Study: 5-MeO-DMT May Rapidly Improve Anxiety and Depression

The Colorado River toad Via: Viktor Loki


by Michelle Lyon

on April 6, 2019

Anxiety and depression are considered one of the most debilitating medical conditions of our times. Both have the power to strip an individual of their vitality, physical health and every essence of what it means to be a joyful human being. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability. Suicide rates have skyrocketed an astounding 30% since year 2000 despite the fact that the use of prescription antidepressants has gone up an alarming 400%.

Researchers at John Hopkins may have discovered a fast-acting treatment for the millions of sufferers of mental health disorders. A new study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reports that use of the synthetic psychedelic 5-methocy-N,-N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) appears to be analogous with improvements in self-reported depression and anxiety when given in a ceremonial setting with guidance and support before, during and after taking it.

Of the 362 adults surveyed, approximately 80% reported improvements in anxiety and depression following one 5-MeO-DMT ceremony. Participants on average were given doses of 5mg to more than 15mg of vaporized 5-MeO-DMT, depending on their prior psychedelic experience.

Most of the people in the study attended the ceremonies for spiritual purposes. The psychological improvements were an unintended benefit of the intensely profound mystical experiences- 73% regarded their first 5-MeO-DMT experience as among the top 5 or single most meaningful experience of their lives.

The authors of the study believe the short duration of psychedelic effects, 30-90 minutes, makes 5-MeO-DMT a more favorable and practical psychedelic to be consumed during psychotherapy sessions. “Research has shown that psychedelics given alongside psychotherapy help people with depression and anxiety. However, psychedelic sessions usually require 7—8 hours per session because psychedelics typically have a long duration of action,” states Alan K. Davis, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the Behavioral Research Unit, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

5-MeO-DMT is found naturally in high concentrations within the venom of the Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius).  Scientists have been able to produce it synthetically in a lab. The synthetic version was used for this study. Prior research by Davis has shown the substance has a low risk for adverse health consequences.

5-MeO-DMT is by far the most potent of all psychedelic medicines. Users find that they completely disassociate from their body and the ego is completely dissolved. For this reason, consuming the medicine should not be taken lightly. As was done in the study, it is advisable to use 5-MeO-DMT with a guide, along with integrative therapy before and after the ceremony. Intention and set/setting are imperative to gain the most profound healing from all psychedelics.

Current findings on the positive benefits of this psychedelic are rather impressive and justify the need for future study. “It is important to examine the short and long-term effects of 5-MeO-DMT, which may enhance mood in general or may be particularly mood enhancing for those individuals experiencing clinically significant negative mood,” says Davis. “Regardless, this research is in its infancy and further investigation is warranted in healthy volunteers.”