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.
What is 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.
How Long Does it Take to Feel the Effects
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:
- Vivid auditory and visual hallucinations
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Vomiting and nausea
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.
- Smoked: When DMT is smoked, the effects can be felt as quickly as 45 seconds after consumption. These short but intense effects last for around 3o minutes.
- Intravenous injection: Effects appear almost instantly and last for about 30 minutes, very similar to the effects felt when smoked.
- Intramuscular injection: The DMT effects can be felt within two to five minutes and last for approximately one hour. However, with any form of injection of drugs, there are more possible adverse side effects, such as abscesses.
- Oral consumption: DMT has minimal effect or activity if taken orally. The drug is broken down by MAO, monoamine oxidase in the digestive tract. So, for effects to be felt after oral consumption, DMT needs to be taken with MAOI, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, which prolongs the length of time the effects last. This can cause effects to last around three hours. This process is what is used in an ayahuasca tea.
How the Body Processes DMT
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.
How Long Does DMT Stay In Your System?
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.
How Long After Can Drug Tests Detect DMT?
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.
How Long Does DMT Stay In Your Blood?
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.
How Long Does DMT Stay In Your Urine?
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.
How Long Does DMT Stay In Your Hair?
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.
Factors That Affect How Long DMT Stays In The System
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:
- Genetics: Certain genetic predispositions, such as the activity of certain enzymes, can cause DMT to metabolize at a slower rate.
- Weight and other physical factors: The height, age, weight, and body mass of a person can all affect how long DMT stays in the system.
- Kidney function: Drugs and alcohol move through a healthy person’s system at a much quicker rate compared to someone who is unhealthy.
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:
- physical and psychological distress
- memory loss
- cardiac and respiratory arrest
If you believe you or a loved one are struggling with substance use, help is always available.
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