More than half of users of the “spirit molecule” told researchers they had started to believe in a higher power.
A study has found that most people who regularly use the psychedelic drug DMT develop beliefs in a higher power such as God, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University.
An online survey of more than 2,500 people undertaken by researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine revealed that after taking DMT—nicknamed “the spirit molecule” for its ability to create deeply spiritual experiences—58 percent of respondents said tripping on DMT had triggered a belief in divine beings and powerful supernatural entities.
The study, published in the new issue of Journal of Psychopharmacology, aimed to better understand the weird experiences people have on DMT—called “entity encounter experiences”—and how they impacted their outlook. The survey was shared globally on websites such as VICE and is the largest questionnaire looking at DMT entity encounters to date. The results were published by some of the pioneers in modern psychedelic research: Alan K. Davis, Roland Griffiths, and Matthew Johnson, who run Hopkins’ new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.
Respondents to the study, who had taken DMT on average 14 times, described bumping into an array of what they could best describe as aliens, spirits, angels, demons, gnomes and fairies. Most of these creatures, said respondents, were sentient and benevolent, with many described as “sacred.” Less than 15 percent reported “judgmental or malicious” creatures.
Meeting these entities seemed to rattle people enough to make 80 percent of them admit the drug had completely altered their fundamental concept of reality. The study found the DMT experience ranked as “one of the top five or single most personally meaningful, spiritually significant, or psychologically insightful experiences of [respondents’] lives.”