5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine is a naturally occurring compound of the indole-amine family which includes the hallucinogenic compounds N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). 5-MeO-DMT is found in a large multitude of plant varieties, notably some species of acacia and famously the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. Historically this compound was consumed in ritual ceremonies in the form of ayahuasca, a plant brew of various psychoactives.
5-MeO-DMT acts as a nonselective serotonin agonist (5-HT), in studies with mice the compound has displayed an affinity with the 5-HT(1a) and 5-HT(2) sites. Administered orally the compound requires a monoamine oxidase A inhibitor for the dose to have any hallucinogenic effects as with DMT, as the MAO(A) enzyme deaminates the compounds, removing their affinity with the 5-HT receptor sites. The metabolic pathway is displayed below as charted by Shen et al (reference 1).
The effects of humans receiving a psychoactive dosage of 5-MeO-DMT can vary, these effects usually include:
- visual and auditory hallucinations (mostly closed-eye hallucinations)
- muscular twitches
Subjectively the nature of the hallucinations is highly variable in nature, though a ‘rushing’ sensation and changes in perception of time are quite common.
- Hong-Wu Shen, Xi-Ling Jiang, Jerrold C. Winter, and Ai-Ming Yu. Psychedelic 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine: Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug Interactions, and Pharmacological Actions. Drug Metlab. 2010.
- Adam H. Halberstadt, Mahalah R. Buell, Virginia L. Masten, Victoria B. Risbrough, Mark A. Geyer. Modification of the effects of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine on exploratory behaviour in rats by monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Psychopharmacology. 2008.
Kirsten Krebs-Thomson, Erbert M. Ruiz, Virginia Masten, Mahalah Buell, Mark A. Geyer. The roles of 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 2 receptors in the effects of 5-MeO-DMT on locomotor activity and prepulse inhibition in rats. Psychopharmacology. 2006.
- Hong-Wu Shen, Xi-Ling Jiang, and Ai-Ming Yu. Nonlinear Pharmacokinetics of 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine in Mice. Drug Metalab Dispos. 2011.
- Jordi Riba, Marta Valle, Gloria Urbano, Mercedes Yritia, Adelaida Morte, Manel J. Barbanoj. Human Pharmacology of Ayahuasca: Subjective and Cardiovascular Effects, Monoamine Metabolite Excretion, and Pharmacokinetics. J. Pharmacology. 2003.