Safety and health risks
Just as with any medication that we decide to take, it is always prudent to understand the risks and possible side effects involved with using entheogens. Popular opinions about entheogens, usually referred to as hallucinogenic drugs, involve many myths due to widespread anti-drug propaganda. These myths and the fact that these substances are very poorly understood by the general public creates the perception that taking entheogens is extremely dangerous, self-destructive, and irresponsible. People choosing to explore these compounds are easily mistaken for “addicts” even though the actual addiction potential for entheogens is extremely low - significantly lower than alcohol or nicotine.
In most cases, there is little evidence indicating any physiological long-term damage caused directly by entheogens (most fatalities, for example, are due to accidents rather than the toxicity of the substance ingested). However, prior to beginning their journeys, there are a few risks that every traveler should be well aware of, in order to prepare accordingly and take responsible safety precautions. Some of these dangers are immediate (during the actual journey).
|Entheogen||Threshold||Standard1 dose- range per body weight||Standard|
|Ayahuasca: B. caapi Psychotria viridis||75 - 100 g 30 g|
|Cannabis smoked Cannabis oral||33 mg||50-70 mg 60-80 mg|
|DMT vaporized DMT freebase oral2 RIMA3 (rue extract)||5-10 mg 20-35 mg 100-200+ mg||15-20 mg 50-70 mg 100-200+ mg|
|LSD||20 ug||1.14-1.43 ug /kg||80-150 ug|
|MDMA HCL||30 mg||1-1.78 mg / kg||70-125 mg|
|Mescaline HCL||100 mg||180-350 mg|
|Psilocybin Whole mushrooms (cubensis, dried)||3-4 mg 0.25g||0.22-0.43 mg / kg||15-30 mg|
|Salvia regular leaf, dry||0.25 g||0.5 g|
1Standard dose ranges refer to either 1) doses that have been used in clinical trials and have been found to be well tolerable or
2) doses that have been found to be well tolerable by the community of travelers, when no clinical studies were available with information.
2Oral doses of DMT depend highly on inhibition of the monoamino oxidase, and vary greatly from person to person.
3RIMA doses given are what is considered full or close to full inhibition. This can greatly vary from person to person. It is advised to try raising the dose of RIMA first before raising the amount of DMT if you find your experience was weaker than expected.
4Michael Mithoefer. “MDMA-Assited Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Dissorder (PTSD)”. In: ().
5Vollenweider, “Neurobiology of Psychedelics”.
A comprehensive list of different substances and the colors they show for different reagents can be found at this address: