5-MeO-DMT is short for 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine. 5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive substance naturally found in several plants and animals, including a venomous toad called Bufo alvarius, or the Sonoran Desert Toad. 5-MeO-DMT can also be synthesized in a lab. 5-MeO-DMT is typically inhaled as a vapor.

5-MeO-DMT usually produces a short, intense experience lasting between five and 90 minutes. An abrupt and complete return to normal function is characteristic of a 5-MeO-DMT trip.

While modern use of 5-MeO-DMT usually involves inhalation, more traditional use of this substance involves a powder blown into the nose by a shaman. Indigenous peoples have used 5-MeO-DMT for centuries as part of religious and healing ceremonies.

5-MeO-DMT vs. DMT

5-MeO-DMT and N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) share parts of their chemical structures, but they are inherently different compounds. Each substance produces different psychoactive experiences for the user.

DMT is one of the key components of Ayahuasca, a tea that combines DMT with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor to make the psychedelic experience last as long as 10 hours. However, 5-MeO-DMT provides a much quicker psychoactive “trip” than Ayahuasca.

Therapeutic 5-MeO-DMT

It’s too early to tell whether 5-MeO-DMT is an emerging treatment for mental health conditions. However, there is anecdotal support. In 2020, researchers analyzed 362 responses from an anonymous survey and found that people who used 5-MeO-DMT reported reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Other studies of 5-MeO-DMT users found that participants underwent mystical experiences, resulting in sudden and lasting changes to their well-being and mental health. Animal studies indicate neurological changes occur after one dose of 5-MeO-DMT, but more research is needed in humans.