Strongest Psychedelic Known to Man Now Being Used in Clinical Trials
The world’s first regulated clinical trial of DMT clears the way for Earth’s most powerful psychoactive drug to join the psychedelic therapy revolution.
DMT, or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a highly potent hallucinogen that naturally occurs in many plant species, including in one of the plant ingredients of ayahuasca. It can also be synthetically produced in a laboratory.
DMT is known for inducing intense metaphysical trips, which are reportedly similar to near-death experiences. Having been used underground in the west for decades, it is now attracting the interest of pharmaceutical companies and scientists looking to investigate its potential mental health benefits.
“DMT is actually the most powerful psychedelic on Earth that we’re aware of, and what makes it special and different from other psychedelics is that it’s endogenous, which means it’s produced within our own bodies. It’s also produced in nearly every ecosystem on Earth — it’s everywhere, it’s all around us – which is also kind of leading to what is really unique about it, the extent of a DMT experience, it’s at most 20 minutes,” Waxenberg said.
While there is a wide range of phenomena experienced during a DMT trip, there are some fascinating common hallmarks.
“This alternate reality experience, or this experience that people will call ‘realer than real.’ It’s a reality similar to our own, but completely different,” Waxenberg said. “Some of the elements within that would be the entity encounters, which is very common for people; intense geometric, hyperbolic shapes; and out-of-body, traveling to the center of the universe; ego-dissolution, ego death; these are really common experiences under it.”
While advocates have been reporting profound healing benefits for decades, there have not been any clinical studies on DMT due to its status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, until now.
Canadian pharmaceutical company small pharma recently completed the first clinical trial of DMT-assisted therapy. The trial was Phase 1, meaning it established the safety and feasibility of studying the psychedelic in this way.
Small pharma is now moving into Phase 2 trials involving patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Practitioners like Waxenberg have high hopes that the studies will bear out DMT’s great potential for addressing psychological issues.
“If somebody has an ego death, or somebody leaves their body, there’s this feeling of expansiveness that comes with that; a feeling of not feeling trapped in your life. So, if you’re in depression, or anxiety, or thought-loop patterns, or anything like this, often that’s the benefit — to break yourself out of those cycles, to break yourself out of those loops or thought patterns. In the dying process, people who are getting terminal diagnoses, that’s where the most benefit can come because it’s an instantaneous removal of the ego and out of your body to go into that space; experiences that take them right into what they believe the afterlife process will be or what they believe the death process will be — and really watching that be nourishing and supportive of, ‘Ok, this is maybe something I can actually go toward,’” Waxenberg said.
“Also, it’s going to have really big benefits toward treatment-resistant depression. Like ketamine, it’s this out-of-body experience that alone can help reset the nervous system, reset what your baseline is of happiness or wellness, it can get totally reset just like that.”
Many in the psychedelic therapy world will be watching closely for the results of the coming DMT-assisted therapy trials.
“My hope is to just keep opening the door wider and wider, as we bring more and more people into the space, more and more people into the conversation to see what these substances can do. And really within this meta-crisis, we find ourselves in culturally, I think DMT is an answer to a lot of those questions; how can we really see a different angle to the problems that we face?”
Are Supernatural Entities Encountered on DMT Healing People?
Could supernatural entities encountered during a psychedelic trip be responsible for the dramatic psychological healing that many reports? New research seeks to find out.
DMT or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine is widely considered the Earth’s most powerful hallucinogen. It is the latest psychedelic to be clinically studied for its potential to treat mental health issues like major depression and PTSD.
One frequently occurring phenomenon of the DMT trip researchers are particularly interested in is the appearance of entities whom experiencers often credit with the healing they receive.
Jay Waxenberg is the director of the DMTx program at the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness. Based in Boulder, CO, it was one of the first centers to offer legal psychedelic therapy in the U.S.
“The entities are really this unique aspect of DMT and they play different roles for different people in that space. What’s very common is, one, you’re going to encounter one of these things, and two, that you’re going to feel like they’re giving you some piece of information to take back to the regular consensus reality. Also, that they are benevolent — lots of love and kindness, these are very common elements for the entities — and we have linguistic models to kind of relate to those spaces, whether they’re elves or imps or fairies, they could be angels, bodhisattvas, aliens, interdimensional beings — these are kind of like the things that people will come back and say ‘[T]hat’s kind of what that felt like, that’s kind of what that thing is.’”
The groundwork for current research on the topic was laid by Dr. Rick Strassman- a psychiatrist and pioneering psychedelic researcher who first described these entities in his book ”DMT: the Spirit Molecule.”
“The beings were beneficent, they did healing, they gave advice, some predicted or showed volunteers the future, some were examining the volunteers. But one of the hallmarks of the interaction was the strength of those beings,” Strassman said.
A recent study surveyed 2,500 individuals who encountered entities after taking DMT. The researchers found that “[T]he experiences were rated as among the most meaningful, spiritual, and psychologically insightful lifetime experiences, with persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose and meaning attributed to the experiences.”