- God molecule
- The Toad
5-MeO-DMT is short for 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine. It’s found in several plants and in high concentrations in the secretion of the toad Bufo alvarius. It’s also possibly produced by the human body and has been found in human blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid.
5-MeO-DMT was first synthesized in 1936 by Japanese chemists Toshio Hoshino and Kenya Shimodaira. It’s usually inhaled through vaporizing or snorting. Like DMT, the experience is quick, starting just a few seconds after ingestion and lasting about twenty to thirty minutes. (Snorted material comes on a bit slower and can last a bit longer.) The substance is sometimes paired with MAOIs, a class of antidepressants, which can make the experience longer and more intense. However, this combination can be dangerous, causing abnormally high body temperature and, in some cases, death.
In addition to effects shared with other classic psychedelics, some users have reported an empty or void experience similar to sensory deprivation. There are also reports of fear, shaking, and profound terror.
Anecdotal reports and early studies suggest 5-MeO-DMT could help treat anxiety and depression, but further research is needed to determine its safety and effectiveness.
Some worry that renewed demand for 5-MeO-DMT has put pressure on the Sonoran Desert toad population, which is already in decline. There is also concern about the cruelty of harvesting 5-MeO-DMT from toads; because the compound is secreted as a defense only when the amphibians are in stressful or dangerous situations, some herpetologists say there is no humane way to collect the secretion. 5-MeO-DMT can also be synthesized in the lab, although there is debate over whether the synthesized substance occasions different effects.
In the United States, 5-MeO-DMT is listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It’s illegal to use it recreationally or in therapy outside of specially approved research settings.