Ayahuasca (DMT)


You may have heard that this truly remarkable psychoactive brew that can take you on a unique journey. It is usually served as a brew or a tea, and it is commonly used in indigenous religious ceremonies. There are numerous potential benefits one may gain if Ayahuasca is administered and taken safely however access and set & setting are critical components of the famed Ayahuasca ceremonial experience.


What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a tea that is made using water, vinegar, and a plant called Banisteriopsis caapi. The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, which is a psychedelic substance. Ayahuasca tea is commonly used in religious ceremonies. Religious groups that use Ayahuasca have to request permission from the federal government, so this could be a way to explore possible retreats. When someone takes Ayahuasca, they can experience a wide variety of hallucinogenic effects. Some people describe a religious experience as though they are passing to a higher dimension.


    64% of participants reported significantly reduced symptoms of depression one week after a single dose of ayahuasca.

    Rapid antidepressant effects of the psychedelic ayahuasca in treatment-resistant depression: a randomised placebo-controlled trial (2017)


    Are Ayahuasca (DMT) treatments safe?

    So, is Ayahuasca safe? Similar to other powerful substances, Ayahuasca can be dangerous if it is not given by someone who has a lot of experience, and if it is not taken by someone who understands how it might impact them. Even so, Ayahuasca treatments can be safe if they are administered by someone who has a lot of experience with this substance! Therefore, it is important for everyone to think carefully before they go on a retreat to take Ayahuasca.

    Are Ayahuasca (DMT) treatments addictive?

    Everyone is slightly different, and it is possible for people to develop a dependence on DMT, the active ingredient in Ayahuasca, in certain situations. On the other hand, Ayahuasca is typically viewed as far less addictive when compared to other psychedelic substances. People can develop a psychological craving for Ayahuasca, leading to unpleasant side effects, but it is still not necessarily addictive.

    Can Ayahuasca (DMT) cause seizures?

    Yes, there are situations where Ayahuasca can cause seizures. Ayahuasca works by targeting the central nervous system. Specifically, DMT binds to receptors in the brain, changing how serotonin is transmitted. For example, some of the impacts include dizziness, vertigo, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and issues with the autonomic system. If neurotransmitters change significantly, it is possible for Ayahuasca to cause seizures as well.

    Importantly, everyone responds to Ayahuasca differently. It could take a larger amount for some people to develop seizures than others. That is why it is important for everyone to be very careful if they are taking Ayahuasca, even if they are participating in a religious ceremony.

    Can Ayahuasca (DMT) cause psychosis?

    Yes, it is also possible for Ayahuasca to cause psychosis. Because this is a psychedelic substance that changes the way neurotransmitters flow throughout the brain, it is possible for people to develop hallucinations and delusions while taking Ayahuasca. In some cases, this experience might be pleasurable; however, there are other cases where people might get a “bad trip” or develop severe hallucinations. Prolong psychosis does have the potential to lead to permanent brain damage. For this reason, everyone has to be very cautious when they are taking Ayahuasca. That way, you can increase your chances of having a positive experience when taking Ayahuasca!

    Can Ayahuasca (DMT) make you crazy?

    Everyone has a slightly different definition of crazy, but it is possible for Ayahuasca to lead to psychedelic effects. Some people may describe this as going crazy. Some people describe the impact of Ayahuasca in a positive light. For example, they talked about having spiritual revelations and mystical experiences. Some people believe they learn more about how the universe works, and gain greater insight into how to be the best person they can be. Some people even call this a rebirth or near-death experience. In religious ceremonies, some people use this substance to gain access to higher dimensions.

    At the same time, there are some people who experience some amount of emotional or psychological distress when they take Ayahuasca. For example, some people experience tremors, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and psychosis. For those who are trying Ayahuasca for the first time, it could be a good idea to talk to someone who has administered Ayahuasca in the past to maximize the safety of the experience. If you follow the advice of someone who has used Ayahuasca before, you can have a positive experience while trying it! Take a look at a few options for retreats in the local area.

    Can you die from Ayahuasca (DMT)?

    It is possible for someone to die from taking Ayahuasca. Even though this is highly unusual, they have been reported. In the vast majority of cases, people who passed away while taking Ayahuasca usually have a pre-existing condition. Specifically, they may be taking another substance that interacts with Ayahuasca, leading to fatal complications. In other cases, someone may have a heart condition that makes them vulnerable to fatal side effects while taking this substance. Similar to other substances, it is important for people to work with a medical professional to see if they have a condition or are taking a drug that is going to interact negatively with Ayahuasca. That way, you know what to expect when you try Ayahuasca for the first time!


    How does Ayahuasca (DMT) work?

    Ayahuasca is a conglomeration of a wide variety of ingredients. It is usually taken as a brew or a tea; however, the active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT. Ayahuasca is usually ingested. Then, DMT passes into the bloodstream, crossing over the blood-brain barrier. There, DMT binds to receptors, impacting the flow of neurotransmitters throughout the brain, including serotonin. This fluctuation in neurotransmitters leads to the impact that people usually associate with Ayahuasca.


    Are Ayahuasca (DMT) clinics legal?

    Ayahuasca clinics are not legal in the USA, but they are legal elsewhere. For anyone who is wondering, “is Ayahuasca illegal in the US?” the answer is no. Internationally, Ayahuasca is considered to be a Schedule One substance. The United States also categorizes Ayahuasca as a Schedule 1 substance. This means that it is not allowed to possess or consume Ayahuasca in the USA, even though there are some exceptions to this rule. There are some states that are working to create exceptions to this rule, but this is still a work in progress, and Ayahuasca is still not allowed in the vast majority of locations.

    In the United States, there are some small exceptions to this rule. For example, there are some groups that are allowed to consume Ayahuasca tea for religious purposes. Specifically, there are some Native American tribes that use Ayahuasca under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There are similar situations that have taken place in Canada, Brazil, and France. If you want to give Ayahuasca a try, you might want to consider taking a look at one of these countries! Even places such as Costa Rica have legalized ayahuasca, so you might want to consider planning a trip to that country as well!

    Can Ayahuasca (DMT) be prescribed?

    Usually not. Ayahuasca cannot be prescribed by a medical provider. The only situation where someone might be able to use Ayahuasca is if they are participating in a religious ceremony that has been legalized by federal law. There might be some clinical studies that are taking a closer look at Ayahuasca, so this could be an opportunity for a doctor to prescribe this substance as part of a research study.

    Are Ayahuasca (DMT) retreats covered by Insurance?

    No, Ayahuasca retreats are not covered by insurance. The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, which makes it a psychoactive substance. It is also a Schedule 1 substance under federal law in the United States, but it is legal in other countries, such as Brazil. While this is not something that will be covered by the insurance company, you are certainly welcome to read the details of your plan. You may want to call your insurance company and ask just to be sure; however, insurance companies do not cover Ayahuasca as a treatment option.

    Where is Ayahuasca (DMT) legal?

    Some countries across the world have legalized Ayahuasca; however, the most common locations where Ayahuasca is legal are through religious ceremonies. For example, a lot of groups request permission to use Ayahuasca as a component of a religious sacrament. This is the most common location where Ayahuasca is legal. Countries with legal Ayahuasca include Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Peru, and Romania. There are other countries, including some states in the United States, that might be decriminalizing Ayahuasca treatments in the future. More options could become available. 

    Where can I get Ayahuasca (DMT) in the US?

    Even though it is possible for people to make Ayahuasca on their own, it is important to remember that Ayahuasca is controlled tightly by the government. Those who are interested in taking Ayahuasca in the United States usually try to find a Native American tribe that has permission from the government to use Ayahuasca in a religious ceremony. There are options for retreats out there.

    Where can I get Ayahuasca (DMT) in Canada?

    The situation in Canada is similar to that of the United States, so it is tightly regulated in Canada as well. Those who are interested in taking Ayahuasca in Canada should try to find a group that has a religious exemption to use Ayahuasca as a Sacrament. For example, the Santo Daime Church Céu, located in Montreal, received a religious exemption to use Ayahuasca as a Sacrament in Canada in 2017. 


    How long does Ayahuasca (DMT) last?

    Everyone reacts differently to Ayahuasca, so the exact length of time this will last can vary from person to person. Typically, after taking Ayahuasca, people notice the effects in approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then, the effects of Ayahuasca peak between 1 hour and 2 hours. Finally, most people come down from an Ayahuasca experience in approximately four to six hours after taking it for the first time. Remember that the timeline of impacts can vary depending on how much someone takes, how quickly they metabolize it, and any other substances they might be taking. 

    How Ayahuasca (DMT) affects the brain?

    Ayahuasca impacts the brain in a variety of ways. Specifically, Ayahuasca passes through the blood-brain barrier to bind to receptors in the central nervous system. Then, Ayahuasca causes the flow of neurotransmitters to change. This is how Ayahuasca can lead to a variety of psychedelic impacts. 

    What is Ayahuasca (DMT) like?

    Everyone has a slightly different experience when they try Ayahuasca. For example, some people describe a mystical or fantastical experience. Other people experience euphoria. Some people take Ayahuasca to gain greater insight into some of the memories they have. In general, the impacts of Ayahuasca start approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour after taking it. Then, the impacts peak between 1 and 2 hours. Ayahuasca can lead to an altered level of consciousness. Some religious groups use Ayahuasca to help people manage mental health issues. 

    What are the long-term effects of Ayahuasca (DMT)?

    The long-term effects of Ayahuasca are still an active area of research. Even though Ayahuasca does not have the same addictive profile as other substances, it is still possible for someone to develop a dependence on Ayahuasca. This is still an area of research, so people need to work with someone who has used Ayahuasca before. 


    Will Ayahuasca help my depression?

    Depression is different for everyone. Therefore, it is important for people to remember that the treatment of depression should be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. It is possible for someone to use Ayahuasca to treat depression; however, it is also important to meet with a mental health professional to discuss other treatment options. This could include prescription medications and targeted therapy. Even though Ayahuasca may help in certain situations, it is also difficult to predict the impact when someone takes Ayahuasca for the first time. That is why anyone who is interested in taking Ayahuasca has to do so under the supervision of someone who has experience administering treatment. Ayahuasca can help people who suffer from depression.

    How does Ayahuasca (DMT) work for depression?

    There are some situations where Ayahuasca can be used to treat depression. Ayahuasca targets receptors in the brain that control serotonin. Many medications that are used to treat depression, including SSRIs, also target serotonin, so ayahuasca works in a way that is similar to other prescription medications. Therefore, it is thought that Ayahuasca may work in the same manner as these medications. By changing levels of serotonin in the brain, it is thought that people may be able to recover from the symptoms of depression. 

    How does Ayahuasca (DMT) help PTSD?

    Some people use Ayahuasca to help them manage PTSD. PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It is not unusual for people to develop PTSD following a traumatic experience. PTSD can be marked by anxiety, flashbacks, and emotional lability. Ayahuasca may be able to help people manage the symptoms of PTSD. It is thought that Ayahuasca dredges up traumatic memories related to PTSD in a safe situation. Then, people can develop a conscious awareness of them in a controlled environment. As a result, people may learn more about why they are suffering from PTSD, gaining insight into how they can manage these memories and overcome the symptoms. Again, anyone who is suffering from PTSD should reach out to a mental health professional who can help them manage these symptoms. At the same time, there are situations where ayahuasca treatments can be helpful!


    How do you prepare Ayahuasca (DMT)?

    There are several ways to make Ayahuasca; however, vinegar, water, and Banisteriopsis Caapi are the most common ingredients. Keep in mind that Ayahuasca is not legal under federal law unless you have received permission to use it in a ceremony. Typically, all of the ingredients are added to a large pot. Then, the liquid is cooked at high heat just under boiling. During this time, it is important to stir thoroughly to release the ingredients for several hours. After this, the liquid is put in a fridge to cool overnight. The next day, the liquid is filtered to remove any excess matter. Finally, the liquid is heated up when it is ready to be served as tea.


    What is an Ayahuasca (DMT) experience?

    Everyone has a slightly different experience when they take Ayahuasca. Most people describe a religious or spiritual experience. A lot of people use Ayahuasca to help them manage a lot of complicated issues in their lives. Some people directly use Ayahuasca to help them treat mental health issues. Ultimately, a “fantasy” or “spiritual” experience is common when taking Ayahuasca. 


    How do I find Ayahuasca (DMT) near me?

    If you are looking for Ayahuasca in the local area, the best option is to take a look at Native American tribes and religious groups who have a history of using Ayahuasca. These groups do not hand out Ayahuasca freely. In the vast majority of cases, you will have to get to know the tribe and ask permission to participate in a religious ceremony if you are interested in using Ayahuasca. 

    Are there Ayahuasca (DMT) trials near me?

    If you are looking for Ayahuasca trials in the local area, there might be options available. For example, MAPS sponsors a variety of Ayahuasca trials across the country. There are also clinical trials that focus specifically on psychedelics. Even though these are not specific to Ayahuasca, Ayahuasca may be an option as well. While Ayahuasca trials are not as common as trials that focus on other substances, there might be options available.

    How do I find Ayahuasca (DMT) doctors near me?

    It is highly unusual for a doctor to prescribe Ayahuasca as a treatment option. On the other hand, if you are looking for help treating mental health concerns, there may be mental health professionals who can help you. There are both inpatient and outpatient doctors who may be able to help you recover from substance abuse issues. Ayahuasca could help you with this.

    Can I find Ayahuasca (DMT) studies near me

    There are also studies that take place focusing on Ayahuasca from time to time. Usually, these are academic institutions, such as medical schools, that study the impacts of Ayahuasca on the human body if you are interested in participating in a study such as this, you may want to look for medical schools that are located in areas that are close to Native American tribes. Sometimes, these institutions have relationships with Native American tribes that allow them to study Ayahuasca in a controlled setting. This could be a way for you to learn more about Ayahuasca.