Why some people don’t feel the effects of Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca Ceremony

You want to drink Ayahuasca but are unsure whether you’ll feel the effects of the plant on your first try, as some people have reported from their own experiences.

In this blog, we delve into the reasons behind this rarity, offer insights on what to do in such situations, and explore preventative measures for a more profound journey.

Key takeaways

  • Approaching Ayahuasca with high expectations may hinder the experience. Letting go of rigid expectations allows for a more profound connection.
  • Acknowledging individual differences in metabolism and ensuring proper dietary preparation are essential steps to enhance the Ayahuasca experience.
  • Staying open-minded and exploring the integration period is crucial. Seeking guidance from experienced facilitators, embracing discomfort, and following preventative measures such as mindful meditation and setting intentions contribute to a more profound Ayahuasca journey.

Table of Contents

From my personal experience

On my first Ayahuasca ceremony, the frustration and disappointment weighed heavily as I downed three cups without feeling any effects. Doubts crept in, questioning if I was somehow missing a crucial element in the process.

Eventually, I went for the fourth cup (which is pretty rare), an act of surrender that unexpectedly opened a profound connection with Ayahuasca and, more importantly, with myself. The experience was transformative, as I felt an overwhelming wave of unconditional love coursing through my entire being.

Reflecting on that night, I now recognize the barriers I had unknowingly put up within myself—walls of emotional closure and persistent overthinking, feeling I “needed” a lot of Ayahuasca to be able to connect with myself.

It might all come back to your intentions and your inner will to go deep, are you coming off resistant, thinking it is just not your night, or are you willing to surrender and take one more step even if it means more physical discomfort and being ok with that? I was so tired and vomited multiple times, but hey, I made it through.

Your expectations and the Ayahuasca Effects

Expectations can hinder your connection with Ayahuasca. While a degree of hope is natural, excessive expectations categorize the experience and limit its potential.

Think of Ayahuasca as a relationship that you cultivate. If you only appreciate a relationship when the person behaves a certain way you’ll both be left feeling frustrated. It’s crucial to balance intention with flexibility, as rigid expectations can restrict your experience.

The key lies in letting go—connecting often happens when you release expectations and resistance. In moments of acceptance and surrender, even when initially expecting less, Ayahuasca can reveal its transformative power unexpectedly.

Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you

  • Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
  • How will you be supported in the ceremony?
  • How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
  • How will you be able to process the experience?
  • You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?

+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?

Why some people don’t feel the effects

Psychological Resistance:

Psychological resistance or fear can create a barrier as well as being too rational. This resistance may stem from unresolved issues, anxiety, or a lack of mental preparation.

People who are very much in their rational brain have generally a harder time connecting with Ayahuasca. In many ways, they see emotions as a useless burden, not worth experiencing. It could come from a perspective that they do not feel safe in their body and emotions therefore the need to rationalize everything.

Psychological resistance can also show up as:

  • Subsonsiscous resistance to meet yourself.
  • Having a deep level of trauma.

Individual Differences in Metabolism

Just as people metabolize food and drugs differently, the same applies to Ayahuasca. Variations in metabolism can result in the body processing the active ingredients at a different rate, potentially leading to a milder experience or none at all.

Not doing your diet correctly

If you’re drinking Ayahuasca for the first time it is key that you purge your body, the modern lifestyle has filled our bodies with chemicals that prevent your connection with the plant.

Follow traditional Ayahuasca diet guidelines, which often include abstaining from certain foods and substances. A clean diet helps prepare the body for the energetic and spiritual work that Ayahuasca facilitates.

Drinking Ayahuasca for recreational purposes

Ayahuasca is also a spirit, an energy that enters your body and has infinite ancient wisdom. Coming to a ceremony only seeking the thrill of the moment shows disrespect to the plant and if you’re looking for respect and trust you must give the same. Ayahuasca is not a recreational experience, is a sacred ritual that we must honor.

Ayahuasca Ceremony

What to Do When Ayahuasca Doesn’t Seem to Work

Stay Open-Minded

Instead of immediately dismissing the experience, remain open-minded. Ayahuasca works in mysterious ways, and the lack of perceived effects during a ceremony doesn’t necessarily mean the medicine isn’t working on a deeper level.

Explore Integration

Reflect on the ceremony during the integration period. Sometimes, the effects become more apparent in the days and weeks following the ceremony as the mind processes and integrates the experiences.

Seek Guidance

Consult with experienced facilitators or shamanic practitioners. They may provide valuable insights, guidance, and additional practices to enhance your connection with Ayahuasca.

Sometimes you just need more Ayahuasca

During the ceremony consult with your facilitators and shamans, as they can guide you during your journey advising you to take more medicine. Be brave and embrace discomfort.

Preventative Measures for a More Profound Ayahuasca Experience

Mindful Meditation and Breathwork

Incorporate mindfulness practices and breathwork into your routine leading up to the ceremony. These techniques can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and create a more receptive mental state.

Set Intentions

Clearly define your intentions for the ceremony. This can help create a focused and purposeful mindset, allowing Ayahuasca to work more effectively in addressing specific aspects of your life.

Take a purgative and follow dietary instructions

As we mentioned before, your body could use a purge before a ceremony. Consult with your facilitators and shaman on what’s the best option for you, be mindful the days before the ceremony not only with food but also on the content you consume and the people you hang out with.

Be present during the ceremony

Do not fall asleep, be as mindful as possible during your Ayahuasca journey. Falling asleep could prevent you from having a deeper experience, some practitioners also recommend being near the altar as the spirit of Ayahuasca will reward persistence.

Try Bufo

Some people, after experiencing minimal effects from Ayahuasca, have turned to Bufo and found it to be a catalyst for breaking down barriers. This ‘opening’ effect can then make it easier to connect with Ayahuasca in the future, helping your body have a stronger reset.


The variability in individuals’ responses to Ayahuasca adds to the complexity and mystery of this ancient plant medicine. While some may not feel the effects during a ceremony, the transformative potential of Ayahuasca often extends beyond the immediate experience. 

By staying open-minded, seeking guidance, and incorporating mindful practices, individuals can navigate this enigma and potentially unlock profound insights into their spiritual journey.

Every Ayahuasca journey is unique and you’re the only one who can write it. 


What can I do if I don’t feel the effects of Ayahuasca?

If you didn’t feel the effects immediately, stay open-minded and explore the experience during the integration period. Reflect on the ceremony, seek guidance from experienced facilitators or practitioners, and consider additional practices to enhance your connection with Ayahuasca. Sometimes, the medicine’s impact becomes more apparent over time.


How can I prepare for an Ayahuasca ceremony to ensure a more profound experience?

Preparation is key. Follow the traditional Ayahuasca diet guidelines, engage in mindful meditation and breathwork leading up to the ceremony, and set clear intentions. A clean diet prepares the body, while mindfulness practices create a receptive mental state. Setting intentions helps guide the experience, allowing Ayahuasca to work more effectively on specific aspects of your life.


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