TRYPTAMINES are a family of chemicals that are found in three kingdoms of life: Animals, plants and fungi. They serve many functions in our day-to-day world, many of which are not fully understood. In our very own brains, the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin are tryptamine-based structures. Some Scientists have even figured out how to synthesize tryptamines in laboratories; Foxy, LSD and melatonin sleeping pills have all come from the human imagination (and a little trial and error). Like most other drugs, many of these compounds work by mimicking neurotransmitters that are already found in the body.
WORDS OF CAUTION:
Dose Measurements and Tryptamines
Recreational use of Tryptamines requires only minute amounts of the substance, making it impossible to ‘eyeball’ out doses. The dosage range from ‘mild’ to ‘full on’, or ‘full on’ to ‘extremely high’ is a very small range, leaving little margin for error. For your safety, be sure that you or someone you know and trust has measured out the doses on a milligram-sensitive scale. If it’s your first time with any of these substances, be sure to do a very small amount at first, before diving in, as dose sensitivity varies greatly among individual users. Be sure to dose in a safe environment, with people you know and trust. Happy trails!
Mono-Amine—Oxidase-Inhibitors (MAOIs) and Tryptamines
MAOIs are a class of anti-depressant drugs that, if taken with tryptamines can seriously potentiate their effects, and should therefore be avoided when using tryptamines. This is, however, with the exception of orally ingesting DMT, which does require the addition of an MAOI for its effect.
MAOIs are notorious for not mixing well with a number of common foods and drugs. Combining any of the following with MAOIs could result in possible hypertensive crisis (muscle tremor and cramp, irritability, potential heart attack, high pulse rate and blood pressure):
- Stimulants (i.e. crystal, MDMA/ecstasy, caffeine including chocolate, cocaine, yohimbe)
- Various pharmaceutical drugs
- Cheese and cream, bean curd and fermented soy products
- Wine, beer, and anything with yeast
- Nuts and pickled herring
FOXY (5-meo Diisopropyltryptamine, 5-meo DIPT)
“Foxy” is a synthetic tryptamine first developed by Alexander Shulgin in 1980. It may be sold as a small amount of powder loose in a gel cap, or as a pressed pill. Its effects are wide-ranging and last 4 – 8 hours. They may include:
- Audio distortions: your own voice might sound strange, as will others; music you know may seem unfamiliar or different
- Tactile sensitivity: your skin may seem extra-sensitive;
- response to touch may range from feeling very good to not so good, or just plain odd
- Enhancement of visual textures: Brightening of colours, trails and visual distortions
- Nausea, diarrhea, or an uneasy feeling
With a threshold dose of 5mg, you will likely experience one of the above; with a high dose of 25-30 mg, you are likely to experience all of the above. Some users report only an ill feeling and no pleasant effects; others find it quite easy on the body and rather enjoyable. And still, others find it to be a decent psychedelic but not overly enlightening or useful. It is important to note that each user reports widely different effects and durations, as well as dose sensitivity. Some users find 5mg too intense, while others have minimal effects with anything under 20mg, so be sure to start small. Research has yet to be done on the short or long-term effects of foxy/5-meo DIPT, so be warned; in choosing to ingest it you’re making yourself a psychonautic guinea pig.
DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) & 5-meo DMT (5-methoxy dimethyltryptamine)
DMT has historically been used in sacramental rituals in the South American Amazon, usually in the form of ayahuasca brews and snuffs. In the 1950’s, both DMT and 5-meo-DMT were isolated as the psychoactive constituents of the Colombian Cohoba snuff. DMT is also present in the human body as a neurotransmitter of which little is known although much is speculated. Some researchers believe that DMT may be released during various sleep stages, while others believe that DMT is released in the brain when the body dies. Interestingly, these speculations do correspond to certain characteristics of the DMT high.
DMT is known to be more ‘otherworldly’ than 5-meo-DMT and is often compared to channeling (or receiving visitations from) spirits or mythological entities, with intensification of colours and total removal from one’s surroundings, whereas 5-meo—DMT is often compared to a near-death or religious experience with a visual emphasis on patterns while remaining (barely) within this world.
DMT can come in a number of forms including pressed plant material, a yellowish gum or wax, leaves or bark. 5-meo-Dmt usually comes as an off-white crystalline powder.
If DMT/5-Meo-DMT is to be taken orally, it needs to be brewed into a tea and taken with an MAOI. Without an MAOI, DMT/5-meo DMT may be smoked (i.e. vaporized, not burnt) from a glass pipe or off of tinfoil. Smoking is a common route of administration. The dosage range for DMT is 90-60mg, and is somewhat less for 5-meo-DMT, at around 2-20mg per dose. Caution should be exercised in measuring dosages, as DMT/5-meo-DMT is a rather potent substance!
When smoked, DMT comes on in about 10-60 seconds, and lasts about 5-20 minutes with some residual comedown. 5-meo-DMT comes on in about 0-30 seconds and lasts about 15 minutes.
Further effects include:
- A feeling of the body or blood ‘turning to stone’
- Vivid kaleidoscopic visuals; eventually separation from body and/or setting may occur
- Feelings of the heart stopping or other body functions seeming out of time (the heart doesn’t actually stop during this time)
- Journeying “into space” and conversing with mythological beings (dwarves & elves; God(s); aliens)
- Intense psychological/spiritual revelations
- Inability to talk, perhaps some nonsensical babbling
The dangers of using DMT/5-meo-DMT include vomiting and choking, conking your head when you become immovable from the intensity of the trip, and having an unpleasant or scary trip. An overdose of DMT/5-meo-DMT is hard to reach as its overwhelming effects are felt immediately, making it physically difficult to intake more than a dose before you’re well on your journey. DMT/5-meo-DMT does not make the best party drug because of its intensity; it can make music and crowds too much to deal with. Smoking DMT/5-meo-DMT is not known to be harmful to the body.
DMT/5-meo-DMT is best done in a quiet atmosphere with a partner or small group where you can control the ambience, and have access to anything needed for a comfortable journey. Most importantly though, it should be at a time when you are most comfortable with who you are and where you are going in life. Like other psychedelics, the effects of DMT/5-meo-DMT rely on everything that you have rattling around in your head. So if you’re particularly uncomfortable with how you’re feeling or in an uncomfortable atmosphere, it probably isn’t the best time for a life-altering trip.
AMT is a synthetic tryptamine with mild psychedelic properties and strong MAOI effects. 10-25 mgs is an average dose range. It should be noted that like many other tryptamines, personal responses to AMT are quite varied. Effects include:
- Increase in energy, restlessness
- Visual patterning and closed-eye visuals
- Increased awareness and appreciation of music
- Empathogenic qualities
Not-so-comfortable effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting (common)
- Anxiety, tension
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Decreased co-ordination
- Blurred vision
For some people the effects come on quickly, for others quite slowly. Some find it a good psychedelic, while others are disturbed by the uncomfortable physical side effects. The duration is 10-14 hours; in higher doses the duration may be longer and have stronger side effects. These side effects come mainly from components aside from the tryptamine that aren’t being broken down by the MAO system. This includes toxic aspects of some normal foods and other drugs that would normally be broken down. Some of these foods and substances include: coffee, chocolate, nuts, wine, beer, fish, as well as other stimulant based drugs (Ecstasy, cocaine, etc.). It is a good idea to avoid consuming any of these substances if you are planning on using AMT.
Warning! Because AMT’s effects can take over 2 hours to fully develop, a common error is to re-dose (add more) thinking that the initial dose was too low. This has lead to a number of very unpleasant and potentially dangerous overdose experiences. Those who have made this error recommend waiting until at least 2.5 hours after the initial dose to before deciding whether to top up.
HAVING FUN AND STAYING SAFE AND STUFF
Tryptamines are for the most part, new mental territory for most travelers. For those comfortable with mushrooms or LSD it may be easier to get a handle on what to expect, but just as with LSD or mushrooms, each user can have vastly different experiences. Personal taste is hit and miss; some psychonauts find them spiritually blissful or awe-inspiring, others find them simply nauseating or scary. Know what is best for you.
SOME STUFF TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Use the buddy system. Make sure there’s at least one sober ‘sitter’ who can keep an eye out, get juice, write down ideas, change the music, run to the store, etc.
- Make sure your dose has been weighed properly — especially in the case of milligrams of powder, these must be weighed on a milligram-sensitive scale as these amounts are difficult (and very risky!) to “eye” out. Differences of 5 or 10mg between small lines of powder are impossible to judge. The difference between a good trip and bad time relies on DOSAGE.
- Most doctors and medics have no idea that these drugs even exist, let alone what to do in an overdose situation. In case of an overdose, let the medics know exactly what has been ingested as well as any info possible (IE. this pamphlet, or a website like www.erowid.org)
- Tryptamines aren’t necessarily party drugs. You’d probably just want to leave the party as soon as you start to come up. Make sure you’re in a comfortable environment.
- Avoid mixing tryptamines with any other drugs such as downers, amphetamines or other stimulants with tryptamines, especially tryptamines such as AMT or Harmaline, both of which are MAO inhibitors!
- Tryptamines are not addictive, but naturally if you find the experience pleasant, you may want to dose more often. It is important to keep in mind that tryptamines should be treated with a great deal of respect and only called on when your mind is clear and there is clear sailing ahead.
- Make sure you’re in a clear state of mind before diving into the depths of your psyche.
- The only way to truly stay safe is to avoid tryptamines, but if you hold your body, plants, the world, and everything you ingest with the highest respect and care, tryptamines can be relatively safe. Just say Know!