DMT (N-dimethyltryptamine) is known to occasion among the most intense of psychedelic experiences: For some it offers a blastoff into another dimension, an opportunity to “meet God”—or aliens. It can be transformative, mystical, or scary, but the effects only last about half an hour. DMT is also present in ayahuasca, although in this case, the experience is elongated over a few hours. The space-and-time bending effects can be followed by profoundly positive changes for the experiencer. Seeking freedom from addiction, depression, or grief, many have flocked to Amazonian ayahuasca retreats in recent years to consult plant medicine and the curanderos and curanderas who keep it.

Timothy Ko, CEO of Entheon Biomedical, a Vancouver-based startup seeking to develop psilocybin- and DMT-based addiction treatments, tells DoubleBlind he had a transformative experience with DMT about five years ago that brought him out of a kind of depression that “felt like drowning.” Emerging with a renewed sense of meaning, he went on to create what he describes as a more reflective and integrated life. With psychedelics, he says, “there’s a re-wiring that takes place.”

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