“You sure have to kiss a lot of toads before Prince Charming comes along.”

Compare that childhood adage to the very first experimenters who got up close and personal with the Colorado River toad by either kissing or licking one of them.  Whoever got the hoppers mad enough that first time most likely found out that these dwellers of the Sonoran Desert secrete Bufotenin from their glands as part of their primary defense system. Even more importantly, these pioneer toad-lickers surely stumbled upon the psychedelic nature of the amphibian. In fact, the glandular secretions of the Colorado River toad contain 5-MeO-DMT, a hallucinogenic of a most interesting nature.

Before you go out to try to find your own croaking “Prince Charming,” though, it is important to note that the Colorado River toad is endangered and dosing yourself with too much 5-MeO-DMT can be extremely dangerous. In fact, researchers indicate that the misuse of this substance in its natural, un-synthesized state has a high mortality rate. That fact, combined with the oft-believed myth that toads cause warts, means that the toad-lickers who first got up close and personal enough to put these psychedelic toads to their lips were either very brave or very foolish.

Disclaimer and Legalities

Although the Netherlands isn’t one of them, 5-MeO-DMT has been banned by some countries. This is due to concerns about the potentially toxic or even deadly nature of the toad secretions. Of course, these secretions contain many additional toxic alkaloids that are removed when the substance is synthesized. In other words, those who are exposed to the synthesized form of 5-MeO-DMT have a massively reduced fatality risk.   

Here in the Netherlands, 5-MeO-DMT is mostly sold for research, and the information in this article is intended for those purposes. Therefore, we won’t take any responsibility for those who choose to ingest this substance. Make sure that you always check the legal status of all compounds before you consider buying or using them.


Other Sources of 5-MeO-DMT

The Colorado River toad isn’t the only variety of toad that secretes this happy substance. They are, however, the only ones in which enough Bufotenin is present in their secretion to create a psychoactive effect. You can also find 5-MeO-DMT produced naturally in some plant species.

One such plant is the fast-growing, invasive Acacia auriculiformis, also known as the Northern Black Wattle. You can find the psychoactive substance in the tree’s stem bark, and it is used in traditional and folklore remedies.2 In most cases, 5-MeO-DMT is no longer derived organically from toads and plant life as researchers can now produce it synthetically in labs. 


History of 5-MeO-DMT

From practitioners of traditional Chinese medication to shamans, toad venom has been used as a source of 5-MeO-DMT. The traditional Chinese medication Chan Su, a purported aphrodisiac, is an extract that utilizes Bufalin in this manner. Chan Su is also used in Chinese medicine as a cardiac medication and topical anesthetic.

In Native American lore, toads are associated with disease and witchcraft. Indigenous people in South America have been using toad venom in religious ceremonies since pre-Columbian times. One could surmise that the “witchcraft” part of that reputation was probably established after shamans were observed using the Toad.

Colorado River toads would have probably breathed a collective sigh of relief had they known that 5-MeO-DMT was synthesized successfully in a lab for the first time in 1936. As often is the case, trends in research chemicals tend to involve a movement from organic sources to chemical ones. The progression typically makes drugs cheaper, easier to acquire and more sustainable.




Organic vs. Synthetic Toad

Facillitators that use 5-MeO-DMT derived from Colorado River toads off-label have aptly nicknamed it, “toad.” And, those who swear by the real toad have made it popular in naturalistic settings by using it for spiritual exploration or as a panacea. They also claim that it is better than manufactured 5-MeO-DMT because it has additional alkaloids. As previously mentioned, though, those extra alkaloids play a major factor in the toxicity level of the toad secretions.

James Oroc, author of “The New Psychedelic Revolution: The Genesis of the Visionary Age Well,” says that the reasoning some give for preferring real toad cracks him up. Oroc’s opinion is that synthetic is better: 

“It’s the 5-MeO that induces the transpersonal experience, which is the ultimate experience, so there is not an ultimate experience plus a little bit extra. My reasoning is that synthetic is much more measured and you can know your exact dosage, which I think is extremely important with 5-MeO-DMT. If you do toad, no matter what they tell you, there is no way of knowing how much 5-MeO is in the amount of crystal that they pack in the pipe. They’re taking an educated guess. Now I don’t take educated guesses with something as potent as 5-MeO-DMT.”



5-MeO-DMT vs. DMT

5-MeO-DMT belongs to the tryptamine class of chemical psychedelics. Toad lickers, including Homer Simpson in the Season 11 episode of “The Simpsons” entitled “Missionary: Impossible,” experience what they often call a “perspective shift” from this substance. Unlike the chemical’s more infamous and much less powerful cousin, DMT, which is often called Dmitri or the Businessman’s Special, 5-MeO-DMT doesn’t typically produce visual hallucinations. Instead, users tend to experience emotional, conceptual and physical effects from 5-MeO-DMT.

The Toad’s Sensory Effects

Some specific effects of 5-MeO-DMT occur quickly after you take it, and they reportedly leave users with a loss of coordination and control. Users have reported experiencing moving environments, bright colors and recurring patterns. Another one of the most common features of the 5-MeO-DMT experience is an enhancement of tactile awareness, which can build-up to the point of sensory overload.

Some off-label users have also dubbed it the “God pill.” Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson discussed the psychoactive effects of 5-MeO-DMT with Joe Rogan during a podcast, characterizing the experience as “profoundly knocking him off his feet,” and saying that it made him “feel as if he was dying and being reborn.”

Modern Therapeutic Uses of Psychedelics

The emerging potential for therapeutic usage of counter-culture psychedelics such as Psilocybin (magic mushrooms), Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 5-MeO-DMT (The Toad) and more is one of the intriguing recent trends in research chemicals.

Studies indicate that psychedelic drugs can treat an array of mental disorders, including PTSD, depression, drug and alcohol dependency by affecting the brain’s makeup and promoting neuron growth. These studies also suggest reduced anxiety in people that have life-threatening disease.

A 2016 London study demonstrated that LSD has the potential to alter entrenched thought patterns, which flags its potential for disorders of anxiety and depression

Yet another study conducted on European subjects demonstrated that 5-MeO-DMT produced sustained enhancement of the subjects’ lives and better convergent thinking after just one treatment. The participants also indicated they had an easing of PTSD, anxiety and depression.


Final Thoughts

As with all psychoactive substances, it’s necessary to be very cautious with 5-MeO-DMT. The potential for deadly misuse is what has put this naturally occurring drug in the crosshairs of many local and federal agencies around the world. However, in the right dosage and with proper monitoring from a physician, psychedelics can be relatively safe and may offer an effect that’s been described as life changing.