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'Psychonaut', courtesy of Tetramode (
'Psychonaut', courtesy of Tetramode (

Reports from DMT-land: Participants in extended DMT trip study tell what they experienced

The powerful psychedelic DMT is known for its ‘rocket ship trip’, blasting users almost instantly from the everyday world into what seems like other realities and brief meetings with ‘entities’ of various descriptions, before quickly returning back to this world. The ‘hyper-reality’ experienced during these short trips has led many to ponder whether the DMT realms – and their residents – are more than just an hallucination caused by the drug, but the whiplash journey does not leave much time to really test the idea.

A few years ago we reported here on a proposal to extend the duration of DMT trips by using continuous infusion of the psychedelic, much like the method used for anaesthetic during surgery (‘Extended DMT’, or DMT.x). The first exploratory study into the technique, conducted by Imperial College London, has now been completed – and some of the participants have now come forward to talk about what they experienced.

In a panel (video embedded below) hosted by DMT study pioneer Dr Rick Strassman, researcher Andrew Gallimore (both of whom were involved in the original DMT.x proposal), and author Graham Hancock, four of the study subjects – Carl Hayden Smith, Jack Allocca, Alexander Beiner, and Anton Bilton – were questioned on various aspects of both the experimental side of the things, as well as the realms they visited and beings they met…and whether the extended stay allowed for more ‘exploration’.

Note that though the four study participants taking part in the panel (and the three hosts) are all men, the full cohort of subjects involved in the study consisted of a mix of both male and female volunteers. While it’s a shame that there’s not a bit more balance in the video panel, the four involved are all certainly extremely articulate and thoughtful, and it makes for fascinating viewing to hear them offer their thoughts on their experiences.

The first hour features researcher Andrew Gallimore (after getting past some technical issues) chatting with the participants about the experimental set-up and their general experiences. One funny moment is when Alexander notes the dual experience of being asked by a researcher – as part of the study monitoring requirements – his anxiety level at a particular point of the trip, and when he gave it as a 4 out of 10, the entity that was near him inside the trip “was like ‘Really?! Only a 4?!'”. But there is also some intriguing discussion too during this section of the chat about psi effects (such as precognition and telepathy) and synchronicities that participants observed between doses.

The second hour sees Graham Hancock questioning the four participants specifically about their entity encounters – as Andrew Gallimore says as he hands over to Graham, “It’s not so much where you go, when you take DMT, but who you meet there.” Another interesting insight from one of the participants was how during entity encounters, there was almost a feeling of being ‘an injured pigeon in Trafalgar Square surrounded by humans’ – while some entities seemed to show interest in engaging with him and being curious about his welfare, others were almost like ‘leave it be, ignore it’.

At around an hour and 50 minutes in, Graham hands back to Andrew Gallimore for a little more discussion and wrap-up, as well as some concluding thoughts from Rick Strassman. During this final session there are some interesting observations from participant Jack, who reveals that he felt he was able to ‘co-exist’ in both realms fairly comfortably – like a psychedelic ‘augmented reality’ – and so wondered whether the continuous infusion tech could be modified to be something like a wearable insulin pump, where he could go to the toilet himself and eat when he wanted. If possible, this would change the previously suggested paradigm of DMTx users needing to be in a ‘pod’ of some sort that sustains them and looks after their body while tripping at length.

There’s lots of other fascinating insights, and thoughts on further development of the DMT.x paradigm, throughout the entire panel discussion – watch the full video below to learn more:

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