Encountering DMT Entities: Are they Real?

A recent scientific study has found a large number of DMT users’ meet entities during their trip. Can we say they really exist?

Evan Lewis-Healey

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Artwork by DavidZydd. Retrieved from Pixabay.

If you take a trip to the Amazonian basin, you can find the perennial shrub, Psychotria viridis. While this plant may seem unassuming to the untrained eye, it actually contains the compound N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Dubbed ‘The Spirit Molecule’, DMT is one of the most potent naturally-occurring psychedelics known to humankind. Traditionally, Psychotria viridis makes up one half of the sacred brew ayahuasca, which, when drunk, will send you on a mind-bending psychedelic journey. However, DMT can also be smoked.

When smoked in sufficient quantities, this can lead to a ‘breakthrough’ experience — an intense but short-lasting psychedelic trip that catapults the user into another world.

While the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca have been heavily documented (psychologist Benny Shanon took ayahuasca over 100 times, and wrote extensively on his encounters), the widespread experiences of smoked DMT is understudied comparatively.

However, in a recent scientific paper, published in Scientific Reports, researchers from the US, Canada, and the UK took a deep dive into the DMT-world, to map the common experiences that people can have during this short-lasting but intense trip.

Scouring Trip Reports on Reddit

For the study, the researchers scraped reddit for trip reports from inhaled DMT. Reddit is a rich online forum with content on a huge variety of subjects; one sub-forum is specifically dedicated to the discussion of everything DMT. Users’ of DMT flock from afar to write in-depth trip reports about their psychedelic travels with the compound, which provided the researchers with a rich overview of what the DMT experience is actually like.

The sub-forum contained over 3,300 unique trip reports, each documenting a separate DMT trip. The researchers analysed each report in-depth, and uncovered some common themes that permeated the sub-forum.

Meeting Entities with DMT

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Evan Lewis-Healey

PhD candidate at Cambridge University. Studying the cognitive neuroscience of altered states of consciousness.