If you’ve been exploring psychedelics for a while, you may have come across 5-MeO-DMT. It’s one of the most fascinating psychedelics we can think of. In fact, the experience with 5-MeO-DMT is nothing like other psychoactive drugs. And the impact of this medicine lasts long after the initial trip if you take the right lessons from it.
So, what separates 5-MeO-DMT from the rest of the psychedelic drugs you usually hear about? This article from Tandava will discuss 20 things that make 5-MeO-DMT one of the most unique psychedelics you could work with.
What Is 5-MeO-DMT?
First, let’s dive into what 5-MeO-DMT actually is. It’s a psychedelic medicine that many prize for its ability to spark self-reflection. The chemical compound is found in various plants and even toads
The experience with 5-MeO-DMT is almost purely metaphysical. Rather than being an intense sensory experience, it is known to trigger a sense of non-duality. We might describe the experience as mystical or spiritual, but frankly, the experience is entirely subjective.
Working with 5-MeO-DMT often causes an individual to make major changes to their lifestyle. Hence, it can be seen as an extremely beneficial step in your self-improvement journey.
We’ll explore the history of 5-MeO-DMT and the nature of this medicine in the rest of the article.
20 Things You Should Know About 5-MeO-DMT
It’s Incredibly Potent
5-MeO-DMT is probably one of the most potent psychedelic compounds we know of. Even a low dose range can produce an extremely powerful experience in humans.
If you’ve worked with other psychedelics, they won’t really provide an accurate picture of how your 5-MeO-DMT experience will go. The truth of the matter is, 5-MeO-DMT is so powerful that many liken it to a near-death experience. For this reason, the medicine is not suitable for everyone. In fact, any facilitator of the experience should consider your medical history before allowing you to go through with it.
5-MeO-DMT Is An Intellectual Medicine
When you think of other psychedelics, like magic mushrooms or Ayahuasca, you likely imagine a medicine that produces extreme physical and tactile sensations. After all, Ayahuasca is known to cause purging, and magic mushrooms often create vivid hallucinations.
However, 5-MeO-DMT is quite different. While you will likely see various geometric shapes and colors during your experience, it’s uncommon to find this notable compared to the range of emotions and feelings the medicine prompts. Ayahuasca might show you something visually that makes you reconsider some aspect of your life. However, 5-MeO-DMT will likely go a few steps further by creating an emotional case for reconsidering the way you live and perceive your life.
A Short-lasting Experience
5-MeO-DMT is a short-lived experience. At least, from the outside looking in. The medicine takes effect almost immediately after you first smoke it. Following this, you will have about 10 to 45 minutes to experience 5-MeO-DMT’s full effects before they wear off.
Don’t be scared off by this. One feature of the 5-MeO-DMT trip is that you won’t be able to perceive the passage of time. Therefore, your experience won’t be hindered by the perception that it’s short. In fact, many people feel as though they’ve been out for several days when they come to. That’s often because they felt that the changes they experienced during the trip were far more meaningful than anything else they had felt in their life before. The medicine packs quite a bit of emotional impact.
For thousands of years, both shamans and ordinary individuals have worked with 5-MeO-DMT as a means of tapping into the spiritual realm. Due to the transcendent nature of this medicine, the potential for mystical experiences abounds.
Moreover, 5-MeO-DMT is certainly adaptable to many different types of spirituality. The shamanic interpretations are certainly at the forefront, but even these interpretations can be quite diverse. If you wish, you may bring your own notions of spirituality to 5-MeO-DMT. At Tandava, we work with our clients to build a container that aligns with their values – that means we frame your lessons from the medicine in a way you can easily digest.
For instance, we might implement the “Hero’s Journey” framework in our retreats. This framework draws from both Western and Eastern philosophies to give the participant a sense of overcoming. In short, the participant becomes the protagonist who answers a call to action and subsequently overcomes a major challenge thus returning home victorious. It’s easy to see how closely this relates to myths across several cultures.
3,000 years ago, tribes indigenous to South America began working with 5-MeO-DMT. They usually found 5-MeO-DMT in the form of crushed seeds. It was not until much later that the medicine achieved a degree of notoriety among Westerners.
There is no single “perfect” way to obtain 5-MeO-DMT. You can find the medicine in 9 different plants and in animals like the Sonoran Desert Toad. In addition to this, 5-MeO-DMT has been synthesized in laboratories for several decades.
At this point, there is really no difference between the quality of your 5-MeO-DMT trip no matter which format you choose to take it in. However, keep in mind that toads are living creatures, and their population has been dwindling drastically as a result of some overly-eager psychonauts who have been harvesting venom in search of a potent 5-MeO-DMT trip. We would discourage this practice seeing as the toad populations might not recover if people continue to abuse toads this way. Synthetic sources are the most sustainable since a uniform dose can be reliably created in this format.
Feelings Of Unity
More than anything, 5-MeO-DMT inspires a feeling of interconnectedness with the world. This is often what people mean when they speak of non-duality. In essence, non-duality allows you to lose your sense of self, and at the same time, your sense of selfishness. The subject-object dichotomy dissolves. Consequently, it occurs to people that they are connected to other human beings, animals, plants, and the rest of the universe. This makes people feel a sort of love that they can’t find anywhere else.
5-MeO-DMT is known to activate both the serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor in your brain. Psilocybin and LSD are known to produce similar effects in the 2A receptor, while the 1A receptor is generally targeted by SSRI medications.
Increased levels of serotonin are often associated with improved moods. In fact, serotonin is often used in anti-depressant pills. Your body and your brain will benefit substantially from these gains.
This also means that anyone at a high risk of Serotonin Syndrome is advised not to work with 5-MeO-DMT.
5-MeO-DMT’s Unique Chemical Structure
The reason why 5-MeO-DMT activates your serotonin receptors is that its structure as a chemical compound is quite similar to Serotonin. The chemical is also similar in structure to Nn-DMT, which also goes by the name “DMT” or “Ayahuasca”. However, the two chemicals differ substantially in how they impact your brain.
Changes In Neural Activity
The use of 5-MeO-DMT has been associated with changes in brain activity, including increased connectivity between brain regions and altered patterns of neural activity. 5-MeO-DMT makes it easier for your brain to make new pathways, which is reflected in your improved ability to make new connections in your daily life. People often find themselves able to take on new perspectives and act with more empathy as a result of their 5-MeO-DMT experience.
At our retreats, we usually use neurotransmitter devices to give our clients a picture of how their brain is evolving after experiencing 5-MeO-DMT.
Positive Mental Health Outcomes
Within the last few years, a fair amount of studies have been released that suggest that 5-MeO-DMT can be beneficial for those suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
One of the foremost pieces of literature in this domain is a 2019 Johns Hopkins University study that revealed that 80% of the people surveyed in their study saw a sustained enhancement in treatment-resistant depression symptoms for several months following their 5-MeO-DMT experience. Note that the study was very narrow in scope. There were only roughly 300 participants. Moreover, all the reports were anecdotal.
As far as PTSD goes, it was reported in 2020 that 3-5 doses of 5-MeO-DMT administered over 3 days led to a substantial reduction in PTSD symptoms. Unlike the depression study, this one was a little more controlled and they also noticed reductions in suicidal ideation, anxiety, and other depression symptoms. In fact, they noted that starting at the 2-hour mark after the trip was finished, the participants’ anxiety symptoms already started decreasing. In the days and months that followed, this decrease only became more evident.
Room For More Research
5-MeO-DMT has been around for a long time, but little research has been conducted on the subject. There is still much to be learned about its mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic applications. Unfortunately, its legal status has been the main inhibitor to more clinical trials getting completed. But with the current US administration looking at liberalizing laws surrounding psychedelic drugs, it could just be a matter of time before more research on 5-MeO-DMT surfaces and we get a clearer picture of what this medicine does. This could be the beginning of a new era for psychedelic and consciousness research.
5-MeO-DMT’s Varied Legal Status
We mentioned that researchers struggle to study 5-MeO-DMT due to its legal status, however, part of the reason why people have even been able to study it at all is that 5-MeO-DMT occupies a less stringent legal position in other jurisdictions. For instance, in Portugal and Mexico, 5-MeO-DMT occupies a legal gray area that allows medicinal retreats to flourish. Hence, many of those making anecdotal reports of their acute psychedelic experience in the aforementioned studies are likely experiencing these psychedelics in those countries.
Relive Intense Emotional Experiences
5-MeO-DMT usually sparks experiences that are intensely emotional and have massive psychological implications. These can be very challenging. In fact, there will often be a point in your 5-MeO-DMT trip where you’ll attempt to resist the effects of the medicine, and you’ll eventually need to surrender. This can be seen as a metaphor for the type of surrender you must make in your life, a surrender to your true path.
You might also relive some sort of deep trauma, perhaps even one that you’ve forgotten. Being able to identify this trauma could spur you to resolve a deep psychological issue you overlooked in the past.
Alterations In Personality
Not everyone will change their personality after working with 5-MeO-DMT, but you might add certain personality traits. Due to the increased connections you’re making in your brain, you might find that you’re more open-minded and creative. You might be able to try your hand at new skills that you’ve never explored before. Or, you could become much more effective at solving problems.
Also known as “Ego Death”, ego dissolution is a term for the peculiar and unusual experience that individuals might feel during their 5-MeO-DMT trip. Essentially, there comes a point in each ceremony where the participant meets a void, often represented by a bright white light, which they must join. When they join this, they feel momentarily merged with the entire universe. This is where the feelings of unity may come in, at the same time, this can be the most confronting, beautiful, or even terrifying moment of someone’s life.
5-MeO-DMT Is Indescribable
We’ve thrown a lot of terms around to describe 5-MeO-DMT, but frankly, you need to try 5-MeO-DMT once before understanding its true power. We can barely capture the experience in words ourselves, and we’ve worked with 5-MeO-DMT many times in the past.
The reality is that the medicine will probably show you something that you need to see. Since we’re all on different journeys in life, you’ll see something different during your trip from whatever you read or watch online. The point of your trip is to focus on healing and growing, don’t let what anyone says affect your experience.
Psychedelic Integration Is Essential
You can’t fully experience 5-MeO-DMT without going through the proper integration processes afterward. Many people will try to cram as many different psychedelic and otherwise spiritual experiences into a short time frame. This is a recipe for a hollow life, and an inability to derive meaning from your experiences. 5-MeO-DMT is a medicine that deserves your full attention. In fact, we often recommend strict limits to your diet and the other substances you consume during this period, so as not to interfere with your uptake of the medicine.
Integration implies that you’ll fully analyze the lessons you learned during your 5-MeO-DMT trip. You should have prepared yourself beforehand by asking yourself what you expect to get out of the experience. Afterwards, you can ask yourself what changes you should make in your life and what steps you can take to get there.
5-MeO-DMT Requires Supervision
Without question, 5-MeO-DMT is a medicine that you must use under full supervision. Since you won’t be in a normal state of consciousness during your trip, you need someone to accompany you. And that someone shouldn’t just be anyone. Rather, it should be a trip facilitator who has plenty of experience working with 5-MeO-DMT or other psychedelics. Moreover, they should have some degree of first-aid training, and a backup plan in case anything goes wrong.
A Retreat Setting Is Ideal
Some people who say they work with 5-MeO-DMT will tell you that they can get you in and out in a few hours. This is, quite possibly, the worst way to work with 5-MeO-DMT.
You want to take 5-MeO-DMT in a relaxing environment. One where you’re surrounded by experienced professionals of the kind we mentioned before. You need to give the medicine your full focus after all.
Having your mind clear during this period will give you time for self-reflection and meditation. It will also allow you to alleviate stress quicker, considering how intense the build-up to the medicine is.
What A Tandava Retreat Looks Like
Now that you understand some of the more interesting traits and benefits of 5-MeO-DMT, here is some insight into what 5-MeO-DMT retreats look like based on our experience hosting retreats at our center in Mexico.
Before we can confirm your attendance at the retreat, we need to screen you for your suitability to 5-MeO-DMT. You shouldn’t take any medications that are contraindicated with 5-MeO-DMT. Moreover, certain health conditions make you at risk for accidents during a 5-MeO trip. We’ll have you submit a saliva swab to see if you’re at risk for things like serotonin syndrome.
Naturally, we also want to get to know you to ensure that your heart is in the right place with this retreat. Don’t come in expecting quick fixes to your problems.
Once you pass through our pre-screening procedures, we’ll take more time to get to know you through Zoom calls. This phase is vital. For you to thrive during your 5-MeO experience, you need to be able to submit fully to the medicine. And to fully submit to the medicine, you need to trust us.
Moreover, we’re going to help you prepare for the lessons you learn from the medicine and integrate them afterward. To do this, we’ll build a container for your experience that is representative of your experiences and values. Since you have a goal you want to achieve with the medicine, we’ll design your retreat experience with that objective in mind.
When you arrive at our retreat center, you’ll likely be at least a bit tired. That’s because, after your flight to Mexico City, you’ll need to take a 90-minute drive south of the airport to reach our center. Not to worry, the drive is arranged by our team.
Our retreat center is located in an idyllic portion of Mexico. It’s wrapped up in a lush range of mountains, with plenty of small historical towns nearby.
Your ceremony will take place on your second day at the center. Beforehand, you’ll meet your guides, who you will already be familiar with at this point, and they will lie you down a soft pad. You will take the 5-MeO-DMT, and as the medicine takes effect, the guides will burn incense and chant softly as you come to grips with this new state of consciousness.
The facilitators will oversee your trip to ensure that it runs smoothly. Should anything go wrong, they have all the experience and resources they need to handle the problem.
We also weave quite a few activities into the retreat to help relax you and make you more amenable to the benefits of 5-MeO-DMT.
Every day at our center begins with a little yoga and breathwork. This will help relax you for the rest of the day. Apart from this, we designed our retreat center to help promote peaceful activities like meditation, so you can easily reflect on the weighty experience you’ve just had or are about to have. Your nutrition is also critical, so we serve 3 healthy meals per day so you can remain focused during your stay. Everything is organized so that you can unwind peacefully. We handle everything that people find stressful when they travel to a different locale.
We already discussed just how vital integration is to your ability to process 5-MeO-DMT. Our style of integration somewhat resembles psychotherapy. We will give you 4 Zoom sessions following the retreat for you to talk your experience over with us. Hopefully, you will find these sessions fruitful, and we will hold you accountable for staying on track with your goals after the retreat.
How To Learn More
We’ve divulged quite a few interesting facts about 5-MeO-DMT in this article, but really, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.
You’ve already got the momentum started. Your curiosity must be piqued. By now, you likely have some other burning questions about 5-MeO-DMT, perhaps relating to your specific situation.
We’ve encountered a very diverse assortment of people at our retreats in the past. 5-MeO-DMT can be molded towards you and your worldview. So, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask us. You could kick off the first step to becoming the person you were always meant to be.