Ayahuasva vs DMT: A lot of people usually mistake Ayahuasca for DMT or vice versa. Both substances are used together, and most people believe the same. Even though they share many similarities, it’s important to note that they are not 100% the same.

In this article, I will take you through the differences, similarities, and effects of DMT and Ayahuasca. You’ll learn the aspects where they are similar and the differences they share, especially with respect to the psychedelic experience they give. Continue reading to find out more.

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a native psychoactive brew from South America that is traditionally used as a spiritual medicine. It is also known as la purga, Mother Ayahuasca, Ayahuasca, and tea. This native brew is made from the shrubs of Psyhotria Viridis and the stalks of Banisteriopsis caapi vine. To make the brew amazing, people also add other ingredients.

The primary psychoactive substance in P. Viridis is DMT, and a substitute for this is Diplopterys cabrerana. On the other hand, the B. caapi vine is usually smashed and cleaned before boiling. This is the strategy that is used to increase the extraction of active compounds. The plant also contains other alkaloids that act as MAOI, most of which are needed for DMT to be active.

The two active substances of Ayahuasca are DMT and MAOIs. Basically, the DMT in Ayahuasca interacts with different serotonin receptors, which helps fight different serotonin deficiencies. There are also different studies that suggest that using these substances for a long time can help to fight senile dementia, ADHD, and PTSD. Ayahuasca is also used in treating addiction and depression in people.

Another interesting thing to note is that the brews are also applied to different religious and spiritual purposes in Amazonian tribes. They are also considered sacred beverages in different North American and Brazilian communities. Plant medicine is also used to treat symptoms of substance abuse, addiction, trauma, and illnesses.

Other reported benefits of Ayahuasca include better perspectives in life, creativity, and productivity. However, it’s important to note that people with mental illnesses are not advised to use the substance because it can worsen their condition.

What is DMT?

DMT is a psychedelic and hallucinogenic drug that is naturally present in plants and animals. People also call it the spirit molecule, and this is because of the intense experience it gives. Many people know Ayahuasca but not DMT. However, it is actually a substance that is in the ayahuasca brew and common in different South American traditions.

The element causes different psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects that people experience when taking the ayahuasca brew. DMT has a chemical structure that is similar to that of sumatriptan, which is a non-selective agonist of serotonin receptors, especially the 5HT2A receptor.

People also call DMT Dimitri in many cases, and its effects are similar to those of magic mushrooms and LSD. There are more than 400 different types of fungi and plants that have DMT. It is also present in small quantities in the brain of mammals. Basically, DMT is not the only naturally existing psychedelic substance. Others include mescaline, salvia divinorum, and psilocybin.

Smoked DMT vs. Ayahuasca: The Similarities and Differences

Ayahuasca is a brew that contains DMT, but you can also take DMT even without taking the brew. There are many ways to take DMT, including smoking, injecting, snorting, or ingesting as tea.

Also, the effects of DMT depend on the way it is taken. For example, smoking DMT alters the sense of reality, with the effects only lasting a few seconds, unlike that of ayahuasca tea. Another thing to note is that DMT last longer when it is taken as a tea, and this is because it takes longer to be absorbed by the stomach lining. This process causes it to take a longer time to reach the brain, unlike when it is smoked.

To help you understand the differences between Ayahuasca and DMT. Here are some factors to explain how they differ and their similarities.

1. Duration

The duration of action of Ayahuasca and DMT is completely different. With Ayahuasca, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the effects to begin, and this can last for up to 6 hours. The duration of DMT on the other hand depends on multiple factors. This includes how you take it, your body composition, and the amount you take.

Reports in Healthline highlight that there are people that feel the effects almost immediately, and this is usually within 45 seconds. Taking DMT through Ayahuasca causes the substance to pass through the digestive tract, which takes longer to feel. In general, the effect of DMT can last up to 25 minutes when smoked and 4 hours when taken with ayahuasca brew.

2. Intensity

Most ayahuasca retreat centers provide different ceremonies for ritualistic and therapeutic purposes. The effects are enlightening when Ayahuasca is taken traditionally, and in the right setting, and with the right precaution.

Also, ayahuasca experience has individual variations. In general, the side effects that are common include hallucination, vomiting, auditory and visual changes, and other intense experiences.

Smoking DMT also offers an intense experience but doesn’t last as long as Ayahuasca. The experience is mostly enlightening for some people, which is rarely the case with Ayahuasca.

3. Acquisition

Ayahuasca is not legal, but it’s very easy to buy from online platforms. There are different versions that can also be sourced over the internet. However, you need to be sure that you’re getting it from the right source. You can also buy ayahuasca tea kits online and use them to create your own brew according to your preference.

On the other hand, DMT is not as easy to obtain as Ayahuasca, but in terms of usage, it’s a lot easier to use, and this is because it requires only basic paraphernalia. Using DMT does not necessarily require supervision or any ceremony, and as such, it may be dangerous for the traumatic effects it may have.

4. Safety

A lot of people think that natural means safe, but there might be a few exceptions. DMT or Ayahuasca, for example, has a few risks and negative impacts. DMT and Ayahuasca share many similarities in this area. For example, they both have psychological and physical effects. In addition, taking both substances can give negative effects like serotonin syndrome.

One of Ayahuasca’s components is DMT, which triggers the serotonin release in the brain. In high doses, serotonin can yield life-threatening conditions like serotonin syndrome disorder. This is a condition that is common among people taking DMT and antidepressants together. The condition is characterized by breathing difficulties, seizures, and coma.

People with a history of any mental or psychiatric disorders are advised not to take Ayahuasca. Also, there are different reports about positive psychological experiences from people taking DMT.

5. Effects

The effects of Ayahuasca are mostly due to the presence of DMT in the plant. Some of the effects felt from taking Ayahuasca include diarrhea, euphoric feelings, vomiting, auditory and visual hallucinations, and other mind-altering psychedelic effects.

Despite that, there are various reports about the positive effects of the psychedelic trip offered by Ayahuasca, and the experience is life-changing and enlightening.

DMT is also a powerful substance with different physical and mental side effects, including dizziness, paranoia, vivid hallucinations, chest pains, agitation, increased blood pressure, and euphoria. There are also reports that DMT can cause loss of muscle coordination, confusion, and seizures.

Generally, DMT and Ayahuasca have similar effects, and the main thing to note is that DMT is the agent responsible for the psychedelic effects of Ayahuasca.

6. Addictive

Reports show that both substances are not addictive, and DMT is not likely to cause psychological dependence, tolerance, or physical dependence.

7. Legality

DMT is a Schedule I drug, and it’s illegal for recreational use in many parts of the world, including the United States and the UK. This is because people are likely to misuse the substance. Despite that, it is still easily accessible because it is a naturally occurring substance.

Ayahuasca vs DMT Experience

As mentioned earlier, both substances have similar effects on the user, but DMT is known to be responsible for the effects in both cases. People mostly seek to experience spiritual growth and healing from the substance. There are also reports that people use Ayahuasca to treat symptoms of depression and addiction.

However, it’s important to note that various risks are associated with these substances, and we have highlighted some of these risks above.

The experience generally varies on an individual basis, and to help you understand better, here are some reported accounts.

Ayahuasca Positive and Negative Testimonials

There are different positive stories about Ayahuasca, and one of these reviews highlights that the brew is mild and offers a sensation like that of a warm, gentle stream. This is without visual changes or changes in perception. Another experience highlights that the brew offers healing for anxiety, as they felt more encouraged after taking ayahuasca brew.

Despite these positive reviews, there are also some negative reviews that highlight that the substance can be dangerous. For example, it has in some ayahuasca retreats, women under the influence of the substance are likely to be taken advantage of. However, this is an incident that can be avoided if you take these substances in the right type of environment.

DMT Positive and Negative Testimonials

DMT has different positive reviews, and this is mostly from people who experience a sense of gratitude and positive life changes. It’s an intense type of sensation that also help to relieve the symptoms of various mental illnesses.

Reports show that people who have been on the substances for a long period might not be able to easily withdraw from taking DMT. Other experiences that people get include vision and auditory changes, high body temperature, fast heartbeat, and altered sleep circle.


With everything above, you can see that Ayahuasca and DMT are not completely the same, even though they share many similarities. The main thing to note is that DMT creates the psychedelic experience that is associated with Ayahuasca. Another thing to note is that Ayahuasca is made from Psychotria viridis plant and Banisteriopsis Caapi vine. DMT is the active ingredient in Psychotria viridis.

Both chemical substances enable provide psychoactive, physical, and psychological effects. The common effects are euphoria, paranoia, and hallucinations, and the main agent behind these effects is DMT. In addition, both substances are illegal in different parts of the world.

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