How Long Does DMT Stay in Your System?
Table of Contents
- How Long It Takes to Feel Effects
- How Long DMT Lasts
- Factors Affecting Detection Time
- Getting DMT Out of Your System
- Symptoms of Overdose
How Long Does DMT Stay in Your System?. DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychedelic compound found in some plants and, in trace amounts, in the human body. It can cause rapid, short-lived hallucinations, and may be taken orally, consumed as a tea, smoked or vaped, or injected. How Long Does DMT Stay in Your System?
DMT is the primary hallucinogenic component of ayahuasca tea, which is made from the South American plant of the same name and is traditionally used for ritual purposes. DMT can also be synthetically produced and is often available as a white or yellow crystalline powder.
DMT is not usually tested for in standard drug screenings, though some tests are able to detect it. It is also rapidly excreted from the body and, depending on the type of test used and on the way it was taken, it may not be detectable after as little as a few hours.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies DMT as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medicinal use and carries a high potential for abuse. DMT can be used for research in some cases at the approval of the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How Long Does DMT Stay in Your System?
Blood: One to two hours
Urine: Up to 24 hours
Saliva: Between four and 12 hours
Hair: Up to 90 days
How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects?
- Agitation, anxiety, or fear
- Distorted body image
- Problems concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Vivid visual hallucinations
- Vomiting or nausea
It can also cause physical changes in:
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
It is recommended that people with schizophrenia or similar mental health conditions avoid DMT and other hallucinogens. Though rare, reports have attributed DMT and ayahuasca as triggers of severe psychotic episodes.
DMT acts very quickly, but the method used to take it will impact how soon you feel the effects.
- Intravenous injection: Effects appear very rapidly, often instantly, and are gone within around 30 minutes.
- Intramuscular injection: Effects appear within two to five minutes and disappear after approximately one hour.
- Oral consumption through ayahuasca tea: Effects begin after around one hour, peaking within 90 minutes and lasting about four hours total.
- Smoked or vaped: Effects may appear instantly and last less than 30 minutes.
How Long Does DMT Last?
The half-life of DMT is not precisely known, and likely depends on how the drug is taken. For DMT that’s injected, the half-life is around 15 minutes, while the half-life of DMT taken in ayahuasca tea is longer.
DMT has no effect if taken orally by itself as it is quickly broken down by monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the digestive tract. This process produces the metabolites DMT-NO and IAA.
For an oral dose to be active, it must be taken with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which also produces a longer effect. This is seen in ayahuasca tea, which includes a plant-based MAOI ingredient.
DMT is not part of the screening process for standard drug tests used for law enforcement, employment, and treatment purposes. Detecting DMT in the blood, urine, hair, or saliva requires specific testing.
DMT can be detected by a blood test for only up to around two hours after it’s taken. This requires a specific test and it would have to be administered very quickly after the drug was taken to detect it.
There is no known breath test for DMT.
DMT can be detected in urine for up to 24 hours after it’s taken.6 This requires a specific test that’s made to find hallucinogens like DMT.
Hair tests can confirm long-term drug use, and they are able to detect DMT.7 Typically, hair testing can detect drugs for up to 90 days after they’re taken, but this number may vary based on how often the drug is used.
It’s not clear how long saliva testing can detect DMT. While the most common saliva tests may be unable to detect it after as little as one hour, research shows it is possible to find DMT in saliva samples between four and 12 hours after use.8
Factors That Affect Detection Time
Individual factors can impact how long DMT stays in your system, including:
- The dosage taken
- Your weight
- Your age
- Your metabolism
- How frequently you use the drug
Oral Ingestion vs. Smoking
The way you took the drug can also impact how long it stays in your system. Taking DMT orally by drinking ayahuasca tea, or injecting it intramuscularly, may be less detectable than other methods.3 Smoked DMT is detectable by drug tests.
How to Get DMT Out of Your System
There are no known ways to speed up the metabolic process and quickly get DMT out of your system. Drinking more water or eating a full meal won’t clear the drug out of your body faster; however, taking ayahuasca or another oral form of the drug on an empty stomach may speed up how quickly it takes effect.
Symptoms of Overdose
An overdose of DMT is very rare and would involve taking an extremely high dose of the drug. However, a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome can occur when taking DMT together with other medications, like:
- Levodopa, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease
- Migraine medications called triptans
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin syndrome can cause life-threatening symptoms like high fever, loss of consciousness, seizures, and sudden changes in blood pressure or pulse. If you or a loved one are experiencing serotonin syndrome, seek medical help right away.
Caution may also be warranted for pregnant people. While the research in this area is not conclusive, animal studies have shown that negative effects may be possible with ayahuasca usage.
Like most hallucinogens, DMT is probably not addictive, though the long-term effects of regular use are not yet known. Habitual users do not appear to develop a tolerance to DMT.
Taking DMT may result in a bad trip, which can cause unpleasant symptoms like extreme anxiety and palpitations. DMT may also negatively impact judgment, which may lead to harmful or dangerous choices, especially for someone who isn’t accustomed to the drug’s effects.