The Spirit Molecule
DMT is produced in many species of plants often in conjunction with its close chemical relatives 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin (5-OH-DMT). DMT-containing plants are commonly used in South American shamanic practices. It is usually one of the main active constituents of the drink ayahuasca;[ however, ayahuasca is sometimes brewed with plants that do not produce DMT. It occurs as the primary psychoactive alkaloid in several plants including Mimosa tenuiflora, Diplopterys cabrerana, and Psychotria viridis. DMT is found as a minor alkaloid in snuff made from Virola bark resin in which 5-MeO-DMT is the main active alkaloid. DMT is also found as a minor alkaloid in bark, pods, and beans of Anadenanthera peregrina and Anadenanthera colubrina used to make Yopo and Vilca snuff in which bufotenin is the main active alkaloid. Psilocin, an active chemical in many psychedelic mushrooms, is structurally similar to DMT.
The psychotropic effects of DMT were first studied scientifically by the Hungarian chemist and psychologist Dr. Stephen Szára, who performed research with volunteers in the mid-1950s. Szára, who later worked for the US National Institutes of Health, had turned his attention to DMT after his order for LSD from the Swiss company Sandoz Laboratories was rejected on the grounds that the powerful psychotropic could be dangerous in the hands of a communist country.
The Spirit Molecule investigates dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an endogenous psychoactive compound, which exists in humans and numerous species of plants and animals. The documentary traces Dr. Rick Strassman’s government-sanctioned, human DMT research and its many trials, tribulations, and inconceivable realizations.
A closer examination of DMT’s effects through the lens of two traditionally opposed concepts, science and spirituality, The Spirit Molecule explores the connections between cutting-edge neuroscience, quantum physics, and human spirituality. Strassman’s research, and the experiences of the human test subjects before, during, and after the intense clinical trials, raises many intriguing questions. A variety of experts voice their unique thoughts and experiences with DMT within their respective fields. As Strassman’s story unfolds, the contributors weigh in on his remarkable theories, including the synthesis of DMT in our brain’s pineal gland, and its link to near-death experiences.
IMDB: 7.3 ! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1340425/
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