frequently asked questions
5-MeO-DMT is only dangerous under specific circumstances. Some of these include contraindicated medications, underlying heart conditions, and a history of underlying mental health conditions. Further dangers or risks involved are asphyxiation via purging leading to death and physical harm to the body in dynamic sessions. Sitting with an experienced 5-MeO-DMT practitioner is a non-negotiable with this medicine. To learn more about the potential dangers, head to our Risks, Cautions & Contraindications Page.
N,N-DMT, while chemically similar, is a vastly different experience from 5-MeO. The N,N is very visual, usually including complex fractal geometry and encounters with strange beings. During this experience the mind remains intact, meaning the user’s sense of individual self remains intact. With 5-MeO-DMT the experience is less of a visual journey and more of an indescribable dissolving away of the sense of individual self.
Yes, although a bad trip can be better understood as a “challenging experience.” The challenging experiences are often where the most medicine lies. If a challenging experience arises the best approach is to release, allow and surrender. It’s important to note that the chances of having a challenging experience are drastically minimized and oftentimes eliminated completely by the amount of preparation experienced before the journey. An individual choosing to sit with 5-MeO-DMT should always ask their facilitator about their preparation protocol.
Bufo Alvarius is a toad whose secretion contains 5-MeO-DMT along with over a dozen other alkaloids and tryptamines. The secretion is milked from the first two parotid glands of the toad and then expressed onto a piece of glass, where it is dried and later smoked via vaporization.
Synthetic 5-MeO-DMT, a.k.a. “The Pure Molecule,” is synthesized in a lab to produce high percentages of 5-MeO-DMT. It takes the form of a white to gold colored powder and is also smoked via vaporization. Experientially there is little to no difference between synthetic and Bufo, though from a conservation standpoint, the pure molecule is a more ethical option.
A small dose of Bufo often referred to as a handshake, is anywhere from 1-15mg, a medium dose, referred to as a hug, is anywhere from 15-30 mg and a full dose is anywhere from 30-60 mg. It is not recommended to exceed 100mg in a single dose.
A small dose of synthetic, often referred to as a handshake, is anywhere from 1-3 mg, a medium dose, referred to as a hug, is anywhere from 3-7 mg and a full dose is anywhere from 7-14 mg. It is not recommended to exceed 15 mg in a single dose.
It is not recommended to administer 5-MeO-DMT to yourself. This has resulted in unfortunate deaths and injuries on multiple occasions. Within a 5-MeO-DMT experience the mind may completely shut down, thus there is no ability to be mindful of yourself or your environment. Physical harm, asphyxiation and death do occur. Quite often even what was intended to be a small dose can result in a full-blown experience. Enlisting the help of an experienced 5-MeO-DMT facilitator is a non-negotiable of safe use.
Yes. This is more common than you may think. The nature of 5-MeO-DMT is non-dual, this means that the sense of individual self dissolves, and a loss in subject/object experiencing occurs. The best way to understand this is the proverbial drop joining the infinite ocean. The peak experience carries with it a feeling or knowing, rather than an actual visual experience to extract content from. It is important to know that whether you can remember the experience or not, its medicine is with you budding like a flower. If you choose to water that flower with integration you can watch it expand to places you never thought possible.
Yes. Purging is completely normal and only happens in an estimated 10-15% of people. More often than not the purge is more of an energetic release and not much comes out physically. In the 10-15%, roughly 1-5% actually release a full purge. All facilitators should have purge buckets nearby in the ceremony and be trained in not only how to watch for the signs of a purge coming but how to roll participants into the recovery position.
It’s first important to explain that bigger doses does not mean going further into the experience. The determining factor actually lies in the participant’s willingness to allow and surrender over the Ego during their medicine experience. Large doses can be understood as the full-on mystical experience allowing humans to remember their wholeness, while small doses can be useful to work through specific areas of deep healing.
Licking toads is a dangerous myth that has caused a lot of confusion with the use of the Bufo Alvarius secretion. Licking toads is extremely harmful and can even be deadly. There are no psychedelic effects that can be achieved via licking toads and should be avoided at all costs.
How often an individual chooses to sit with 5-MeO-DMT is completely unique to their own personal process. There is no specific amount of times that an individual should or should not sit with this medicine. However what is important is that the individual properly integrates their past journeys before choosing to sit with more medicine. Doing more medicine does not make an individual more advanced on their spiritual path and without the proper integration, frequent use of 5-MeO-DMT can promote the opposite effects and a super form of Ego can begin to form within the individual. Integration is key here. Going back in for additional medicine sessions should only take place once this integration phase feels complete and when there is a deep inner calling to journey again.
Journeying with 5-MeO-DMT is a big deal. In preparation it’s important to prepare yourself for the work that you are about to embark on. It is recommended for the week prior to your ceremony to step into practices that bring you into alignment with yourself. Examples are eating clean, journaling about what you are hoping for from your 5-MeO-DMT experience, meditation, etc. It’s also recommended as part of the preparation to prepare your integration container for when you arrive back home. (See FAQ- How can I prepare for my integration after the 5-MeO-DMT experience?)
The amount of preparation taken before 5-MeO-DMT has been shown to directly correlate to one’s ability to surrender during their medicine experience. It is the master key to allowing the psyche to feel a sense of safety in understanding what it is about to embark on, what can come up and how to move through it. This process allows the mind to release its attachments to its fears about what might happen and instead feel secure in all that it has learned. Thorough preparation can drastically reduce the chance of a challenging experience and even eliminate it completely.
Integration can last anywhere from days to weeks, months, and in some cases even years. Integration does not have a timeline, is not linear, and is its own unique and organic process that needs to be honored in order for it to produce the maximum effects of transformation in an individual’s life. Patience, commitment, and dedication are key here.
Choosing the right facilitator is crucial in order for participants to get the most out of their experience. The only thing required of participants is the ability to allow and surrender to their medicine experience. For this to happen it’s extremely important that participants feel safe enough to fully let go during their medicine experience. Naturally, it will be important to choose a facilitator that makes the participant feel safe. A key here is taking the time to research the facilitator, getting to know them personally and ask them as many questions as possible about their process and protocols. (To learn more about choosing a facilitator continue reading the FAQ section).
–Dangerous allegations. Examples are facilitators with deaths on their watch, sexual allegations, or they are listed online for malpractice.
-Reckless behavior. Examples are practices such as pouring water down the mouth, tasing, restraining, and forced hape’ snuff given during the experience.
–Participant interference. Facilitators who choose to unnecessarily insert their energy into the experience of the participant. Examples of this are the facilitators asking questions and making statements to the participant, making them sit, stand, walk around or touching them without necessity.
–Psychological imprinting. Examples of this are facilitators insisting on participants’ eye gazing with them during their experience or facilitators waiting for praise from a participant as soon as they return to their body via words of affirmation, eye gazing, hugs, and physical touch. This is only okay if the participant is reaching out for this as a part of their experience without it being prompted by external forces, means, or prompting.
–Lack of safety protocols. Some examples are holding ceremonies without any support or assistants, serving participants without screening them first, serving participants who require a team of professionals due to psychological disorders but still choosing to serve them anyway, serving on sand or near water without any safety protocol to avoid asphyxiation, facilitators doing medicine with participants without any assistants or support.
–Marketing gimmicks. This focuses on facilitators who are less focused on serving participants in their healing process and more focused on making the most amount of money possible. Examples of this are facilitators serving excessively large groups in a one-day ceremony and facilitators filming/ taking photos of participants’ experiences and posting them online and on social media to gain attention.
–Lack of preparation and integration. Examples of this are facilitators not sharing thorough enough information with participants in order for them to understand the medicine, its peak experience and how to prepare for the journey itself. Other examples are facilitators not screening participants medically and psychologically, not setting up calls before the experience to get to know the participant and understand their intention in seeking this medicine, also facilitators not addressing the integration process. Integration resources should include information on what the integration process is, integrative practices, integration specialists and everything needed to ensure the participant’s integration success.
-Serving large groups. Safely serving participants and being able to offer both preparation and integration is not an easy task; when you see large groups being served (15 +), it is safe to assume that they are not receiving the proper attention that they may need.
-Certification chasers. It is best for practitioners to focus their attention on one or a few skills and become a master of these skills, rather than being mediocre at numerous practices. This goes the same for medicines. Each medicine has subtle to great differences and require different skillsets. If a facilitator is serving a handful of medicines, it can be a red flag.
-Shamans. As 5-MeO-DMT in it’s current form has only been used for roughly 30-40 years. This means there is no shamanic lineage with 5-MeO-DMT. A facilitator should only call themselves a shaman when they have trained in a specific tradition or lineage for numerous years. Be weary of self proclaimed shamans. 5-MeO-DMT was an ingredient in indigenous snuffs such as Yopo, though the experience is much different than with the toad secretion or pure molecule.
-Messiah Complex’s. As the popularity of 5-MeO-DMT rises, so too does the number of facilitators. As there is no ancient wisdom tradition to hold facilitators accountable on their paths, many facilitators are falling into the trap of inflated egos, spiritual narcissism and even messiah complexes. This is the biggest danger to individuals seeking this medicine.
-When was your training, and what did it consist of?
-How are you going to prepare me for my experience?
-Do you have experience with first aid training?
-What is your integration protocol to help me get the most out of my experience?
-What style of ceremony do you hold, and why did you choose that style?
-Why do you choose to facilitate 5-MeO-DMT?
-What protocols do you have in place to ensure my safety?
-What is our process together going to look like from beginning to end?
-How do you source your medicine? Is it ethical?
-How long have you been serving 5-MeO-DMT?
Every facilitator has their own specific style of container. The main styles are:
–One-off: Private ceremony. This is one 5-MeO-DMT ceremony for one participant held over the course of a few hours, where participants arrive just before the ceremony and leave once it’s completed. The Pros are that it’s easy for participants to squeeze into their busy schedules. The Cons are that this style of ceremony is usually quite basic when it comes to preparation and integration, sometimes leaving participants feeling cracked open and confused about what to do with their experience.
–One-off: Group ceremony. This is one 5-MeO-DMT ceremony for multiple participants held over the course of a few hours, where participants arrive just before the ceremony and leave once it’s completed. Group ceremonies can be anywhere from two people to a hundred people in some cases. Group ceremonies with over fifteen people are ill advised. The Pros are that it’s easy for participants to squeeze into their busy schedules. The Cons are that this style of ceremony is usually quite basic when it comes to preparation and integration, sometimes leaving participants feeling cracked open and confused about what to do with their experience. It’s also difficult for participants to receive one on one attention in their unique processes.
-Group retreats: These offer multiple 5-MeO-DMT ceremonies held over the course of a few days to a week or more with a group of participants. This style allows for integration days between sessions allowing more time to let the experience become grounded. Group retreats with a participant amount over 15 may result in a lack of individual care. The Pros are that participants are given more time to properly integrate their medicine experience. The Cons are that with bigger groups it’s often difficult for facilitators to give participants full time, one on one attention in the unfolding of their process.
-Private retreats: This is multiple 5-MeO-DMT ceremonies held over the course of a few days to a week or more with one single participant. The retreat container revolves completely around the participant’s unique process and its unfoldment. Due to the malleability of the container, private retreat participants often end up receiving powerful results. The Pros are that participants are given full time one on one attention, allowing them to go deeper into their healing process. The Cons of private retreats are that they typically cost more than the other styles of containers for obvious reasons.