DMT and Our Brain: What the Scientists Say

If you travel around paranormalist circles as I do, or have done a fair amount of reading about consciousness and Near-Death Experience research, you may have come across some confusion online about dimethyltryptamine (DMT).  DMT is a compound that is found throughout the plant and mammal kingdom, and acts as a psychedelic drug when ingested.  Many proponents of its use as a hallucinogen say it is produced naturally in the human brain; specifically, by our pineal gland.  Others believe that is merely speculation.  But is it really true?  If not, why do so many people seem to believe it?  Let’s see if we can find out.

dmtMuch of the confusion seems to come from two sources:  Dr. Rick Strassman and Joe Rogan.  In 2000, Strassman published a book called “DMT:  The Spirit Molecule” which offered up the pineal gland hypothesis.  Furthermore, he proposed the wild speculation that DMT may provide access to everything from parallel universes to alien beings through the use of superconductive quantum computing of the human brain.  Whatever that means.  Though Strassman was clear that his hypothesis was not proven, and admitted he knew “little about theoretical physics,” it hasn’t stopped many from repeating his ideas as fact.

One of those people is Joe Rogan, a popular stand-up comedian and podcast host who fancies himself something of an expert on a variety of topics which he seems to have limited knowledge about.  He has been, at various times, a staunch moon landing hoax conspiracy theorist, as well as one who gave credence to thoroughly debunked 9/11 “truther” myths.  But he also speaks a lot about psychedelics and altered states of consciousness.  Several years ago, when prompted by a caller during a radio show interview, Rogan launched into a roughly 10 minute diatribe about DMT, how it is produced by the pineal gland and how, while using it, “literally you are transported into another fucking dimension.”  The audio of Rogan’s reply went viral, and has been repeated ad nauseam by a number of internet mystics.

Instead of merely relying on internet resources to answer our question, I decided to get more information from a couple of neuroscientists.  First, I had my friend Bobby Nelson email Dr. Indre Viskontas.  She holds a Ph.D in cognitive neuroscience and is an editor of the journal Neurocase.  She wrote that despite the fact DMT, “shares a similar molecular structure with serotonin and melatonin, a class of amines, and neurotransmitters with wide-reaching effects in the brain,” there was no evidence that it’s produced there.  She also linked us to a study that showed where small amounts have been found in urine and stool.  However, Dr. Viskontas told me later that this is “not evidence that the brain made them or that they came from inside the brain,” and that it was “just as likely that they were ingested or made by some other body part and never entered the brain.”

brainBut I wanted to get a second opinion, so I also contacted Dr. Bryan Yamamoto, a professor and Chairman of the neuroscience department at the University of Toledo, to ask the same question.  Yamamoto, who holds a Ph.D from Syracuse University, agreed with Viskontas.  He wrote, “I know of no evidence that DMT is produced anywhere in the body.  It’s chemical structure is similar to serotonin and melatonin but their endogenous actions are very different from DMT.”

So, what’s the answer?  Is DMT produced in our brain?  While some cling to evidence that suggests it is, there is also very good reason to be skeptical.  Putting together my own minimal review of the available literature, as well as the direct responses from two scientists with a level of expertise in the field of neuroscience, it leads me to believe that the evidence is limited and, therefore, the probability not so great.

But let’s face it:  few of us reading this are likely to be scientists with a sufficient amount of expertise to say one way or another.  If you still have doubts, the best thing you can do is avoid speculating or pretending to know what you don’t, and simply reserve judgment until you have more facts.  You may not have the satisfaction of knowing an answer for sure, but at least you’ll be more intellectually honest in the process.


61 thoughts on “DMT and Our Brain: What the Scientists Say

  1. Perhaps DMT isn’t produced in the Pineal Gland.. but it is synthesized somewhere within the human body. For me, I have come across an overwhelming amount of evidence that more or less proves to me that DMT is AT LEAST RELEASED in the Pineal Gland. I’d like to share the info that I’ve come across with you here. Sorry if you’ve seen some of this before, but if you logically add up the evidence presented.. perhaps you may reach the conclusion that DMT is produced & released in the Pineal Gland, or just released there. Based upon my research… DMT seems to be responsible for dreams. When DMT is released, our consciousness is fully expanded and this allows our spirits to access the spiritual dimensions while we are asleep. (Ever had a “trippy” dream? Would make sense bc you are literally tripping off of DMT) Sleep is in a sense the cousin of death, and it is when our soul refreshes our body. The Pineal Gland is our third eye (think of how you can close your eyes and visualize things internally) It receives the 2nd highest blood flow in the body, 2nd to our kidneys.. which to me speaks volumes of it’s importance!

    When people get visited in dreams by friends or loved ones who have passed away, this is actually the spirit of the deceased visiting the spirit of the dreamer! The Pineal Gland/ DMT is a gateway to the afterlife! DMT is also released during certain forms of proper hypnosis & meditation, astral projection, remote viewing, during out of body experiences, near death experiences & also at the moment of physical death! The Pineal Gland is called that bc it is shaped like a pine cone. There is a ton of pine cone/ Pineal Gland symbolism that can be found throughout the world in many ancient civilizations… mostly in the east, not here in the west. In the chapter of Genesis in the Bible (32: 22-32) …Jacob wrestles with “a man” who he later realized is actually God. Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face.” Peniel translates to: the “face of God.” Peniel is veryy close to Pineal (To me they were dropping a subliminal hint there to the Pineal Gland) which makes sense because through activation of the Pineal Gland during meditation, we can make conscious contact with God! The Pineal Gland is the seat of our soul or higher self. This is also known as our Godself.. as our spirits are our direct extensions of God. Of course God is pure consciousness, the collective consciousness of everything that ever was or ever will be in the entire Universey. With that being said.. it makes sense that the Pineal Gland is the seat of our Godself, going along with the definition of the word ‘Pinile’ (Face of God).

    Jesus knew about the Third Eye/ Pineal Gland and is believed that he learned about it while reportedly studying Buddhism, Hinduism, and some of the esoteric/ mystic teachings during the missing 18 years of his life from the Bible. This would make perfect sense when you consider the coincidence that crosses appear on top of Pine Trees on Easter day! “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” – Albert Einstein. Reincarnation is a Buddhist belief, not a Christian belief. So to me it only makes perfect sense that those 18 years of his life were removed from the Bible, so that the religion of Christianity could be started with it’s own unique sets of beliefs. It doesn’t appear that Jesus displayed any miraculous abilities (besides suppposedly being born of a virgin) until returning to the Holy Land at the age of 30 after those missing 18 years. Jesus also spoke about this third eye, or single eye, in the chapter of Matthew (6:22) when he said “…if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light!” Through proper Merkaba meditation, one can access what’s known as the light body. Us here in the West have been so ill-informed of this Third Eye and its unlocking, even as the Eastern traditions have incorporated them into their practices. The reason for that is the rise of Christianity in the west; the practice and idea of an “inner god” or “Third Eye” to awaken runs afoul of traditional Christian teachings. These wisdoms, forced underground, became the origins for secret societies that passed on these esoteric wisdom; one of these societies was the Freemasons.

    I’d like to share with you a quick story that changed my life.. I heard this right before hearing and then learning about DMT & The Pineal Gland….. I worked at a warehouse a few years back & I had a manager working there with me. Nice guy, 30 something years old and he was in the military reserves as well. 2 years ago he was on vacation from my job as well as the reserves. He was riding his motorcycle at night, and a Penske moving truck u-turns right in front of him, killing him instantly. Mind you… a very close coworker of mine there at the warehouse, was fiance with my managers sister. So our whole job went to the funeral.. very sad. A few days afterwards I was hanging out with my coworker and he told me a story that changed my life… he said yeah man, my girl couldn’t sleep the other night she was so distraught over the loss of her brother. She eventually cried herself to sleep and ended up having a dream with him in it! In the dream they were hanging out, having lots of fun. In the end, her brother gives her an acorn and the dream ends. Real random. So she wakes up, and there on the side of her pillow is a piece of an acorn! She moves the pillow to the side, and there was an acorn underneath her pillow! I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.. my friend had no reason to lie to me, nor do I have any reason to lie to you. Something physical came from a spiritual dream! This proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that there IS life after death, that there is indeed a connection between dreams and the afterlife! This also proved to me that when we die.. we will have the ability to where thoughts = manifestations to the fullest extent possible! The Pineal Gland resembles an acorn to top it off lol.

    In the book.. “Heaven is for real”… a young child named Colton Burpo had a near death experience and describes it in great detail. His spirit seemed to leave the physical confine of his body.. he heard/saw what was going on in the next room and then he said he went to heaven. While there, he told his parents that he met his sister. His parents were like – ‘what do you mean you seen your sister, you don’t have a sister’ (He was the only child) Well come to find out that his parents had a miscarriage with a girl before he was born…. HIS PARENTS NEVER TOLD HIM ABOUT IT! For me that was just something you don’t make up, it proved to me he had traveled to Heaven or a higher spiritual dimension. It made me wonder if DMT was released in the Pineal Gland during an NDE… made sense, but to confirm this I correlated my theory with another piece of evidence. If you go to look for the video: Drugs INC. Hallucinogens. You should find a full episode there, nearly 40 minutes long. In part of this episode… a female goes to a healing retreat overseas to participate in a ceremony where they take Ayahuasca (which of course contains DMT) Mind you.. she was forcibly raped a good portion of her life & also was forced to abort a child at a young age, before she ever knew the sex of the child. So she takes the Ayahuasca on an empty stomach, gets sick as can be then has to be carried to her room by some helpers there. The camera shows her sitting up in bed, when the trip kicks in. Next thing you know shes smiling, so purely happy and she’s seemingly having a conversation with herself. When she sobers up, she explains how when the trip kicked in.. she seen her daughter & had a conversation with her! Her daughter said- Mommy I love you, you’re so strong & I’m so proud of you! SHE NEVER KNEW THE SEX OF THE CHILD SHE WAS FORCED TO ABORT! This correlated with the NDE in the book where the kid seen his sister whom died before him. There again, I couldn’t help but establish a connection between DMT & The Afterlife… and for me it resonated that this DMT was released in the Pineal Gland during the NDE.. or it interacted with the Pineal Gland when the girl drank the Ayahuasca.

    Some additional quotes with info on DMT & The Pineal Gland from David Wilcock….

    – “This is a hollow, pea-sized gland filled with water inside. It creates a spherical electromagnetic shield around itself — to close off the water inside from our own three-dimensional reality.”

    – “You already have a working stargate custom-built into your own brain! The trick, really, is how to switch it on — and use it. Every ancient religion, including Christianity, discusses this. The Book of Revelation speaks of the “Mark of the Beast” as a dark area on the forehead. People who have little or no connection to their Higher Self would appear to have a dark spot on their forehead when you are looking at their “aura” — which apparently is quite easy to do within the realms of 3D time.”

    – “There was a great wealth of data showing that the pineal gland was filled with cells that work just like the rods and cones in the retina of the eye.”

    – DMT is believed to play a role along with the Pineal Gland.. in how we ‘see’ the ‘movie’ of our lives. We see around 40 still shots per second, but our brain processes these into a smooth & continuous feed. David Wilcock explains their role: “I found that dimethyltryptamine (DMT) crystals naturally give off huge bursts of colored light when compressed, in a property called piezochromatism. It is full-spectrum light, and can appear as any of the colors in the rainbow — from the same crystal. DMT may be the best molecule in nature to create a nanotech-scale video projector. Dr. Rick Strassman’s research concludes that the number-one site in the body for DMT synthesis has to be the pineal gland. The DMT crystals naturally begin vibrating in the water once the pineal gland is electrically shielded. Like a crystal radio receiver, they shoot out photons from whatever your Astral Body is seeing in 3D time-space. The retinal cells in your pineal gland then send these images to the brain — in a circuit called the “phototransduction cascade.” If you meditate, you will start picking up fleeting images from this process!”

    Hope this all helps! – Matt…..

    • Matt, thanks for the comment. But I would recommend you either read my post for the first time, or perhaps re-read it. Especially the parts about not speculating or pretending to know things you don’t.

      • You’re welcome. I’ve already read your post… and re-reading it would do nothing for me. Science can’t and probably will NEVER be able to proof everything… thus we must move beyond the boundaries of science, maintain an open mind, and logically add up the evidence available to reach a logical conclusion. We must speculate, make hypothesis, draw conclusions… who’s pretending to know things they don’t. My conclusion is there is wayy too much evidence pointing that DMT is produced and released in the brain. or at least released. It’s seems like you’re fighting this theory of DMT being released in the Pineal Gland.. as many others do. Understandable… I just laid out most of the evidence I know of to be available that pretty much supports this hypothesis. It only makes sense bro lol.. the clues are right there! You can lead a * to water but can’t make him drink it. Your article really doesn’t do anything for anyone lol… you SPECULATE it’s not released in the Pineal Gland, your end claim is it’s probably not. If can’t come up with a solid yes or no answer, then why even write the article? How do you know YOU aren’t unknowingly pretending to know things that you actually don’t? You may think you know certain things.. but have you independently verified all of those things yourself? I highly doubt it.. seems hypocritical. Don’t mean to “bash” you, and it’s not that I am.. but am simply replying to what you put… maybe you needed to be told these things and open your mind perhaps a little bit further. I’m done, thanks brother

    • No you fools DMT is produced in the pineal gland, all evidence points towards it. The only reason they say it’s not scientifically proven is because it’s impossible to observe the inside of a living pineal gland while it produces Dmt.

      • Special pleading. Unfounded assertions. More of the same tired arguments. Where is the evidence?

        Scientists are perfectly willing to accept that dopamine, for instance, is produced by our brain. The DMT hypothesis is rejected because there is currently no good evidence to support it.

        You have to try harder than that, Scruff.

  2. Matt,

    Might I suggest you re-read your own posts from a less subjective angle? You speak very highly of evidence, logic and research, yet you provide none of your own to support your claims. On the contrary, Jason’s post provides two references from credible sources from which he draws evidence to come to a logical conclusion.

    As much as I would like to agree with you (who wouldn’t want a gateway to another realm residing within their brain? I know I do.) I would like to suggest that you re-evaluate your position on the subject, or at least understand that your beliefs aren’t based on any scientific evidence at all; it’s mostly conjecture and speculation.

    • Lol I told you where to look.. did you not read my initial post? I provide NONE of my own evidence to support my claims??Seriously seems like you didn’t read my initial comment Josh, with an untrue reply like that… as I gave a good amount of evidence to support the theory of DMT either being released or produced in the Pineal Gland. Evidence is not necessarily proof, but evidence is subjective. What may be evidence to me, may not be evidence to you. My post provided more than 2 references from credible sources From: The Bible, The book – “Heaven is for real”, the national geographic show “Drugs INC: Hallucinogens episode” also from true stories from trusted friends. A vast portion of the rest of the info I provided can be researched to verify it’s accuracy. This is my theory after 2-3 years of exhaustively researching about DMT and the Pineal gland.. while also correlating and connecting the stuff I’ve come across. I feel that both of you guys above (Jason, Josh) are ‘stuck’ within the boundaries of science.. seemingly waiting for everything to be proven in order for you to believe it. Science CANT and probably will NEVER be able to prove everything… so we have to move beyond that. With the evidence you presented.. your conclusion is logical. With the evidence I presented.. my conclusion is logical as well. It just only makes sense if you add up all of the evidence I presented. Look at those coincidences I presented… synchronicity/ coincidence is your spirits way of letting you know you’re on the right track. My beliefs actually are in part based on scientific evidence that has already been established… surely you know of this evidence and are simply looking past that, or don’t know of it. Is most of this article not conjecture and speculation? Lol. Science is limited, thus I no longer rely on it to prove things to me… nothing is impossible and I am realizing this more & more each day. You are limited by your beliefs!!! Science must incorporate some more aspects of spirituality if it hopes to advance even further. Good day to the both of you 🙂

      • If i guess I will tell you eat to much shrooms(joke). Im neurologist from Europe and also interest this field your theory is flawed in view of science there are studies about that read for example Dr. Karl Jansen or i Dr. Melvin Morse studies. (Ever had a “trippy” dream? Would make sense bc you are literally tripping off of DMT) Sleep is in a sense the cousin of death, and it is when our soul refreshes our body. there are studies which explain this, you wrote you research this field, how if you dont know this basic aspects? “think of how you can close your eyes and visualize things internally” again what part of brain light up when you do this? All your ” proper hypnosis & meditation, astral projection, remote viewing, during out of body experiences, near death experiences & also at the moment of physical death!” i can show you after stimulation of temporo-parietal lobe, even ketamine can do this. I dont know where you search your information but I look at many brain scannig studies which adress this issue and all show your theory is false. “My conclusion is there is wayy too much evidence pointing that DMT is produced and released in the brain. or at least released” show us this evidence in studies.”It’s seems like you’re fighting this theory of DMT being released in the Pineal Gland.” who try push his theory? “Lol I told you where to look.. did you not read my initial post? I provide NONE of my own evidence to support my claims??” Im sorry anyone can say what he wants and support this with his “OWN” evidence but this dont work that way.
        “he Bible, The book – “Heaven is for real”, the national geographic show “Drugs INC: Hallucinogens episode” also from true stories from trusted friends. ” most scientific sources… many “trusted friends” says they see ufo this is proof? “Drugs INC: Hallucinogens episode” like I say I can give you seeing death with ketamine…. and electric stimulation because we know what part of brain cause this, what about Schizophrenia? its also 3rd eye expierence?
        “This is my theory after 2-3 years of exhaustively researching about DMT and the Pineal gland.. while also correlating and connecting the stuff I’ve come across. I feel that both of you guys above (Jason, Josh) are ‘stuck’ within the boundaries of science.. ” In my opinion you lost 2-3 years, also you wrote “‘stuck’ within the boundaries of science.” and you stuck in myth about book called bible when people belive that eath is center of universe and is flat this bad science show opposite.

  3. you’re using the bible as a reference for credible evidence? seriously?
    how about citing more tangible evidence, like references to EC#s (enzyme commission) of enzymes isolated from human tissues which produce said compounds

  4. Pingback: DMT and Our Brain: What the Scientists Say «

  5. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  6. For me DMT has to exsist as it is the only thing that could explain NDE im no neuro scientist i have just been in hospital due to a brain injury and got interested i do hope to learn more and i really do hope its exsist as i do not like to think we die and thats it Isac newton might not have been the last magician he had to think outside the box even invent his own mathematical language to explain his theorys maybe we are looking at this the wrong way maybe we just cant understand are brains well enough yet maybe we need another Mgician not a genius if you do not know the difference a magician is someone who pull things at of the darkness and explain something unheard of such as what happens after death maybe we need a modern Isaac newton a new form of scientific language a new perspective on the brain sorry if there and wrong spelling 😦 but if im 17 and do not have full cognitive capacity and can come up with this maybe you guys need to start thinking out of the box too?

    • Ryan, I appreciate your comment, but dislike that you had to end it with an insult. Can’t we just talk about ideas and perspectives together as human beings and avoid saying other people can’t seem to “think outside the box”?

      Moving on. DMT definitely exists. That’s not the issue. But if DMT is the cause of NDE, as you say, that wouldn’t have anything to do with whether “we die and thats it.” It would just offer a likely explanation for the ND experience people are having. Even if DMT doesn’t explain the NDE, there could still be life after death. I don’t personally believe in life after death at this stage of my life. Not anymore. But I certainly understand why it holds such importance to people, absolutely.

      You mention being only 17 and without full cognitive ability, but you strike me as someone with a lot of intellectual curiosity. That’s a good thing. If you want to learn more about the near-death experience, I would recommend a couple books by Susan Blackmore to get started. I have read and enjoyed “Dying to Live” and “In Search of the Light” by her. I think you may find them worthwhile as well.


  7. I’m pretty pleased to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff on your web site.

  8. There’s so much this author simply doesn’t know. He’s stuck in 3-D.

    Light Encoded Reality Matrix. Manifest Production Observation they are real

    • Only quoting neuroscientists, Skunk. But I look forward to seeing your exciting scientific breakthroughs on the reality matrix from your hyperdimensional reality someday. Do let me know when you get those published.

  9. I’m a mere mortal so please excuse my ability to determine words and collections of words that make up sentences and paragraphs. Its just that i am struggling to determine where it shows ‘scientific’ or ‘acknowledged’ results to experimentation or experiential results determining that DMT is or is not produced in or outside the brain. Its just that the original author seems a little ‘snappy’ by the proposals being put forward by Rogan and Strassman. Please forgive me as i know you not, and i am sure you are very educated and accomplished in your field, but it seems that your arguments are as unfounded as the afore mentioned gentleman
    I personally am under the persuasion that if there is a natural root that allows one to experience a force of love that is so profound it will change the way that user experiences the world thereafter, is nothing but a huge positive. We seem to be clouded with science and a variety of regulatory systems. Laws of Science, Laws of Business, Laws of Justice, have all managed to help breed a global society instilled with greed, anger, disdain for each other, and an elite incensed by power. We have allowed our beautiful world to turn grey. Feel love my friends, and maybe ask a question that science still can not answer, what is love? Leave the DMT evangelists alone, they offer no harm.

    • What I did is very simple. I saw a lot of different ideas about DMT in books, videos, and being spread around the internet. Mostly by people with zero scientific credentials who fancy themselves experts. I decided to ask two people who actually have scientific credentials what they thought about the issue so I could write a blog post about it. When I wrote to them I had no idea whether they would back up what I had been reading or not. One of those scientists, Dr. Indre Viskontas, I am friendly with having interviewed her before. The other, Dr. Yamamoto, was someone with whom I had never corresponded. They both gave me the same answer to the DMT question: there exists now no scientific evidence that it is produced in the brain.

      So, no, I’m not claiming to know one way or another, as the article clearly states. I’m saying that, when it comes to DMT, a lot of people are pretending to know a lot of facts they don’t really know. And if you’re going to make scientific statements about how and where DMT is produced, you need to have scientific facts to back you up. So far, the “DMT evangelists,” as you call them, do not.

      Hope that clears that part up.

      As for your comments about love, science actually has a great deal to say about what love is. Google that sometime, its easy to find. Love is great, I agree with you there. Love, just like science, justice, etc. has contributed greatly to the world. But love is also a primary source of a great deal of suffering and violence as well. We can’t just pick and choose what emotions and institutions we want to blame for the bad stuff in the world. We must be honest. Us humans are deeply flawed creatures. That said, love is still amazing and I’ll take my chances with it any day of the week.


  10. Ummm, what about this study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison: “DMT can be produced by enzymes in mammalian lung (11) and in rodent brain (12). DMT has been found in human urine, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid (9, 13). Although there are no conclusive quantitative studies measuring the abundance of endogenous DMT because of its rapid metabolism (14), DMT concentrations can be localized and elevated in certain instances. Evidence suggests that DMT can be locally sequestered into brain neurotransmitter storage vesicles and that DMT production increases in rodent brain under environmental stress

  11. all of you guys are freakin awesome. the comments are great. what a weird and wonderful world we live in with or without dmt in our brains.

  12. Pingback: SFR 277: Who Watches the Watchtower? Ex-Jehovah’s Witness John Cedars Speaks Out! | Strange Frequencies Radio

  13. Hah, this is pretty funny, because I have experienced DMT being produced in my brain and I feel and see the effects from it. I used to only feel pineal gland pumping during meditation but now I feel it occasionally through out the day when I’m around certain energy caused by people. I see very colorful bright intricate patters and wheels spinning and sometimes it has a flower in the middle and I also see geometric patters in various shades of colors melded together so beautifully. It is amazing being so consciously aware of the energy that surrounds me and within me and being able to see it in the form of colors. I have opened my mind up to all possibilities to learn and grow with the best mindset. There’s this quote, ” A sign of intelligence is always wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing in their life.” You will never reach wisdom if you can’t allow new and positive energy flow through you, making it difficult to accept new ways of living, acquire new and creative ideas, or withhold the ability to excel from the evolutionary path. Neurologists may say DMT isn’t produced in the brain but you might want to try meditation before you formulate your stance on such a complex topic, containing various aspects that support this science-based spirituality. I know this from research and personal, life-changing experience.

    • I’m not sure at all. As I stated in the article, the evidence is limited, and the probability may not be so great. But, sure, it could be. I’ll just wait for actual evidence as opposed to anecdotes. In the meantime, I’m not going to believe what cannot be demonstrated, that’s all.

      Secondly, you sound pretty dead sure yourself that DMT is produced by the brain. Perhaps you should refer back to the quote you provided me.


  14. Jesus, I can’t believe the comments on here! Jason is simply trying to find evidence to support the idea; that the brain is capable of producing DMT. People quoting religious ideas, there own personal experience’s and statements such as “science can’t prove everything” aren’t doing themselves any favours.

    The world is built on science, our society wouldn’t function without scientific evidence or the skeptics that investigate it.

    • Thanks! Boggles my mind at times, too. I think the piece is very clear. It is unfortunate so many have failed to understand it.

    • The world most definitely is not built on science. The people responding with their own experiences are trying to get the author to open his mind a teency wee bit to explain the point that science doesn’t know everything, not even close to it and never will. “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

      • Mark,

        I don’t believe science knows everything, nor do I believe that science claims it can know everything. Where do you get the idea that I do? There are many questions in life that are not answerable by science. Some simply require logic and reason, for instance. However, if it is a scientific question (ie: Is DMT produced by the human brain?) then yes, that is something that can be answered through observation and experiment. An account of a subjective experience is simply no good.

        Love the Einstein quote, by the way. Here’s one you may like from Bertrand Russell: “Mystery is delightful, but unscientific, since it depends upon ignorance.”

        Again, Mark, I ask you to not make assumptions about who I am, or what I believe. If you have a question, feel free to ask. But thus far, in our brief correspondence, you have shown yourself to be very rude. Telling me how closed-minded I am, how I don’t want to hear from you because don’t have letters after your name, etc. It is ill-mannered, and is not appreciated. I don’t believe this is how you truly are normally, but that is the way you have come across when defending your ideology. I hope you’ll lighten up, and discuss the issue like a human being. We could probably have much better conversations that way. If you cannot be civil, please do not comment again.


  15. I watched the docu and have experiences with hallucinative substances, not with DMT. I always want to learn, but i don’t take things for granted. That’s how i got to your blog. Your writing is a good article and I agree with you on the fact that evidence is needed. But it’s just 1 point, an important one, i know, but that doesn’t lowers the credibility of the initial book/documentary. What I personally got out the docu is my belief that there is clearly a need to investigate this molecule, what is does, where it comes from and if it’s yes or no produced in our own body/brain. Besides that, even if it’s not produced in our brain, it needs to be looked at and investigated what ik does to our brain and what i can can mean to people.(besides spiritual and/or religious/alien type whatever theory), it might be that it has very positive effects to mankind as people might look at life/norm/values differently. Scientist do that with all kinds of substances which leads to numerous medications,(god and bad) so why not put more focus on a molecule as DMT? Finding it out would benefit the two parties, a win-win as they say. (my apologies if my english is somewhat weird ;-), but its not my native language)


  16. Jason. Why don’t you just smoke some? Go to Portugal if you’re worried about breaking a law. Then you’ll know eh? I could go on to recount my many experiences but I doubt you would pay any heed to them as I don’t have any letters after my name. Haven’t scientists (and I admit I’m no expert at science readily and happily) just discovered the God particle for want of a better term with that huge particel accelerator thingy.-Higgs whatever it’s called? This is about DMT and whether it’s produced in the brain however so I’ll try and stay on topic. It is basically. I can’t prove it to you the way you want someone to prove it to you and I realise you would not take the word of a total stranger but there we have it. That’s the sticky point and always will be when it comes to science and spirituality or prickly versus gooey as Alan Watts put it. God is you, you will never die, just change form. DMT is a crucial key in that metamorphisis. Read the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying if you get a chance by Sogyal Rinpoche. That is a most enlightening read.

    • Mark,

      I’m happy to hear your experiences, if you’d like to share. I’m simply more interested in evidence which would show DMT is produced by our brains. Thus far, no one has produced that.

      By the way, I’ve read the book you recommended, and have a copy right here on my shelf. It may surprise you that I spent a couple of years studying Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. But it seems you came to this blog with a whole lot of preconceptions about me. Shame on you. You should know better, since you consider yourself so open-minded and all.

  17. Pingback: DMT and Our Brain: What the Scientists Say | febrero31

  18. Jason,

    First let me say that I found it pretty cool that you continue to respond on a post this old. Most sites either don’t respond at all or only do so for several days, at best. I find this entire topic fairly frustrating, to be honest. I keep seeing people posting many of the same claims that you sought to address on this page. I found it to be at least a little helpful.

    What I mean by this is that I have searched, in as many ways as I can think of, endlessly for clear answers concerning DMT and its properties (toxicity, side effects, etc). More specifically, I keep seeing people claim that it doesn’t have any adverse side effects. Yet, I never see anyone offer any other “evidence” than the book you mentioned.

    Some of the abstracts from the book remind me a lot of the “water has feelings” people. Basically, I see a lot of scientific jargon that, in many cases, is woefully misused. This is usually a fairly reliable warning flag that you’re treading in pseudo-scientific waters.

    I approach everything with a very healthy degree of skepticism. So, to be fair, I tried to scour the internet and find actual studies from scientific journals. I found two studies, neither of which could be verified for peer review. Both studies just observed the immediate effects of DMT and didn’t make any claim as to possible negative long term effects or whether or not it is naturally secreted by the pineal gland. The advice of two neurobiologists does help, at least with the pineal gland part.

    I guess I am just a bit frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be any real scientific studies of the substance. Maybe DMT is too obscure for medical science to really be interested? As far as I can tell, we have many things we know about neurobiology which says it is most likely not secreted by the brain and that it mimics serotonin and melatonin (which explains a lot considering the effects it has).

    Are you aware of any other research or did you find your search as equally frustrating? Thanks.

      • Kitty, I’m not sure if your question was for me, or for Justin above. But, assuming it is for me, let me explain that I simply wrote a blog post about a question that had piqued my own curiosity. I researched the issue as best as I could in my capacity as a non expert. That is why I also took the time to consult with two scientists who do have an expertise in neuroscience to help out. Altogether, I think I provided readers of this blog with the best information currently available, all for no charge. If that doesn’t satisfy you, I’m not sure what more I could do. Best wishes!

  19. lets just say Marijuana … demonized for years now.. legalized all over now strange huh lol scientists are usually wrong till they are right im 36 and they ruined my life Ive been right about almost everything in my life doctors and yes my neurologists and specialists for my brain and sports and birth defect were wrong why cant your s be too just food for thought….:-) btw now im broke dying and no ones being held acountable just alot of sorrys and crying. Lots of us victims of our dumb ass arogant western civilization medicine and scientific overpayed idiots.. anyways stay strong stay healthy and dont mess with what you dont fully willing to accept responsibility for. Peace

    • sorry for double post wanted to mention ive never touched dmt but have had many NDE as was adrenaline junkie post 10 years old pre 10 i was kidnaped also drowned also suffocated due to bronchio spasims . I have had to become a perfectionist a jack of all trades and a researcher now too lol my spelling is bad cause its 6:45 am and i havent slept yet Im sure you understand thanks for reading my walls of text and my opinions .

  20. ok one more post cant sleep just think about ethical and moral ramifications if they admited to it being secreated or produced in human brain…… how many people would be murdered for this highly sought after expensive mind altering possible dimensional transportational drug ?? just more too chew on if you need an example War on drugs ie Marijuana :-);-) but instead of killing a plant you gotta kill a human and not that the two have any comparable effects 🙂

  21. Dear Jason.
    Very interesting blog and I congratulate you for your patience and level headed replies.

    Although there is no confirmation that DMT is produced in the brain, the fact that it has been detected in human urine and stool samples is indicative of it being produced somewhere in the human body, maybe as a by-product similar to acetaldehyde being produced by the liver when breaking down and expelling ethyl alcohol.

    I do hope that science continues with this important study as an answer in the affirmative will certainly open the doors to many questions relating to after death experiences.

    I have tried DMT on several occasions and believe that for a better understanding of how and what this substance really is, it must firstly be administered by those who are studying it and its effects experienced.

    What we need is a Alexandar Shulgin of the neuroscience world to continue with such studies.

    • Agreed Al Black. In 6 months or so I will be going back to school and I hope to successfully pursue a career in neuroscience. I can’t wait to contribute scientifically, and possibly one day “experimentally”, with DMT and other substances to find out all the information I can about them.

    • “Although there is no confirmation that DMT is produced in the brain, the fact that it has been detected in human urine and stool samples is indicative of it being produced somewhere in the human body”

      Not necessarily. It would be just as indicative of you having ingested it. However, the possibility that you raise can’t be totally discounted either.

      Either way, I do hope more research is done. Nothing wrong with learning more.

      Thanks, Al!

  22. I know this article is pretty old, but I just have to chime in. I would be greatly excited if DMT was found to be made in the pineal gland or the brain in general, however what all these guys are not getting is that they are doing more harm against the progression of research by claiming it as fact when it is not. I’ve been interested in psychoactive substances for about 8 years now after I stumbled upon a Terence Mckenna youtube video about “how to take shrooms” and since then my curiosity has consumed me when it comes to these things. I want it to be true, but the evidence just isn’t enough yet. All this is, is propaganda that is hurting our society when it comes to drug knowledge, ending the drug war and progressing as a species. Guys stop trying to force the truth, just let things play out and do your part with an honest approach.

  23. Firstly, the fact that you even take Joe Rogen seriously enough to consider him in this article is rather sad. Secondly, there is a great of supporting evidence to the endogenous DMT theory.

    • Like him or not, his voice is influential to people. So I wanted to explore if the ideas of people like yourself were true. Waiting on the evidence. Please share.

  24. Jason have you ever listened to Joe’s show? Any time he starts talking about a complex topic he ALWAYS says something like, “and to everyone out there, don’t listen to me, I’m a big dumb ape I don’t know shit, I’m just talking about stuff someone I know and respect said…” I almost stopped reading this post after you said, “podcast host who fancies himself something of an expert on a variety of topics which he seems to have limited knowledge about.” SUCH an untrue statement… Anyway moving on. 😛

    • you’re also leaving out various other studies verifying facts such as:
      DMT in urine was only occurring in psych patients with schizophrenia and psychosis (Jacobs and Presti, 2005)

      DMT is very easily and rapidly broken down by the presence of the MAO enzyme and no studies have been conducted as of yet to test whether isolating tissue with an MAOI present would produce DMT in humans (Cozzi, personal communication, 2010)

      DMT has been found in rat brain tissue with an MAOI present (Saavedra JM, Axelrod J.
      Science 1972;175:1365-6)

    • What you forget, Marcus, is that he has pontificated at length on certain topics WITHOUT the disclaimer you mention. For instance, if you click on the link in the article where I reference Joe’s diatribe on DMT, one of the first things he says is something to the effect of “DMT is produced by the pineal gland.” He does not say “don’t listen to me,” or refer to himself as a dumb ape who doesn’t know shit. So, no, it is actually you that is wrong.

      That is not to say that I always disagree with Rogan, or haven’t enjoyed some of his projects. His SyFy series “Joe Rogan Questions Everything” was one of the better programs I’ve seen on using skepticism to examine extraordinary claims.

      So, yes, I’ve appreciated his work at times, but I also have to give him blame where it is due, and he has certainly been one of the people who helped popularize the apparent myth that DMT is produced in the pineal gland.

      Thanks for reading.

Comments are closed.