N,N-dimethyltryptamine (or DMT for short) is an entheogenic substance with psychedelic and dissociative properties. It naturally occurs in many living beings, including humans, but doesn’t normally exert its effects since it is broken down by an enzyme in our guts, known as monoamine oxidase. For this reason, eating plants that contain a high concentration of DMT does not bring about any psychedelic effects unless taken with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Smoking DMT however bypasses the gut and works even without a MAOI, but generates a much shorter experience as we shall see below.
Dr. Rick Strassman speculates in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences that DMT is the “Spirit Molecule” and that it is activated when we are born and when we die, that is, when the spirit moves in and out of the physical body. Indeed, the effects of DMT include a sense of the consciousness traveling into incredible dimensions as well as experiencing profound and awe-inspiring visions and thoughts.
DMT is related to neurotransmitters in our brain such as tryptamine, serotonin, and melatonin, and to other psychedelic substances, such as 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenin (5-HO-DMT), and the active components of psilocybin mushrooms, namely psilocybin (4-PO-DMT) and psilocin (4-HO-DMT).
Ayahuasca (also known as yagé) brews, which are made of DMT containing plants along with MAOI plants containing harmala alkaloids (traditionally Banisteriopsis caapi), have been used in South America for hundreds, if not thousands of years for healing and divinatory purposes.
The B. caapi vine is considered to be the “spirit” of ayahuasca, the gatekeeper, and guide to the otherworldly realms.
It is possible to acquire DMT by extracting it from the various plant species that contain the compound with little chemistry knowledge (see also this extraction guide). DMT in its pure form can be inhaled. When inhaled (insufflated, smoked, or vaped) or injected, thereby bypassing monoamine oxidase, the effects last a short period of time: about 5 to 30 minutes. Even in these modes of ingestion, however, taking a MAOI beforehand prolongs and potentiates the effects.
The boiling point of DMT is somewhere between 80-160 °C (176-320 °F), which means it is suitable for inhaling using a vaporizer, at least in freebase form. If you don’t have a vaporizer, you can smoke it. DMT fumarate, on the other hand, may be less suitable for vaping, but is more stable.
The best vaporizer for inhaling DMT is the VaporGenie.
Alternatively, it is possible to consume the plant brewed together into an Ayahuasca preparation together with another plant which contains harmala alkalods (MAOI), such as Syrian rue.
Sometimes a synthetic MAOI (contained in some anti-depressants) or pure harmaline is used in a preparation called Pharmahuasca. 50 mg DMT and 100 mg harmaline (or 50 mg harmaline with 50 mg harmine) is usually the recommended pharmahuasca dosage. Capsules with harmaline/harmine are swallowed first and then the capsule containing the DMT is taken 15 to 20 minutes later.
Traditionally, ayahuasca is prepared ritualistically by picking chacruna leaves (Psychotria vridis) at sunrise, then saying a prayer. The Banisteriopsis caapi vine is cleaned meticulously with wooden spoons and pounded with wooden mallets until it breaks down into fibers, which are then brewed on their own at first, and later together with the chacruna, for hours, until the liquid is reduced significantly.
Effects of DMT can last 3-8 hours when it is orally ingested along with a MAOI with possible after-affects for an additional 2-3 hours. The onset of effects occurs about 30-60 minutes after consumption and effects peak after about 2 hours.
The DMT dosage ranges from 30 mg to 150 mg, requiring 50-150 mg of harmala alkaloids. It can be taken orally by dissolving it in acidic juice, in capsules, or rolled inside smoking paper and swallowed. Traditional ayahuasca preparations are said to contain approximately 20-30 mg of DMT.
If smoked or vaporized, a light dose is up to 15-20 mg DMT, while a strong dose starts at 25-40 mg, inhaled in a few successive breaths. Effects may begin within 3 minutes, peak after 1-15 minutes and may last for up to 30 minutes, with after-effects up to an hour later. Vaporization is said to be more effective.
DMT can be inhaled using a pipe, bong, e-cigarette, oil burner/freebase pipe (meth pipe), or vaporizer. The DMT is sometimes mixed with cannabis, ash, or herbs that may be MAOI (such as passionflower), or contain other active ingredients (such as cannabis, salvia, and dill weed), or be inactive (such as mint leaves).
Changa are smoking mixtures that like ayahuasca contain a source of DMT as well as a source of MAOI (such as Banisteriopsis caapi, blue lotus, and passionflower). This makes the experience slower and slightly longer than that produced by smoking DMT alone. Adding a MAOI means you can use less DMT than you would normally need since the MAOI potentiates the DMT.
The effects of changa may last up to 30 minutes. They are more coherent, slower, and less chaotic than those of freebase DMT. It is possible to reach the same effect by orally consuming a MAOI, then afterwards to vaporize or smoke DMT.
To effectively smoke changa, smoke a full bong bowl holding the smoke in for at least 20 seconds. Smoking it in a joint it said to be less effective.
In the DMT experiments conducted by Dr. Rick Strassman injections of high doses of DMT produced experiences involving perceived alien entities or beings of light, inhabitants of a perceived non-corporeal independent reality to which the consciousness was able to transition. Near-death experiences and mystical states also occurred, albeit less often. DMT can also cause out-of-body experiences.
As I mentioned above, effects of inhaled DMT differ from that of ingested DMT in the onset, length, and intensity (or speed) of the experience. DMT trips are sudden, short, and the experience they produce is very rapid, while ayahuasca preparations produce a slow, much longer experience, which allows for self-work involving the gaining of personal insight, attaining realizations about one’s life, and so on.
Like other psychedelics, DMT induces a state of mind characterized by euphoria with a “body high” that is pleasurable, though sometimes physical discomfort may also be felt and even anxiety. Laughter fits are common.
Visually, DMT experiences may range from dynamic hallucinations of geometric forms through intense internal and external hallucinations to full fledged visions, which are vivid day dreams. A dark environment, or using blindfolds, can help intensify the visual experience.
Some people report dream potentiation, including more vivid dreams and lucid dreams, after long-term use of DMT.
Ego death may be experienced along with a feeling of unity and interconnectedness as well as a sense that language and the body are unfamiliar concepts. Déjà vu and other distortions of time perception may occur, especially in inhaled DMT. The short experience may be felt as much longer.
Cognitively, one may experience unconventional thought patterns, including multiple thought streams. One remains mentally sober and clear-headed throughout the trip.
Ayahuasca produces mystical, spiritual, and religious experiences involving revelations regarding our purpose on earth and the nature of the universe. Often it is experienced as a presence that teaches us how to be better people. Sometimes the process involves a difficult experience, involving emotional, psychological distress, and ego death, which then allows us to reach a rebirth. It’s like going through a purification in purgatory to reach an ecstatic heavenly state of consciousness filled with awe, love, and joy.
Increased heart rate and blood pressure are some of the physical manifestations of DMT consumption. When ayahuasca is consumed, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and hot/cold flushes can be experienced, probably due to the MAOI component of the brew. This facilitates the release of negative energy and emotions, but also serves a parallel physical purpose (at least in the Amazon rainforest) of expelling parasitic worms from the body. (Harmala alkaloids are anthelmintic.)
Other side effects of ayahuasca consumption may include tremors, autonomic instability, hyperthermia, motor function impairment, sedation and relaxation (though in some settings, it may be stimulating and energetic), vertigo, dizziness, and muscle spasms.
DMT is not addictive or toxic. It has a very low abuse potential, no withdrawal syndrome or tolerance, and no cross-tolerance with other psychedelics.
It may however produce anxiety and psychosis, especially in people with an underlying mental condition. Negative reactions may be minimized by proper set and setting, as well as by using a small dosage, and gradually increasing it over time. Reasonable doses and a healthy set and setting may ensure that you experience little to no negative cognitive, psychiatric, or physical consequences. Still, if you have a history of mental disease, I can not recommend that you experiment with DMT without guidance.
When adding a MAOI (in changa or ayahuasca), especially a synthetic MAOI, additional precautions should be employed, such as avoiding 5-HTP, caffeine, nicotine, and drugs such as anti-depressants and sympathomimetics (cough medications).
Ayahuasca, and MAOIs in general, should not be taken by people with heart conditions, including hypertension, or if you’re on any prescription medications, unless your doctor approves it.
Some shamans recommend abstaining from spicy and heavily seasoned foods, meat, excess fat, salt, caffeine, acidic foods (such as citrus) and sex before, after, or during ingesting ayahuasca.
When using a synthetic MAOI, it is important to be on a low-tyramine diet.
Banisteriopsis caapi – Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is an entheogenic brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. In the following article you will find everything you need to know about how to make ayahuasca, including the ayahuasca preparatory diet, effects, side effects, and more.
Often, other ingredients are added, however, the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin who have been using this brew as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies for hundreds, if not thousands, of years use the word Ayahuasca to refer to one specific plant: Banisteriopsis caapi.
Aya means “soul,” and waska means “woody vine,” thus Ayahuasca can be translated as “vine of the soul.” (There’s an interesting film about Ayahuasca that goes by this name – Vine of The Soul.”)
For these Amazonian tribes, Banisteriopsis caapi is not just the “spirit” of Ayahuasca, but a gatekeeper and guide to otherworldly realms.
What is in ayahuasca?
Banisteriopsis caapi contains several alkaloids, such as harmine and harmaline, which act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), much like Syrian Rue, “Canaanite Ayahuasca.” B. caapi also contains tetrahydroharmine, a weak serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI).
When harmine was first discovered in B. caapi, it was called telepathine after one of its effects: a sense of telepathic communication among users. However, it was later found that telepathine was the same entheogenic alkaloid found in Peganum harmala, which was already known as harmine.
Harmaline too has entheogenic properties.
Ayahuasca may also be regarded as a nootropic. Studies suggest that harmine may have cognitive-enhancing effects.
Ayahuasca Effects (and Side Effects)
Once drank, it usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour for B. caapi’s effects to be felt. The peak comes after about 2 hours. The trip lasts no longer than six hours.
While not generally used as a hallucinogen alone, it is sometimes used as such. After all, we do have naturally-occurring DMT in our bodies. Normally, that DMT is deactivated in our guts, but the MAOIs in Ayahuasca, block the DMT deactivation and allows us to go deeper in meditation and other altered states of consciousness. Visionary experiences with B. caapi alone would probably require a rather high dose, though.
Interestingly, Banisteriopsis caapi has shown to have antidepressant effects that has been linked to the process by which new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain structure with a role in learning and memory, are produced. It has been confirmed that harmine, tetrahydroharmine, and harmaline stimulate generation of new brain cells (at least in vitro.)
The more common effects of harmine and harmaline at modest dosage is tranquility and purgation. Caapi’s main effects are purgative, clearing the body of worms and parasites by vomiting, diarrhea, and hot/cold flushes. Harmala alkaloids are also anthelmintic, and thus kill parasites.
Spiritually, the purgative properties of Ayahuasca represent the release of negative energy and built-up and repressed emotions. It’s also a sort of purgatory, which allows one to purify oneself before transcending to spiritual realms whether by ingesting DMT or by other spiritual practices.
Other side effects may include tremors, nausea, autonomic instability, hyperthermia, motor function impairment, sedation, relaxation, vertigo, dizziness, and muscle spasms.
Ayahuasca Prepatory Diet
Going through a purification (typically 3-7 days) before ingesting Ayahuasca can help prepare one to the experience, both physically and spiritually.
While the urban Brazilian Ayahuasca church União do Vegetal, does not observe a special diet, in the rain forest, a purificatory diet is observed, which involves abstaining from meat, spicy and heavily seasoned foods, excess fat, salt, caffeine, and acidic foods (such as citrus). Moreover, sex is discouraged before, after, and during a ceremony.
How to make ayahuasca?
- The first step is to chop the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (or pound it with a mallet, or beat it against a strong surface, if you want to do it the traditional way) until it’s all in as small as possible pieces.
- Then, boil the plant together with any optional additions (see below) in water for several hours, until the water is reduced significantly in volume and the solution has a syrupy consistency.
- Finally, filter through a strainer to eliminate sediments.
- As soon as it cools down, it is ready to be consumed.
Various psychoactive plants are occasionally added to Ayahuasca for different reasons.
The main reason is to increase the hallucinogenic properties to the drink, which is often achieved by adding a DMT-containing plant. In Santo Daime, a Brazilian Ayahuasca church, the MAOI containing plant is said to provide the Power, while the DMT containing plant is said to provide the Light. This is because DMT increases the vision, while the MAOI enables and empowers it.
Without the inhibition of MAO-A by B. caapi, DMT would not be able to diffuse past the membranes in the stomach and small intestine, and cross the blood–brain barrier to activate receptor sites in the brain. Thus, DMT is activated by MAOI.
Traditional Ayahuasca brews are usually made with Caapi as a MAOI, while DMT sources and other admixtures vary from region to region.
The most common ingredient in Ayahuasca besides Banisteriopsis caapi is the shrub Psychotria viridis (Chacruna), the leaves of which contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
Other plants containing DMT commonly used in Ayahuasca include:
- Leaves of Diplopterys cabrerana (also known as chaliponga and chagropanga)
- Root bark of Mimosa tenuiflora (M. hostilis)
- Mucuna pruriens
Unfortunately, extracts from DMT-containing plants are illegal for consumption in many countries.
Other DMT-containing plants are sometimes used, such as various Acacias.
Non-containing DMT plants commonly used in Ayahuasca include:
- Justicia pectoralis – a relaxant and general tonic noted for its pleasant smell. Some strains may be hallucinogenic.
- Brugmansia suaveolens (Toé) – analgesic and may increase the potency of Ayahuasca.
- Sacred Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica), also known as Mapacho.
- Brunfelsia grandiflora.
- Ilex guayusa, a relative of Yerba mate.
Warnings and other Need-to-Know Information
The combination of specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs, such as Prozac), and most other antidepressants, with MAO inhibitors such as Ayahuasca can kill.
Ayahuasca may moderately increase heart rate and blood pressure, which is why it should not be used by people with risk of heart disease without the supervision of a doctor.
It is not recommended to take Ayahuasca without the permission of a doctor and a trip sitter to watch over you. (Check if, and where, I’m available to serve as a trip sitter.)
Ayahuasca plants and preparations are legal, as they contain no scheduled chemicals. Banisteriopsis caapi and its chemical constituents are not a controlled species in the United States, which means that all parts of the plant and its extracts are completely legal.
Even though Banisteriopsis caapi is legal in the US and in most other countries with the exception of some countries where it may be illegal such as Australia and France, you can’t buy Ayahuasca on Amazon with the exception of a Caapi oil product and a live plant.
Changa (Smokable Ayahuasca)
Changa is a smoking blend with similar active ingredients as those in ayahuasca. Changa contains MAO-inhibiting herbs, such as Banisteriopsis caapi onto which a DMT (dimethyltryptamine) liquid extract is infused. When the blend drys out completely, it can be smoked to produce a trip which can be compared in its effects to:
- DMT freebase – but it’s easier to smoke and the effects are longer, “slower,” and more grounded
- Ayahuasca – but without unpleasant bodily effects and the trip is shorter, clearer, and deeper
The effects of changa are very similar to the effects of smoking DMT. How is changa different?
When MAO-inhibiting herbs are included, the experience tends to
- come-up more gently and more slowly
- be longer (10-20 minutes instead of ~3-5 with DMT)
- more coherent and less chaotic (DMT can be quite scary, even shocking)
Some claim that depending on the strength of the MAOI effect, the changa trip can last up to 40 minutes.
It is possible to smoke multiple times per day without a reduction in effects due to tolerance.
Most commonly MAO-inhibiting herbs (in a rate of at least 25%) are included in the smoking blend to potentiate and lengthen the experience, such as:
- Banisteriopsis caapi – the dried leaves are the primary constituent, though the bark can also be used
- Passionflower (Passiflora) – a milder MAOI than Banisteriopsis caapi and a calming herb
- Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) – seeds or seed extract
Some people believe that the inclusion of such plants is unnecessary. However, when MAOI containing herbs are not used, the preparation is called “enhanced leaf” and not changa.
In ayahuasca preparations, the orally ingested DMT is broken down by the MAO enzyme in our body. Ingesting a MAO inhibitor is required in order to experience the DMT. However, when smoking DMT, it reaches the brain immediately with or without MAOI.
However, others claim that including a MAOI in their enhanced leaf preparations significantly alters their experience.
Herbs used in enhanced leaf preparations and as additives in changa (to modify its effects) include:
- Brugmansia flowers (angel’s trumpets) or Datura – produces a distinct otherworldly character
- Leonotis leonurus (wild dagga) – euphoriant
- Turnera diffusa (damiana) – euphoriant
- Salvia divinorum (sage of the diviners)
- Justicia pectoralis – a balancing and smoothing effect upon the body’s utilization of DMT, traditionally added to tryptamine snuffs in the Amazon
Any smokable herb may be used.
An example blend (“Dream Scape”) combines 60% Calea zacetachichi with 40% Brugmansia.
For additional additives as well as blend recipes, visit DMT-Nexus.
The “Original” Changa Blend by Julian Palmer
- 30% Banisteriopsis caapi vine and/or leaf – main MAOI effect
- 20% Verbascum thapsus (mullein) or Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) – powerful lung herbs
- 20% Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) – additional MAOI as well as a calming, sedative effect
- 20% Mentha × piperita (peppermint) – for taste
- 5% Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) – for its nurturing and healing qualities; add after combining the DMT
- 5% Nymphaea caerulea (blue lotus) – add after combining the DMT to preserve color
How to Prepare Changa
(For educational purposes only; DMT is an illegal substance in most countries.)
To create 2 grams of potent changa (50% DMT):
- Dissolve 1000 mg (1 gram) DMT in 40 ml ethanol. Some people say that vinegar or lemon juice may be used instead of ethanol. Vodka, and other strong alcoholic drinks, may also be used. You may need to place the mixture on a steam bath to “help” it dissolve.
- Pour the liquid over 2 grams of your herbal mixture and stir. (For 20-25%, use 4-5 grams of mixture.)
- Spread evenly on a plate and let dry completely before using.
How to Use Changa
Changa is easier to smoke than freebase DMT; an ordinary bong, pipe, or water pipe may be used (while for smoking pure DMT, a GVG is recommended.)
The best way to smoke changa for inducing a breakthrough experience is using a bong, inhaling the whole amount slowly, holding it in the lungs for at least 10-20 seconds.
The changa effect can also be induced by orally ingesting a MAOI drug (e.g., Syrian rue tea) and then inhaling the DMT.
Another method which may induce a similar effect is known as the “sandwich method.” Here DMT crystals are placed between two layers of a MAOI herb, such as passionflower or caapi. This allows smoking the DMT without burning it with the additional possible boost (in length) provided by the MAOI herbs.
Out of Body Experiences
One of the effects of DMT as well as changa is a sense of transforming to an alternate reality. This effect is also referred to as the breakthrough experience. Those who have experienced out-of-body experiences (OBE) may be surprised regarding how similar the DMT state of consciousness is to the OBE. As one person put it:
I started meditating recently and found it triggered crazy-intense experiences which I came to learn are called astral projections. The sensation is like being shot out of a cannon; my entire body and awareness ramps up to a massive vibration with an electrical-like buzzing, and within a few seconds I explode violently out the top of my head and into various dream-like spaces, some more lucid than waking life. I started digging around to try to learn more about AP, and arrived at DMT. I found the descriptions of the come-on are nearly identical
Indeed, the brain waves produced during psychedelic states of consciousness, such as that induced by the DMT in changa, are primarily theta waves (4-7 Hz), exactly like the brainwaves our brains exhibit during dreaming.
Interestingly, based on the research of Robert A. Monroe in his book Journeys Out of the Body, out of body experiences seem to occur in a very narrow frequency band of 4-5 Hz (slow theta waves).
The main difference between the astral projection and DMT experience is that with DMT the separation process usually happens so fast that one is not aware of it. It’s as if one is teleported to the astral dimension instantly.
Changa can be used to induce vivid and lucid dreams. While DMT and harmala alkaloids are dreams potentiators on their own, their power over dreams can be strengthened by including Dream Herbs, such as:
- Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
- Calea zacatechichi (dream herb)
- Silene capensis (African dream root)
- Entada rheedii (African dream herb)
It is imperative that the changa’s effects will last until you fall asleep. Ideally, there should be enough MAOI power in it so that it lasts 30-40 minutes.
- Scutellaria lateriflora (skullcap) – a mild sedative and anxiolytic
- Amanita muscaria (fly agaric mushroom) – a strong sedating, anxiolytic, and dream mushroom
While some people are apparently not able to breakthrough on changa, others prefer the smoother come-up of changa over the intense come-up of DMT and having tried changa, resolve to never use pure “spice” again.
Banisteriopsis caapi dry leaves however, which may be the ideal base for changa, are completely legal.
If you can’t find leaves, the vine can be used as well, though may be more difficult to smoke.
I will end this article with a quote from Julian Palmer, the person who “channeled” the term changa during an ayahuasca trip. He writes:
DMT is already strong enough, a good changa blend should be like a fine wine, smooth to smoke, the effect should last a good while, and it should enable a smooth and friendly experience. The good thing about Changa is that you can decide the dose yourself, even just taking one small puff on a joint, is enough to brighten colour, amplify perception and clarify the activity of the mind, and bring alignment to the thoughts.
My Experience with DMT & Ayahuasca
I’m very experienced with ayahuasca. For me, the ayahuasca trip is a bit different each time. It feels like a school, a progression of lessons; each time I’m learning something new. Crown chakra trips involve profound feelings of spirituality and union with the Divine. Sometimes the trip is very visual and my presence is located around the third eye. Other trips are in the heart, and predominated by feelings of love. There are also trips that engage the lower chakras. Base chakra trips are characterized by strong bodily sensations.
In ayahuasca sessions, 2-4 doses are usually taken. With an hour and half between doses. The first dose usually brings about a pleasant intoxication along with euphoria. Then in the following doses, the effects become stronger. The purgative effects of Banisteriopsis caapi causes a nausea that comes and goes in waves. I feel that my stomach or intestines are being squeezed, and as they are, the nausea becomes stronger as well as the hallucinations. A strong feeling of a presence is also felt along with a sense of learning, understanding, gaining insight. When the difficult part is over, a strong euphoria is felt as well as a sense of awe.
Experimenting with MAOI and DMT each on their own allowed me to realize what each of them contribute to the experience. The MAOI component obviously is responsible for the purgative effect and the nausea that comes and goes in waves, but also for the euphoria and an anxious, cold, and alert existential state along with introspection, increased self-awareness, a meditative state, and attainment of insights. Even without the DMT, I experience intense internal hallucinations, such as tunnel experiences, tracers, and zooming in, at the peak of nausea. Time seems to pass a lot faster. The coupling of the hallucinations and the nausea makes it difficult to enjoy the former. I feel I can easily leave my body, but grounded by the intense body load. When the nausea starts going away, I’m left with a strong sense of euphoria, love, and joy.
On the other hand, smoking DMT on its own, produced the other experiential component of my ayahuasca experiences. While I can’t find the words to describe my DMT experiences, I can say that it has a strong visual component, which is so intense that I feel as if it bites me in the stomach and turns me, as I enter a vortex of shapes, internally hallucinated. A feeling that everything is meaningless contrasts with MAOI sense of deep meaning. A presence is felt. The intensity of the psychedelic imagery dissociates me, contrasting with the MAOI’s grounding effect. Leaves me with a feeling of awe and euphoria.
Smoking DMT with a MAOI (Syrian rue seeds) the experience is remarkably like ayahuasca, just a lot shorter. Smoking MAOI rather than consuming it orally eliminates the purgative effect. Its influence on DMT is that it makes its effects slower, weaker, less intensive.
Alexander Shulgin did several trials with DMT in TiHKAL (#6). After smoking 100 mg, he reported:
As I exhaled I became terribly afraid, my heart very rapid and strong, palms sweating. A terrible sense of dread and doom filled me — I knew what was happening, I knew I couldn’t stop it, but it was so devastating; I was being destroyed — all that was familiar, all reference points, all identity — all viciously shattered in a few seconds. I couldn’t even mourn the loss — there was no one left to do the mourning. Up, up, out, out, eyes closed, I am at the speed of light, expanding, expanding, expanding, faster and faster until I have become so large that I no longer exist — my speed is so great that everything has come to a stop — here I gaze upon the entire universe.
One person related having an out-of-body experience after smoking 40mg DMT in a bong mixed with some tobacco. Here’s an excerpt from his experience report:
I inhaled and rushed the bong, and instead of inhaling smoke that tastes like burning plastic, it was like I inhaled a dog of crisp sea air, and I could sense sparkles and every salt particle. That’s about when some visuals resembling a monochrome dream catcher materialized in front of me, taking up my entire field of vision. Colours quickly filled this and I was in. I was lifted out of my body very quickly, and landed in another world, one made entirely of multi-colored, luminous, ever-changing ‘generic digital’ or LED lights, though despite literally everything being made of this light (land, sky, everything within) I could make out that I was wandering around a walled maze (just like the 3D maze screensaver on Windows 98, but made entirely out of ever-changing color). I was only here for a matter of seconds. I then saw a ‘blocky’ wall of light move like a wave from left to right – if ocean waves were on Minecraft they would look like this, very blocky and simple. The wave had a pair of cartoon eyes, like Goofy or Donald Duck or whatever. After this I was drifting from the planet’s surface and ended up looking at a bright orange globe from space. After this I heard someone in the room say something, so I opened my eyes and I saw in splitscreen reality on the upper half, and my DMT trip carrying on without my attention beneath. That was kind of like when you’re swimming in goggles and you lift your head out of the water just enough so that you can see above and below surface. The real world was rather dull in comparison…
Out-of-body experiences are also common with ayahuasca. One person ingested Syrian rue along with Banisteriopsis caapi. He reports:
During this time I lay on the floor floating in and out of consciousness. It is during this time that the most profound experience comes into play. I am all of the sudden out of my body in a way similar to smoking DMT but more intense. I go out into a black nothingness and I am accompanied by three other beings of unknown descent. We all are sitting with our legs crossed…
Another person wrote:
Very soon I had no body. I just was. Complete and utter transcendence. But I could still see, which puzzled me, because I had no eyes. I actually began to float out of my body, and into the room. I could see my life-less body, laying down, with my hands across my chest. I could see the shaman, and my two friends, (Y) was crouched in the fetal position. But there was also this violet light, and it seemed to be coming out of my body; the room was filled with this light. I wasn’t scared because I knew that out-of-body experiences are common on ayahausca, but I never thought it would feel this real. The realization that I had become some sort of hyperdimensional entity freaked me out. What if I never returned to my body? Was I dead? Immediately, I returned back to my body after thinking those thoughts. I was both filled with relief, that I was alive, and regret, that I hadn’t gone further into the spirit realm. However, my body was still fairly numb, and raising my hands gave me the sensation of flying through some ethereal realm.
Someone else recounted:
At this point, I flew out of my body, still remaining conscious of my environment and my friend, but out of my body. I went up level by level, seeing on the way pyramid structures, and shooting out of the tip of those pyramid structures, until I landed on a level where the travelling stopped. I could see a high energy place, with huge amounts of energy going in all directions, on a massive scale. In the distance, I could see another pyramid like structure and some being there channeling energy in all directions, with high vibrant yellow, orange, blue, red colors…
Plant Sources of DMT
DMT can be consumed orally alongside a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (e.g., Banisteriopsis caapi) or it can be used on its own through non-oral methods of use, such as smoking.
While DMT is illegal in most of the world, many plants contain considerable amounts of DMT, and buying them is often allowed. Here is a partial list of DMT-containing plants which are known to be beneficial:
Psychotria viridis (Chacruna) – Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is traditionally made of the leaves of a DMT-containing plant called chacruna (Psychotria viridis).
A plant of the Coffee Family, Psychotria viridis (chacruna) is native to the Amazon lowlands, especially Colombia and Bolivia, but it can also be found in Brazil and north of the Amazon region. It contains DMT, a psychedelic hallucinogen, and is the most popular Ayahuasca admixture.
It is rare for a botanical name to reflect the effects of the plant. With Psychotria, which literally means “influences the psych,” this might be the case.
The Cofán Indians of Colombia refer to Psychotria viridis as oprito, which means “heavenly people.”
They use it as an ayahuasca additive. By mixing oprito into their yagé (Banisteriopsis caapi tea), they are able to “see” the small heavenly people.
Ayahuasca has many uses. For example, shamans drink it to induce out-of-body experiences.
The word chacruna comes from the Quechua languages, where the verb chaqruy means “to mix,” perhaps reflecting its use as an admixture.
The Santo Daime Church uses a sacrament they call daime, which is made from B. caapi and P. viridis.
The ayahuasca or jagube vine provides the power, while chacruna provides the light, or vision.
The daime is prepared ceremoniously over a week in a festival called a feitio, during which hymns are sung and daime is drunk.
The vine is scraped, cleaned, and pounded (bateção) by 12 men (representing the 12 apostles) until it disintegrates into thin threads, while the women clean and sort the fresh leaves.
The ingredients are alternately layered one on top of the other and boiled together with pure, filtered water for 12 hours, then the liquid is collected, and the plant material is boiled for another 12 hours with more water. This process is repeated several times.
The Active Constituent
DMT, the psychoactive ingredient in the leaves of Psychotria viridis, is an entheogenic indole alkaloid.
Dried P. viridis leaves may contain 0.1-0.61% DMT (typically around 0.3%).
Leaves collected at dawn or before dusk may have higher concentrations of DMT than those collected at other times.
As little as 1 ml of the juice pressed from the fresh leaves is said to contain 100 mg DMT.
If there are white thorns along the central nerve on the underside of the leaves, leaves with 3 or 9 such thorns are regarded as the most potent.
DMT may be present in the leaves of other species of Psychotria, such as P. poeppigiana (oreja el diablo; “devil’s ear”).
DMT is not psychoactive when ingested orally on its own. An enzyme in our bodies, monoamine oxidase (MAO), breaks down any ingested DMT rapidly.
When a MAO inhibitor (MAOI) is ingested in addition, such as that contained in Banisteriopsis caapi, it prevents the enzyme from breaking down the DMT, and allow it to exhibit its consciousness expanding psychoactive effects.
A very fat book was written about the effects of ayahuasca. In general, the MAOI component induces a sensitive, existential state of consciousness along with a purgative action, while the DMT component (e.g., Psychotria viridis) produces hallucinations and visions.
Effects begin about 30-45 minutes after ingestion.
The DMT effects last about an hour.
How to Use
Chacruna leaves may be used both dried or fresh in making ayahuasca or ayahuasca analogs.
Ayahuasca is made by boiling about 13-14 grams of Banisteriopsis caapi with about 10-20 grams of Psychotria viridis for several hours. (Boiling more than once and for 10-12 hours is not uncommon.)
Some recommend using distilled water and adding lemon juice or vinegar.
A common dose of DMT is about 30 mg. Anything larger than 60 mg is regarded as a heavy dose.
Ayahuasca preparations typically contain 25-36 mg of DMT per dose.
10 grams of dried P. viridis leaves can have as little as 10 mg (a light dose) and as much as 61 mg (a heavy dose). Based on average DMT levels, 10 grams would have 30 mg of DMT, making it a good starting dose.
Some recommend using doses of up to 75 grams. That may be needed when the potency of the leaves is very low or when other species of Psychotria are used with lower concentrations of DMT.
Here’s a video which shows the preparation of ayahuasca:
In ayahuasca analogs, the B. caapi is replaced with 3 grams of Syrian rue.
A thick, tar-like extract can be made from the leaves, which can be smoked.
The dried cortices of the root and trunk of Mimosa tenuiflora (also known as M. hostilis) are used in an ayahuasca analog known as Juremahuasca or Mimohuasca. It may also be smoked for mild DMT effects.
Jurema (Mimosa tenuiflora) – Ayahuasca Analogs
Jurema preta (black jurema. Latin name: Mimosa tenuiflora or Mimosa hostilis) is a tree used for medicinal and psychoactive purposes in Central and South America since pre-Columbian times.
There is even, among the American Indian caboclos (spirits), a cabocla known as Jurema, who is the goddess of the forest and the daughter of Oxalá. Listen to members of the Santo Daime church calling Mother Jurema while you’re reading this article:
In the Santo Daime tradition, jurema is not consumed; they drink ayahuasca proper, made from Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Chacruna leaves, Psychotria viridis.
However, Mimosa tenuiflora is an excellent source of DMT and the most important one for ayahuasca analogs.
Medicinal Uses of Mimosa
- hair loss
- internal problems such as stomach acidity, gastritis, peptic and duodenal ulcers, colitis, and hemorrhoids
- parasite-related diseases
In mexico, the tree (known as tepezcohuite) is used medicinally
- as part of a conception-promoting potion
- for treating burns (it shortens the regeneration period of the skin), inflammation, and wounds (it provides pain relief) – when used topically, its analgesic effect can last for 2-3 hours.
- and as a general tonic and a remedy for exhaustion and debility
In African-Brazilian cults, M. tenuiflora is used to treat infections and inflammation. It is said that the bark can also cure fatigue and strengthen the uterus.
Other medicinal uses:
- A tea made of the leaves and stem for tooth pain.
- A water extract for cough and bronchitis
In animals it may cause birth defects and developmental abnormalities
Compounds in Mimosa tenuiflora are said to have hemolytic, antiinflammatory, antispasmolytic, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, antitumor, chemopreventive, antifungal, analgesic, regenerative, and cicatrizing activity.
Topically, it is effective for eczema and in the treatment of venous leg ulceration disease. It may also be an effective treatment for skin lesions.
Psychoactive Uses of Mimosa
The constituents responsible for jurema’s psychoactive effects are alkaloids, such as:
- N,N-DMT (up to 2% in the root bark and 0.57% in the stem bark),
- serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine),
- and possibly β-carboline and NMT.
A different Mimosa species, Mimosa pudica (sensitive mimosa), is used for making a sleep potion in the Caribbean and as an aphrodisiac in the Amazon and in the Philippines.
However, its constituents are different than jurema’s and it may contain norepinephrine and a narcotic alkaloid known as mimosine.
In Brazil Mimosa pudica is used as an initiatory drink of the Candomblé cult.
Other Psychoactive Uses of Mimosa spp.
Mimosa spp. root is used as a pulque (fermented Agave juice) additive.
The herbage is smoked in San Salvador as a marijuana substitute (dormilona; “sleeping plant”).
In Africa Mimosa pigra may be used as an ingredient in psychoactive eyedrops.
In Brazil the fresh root cortex is used as an aphrodisiac in love magic.
Other psychoactive mimosas include:
- Mimosa scabrella – the bark contains DMT as well as β-carbolines.
- Mimosa verrucosa (jurema branca; white jurema) – may be psychoactive
Mimosa ophthalmocentra is also popularly known as jurema preta in Brazil, and sometimes as jurema embira or jurema vermelha (red jurema).
Vinho de Jurema – Is Jurema Psychoactive on its own?
For hundreds of years, shamans have been consuming jurema to induce fantastic, enchanted state of consciousness, with meaningful dreams, visions, and a sense of visiting spiritual realms.
Specifically, the the dried cortex of the root and trunk of Mimosa tenuiflora are used. (Though there are claims the leaves may be psychoactive as well.)
This practice may continue to this day by the jurema cult (O Culto da Jurema) in Brazil.
The plant is used in making a hallucinogen drink that is called “jurema wine” (vinho da jurema).
The root of M. tenuiflora is shaved and cooked in water for a long period of time until it becomes a thick and dark liquid.
Is it psychoactive on its own though, or does one need to add a plant containing ß-carboline alkaloids to the brew to render DMT orally-active by inhibiting MAO?
It is uncertain if there are ß-carboline alkaloids in jurema. Even if there, there may not be enough of them.
Perhaps that is why maracuja juice from Passiflora spp., which contains ß-carbolines, is added.
Moreover, tobacco is often smoked during jurema ingestion. Tobacco contains low levels of ß-carbolines.
It may be possible that the ß-carboline alkaloids in jurema together with those in passionflower and tobacco are what it takes to make sure the DMT exerts its effects.
Others claim that jurema contains not just free DMT, but also DMT which is bound to larger molecules, protecting the DMT from deactivation by MAO.
Still others speculate with beta-carbolines are produced endogenously in the body from the serotonin present in black jurema.
It has also been suggested that the indole yuremamine might act as a MAOI.
Whatever the reason, it is likely that with high enough dosages, jurema is psychoactive on its own.
Jonathan Ott asserts that Mimosa tenuiflora is active without MAOI added based on “having felt it in my own body in the only valid scientific analysis I know: the psychonautic bioassay.”
How to Prepare Vinho da Jurema?
Squeeze 25-50 grams of the root-bark twice in 125 ml cold water.
Alternatively, stir 25-50 grams of the powdered root-bark in cold water and let sit for one hour. Strain, and repeat.
Other recipes call for boiling the jurema.
Optional: add Passiflora (and honey for better taste). Enjoy the resulting drink with a cigarette.
Onset of effects: 15-20 minutes.
Duration of effects: less than 2 hours.
Effects: A state of daydreaming, altered perception, hallucinations, delirium.
Side effects may include anxiety, dizziness, dilation of the pupil of the eye, and high blood pressure.
In some Afro-Brazilian cults, the bark is soaked in sugar cane alcohol (Cachaça), obtaining a preparation called cauim.
The effects of the alcohol are intensified by the jurema and may include:
- happiness and peace
- visual and auditory changes
- drowsiness and heavy sleeping, dreams, and nightmares.
- facial redness
It may not be safe to combine alcohol with a MAOI.
Use in Ayahuasca Preparations
Making a tea from Mimosa tenuiflora alone may not be enough to feel any psychoactive effects because DMT is deactivated within our body by an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase (MAO). Even if Mimosa has β-carbolines as some claim, which inhibit MAO, there may not be enough of it, which is why passionfruit juice is added by the jurema cult in Brazil for additional MAOI (MAO inhibiting) effect.
An even stronger MAOI is Syrian rue, the seeds of Peganum harmala, from which an ayahuasca analog can be made, which is called Juremahuasca or Mimohuasca and is said to be the most easily tolerated and the most psychoactive ayahuasca analog preparation.
Use 3-12 grams powdered or shredded dried Mimosa tenuiflora root cortex. (Some recommend adding juice of one lime or lemon or vinegar.)
- Some people claim steeping it overnight or stirring the powder in in room-temperature water is better than making a tea.
- Others suggest boiling for 30 minutes 3 times is the way to go, then reducing to a drinkable amount.
- Still another approach would be to simmer it lightly 3 times for 1-3 hours each time.
Strain the liquid using a cheesecloth.
For a MAOI, use 1-6 grams of Syrian rue seeds. Some people recommend ingesting the seeds 15-45 minutes before drinking the mimosa.
Visionary effects should be felt within 20-60 minutes and last up to two hours.
Side effects may include nausea or vomiting.
Experience reports may be read on Erowid.org.
Inhaling Mimosa tenuiflora
Smoking Mimosa tenuiflora could produce mild effects. However, you would need to smoke a lot. For a light experience, 10 mg of DMT are needed, which would require smoking at least 1 gram of Mimosa tenuiflora. A more common dose of 30 mg DMT would require smoking a minimum of 3 grams of root bark.
It may be more effective, though illegal, to use Mimosa tenuiflora for extraction of crystalline DMT. In this form, it is psychoactive by itself when vaporized and inhaled.
A smoking mixture can be made by combining Mimosa with:
- 5-8 Anadenanthera colubrina seeds
- 1 cigarette
- 1 pinch of Amaranthus
How to Procure Mimosa tenuiflora?
Mimosa is not a specifically controlled species in most countries. However, DMT is. Therefore, the resulting extract would be illegal to possess.
In some countries the Mimosa plant itself is illegal, including but not limited to France. In other countries, importation of DMT containing Mimosa species could result in problems with customs.
Other plants containing DMT may be used in ayahuasca analogs are listed below.
Acacia spp. bark and/or leaves – Usually only seeds are available for sale. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to cultivate them from seed. Various species of Australian Acacia known as wattle are said to be suitable for making smokable DMT extracts. Species of Acacia suitable for producing ayahuasca analogs (known as Acaciahuasca) include:
- Acacia confusa
- The bark and leaves of Acacia maidenii. Easy to cultivate in temperate zones.
- Leaves of Acacia phlebophylla – very rare; can be found only in Mount Buffalo National Park in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia.
- The bark and leaves of Acacia simplicifolia found in Australia and New Caledonia.
- Acacia obtusifolia
- Acacia acuminata
The leaves of Diplopterys cabrerana contain DMT and may be used in ayahuasca analogs.
In a preparation known as Prairie Ayahuasca, which is popular in North America, the root cortex of Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower) is used as a DMT source.
The seeds of Mucuna pruriens (cowhage) may be suitable in ayahuasca analogs. The leaves can be smoked for a mild effect, especially in changa preparations.
Among several DMT-containing grasses, the only one as far as I know which can be used in ayahuasca analogs is the root of Phragmites australis (common reed).
Other DMT Plants
- The leaves of the Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and other canary grasses (Phalaris spp.) – may be active when smoked only as an extract. Sometimes used as an ayahuasca analog (Phalahuasca), but may be toxic.
- The seeds of some varieties of Anadenanthera colubrina contain DMT and are traditionally dried and ground to a fine powder, then sniffed or smoked.
- The seedpods and bark of Anadenanthera peregrina (yopo) – grind and use as a snuff to experience psychedelic effects and multidimensional visions. Not a pleasant experience.
The above represent a small sample of the DMT plants that are offered to us by Mother Nature. Additional DMT plants exist within the following genera: Amanita, Delosperma, Mesembryanthemum, Umbellularia, Desmodium, Lespedeza, Petalostylis, Phyllodium, Iryanthera, Osteophloeum, Virola, Testulea, Eriogonum, Melicope, Vepris, Zanthoxylum, and more.
Anadenanthera peregrina (Yopo) vs. Anadenanthera colubrina (Cebil)
Anadenanthera is a South American tree of the legume family, from which hallucinogenic snuffs are prepared that have been used in shamanic healing rituals in the Amazon for thousands of years.
Anadenanthera peregrina is used to make an snuff known as Yopo.
Anadenanthera colubrina makes a similar snuff known as Cebil, and is also smoked. Shamans who have converted to Christianity have come to identify A. colubrina as the biblical holy Tree of Knowledge, which teaches them how to heal.
Anadenanthera peregrina (Yopo)
The beans of Anadenanthera peregrina (also known as calcium tree or cohoba) are used to make a potent hallucinogenic snuff by tribes in the Orinoco basin, where it is called yopo or niopo.
Yopo snuff may sometimes be taken daily as a stimulant (e.g., for hunters and even their dogs), but it is more commonly employed by shamans for divination, protection, as well as to induce trances and visions and communicate with spirits
Sometimes the unprocessed ground beans are smoked, which produces a much weaker effect with stronger physical symptoms.
The bark of A. peregrina is possibly ingested orally as a kind of ayahuasca analog along with the root of Polypodium (tree fern or polypody), which may contain MAO-inhibiting beta-carbolines, or with Banisteriopsis caapi, the Ayahuasca vine, which may be chewed while the yopo is snuffed or smoked or mixed in with the snuff.
Anadenanthera colubrina (Cebil)
Anadenanthera colubrina, known as the Argentinian Cebil tree (also as vilca, huilco, curupay, curupau, and angico), is a tree whose seeds can induce a strong psychoactive effect and have been smoked in ceramic pipes and sniffed as a hallucinogen by the Indians of the southern region of the Andes (especially by shamans) for more than 4,500 years.
It has the following psychoactive uses:
- as an additive for chicha (corn beer) – the juice pressed from the fruit is added to a fermented corn beverage and taken by shamans for divination
- vino de cebil (Cebil wine) is made from it
- as a shamanic enema
Nowadays, shamans still smoke the dried or roasted seeds in a pipe or rolled in a cigarette, often with tobacco, in order to enter and influence another reality, as a gateway to Dream World.
The main active constituent of Anadenanthera is bufotenin (1.5-12%), a psychedelic tryptamine, which is concentrated in the beans and the ripe pods of the fruit.
Other constituents, which exist in very small amounts in the bark, beans, leaves, and pods, include:
Some people claim that there are Anadenanthera peregrina seeds that contain significant amount of DMT and that DMT may in fact be the main active constituent in authentic A. peregrina, while most Anadenanthera which is sold even as A. peregrina is actually A. colubrina. This, some have speculated, has contributed to misconception that both species have bufotenin as their active ingredient.
To identify which seeds you have, there are two things to look for:
- A. colubrina beans are often smaller than those of A. peregrina.
- A. colubrina beans are said to have an identifying mark (a “U” shaped etching on the seedcoat on just one side), while A. peregrina seedcoats are supposedly uniformly smooth.
The effects of Anadenanthera, which are often characterized as a psychedelic dreamlike state of mind begin within 5-10 minutes and last around 10-30 minutes (but sometimes even 1-2 hours), often consists of:
- objects appear larger than normal, causing the person to feel smaller than they actually are, may be experienced
- increased mental energy
- visions, including strong visual hallucinations when the eyes are closed (often worm or snake-like visions are seen), transformations into animals, out-of-body experiences, and multidimensional visions
- altered cognition and sensory perception
- experiences of ego dissolution, death, and rebirth
Heavy body load is common; other side effects may include:
- disturbed sleep
- A. peregrina may burn when sniffed, while with A. colubrina there may be a milder prickling sensation
- nausea and vomiting
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- flow of mucus from the nasal passages when sniffed
- heaviness, warmth, and/or a pleasant feeling in the body
- a twitching of the muscles; slight convulsions; lack of muscular coordination
How to Use
Visionary dosage is 1-5 seeds.
To prepare the snuff:
- Anadenanthera ripe seeds are dried and may be lightly roasted for about 10 minutes or until they pop (makes it easier to remove the husk).
- The inner part of the seed is then sometimes dried on low heat before its ground as fine as possible. (Use a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.)
- Mix with a natural form of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). (Traditionally the ashes of different plants or snail shells are used.) The ratio is 1 parts seed, 0.1-0.5 part lime or shell. Add a few drops of water to form a paste. A limestone paste can also be purchased. Mix well and heat on low until the material dries, then crush it into a fine powder.
- Let age for about a week before using.
As little as 150 mg to 0.5 g of this powder is effective when ingested nasally or smoked. Because insufflation can be a painful process (traditionally very large amounts of yopo are blown into a person’s nostrils using tubes), many people prefer to smoke the resulting powder.
To that end, the snuff is mixed with tobacco or any other smokable herb; using cannabis may help with the nausea. A pipe or bong can be used, ideally along with a torch-style lighter. A vaporizer may also work.
Anecdotal evidence as well as logic indicates that adding a MAO-inhibiting herb, such as caapi leaves, Passiflora, or Syrian rue, to the smoking mix (or chewing/ingesting it orally beforehand) will potentiate the effects of the Anadenanthera.
It is possible to prepare changa by infusing a MAOI smoking mixture with bufotenin extracted from Anadenanthera.
Oral dosing Anadenanthera is usually very unpleasant. If you choose to try that, then very small doses are to be taken.
DMT, one of the chemicals contained in the plant, is illegal in most countries so a DMT extract from Anadenanthera would be illegal to possess. Moreover, importation of large amounts of DMT-containing plants may be risky.
In Louisiana, both Anadenanthera peregrina and A. colubrina are illegal when intended for human consumption.
Share your experiences with these magical beans below.
I’ll finish this article with a note regarding the theoretical possibility of internally generating a DMT experience without using any substances (I already discussed how to achieve this using OTC supplements here). There are two ways this may work.
First, some people believe that since DMT and MAOI are two substances that occur naturally in the body, there should be a way to make the body secrete them at the same time, generating an ayahuasca experience.
Then, there is the possibility of generating DMT within the lungs which may simulate smoking DMT. This can be done through the hyperventilation that occurs during some types of yogic breathing (pranayama) as well as through Rebirthing.
The plants are here to teach us, but we have everything we need within us…