DMT Trip: What to Expect
If you have considered trying to smoke DMT, you’ve likely experimented with psychedelics before and now find yourself imbued with a healthy dose of curiosity for stronger stuff. So, your psy-sense has been tingling at the mention of this mysterious drug said to be able to make your soul do backflips in worlds unknown and dimensions incomprehensible to the human mind. Read on to find out what you can expect from the DMT experience.
First things first: You should know that DMT is not to be taken lightly. We are talking about one of the most powerful psychedelic compounds known to man. Rightfully claiming its place among entheogenic monoliths such as 5-MEO-DMT, ayahuasca, ibogaine, psilocybin mushrooms and Salvia divinorum, N,N-DMT gives you a short, but astounding journey many equate to a holographic, multidimensional, out-of-body, near-death experience. Visiting the realms to which this substance can take you can forever change how you look at life.
Quite similar in its molecular structure to psilocin, the active agent of psilocybin mushrooms, some users compare DMT trips to those on higher doses of psilocybin. The 4 hydroxy molecules in psilocin allow it to be metabolized when administered orally, whereas freebase N,N-DMT gets broken down in the body by monoamine oxidases. For this reason, plants containing inhibitors of these enzymes (such as the MAOI-rich Banisteriopsis caapi) are used in the preparation of ayahuasca, and enable the DMT to cross the blood-brain barrier.
This article will cover how to smoke DMT, the difference between DMT and changa, and what the DMT “trip” is like.
HOW TO SMOKE DMT SAFELY
DMT can be smoked in its regular crystal form, or infused with herbs such as Banisteriopsis caapi, mullein, passionflower, or peppermint to create a more easily digestible and balanced blend called changa. The creation of this mix was caused by DMT’s notoriously harsh smoking quality. The smell of the smoke is often compared to that of burning plastic, and the sensation of inhaling it to your lungs melting.
Aside from ease of smoking, changa also provides richer and more stable experiences; varying the herbal contents can bring different aspects of the trip to the foreground and make it less overwhelming. Thus, changa usually serves to facilitate more mellow experiences. However, increasing the percentage of DMT in the blend can very much so result in full-on astral travel. If you plan to smoke through a bong, you can make a simpler form of changa by just sandwiching the DMT between two layers of the herbal mix.
If you choose to smoke pure crystal DMT, it is advised to prepare your lungs by performing breathing exercises for a few minutes. Massaging your chest and thymus area while breathing in and out as much as possible should help. You will achieve the best results if you manage to smoke the entire dose of DMT in one long hit. However, with the harsh smoke being difficult to hold down, it will probably take you a few times to refine your technique.
DMT DOSAGE AND EFFICACY
You will achieve the best results if you manage to smoke the entire dose of DMT in one long hit. However, considering the harsh smoke, it may take you a few times to refine your technique.
Assuming proper technique, the quantity of DMT you should use is as follows: less than 20mg is considered a low dose, 20-35mg a standard one, and anything above 35mg a strong dose. If smoking through a dry pipe or bong, remember that a significant amount of DMT may get lost in the process due to various factors such as condensation, overcooking, or shallow inhalation, so you may need more than cited in these recommendations. However, it’s always best to start with lower doses (10-15mg) and gauge your tolerance as you refine your technique.
The actual smoking procedure goes like this:
- Load your pipe/bong with the desired amount of DMT or changa;
- After you’ve oxygenated your lungs for a few minutes, start lighting up the DMT midway through your last exhale;
- Swirl the lighter to ensure a balanced burn; if using the sandwich method, make sure that the flame doesn’t come directly in touch with the crystal, as this will burn it at too high a temperature and may produce negative effects;
- Once you’ve started burning the DMT and exhaled fully, begin to slowly sip in the smoke, as taking in too much of it at once could cause a coughing fit;
- Try to take in the whole dose in one hit and once you can’t take more, hold it down; if you’re taking multiple hits, you need to take one more at the point when it feels like you can’t take any more – the time to put the pipe down is when you can no longer see the flame in relation to the load; make sure your sitter is present to take the lighter and (hot!) pipe away from you.
- Start counting and see if you can make it to 5.
Be aware that if using a meth pipe or a bong, you might burn the DMT at too high of a temperature, thus losing some of it, and potentially causing a coughing fit or gagging/vomiting. A more efficient, convenient, and safer means of ingesting DMT that has been gaining popularity recently is by using more advanced vaporization pipes such as the VaporGenie or the Firewood. Many E-vapers swear by this method of DMT uptake, citing that doses needed are five to 10 times lower than for more analogue methods, and saying they have no intention of going back to them.
A powerful substance such as DMT should be approached with humility and respect. Before you embark on this adventure, at least the first time, try to give some thought to what you’re looking for from the experience. Are you just wanting to get insanely high or do you have something to resolve with, or learn about (or from) yourself or the universe?
Some users report traveling to immensely powerful worlds and meeting incredible entities there. Should you find yourself in a similar scenario, it might be useful to bring along an inquiry or two.
Many users understand the DMT trip as a journey to the brink of death and/or the source of creation. Be wise and try to take advantage of being exposed to eternal knowledge.
Always have a trusted sitter present. Smoking DMT alone is potentially very dangerous – you could hurt yourself or others, especially with a hot pipe and lighter. It can be useful to discuss your intention with your sitter, which may also help in the post-trip integration of the experience.
As with most psychedelics, DMT is great to experience in nature. An isolated and secure spot with clean air, grass to lie down on and a beautiful vista to stare at (or wake up to) can hardly be beaten. However, if you ingest enough DMT to achieve what is usually referred to as a “breakthrough” state, you might not be able to see much of your environment, or, if you’re able to hold on to consciousness, it may look like a completely different world made up of staggering energetic transformations.
Seeing as the DMT trip is oriented intensely inward, many users prefer smoking it in the privacy of their room, with a trusted sitter present. The familiar environment offers a feeling of security and the trip is usually spent in a coma-like state of absence, for which your own bed is perfect. Being inside also has the advantage of temperature control. Certain moments of the trip can have you feeling cold as never before, at the core of your being, and it’s good to have access to warmth if needed.
Music can be nice to have, but can also have a grounding influence, keeping your soul tethered to your body. The DMT journey itself is padded with a wonderful chiming buzz that is quite saturating and tranquilizing and allows you to surrender yourself to the experience, so it can be useful not distracting your sense of hearing with sounds of this physical world.
Many believe that burning Palo Santo, sandalwood, or white sage before the trip can invite positive energies and make the journey more profound. If you’re a fan of incense and don’t have any of these around, your favorite soothing scent should do just fine.
Burning Palo Santo, sandalwood, or white sage before the trip can invite positive energies and cleanse the space you’re in, making your trip more profound. If you don’t have these, your favorite soothing incense stick should do just fine.
Again – have a trusted friend present to look after you. They could be invaluable in helping you through any bad experiences.
THE DMT/CHANGA TRIP
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR DMT TO KICK IN?
After smoking DMT, the effects start to come on almost immediately. A DMT trip is relatively short, with the peak occurring just a few minutes after smoking, and the entire experience usually lasting less than 20 minutes. Still, depending on the dose, the actual experience may feel much longer, and some people report the effects of DMT lingering for up to an hour or two after the peak.
THE DIFFERENT DMT EXPERIENCES
A DMT or changa trip can vary drastically depending on the dosage, method of intake, individual, or any number of other possible circumstances. DMT experience stories range from “I had some interesting insights, and my body felt loose” to “I was guided by a shaman into the astral dimension”.
Like many other psychedelic substances, DMT can offer valuable experiences at lower, cautious doses as well as higher doses.
THE SHALLOW ZONE
The vast majority of people do not experience entirely new realities when they first smoke DMT, some take many tries to get there, and many never do. This will depend on your smoking technique and the smoke-pipe physical interaction properties – ultimately, how much smoke you take in at once will determine how far you will go.
Still, smoking DMT is not (at) all about chasing that point of no return. Not everyone is ready to have a full-on journey and not everyone should have one. There is plenty of value and wisdom to be received in milder experiences and many people appreciate just visiting this gentler side of DMT for its not-completely-world-shattering properties. Some might also have subconscious or conscious breaks caused by fear of what might happen if they cross to the other side.
Milder journeys have widely different depictions by users, but what most people experience is plenty of closed-eyed visuals in the forms of colorful lights, geometrical patterns and fractals. Open-eyed visuals resemble LSD space distortions, but more hyperspace-like, with saturated colors and a vivid, high-definition holographic feel. Some users report meeting entities or seeing their environment transform in incredible ways. Visions might be followed by strange bodily sensations such as tingling or spasming.
What is common with a gentler experience is the feeling of being present in your body. Whatever open- or closed-eyed visions you may experience will be followed by an underlying awareness that you’re still in this reality. These trips are usually compared to high doses of mushrooms or LSD and can yield great psychological and spiritual benefits, just like those psychedelics.
More intense experiences, often referred to as “breakthrough” trips, are unmistakeable; if you have to think about whether you’ve had one, it’s likely that you haven’t.
In breakthrough experiences, you feel like your body gets left behind on Earth like a husk as your soul departs for multi-dimensional realities made of color and light. Many people even forget much of the trip out of sheer overwhelmed-ness with new insights and the inability to integrate the awareness of a multidimensional existence into the 3D reality they return to.
Once you smoke enough DMT, you’re likely to feel like the world is fizzling out while your body gives up attempts to keep itself in an alert state. So you lie down and are born into a new universe.
And what’s there? Well, nobody can describe it precisely – you just have to go and see for yourself. But what there seems to be a consensus on is the following:
Intense Visuals and Encounters: Some DMT reports tell about other shapes, colors, or entire dimensions that are completely foreign and impossible to imagine. Intricate geometric patterns also appear in DMT experiences, and they may collapse into each other and expand and contract at extreme speed.
It’s not unusual for people to encounter other entities while on DMT. These entities are often humanoid, but can even represent aliens, mythological figures, or animal creatures.
Ego death and other feelings: Ego death, the experience of detaching from or losing your sense of identity, is another reported experience after taking DMT. Ego death can profoundly affect a person, having a lasting impact well after the substance wears off. Others who use DMT report feelings of love, acceptance, and peace. After encountering such profound feelings, people usually return to “normal life” with a changed attitude.
ON BAD DMT TRIPS
Some DMT experiences can be mind-blowing and otherworldly, yet not enjoyable or rewarding. There are certainly DMT trip stories of terrifying and distressing experiences. These usually contain the same usual phenomena as in positive DMT trips, but with a sinister or threatening feeling.
DMT experiences can certainly be “bad”, just like any other psychedelic experience. Due to the potency of DMT, a bad DMT trip may be much more harrowing than a bad LSD or psilocybin mushroom trip. Again, it is recommended to prepare for this with set and setting, and to respect the substance.
As integrating psychedelic experiences goes, DMT is as tough of a cookie to swallow as it is a crystal to smoke. What makes integration difficult is the sheer potency of the experience. Not only is it challenging to apply the experiences to everyday life, but it is also difficult to share and explore with others unless they have also tried DMT.
Still, you may find solace in one certainty: this life is not all there is. Visiting other universes is an awakening – a sobering and humbling reminder that this existence, which feels like home, is actually just one of many. This is the feeling of soul-lightness that DMT offers, and we can take it back to “reality” with us.
The experience of ego-death can also be integrated. Though it won’t last forever, it can be remembered and continually put into perspective many of the small, everyday concerns that so often take up too much of our time and energy.
A WORD OF CAUTION
The understandings and awarenesses that DMT can upload into your consciousness are overwhelming and not easy to digest. They can temporarily, or permanently, change how you look at the world, yourself and people you surround yourself with. While it’s possible that the profound realizations can catalyze the cessation of unproductive habits and addictions, the weight of the things witnessed can also alienate you from this reality and its blissfully unaware inhabitants. Knowing too much might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Some people also go into the experience unready or go off the deep end and smoke too much, ending up having a bad experience. And while there have been no confirmed deaths caused by DMT as a substance, there have been deaths under its effect. This highlights the importance of always having a sitter present to look after you.
If you want to find out more about the topic check out our podcast interview with Timothy Ko where we talk about DMT and Addiction: Uncovering the Root Cause of Trauma or Click here to read the transcript