5-MeO-DMT is a research chemical psychedelic of the tryptamine class, four to six times more powerful than its better-known cousin, DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine). It can be found in a wide variety of trees and shrubs, often alongside DMT and bufotenine (5-HO-DMT), as well as one species of toad. 5-MeO-DMT can also be synthetically produced.
In Central and South America, 5-MeO-DMT is most often sourced from Anadenanthera peregrina (yopo or cohoba) and Virola theiodora—both of which are traditionally harvested to make psychoactive snuff. It’s also found in the milky white venom of the Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius/Incilius alvarius), which is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
5-MeO-DMT has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years as anecdotal reports of its potential as a healing agent have come to light. In keeping with its ceremonial use among indigenous Amazonians, 5-MeO-DMT shows great promise in the treatment of certain medical conditions. In fact, a single inhalation of the substance has been shown to greatly improve general well-being and mindfulness as well as reduce the symptoms of psychological disorders.
While research into 5-MeO-DMT is limited, a few studies have supported the anecdotal evidence. In a recent preliminary study, 42 participants who took 5-MeO-DMT reported high levels of life satisfaction and mindfulness as well as lower levels of depression and anxiety. The effects persisted for four weeks, when a followup assessment was completed.
These results support the findings of a survey of 362 people who had taken 5-MeO-DMT. After using the psychedelic, 80% of respondents reported improvements in anxiety and depression.
5-MeO-DMT is one of the most potent psychedelics you can consume, and the experience can be intense and powerful—in both positive and negative ways. Though everyone will undergo a unique and individual experience, there are some general things you can expect.
What to Expect
Vaporizing or smoking 5-MeO-DMT powder is the most common route of administration. The effects are usually felt within the first 30 seconds after consumption, peaking from 1-15 minutes and lasting for up to half an hour. When taking synthetic 5-MeO-DMT, a threshold dose is around 1-2 mg, while a moderate-to-strong dose is 5-10 mg. When naturally derived, the threshold dose is 5-10 mg and a moderate-to-strong dose is 20-40 mg.
When swallowed, doses are generally higher, but also show generally unreliable results. Other less common routes of administration include sublingual (under the tongue) and injection.
The effects of 5-MeO-DMT 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 the enhancement of tactile awareness, which can reach the point of sensory overload. The body may also feel heavier. Intense emotions are typical, ranging from extreme fear to euphoria. During the onset, anxiety or excitement are often felt. It’s also common to experience an overwhelming sense of oneness with the universe, or a sense of being outside of time and space while simultaneously experiencing the totality of both. Ego death is also typical of the 5-MeO-DMT experience. Other effects include auditory hallucinations, time distortion, nausea, and memory loss.
Like the other tryptamines, 5-MeO-DMT has the same basic structure as DMT, but has a methoxy group in the R5 position. It works primarily through the serotonin (5-HT) system, with a particular binding affinity for the 5-HT1A receptor subtype. It also binds to 5-HT2A and trace amine receptors, possibly mediating hallucinogenic effects via the latter. Reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and dopamine are also thought to be involved in 5-MeO-DMT’s function.
There is some evidence that indolealkylamines, including 5-MeO-DMT, cause serotonin syndrome when overdosed or combined.Of particular concern are possible interactions with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as harmaline or harmine.These are sometimes combined with the drug to enhance its effect, but can dangerously increase exposure to both 5-MeO-DMT and its active metabolite bufotenine.
Some other safety concerns have been flagged by animal studies. In rats, 5-MeO-DMT was found to induce hypothermia at low doses (0.5-1 mg/kg) and hyperthermia at high doses (3-10 mg/kg). In sheep, grazing on the 5-MeO-DMT-containing Phalaris tuberose/aquatica (or bulbous canary-grass) caused fatal tachycardia and respiratory failure. Although more likely due to other toxins in the plant, this severe reaction underscores the need for caution when approaching 5-MeO-DMT’s many and varied natural sources.
5-MeO-DMT doses are different depending on whether the substance is synthetic and naturally derived.
Small: 3-6 mg
Medium: 6-10 mg
Large: 11-15+ mg
Small: 10-20 mg
Medium: 20-40 mg
Large: 40-60+ mg