Although Psilocybin and DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) are quite similar on a molecular level, their effects are highly different. One essential fact to keep in mind, is that DMT – also referred to as the “spirit molecule” – is the most powerful psychedelic and hallucinogenic substance known to mankind. While they are both naturally occurring substances, psilocybin is found in fungi, such as magic mushrooms and truffles, and DMT is found in a variety of plants.
There are many reasons why psilocybin is our psychedelic substance of preference. The first and most important reason however, which has been essentially decisive even before establishing our organization, concerns psilocybin’s legal status in the Netherlands, as this is one of the very few countries in the world where psilocybin can be consumed and sold legally in the form of truffles. With DMT this is not the case. Another essential reason is that a DMT experience can be quite overwhelming.
At Spinoza, we deeply appreciate the fact that psilocybin comes from our own Dutch soil, where it is part of an intelligent mycelium network that benefits nature’s wellbeing by distributing nutrients between soil, plants and trees. It is a natural part of what basically forms the foundation of every ecosystem on our planet.
What are the differences in effects?
DMT has an immensely intense, acute and profound effect which typically lasts only 15-30 minutes, while psilocybin’s effects last approximately 4-6 hours. A DMT experience can be compared to being catapulted out of your body and into the cosmos, almost immediately transcending one’s own identity and ego. You can disconnect from a variety of concepts we take for granted in our ordinary state of consciousness, such as space and time. One can enter a metaphysical or entheogenic realm, perceived from a perspective of pure consciousness in the eternal now.
Psilocybin offers a far more gentle introduction into the psychedelic realm. In general, the experience comes up in waves, gently going back and forth during the entry phase, which allows the mind to slowly adjust, surrender and let go. Another significant benefit is that a psychedelic journey induced by psilocybin can be divided into four phases. This makes monitoring our ceremony participants easier, as it is clear to our guides where people are in their journey and in which state of mind.
DMT is one of the most powerful psychedelic substances known to mankind. This is why it’s essential to inform yourself well and to consult multiple sources of information. Please keep in mind that we do not recommend seeking a DMT induced experience to anyone.
How do DMT retreats and psilocybin retreats compare?
When comparing a DMT experience with a psilocybin retreat, the first and foremost essential factor is your intention. Although there may be some similarities in the psychedelic experience itself, the outcome, benefits, and long-term effects can be very different.
We are currently not aware of the existence of any organization that offers DMT retreats in the Netherlands. Perhaps in other countries you might be able to find a DMT retreat that offers guided sessions with DMT under the supervision of experienced facilitators or trip sitters. Due to its potent and relatively short effects, it may be possible to undergo multiple sessions over a shorter time span, allowing participants to explore different facets of the DMT experience.
In the realm of Psilocybin retreats there are more options. Some retreats offer a guided and structured program, including multiple sessions, integration support, and activities to enhance the overall experience. Other retreats provide a more self-directed approach, allowing participants to navigate their own psychedelic journey while still offering a supportive environment and resources for integration.
At Spinoza, we feel it is important to offer a complete program, starting with a preparation phase, followed by a fully guided retreat and extensive support in your process of integration afterward.
Are there any concerns in terms of safety?
Each psychedelic journey is unique, and its outcome depends entirely on the moment, the person, the set and setting in which you consume either substance and the dosage, among many other parameters. In general, taking psychedelics is safe, but there are circumstances that can lead to hazardous situations. This is why it is essential for participants to conduct thorough research, be aware of appropriate dosages, consider potential contraindications, and to have a trusted support system in place.
Safety is paramount in any psychedelic retreat setting. DMT and psilocybin retreats share a commitment to participant well-being, but safety protocols may differ. It is crucial for participants to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions or medications to ensure their safety during the retreat.
According to recent Dutch research, psilocybin is non-toxic and not addictive. So far, not a single case of overdose has been reported. Psilocybin has anti-inflammatory effects and supposedly stimulates neurogenesis. In terms of safety and health impact it ranks number one compared to other substances.
Which option is right for you?
According to a number of psychedelic pioneers who have elaborated on their experiences in books and talks, psilocybin leaves more room for interpretation than a DMT experience. It requires time and effort to make sense of what your psilocybin experience has been trying to tell you, and to distill the meaning from its messages.
Choosing between a DMT retreat and a psilocybin retreat requires careful consideration of personal preferences, intentions, and readiness for the experience. If you seek brief yet intense encounters with visionary realms, a DMT retreat may resonate with you. DMT is known for its rapid onset and immersive qualities, attracting those interested in profound spiritual exploration and rapid transformation. However, DMT experiences are highly intense and certainly not meant for everyone.
If you feel that your intention requires a more extended and introspective journey, where self-reflection and interconnectedness are emphasized, a psilocybin retreat might be a much better option for you. Psilocybin’s effects provide a slower unfolding experience, allowing for deep introspection and inner healing.
Please remember that we do not recommend seeking a DMT induced experience to anyone, even if you have extensive experience with psychedelics, and certainly not when you have limited experience with psychedelics.
We are glad that more research is being conducted and more studies into the effects of psychedelics, including psilocybin and DMT. A recent study has found that 5-MeO-DMT induces long-lasting neural plasticity in mice. Researchers observed that the substance caused a “long-lasting increase in the number of tiny protrusions called dendritic spines in the brain.” 5-MeO-DMT’s effects on the mice’s behavior was found to be similar to psilocybin. “One surprise is how long the rewiring of neuronal connections in the brain persisted after a single dose of 5-MeO-DMT,” says Alex Kwan, one of the study’s authors.