DMT is one of the most psychedelic compounds on Earth. Just 20 mg of N,N,DMT or its cousin, 5-MeO-DMT, is enough to teleport you to what could be thought of as an alternate dimension.
There are a few ways to use DMT. The most well-known is the shamanic formula from the Amazon called ayahuasca. This DMT-based preparation lasts up to 12 hours and requires a lot of preparation.
You can also smoke or vape DMT using a conventional pipe, dab rig, or bong for a powerful but short-lived DMT trip.
Here’s everything you need to know about smoking DMT.
- Always have a trip sitter nearby — never smoke DMT alone
- Follow the tried and tested rules of set, setting, and substance
- Always test your DMT with a drug testing reagent before you use it
- Take long, slow breaths to reduce the harshness of the smoke
- Hold your breath at the top for 20 or 30 seconds before you exhale
- Set an intention before you start, and take time to get into a good mindset
- Avoid burning the DMT directly — hold the lighter away from the DMT, so it vaporizes
- Always measure your dose with a precision scale — don’t eyeball your dose of DMT
A cold-start rig is considered the gold standard for smoking DMT. They share a similar design to a dab rig (hot rig) but allow the DMT to be added to the device before the heat is applied.
You then heat the device gradually until the DMT starts to vaporize without going overboard and burning. This prevents any unnecessary loss due to excess heat and offers a smoother, less cough-inducing hit.
The HAMMR rig is a good example of a cold-start rig optimized for DMT.
- Measure your dose of DMT with a precision scale
- Place the DMT in the chamber of the cold-start device
- Begin heating the base of the chamber with a lighter or by turning on the device (electric cold-start devices)
- Once the DMT crystals start to bubble and vaporize, remove the heat
- Begin inhaling through the mouthpiece — slow and gradual inhalation is best
- Hold your breath as long as you can — hand the device to your trip sitter to move to a safe location
Dab rigs are designed to smoke cannabis concentrates but will work great for smoking DMT too.
Dab rigs are essentially just a bong with a special type of bowl called a “nail.” The design allows users to heat the nail directly using a torch lighter. The concentrates (or DMT) is then dropped on top of the hot nail, causing it to vaporize. The nail has a cup shape that prevents the contents from leaking all over the place when they melt.
The main benefit of using a dab rig to smoke DMT is that they’re super easy to use and are readily available at head shops. The downside is that you’re unable to gauge the exact amount of heat needed to vaporize the DMT, so some of the DMT will inevitably be lost through excess heat.
- Pre-measure your dose using a precision scale
- Transfer your DMT dose to a small spoon to make it easier to drop into the rig later
- Prepare your dab rig by heating the nail with a torch lighter for 20 seconds
- Drop your dose onto the nail and immediately start pulling on the rig through the mouthpiece
- Inhale slowly and deeply, hold your breath
- Move your rig aside to avoid inadvertently destroying it while you begin to trip
Smoking DMT from a pipe is cheap and convenient but isn’t going to make your throat and lungs feel very great afterward.
You can use any pipe, but a glass freebase pipe is optimized for smoking-free base chemicals — including DMT.
Freebase pipes consist of a glass bulb with a mouthpiece coming off. You place the DMT crystals inside the glass bulb and heat the outside with a lighter. The glass heats up, gradually vaporizing the crystals, which are then inhaled. This method allows you to control the temperature to avoid overburning the DMT.
Conventional tobacco or weed pipes work too, but they’re far from perfect. When DMT crystals melt, it turns into a liquid which can spill through the pipe, wasting your DMT and causing the pipe to become “contaminated.” If you ever use the pipe again for something else, you may get an unexpected dose of DMT.
- Measure your dose with a precision scale
- Place the DMT directly into the pipe
- Get your trip sitter to hold the lighter to the outside of the glass bulb until you see the DMT start to bubble
- Take a long, slow, deep breath through the mouthpiece
- Hold your breath as long as you can, and place the pipe in a safe location while you wait for the effects to kick in
- Repeat as many times as necessary
- Glass Vapor Genie — This pipe acts like a vaporizer through the use of a convection heating bowl
- Genius Pipe — This pipe has an innovative design that cools the smoke through a heat sink before it gets to your mouth
- Freebase Pipes — AKA “crack pipes” are designed specifically for smoking freebase compounds
This method involves mixing your DMT with some weed or another smokeable herb. This method has two advantages — it reduces the loss of DMT as it melts and leaks, and it helps smooth out the smoke, so it’s not so harsh on your throat.
You can use DMT and weed directly or swap the weed with another herb like mullein or raspberry leaf to improve the experience and reduce harshness.
- Measure your dose of DMT using a precision scale
- Place a small dose of herb in the bottom of your bowl, leaving lots of room on top
- Sprinkle your dose of DMT evenly over the herb
- Cover the DMT with more herb to finish the sandwich
- Spark the bowl with a lighter and take a slow, gradual inhale; hold your breath when you get to the top
- Hand your pipe, bong, or whatever you’re using to your trip sitter to move it to a safe location
Alternatively, you can mix DMT in with a joint or cigarette for the same effect.
Changa is often referred to as “smokable ayahuasca.” It’s made by mixing ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with freebase DMT. The ayahuasca vine contains natural MAO inhibitors (harmala alkaloids) that help prevent the breakdown of DMT. This makes the experience last longer and hit harder than it does on its own.
Here are some popular herbs people use to make changa:
- Ayahuasca vine — the primary MAO inhibitor
- Mullein — used to smooth out the harshness of the smoke
- Passionflower — gives the blend a nice relaxing feel
- Peppermint — adds flavor to the smoke
Here’s how to prepare changa:
- Prepare your herbs by grinding them up with a coffee grinder
- Weigh the herbs using a scale
- Prepare 25% of the total weight of the herbs in DMT (1 gram of herbs means you should use 250 mg of DMT)
- Mix the DMT with some vodka (or other high-proof liquor)
- Coat the DMT-infused vodka over the herbs and allow them to air dry
- Once dried, changa is best used in a bong or pipe — start with 100 mg of changa and add more gradually
Vape pens are the best alternative to smoking. They’re easier to use and harder to accidentally break once the DMT starts to kick in.
You can buy DMT vape pens online in the form of pre-filled cartridges or standalone disposable vapes. You can also use a mesh pen or mod pen and use DMT freebase powder directly.
Some users prefer to make their own DMT-infused E-liquid and use that to refill the tank on a reusable vape pen.
There are a few key advantages of vaping DMT over smoking:
- Vape pens aren’t as harsh as smoking
- You can control your dose more easily
- Less DMT is wasted from overheating
There are several downsides to vaping to be aware of as well:
- It’s easy to overuse vape pens
- You never know what’s inside the vape liquid unless you make it yourself
- Vapes have a higher potential for abuse
- They can be expensive
You don’t need a lot of DMT to induce a powerful psychedelic experience — just a few puffs from a vape pen or a single rip from a dab rig is enough to challenge the laws of special relativity.
The dose of DMT when smoking can be a bit tricky. Because of the wastage that can happen when smoking DMT in a dab rig, pipe, or joint, you may need to take slightly more than you would with a vape pen or cold-start rig.
Dosage range of DMT when smoking (take 20% less if vaping):
- 12–18 mg — light dose (best for novice users)
- 24–30 mg — moderate dose
- 36–60 mg — high dose
- >60 mg — ultra-high dose (not recommended)
A DMT breakthrough experience refers to any experience that takes you out of the Earthly realm. It’s here that people often report meeting with other entities (AKA DMT machine elves) or experience ego-death.
Getting to this point is relatively easy with DMT. Just 20 or 30 mg of DMT smoked is enough for most people to achieve a breakthrough experience.
The main limiting factor of breaking through is the smoke itself. DMT isn’t a smooth compound to smoke. It will inevitably cause the throat and lungs to feel harsh and hot. This causes people to cough in between tokes and limits the amount you can take in a single sitting.
The harshness of the hits are the main reasons why people will quit smoking DMT before they’re able to get to the breakthrough point.
There are some ways to avoid coughing and harshness. The main intervention is to take long, slow inhalations. Be patient, and don’t rush it. If you’re exhaling huge white plumes of smoke, you’re inhaling too fast and too hot. It’s better to take several tokes than to get the entire bowl finished in one hit.
Other measures to reduce the harshness include using innovative designs like the Genius Pipe, Vapor Genie, cold-start rigs, percolator bongs, or using vape pens instead.
DMT itself is quite safe. There has never been a reported death from overdosing on DMT. The physical effects of this substance are minimal.
However, during a breakthrough DMT experience, the user may temporarily lose control of their body. It’s in this state that physical harm becomes a real risk. This is why choosing a safe location and a trusted trip sitter are so crucial when using this substance.
Additionally, the act of smoking DMT can have physical side effects — particularly on the lungs and back of the throat.
Here are four steps you can take to reduce the potential for harm while using DMT.
DMT freebase comes in the form of white crystals or a fine white powder. There are a thousand other substances that look exactly like this.
Even if you purchased your DMT from a “trusted vendor” it could still be contaminated with other, more dangerous substances. Sometimes what you think is DMT is something entirely different.
Always test a sample of your DMT before you use it.
The best way to test DMT is to use a drug testing reagent such as the Ehrlich and Hofmann reagents. These reagents won’t tell you the potency of your sample, but they can help you confirm the crystals are an indole alkaloid and not something more dangerous like NBOMe substances, opiates, cathinones, PCP, or amphetamines.
Start by placing a small sample of your DMT on a ceramic plate. You only need a sample the size of a grain of sand.
You should always do at least two tests using different reagents to eliminate the chances of an error.
Place each sample on the place with lots of space in between them.
Place one drop of each reagent you want to test and wait for the color to change. Give each test about 3 minutes to complete before checking the color.
Here’s what you should expect for some of the common reagents when testing DMT:
- Ehrlich Reagent — Should turn purple
- Hofmann Reagent — Should turn yellow
- Mecke Reagent — Should turn brown (green = bad)
- Marquis Reagent — Should turn orange
Nobody should ever use DMT alone. The experience often leads to complete loss of body control for up to 20 minutes. It can also cause people to flail around — potentially leading to harm or property damage.
The role of the trip sitter is to watch over the psychonaut during the experience. They keep them safe and only intervene if something goes wrong.
The trip sitter also has the important job of holding the pipe or vape while the user is taking a hit.
You will likely need to take two or three hits from a pipe or vape to get a true breakthrough experience on DMT. By the second, and especially third hit, you will have very little control over what’s going on, and it’s easy to accidentally burn yourself with the lighter, break the pipe, or burn your hands on the hot glass.
The trip sitter should always hold the device while the psychonaut receives the DMT.
It’s not a good idea to mix DMT with other drugs or alcohol. If you’ve been drinking or using other substances, it’s best to leave DMT for another time.
It’s critical that you’re in the right mindset when using DMT or the experience is more likely to cause harm than not.
The exception here could be a little bit of marijuana when following the sandwich method. A small amount of marijuana may help users remain calm during the experience — but only in people who already have a lot of experience with marijuana and know exactly how it’s going to affect them.
People who don’t smoke marijuana often may feel extra anxious with this combination.
Mindset is critical when using DMT. You should ever use this substance if you’re in a bad place or aren’t feeling completely open to the experience. Whatever you feel when you begin the DMT process will become expanded. It can make positive feelings even better, and it can make depressive feelings much worse.
DMT also has a habit of taking you down some roads you may not have wanted to go. Resisting it is only going to make things worse. You have to submit to the DMT and let it take you where it’s going to take you.
Start by meditating, listening to some relaxing music, or following some sort of ritual to get you in the right headspace before you start. Make yourself a nice cup of relaxing tea, do some yoga, or whatever else calms your mind and gets you into a good, mellow headspace.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this — just do whatever works best for you.
It’s also a good idea to set an intention before you start — what do you want to gain from the experience? Is there a particular problem you want to address or explore? Or are you just here to receive whatever the experience brings?
Make a note of it and consider doing some journaling to bring this intention to the top of mind during the experience.
There are a few ways to use DMT. The most common is to simply smoke it with a pipe, but you can also vape it or mix it with an MAO inhibitor and drink it (this is how ayahuasca works).
Smoking DMT provides the fastest onset of effects and has the shortest duration. Both N,N,DMT and 5-MeO-DMT can both be smoked for a powerful psychedelic effect.
DMT can be smoked with just about any method — pipes, bongs, or joints — but there are some clear winners.
The main issue with smoking DMT is the harshness of the hit, and the loss of DMT due to high heat. Therefore, the best techniques limit the heat levels of the DMT crystals and reduce the harshness of the hit. Water filtration, built-in heat sinks, and indirect heating are all methods that can prevent overburning.
Freebase pipes are the cheapest option, but cold-start dab rigs and vapes are the most efficient and smoothest options.