There are many perspectives on “The Spirit Molecule” and what it’s natural role in the human body signifies. There are dozens of theories regarding this but as of this moment, without the implementation of scientific scrutiny, it’s difficult to quantify much of them.
I have listed a few studies that I would like to see take place in the future regarding both endogenous DMT measurement and exogenous DMT administration.
1. Measuring DMT Formation in Humans (Endogenous Study)
This study is based on the piece written here at DMT Quest that provides an in-depth perspective on systemic changes to human physiology that take place during moments appeared to be linked to endogenous DMT synthesis (dreaming, Wim Hof Method, meditation, hypnosis, out of body experiences, hypnagogia, sleep paralysis, energetic “healers”, fasting, dark room retreats/sensory deprivation). It’s a pretty self explanatory study which would measure the numerous biological fluctuations taking place prior, during, and following hallucinatory phenomena during these mentioned states. Maybe DMT is involved… maybe not. Nevertheless the experience of unexplainable phenomena definitely appears to exist.
2. Effects of tDCS and tACS on DMT levels (Endogenous Study)
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) are both noninvasive methods of neurostimulation that apply electric currents on a person’s scalp. There have been numerous reports of positive responses in terms of mood, emotion, and cognition in humans. A recent 2016 study in the journal Biological Psychiatry would observe that tDCS increased glutamate + glutamine-glutamate levels in the brains of humans. Perhaps at some level tDCS or tACS can stimulate DMT synthesis?
3. Effects of Sub-psychedelic Doses of DMT (Exogenous Study)
In Dr. Rick Strassman’s trial in the early 1990’s he administered 4 different doses (0.05mg/kg, 0.1mg/kg, 0.2mg/kg, 0.4mg/kg) of DMT to volunteers. The 2 lowest doses produced no hallucinatory effects while 0.2mg/kg was considered to be the threshold for hallucinations. It would be an interesting study to include additional sub-psychedelic levels in which 0.01mg/kg, 0.02mg/kg, 0.03mg/kg up until 0.19mg/kg were administered at different dates. This would provide some insight as to DMT’s potential role in the body from a non-hallucinatory perspective. It seems as though positive emotional influencing and various levels of analgesia could be produced.
(An add-on to this study would be a prolonged IV drip of sub-psychedelic DMT doses in which changes in the autonomic nervous system are monitored. We speculate that elevated levels of endogenous DMT allow a person to consciously influence their autonomic nervous system in a manner deemed not possible when levels are suppressed.)
4. Melatonin + DMT & Melatonin + Pinoline + DMT Trial (Exogenous Study)
In Dr. Strassman’s trial he would measure the fluctuation of hormone levels based on administering DMT. He would observe dose dependent increases in β-Endorphin, cortisol, corticotropin, and prolactin levels with an equal increase in growth hormone from all doses. Levels of melatonin were unchanged from all doses. Based on DMT Quest’s hypothesis that endogenous DMT synthesis is preceded by increased production of melatonin, it would be an interesting study to administer melatonin prior to administering DMT and measuring the subsequent effects both quantitatively and subjectively. In Strassman’s study he observed a rise in rectal temperature from DMT while in an 1991 melatonin study by Dr. Strassman, he would observe a decrease in rectal temperature from melatonin administration. I’ve heard anecdotal reports of subjects ingesting melatonin prior to ingesting DMT with a noticeable effect of “smoothing out the ride”. The addition of Pinoline (6-MeO-THBC), an endogenous monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the trial would add another layer of perspective. In theory it would lengthen the experience of the DMT and possibly add a wrinkle or two to the experience itself.
(An additional study comprised of 20X melatonin + 5X Pinoline + 2X 5-MEO-DMT + 1X DMT would be intriguing as it would attempt to mimic the natural occurrence of our visionary states.)
5. Effects of DMT on Direct Current Brain Potentials (Exogenous Study)
In Dr. Robert O. Becker’s book “The Body Electric” he would document his observations of changes in DC current of the brain and body as eliciting profound changes in consciousness and physiological mechanisms. In 2015, Dr. Juan Acosta-Urquidi would publish EEG results of DMT administration which would observe hyper-coherence across multiple brain wave states. It is only a natural progression that a study regarding DC current change in the brain and the body should be measured following DMT administration. This might allow for a better understanding of similar DC changes in natural states related to endogenous DMT synthesis.
6. Effects of Cannabis on Endogenous DMT Synthesis (Endogenous Study)
Based on our perspective that melatonin precedes DMT synthesis and cannabis’ pronounced effects of increasing melatonin levels, it would appear logical to presume that cannabis could potentially potentiate DMT formation. This coupled with the fact that cannabis acts as a mild monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), the potential DMT relationship gets even stronger. It’s a straight-forward study… administer cannabis either via inhalation or orally and measure changes in endogenous DMT.
7. Testing Plants and Organisms for DMT
Oranges and orangutans appear to have DMT within them but it’s time to take the testing further to all fruits, vegetables as well as animals outside of the mammalian species (reptiles, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, insects). Since DMT extraction from mimosa hostilis root bark appears to be the predominant method based on elevated concentrations, I’m exceedingly curious about the DMT levels of the roots of pine trees and other plants native to North America. I do not believe this has been tested thus far but I could be wrong. The seeds of plants appear to be potent sources of DMT as well.
8. Prolonged DMT Experience via IV drip (Exogenous Study)
This study seems to actually be in the makings as Dr. Andrew Gallimore and Dr. Rick Strassman outlined the protocol earlier this year in Frontiers in Pharmacology. This would provide a prolonged, immersive experience in the DMT space potentially allowing subjects to provide better recollection and possibly more in-depth information. I’d be interested in specifically looking for any measurable stimulation of a neurological and biophysical pathway from the heart to the brain that occurs from DMT administration.
9. Death With Dignity + DMT Volunteers
Earlier this year, a story broke about a woman named Betsy Davis who had been suffering from severe complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She decided to throw a farewell party to her friends prior to taking her own life utilizing the End of Life Option Act. Davis’ would request that everyone attending the 2-day party refrain from crying in her presence and instead to use the time to remember the great times in her life. I concede that this is a sensitive topic but there is the possibility that some patients that utilize the End of Life Option Act have curious questions about the after life. A subjective study in which the patient administers the lethal concoction and their friends/family/volunteers simultaneously ingest DMT might provide some insight. Can you imagine if some of the volunteers not only have visions of the patient but are able to interact with them once they have been deemed clinically dead?
These are but a handful of studies that could provide some insights into the potentially various roles DMT plays within the human body. DMT Quest’s particular interest surrounds endogenous mechanisms but it doesn’t negate the fact that useful information can be derived from exogenous studies as well. Unfortunately there is much red tape and stigma attached to psychedelic studies making them difficult to fund and produce.
DMT Quest is a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to raising awareness and funds for endogenous DMT Research. This specific field of psychedelic research has been underfunded for many decades now. It’s time to take our understanding of human physiology, abilities, and perception to the next level. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. You can also follow us at Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.