Is DMT Legal?

Learn about the legal status of DMT and its potential therapeutic benefits in this comprehensive guide. 

Overview: DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance used in magico-religious ceremonies by indigenous cultures. It is found in plants like Psychotria viridis and can be combined with Banisteriopsis caapi to make ayahuasca. DMT produces intense, transcendent experiences characterized by vivid visuals and interactions with otherworldly beings. The legal status of DMT varies worldwide, but there are legal ways to experience it, such as attending ayahuasca retreats in countries where it is legal. Religious use of DMT is allowed in some countries. Making ayahuasca at home may be an option depending on local laws. Colorado has decriminalized DMT, along with other psychedelics. While DMT is generally considered safe, caution should be exercised, and it is important to research and understand the legal implications and potential risks before use. Responsible use and proper set and setting are crucial.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule and its Legal Implications Worldwide

N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic substance used in magico-religious ceremonies by Amazonian indigenous cultures. DMT’s chemical structure is similar to serotonin and melatonin, and its effects are comparable to other classic psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD.

DMT is naturally found in the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub which can be combined with the stems of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine to create the ayahuasca brew. Other DMT-containing plants include Diplopterys cabrerana and Psychotria carthagenensis, as well as some plants and trees from the genera Phalaris, Delosperma, Acacia, Desmodium, Mimosa, and Virola.

Anadenanthera peregrina beans, used in a mind-altering snuff called yopo, also contain trace amounts of DMT and have been used ceremonially in South America for at least 4,000 years.

DMT can be extracted from plants and vaporized or smoked to occasion a brief yet immediate-acting, very intense, transcendent experience characterized by brightly colored and geometric visual phenomena and interactions with seemingly sentient otherworldly beings. Inhaling DMT allows it to bypass the monoamine oxidase enzyme in the gut and liver that rapidly degrades orally ingested DMT. producing psychedelic effects lasting approximately 5-20 minutes

In general, those who use both synthetic and naturally-occurring DMT commonly report experiencing positive effects, resulting in a sense of increased happiness and meaning in their lives. However, DMT also has the potential to produce challenging experiences and carries serious risks.

Below, we cover the current legal status of DMT around the world, including its classification and potential penalties for possession, sale, and use. Stay informed and make safe decisions with our comprehensive guide.

Is DMT Legal?

DMT is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, meaning that its international trade is tightly monitored and its use is limited to scientific research and medical use.

However, in some countries, it is not illegal to purchase plants containing DMT. Additionally, natural sources of DMT, such as ayahuasca, are not subject to regulation under the 1971 Psychotropic Convention.

There are several legal ways to try this traditional medicinal concoction without running the risk of breaking the law, however. Before jumping into them, it is important to note that Webdelics does not condone the illegal use of any psychedelic substances. The information provided on our platform is purely for educational and harm reduction purposes. It is crucial that users do their own research and make themselves aware of the legal status of DMT and DMT-containing plants in their respective countries before using or attempting to obtain them. 

Ayahuasca Retreats 

If ayahuasca is illegal in your country, you may consider traveling to countries where it is legal to attend ayahuasca retreats.

Ayahuasca retreats are growing in popularity as a way to legally consume ayahuasca in a safe and controlled environment in countries where the use of ayahuasca is legal, such as Peru, Costa Rica, and Brazil. These retreats offer participants the opportunity to take part in traditional ayahuasca ceremonies led by experienced shamanic practitioners, often in beautiful natural settings.

Most reputable ayahuasca retreat centers operate under strict guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of their participants. These guidelines typically include medical screenings prior to participation, controlled dosages of ayahuasca, and supervision by experienced facilitators throughout the ceremony. Retreat centers may also provide additional support such as pre- and post-ceremony integration sessions to help participants process their experiences and integrate them into their daily lives.

Legal ayahuasca retreats can offer a transformative and healing experience for those seeking spiritual growth, personal development, and relief from physical or emotional pain. However, ayahuasca retreats also come with certain risks. The potent medicine can cause physical and psychological side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, paranoia, and anxiety. Additionally, some people may have pre-existing medical conditions that can be worsened by the use of ayahuasca, and it can interact with certain medications.

It's also important to note that not all retreat centers are created equal, and some may not have the necessary safety protocols in place. There have been reports of unscrupulous companies taking advantage of vulnerable customers, providing inadequate medical care, or even administering the brew without the guidance of experienced practitioners.

It's important to thoroughly research any retreat center before booking and to ensure that it has a strong reputation for safety and ethical practices.

Religious Use of DMT

Although DMT is a Schedule I controlled substance, rules are relaxed regarding religious use. In the United States, two religious organizations — Santo Daime and União do Vegetal (UDV) — have been granted legal protection to use DMT in their religious ceremonies. 

Specifically, Santo Daime and UDV use DMT-containing ayahuasca in their rituals. The sacramental use of ayahuasca is considered central to the spiritual practices of these groups. The UDV originated in Brazil and was founded in 1961, while Santo Daime was founded in the 1930s in the Brazilian Amazon. Both groups consider ayahuasca to be a sacrament that can help them to connect with the divine, heal psychological and physical illnesses, and promote personal growth and spiritual development.

The use of ayahuasca is guided by a set of practices and rituals that are specific to each church, and members are expected to follow certain behavioral guidelines, including abstaining from alcohol and other drugs.

Making Ayahuasca at Home 

If you are unable or unwilling to travel for an ayahuasca experience, making the brew at home may be an option for you.

The legality of making ayahuasca depends on the country you are in. In some countries, such as the United States, it is illegal to create ayahuasca, even if the individual ingredients are legal. However, in other countries, it may be legal to create ayahuasca for personal use or for use in a religious ceremony.

The dried DMT-containing root bark of Mimosa hostilis was once considered a legally ambiguous item in the US, but the DEA has recently cracked down on internet sales of the bark citing legal code that broadly classifies any substance containing prohibited compounds as illegal. As a result, some vendors have switched to stocking Acacia confusa bark, which has a similar chemical profile.

In general, it is important to research the laws in your country and ensure that you are not breaking any laws before attempting to create ayahuasca. Additionally, it is important to be aware that the creation of ayahuasca can be dangerous if not done correctly, as the preparation involves the use of toxic plants and requires skill and knowledge to avoid harmful side effects.

Recent Decriminalization of DMT in Colorado

In a recent development, Colorado has become the second state in the US to legalize the use of psilocybin, which is the psychedelic substance found in magic mushrooms. This move follows Oregon's decision to decriminalize the substance in 2020. Although Proposition 122 does not permit the sale of psilocybin, it has decriminalized its personal possession and use in Colorado.

Moreover, it allows Coloradans to legally grow mushrooms containing psilocybin. The ballot measure has also set up a framework for the substance to be used in mental healthcare and therapeutic settings, although it may take a few years for the first clinics to start offering the substance.

Additionally, Proposition 122 has also decriminalized the personal possession and use (for adults aged 21 and above) of several other psychedelic/entheogenic plants and fungi, such as DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline (excluding peyote).

To regulate the use of these substances, a Natural Medicine Advisory Board has been established. The board will develop regulations, licensing rules, and training programs for providers and make its first recommendations later this year. It is expected that state-regulated clinics could start offering psilocybin by late 2024, and officials can consider similar programs for other psychedelic substances like DMT starting in 2026. 

However, it is important to note that despite these legal changes at the state level, all of these substances, including DMT, remain illegal under federal law.

Is DMT Safe?

Ongoing research is being conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of DMT, like most other psychedelics. Nonetheless, preliminary studies suggest that DMT has a very favorable safety profile.

DMT is not addictive and is not known to encourage compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The median lethal dose (LD50) of intravenously administered DMT in mice is 32 mg/kg, which is 80-160 times the typical dose. The LD50 of ayahuasca is 20-50 times the typical effective dose used in ceremonial contexts.

While both DMT and ayahuasca may cause non-serious, unpleasant physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, they are generally safe when used responsibly.

Nevertheless, their subjective effects have the potential to be psychologically destabilizing, particularly when used in inappropriate contexts or by individuals with a history of psychiatric illnesses or a family history of psychotic disorders. Such cases, however, are uncommon.

Research suggests that membership of the UDV may provide a protective psychological benefit. Regular use of ayahuasca is linked to decreased impulsivity, violent behavior, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, psychological distress, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts, as well as increased psychological well-being, mood, and cognitive performance

Summing Up DMT Legality

DMT is a powerful psychedelic substance that has been used for millennia by indigenous communities in ceremonial contexts, and shown promising therapeutic potential in several clinical studies.

The controlled use of DMT in appropriate settings with the guidance of experienced shamans or medical professionals has the potential to offer significant therapeutic benefits for a variety of mental health conditions.

However, DMT remains illegal in many countries, and users should be aware of the legal implications before consuming it. The legality of DMT varies by country, and users should always research the legal status of DMT in their jurisdiction before deciding to consume it. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the user to adhere to the laws and regulations in their jurisdiction.

Despite the legal challenges, DMT has been used safely and responsibly by individuals in ceremonial contexts, often with the guidance of experienced shamans or therapists. Research on the therapeutic potential of DMT is ongoing, and while the results are promising, caution should be exercised when consuming this substance.

The use of DMT should always take into account the importance of set and setting, and users should be mindful of their intentions and motivations when consuming this substance.

While the effects of DMT can be transformative, users should always prioritize their safety and well-being, approach DMT with caution and respect, and use this powerful substance only under the supervision of a trusted, experienced guide or therapist. 

Girl with Plant
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
(We don't like spam either)

Test Answer 222


Test Answer

Dr. Ana Holmes, Physican, Philadelphia, US

Test Answer 2


Test Answer 3


Test Answer 2


Test Answer

Dr. Ana Holmes, Physican, Philadelphia, US

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.