December 14, 2023

Ayahuasca: WTF is up with DMT?

by Science Vs

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DMT might be the weirdest drug in the already weird world of psychedelics. It’s the active ingredient in ayahuasca, but on its own, DMT can give you what’s nicknamed “the businessman’s trip” — a psychedelic journey that can be done and dusted inside 15 minutes. So what is this drug doing to our brains? And could it help people with depression? We catch up with Dr Chris Timmermann, Dr Graham Campbell, Michelle Baker Jones and Dr David Olson to find out.

Find our transcript here: 

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In this episode, we cover:


(00:59) Celebs love ayahuasca

(04:58) DMT

(08:06) The ‘Rick and Morty’ Trip

(13:30) Is DMT a portal?

(15:42) DMT in our brains

(21:53) DMT for depression?

(29:33) Plastic psychedelics

(36:10) Risks of DMT and ayahuasca

(39:09) Where do we land on DMT?

This episode was produced by Joel Werner, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Michelle Dang, Rose Rimler, and Nick DelRose. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Bumi Hidaka. Music written by Bumi Hidaka, Peter Leonard, and Bobby Lord. Thanks to all the researchers we spoke to including Dr Rick Strassman, Dr David Erritzoe, Dr Jimo Borjigin, Dr. Steven Barker, Dr Brandon Weiss, Dr Pascal Michael, Dr Michael Gatch, Professor Jerome Sarris, Professor Deepak Dsouza, Sean Chiddy, and David Nickles. Special thanks to Jack Weinstein and Hunter, Katie Vines, Finn and Jules, Christian Darío Vásquez, Valentina Powers, Zac Schmidt, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. 

Science Vs is a Spotify Studios Original. Listen for free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Follow us and tap the bell for episode notifications. 

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