KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police say this morning's drug lab bust in Liberty is one of only a handful of times they've worked with a DMT lab in the area.
DMT is often called the "God Molecule" or "Spirit Molecule" after it's effects were studied extensively for five years by a doctor working at the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine.
Dr. Rick Strassman says DMT is found naturally in the human brain and in hundreds of plants but local drug experts warn that processed DMT is not natural and can cause serious side effects.
"DMT is a hallucinogen made from tree bark. It can be purchased over the internet, and through a simple chemical process, can make a hallucinogen they can put in their body," says Sgt. Tim Witceg of KCPD's Metro Meth Unit who was called to Tuesday mornings drug lab bust in Liberty.
Strassman cites DMT as naturally occurring in our body and theorizes that when a person is approaching death, the body's pineal gland releases a large amount of DMT, which is how the drug has gotten the nickname "The Spirit Molecule."
Local drug prevention experts at First Call say naturally occurring DMT is much different than the drug hitting the streets.
"Thinking that cooking something up in a kitchen that you're using weird compounds to create, then smoking it is natural, that's not accurate," says First Call President and CEO Molly O'Neill.
While users like Jodie, a woman who describes side effects of DMT online, reports hallucinations causing the brain to see imagery related to near death experiences.
O'Neill says it's not safe.
"Having an intense vision of this altered reality may pull you to hear voices to think that you should be doing things that are really super dangerous like jumping out a window or off a balcony or going out into the ocean and never coming back," said O'Neill.
Police remind people, it's not legal.
"It's legal to buy the tree bark, but it's not legal to process it," said Witceg.