• Members of the previous forum can retrieve their temporary password here, (login and check your PM).

Can I propose a synthesis of DMT?

Migrated topic.


Rising Star
Hi I am new here.

What I know is that synthesis of DMT discussion is generally not approved here. In the attitude section it says synthesis discussion is discouraged as watch listed compounds are used. I have a DMT synthesis proposal that does not require watchlisted chemicals and is relatively simple and cheap (only 3 synthetic steps).

Is this allowed? I seek intelligent discussion with other chemistry minded people to discuss the benifits, limitations and if the synthetic route is well known.

Thanks :)
There are many routes to dimethyltryptamine, nearly all of which are fairly well known and are well documented, more likely than not your route is also well known and documented, and has probably been researched ad nauseam by the individuals here with an interest in chemistry.

I have also wanted to discuss synthesis, but when you listen to the reasoning behind not allowing such conversations it is all very reasonable. Discussion of chemistry relating to everything but synthesis is allowed, and believe it or not, there is no shortage of good discussion points in these areas as well, plus, this way, you never have to feel guilty about wondering if someone took parts of your discussion or information you provided and harmed themselves or others with it.

I've always felt relatively comfortable sharing this information as it should be "over the heads" of most individuals, ensuring that those who are able to understand it should also be able to understand proper lab safety and have good ethics in regard to working with chemicals as they should have some education and training in the field of organic chemistry, though no matter how good your intentions may be, you must be mindful if the information could be potentially abused...for example:
David Nichols, a chemist at Purdue University, knows what it is like to publicize a substance now associated with death. Before MDMA (also known as ecstasy) was popular, he studied it in the hopes that drugs like it could help in psychotherapy. He published three papers on a structurally similar molecule called MTA. But then, he says, some European chemists got their hands on the work and produced MTA for consumption. By 2002, six deaths were linked to MTA.

Those deaths haunt Nichols, who has since declined to publish a synthesis he feared underground chemists could exploit. “The fact that this killed a bunch of people, I was like, ‘Oh my God, how did this happen?’ . . . It’s a tragedy if they end up having an accident or overdosing. I don’t think they’re dumb. I think it’s a tragedy.”

I've actually thought about this a good deal, as a PIHKAL/TIHKAL enthusiast I'm often asked if I feel what shulgin did was appropriate, its a complex issue, and I'm not going to get into here...

Ultimately you must be mindful, if you have some ideas regarding synthesis, it's best to express them through the appropriate channels, and to always remain mindful of the potential impacts that your seemingly good intentioned actions may have.

Pesto said:
What I know is that synthesis of DMT discussion is generally not approved here. In the attitude section it says synthesis discussion is discouraged as watch listed compounds are used.
The actual wording is:

Attitude Page said:
No synthesis talk that uses dangerous/watched chemicals and procedures
Discussion of simple safe non-commercial synthesis not requiring watched chemicals are tolerated (example: the reduction of DMT N-oxide to DMT with zinc, or the supposed LSA-to-LSH conversion).
Note the mention of "dangerous" and "procedures".

I'm sure that dmt synthesis routes exist that make only use of chemicals that are not explicitly mentioned on (some country's) watch list. Nevertheless, many chemicals commonly used in organic synthesis are considered dangerous and unsafe even when handled by experts. An essential part of the training of synthetic chemists involves learning about the dangers that these compounds may present in various combinations and circumstances, the use of techniques and equipment to minimize the risks of handling and to contain and mitigate any accidents when they happen.

Maybe you have these skills. Maybe you don't. We don't know. Some people who read the synthesis discussion that you propose may have these skills. Almost certainly, a lot of other people will not and if reading the synthesis discussion inspires them to go ahead and try some of it at their homes, bad things will happen for sure. We do not support this.

Pesto said:
Is this allowed? I seek intelligent discussion with other chemistry minded people to discuss the benifits, limitations and if the synthetic route is well known.
You may find a more welcoming audience at the Welcome to Sciencemadness Dot Org forum. They don't like prefab explicit shake-n-bake type cooking recipes much, but if you want to have a technical discussion about the merits of various synthetic routes, based on referenced scientific information, you may find some kindred spirits there. Not every member of that forum is as sympathetic to your branch of sports as they used to be in its early days, but you could still have a go at it.

Alternatively, if you find the above forum is not friendly enough to your quest, there is also the Добро пожаловать на ГиперЛаб! forum. Some parts are in english, but most parts may require an upgrade of your russian language skills.
Thank you for the time to reply and inform me.

The point that others may attempt the synthesis and harm themselves/others resonates most strongly to me. Although the compounds used are rather easy to work with and require a fairly basic lab set up, there is still risk. With a poor lab set up and experience, spills/cracked glassware in a poorly ventilated area can certainly harm. Fire risks, carcinogenic effects etc too.

I'll probably chose to keep the ideas to myself but it would be nice to hear other people's views on its feasibility.
sorry for the short response. I proposed the earliest, straightforward synthesis, which led to the current policies. I respect the decision which led to those policies, and this forum is top-notch quality in part because of said policies. with enough quality posts, you may/or may not gain access to answers to questions you have, but keep in mind, this forum is very tight-knit. you have to earn your trust.

still, as a biochemist, I favor the biological sources over all others, because you simply cannot surpass enzymes as catalysts.
Complexity said:
If it's not against the rules I would like to hear about your synthesis by private message.
It's against the rules of the forum software for new members to send private messages. So, a new member could not break these rules, even if they wanted to. I'm not sure if it is okay for any memebr to evade the general forum rules in private messages. I have always assumed it is not.

Pesto said:
carcinogenic effects etc too.
Most methylation agents, being highly carcinogenic, are most certainly off the table for discussion here.

Now, if you knew of any safe and easily obtainable conditions and catalysts to enable transmethylation from excess trimethylglycine onto tryptamine, I would be all ears.

Similarly, a discussion of decarboxylation strategies for amino acids might also stay on the safe side of the forum rules. Decarboxylating lysine or ornithine can be a fun and safe experiment to perform in ones own kitchen (and not in one's girlfriend's kitchen, I should warn, especially so if said girlfriend is a vegetarian.)
keep in mind if your trying some kind of hydride - formaldehyde type methylation, especially in acidic conditions, you risk forming cyclized side products.

tryptoline is a strong ssri

and N-methyl-tryptoline, in particular, is thought to be highly neurotoxic agent, similar to MPTP. Which itself results in permanent damage to the brain in the form of Parkinsons disease.

thought I might add that in the interest of harm-reduction.


as its been said before, this forum is top-notch quality for a reason, there are knowledgeable members on this board from all avenues, including synthetic chemistry. Just because it is not discussed doesn't mean it isn't researched.
Mindlusion said:
and N-methyl-tryptoline, in particular, is thought to be highly neurotoxic agent, similar to MPTP. Which itself results in permanent damage to the brain in the form of Parkinsons disease.
I disagree with the traditional association between N-methyl-tryptoline and MPTP. In fact, after doing just a bit of research into the source of this "knowledge", I came to the preliminary conclusion that the association has been hyped up without proper factual basis and amounts to nothing more than fear uncertainty and doubt. There is a thread on N-methyl-tryptoline in the harmalas subforum, titled 2-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline and you can find my assement of the rumored neurotoxicity here . The thread is also mentions the presence of this substance in psychotria viridis. As far as I know, there is no apparent relation between traditional ayahuasca consumption and Parkinson's disease.

I any case, betacarbolines appear to be highly insoluble in naphtha, so should be easy to clean up. The above linked thread also mentions it being a minor side product in some Shulgin synthesis and apparently he mentions it being easily removed by recrystallization.

With regard to the hydride that you mention (which I would definitely qualify as non kitchen friendly), there are safer alteratives, like metallic zinc. Even better, with zinc, it also works in aquatic alkaline conditions. Pictet-Spengler condensation might be less likely in that situation.

I should remind readers that formaldehyde, even though easily acquired in many locations, is a nasty chemical. While not nearly as nasty as methyl iodide or dimethyl sulphate, it is still not something to be handled without proper care, equipment and skill.
Thank you very much Mindlusion for bringing up that important point.

In fact I was thinking about utilising formaldehyde (Eschweiler-clark) as methylating agent in my last step. I assume the formation of reactive Schiff-base leads to an opportunity for side reactions to take place and create harmful side products.

Then again I'm thinking of utilising the Gabriel synthesis might be a way around the problem I face and have to change some other steps. Then again I don't want to talk much about this as then more harmful chemicals/procedures will be necessary.
Yeah I know it has been hyped up, personally I don't think its that toxic either, since the compounds are also strong MAOIs it's thought to have a protective effect, and endogenous etc etc.

But thanks for linking me to those threads, I never read about it indepth.

Either way, you don't want em.
Alkaline or neutral is the way you want to go, the variables you are looking at are fast (selective) reduction of imine, inert or slow rxn with aldehyde (which may an issue with zinc and ch2o) and a speedy imine formation (slower in alkaline), these can all be controlled with temp, choice of reagents, solvent, and amount of water present. This can all be done OTC too, with a little care and attention to detail.

Though doing this stuff in water would be awesome, and green. Worth investigating.
Top Bottom