Alan Davis and Rafael Lancelotta presented at the Midwest Psychedelic Therapy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on integrating psychedelic experiences in psychotherapy and some of the latest data from their work on the epidemiology of 5-MeO-DMT use.
The epidemiology of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) use: Benefits, consequences, patterns of use, subjective effects, and reasons for consumption
5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive compound found in several plants and in high concentrations in Bufo alvarius toad venom. Synthetic, toad, and plant-sourced 5-MeO-DMT are used for spiritual and recreational purposes and may have psychotherapeutic effects. However, the use of 5-MeO-DMT is not well understood. Therefore, we examined patterns of use, motivations for consumption, subjective effects, and potential benefits and consequences associated with 5-MeO-DMT use.
Background/Aim: 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive compound found in several plants and in high concentrations in Bufo alvarius toad venom. Synthetic, Toad, and Plant-sourced 5-MeO-DMT are used for spiritual and recreational purposes and may have psychotherapeutic effects. However, the use of 5-MeO-DMT is not well understood. Therefore, we examined patterns of use, motivations for consumption, subjective effects, and potential benefits and consequences associated with 5-MeO-DMT use. Method: Using internet-based advertisements, 515 respondents (Mage=35.4. SD=11.7; Male=79%; White/Caucasian=86%; United States resident=42%) completed a web-based survey. Results: Most respondents consumed 5-MeO-DMT infrequently (<once/year), for spiritual exploration, and had used less than four times in their lifetime. The majority (M=90%) reported moderate to strong mystical-type experiences (Mintensity=3.64/5, SD=1.11; e.g., ineffability, timelessness, awe/amazement, experience of pure being/awareness), and relatively fewer (M=37%) experienced very slight challenging experiences (Mintensity=0.95/5, SD=0.91; e.g., felt heart beating, fear). Less than half (39%) reported repeated consumption during the same session, and very few reported drug craving/desire (8%), or legal (1%), medical (1%), or psychiatric (1%) problems related to use. Furthermore, of those who reported being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, the majority reported improvements in symptoms following 5-MeO-DMT use, including improvements related to post-traumatic stress disorder (79%), depression (77%), anxiety (69%), and alcoholism (66%) or drug use disorder (60%). Conclusion: Findings suggest that 5-MeO-DMT is used infrequently, predominantly for spiritual exploration, has low potential for addiction, and might have psychotherapeutic effects. Future research should examine the safety and pharmacokinetics of 5-MeO-DMT administration in humans using rigorous experimental designs.
5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive indolealkylamine substance found in several plants, in high concentrations in Bufo alvarius toad venom (bufotoxin), and is synthetically produced. 5-MeO-DMT is a potent, fast-acting, psychedelic. Human self-experiments describe the subjective effects of synthetic 5-MeO-DMT as similar to other classic hallucinogens, including a distortion in time perception, and auditory and visionary distortions, with peak effects between 35-40 minutes after insufflation. Inhalation (e.g., smoking or vaporizing) is also a common means of consumption with initial onset of effects within 60 seconds and peak total duration of effect between 5 and 20 minutes. A recent epidemiological survey suggested that 5-MeO-DMT use was associated with a decrease in problems related to substance use. Further exploration of the potential psychotherapeutic benefit of 5-
MeO-DMT could inform future clinical trials.
5-Methyoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive indolealkylamine substance found in several plants and in high concentrations in Bufo alvarius toad venom/bufotoxin. 5-MeO-DMT is also synthetically produced and elicits strong hallucinogenic effects with a rapid onset and a short duration of action.
5-MeO-DMT has been used in various contexts including recreational (e.g., at home, at music festivals) and sacramental (e.g., shamanic rituals) settings. Research has shown that the set and setting of a psychedelic experience are critical factors associated with acute effects. Anecdotal evidence suggests the same may be true for 5-MeO-DMT; however, we could find no empirical support for this assertion. Therefore, we sought to examine the influence of set and setting on the acute and persisting effects of 5-MeO-DMT.
SRF is proud to announce a collaboration between Malin Uthaug and Jan Ramaekers from Maastricht University, Dawn Davis, Alan Davis, and Rafael Lancelotta on an epidemiological survey of people who use mescaline. More details coming soon!