10 November 2009


5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive tryptamine which was first identified in the mid 20th Century as a chemical in a South American plant entheogen.


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5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive tryptamine which was first identified in the mid 20th Century as a chemical in a South American plant entheogen. It is a common constituent of many different plants and has been used traditionally in psychoactives snuffs such as Yopo from the Anadenanthera colubrina seeds, Epena from Virola sap, and some ayahuasca-type brews where 5-MeO-DMT containing plants are used as admixtures.

In other parts of the world, 5-MeO-DMT is mostly encountered as a crystalline chemical and smoked, snorted, or swallowed for recreation and/or insight.

5-MeO-DMT is sometimes confused with its more well-known cousin N,N-DMT (usually just called "DMT") which can lead to disasterous results because of the large difference in appropriate dosages (5-MeO-DMT's dosage is perhaps 1/10 to 1/2 that of N,N-DMT, depending on individual reaction).

5-MeO-DMT has been called just "5MEO", but as other "5-MeO" (methoxy group on the 5 position, such as 5-MeO-DiPT) psychoactives have become known this shortened name is slowly losing its usefulness. 5-MeO-DMT's effects are much less visual than N,N-DMT's, with many users reporting no visual distortions at all. The experience itself is sometimes characterised as "the void".

The standard dosage range for smoked 5-MeO-DMT is between 2-15 mg; for insufflation the dose range is 5-20 mg. These are very small amounts of material and should be measured extremely carefully. Many people achieve full world-shattering effects at as low as 3-5 mg (8-12 insufflated) and it is not uncommon for individuals who smoke 20-30 mg to have psychological and mental difficulties lasting several weeks.

5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a naturally occurring chemical in the tryptamine class. It is related structurally to N,N-DMT, Bufotenine, Psilocybin, and Psilocin.

In the early 1950s, 5-MeO-DMT was identified as one of the main psychoactive ingredients in "cohoba" snuffs used in the northern Amazon basin. Its use in the form of snuffs and brews has been documented as early as the 8th Century A.D. from a burial site in Northern Chile which found snuffing paraphernalia and traces of N,N-DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and Bufotenine. Other archeological sites have also uncovered seeds of 5-MeO-DMT containing Anadenanthera species from around the same time period. Its use as a recreational psychoactive has increased through the 80's and 90's.

The Substance: 5-MeO-DMT; 5-MeO.
The Experience: Tripping; The Void.

The smoked 5-MeO-DMT experience is short, but generally incredibly intense. Onset is fast and furious, sometimes compared to being launched from a cannon. It is a fully engaging and enveloping experience of visions (actual visual effects less common) which varies greatly from one individual to the next. Users report profound changes in ontological perspective, experiencing the void, the shattering of the universe, frightening and overwhelming forces, complete shifts in perception and identity followed by an abrupt return to baseline.

Because of the nature and intensity of the experience, users are almost always seated or lying down with someone nearby to take the pipe as the experience begins. Unlike with N,N-DMT, few users report significant coherent visual effects.

The insufflated 5-MeO-DMT experience has a slower/gentler onset, with effects building over 20-45 minutes, and after-effects lasting for one to three hours. Users report being better able to integrate the intensity and insights achieved from this method, with more clarity of thought, and time to explore those thoughts. As with the smoked method, dose response is extremely variable, and a heavy dose can be equally difficult, with after-effects lasting hours or days.

When smoked, 5-MeO-DMT generally reaches full effects within 10-60 seconds of inhalation. Insufflated, effects come in generally within 5 minutes.

The primary effects of 5-MeO-DMT last approximately 5-20 minutes when smoked, 30-45 minutes when insufflated. For many people there is an additional period of time (one to two hrs) before fully returning to baseline. Some people find the 5-MeO-DMT experience difficult to integrate and experience unsettling thoughts and feelings for days after use.

One of the primary physical problems encountered with smoked 5-MeO-DMT is the harsh nature of the smoke which can cause throat and lung irritation. Integration of the experience can also cause difficulties for some individuals, especially at higher doses. Difficult integration periods can lead to anxiety, difficulty focusing on daily tasks, preoccupation with the experience, difficulty sleeping, etc. Generally these effects dissipate on their own over the course of a few days but there are reports of persisting problems.

The effects of smoked 5-MeO-DMT are dramatically increased if used by individuals currently taking MAOIs. MAOIs are most commonly found in the prescription anti-depressants phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, l-deprenyl, and moclobemide. Check with your doctor if you are not sure whether your prescription medication is an MAOI.
Do not stand up. Do not operate heavy machinery. Do not drive.
Individuals currently in the midst of emotional or psychological upheaval in their everyday lives should be careful about choosing to use psychedelics such as 5-MeO-DMT as they can trigger even more difficulty.
Individuals with a family history of schizophrenia or early onset mental illness should be extremely careful because psychedelics have been known to trigger latent psychological and mental problems.

Addiction potential
5-MeO-DMT is neither physically addicting nor likely to cause psychological dependance. As with most substances, some people will use it more frequently than they are comfortable with. There is a short period of tolerance after 5-MeO-DMT use. Using 5-MeO-DMT a second time within a few hours is likely to lead to a significantly diminished experience the second time.

- Article used with the permission of Last modified April 2009.

Erowid caution and disclaimer

This Erowid article is a summary of data gathered from Erowid site visitors, government documents, books, websites, and other resources. As this field is complex and constantly changing, information should always be verified through additional sources.


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