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Class: A

N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a potent psychoactive compound that is found naturally in a wide variety of plant species, as well as in the human body.

Also called:

Dimitri Business Man's Trip Ayahuasca Fantasia Dimethyltryptamines The Spirit Molecule
How the drug works varies from person to person

How you might feel

DMT inducеs intеnsе visual altеrations,  profound spiritual еxpеriеncеs,  varying mood changеs,  and еncountеrs with еxtеrnal еntitiеs.

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Effects on your body

DMT can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and changes in body temperature. It may also cause pupil dilation and muscle relaxation.

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How long it takes to work

When smoked or vaporised, DMT’s effects are rapid, typically onset within seconds and lasting around 15 to 30 minutes.

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How long the effects last

Effеcts typically last around 15-20 minutеs.

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Common risks

DMT’s powerful psychological effects can be overwhelming, leading to anxiety, paranoia, or panic in some users. Individuals with a history of mental health issues should approach DMT use with caution.

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N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a potent psychoactive compound found naturally in a wide variety of plant species and the human body. It was first synthesised in the laboratory in 1931, however, its psychoactive properties were not discovered until 1956. DMT is famously known for its use in spiritual and shamanistic rituals, particularly in the form of the South American brew, ayahuasca.1

DMT acts primarily through the 5-HT2A receptor, a subtype of the serotonin receptors, and it is this interaction that is thought to underlie its powerful hallucinogenic effects. Users typically report intense visual hallucinations, a sense of euphoria, altered perceptions of time and space, and profound changes in thought and self-awareness. These effects are typically of short duration, usually less than an hour.2

Despite the potential for profound subjective experiences, the use of DMT also carries significant risks, including psychological distress and, in some cases, potentially dangerous elevations in heart rate and blood pressure. The potential for abuse and lack of established medical use have led to DMT being classified as a Schedule I drug under international law.3

How it looks, tastes and smells


DMT is commonly found as a white crystalline powder, though its exact appearance can vary depending on the specific process of extraction or synthesis used. It might also have a yellow, pink, or reddish hue.4


The taste of DMT has been reported as very bitter and unpleasant. The substance is typically not ingested orally (due to being broken down by the digestive system). Still, when smoked or vaporised, users frequently report a taste that is harsh, metallic, or similar to burnt plastic.


As for the smell, DMT has a strong and distinctive aroma, often similar to new shoes, mothballs, or synthetic/industrial odours. When burnt or vaporised, it produces a heavy, acrid smoke often likened to the smell of burning plastic.4


The dosage of inhaled DMT typically ranges as follows. It’s important to note that these amounts can vary significantly based on individual factors such as body weight, metabolism, and sensitivity.5

  • Minimum to feel something (mg): Around 10-20 mg is usually sufficient for users to start experiencing some effects of DMT when inhaled.
  • Low dose: A low dose generally refers to a dose of approximately 20-30 mg.
  • Common dose: A common dose usually ranges from 30 to 50 mg.
  • High dose: A high dose typically refers to a more than 50 mg dose.

What may happen when exceeding the high dose:

When a high dose of DMT is taken, users might experience a variety of intense physical and psychological effects. These can include severe disorientation, confusion, anxiety, paranoia, and frightening hallucinations. This state is often referred to as a “breakthrough” experience and can be overwhelming or frightening to the user. In rare cases, it could contribute to the onset of persistent psychosis or Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD).6

How you might feel

The effects of DMT can vary greatly depending on the individual and the dosage taken. Users often report intense visual and auditory hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, altered perception of time, euphoria, and in some cases, experiences of meeting with ‘entities’ or ‘beings’. It can also induce feelings of profound insight or spiritual experiences. 5

Effects on your body

DMT can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and changes in body temperature. It may also cause pupil dilation and muscle relaxation.

How do people take it?

DMT is most commonly inhaled (smoked or vaporised). In this form, the crystalline substance is heated until it vaporises, and the smoke is inhaled. This method provides a swift onset of effects, typically within a few minutes. The effects are usually intense but last for a relatively short period, often less than an hour. 1

In addition, DMT can be consumed orally as part of an ayahuasca brew, where it is combined with other plants that contain monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). This combination allows the DMT to be absorbed and exert its effects, lasting several hours. 2

How long it takes to work

When DMT is inhaled, the effects occur rapidly, usually within 1-2 minutes. When DMT is consumed orally as part of an ayahuasca brew, the onset of effects is slower, typically within 20-60 minutes. 1

How long the effects last

The duration of DMT effects depends on the method of administration. Inhaled DMT effects typically last between 5 to 30 minutes. In contrast, the effects of orally consumed DMT in an ayahuasca brew can last several hours. 1

Common risks

DMT use carries risks, including psychological distress, dangerous behaviour while intoxicated, and potential exacerbation or triggering of latent mental health conditions. Physically, DMT use can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Overdose risks are typically more associated with behavioural risks or underlying health conditions than with direct toxic effects of the drug. 2


DMT is not generally considered to be addictive, as it does not induce cravings or compulsive use in the way that drugs like opioids or amphetamines might. However, like any psychoactive substance, it can be misused and can contribute to harmful patterns of behaviour or mental health issues.

The Law in the UK

In the UK, DMT is classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This means it is illegal to produce, supply, or possess. Possession can lead to up to seven years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. Supplying, including giving it away to friends, can lead to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.

Mixing Drugs

Mixing DMT with other drugs can increase the risks and potential harm. Particularly, mixing DMT with other serotonergic drugs like MDMA, LSD, or certain antidepressants could potentially lead to serotonin syndrome, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition. It’s also worth noting that the MAOIs in ayahuasca can interact with a wide range of medications and other substances, increasing the risk of adverse effects. 2


  1. Barker, SA, et al. (2018). N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an endogenous hallucinogen: Past, present, and future research to determine its role and function. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 536.
  2. Brito-da-Costa AM, et al. (2020). Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of ayahuasca alkaloids N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Harmine, Harmaline and Tetrahydroharmine: Clinical and forensic impact. Pharmaceuticals, 13(10), 334.
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). (n.d.). Drug scheduling.
  4. Erowid. (2023). DMT Dosage. Retrieved from
  5. Lawrence, D. W., Richards, T., Aixalá, M., & Carhart-Harris, R. L. (2022). Phenomenology and content of the inhaled N, N-dimethyltryptamine (N, N-DMT) experience. Psychopharmacology, 239(1), 301-313.
  6. Halpern JH, et al. (2016). A review of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and an exploratory study of subjects claiming symptoms of HPPD. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 166, 1–7.

What people ask

DMT, short for Dimethyltryptamine, is a powerful and naturally occurring psychedelic substance. It belongs to the tryptamine family and is structurally similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain.

DMT is most commonly ingested by smoking or vaporising the crystalline powder. It can also be consumed through ayahuasca, a brew made from certain plants containing DMT.

The effects of DMT are intense and often described as a “breakthrough” experience. Users typically experience profound alterations in perception, hallucinations, and vivid visual and auditory sensations. The effects can vary from person to person, but commonly include a sense of transcendence and spiritual insight.

The effects of smoked or vaporised DMT are relatively short-lasting, typically lasting around 15 to 30 minutes. In contrast, the effects of ayahuasca can last several hours due to the presence of MAO-inhibiting substances in the brew.

DMT is considered to have a relatively low toxicity profile, and there have been no known cases of fatal overdose from its use. However, like all psychedelics, DMT can induce intense psychological effects, and its use should be approached with caution, especially for individuals with a history of mental health issues.

DMT is not considered physically addictive, and users do not typically experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. However, some individuals may develop a psychological dependence on the drug due to its powerful and captivating effects.

While DMT is generally well-tolerated by most users, it can induce profound psychological effects that may be overwhelming or even disturbing. Some users may experience anxiety, paranoia, or panic during the experience. Individuals with a family or personal history of mental health issues should exercise caution when considering DMT use.

DMT should not be combined with other substances, especially medications that affect serotonin levels, as it can lead to dangerous interactions and serotonin syndrome.

The legal status of DMT varies by country. In many countries, DMT is classified as a Schedule I substance, meaning it is illegal to produce, possess, or distribute. However, some countries have exceptions for religious or spiritual use, such as in the case of ayahuasca ceremonies.

Research into the potential therapeutic uses of DMT is ongoing, and some studies suggest it may have therapeutic effects for certain mental health conditions. However, further research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.

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