DMT is a powerful psychedelic drug known to produce visions involving 'other beings' like elves, aliens, and deities. Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have surveyed over 2,500 people who have taken the drug to understand the impact these experiences had on them.
Most of the participants had used DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) around a dozen times. The study excluded people who consumed ayahuasca and those whose DMT experiences may have been influenced by other drugs taken at the same time.
In the end, the researchers found that 99% of those who encountered other beings during their DMT experiences had an emotional response. While 59% of participants felt love, 65% felt joy, and 63% felt trust. A minority felt negative emotions, including sadness (13%) and disgust (4%).
At the same time, 81% of respondents said that their encounters felt 'more real than reality.' Around 75% reported believing that the beings they encountered were real, but existed in another dimension or reality, while only 9% thought the experiences existed 'completely within themselves.'
"Additionally, approximately one-third (36%) of respondents reported that before the encounter their belief system included a belief in ultimate reality, higher power, God, or universal divinity, but a significantly larger percentage (58%) of respondents reported this belief system after the encounter." say the researchers.
Meanwhile, 60% of the survey respondents thought that DMT "produced a desirable alteration in their conception of reality, whereas only 1% indicated an undesirable alteration in their conception of reality."
Adding to this, 89% of participants said the encounters led to lasting improvements in their wellbeing and life satisfaction. As such, the researchers think that the drug may hold promise as a therapy for people with mood and behavioral problems such as depression and addiction, in years to come.
Although an observational study not conducted under lab conditions, the researchers hope that these early findings may open further research avenues for the drug.