Most psychedelics produce visual hallucinations, but DiPT is unusual in that it primarily produces audio hallucinations
Auditory hallucinations (augmentation of sound) are part and parcel with many psychedelic experiences. But DiPT (Diisopropyltryptamine) is the only psychedelic drug that offers an almost purely aural adventure.
What is DiPT and how does it work?
As a synthesized substance, first created and experimented with in 1980 by Alexander Shulgin (affectionately dubbed ‘the godfather of psychedelics), you’d think we might have some grasp on why this unusual effect occurs. However, even though it’s chemically related to the slightly better-known DMT, it largely remains a mystery.
“It’s completely bonkers,” says psychedelic neuroscience researcher Zeus Tipado. “Almost all psychedelics have an audio-visual context, but DiPT purely produces audio artefacts. We don’t have an explanation for it.”
Weird and wacky as the world of psychedelics may be, fast-progressing research is allowing us to start unpicking the inner workings of these unique drugs and indeed their therapeutic potential. However, research into DiPT (admittedly of which there is very little) only appears to make this effect even more inexplicable.
“We know that DiPT does effect the same part of the brain as other psychedelics —the auditory cortex, and potentially at a deeper level, the thalamus. The thalamus is basically the part of the brain that processes your whole reality. When you take psychedelics, your thalamus is fed information in a kind of chaotic way, which is partly why things can get weird. But in the case of DiPT, it’s purely auditory chaos,” says Tipado.
Although there aren’t any clinical trials exploring DiPT yet, a lot of people have reported their experience when taking the drug, so we know anecdotally what happens. When a person talks, we can normally hear what they’re trying to say, but when a person is on DiPT some of the words might be completely omitted from the conversation, or switched around to create an entirely new context. Radical pitch shifts are also quite commonly reported, as are phase shifts (when two sound waves with the same frequency but different starting points combine).
But, here’s where things get spooky. DiPT produces auditory hallucinations even when there’s no sound to be heard.
“Even when there’s no augmentation of auditory senses, auditory hallucinations are produced on DiPT. This gives weight to the idea that the whole experience is being processed by the auditory cortex,” Tipado explains. “Perhaps this bizarre effect is caused by the beyond human enhancement of things we might not ordinarily hear, like electronic frequencies. But I’d say that’s unlikely. However, like we don’t really have an explanation as to why we experience closed eye visuals on other psychedelics. We just don’t know.”
Does DiPT have therapeutic value?
Unlike the awe-inspiring experiences many people speak of when taking other psychedelics, DiPT is far less likely to produce any form of enjoyable ride. Aside from the auditory hallucinations, users might notice some visual and sensory effects such as color enhancement, morphing and augmented depth perception. At high doses, you might even experience some visual geometry, as with DMT, and there have unfortunately been reports of ear pressure and tinnitus that has been painful in some cases. The a DiPT trip is probably only appealing to well-seasoned and adventurous psychonauts, hell-bent on trying out all forms of altered states.
But is there therapeutic potential as with other psychedelics?
As there are currently no clinical trials exploring DiPT, there’s no evidence to suggest therapeutic effect. However, there is some speculation over whether DiPT might be utilized in some way in the future to treat tinnitus, which is associated with a synchronized hyperactivity in the auditory cortex.
Fascinatingly, the effects that DiPT appears to produce on the auditory cortex is similar to what is often seen when the auditory cortex is damaged, which can be caused by a stroke, brain injury or birth defects. Fortunately, this sort of damage (where auditory pathways are damaged, while inner ear functions remain intact) is extraordinarily rare, which will no doubt hinder research into this particular area.
Is DiPT safe to use?
Due to the lack of research available, it’s impossible to say what the toxicity or long term health effects of taking DiPT might be.
So far, no long term negative health effects have been reported by those who have tried this unique research chemical in low to moderate doses, and it doesn’t appear to be habit-forming (not least, because the trip isn’t all that pleasant!). But, nonetheless, it should be treated with caution for now, just in case.
Only time will tell if DiPT will bring something to the table in terms of psychedelic therapy, but regardless of medicinal value, it’s certainly a pretty freaky substance! For those daring enough to want try it, be aware that like most other psychedelics DiPT is illegal in a variety of countries (such as the UK and the US), but legal in others (like Switzerland). And, as always, to lean your experience towards trippy rather than terrifying, the usual recommendations for set and setting prep apply!