Microdosing DMT… Wait, That’s a Thing?

Vaping DMT
As more and more folks seek healing in the practice of taking small amounts of psilocybin or LSD a few times per week, some more adventurous wellness explorers have been experimenting with microdosing DMT. What does taking tiny amounts of the 'Spirit Molecule' do? Are there therapeutic benefits to it? Is it safe to do? Read more to find out what we know about this emerging practice so far.

Microdosing Psychedelics – An Alternative to Pharmaceuticals

War veterans looking to alleviate their PTSD symptoms; high-performance executives striving to take their business to the next level; artists and creatives yearning for flow and inspiration; multitasking moms in need of decompression and reconnection; or even that nextdoor neighbor who’d never seemed like the type, but who has, since recently, become a beacon of calm, presence, and happiness…

Nowadays, more and more people are giving microdosing a try. This practice of taking small (sub-perceptual) amounts of psychedelics differs from having full-blown psychedelic journeys in that it doesn’t yield psychoactive effects but instead produces a variety of psychological benefits.

While it’s not news that psychedelics are not harmful and can be powerfully therapeutic when used responsibly, the matter of their legality still keeps many at bay. However, as promising scientific research [1] keeps coming out, the ripples of drug reform [2] are starting to emerge and expand, at least throughout the US.

Certain scheduled substances, such as psilocybin, have even been granted ‘breakthrough’ therapy status [3] by the FDA, expediting their research and eventual pharmacological application.

The need for healing and reconnection to the self, others, and the world is real - and microdosing has become the vessel for so many to attain these heightened states.

Although many studies on the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics exist, [4] scientific confirmation of the effects of microdosing as a practice is still a ways off. However, a growing body of personal reports of therapeutic effects of microdosing can be found on online forums such as Reddit, and Facebook groups.

With this abundance of positive feedback, those who can get their hands on psychedelic medicines have been trying out their own regimens.

Depending on the substance consumed, people claim microdosing helps them with:

  • Managing symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental conditions
  • Reducing or eliminating addiction to alcohol, tobacco, psychiatric medicine, opiates, or other heavy drugs
  • Enhancing mood, presence, clarity, perception, focus, emotional response, mindfulness, or creativity
  • Establishing connection with the plant spirits and entering shamanic states of consciousness
Want to learn how to grow your own microdosing medicine? Check out this mushroom growing course from our friends at DoubleBlind:
DoubleBlind mushroom growing course

The Emerging Practice of Microdosing DMT

While most microdosers choose psilocybin mushrooms or LSD, tried and true and most readily available options, a growing community of seekers has been experimenting with microdosing DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine). While still on the fringes, the practice seems to be gaining popularity.

DMT is commonly referred to as one of the most potent psychedelic substances in existence. It is typically smoked or vaporized as a crystal or in a changa, a smokable blend of DMT and various herbs; alternatively, it can be added in plant or crystal form to a brew containing B. caapi (ayahuasca vine) or another MAOI-containing ingredient such as Syrian rue to create ayahuasca or anahuasca, respectively.

How to Microdose DMT?

Microdosing such a powerful compound requires subtle intake, and most users prefer to consume their doses either by smoking mild changa joints or by vaporizing the DMT in E-liquid form in a vape pen.

Both these approaches have their benefits, and it comes down to preference: while with changa you can get a synergy of herbal healing effects, with a vape pen it’s possible to measure out the doses more precisely and thus experience more consistent effects.

As Changa

Because infusing DMT into an herbal mix can yield non-homogenous results, the user’s ability to precisely measure out DMT intake if taken in changa form is diminished. This is why microdosing DMT this way may also be referred to as minidosing.

Changa is typically prepared by dissolving DMT into a blend of healing and aromatic herbs such as passionflower, skullcap, mullein, blue lotus, and many others. Each blend has its own profile of effects and, in the end, it comes down to personal preference and healing needs.

Interested in learning how to make your own changa? Get our free Guide to Making Changa!

A mild blend typically contains about -DMT content in weight, while the rest is made up of the herbal ingredient(s). Most users report that taking a few puffs of such a blend when in need is enough to bring on rapid healing or clarity.

Changa herbs

Some of the herbs commonly added to changa blends. Photo courtesy of the Psychedelic Witch

Vaporizing

DMT can be more precisely microdosed by vaporization; for this reason, individuals who are more susceptible to its psychoactive effects may choose this method in order to benefit more consistently from well-measured sub-threshold experiences.

The compound is ideally vaporized when added to a cartridge of E-liquid or ‘vape juice’ consisting of solvents, most typically propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. When vaped, each inhale will deliver a relatively equal amount of the compound to the bloodstream.

TIP: Some DMT microdosers have reported that shaking the pen prior to vaping helps enhance the effects. As DMT isn’t fully dissolved in the mixing agents used to create the E-liquid, shaking can help recombine them. 

Another option is to vape a changa mix in a dry herb vaporizer. While this may be less harmful to the lungs than smoking a joint, unless the blend is ground to relative homogeneity, the results may be less consistent than vaping DMT E-liquid. 

NOTE: Because the ‘Spirit Molecule’ needs a high temperature to convert into vapor, vape pens used must be equipped with a battery that runs a high charge.

Can Microdosing DMT Have Therapeutic Effects?

Although full-blown DMT experiences are well-known for catalyzing ‘breakthrough’ journeys to entirely ineffable multidimensional realms teeming with intelligent entities communicating life-changing messages to those who visit, small doses of the ‘Spirit Molecule’ reportedly induce a variety of therapeutic benefits, while keeping the user fully grounded in the default reality.

Here are some community reports those microdosing DMT have shared with us:

It clears my migraines for me, side effect is I'm on top of the world.

B.E.

A lot of body pain relief with mild visuals.

L.F.

Can feel like closing all the open tabs on the web browser in your mind.

D.F.

A 4:1 or 5:1 by weight (caapi leaf to DMT) Changa blend is a very therapeutic, relaxed, reset button. It can be hit once casually and treated as a microdose to bring you into your body and serve as a quick remembrance. 🖖🏼🌱 Small-dose DMT has a funny effect that feels like finding and resetting baseline neurochemistry imo.

S.

Gives you like a soul high buzz. Or the 15min residual [afterglow] effect after the 5min peak of a deeper send, It's pretty much just 20min of residual effect.

S.T.

I find that when I am centered and meditating the messages are much more clear. It helps with negative misperceptions, and identify and deal with emotions.

C.M.

I find it can help ground me and loosen up my body.

M.T.

I have micro doses when I’m painting, everything flows easily, helps to connect with the material.

D.J.K.

Can feel like closing all the open tabs on the web browser in your mind.

D.F.

The positive experiences described appear to reflect the various benefits reported from more commonly microdosed psychedelics and plant medicines, plus some additional ones, unique to the ‘Spirit Molecule’.

However, in full disclosure, one community member also reported their friend experiencing adverse effects:

It may help with PTSD and depression or you might lose your mind. It helped my PTSD but my friend had a terrible experience. His bad experience was after about a year of microdosing (something like .02 a month), one day he just lost it and started hearing voices and stuff, then he just kinda faded out.

N.D.

It remains unclear whether this friend had any (diagnosed or undiagnosed) mental condition.

On the whole, though, these reports indicate that small doses of DMT, either smoked in a mild changa blend or vaporized as pure crystal, may have numerous healing and quality of life-enhancing effects.

In fact, the abundance of positive anecdotal evidence has actually inspired science to start looking into therapeutic properties of DMT. In a recent study [5] conducted on rodents, researchers reported the following:

CHRONIC, INTERMITTENT MICRODOSES OF THE PSYCHEDELIC N,N-DIMETHYLTRYPTAMINE (DMT) PRODUCE POSITIVE EFFECTS ON MOOD AND ANXIETY IN RODENTS | OLSON ET AL, 2019

The behavioral and cellular effects of this [micro]dosing regimen were distinct from those induced following a single high dose of the drug. We found that chronic, intermittent, low doses of DMT produced an antidepressant-like phenotype and enhanced fear extinction learning without impacting working memory or social interaction. Taken together, our results suggest that [DMT] microdosing may alleviate symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders.

However, the authors also caution that further research is needed to ascertain whether the practice may have any negative long-term effects.

Is Microdosing DMT Safe?

While DMT experiences themselves should not pose any inherent health danger to healthy individuals, the lack of scientific knowledge about long-term effects of microdosing psychedelics in general keeps the question of its medical safety on the table.

According to anecdotal reports, for substances like psilocybin and LSD, a regimen consisting of ingesting 1/20-1/10 of an active dose every 3-4 days is generally considered safe over a period not longer than three months.

Want to learn everything you need to know about microdosing, including which medicine to choose and how to set up a regimen that works for you? Download our free workbook and guide to Microdosing Earth Medicine.

Chemically, the N,N-DMT molecule is quite similar to psilocin, the pharmacologically active compound which psilocybin is converted into by the liver. As such, theoretically, microdosing DMT should be of the same level of safety.

In the rodent study quoted above, however, the team reported some potential risks of microdosing DMT. They found that the dosing regimen significantly increased body weight in male rats, and caused neuronal atrophy in female rats.

The duration of the study was seven weeks, and the regimen in question consisted of low dose (1 mg/kg) DMT injections applied every third day - a rate of intake representative of a typical microdosing regimen in humans. 

DMT MD regimen rodents

Low dose DMT regimen in Olson et al (2019) study 

For this reason, and due to microdosing DMT being, for now, an uncommon practice, we urge our readers to be cautious if choosing to experiment with this compound.

How to Get DMT for Microdosing?

An important factor inhibiting DMT microdosing from truly taking off is its relative scarcity. While ayahuasca vine extract can be legally shipped to most countries, mushrooms can be found in nature almost everywhere (and can be easily grown at home), San Pedro is legal to grow and acquire in most places, and LSD is readily available to almost anyone who makes an effort to find it; DMT, either in plant or extracted form, can be hard to come by - pretty much everywhere except in Australia.

Why is DMT so rare?

The plants which contain DMT in significant quantities can be found mostly in the South American Amazon, abundantly throughout Australia, and in a few regions of Africa.

In South America, DMT is rarely extracted, and mostly consumed as part of the ayahuasca brew or as yopo snuff.

In Africa, DMT-containing species are scattered and not in abundance; additionally, since ayahuasca-like brews are not traditionally made and yopo-like plants don’t exist, DMT did not make its way into ancestral rituals.

Australia, on the other hand, is brimming with DMT-containing Acacia tree species, and is home to a vibrant DMT/ayahuasca community. As DMT-rich plant matter is relatively easily obtained, psychonauts either choose to extract the crystal themselves or have access to either the crystal itself or ready-made changa blends.

DMT: DIY 

However, all is not lost for North American denizens – numerous online shops stock and ship DMT-containing plants!

To learn about the most common plants used for extraction and how to obtain them, head over to our article on The Top 5 DMT-Containing Plants.

NOTE: Although shipping restrictions are typically made explicit upon ordering, we strongly advise anyone interested to contact the supplier directly to ensure safe and legal delivery.

Depending on the procedure (tek) chosen, the process of DMT extraction itself can be very simple. The basic extraction teks require a minimum of chemistry knowledge and can be performed with easily obtainable chemical solvents.

Then, to create a changa blend, the extracted crystal is simply dissolved with ethanol or a similar solvent into the desired herbal mix, which is ready to smoke after drying out.

Herbs & dissolved DMT

Dry herbs on the left and dissolved DMT on the right. Put them together and magic is created. Photo courtesy of the Psychedelic Witch

For some of the most common, as well as more exotic changa blends, check out our articles:

Should You Try Microdosing DMT?

As with other forms of microdosing, the reported benefits currently seem to outweigh potential risks, especially if done with moderation and not maintained over extensive periods of time. However, as DMT microdosing is still in its early stages, the anecdotal as well as scientific reports are not in abundance.

Knowing whether a practice can be in any way harmful, especially to those with certain illnesses or conditions, or on pharmaceutical regimens, is a necessity for being able to recommend it – no matter the potential benefits.

Due to the lack of official data, microdosing DMT at this point should only be attempted by physically healthy people who aren’t on any kind of chronic medication, and who don’t have a family history of mental illness, especially psychosis. If procuring the compound is a possibility, reports so far suggest that these individuals may experience therapeutic benefits from microdosing DMT.

However, with entheogenic plants only just beginning to become decriminalized in select places in the US, while still being scheduled on a federal level, at the time being, potential legal issues pose the largest obstacle to microdosing psychedelics in general, and DMT, as a relatively rare substance, in particular.

In summary, while we wish our readers all the healing and other positive effects that may result from microdosing DMT, we encourage everyone to fully inform themselves and carefully weigh out the risks and the benefits before taking up this practice.

References

[1] Psychedelic Treatment with Psilocybin Relieves Major Depression, Study Shows. Retreived in July 2021 from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/psychedelic-treatment-with-psilocybin-relieves-major-depression-study-shows

[2] California Senate Approves Bill To Legalize Possession Of Psychedelics Like Psilocybin And LSD. Retreived in July 2021 from: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/california-senate-approves-bill-to-legalize-possession-of-psychedelics-like-psilocybin-and-lsd/

[3] FDA Calls Psychedelic Psilocybin a 'Breakthrough Therapy' for Severe Depression. Retreived in July 2021 from: https://www.livescience.com/psilocybin-depression-breakthrough-therapy.html

[4] Tupper KW, Wood E, Yensen R, Johnson MW. Psychedelic medicine: a re-emerging therapeutic paradigm. CMAJ. 2015;187(14):1054-1059.

[5] Lindsay P. Cameron, Charlie J. Benson, Brian C. DeFelice, Oliver Fiehn, and David E. Olson (2019). Chronic, Intermittent Microdoses of the Psychedelic N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Produce Positive Effects on Mood and Anxiety in Rodents. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 10 (7), 3261-3270

xfrancuski@gmail.com'

About Xavier Francuski

Born in India, grew up in Serbia, lived and traveled throughout the world, Xavier's uprooted existence fuels his instinct for exploration. With a masters degree in research psychology, he is a passionate educator on the topic of psychedelics, trying to reconcile the astounding nature of the realms beyond with what sense we can make of them in this one. Currently living in Southeast Asia and working as a staff writer for several major psychedelic websites.

Leave a Comment