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What is DMT?

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug that naturally occurs in a variety of plant species. It produces psychedelic effects that have been compared to psilocybin mushrooms and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). However, it should be noted that DMT’s effects are much more intense than those two compounds.

As of now, DMT is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. This means it’s illegal to produce, purchase, or sell the substance under federal law. However, beyond the fact that some cities have decriminalized DMT, other areas of the country have allowed the substance to be used for religious purposes.

The effects of DMT vary from person to person and depend on a variety of factors. Being that it is a psychedelic substance, an individual’s environment and psychology (at the time of consuming the substance) are two major factors in determining whether the experience will go well or bad.

Likewise, the effects of the experience will vary. However, the most common include:

  • Agitation
  • Altered sense of time
  • Chest pain (or tightness)
  • Depersonalization
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Floating
  • Heightened heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea (or vomiting)
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid rhythmic eye movements
  • Visual disturbances
  • Vivid hallucinations

Once the effects are over, many self-report experiencing extreme shifts within their personality. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. If you’re planning on using DMT for any reason, it’s important to be aware of the intensity of the experience along with the potential psychological changes you may experience afterward.

DMT-Containing Plants

DMT can be found in a variety of plants in the natural world. However, only so many contain large amounts of it. Our list categorizes the plants with higher concentrations of DMT:

Mimosa spp.

Mimosa spp. is a genus of plants that houses over 400 species. The most popular of these is Mimosa hostilis. While it’s native to northeastern region of Brazil, it can also be found in:

  • Colombia
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Venezuela

When it comes to “do it yourself” DMT extractions, M. hostilis is the most commonly used thanks to the high concentrations found in its root bark.

Acacia spp.

Naturally found in varying regions across the world, Acacia has a long history of use among indigenous people for spiritual purposes. While not all Acacia species contain DMT, some have been found to produce large concentrations, including Acacia confusa and Acacia acuminata. It’s commonly brewed in a tea for consumption.

Anadenanthera spp.

Anandenanthera (also known as Yopo) is a genus of trees native to South America and parts of the Caribbean. Besides being used to extract DMT, the beans of this tree also contain high concentrations of:

  • Bufotenine – a tryptamine derivative (or a DMT analog) related to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • 5-MeO-DMT – a psychedelic tryptamine class popularized by a toad species that secrete it through its glands.

Traditionally, beans are crushed up and inhaled as a snuff called cohoba. According to natives, this causes intense visions and insights.

Psychotria viridis

Psychotria viridis (also known as chacruna) is a shrub native to South America and found in the Amazon rainforest (along with other tropical areas in the world). Chacruna is one of the ingredients used in ayahuasca preparation. The main reason behind this is it augments the potency of DMT.

These potencies of DMT are largely found in the leaves and play a significant role in ayahuasca ceremonies. More specifically, they compliment the MAO-inhibiting qualities of the ayahuasca vine.

Types of DMT-Containing Plants

Arundo donax

Arundo donax goes by a variety of names, including:

  • Elephant grass
  • Giant cane
  • Spanish cane
  • Wild cane

Historically used for medical purposes, this plant contains a variety of tryptamines, including DMT, 5-MeO-MMT, 5-MeO-NMT, and bufotenine. While this collection certainly produces intrigue, the documentation of Arundo donax‘s traditional uses is not as well documented as other plants on this list.

Desmanthus illinoensis

Desmanthus illinoensis (also known as Bundleflower) is a plant native to North America. More specifically, it’s most commonly found in the following states:

  • Florida
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

Its leaves and roots are well-known for containing high concentrations of DMT. This has made it a popular plant among Native Americans for medical use.

Diplopterys cabrerana

Diplopterys cabrerana (also known as chagropanga or chaliponga) is a vine from the Amazon rainforest. Being that its vines contains high amounts of DMT, it’s one of the ingredients frequently used in ayahuasca brews. That said, Diplopterys cabrerana is used just as commonly as Psychotria viridis in these ceremonies. On top of this, it’s popular among “do it yourself” DMT extractors.

Virola spp.

Virola (also known as epená, patricá, and cumala) is a genus of trees indigenous to South America. With over 10 species of the genus containing high amounts of DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, it comes as no surprise these are commonly used in psychedelic brews.

Initially, you may be turned off by Virola. The small yellow flowers found sprouting off branches create a sharp odor. However, if you can move past that and get to the leaves, bark, and roots of the tree, you’ll be met with one of the best DMT-extracting ingredients.

Phalaris aquatica

Phalaris aquatica is the most prosperous plant found on this list, appearing in almost every corner of the world. Still, it tends to prefer growing in marshes. Research reveals the seedlings of this grass contain DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and bufotenine.

It’s important to note that this plant is NOT considered safe to make both ayahuasca and DMT extracts. Wild animals that graze on this grass have been found to have adverse effects due to consumption. Some have even resulted in death due to a condition called “Phalaris staggers.” That said, it’s best to avoid Phalaris aquatica altogether.

Phragmites australis

Phragmites australis (also known as Common Reed) is an invasive plant found among wetlands and along water bodies. Within every aspect of the plant, you’ll find trace amounts of DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and bufotenine. That said, it’s no surprise it’s garnered some popularity among psychedelic users. However, Common Reed has other uses, including

  • Cleaning contaminated water
  • Developing eco-friendly straws
  • Roofing
  • Serving as a food source

Keep in mind that this plant is sometimes confused with other DMT-containing plants that live by water, including Phalaris aquatica and Arundo donax.

Final Word

As you can see, there are a wide variety of DMT-containing plants within this world. While some are safe for consumption, others can potentially be dangerous to humans. In either case, being the intense psychedelic effects of DMT, these should be used with caution.

If you’re planning on using one of these plants to extract DMT, this can also be a very dangerous process. As such, it may be in your interest to start with something smaller, such as growing psilocybin mushrooms.

Furthermore, if you’re using DMT for medicinal purposes, we highly recommend speaking with your doctor before doing so. DMT is a powerful substance and will cause significant changes in your life. By consulting a medical professional, you’ll know if these changes are in your best interest.

DMT-Containing Plants FAQs