Smoking Toad Venom

Estimated reading time: 22 minute(s)

The popularity of psychedelics is on the rise, and every day, the world is being introduced to a newer version of these psychoactive components. Originally synthesized for medical purposes, experts are currently re-examining them as potential medications to help psychotherapeutic and psychiatric communities in terms of depression, addiction, anxiety, and trauma management. These drugs have become more of a status symbol, with many individuals attempting to try the newer versions to enjoy life and be accepted by peers.

Smoking toad venom is the latest addition to the list of psychedelic abuse. The practice is not new, as it originated in pre-Columbian cultures, where people used it for multiple purposes. The practice resurged during the 1960s and suddenly gained much fame, especially after celebrities like Christina Haack and Mike Tyson endorsed it as a life-changing substance.

What is Toad Venom? An Overview

The practice of smoking toad venom has recently gained a lot of traction across the U.S. Many people have been practicing licking toads belonging to the Budonidae family to experience psychedelic effects. However, many concerns were raised against this practice as licking a toad side effects, including muscle weakness, vomiting, and a rapid heart rate. Instead of completely abandoning the idea, interested individuals switched to a different species of toad, the Colorado River toad or the Sonoran Desert toad. The venom derived from these species is commonly used to feel the same psychoactive effects without side effects.

The Colorado River toad is a nocturnal creature with a tendency to grow up to seven inches in length. It has dark, leathery skin and is exclusively found in Mexico and some restricted states of the U.S., including Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Colorado. The semiaquatic toad exists near water bodies like ponds, canals, and springs and in desert areas. It mainly thrives on insects but can also eat small mammals, amphibians, and lizards. The toads secrete toxic secretions to keep predators like birds, raccoons, and skunks away. These toxic secretions are what humans are using these days to get high.

Research indicates that the venomous toxin of the Colorado River toad contains 5-MeO-DMT, a chemical with psychedelic properties. Experts dry this chemical from the toxic glands to form a paste. This paste is then smoked to allow users to experience a trip that kicks in within 30 seconds and causes incapacitation for half an hour. During this period, a user’s senses to track vision, time, and sound may get impaired. While some people believe that experience is not describable, others believe it to cause a feeling of being connected to a higher power or s feeling as if they were reborn. After the trip is over, usually within 60 minutes, most users experience altered mood and perception.

Experiencing Toad Venom High: What is the Method of Consumption?

In ancient times, people would consider going for “toad licking” to undergo a heightened perceptual experience. The poison from these toads triggers vivid images and intense emotions for people to see and feel. However, this practice has become outdated in the modern day, and people have resorted to smoking the venom to experience similar effects. Experienced people extract venom from toads to form 5-MeO-DMT, which interested individuals can smoke as needed.

The venom is available in a dried powder form from milking the gland.  This powdered form is burned and smoked, similar to marijuana. A single breath inhales 5 to 50 milligrams of the toxin. Experts have warned people not to use more than 6 mg of the synthetic toxin. Remember that the effects of a single dose can last up to forty-five minutes.

The Effects of Smoking Toad Venom: The Possible Dangers

The risk of harm and side effects is always there regardless of the type of drug you are using. In the case of toad venom, users will likely become incapacitated after using it with reduced awareness of their surroundings. Hence, those smoking it publicly, such as at a party, may risk being exploited. Consequently, experts do not consider this venom a recreational drug as it causes a very intense experience that may not be safe for group use. The effects can cause complete dissociation of a person from their body and mind. Many also complain of severe anxiety lasting for days following the use, and others end up in the emergency room due to uncomfortable side effects.

So far, there is mixed evidence regarding the addictive potential of hallucinogens, such as toad venom. Some common examples of hallucinogens include DMT, Magic Mushrooms, LSD, and Mescaline, all of which affect the brain by interrupting its communication with the spinal cord and the rest of the body. As a result, hallucinogens can impact mood, body temperature, sensory perceptions, sleep, sexual behavior, intestinal muscle control, and hunger. Many people begin seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not real and experiencing increased heart rate, nausea, and sensory deficits.

Lastly, hallucinogens like toad venom can also induce excessive sweating, panic, mouth dryness, and psychosis. Sometimes, it can cause persistent psychosis leading to disorganized thinking, visual disturbances, and paranoia. Many experts also believe that despite not having a strong addiction potential, many people require a progressively high dosage of hallucinogens to feel the same trip, making them tolerant and dependent. Eventually, abuse develops, disrupting their life significantly.

Recovering from Smoking Toad Venom

Not only does toad venom smoking cause harm to humans, it also affects their species. The evolving trend has led to massive illegal captures of the Colorado River toads for the drug trade, putting the species under threat of extinction. The toads use their venom to protect themselves from other predators, and humans must not bring them near their homes. Many reports have emerged where dogs accidentally picked up these toads and died from exposure to their strong toxins. The toxins can also cause dogs to experience pupillary dilation, seizures, mouth foaming, and rapid heart rate.

If you have tried smoking toad venom before and feel like you have become addicted to it, consider reaching out for help. There is no specific method to help people with this problem as hallucinogens like toad venom are not inherently addictive. However, they can still cause abuse as most users require them in higher quantities to feel the same effects. Professionals at rehab will analyze each case and offer the best treatment methods based on personal circumstances.


Is frog smoking causing any environmental impact?

According to experts, milking toads for their venom is causing a severe environmental impact. Remember that the Sonoran Desert toad is only found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico and is labeled endangered in California. In New Mexico, it remains a threatened species. Due to the rising trend of smoking toad venom, experts have expressed concerns that this species may be susceptible to exploitation.

Is toad venom legal?

Toad venom is now a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, which means it has a high risk of addiction and abuse. However, many countries, including Mexico and Canada, have legalized it. Consequently, many people visit these countries to enjoy the smoking experience.

What happens when you smoke toad venom?

Since toad venom is a rapidly acting psychedelic substance, it gets to the brain within five minutes of smoking the toxin. According to research, the experience typically begins within ten to thirty seconds of ingestion, leaving most people physically incapacitated for the next twenty to thirty seconds. For most people, the effects of toad venom continue to linger on for another forty-five to fifty minutes before wearing off.

Can you die from smoking toad venom?

Studies investigating how toad venom affects the human body suggest that the toxin carries a high mortality rate. It can also cause various mental health issues while precipitating dangerous cardiac episodes. The National Poison Centers have made it clear that the secretions from toads can induce severe pain and irritation in addition to extensive tissue damage. Toad venom is considered a poison in the United States; however, more studies and testing are needed to confirm it.

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