Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: DMT: The Spirit Molecule

I received my kick-starter movie in the mail yesterday and decided to check it out. As promised I wanted to write a review about the movie so that some people could at least get a good idea of what to expect when they see the movie.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a documentary that talks about the history of DMT use in relation to Dr.Strassman's work. If you have ever read the book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" and maybe a book on the history of drug use in America, well then you know just about everything that is in the movie. The director uses some great interviews to express their experiences as well as talking about the history of why DMT and other drugs like LSD were banned from research. The video goes into detail about the chemical relationship between DMT and other types of drugs, and how those drugs are being used today in clinical studies. There is a little video about the tribal use of DMT but really this is only a fraction of the movie.

The one thing that I was really surprised about in the movie was the idea that DMT is produced in the pineal gland. For anyone who has done any type of research about DMT, it is not a proven fact that its created in the pineal gland. Even Strassman states this in one of his interviews I conducted over a year ago:
I regret not being more clear about the hypothetical nature of the DMT-pineal link. There is one paper in which human pineal tissue is ground up and put into a test tube; then the precursors for 5-methoxy-DMT are added, stirred, and warmed, and out comes 5-methoxy-DMT. We have no data on intact, in-person pineal gland DMT synthesis. That’s one of the questions we hope to answer with our new assay at LSU. While the pineal link remains speculative, it is established that lung makes lots of DMT.

I am pretty sure that this assay that Strassman is talking about hasn't yet been concluded. In any way, its a bit hard to see Strassman talking about the pineal gland being where DMT is produced when its only theory, and once again pushing people to believe wrongly what he stated as being a problem in his book. Another thing that I had a problem with is that in the video they talked about how western society seems to be always trying to get the best high, the most bang for their buck kind of deal, but little in the movie do they show anything about the cultures that use DMT for healing such as in South America. They instead talk to westerners about their experiences on DMT and little dealing with Ayahuasca where the real healing is done. Jace Callaways research that dealt with the healing powers of DMT and increasing serotonin receptor sites, was done with Ayahuasca, not just DMT alone, and often enough with no mimosa hostilis which contains the large amount of DMT used in Ayahuasca. The Santo Daime also use Ayahuasca in their religious practices and not pure DMT. In truth, in terms of experiences with DMT, the movie focuses on the trippy experiences that DMT provides rather than the real healing after effects that it has. The video fails to address the long term effects that have dramatically changed these peoples lives for the good and bad after their experiences.

Over all the movie was great for a public who knows nothing about DMT or why anyone would want to use it. It tells us a realistic story about why DMT was banned from public use and research as well as the uses for DMT and other hallucinogens. It provides awareness to people about the experiences behind DMT and about Strassmans book and his research. The video seems to fail in a number of areas which I believe would be very beneficial to people who wanted to know how DMT can help them and others who have mental illness. I would highly recommend everyone to purchase the movie because it supports further research as well as public awareness, but to really understand the pros and cons of using DMT, more personal research into the area of the drug is needed for those individuals.

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