DMT vs LSD: What Are The Differences?


Some psychedelics are better than others. Although all of these drugs cause hallucinations, both visual and sensory, the effects they have on the body are distinct. Let’s compare and contrast the effects of classic hallucinogens DMT and LSD.

N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a psychedelic in the tryptamine family that stimulates the serotonin receptor and goes by a variety of other names (including Dimitri, fantasia, and Businessman’s trip). Because of its brief duration and potential for hallucinations, it is quickly gaining popularity as a recreational drug during parties.

Ayahuasca, another well-known psychedelic, has been used for thousands of years in numerous religious rites and contains DMT as one of its two components. Its purpose is to rid the user of any negative energy, harmful substances, or ghosts. This is the result of elaborate shamanic ceremonies that take several days to organize.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, acid) is a synthetic hallucinogenic drug created through chemical synthesis. In the 1960s, it enjoyed widespread popularity before being made illegal. Because of its structural similarity to DMT, it belongs to the tryptamine family and blocks the brain’s serotonin receptors in the same way. Acid trips on LSD can last up to 12 hours, making it a popular party psychedelic drug for all-night events.

DMT vs LSD: Origins

So how is DMT made? The hallucinogenic DMT is extracted from the bark and nuts of specific trees. They are found mostly throughout Central and South America. It’s one of Ayahuasca’s two primary components and can be found in other plants as well. It can also be artificially created in a lab.

Dr. Richard Manske of Canada was the first to successfully synthesize the medication in 1931. Years passed before the psychoactive effects of DMT were discovered, and then only by the Hungarian chemist Stephen Szára. He was the first to biochemically classify DMT, and his experiments, which included self-administering the drug, revealed it had great therapeutic promise.

Szára seems to have stumbled onto DMT while researching LSD and its link to schizophrenia. The reason Sandoz Pharmaceuticals refused to send him LSD was because the company didn’t want the drug in the hands of someone living in a communist country. Because of this, he started thinking about psychedelics.

However, LSD is not found in nature and must be synthesized in a lab. Swiss chemist and physicist Albert Hofmann initially synthesized it in 1938. He worked at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, which, during the Cold War, studied a wide variety of psychedelics.

In Hofmann’s experiments, he used lysergic acid, which is produced by a fungus found in rye and other cereals. However, he discovered its psychedelic qualities after accidentally swallowing a little amount of it in 1943. To paraphrase his words, he saw “extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.”

On April 19th, 1943, Hofmann took a greater amount of the drug, but he had to ride his bike home because of wartime travel restrictions. This day became known as Bicycle Day.

DMT vs LSD: Consumption

Since DMT is a white, crystallized powder, it is typically smoked, injected, vaporized, or snorted. The precise dosage has not yet been determined.

LSD is available as an odorless, clear liquid. Blotter papers, which are squares of bright, absorbent paper, are used to catch the drips. One of the “tabs” on these blotter papers is sufficient to cause a trip. Additionally, LSD can be found in the form of sugar cubes, pills, or capsules, all of which combine with other substances.

LSD dose is regulated, unlike DMT, with 1-3 mcg per kilogram of body weight being the recommended amount to achieve a “moderate trip.” However, each person responds differently, making it nearly hard to determine the precise dosage for each person.

DMT vs LSD: Duration of Effects

DMT trips are commonly referred to as “businessman’s trips” or “businessman’s lunches” due to the rapid onset of effects. How long does DMT last?  Sometimes it happens in as little as 5-10 minutes, but it never lasts more than 30-45. The effects of DMT swiftly fade since the drug is easily metabolized by the body.

The hallucinogenic effects of DMT in Ayahuasca tea are distinct from those of pure DMT. When a trip lasts as long as six hours, the impact and significance of the experience on Ayahuasca users are magnified many times more.

The intensity and nature of an LSD or acid trip depend enormously on the individual taking the drug. It takes effect 20–90 minutes after ingestion and can keep you high for 12 hours. One of the most prevalent side effects of LSD is a distortion in one’s sense of time, which can make the subjective and behavioral effects seem even longer.

DMT vs LSD: Types of Effects

Although each of these psychedelics causes hallucinations (a term encompassing both visual and sensory distortions), they do so in quite distinctive ways.

The DMT Experience

Strong and vivid hallucinations, sensations of euphoria and floating, an altered sense of time and space, a sense of dissociation from one’s body, and even the possibility of visiting parallel universes are all possible side effects of smoked DMT use.

There may be a connection between DMT trips and NDEs, or near-death experiences. When comparing DMT-induced NDEs to a group of true NDE experiencers, researchers discovered striking similarities in nearly all of the NDE phenomenological aspects.

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The LSD Experience

On the other hand, LSD trips significantly distort perception while simultaneously heightening senses to an extraordinary degree. LSD has a wide range of effects. Some people may experience heightened visual acuity, strange patterns, a sense that things are shifting in form, or a sense of being trailed by objects. Because it blocks the same brain receptors as the feel-good chemical serotonin, it can also boost one’s mood.

In terms of how it affects the body, you could feel sleeplessness, nausea, dry mouth, a higher body temperature, and a trembling hand. In that time frame, they should disappear.

There is always the risk of having a bad trip, and both psychedelics can cause extreme fear, anxiety, and panic in certain users. You might be also wondering, ‘is LSD addiction possible?‘ If you want to know if LSD is addictive, you should learn how it affects your brain and body while you’re on a trip.

According to Rick Strassman, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and one of the world’s most prolific DMT researchers, the effects of psychedelics can be felt “within a few heartbeats.” This is from the book Psyched: Seven Cutting-Edge Psychedelics Changing the World.

Low, medium, and high doses of the medication were infused intravenously into research participants in the early 1990s.

“People described a rush, a building up of speed and internal pressure,” he explains. Some people got nervous and their hearts started to race.

“A loud, shrill noise accompanied the commotion. With your eyes open, the room would begin to fragment into pixelations, and you would miss the kaleidoscopic patterns developing in the air and on surfaces,” he adds.

Participants reported feeling like they were being propelled out of their bodies after 45 seconds, when the surge reached its peak, according to Strassman: “You lose complete awareness of your body, and you’re transported into this world of light—rapidly moving, incredibly saturated.”

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DMT vs LSD: Risks


DMT is a potent and rapid-acting hallucinogen. Now, can you get addicted to DMT? it appears to have the least risk of adverse effects when compared to other psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. Even so, DMT is not without its dangers.

Numerous factors contribute to the wide range of responses to DMT. Weight, composition, health (both mental and physical), dosage, and route of administration are all variables. Intending to experience pleasure, heightened creativity, and spiritual insight, users of DMT and other psychedelics seek out this substance, earning it the moniker “spirit molecule.”

It’s worth noting, too, that not everyone feels positive about these outcomes. Some people claim to have unpleasant but similar feelings to those they’ve had after a near-death experience or while in another realm or dimension.

More adverse effects of DMT include hallucinations (often of elf-like creatures or alien beings), a skewed perception of time and body, feelings of agitation, uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia, dilated pupils, visual disturbances, rapid rhythmic eye movements, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and dizziness.

Because of the wide range of possible responses and the fact that DMT can have both positive and negative effects, it’s important to use it with extreme caution and in a safe setting. Before partaking in any psychedelic experience, it is crucial to do one’s homework and gain an awareness of the risks and repercussions involved.


People who take LSD often “trip.” Whoever has tried it can attest to the fact that it sends your thoughts on a roller coaster trip, and not always a pleasant one. Many different interpretations of these journeys have been proposed, from a profound spiritual experience to a descent into the pits of hell (the dreaded “bad trip”).

Although LSD has a wide range of potential short-term psychedelic and physical effects, it is difficult to know exactly which ones a given person would feel until they try it. The specific interaction of effects varies not only across individuals but also among journeys.

LSD can have several physiological effects, including enlarged pupils, increased heart rate and palpitations, raised blood pressure and temperature, flushed skin and perspiration, tremors and tingling in the hands and feet, dry mouth, impaired eyesight, dizziness, and nausea.

The mind-altering effects of LSD include vivid visual hallucinations with distorted visuals and bright flashes of light. Increased sensitivity to smell, hearing, and bodily sensations are all possibilities. Some people may have feelings of dissociation or an out-of-body sensation. Synesthesia, the merging of senses, can cause one to see colors or hear noises, among other things.

Distorted perception of time and space, euphoria, the possibility of psychosis and delusions, mood swings, anxiety, panic, and dread are some of the other mental consequences.

The possibility of both positive and unpleasant experiences with LSD means that the drug should be used with caution and in a safe environment. To make educated decisions and guarantee a pleasant and secure psychedelic experience, knowing what to expect in terms of subjective effects and behavioral effects, as well as the hazards involved in hallucinogenic drugs, is essential.

DMT vs LSD: How to Take Them Safely


It is possible to lessen the likelihood of having a bad trip or other undesirable responses when using DMT by taking certain measures. Take into account the following suggestions:

  • There is safety in numbers. When taking DMT, it’s best to do so in the company of dependable friends or family. Having somebody you can count on by your side might help you feel safe and give you a hand when you need it.
  • Ask for help from a friend. Make sure there’s someone who’s completely sober around to step in and help if things go south. It’s important to have someone around who can help provide direction and encouragement.
  • Take in your immediate setting. Choose a setting that allows you to relax and enjoy your DMT session. Make sure you have somewhere to go where you can relax and be safe from any outside influences.
  • It’s best to sit or lie down while on DMT to limit the chances of falling and getting hurt. This basic measure ensures the participant’s physical well-being during the event.
    Keep it simple. Don’t use DMT if you’ve been drinking or using other drugs. Combining DMT with other substances can produce unexpected outcomes and raise the risk of adverse reactions or other complications.
  • Know when not to take it. Given the potency of DMT, it’s wisest to take it only if you’re feeling upbeat and optimistic. Beginning in a state of mental health and well-being can pave the way for a more positive journey.


While there is no way to guarantee safety when using substances, there are steps one can take to minimize the possibility of undesirable outcomes when taking LSD. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Don’t strike out on your own. It’s best to have at least one level-headed individual there who can step in if things go south. It’s often helpful to travel with a reliable friend or family member who can lend a hand if needed.
  • Never combine chemicals. Avoid using LSD with any other drugs or alcohol. Since LSD’s effects vary from person to person, mixing in other substances might make the trip more difficult and raise the dangers involved.
  • Go somewhere secure. It is essential to plan your psychedelic adventure in a secure and relaxing environment. The likelihood of having a stressful journey is reduced when one is in a setting that makes them feel safe and at ease.
  • Do it when you’re in a good mood. The intensity of an acid trip makes it crucial to go into it with a level head and a positive outlook.
  • Increase the dose gradually. You should take LSD in small doses initially and give it time to work before increasing that dose. This method allows you to determine your tolerance and alter your dosage accordingly, decreasing the possibility of unpleasant overpowering effects.

When partaking in any psychedelic experience, whether it’s via DMT, LSD, and other substances such as psilocybin, it is crucial to put one’s safety first, make wise choices, and be aware of one’s context. If you have any doubts or need additional direction, it may be helpful to speak with a medical expert or a seasoned psychedelic therapist.

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Is DMT more intense than LSD?

Yes, it is generally agreed that DMT is more potent than LSD. The psychedelic effects of DMT are renowned for being highly potent and engrossing; they are frequently referred to as “breakthrough” experiences. High doses of DMT can cause acute sensory deprivation, dramatic visual hallucinations, and a strong impression of visiting extraterrestrial regions or dimensions. During a DMT trip, several users claim to have encountered spirits or had spiritual experiences or mystical experiences.

However, compared to DMT, LSD’s effects are often characterized as being more gradual and less overpowering. LSD is nonetheless a powerful psychedelic chemical. LSD is frequently distinguished by a longer duration of effects and a more manageable headspace, even though it has the potential to cause dramatic visual distortions, perception shifts, and profound psychological experiences.

It’s important to remember that intensity can be arbitrary and can change depending on a person’s sensitivity, the set and environment, the dosage, and their expectations. Each person’s DMT and LSD experience will be unique.

Which is safer, DMT or LSD?

Individual variances, dosage, context, and health status are only a few of the variables that affect whether or not a substance is safe to use. There are dangers associated with taking psychedelics like DMT or LSD.

When administered at normal amounts, neither DMT nor LSD has been shown to cause any bodily harm. They don’t have the same negative effects on the body as other medications. However, there should still be care taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

Some people find the powerful but fleeting effects of DMT to be too much for them to handle. If proper safety measures aren’t implemented, this level of intensity could make the journey more dangerous for accidental harm. Increases in heart rate and blood pressure have been linked to DMT usage, which can be dangerous for people with cardiovascular problems, especially at higher doses or when combined with certain preexisting health conditions.

Both substances have the potential to bring on profound emotional and mental states, which can be taxing for some people. Those who are already vulnerable to mental health conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder may find that these events catalyze or a worsening of their symptoms. Therefore, those with a preexisting mental health condition should proceed with caution before trying DMT or LSD.

How do the effects of DMT and LSD differ?

DMT and LSD have distinct differences in their effects as classical hallucinogens. DMT is known for its intense and immersive experiences, with rapid onset and vivid visuals, often involving encounters with otherworldly beings. The effects of DMT are relatively short-lived, lasting around 10 to 20 minutes.

In contrast, the hallucinogenic properties of LSD induces a longer trip, lasting up to 8 to 12 hours, characterized by gradual onset, fluid visuals, and a controllable headspace. While both substances can produce intense psychological experiences, DMT is often considered more intense and challenging to integrate. Individual experiences may vary, and responsible use and a safe environment are crucial for both substances.

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