DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychedelic drug that causes side effects of hallucinations and mind-altering experiences. The endogenous hallucinogen was initially used for ceremonial practices, but now many people use the drug recreationally.
If you have taken or are planning on using DMT, you may wonder how long the drug will stay in your system. The length of time depends on various factors and may differ for everyone. This page will help answer any questions you may have regarding DMT, such as the effects of the drug, how the body processes it, and the length of time it takes standard drug tests to detect DMT.
DMT is contained in plants and is commonly found in South America in an ayahuasca tea mainly used for religious rituals. DMT can also be synthetically produced in labs where it is made and sold as a white or yellow crystalline powder.
The hallucinogenic drug can be taken in several ways; this factor can alter the time it takes to feel the effects. Once taken, the drug induces rapid but intense hallucinations that have been described as 'out of body experiences.'
Despite the mind-altering effects, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognizes the drug as a Schedule I drug. This means that DMT does not have any medicinal benefits and carries a risk of abuse and addiction.
DMT is fast-acting and induces a dream-like state by causing drastic changes in serotonin levels within the brain. This can produce effects of euphoric and pleasurable feelings alongside hallucinations. Like other hallucinogens, a DMT trip interrupts communication between these specific brain chemicals. Other side effects include:
It has been recommended that if you have schizophrenia or similar mental health conditions, it is best to avoid DMT and other psychedelic drugs. Research has suggested that the drug can trigger severe psychotic episodes.
DMT is a short-lived drug, and the effects can be felt pretty quickly. However, how you administrate the drug can vary the trip length and intensity.
Once DMT enters the bloodstream, the effects of the drug are felt very quickly. Gradually throughout the experience of the trip, the kidneys have already begun to filter out the chemical from the blood. This causes a 'peak' of intense effects that slowly start to deplete over time.
The amount of time that DMT lasts in a person's system depends on the amount taken, the half-life of the drug, and several physical factors personal to each individual.
The half-life is the amount of time taken for the active substance to reduce in the system by half. The exact half-life of DMT is not known. However, recent research has suggested that the half-life of DMT is 12 - 19 minutes. Therefore, it takes half of the drug to clear out of your system and ultimately 35 to 40 minutes to leave the body altogether.
Despite the short experience of DMT, it can be detected in the body far past the 40 minutes it takes to leave the system.
There are no drug tests specific for DMT; it is also not part of the screening process used for official functions, such as employment or law enforcement. Therefore, detecting DMT in the body takes a specific test.
If you have taken DMT within the last three months, then there is a potential that you may test positive after a screening.
Blood tests can typically detect DMT for up to two hours after use. This is because it is a fast-acting drug that quickly leaves the bloodstream.
A single dose of DMT is metabolized and eliminated from the body quickly; this means a blood test needs to be administered soon after use to test positive.
Urine tests work by scanning the body for DMT metabolites produced by the body to process DMT.
A urine test can detect DMT for up to 24 hours after use. The test involves taking a urine sample and then analyzing it for specific metabolites.
However, research has found that your urinary pH levels can influence the time that DMT stays in your system. Much like other pharmaceutical drugs, if you have alkaline urine, which is a high urinary pH, you will retain DMT for longer than someone who has low levels of urinary pH.
Hair testing often has the most extended detectable window after the last use of drugs or alcohol. A hair test can typically detect substances for about 90 days after use.
This means that DMT is detectable in hair tests for around three months. However, this can vary depending on how often and how much the drug was used.
So, you may still wonder, how long does DMT stay in your system? Generally speaking, a single dose will be eliminated from the system in around two hours. However, several factors directly influence the amount of time that DMT lasts. Some of these variables are:
Prolonged DMT use has not been associated with physical dependence, and there is no evidence to support a risk of addiction. However, substance abuse of any kind is a serious matter. If you are wondering 'how long does DMT stay in my system,' this may signify that it is time to seek help for substance abuse problems.
An overdose of DMT is very rare. However, there are serious long-term health risks if large doses are taken. If DMT is taken with other drugs, such as SSRIs, lithium, or specific migraine medications, there is a risk of developing serotonin syndrome.
Serotonin syndrome can cause life-threatening symptoms such as loss of consciousness, high fever, and rapid changes in blood pressure.
Other serious side effects that can be experienced if DMT is taken in high doses and regularly include:
If you believe you or a loved one are struggling with substance use, help is always available.
At NPAC, we offer a range of addiction treatment tactics to help you achieve long-term recovery.
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