DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is a very strong psychedelic found in a number of animals and plants.1
Psychedelic drugs can affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions. Psychedelics can cause someone to hallucinate, seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted.2
DMT is structurally similar to psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and is known to produce short-acting and intense visual hallucinations.
DMT has a long history dating back thousands of years. Indigenous cultures have often used it as part of religious rituals. For example, there is evidence of its use in Trinidad at the time of Spanish colonists’ arrival. The drug is the active ingredient in ayahuasca, a traditional South American brewed tea.
People illicitly use DMT for its psychoactive, hallucinogenic effects. Anecdotally, many users report taking the drug to attain spiritual insight. Scientific data suggests its effects on the brain might mimic those of a near-death experience.
AyahuascaisTrusted Source a psychoactive tea-like drink. DMT is the first and main ingredient. People who use ayahuasca often do so as part of religious or cultural rituals. The brew contains a range of compounds which may help limit side effects and reduce the overall toxicity of DMT.
Some important differences between the two substances include:
DMT typically contains no other ingredients, while ayahuasca contains plants and other compounds.
DMT may be more potent than ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca may contain other ingredients that alter the high of DMT.
Toxicity and side effects may be more likely with DMT than with ayahuasca.
The main effect of DMT is psychological, with intense visual and auditory hallucinations, euphoria, and an altered sense of space, body, and time.
Many users describe profound, life-changing experiences such as visiting other worlds, talking with alien entities known as “DMT elves” or “machine elves,” and total shifts in the perception of identity and reality.