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In Search of Entheogenic Molecules: Phytochemical Analysis from the DMT-Nexus
The DMT-Nexus conducts research to identify the relative abundance of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and β-carboline alkaloids in plant material from around the world. Despite numerous published scientific papers and anecdotal reports indicating the presence of DMT in a wide variety of plants, there is much ambiguity, contradiction, and speculation regarding the actual chemical composition of many of these plants. The DMT-Nexus has carried out unique chromatography and mass spectrometry analyses of specimens reported to contain DMT and β-carbolines, from both novel and previously examined species complexes. This research has elucidated questions and hypotheses regarding indigenous botanical preparations, the identities of plants found in the global market of entheogenic vendors, and the phytochemistry of plants that ethnobotanical researchers encounter in their own geographic regions. The significance of this research is that it presents the merging of traditional ethnobotanical knowledge into contemporary scientific contexts, while expanding our phytochemical knowledgebase.
David Nickles holds a BA in Anthropology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a moderator for the DMT-Nexus community, where he has been involved with projects including the DMT-Nexus Wiki, the Coalition for Entheogenic Liberty, and the publication of harm reduction literature. David is currently working with a group of other underground researchers on the Nexus’ Collaborative Research Project, which seeks to meticulously index and expand morphological, taxonomic, and phytochemical knowledge of the vines and admixture plants used in ayahuasca brews and other entheogenic preparations.
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At Psychedelic Science 2013, over 100 of the world’s leading researchers and more than 1,900 international attendees gathered to share recent findings on the benefits and risks of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, 2C-B, ketamine, DMT, marijuana, and more, over three days of conference presentations, and two days of pre- and post-conference workshops.
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