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Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) a Psychedelic

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DMT, also known as N,N-dimethyltryptamine, is a naturally-occurring tryptamine and potent psychedelic drug, found not only in many plants, but also in trace amounts in the human body where its natural function is undetermined. Structurally, it is analogous to the neurotransmitter serotonin and other psychedelic tryptamines such as 5-MeO-DMT and 4-HO-DMT (Fig. 16). DMT is created in small amounts by the human body during normal metabolism by the enzyme tryptamine-N-methyltransferase [134]. Many cultures, indigenous and modern, ingest DMT as a psychedelic in extracted or synthesized forms.

DMT occurs as the primary active alkaloid in several plants including such plants as Mimosa hostilis, Diplopterys cabrerana, and Psychotria viridis. DMT is found as a minor alkaloid in snuff made from Virola bark resin in which 5-MeO-DMT is the main active alkaloid [135]. DMT is also found as a minor alkaloid in the beans of Anadenanthera peregrina and Anadenanthera colubrina used to make Yopo and Vilca snuff in which bufotenin is the main active alkaloid [136].


  • Human Body
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Natural Function
  • Oxidase Inhibitor
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2448-0_35
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Fig. 16


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Correspondence to Enno Freye MD, PhD .

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Freye, E. (2009). Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) a Psychedelic. In: Pharmacology and Abuse of Cocaine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Related Designer Drugs. Springer, Dordrecht.

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