N,N-DMT vs. 5-MEO-DMT: A Comprehensive Comparative Analysis


In the rapidly evolving field of psychedelic research, two compounds have emerged as subjects of particular interest due to their unique psychedelic properties and profound effects on human consciousness: N,N-Dimethyltryptamine and O-methyl-bufotenin (5-MEO-DMT). These substances have garnered significant attention in recent years, sparking a surge of scientific and therapeutic interest. This article aims to delve into the unique characteristics N,N-DMT vs. 5-MEO-DMT, their origins, their safety profiles, and their potential therapeutic applications, providing a comprehensive comparative analysis.

5-MEO-DMT originally comes from an animal source, while N,N-DMT is extracted from a plant source.

Decoding the Psychedelic Effects

N,N-DMT and 5-MEO-DMT, both members of the tryptamine class of psychedelics, share a common mechanism of action. They primarily interact with serotonin receptors, specifically the 5-HT2A receptor, which is believed to mediate the majority of their psychedelic effects. Upon binding to this receptor, these compounds trigger profound alterations in perception, cognition, and emotions. These alterations often lead to experiences described by users as transformative or life-changing, opening up new perspectives and insights into the nature of self and reality.

These experiences, while subjective and highly individual, often share common themes of unity, interconnectedness, and a sense of encountering a deeper or more fundamental level of reality. Users often report feelings of awe, reverence, and a renewed sense of purpose or meaning in life following their experiences with these substances.

A Journey into Consciousness: Brief but Profound

One of the most notable characteristics shared by N,N-DMT and 5-MEO-DMT is the rapid onset and short duration of their psychedelic effects. Users often report that the effects of these substances are not only swift but also remarkably brief, typically lasting mere minutes as opposed to the hours-long effects of other classical psychedelics such as psilocybin, Ayahuasca, and LSD.

Despite this brevity, both compounds can induce intensely immersive journeys into the depths of consciousness, offering profound insights and experiences within a condensed timeframe. These experiences, while brief, can have long-lasting effects on individuals’ perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors, often leading to significant personal growth and transformation.

Tracing the Origins

N,N-DMT and 5-MEO-DMT differ significantly in their natural sources. N,N-DMT can be found in various plants, albeit in trace amounts, with one common source being the bark of the Mimosa hostilis plant. This plant, native to certain regions of South America, has been used for centuries in traditional shamanic practices for its psychoactive properties.

Mimosa tenuiflora (tepezcohuite)

Conversely, 5-MEO-DMT is typically synthesized chemically or extracted from the venom glands of the Sonoran Desert toad. This toad, also known as the Colorado River toad, is one of the few animals known to produce a potent psychedelic compound. This fundamental difference in their origins underscores the diverse methods of obtaining these potent compounds and highlights the fascinating interplay between nature and human ingenuity in the quest for understanding consciousness.

Sonoran Desert Toad, Incilius alvarius

Safety Profiles: A Crucial Distinction

The safety profiles of N,N-DMT and 5-MEO-DMT represent perhaps the most significant point of divergence between these two substances. N,N-DMT, a full agonist of the 5-HT2A receptor, stimulates the receptor with the same intensity as endogenous serotonin. This characteristic generally renders N,N-DMT a safe substance when used responsibly, with few physical side effects and a low potential for addiction.

In contrast, 5-MEO-DMT stimulates the 5-HT2A receptor to a level exceeding that of natural serotonin, surpassing the effects of a full agonist. This heightened intensity can lead to overwhelming experiences and potential risks, including loss of consciousness, seizures, and potential interference with the body’s ability to maintain and protect the airway. The full agonism of 5-MEO-DMT also makes it a potentially dangerous mix with many common medications, underscoring the need for careful screening and supervision when using this substance.

Prioritizing Safety: The Eleusinia Retreat Approach

At Eleusinia Retreat, we prioritize the safety and well-being of our guests above all else. Our policy is to work exclusively with N,N-DMT due to its more favorable safety profile. Our aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment where guests can explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics responsibly.

Our approach is grounded in a deep respect for the power of these substances and a commitment to facilitating safe and meaningful experiences. We provide comprehensive pre-session preparation and post-session integration support, helping our guests to navigate their experiences and integrate their insights into their daily lives.

Methods of Administration

Both 5-MEO-DMT and N,N-DMT are non-psychoactive when taken orally due to rapid breakdown by the body’s monoamine oxidase system. To bypass this, pure versions of these compounds are typically vaporized, allowing for rapid delivery and onset of effects. This method offers users a swift and intense experience, enabling exploration of altered states of consciousness.

In some research settings, an intravenous (IV) protocol has been utilized to extend the duration of the experience and provide valuable insights into the effects of these compounds. This method, while less common in recreational settings, offers a controlled and predictable onset and duration of effects, allowing researchers to study the effects of these substances in a more systematic and controlled manner.

N,N-DMT in Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca, a revered plant medicine in many indigenous cultures, combines N,N-DMT with other ingredients to make it orally active. The brew’s components inhibit the monoamine oxidase system, allowing for a prolonged effect of N,N-DMT. Despite its transformative potential, the MAO inhibitors in ayahuasca can cause significant gastrointestinal upset, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. They can also interact dangerously with many common medications and certain foods, underscoring the need for careful preparation and supervision when using this brew.

Ayahuasca brew ingredients.

Promoting Sustainable Practice

At Eleusinia Retreat, we advocate for a personal and sustainable approach to psychedelic use, particularly with N,N-DMT. We believe that integrating occasional N,N-DMT experiences into a broader, conscious practice can lead to more profound and therapeutic outcomes. Many of our guests continue their journeys beyond the retreat, incorporating these experiences into their lives with a mindful and intentional approach. The accessibility of N,N-DMT makes this practice possible.

N,N-DMT for Pain Relief: A Promising Approach

At Eleusinia Retreat, we have observed the remarkable effects of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine as a potent analgesic. This psychedelic compound has proven to be an invaluable tool in addressing nerve pain and aborting attacks of painful neurological conditions such as cluster headaches. In one such case, a guest who was experiencing a painful attack was able to go from a pain level of 8-9 to a pain level of 3-4, from being unable to leave their room to being able to engage with other guests and enjoy their time at Eleusinia. For individuals like our guest, living with chronic pain conditions and enduring these challenging conditions, the short duration of an N,N-DMT experience offers a convenient yet powerful means to reduce their suffering and improve their quality of life. The transformative effects of N,N-DMT on pain can provide much-needed relief and respite, making it a promising avenue for those seeking alternative approaches to managing chronic pain and enhancing their overall well-being.


In the realm of psychedelics, N,N-DMT and 5-MEO-DMT occupy unique positions, offering brief yet intense experiences that can be transformative for those who seek to explore altered states of consciousness. While both substances share similarities in their mechanisms of action, it is crucial to acknowledge the significant differences in their safety profiles. At Eleusinia Retreat, we are committed to promoting responsible and safe psychedelic practices, focusing on N-DMT as a means of fostering personal growth and therapeutic benefits for our guests. Through our work, we aim to contribute to the ongoing exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and their role in enhancing human well-being.

8 Responses

  1. I have been curious about the potential beneficial effects of psychedelics for decades. I’ve had experience with psychedelics in the past in an uncontrolled setting (unfortunately) and had one of the most terrifying roller coaster rides of my life so to speak!… I’m very interested in trying these substances in a controlled setting. My goal is to dig down deep into my real self and (hopefully) eliminate self-destructive/sabotaging behaviors…and see beyond my ego into the universe?… I’m also interested to know what or if these substances have healing properties for the nervous system and the body in general.

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