More on DMT

April 6, 2008 at 11:53 am 12 comments

So, I figure I should write something a little more comprehensive about my experience last night.

I’ve been interested in psychedelic drugs since I was a teenager. I’ve tried a few. While I’m happy to get fucked-up on codeine, tripping has never been about that for me. I’ve tried a few different psychedelics, but it’s been an occasional thing, definitely not something I do on a regular basis.

I may be a drug abuser, but I know my drugs, and the risks involved in using them. This is particularly relevant with regards to ayahuasca because there’s some reasonably serious risks associated with it. DMT is not orally active because an enzyme in the liver metabolises it before it can get to work on the brain. That enzyme is monoamine-oxidase. There’s a class of drugs that inhibit it – the monoamine-oxidase inhibitors. These were the original anti-depressants. They’re not used much these days because you have to be careful of what you eat while taking them. Eat the wrong thing and you can end in a hypertensive crisis. Take an SSRI at the same time as an MAOI and you can end up with serotonin syndrome. These are potentially fatal conditions. I’ve made sure not to eat anything that might cause problems.

The MAOI that’s usually used to make DMT orally active is a plant-derived chemical called harmaline. Traditionally, the plant that’s used for this is a jungle vine called Banisteriopsis Caapi. It’s also found in the seeds of a plant called Syrian Rue, which is what I used. It’s possible to eat the ground up seeds, but it’s not pleasant. A while back, I’d done a rough extraction, so I had this ready.

The material that I used for the DMT was from the rootbark of a plant called Jurema, which is a type of mimosa. I’d bought this ages ago, at the same time that I bought the syrian rue that I’d turned into harmaline. I’d intended to use it at the time, but not long after, I went crazy and it ended up sitting in a box for the last year and a bit.

DMT is a powerful psychedelic chemical. It’s found all over the place in nature and has a long history of use in various cultures. It’s a class A drug, but the plants that contain it fall into something of a legal grey area. Last night it completely kicked my ass.

I’ve tripped before. Nothing prepared me for last night’s experience. I’m only able to remember bits and pieces, but the visuals were far greater and far clearer than with any substance I’ve used before. It was like being able to see fifteen different dimensions at once, ow the world fit into a shimmering crystalline lattice. This was towards the beginning of the trip. After a certain point it didn’t make any difference whether I had my eyes open or closed. It was completely and absolutely overwhelming. Half the time there wasn’t even a me to be overwhelmed.

I’m not one of those people who believe that you can divine great truths from psychedelic experiences. But to some extent psychedelics do enable people to explore their own minds. Last night was like having my mind ripped apart and put back together again. Physically I was laid down on my sofa. Mentally, I was everywhere and nowhere. At the same time. Like I said before, it’s going to take some time to integrate the memories into my everyday mind.

That kind of trip is definitely not something I’d want to do on a regular basis. And it might not be the smartest thing for someone who has a mental illness to do at all. But now I’ve got over my initial confusion, I feel pretty damn good. For the first time in a while I feel hopeful.

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N,N-dimethyltryptamine Jewelled self-dribbling basketballs from hyperspace

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. colectivosiembra  |  April 7, 2008 at 5:27 am

    believe in plants

  • 2. colectivosiembra  |  April 7, 2008 at 5:37 am

    after checking your about me section, i come back to recommend you working plants with an expert healer. probably the hopefull feelling youre experiencing right now (though i for sure know it is true) will fade in a few days or weeks. Let me tell u again: youre experiencing what life really is. I Know somwone who can heal you for good trough Ayahuasca.
    hope you get well,
    guillermo.

  • 3. giannakali  |  April 8, 2008 at 12:01 am

    hey there chimp,
    I’ve never met anyone else who has done DMT. I did it in college about 23 years ago during a period in which I did a lot of hallucinogens and spent a lot of time in the psych ward with a bipolar diagnosis I’ve come to see as purely drug induced.

    I definitely wouldn’t recommend someone with a mood disorder of any kind do these sorts of drugs.

    that being said my DMT experience was one of the most awesome 15 minutes of my life—the second time was one of the most frightening experience of my life. Both times the trip lasted only briefly. I can’t say I remember much of either of the two experiences I had with it but I’ll tell you what I do remember.

    The first trip I lay on a bed and my friends watched me. They didn’t want to try it. Like you, I ceased to be me. I was everything and nothing and I was distinctly for at least some of the time pure color and sound. When I came back to myself I came back to a world covered in flowers—just like the 60’s—my friends faces had flowers as if they were tatooed all over them.

    The second trip I fractured into a million pieces and didn’t come back together quite right…that is what it felt like. It was profoundly disturbing.

    I would never do a hallucinogen again and while I’m not anti-drug in a blanket sort of way I certainly caution those of us with delicate minds and psyches to stay away from drugs of all kinds. At this point in my life I include caffeine and alcohol in that equation for myself, though I do hope that some day I can drink again….alcohol just frankly screws with me now…I hate it because I liked drinking moderately…

    Anyway…I’ve been seeing the title of your blog all over the place and I’ve never visited…this post intrigued me…I need to read more now…I stopped to comment when I read this…

    Nice to meet you!

  • 4. Gabriel...  |  April 8, 2008 at 10:28 am

    “Crypto wonder drug in vogue
    Some people say
    It cures arthritis
    Maybe that’s why
    It keeps getting banned
    It’s absorbed
    Directly through the skin
    Mix it with lemon juice
    Touch your fingertips
    You’ll taste the lemon
    The police
    Started a riot
    Down at the courthouse
    Again
    Running amok
    Spilling blood
    Bashing heads
    I do my part
    Behind the lines
    Swabbing door handles of cop cars
    With D.M.S.O.
    Mixed with L.S.D.”

    You can mix DMT with DMSO to allow it to be absorbed directly through the skin… at least that’s what the Dead Kennedy’s taught me.

    http://www.dmso.com/

  • 5. giannakali  |  April 8, 2008 at 10:37 am

    ooohhh…that sounds scary Gabriel!!

  • 6. experimental chimp  |  April 9, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Gianna: Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experiences. I agree that hallucinogens hold special dangers for people with delicate minds. It’s interesting though that ketamine – another drug associated with strong, immersive hallucinations – has recently been studied as a therapy for depression. I’m kind of split on the issue myself. Clearly drugs can be dangerous, but aside from alcohol and cigarettes, I can’t recall any of them having any very negative effects on my life.

    Gabriel: If I recall correctly, it was Abbie Hoffman in the counterculture classic Steal This Book who first proposed the use of DMSO with hallucinogens as some kind of anti-authority weapon.

  • 7. lee  |  June 6, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    sup ec

    come across you’re page while searching for plants that grow here in england that contain dmt .. i also suffer from mental illness and have another personal reason why i would like to try dmt, do you know of any plants we have over here that dmt can be extracted from?

    i was looking at Phalaris aquatica on the wiki , it looks just like the stuff that grows up behind my house but im not sure if it is or if it just looks like it :-S also wiki says it may cause brain damage is that true for all plants with dmt in?

    Props on quiting smoking! i keep trying but fail misrably everytime i have a odd week lol

  • 8. experimental chimp  |  June 7, 2008 at 12:56 am

    There’s a huge list of plants that contain DMT in the book TiHKAL (Tryptamines i Have Known And Loved) by Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin, which is well worth reading anyway (as is its companion volume PiHKAL, which covers the phenethylamines). DMT isn’t at all rare, in fact it’s incredibly common throughout nature. The problem isn’t finding a plant that produces it, but finding one that produces it in a high enough quantity to be useful, while not producing much else that’s active.

    There are quite a few different species of phalaris and lots of other species of grass that look similar, so I’d assume it’s unlikely that the one(s) growing behind your house are p. aquatica. Some species of phalaris and some cultivars of p. aquatica produce a toxin called gramine. The quantities of DMT (and gramine) in phalaris are highly variable, depending on soil composition, age and even the time of day it’s harvested.

    Not all plants that contain DMT also produce gramine. DMT itself is probably not toxic at the doses people take, although for obvious reasons there’s a lack of data on this.

    It’s fairly easy to find suppliers of things like mimosa hostilis rootbark and dried psychotria viridis online. Stores selling it tend to describe themselves as ethnobotanical suppliers. Importing these things into the UK may or may not be legal, but I’m not aware of anyone having been prosecuted for doing so. This doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody has been.

    I would not, of course, recommend doing anything illegal. In particular, I wouldn’t recommend extracting DMT, Not only is it definitely illegal under UK law, but it looks like a huge hassle.

    I would reiterate the standard advice that psychedelic drugs and mental illness don’t mix. The standard harm-reduction advice if you do go ahead also applies: Have someone you trust with you as a trip-sitter. Check that it doesn’t conflict with any medication you’re taking. This particularly applies to SSRI’s and other antidepressants which could lead to serotonin syndrome if mixed with DMT.

    Anyway, I hope this information is useful,

  • 9. lee  |  June 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Aye very usefull thanks for taking the time to reply
    i’ll have a ganders on amazon for that book, i wasnt very hopefull about the grasses growing behind us as they all seem to look the same sounds like the bark stuff is the easyiest way to go i shall look into it , thanks once again 🙂

  • 10. shining_diamond_chris  |  May 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

    hey im 15 and i have bipolar disorder. its basically all undercontrol now, taking rispredal daily. i was wondering how dangerous it is to take DMT. i REALLY want to do this.

  • 11. jay bomo  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Although I have never tried dmt I have done a lot of research on it. I belive taking dmt would not have a negative effect on your bipar disorder it may even have a positive effect. Remember dmt is a drug that you use every night in your sleep. 5mao dmt is different it is basicly a dmt molecule with an oxygen atom atached (I’m pretty sure correct me if I’m wrong) that is less stable and there is a possiblity it would mess you up.

  • 12. katie  |  April 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hi, I tried DMT forthe first time a few weeks ago, although didn’t have enough to have a real trip of it. Everything turned into millions of pixels and I seen colours that I can’t describe. My eye turned into flame the last time I used it. It was surreal! I only have good words of dmt and ketamine. I love to explore different areas of my mind and this helps. I think that DMT is going to help me in some way and this is why I will use it again. When I find the right time. I’ll keep you posted. Your comments are really interesting. 🙂

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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