How Long Does DMT Last: What are the Side Effects and Half Life

how long does dmt last
DMT Experience

One addictive drug people should watch out for is called DMT. DMT is a psychedelic drug that could bring people heightened sensations. It also poses serious physical and mental effects on the body. In recent years, this drug’s popularity increased in the US, especially since it is regularly featured in movies and endorsed by celebrities.

Despite the many purported positive side effects, DMT remains a dangerous substance. Beyond hallucinations, it can be incredibly dangerous for users. If you want to know how this powerful drug can affect you or your loved one’s body, this article will tell you the essential things you need to know. 

What Is DMT?

DMT or Dimethyltryptamine (known as Dimitri on the street) is an addictive and fast-acting drug that generates hallucinations. It is naturally present in certain plants and animals but can be developed in laboratories. 

It is regarded as an illegal substance in the US due to its dangerous effects on the body. No person or organization can make it, buy it, possess it, and even distribute it in any part of the country for whatever reason.  

It is widely used in religious rituals and recreation as a substance found in South America’s ayahuasca, an herbal tea that naturally contains DMT and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It is used in some indigenous practices, which is why its use has persisted to this day. 

The substance reached the US in the 1900s and gained popularity as a recreational drug in the 1960s. In 1971, it was classified as a Schedule I drug upon the passing of the Controlled Substances Act that same year. 

DMT becomes dangerous because of its great concentration and potency. When ingested, it could lead to visual and auditory hallucinations for almost half an hour to an hour, but the effects could feel like days to some. It can become addictive to people. But what not everyone knows is that it could cause underlying mental and physical health problems alongside the experience.

DMT Effects

Knowing how the body reacts to DMT can help you understand why the substance is prohibited. Here are some common side effects one can get from taking the substance, depending on the dosage. 

How Long Before You Feel Its Effects

This varies depending on a person’s body and the way they take the substance. Here are some of the most common:

  • In general, smoking or vaping DMT can give you that high effect for 30 to 45 minutes. Some people say that the hallucinations take place as early as 45 seconds into consumption. 
  • On the other hand, drinking ayahuasca can let you experience its effects an hour after the intake. The hallucination can last for almost four hours but expect it peaks an hour and a half after you consumed it. 

The result takes more time in this method than others since the liquid passes through the digestive system first before the body can feel its impacts. 

  • If you choose to inject it directly into your veins, you would immediately feel its effects and lose the feeling after around 30 minutes.
  • Injecting it deep onto your muscles going through your bloodstream (intramuscular injection) can take effect after two to five minutes and then completely disappear after an hour. 
  • The drug can also be snorted, but there is not enough reliable data about how long the effects last when using this method.

How Long Does DMT Last?

Many different factors can determine how long DMT can stay in the body. That includes the dosage they have taken, how frequently they take the substance, their age, weight, and metabolism. 

As previously stated, the impact of the drug in your system also varies depending on the intake. That is why it is hard to declare a particular length for one person.

how long does dmt last
What Does DMT Look Like

DMT Half-Life

The half-life refers to the time it takes before your body expels have the DMT you have consumed. There is no confirmed or definite half-life for DMT yet, so the results can also vary depending on the method of intake. 

  • For injected DMT, its half-life can be observed within 15 minutes.
  • If taken with ayahuasca tea, expect the half-life to be longer. 

Some physical tests could detect the presence of DMT, although this process is not part of the standard drug test procedure followed by the US law enforcers. 

  • In Your Blood

If you conduct a blood test around two hours after your DMT intake, it would still appear in your blood test results. If you want to detect the presence of DMT in someone through this test, you need to conduct the blood test promptly.

  • In Your Urine

If you want to make sure, a urine test is a reliable test since it can detect the presence of DMT even after 24 hours. However, it should not just be a regular urine test. You must undergo a particular test dedicated to detecting hallucinogens. 

  • In Your Saliva

Opinions about saliva tests still vary. Some say that detection of DMT after an hour would be difficult to do through a saliva test, while one study suggests that saliva samples can determine the presence of DMT even after four to 12 hours of intake. 

  • In Your Breath

It is impossible to detect this element by simply testing one’s breath. As of writing, there is no breath test existing yet specifically for DMT.

  • In the Hair

If you want to detect DMT intake within 90 days since the intake, a hair test will make that possible. The number of days would vary depending on how often the person takes the drug. 

DMT Dosage

On Small Doses

When taking the drug, it could push you into a dreamlike state. However, even in small amount, DMT can already give your body the following physical effects:

  • You start to feel dizzy. 
  • Your heart rate speeds up.
  • Your blood pressure increases. 
  • You feel a slight tightness in your chest area.
  • You experience rapid eye movements (REM), and your pupils dilate.
  • You suddenly feel agitated.

On Large Doses

You should also know that DMT can act as a serotonin receptor. That means it can affect various neurological and biological processes in your body, making you feel agitated, nauseous, or anxious at times, but it can also build your memory, boost your mood, improve your sleep, and so on. 

Too much at any one time or prolonged, frequent use can bring you the following side effects:

  • You feel confusion and agitation.
  • Your head hurts.
  • You shiver and get goosebumps.
  • You lose muscle coordination.
  • You get high blood pressure.

These are some signs that your brain is getting overloaded with serotonin that it can no longer manage. In the worst-case scenario, the effects could be as bad as:

  • High fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Damaged kidney and liver
  • Damage to the brain and the heart
  • Mental problems
  • Comatose


Although DMT can be found in many plants and animals, it can be dangerous to one’s health and even lead to life-threatening risks or even death. If you find yourself addicted to this substance, seek help immediately and save yourself from the possible consequences.