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Shea Petty

October 22, 2009


Biochemistry
Mrs. Allingham

The Necessity of Another Reality-Is DMT Responsible?

Have you ever asked yourself why we need sleep? There are
several wonders of the world, each of which we have become
accustomed to and sometimes don’t even think to ask about. Every
night when we go to sleep our best friend named the pineal gland
“wakes up” and starts to release chemicals in our brain that cause us
to dream. These chemicals are mysterious and for the most part
unknown, but one of them is the most potent psychedelic known to
man. This hallucinogen rejuvenates us in such an inexplicable way,
that while in this trance we see the most bizarre and unspeakable
visions that we usually can’t even remember once awaken. Not only is
this the most potent psychedelic, but is also a schedule-1 drug under
the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that the entire population
breaks the law every night while they sleep. Just as any other
psychedelic compound like LSD, and mescaline, Dimethyltryptamine
resembles neurotransmitters such as serotonin but, what makes DMT
unique is that the trace amounts of it naturally occur in the human
body. Dimethyltryptamine, commonly known as DMT, gives us the
spiritual and enlightening reality that our waking life dismisses. In
other words, the process of sleep and DMT makes up for the answers
that our waking life cannot give us, setting us at peace each morning.
Humans are not the only living things that contain DMT. They are
also found in thousands of plants and some animal species like the
Sonoran Desert Toad. (Commonly using its venom as a dose.) There
are several types of DMT; the main three are N, N-Dimethyltryptamine,
5-OH-DMT, and 5-MeO-DMT (which is a cousin of the compound). N, N-
DMT is the only type found in the human brain, the other two types are
found in various plant species including DMT’s cousin 5-MeO-DMT
found in the toad venom. All can be extracted and used for
recreational or spiritual purposes. When extracted, it is usually injected
or inhaled; “5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (20-200 microgram/kg)
inhibits phrenic and sympathetic neural discharges and depresses
blood pressure. The effects occur within seconds after injection.
Complete recovery occurs, on the average, after 20 min”(Lalley). The
only way you can effectively take it orally is with what’s called a
Monoamine Oxydase Inhibitor, or MAOI. “This is because it (DMT) is
broken down (inhibited) by Monoamine Oxydase (MAO). MAO is an
important enzyme that breaks down certain chemical compounds such
as drugs and poisons. MAOI's or MAO-inhibitors interfere with the
action of the MAO enzyme and stop the breakdown of chemical
compounds such as DMT, making it effective when ingested
orally“(DMT Drug). Each of these also gives a slightly different reaction
to the human brain.
The history of DMT is a very interesting one. Before the 20th
century DMT was found in the cohoba/yopo tree and was snuffed by
natives between Columbia and Venezuela. It was also ironically, being
the enlightened and most intelligent beings to have ever lived, used in
some Incan medicines (Erowid). During the 20th century DMT was first
synthesized in 1931 and demonstrated to be hallucinogenic in 1956.
By 1965 it was found in human blood and further illegalized in 1971.
During 1972 it was at last formally detected in the human brain tissue.
For the next 20 years it was kept below the radar until 1990 when a
Zen Budhist, Dr. Rick Strassman gave interest to the mystery and
supervised over 400 DMT sessions, which were the first allowed
psychedelic experiments involving human subjects in the United States
since the mid-1970s.

Some reported quasi-religious sensations of bliss, ineffability,


timelessness, and reconciliation of opposites; a certainty that
consciousness continues after death of the body; and contact with "a
supremely powerful, wise, and loving presence." Others felt classic
near-death experiences, feeling themselves leaving their bodies and
moving through a tunnel toward a radiant light.
Volunteers also reported visions that did not fit neatly into Strassman's
scientific or spiritual worldview, however. Forty-seven percent
encountered otherworldly beings, variously described as clowns, elves,
robots, insects, E.T.-style humanoids, or "entities" that defied
description. These bizarre beings were not always friendly. One of
Strassman's subjects claimed to have been eaten alive by insectoid
creatures. In part out of concern about this negative experience,
Strassman discontinued his research (Horgan).

Today DMT is still being studied but most of the experiments have
questionable outcomes and not many scientists actually agree on
where and what DMT is. What is found to be interesting is DMT being
such an authoritative drug; it has been used under the supervision of
medical staff to treat alcoholism and heroin addiction. There have been
hundreds of cases, maybe even ten’s of thousands where a heroin
addicts will have one dose of DMT and decide to give up heroin for the
rest of their life; because they realize life is too short to be hooked on a
substance. That is power; and even in its influence it is still looked
down upon.
DMT has continued to stay illegal until December 2004 when the
Supreme Court allowed Brazil-based União do Vegetal (UDV) church to
use a decoction containing DMT in their Christmas services that year
(Wikipedia). The tea is called Ayahuasca and is used with formerly
mentioned MAOI, which allows the effects of DMT to last much longer
but at a lessoned intensity. “The traditional Ayahuasca brews of South
America contain 2 main ingredients; the bark of the Banisteriopsis
caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis. Today, Ayahuasca
can mean any combination of plants that contain DMT plus an MAOI.
The effects of Ayahuasca can last 4-8 hours, depending on the amount
of MAOI consumed” (DMT Drug). In Brazil there are still religious
movements based on the use of Ayahuasca and but only four main
branches using DMT-MAOI based sacraments (Wikipedia).
The chemical formula of N.N-DMT is C12H16N2, “The Wisconsin
researchers found that DMT is derived from the naturally occurring
amino acid tryptophan and is structurally related to the
neurotransmitter serotonin” (Wisconsin). Because it is extremely
similar to serotonin, which is C10H12N2O, it reacts quickly with the
brain. DMT is a white, yellow, or orange pungent-smelling, crystalline
solid with a melting point of 49-50 degrees Celsius. It is insoluble in
water, but soluble in organic solvents and aqueous acids (Erowid).
Although the dosage that occurs and released in the pineal gland is
unknown the recreational or spiritual dosage needed is 60-100mg for
smoking and 350mg orally.
DMT is like a “Jesus serotonin” just as a carbohydrate is a “Jesus
sugar”. I believe it controls the deepest most subconscious and
unknown parts to our instincts, and not only our instincts but also the
true and beautiful meaning of life. During our sleep this chemical
drugs us; typically and simplistically speaking that could just mean it
knocks us out and allows us to vividly hallucinate or dream. But
because when you self induce the drug into your system, and it causes
people to understand life on a much deeper level, showing you these
crazy absurd inexplicable and unbelievable visions and answers to
things that you didn’t even know you could think of; on top of the fact
that when you take too large of a quantity of DMT, you come out of the
experience feeling as though you would if you were asleep and had
woken up from a dream that you can’t remember. How in the heck
could we just sit here and continue to believe that DMT is not a control
to one of the most divine connections to all life forms inner being. Not
only are we able to consciously learn about the truth of this other
reality, but I believe we already do know this truth. We are exposed to
it every time we sleep, and we absolutely need this other reality to
function. The only reason we don’t remember it is because of societies
distractions. We have been taught over thousands upon thousands of
years what we believe to be important about the waking life so we’ve
forgotten over time. When our brain first started to evolve people
probably had elevated levels of DMT in their brain because they were
more connected to a simplistic way of living. (Which would also explain
why people saw burning bushes.) They were less drowned in negativity
and had less history to learn from. In the beginning we were given the
opportunity to stick to those given instincts a typical DMT trip shows
you of love, peace, and happiness or create our own route of
selfishness, technology and power. So in a sense it has brainwashed us
into knowing very irrelevant and unimportant ways of living. (Not that
technology and power aren’t important.) Yet still during sleep we live
and get our daily dosage of what is needed. The whole other dimension
or reality that explains life to us, and brings us back to ground zero
every day. Just as the simple phrase goes “everyday is a new day” in a
sense, it really is. I think if taught at birth and worked to developed our
brain, just as people work and develop their brain to have lucid
dreams, we could have the capacity of being able to see the same
types of images we see during a self induced DMT trip, as in our actual
dreams. And in this case, every night while we sleep we would be able
to connect with this higher being that is in the know of all the
unexplainable things of the waking reality. If we exercised our brain so
well and so efficiently we might even be able to change the future
direction of all life forms as we know them.
DMT is a mysterious profound chemical with many symbolic and
almost ironic elements to it. Every night when we go to sleep we
dream, no matter what. The only reason why we don’t remember those
dreams is because our brain protects us from this truth or other reality
that DMT releases. Located in the third eye, at rest it opens and shows
us something so prevailing that we can’t even remember it. And we’re
so dependent on this drug that we have to come back to it every night;
we absolutely can’t live with out it. This remarkable compound has
never been given enough credit and recognition as it should. Once we
are able to determine it’s unknown effect and relation to the brain
there will be a huge impact on the human species and our decisions
we find important in life. Until then, DMT is a truth released during
sleep that we end up forced to forget for reasons we may never know.

Bibliography

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27 Sep. 2009.

Anonymous. "DMT Drug." 20 Oct. 2009 <http://www.dmtdrug.com>.

Anonymous. "Tryptamine." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptamine.


Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 27 Sep. 2009.

Erowid. " N,N-DMT." The Vaults of Erowid. 1996. Erowid. 20 Oct. 2009
<http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/dmt/dmt.shtml>.
Horgan, John. "The God Experiments." Discover 20 November 2006. 27
September 2009 <http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/god-
experiments/article_view?searchterm=DMT&b_start:int=2>.

Lalley, PM. Inhibition of phrenic and sympathetic vasomotor neurons in


cats by the serotonin analog 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine. J.
Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., Jan 1982; 220: 39 - 48.

Wisconsin-Madison, University of. "Psychoactive Compound Activates


Mysterious Receptor." ScienceDaily 13 February 2009. 27 September
2009 <http://www.sciencedaily.com
/releases/2009/02/090212141158.htm>.