. As in the case of DMT, where the addition of a so-called MAO-inhibitor ensures that monoamine is temporarily no longer broken down, making a trip possible. Such an MAO-inhibitor is always added to DMT, when you take it orally. How the indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest knew that two plants would take care of this effect remains a mystery. The combination of the DMT-containing plant (Psychotria viridis) and the MAO-inhibitor (Banisteriopsis caapi), results in a long lasting DMT experience. The so-called harmala alkaloids found in the latter plant inhibit the oxidase of monoamine. Syrian Rue also contains harmala alkaloids and is also a chosen source for activating DMT.
Of course it is very important to be careful with such an MAO-inhibitor. As mentioned before, it hinders the breakdown of certain substances in our body, which we ingest through food, among other things. The well-known 'Ayahuasca diet' is there for a reason: avoiding certain foods (and medications) is essential to prevent dangerous physical complications.
Dosing pure DMT crystals
For smoking or vaporizing DMT it is best to use pure crystals (freebase). This is DMT in its purest form and is white in color, but can also be yellow. There are also other variants, for example more dark colored, this contains more plant material and will influence the effect.
Use DMT from a reliable source. If you're not sure where it comes from, or if it doesn't contain any impurities, don't use it!
Generally speaking, the dosage is 30 to 45 mg or higher. From 50 mg onwards you can have a very strong experience, which is not recommended for beginners.
Weigh your quantity with a precision scale!
Smoking or inhaling DMT with a pipe
By far the most 'known' method of getting DMT is by smoking or vaporizing it. It's a method of ingestion that's not easy and if you inhale incorrectly you can easily lose the dose. To smoke DMT you need a suitable pipe, and a sieve with very fine meshes.
- Put the sieve in the cup of the pipe. It is important to spread the DMT as evenly as possible over the sieve and not to cover the edges of the sieve, otherwise the DMT may drip over it.
- Inhale a few times deep in and out to get more oxygen into your lungs. This makes the absorption of the DMT easier.
- Use a torch lighter or lighter to heat the pipe. Make sure you only hit the head and don't bring the flame in direct contact with the DMT, otherwise it can be destroyed.
- You then inhale the released vapour.
As mentioned before, a trip takes about 15 minutes. This is followed by about 40 minutes of after-effects, in which one can feel euphoric and very peaceful.
Note: using a torch lighter can be dangerous when you have just taken a hit DMT. Always make sure that someone is with you, to prevent a fire hazard!
One way DMT is used is through the medium called Changa. This mix of several dried plants and herbs consists of a DMT-containing plant (e.g. Acacia obtusiflora) and an MAO-inhibitor, to enhance the action of DMT. Changa can also contain other plants, such as Damiana, Passionflower and Blue Lotus. By adding an MAO-inhibitor, the effect of Changa is significantly different than smoking or inhaling pure DMT. In general, the effects of Changa are longer lasting and feel less abrupt and intense than DMT in its pure form. According to a story of experience, smoking Changa is more like Ayahuasca: with many insights, a more gradual course and possibility of soils, as opposed to smoking pure DMT where everything goes so fast that integrating what one is experiencing seems almost impossible.
Vaporizing DMT with a vaporizer
Another method to use DMT is by means of a vaporizer. Make sure you use a suitable model for this! Furthermore, it is important to mention that DMT will soil the chamber of the vaporizer and that it can be difficult to clean it properly. So it is best to use a spare chamber for vaporizing DMT. A suitable vaporizer is the Puffco Plus, a fine small pocket sized vaporizer. Also suitable are the Mighty and Crafty, from Storz & Bickel. Use the liquid pads and heat the vaporizer to 170 degrees Celcius.
I've never smoked or vaporized DMT myself and couldn't tell what it must feel like to end up in a completely different world in such a short period of time. When I hear stories from friends or read trip reports on the internet, my mouth keeps falling open. The intensity and the incredibly vivid events that take place seem to really take place in a world we can't imagine.
The interesting thing about DMT is that users talk about a so-called 'break through', where you end up in the DMT universe. Often this does not work the first time and it is necessary to try it more often. When it is possible to 'break through', several users see no need to repeat it afterwards. In this world, users have contact with 'entities', beings -sometimes indescribable- that communicate with them and from which they can learn lessons. Integrating these lessons into 'ordinary reality' is then the next step.
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