The purpose of the drug in the brain is widely debated, but most cultures view it as an ingredient for a variety of mind-altering drugs, although the DMT used may be synthetic or natural. Some cultures use DMT for medicinal and spiritual purposes as well, especially in inhaled form.
DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a chemical substance produced by the brains of all humans, some animals, and a few plants. There are two main varieties of DMT, a synthesized form created by scientists, chemists, and laboratories worldwide and the naturally-occurring substance found in the brain and chemical makeup of plants, animals, and people. Synthetic DMT is different from endogenous DMT in many ways, but the basic effects on the human body when consumed by different methods are pretty much the same. These will be discussed in-depth elsewhere, but include hallucinations, elevated heart rate, increased pupil diameter, and other side effects.
Use of DMT is evident around two thousand years ago in the Amazon River area, where snuffs were created for men and women. Derived from trees in the same family as nutmeg, the nations of Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela each have historical mentions of snuff use with ingredients that would have contained DMT. These snuffs were not what we call snuff today—a leafy mash chewed but not swallowed—but rather a powder that was blown into the nasal cavity using a hollowed bone.
There is also evidence that DMT was present in many of the ceremonies practiced by Aborigines thousands of years ago. Although it is a matter of debate, plants with natural DMT have been used by natives on many continents for spiritual reasons, opening the mind for experiences highly valued in these cultures. Many ancients, including Aboriginal, Native American, and others, believed that contacting the spiritual plane was an essential part of maturing and becoming an adult, and it was during these ceremonies—especially manhood ceremonies—that DMT-containing plants were most often utilized.
Top scientists and pharmacists have researched the benefits and drawbacks of using DMT for medicinal purposes for decades. The results are often debated so strongly that for the most part DMT is not available in pharmacological form, but some parts of the world are now researching DMT’s abilities to control medical issues such as:
- Headaches, including migraines
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Anxiety related to chronic or fatal illnesses
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Society’s view of DMT has prevented more research into the medicinal qualities of the drug, mainly due to the reputation received from users who abused it. However, Great Britain and the United States are now frontrunners in the race to perform clinical trials as early as 2009, with great advancements being made in the determination of whether DMT is safer for human consumption with controlled distribution.
As mentioned before, DMT has long been viewed as a gate for the spirit world around us, and many cultures still use organic forms of DMT such as those derived from certain plants in order to escape reality. Although the actual existence of another reality, such as a spiritual existence outside of reality, is debatable, people all over the world talk about experiences with beings that they describe as “alien” at best.
Most people who have used DMT describe a trip that includes vivid colors, languages that you may or may not understand, concentric circle patterns, and a feeling of being totally separated from your physical body. They say that you will feel like you are not breathing, some say it is more like feeling like you are holding your breath without the ability to release it, but observers report that you are physically fine. You are usually unable to interact with the spiritual events and beings that you see, but the vision itself is very realistic and vivid.
DMT is one of the least habit-forming drugs available in the opinions of many who have tried it, and it is technically considered one of the safer drugs when moderation and common sense are a part of the equation. Any drug can become habit forming, depending on the person’s personality and the availability of the ingredients to make it, but DMT is so hard to find that most users only obtain it every few years anyway. Many plants in the world have trace amounts, but it takes so much of the plant material to make enough for the one trip that many more serious users resort to synthetic versions available online.
In conclusion, it can be said that the 1970s were probably the best sources of information for most mind-altering drugs. DMT and LSD have many, many similarities, and many people use one after the other in order to prolong the trip and get the best experience. The average trip is over in ten minutes or less, and the effects are completely gone in an hour, so ways to heighten the trip are coveted in many parts of the world, for medicinal and spiritual purposes especially.