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5-MeO-DMT not likely contributing to effects of Chaliponga/Diplopterys cabrerana


It is quite common to hear tales of the presence of 5-MeO-DMT in the ayahuasca admixture plant Diplopterys cabrerana, aka Chaliponga, with some people being adamant this is what gives rise to its perceived unique effects, with others questioning whether it is safe to mix it with an MAOI in the form of ayahuasca vine.

Looking at the scientific literature and some more recently analyses, it is clear that 5-MeO is not playing a role in the effects of Chaliponga. However a fair portion of users of this plant do find it distinct in effect compared to other ayahuasca admixture plants like Psychotria viridis and Mimosa tenuiflora.

Some of the results of past analyses conducted on D. cabrerana:

- DMT and traces of bufotenine found, but 5-MeO-DMT not found (McKenna 1984).
- 0.4655% DMT, co-occurring with traces of NMT, Bufotenine and MTHBC (Agurell et al. 1968) (misidentified as Banisteriopsis rusbyana see Gates 1982).
- 0.16638% DMT, 0.0035% MTHBC and 0.0035% 5-MeO-DMT in dried stem (Agurell et al. 1968 - see attached paper) (misidentified as Banisteriopsis rusbyana see Gates 1982).


DMT Nexus member endlessness performed a GC-MS analysis on a sample of D. cabrerana leaf, reputed to be a source of 5-MeO. None was found, attached is the first image of the spectra output, and below some notes on its interpretation.

--- Quote ---The top part of the page is the the retention time. So basically the gas chromatograph separates the substances, each one is coming at different times through the column (read a simple explanation of how GC-MS works here). Notice there is one main peak, all the other peaks are at most 10x smaller, meaning 10x less abundant than DMT. So if there is 1% dmt, there is 0.1% of these other substances.

So the bottom of the page is a look at the mass spectra of the DMT peak (each peak in that lower half of the page is a small fragment of the molecule, as it breaks from the electron impact in the MS part of the machine. Notice how it is the same as a DMT standard spectrum

As for the mass spectra of the other smaller peaks that appear on the top of the page, you can see them individually in the zip file I attached. None of them corresponds to 5-MeO-DMT, nor bufotenine. They dont seem to be beta carbolines either but Im not sure yet. I have not identified the other peaks except knowing they are not 5-meo nor bufo, it would be good if one of our experts would be able to help me out, otherwise I´ll keep trying to search for them and will post here if I have them identified. Its possible some of these peaks arent even alkaloids, but other inactive plant impurities.

Hope this helps shed some light that any potential difference people feel from chaliponga is not due to 5-MeO-DMT, but probably self suggestion and/or related with synergy of small amount of other alkaloids (which we have to identify).
--- End quote ---

On the DMT Nexus some people reported Chaliponga extract in quid form was active, so something was sublingually active, which would make it unique in comparison to the other ayahuasca admixture plants. So there may be as yet other compounds in the plant that give rise to its unique perceived effects, but it is very unlikely to be 5-MeO. To summarise, no 5-MeO has actually been reported in D. cabrerana leaves, only trace amount in its stems, and this GC-MS analysis didn't find any evidence for its presence in leaf material. Further research is definitely warranted here.


- Agurell, S. et al. 1968a. Identification of two new β-carboline alkaloids in South American hallucinogenic plants. Biochemical Pharmacology, 17, 2487-2488.
- Agurell, S. et al. 1968b. Alkaloid content of Banisteriopsis rusbyana. American Journal of Pharmacy, 140, 148-151.
- Der Marderosian, A.H. et al. 1968. Native use and occurrence of N,N-dimethyltryptamine in the leaves of Banisteriopsis rusbyana. American Journal of Pharmacy, 140, 137-147.
- McKenna, D.J. et al. 1984a. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors in South American hallucinogenic plants: tryptamine and β-carboline constituents of ayahuasca. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 10, 195-223.

Bancopuma thank you so much for sharing this important information!

This is a topic of much debate among the plant medicine people in general. There is a lot of misinformation going around about what compounds are in what plant, so hopefully that can get cleared up now. Maybe we can start putting together a fact sheet of all known natural sources of 5-MeO-DMT? That would be another great resource for future study and investigation. And that fact sheet would be different from the Nexus one in the sense that it would only contain plants that contained at least .25% 5-MeO-DMT. Anything less than that is probably too small to be a viable source for extraction. Am I right in saying this?

Really great going forward to consider what might be viable plant sources of this molecule. My suspicion is that there are no plant sources (currently known) that will easily yield good amounts of 5-MeO-DMT in the way that Mimosa Hostilis has high yields of nnDMT. Virola resin has been cited as a potential source, but I have not read any accounts of successful extractions from the resin. And trust me, I have SCOURED the DMT Nexus for that info! The information has been discouraging at best.

That being said, maybe here on the 5 Hive there will be some aspiring entheobotanists that will work with various plants to isolate this molecule and devise a tek for the community at large.

I still think that lab synthesis will be the most viable source for this molecule. The synthesis is not terribly difficult (correct me if I'm wrong chemists).

My pleasure hombre. And yeah I think it would be great to bring all existing information together to clear up any misinformation. And a species source list sounds like a good idea.

Plant wise, I think the Phalaris grass species may be worthy of more attention with regard 5-MeO-DMT.

An interesting passage I've just spied on the DMT Nexus, taken from The Entheogen Review:

--- Quote ---Phalaris arundinacea 'Turkey Red' Plant:

From The Entheogen Review Vol. XI 2002:-

My old, "Turkey red," was selected to produce 5-MeO-DMT because this is the alkaloid that I personally prefer for my own work and the work I do with groups around the country. I feel 5-MeO-DMT most closely mimics the natural enlightenment state of a fully functioning pineal-gland. It does not distract one with visuals, but open one's energy field and dissolves the energetic barriers between people. By taking about 75mg of the "Turkey red" extract - equivalent to about 7.5mg of 5-MeO-DMT - potentiated with a RIMA such as Syrian Rue, one can experience much healing, and in the right group, a unification of consciousness within the group. I believe this medicine has a role to play in the next stage of evolution, which must involve some form of group consciousness.

There are about five other alkaloids in Turkey red as well. I do not know what most of them are. I have tried to experiment of separating out just the 5-MeO-DMT and taking that orally with a MAOI, and I do get and effect, comparable to that of chemically produced pharmahuasca from synthesised 5-MeO-DMT. However, It does not have the magical shamanic effect I like to use for my group use. I have about a thousand TLC plates of my tests, each with its own unique and different alkaloid mixture. This could keep graduate students busy for years elucidating the unique healing properties of these mixtures.
--- End quote --- this particular cultivar of P. arundinacea certainly sounds promising as a potential 5-MeO-DMT source.

Some further information on Phalaris species and 5-MeO-DMT content to be found here:

I'm sure you're aware of this already, but the various Phalaris grass species remain relatively unexplored, and I think they hold perhaps the greatest potential of providing a viable botanical 5-MeO-DMT source, of all the plants we know so far that contain it. (I thought this topic could do with its own thread).

Check out this thread:


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