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Psychoactive toad is a name used for toads from which psychoactive substances from the family of bufotoxins can be derived. The skin and venom of Bufo alvarius (Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad) contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin. Other species contain only bufotenin. 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin both belong to the family of hallucinogenic tryptamines. Due to these substances the skin or venom of the toads may produce psychoactive effects when ingested.

Contents

Cultivation and uses

To obtain the psychoactive substances the venom of psychoactive toads is commonly milked from the toad's venom glands. The milking procedure does not harm the toad — it consists of stroking it under its chin to initiate the defensive venom response. Once the liquid venom has been collected and dried, it can be used for its psychedelic effects. The toad takes about a month to refill its venom glands following the milking procedure, during which time the toad will not produce venom. Some vendors sell dried toad skins, even though it is possible to harvest the venom without harming the toad. The venom is often used for recreational purposes.

Rumors and misconceptions

Rumors, dating from the 1970s, claimed that groups of "hippies" or teenagers were licking the psychoactive toads to get high. One version of the story has hippies in the hills of California chasing toads through the woods to get high. In another version, the infamous cane toad of Australia was said to be licked or ingested both by aborigines and Australian hippies. Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 and are not a native species. Australian Aboriginals have lived in Australia for at least 60,000 years. Licking toads is not biologically practical. In order for these tryptamines to be orally active the human monoamine oxidase (MAO) system needs to be inhibited.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Schultes, Evans and Raffauf, Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia. Oracle, AZ: Synergetic, 1992

Further reading

  • Erowid's Psychoactive Toads Vault
  • Davis, Wade. "Smoking Toad". The Clouded Leopard: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998, 171-198.
  • Ksir, Charles, Carl L. Hart, Oakley Ray. Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior. Boston: McGraw, 2005. 363.







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