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How Long Does Ayahuasca Last? (And Other Important Questions)

how long does ayahuasca last

Did you know that the standard ayahuasca trip lasts between four and six hours? Not only that, but it can take up to one hour for users to feel its effects.

You might be wondering: how long does ayahuasca last? If you’re looking for a clear idea of the timeline, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the ayahuasca experience.

What is Ayahuasca?

What’s the real deal about ayahuasca? According to the American Addiction Centers, ayahuasca is a psychedelic substance that’s made from a plant. In fact, it’s also one of the main elements of a religion that’s taught by indigenous shamans in the Amazon.

Why do people take ayahuasca in the first place?

Surprisingly, ayahuasca is typically used for religious purposes. Nowadays, ayahuasca is thought to be a sort of a “cure-all” for many mental illnesses.

This hallucinogenic drug helps people to recover from severe mental ailments, like: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Addiction

It gets better: some ayahuasca users admit that it has literally helped them to quit their cocaine habit!

How does ayahuasca work?

This hallucinogen functions by jumpstarting three parts of the brain:

  • Your brain’s neocortex area
  • Your brain’s amygdala area
  • Your brain’s insula area

Wondering what the neocortex area is? Essentially, it’s the part of your brain that’s responsible for reasoning and decision-making.

Additionally, your brain’s amygdala area is triggered by ayahuasca. This section of your brain is where traumatic memories are kept.

Sound crazy? That’s not all. 

Ayahuasca also sparks the insula area of your brain. Why does this matter? Because the insula is the connection between your emotions and your reactions.

Now that you understand what ayahuasca is and how it affects your brain, it’s time to find out how long an ayahuasca trip lasts.

How Long Does Ayahuasca Last?

So, how long does an ayahuasca trip last? When it comes to ayahuasca duration, it can vary from person to person. This is usually dependent on several things, including

  • Your height, weight, and health status
  • Your experience taking ayahuasca
  • Your combination of medications
  • Your ayahuasca dosage
  • Your tolerance to ayahuasca

First of all, you have to make sure that you’re in good health before you take ayahuasca. That way, you can avoid any adverse reactions.

After you’ve checked your health records, you should consider your experience with ayahuasca. Have you ever taken it before? If not, we strongly recommend that you take a smaller dosage (also known as micro-dosing).

Next, you have to think about what medications you’re currently on. If you believe that you’ll have a bad reaction, you should probably re-examine your decision to try the hallucinogen.

Now: when it comes to ayahuasca dosage, it’s extremely difficult to tell how strong it will be. That’s why experienced ayahuasca users know that its dosage strength fluctuates.

We can’t emphasize this enough: those with pre-existing mental illnesses should not experiment with ayahuasca. Why? Because it can increase the effects of paranoia and anxiety.

That being said, you can usually expect to notice the psychedelic drug in your system within half an hour.

How long does ayahuasca stay in your system?

For the average ayahuasca user, the effects of the drug can last for up to six hours. 

Want to know the best part? There’s absolutely no risk of addiction to ayahuasca.

Still curious about the ayahuasca experience? We’ve got you covered. Find out what the ayahuasca experience is really like.

The Ayahuasca Experience

What is an ayahuasca trip like?

In reality, the ayahuasca experience is different for everyone. Nonetheless, it is very useful for getting into the religious spirit for certain ceremonies.

According to the Swedish author Åke Ohlmarks, shamanic practitioners in Siberia use ayahuasca to experience “a real cataleptic trance, during which the soul is supposed to have left the body and to be journeying in the sky or the underworld.”

But your ayahuasca trip doesn’t necessarily have to be that dramatic. That’s why Ohlmarks revealed that the hallucinogen is also used “to induce a semi-trance with the help of narcotics or to mime the journey of the soul in dramatic form.”

Effects of ayahuasca can include:

  • Sickness
  • Throwing up
  • Intense sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations

How do you know if you’re having a bad experience with ayahuasca?

While it’s common to experience the symptoms that we mentioned above, there are a few signs that your ayahuasca experience is going down the wrong path. You might be suffering from an ayahuasca overdose if you feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Continuous queasiness
  • Scary illusions
  • Heavy feelings of intoxication
  • Severe panic
  • High levels of hysteria

Despite this fact, it’s very rare for anyone to overdose from taking ayahuasca. Nevertheless, you should phone an ambulance if you or someone you know is having a difficult time with ayahuasca.

Wondering where to take ayahuasca for the first time? We highly recommend trying out an ayahuasca retreat!

Enjoy Your Ayahuasca Journey

How long does ayahuasca last? While it depends on the user, ayahuasca can last for several hours. Amazingly, some people can feel its effects for six hours straight.

Why are people taking ayahuasca? Although this hallucinogen is often used in religious ceremonies, it’s also used by different people to relieve mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now that you’ve read our guide, you can decide if ayahuasca is right for you.

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