What is 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT)
5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (commonly known as 5-MeO-DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance of the tryptamine class. As with its structural relatives DMT and 5-HO-DMT (Bufotenin), 5-MeO-DMT has been used as an entheogen by South American shamans for thousands of years and has recently been demonstrated to induce mystical experiences.
It is distributed in a wide variety of plant species, as well as in the venom of a single psychoactive toad species (Bufo Alvarius). It has also been shown to be produced endogenously in the human body in trace amounts, although its biological function is unclear.
In modern times, 5-MeO-DMT is primarily acquired and consumed in its synthetic powder form through the use of online research chemical vendors. When taken in its synthetic powder form, 5-MeO-DMT is typically vaporized, but can also be insufflated (although this is discouraged), and is active at a dose of as little as 2 mg. It has been suggested that it possesses roughly 4-5x the potency of DMT.
As with DMT, 5-MeO-DMT has been demonstrated to be active orally when taken with an MAOI, but according to numerous reports, this combination tends to be extremely unpleasant, producing a strong body load in addition to the risk of hypertensive symptoms and serotonin syndrome and is therefore strongly advised against. On both physical and psychological levels, it is considered to be substantially less safe than DMT.
Anecdotal reports indicate that this substance is likely to be overly intense for those who are not already extensively experienced with hallucinogens, specifically powerful psychedelic tryptamines like DMT, ayahuasca, and DPT.
Therefore it is highly advised to approach this very unpredictable, and powerful hallucinogenic substance with the proper amount of precaution, preparation, and harm reduction practices if one chooses to use it.
5-MeO-DMT is routinely used to alleviate depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. It’s sometimes used alongside ibogaine treatment to help patients integrate what they’ve learned.
Limited clinical research appears to support such use of 5-MeO-DMT in treating addiction and depressive disorders. After administering the compound to mice, researchers found a major downregulation in mGluR5, a receptor involved in the reward mechanism of drug abuse. Not only are mice without the mGluR5 gene less likely to self-administer cocaine and ethanol, they also show less severe symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Furthermore, cells treated with 5-MeO-DMT showed an upregulation of integrins, a response similar to that of depressed patients to antidepressant medications.
5-MeO-DMT also appears to have a placebo analgesic effect comparable to hypnosis. Like the other classical psychedelics, it may be useful in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, including some cancers.
More indirectly, 5-MeO-DMT helps researchers to better understand the neurobiological basis of schizophrenic hallucinations—ultimately paving the way for more effective antipsychotic drugs
In its crystalline form, 5-MeO-DMT is often vaporized or insufflated (snorted). Effects from vaporizing are usually felt within the first 30 seconds, peeking from 1-15 minutes and lasting for up to half an hour. A threshold dose is around 1-2 mg, while a moderate-to-strong dose is 5-10 mg.
Insufflated, it may take up to five minutes to feel the effects, despite the higher dose ranges involved (threshold: 3-5 mg; moderate: 8-15 mg). Effects tend to peak after 10-30 minutes and subside from around 30-45.
5-MeO-DMT may also be swallowed, taken sublingually (under the tongue), or injected.Much higher doses are required for swallowing and results can be unreliable.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Effects come on strong, often with a loss of physical coordination and control. Users experience bright colors, moving environments, or recursive patterns, and perhaps even “environmental orbism” at higher doses. However, visual effects are limited. Unlike DMT, 5-MeO-DMT isn’t known for its visionary properties. The experience is more often described as a “perspective shift” characterized by physical, emotional, and conceptual effects.
One of the most common features of the 5-MeO-DMT experience is an enhancement of tactile awareness to the point of sensory overload. The body may also feel heavier. Intense emotions are typical, ranging from extreme fear to euphoria, and especially include anxiety or excitement during onset. It’s common to experience an overwhelming sense of oneness with the universe, or a sense of being outside of time and space while seeming to experience the totality of both. The concept of the ego as a separate entity is typically lost. Other effects include auditory hallucinations, time distortion, nausea, and memory loss.
Can it be detected in a drug test?
5-MeO-DMT isn’t detected in any standard or extended drug tests, nor are there specialized tests to look for it. Also, since it’s unlike other drugs tested for, it shouldn’t trigger a false positive.
Can 5-MeO-DMT Cause Psychological Trauma?
Most people find the effects overwhelming. Consensus reality, the physical environment, body, and self tend to fall away and behavior can become irrational. While long-term psychosis seems improbable, it may take some time to fully recover from the experience.
After higher doses, some users have reported persistent psychological difficulties, including paranoia and the subtle (but controllable) resurfacing of effects, that can last for several weeks.
“White-outs” and memory suppression are also common during the trip itself, negatively affecting users’ ability to form memories of the altered state.
Are there risks?
Taken in the presence of a sitter with no other drugs or contraindicated medications (like MAOI antidepressants), 5-MeO-DMT appears to be relatively safe. That said, persistent anxiety has been reported after just one use, along with sleep disruption and panic attacks. To help minimize the risks, it’s a good idea to start with low, precisely measured doses, and have an experienced sitter present.
Alternatively, you may wish to have a more actively engaged facilitator, or ‘practitioner’, present—a 5-MeO-DMT specialist trained to guide and help integrate your experience. Click here for in-depth tips on how to choose the right person or group for the job and what you should expect them to do.
Is it legal to keep toads or grow plants containing 5-MeO-DMT?
Cultivating natural sources of Schedule I drugs (except in specified cases like cannabis and peyote) is a bit of a legal grey area. While the law prohibits “any material containing any quantity” of illegal substances, the likelihood of prosecution is slim. On the other hand, extracting 5-MeO-DMT from any source is definitely illegal and will lead to prosecution if caught.
Regarding toads, the rules are clearer. In New Mexico, only state residents may collect them without a license. Both residents and non-residents of Arizona need a fishing license to collect a maximum of 10 Bufo alvarius toads. In California, meanwhile, it’s a misdemeanor to collect toads and possession is against the law. Regardless of the legality, though, Bufo alvarius is a threatened species. Keeping toads in captivity—not to mention regular “milking”—is found to damage their health.
What’s the safest way to take it?
There is no entirely safe way to take 5-MeO-DMT. That said, vaporizing is by far the most popular way and it also seems to be the safest. The onset of effects is shorter than with insufflated or sublingual use, however, some people experience chest pains from the smoke. Others experience no effects whatsoever and prefer intravenous or intramuscular injections. These induce rapid, intense effects even at low doses. Swallowing the drug isn’t recommended due to safety concerns and it’s often ineffective anyway.
Can I microdose with 5-MeO-DMT?
As people’s reactions vary immensely, it’s hard to give a reliable microdose range. Some have felt profound effects on less than a threshold dose, while others experience only mild effects from a moderate dose.
Can I develop a tolerance?
Yes, tolerance develops almost immediately and takes two hours to return to baseline. But there is no cross-tolerance with other psychedelics.
Can I mix it with other drugs?
It shouldn’t be mixed with MAOIs or RIMAs, including some antidepressants, due to the risk of serotonin syndrome and death. Releasing agents and reuptake inhibitors, for serotonin and dopamine especially, can be dangerous in combination. For this reason, mixing 5-MeO-DMT with other psychoactive drugs or alcohol is generally discouraged.
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