Journal Club #18: Pineal Gland and DMT Facts and Myth

Journal Club with Dr. Jonathan Cachat
Journal Club with Dr. Jonathan Cachat
Journal Club #18: Pineal Gland and DMT Facts and Myth

In a departure from kratom science, Dr. Cachat and Brian look at a paper by a pioneering pharmacologist and researcher in the field of psychedelics, Dr. David E. Nichols. Dr. Nichols methodically lays out his case for why endogenous DMT produced in the pineal gland, brain, or other parts of the human body is not present at adequate enough doses to be psychoactive. Therefore there is not enough evidence that endogenous DMT explains out-of-body experiences or near-death experience. This is controversial in drug nerd world as evidence by YouTube comments on a related talk given by Dr. Nichols, and may run counter to Rick Strassman’s arguments presented in his popular book and documentary The Spirit Molecule. Is endogenous DMT a neurotransmitter? If not what is it? If DMT doesn’t explain near death experiences, what does?


Breaking Convention. (2017, Jul. 9). David Nichols – DMT and the pineal gland: Facts vs fantasy [Video]. YouTube.

Lokhorst, Gert-Jan, “Descartes and the Pineal Gland”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

Nichols D. E. (2018). N,N-dimethyltryptamine and the pineal gland: Separating fact from myth. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 32(1), 30–36.

Music: Captain Bigwheel “Moonrunner”

Kratom Science Journal Club is produced by Brian Gallagher for

Disclaimer: There is no content on the Kratom Science Podcast nor on that in any way constitutes medical claims or medical advice. You should consult a medical professional for medical advice and we believe this sincerely. Take care.

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