5-Meo-DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound with the most well-known source coming from the venom of the Sonoran Desert Toad, whose habitat is the Southwestern USA and Mexico. However, the harvesting of the venom has put pressure on this toad species so other plants or lab-derived sources are becoming increasingly common, especially for clinical therapeutic research uses. It is similar to DMT but more powerful at the same dose. It works by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain like other psychedelics of the serotonergic class. The compound traditionally is inhaled through smoking, which leads to a very intense but short psychedelic ‘trip’ sometimes described by users as a 4-hour ayahuasca journey condensed into 30 minutes with huge changes in perception and the passage of time, but less ‘visuals’ than with DMT or ayahuasca. Heightened tactile sensory awareness where the body can feel very heavy, as well as shifts in perception, are common, as are intense emotions ranging from terror to euphoria. A sense of ‘oneness’ and a loss of ego is also common.
Research studies in humans using 5-MeO-DMT are extremely limited so far but due to its properties, it shows promise as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression and also helping us understand conditions like schizophrenia in order to develop new and better treatments.
Risks & Cautions: 5Me-O-DMT is an illegal compound in many countries outside of a research context. It is not thought to be addictive and has been used alongside ibogaine for the traditional plant medicine treatment of addictions. It is generally not used ‘recreationally’ or ‘for fun’ but mainly for healing, personal growth, and spiritual purposes. Generally, a history of a psychotic illness in yourself or a close family member is a contraindication to taking 5 Me-O-DMT as use may worsen these conditions. It can also cause a rapid heart rate so a history of heart problems also may put users at higher risk. Because it is inhaled via smoking, anyone with pre-existing lung conditions may also be at higher risk. Use in a safe, guided setting is also important because of the rapid onset of action after smoking including loss of physical coordination (Eg. ability to stand, etc) during the ‘trip’.