DMT is a white crystalline powder that is derived from certain plants found in Mexico, South America, and parts of Asia, such as Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caapi.
It is typically consumed in the following ways:
vaporized or smoked in a pipe
consumed orally in brews like ayahuasca
snorted or injected on rare occasions
The chemical root structure of DMT is similar to the anti-migraine drug sumatriptan, and it acts as a non-selective agonist at most or all of the serotonin receptors, particularly at the serotonin 5-ht2a receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a large effect on the majority of our brain cells.
There is some evidence that DMT is also produced endogenously, in other words, it is produced naturally in the body, specifically in the pineal gland in the brain.
When smoked, the average dose of DMT is believed to be somewhere between 30 to 150 milligrams (mg), and the onset of action can be felt almost instantly. The effects peak and plateau for 3 to 5 minutes, and gradually drop off with the duration of effect totaling 30 to 45 minutes.
When consumed as a brew, the dose is between 35 to 75 mg. Effects begin after 30 to 45 minutes, peak after 2 to 3 hours and are resolved in 4 to 6 hours.