DMT – The Spirit Drug

Written by: Captain Skellett // June 15th, 2009 // Drugs

DMT is nowhere near as famous as it should be. Everyone knows about heroin and cocaine and stuff, but talk to most people about DMT and they will never have heard about it. Until tonight, I didn’t know too much about it either, but man, is it cool.

It’s tryptamine with two methyl groups coming off the nitrogen on the right, and is structurally similar to LSD and Psilocybin. Drugwise it’s a powerful hallucinogen which can be smoked or injected to produce a crazy high, complete with alien visitations, geometric shapes and funny coloured lights, a freaking huge round-the-world take-three-years-off type trip as this guy describes it (the pictures aren’t great, but some of the stuff he says is freaking hillarious!)

It can also be ingested but is usually metabolised by monooxidase before it is absorbed. In fact, in the Amazon some shamans make a tea which extracts DMT and a monooxidase inhibitor from plants to make ayahuasca – a medicinal brew good for curing both physical and psychological pain and traveling to spirit worlds. I know a few people who have been on ayahuasca journeys, and they swear by them. In the context that ayahuasca is used it’s not just a psychadelic – the ritual that surrounds it and the guidance of a shaman gives a context to the experience that I think is lacking in Western culture.

DMT as a natural compound is actually incredibly ubiquitous and can be extracted from some grasses, wattle and poisonous toads (kiss a frog, see a prince, that kind of thing). And here’s the coolest part – DMT is actually found in the human body, naturally produced as a result of metabolism. Governments aren’t big on spending money on hallucinogen research (unless it’s to prove how bad they are for you), so we don’t know a huge amount about it – oh the humanity! But they did allow one project to research it, Rick Strassman, who went on to write “The Spirit Molecule”.

He says that DMT is released naturally from the pineal gland, which is also called the third eye (really!). Fossils have been found with an opening above where the pineal eye should be, and in modern-day reptiles it senses light and can control pigment changes.


In humans, the pineal gland senses light via the retinas and serves to help establish biorhythms by producing more melatonin when it is dark, and less when it’s light. Strassman believes that it produces DMT to create dreams when we are sleeping, and in large amounts close to death which may account for near-death experiences. It certainly accounts for the fact that many of the effects of hallucinogens are similar to those experienced when dreaming, and what is dreaming, really, but a hallucination you have while sleeping. He also thinks it may be responsible for so-called alien abductions, but I think that’s stretching it a little. Plus I want to believe.

It’s the dream part that interests me most… what makes the difference between dreams and the real world, between hallucinations and reality? If we can experience a different world by taking drugs, doesn’t that imply that our normal perception of it is created by the molecules naturally found in our brain? Is reality just a biologically controlled high which we call reality because everyone experiences it? What is the chemical basis of reality? That’s what I want to know.

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google


6 Responses to “DMT – The Spirit Drug”

  1. Aj says:

    Finally… there are so many clueless people let alone answereless ones and stagnant ones. It has been fucking great reading another searchers experience and frustration combined with excitement. You should research heart virtue by Greg mooers. May fascinate you to hear about time warps and such from an ex monk/pioneer of artificial intelligence software. Anyway, keep it up. You’re with others like you when you sleep

  2. Gifford says:

    It’s all drugs (perception that is); anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying. Your brain’s ability to operate relies almost entirely on drugs (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, etc.) to perform it’s typical functions; this is why most drugs work, through the action of neurotransmitter attenuation.

  3. Sara says:

    I tried this for the first time last weekend and was absolutely blown away by the experience. I’ve always loved LSD but this was a whole new level of psychedelics!! I definitely went to a different dimension and it was absolutely indescribable. Thanks for the interesting read, much appreciated.

  4. par says:

    One thing that i would like to point out is that some of rick strassmans speculations are taken as fact in this article, that’s a common misconception though.

  5. don says:

    It’s not as popular because of its rarity. At least in my city.

  6. emily says:

    i think thats totally right because every
    body because we all see it but when on drugs it’s differnet it’s like our own world in the way that we see it

Buy me a Beer!
    If you don't want me to mention your donation just check the box above.
  • $ 0.00
Follow @CaptainSkellett (533 followers)
Find Me Writin’s