What does a DMT trip feel like?

DMT is a powerful hallucinogen that has inspired shamans and philosophers for a long time. Shamans used it for spiritual journeys to the proverbial “Other Side” of consciousness. More recently the drug was made famous by the writings and musings of American philosopher and botanist Terence Mckenna, who claimed to have been transformed by an experience of taking DMT, and believed that the drug provides a genuine gateway to an unseen level of existence.

A researcher named Rick Strassman was granted an exceptional permission to study the effects of DMT on the human mind. The result was the excellent book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

This post was written by my friend “F”, by request from me. It’s a firsthand account of what taking the drug felt like for him.

Thank you, “F”, for this fascinating piece!


(DMT crystals)

DMT (Dimethyltryptamine for long) is a hallucinogenic drug discovered by various different ancient cultures and, used by them for ritual purposes. These cultures, however, only used the natural resource DMT that is produced by several plants, for example the Mimosa tenuiflora, or in the toad species Bufo marinus. The first method of synthetisizing N,N-Dimethyltryptamine was discovered by the Canadian Richard Helmuth Fredrick Manske (I would guess of German descent). DMT makes you see things that aren’t real, or simply alters your perception of reality.

In Wikipedia, you can find a lot about it, e.g. that it’s a hallucinogenic drug and what its chemical composition is, but I won’t get stuck on that stuff as there aren’t that many people interested in that aspect.


(Chemical structure of Dimethyltryptamine)

DMT can be injected, smoked in a crack pipe or snorted. However, if you plan on taking it, you should ask what exact version of DMT you are getting, as for example only the freebase-version can be smoked just like marijuana. If you take it as Ayahuasca (the form favored by ancient shamans to induce spiritual “journeys”) on the other hand, you have to ingest another substance to stop your body from metabolizing it too fast. But, as mentioned before, you should ask your dealer about what exact kind you are getting and what style of consumption he or she recommends.

Also (and this can’t be stressed enough), don’t take any drugs from people you don’t know or don’t know enough about the drugs they are selling, and if you try something you’ve never done before, have a person with you that you trust so that he/she can handle any bad effects. This accounts for all drugs, but especially for things like LSD or DMT, because there might be lasting effects of a bad trip that could be prevented with the right help or medical assistance.

I’m supposed to be writing about my very own experience with DMT, so here goes nothing.

First of all, the trip is short – very short. It lasts only for about ten minutes and after that, it’s completely gone.

I should describe the overall picture, because when you are using any psychedelic drug it’s important to know the circumstances. I had heard about DMT 2 days before trying it, and was quite intrigued as I had two experiences with LSD before, and I am interested in hallucinogenic drugs. This was followed by a hasty bit of research on DMT and reconsidering whether I really want to try it. Two days later my best friend asked me (again) whether I’d like to smoke some with her; she had offered that two days prior, too, but I had stuff to do and wanted to educate myself further on what I am planning to consume, as psychedelic drugs are nothing to toy around with.

When I took the drug, it was roughly evening. It was winter so it was already a pitch black night outside with a cloudy sky, and a pale light where you could imagine a moon. But the environment was still very much visible because of the street lights.

We were three, sitting down on a second-story balcony and about to start smoking.

I consumed it as a freebase-version by rolling it into a joint with tobacco and marijuana, and the first thing I noticed was the taste: Do you remember your gym shoes, drenched in sweat and probably rotting in the corner, developing sentient life? Think about dragging them through a waste depot, then lighting them on fire and inhaling the fumes. It’s freaking disgusting, but once it’s down your throat, you can enjoy the warm hug of the ensuing trip.


(a “blunt” made of DMT mixed with marijuana)

In my mind, suddenly everything felt light and happy. I wasn’t cold anymore (despite the winter cold), and all the things I worried about felt like they were a million miles away. In general, it made me happier for the moment and made me feel safe and secure. When I looked up, all the lights were shining a little brighter and I noticed all the different particles of dust in the air. I guess you could say it enhanced my perception, but that was just the beginning. Once I went back inside again, I just sat down and stared at the floor. Everything I heard sounded like I was underwater and the visual effects also started to kick in. The effects of drugs are always hard to describe, but to try: Everything looked like it was drawn with watercolor, but the artist had used waaaaaay too much water. It seemed as there was an actual 2-3mm thick surface of water over everything, and on the borders of my field of vision the picture kept blurring and sharpening when I concentrated on it, as if the artist was gently shaking said picture with too much water.

Like I mentioned before, DMT doesn’t last very long, and after I (kind of – my knees still were a bit shaky) sobered up, I checked the clock and about 12 minutes had passed, although it felt like I had been sitting in that chair for ages.

I’ve had my share of hallucinogenics, and it’s common to have a couple of “flashbacks” after e.g. LSD, because trips like that leave a very lasting impression in the brain. For example, after my first LSD trip I had the sudden urge to go for walks in the forest more, and just in general to be closer to nature. But after the ten minute trip on DMT was completely gone, so were any thoughts or decisions I had during the time. I remember how the trip felt and all, but there were absolutely zero things that could lead back to something changing inside me or my world view/view in general during the trip.

To come to a conclusion, I would recommend DMT only for a few people: Either you have money to burn or you want to try out a hallucinogenic drug but aren’t sure whether you’ll like it or not. Because where I am living, it’s 200€ a gram and for about 4 trips with a length of ten minutes, that’s just too much money.

I feel like I should add another thing: Some have probably heard of a so-called breakthrough, something that can be achieved by taking a big amount of DMT. I didn’t have one, but one of my friends did. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t advise going for that on the first few trips, as that is something you need a bit of experience for. Just to encourage further research on your own, a guy I met once described it as “dying, then coming back to life”.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

Have a safe trip, wherever you are!

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