bufo alvarius Psychedelic toads

Bufotenine and related 5-hydroxy-indolethylamines are common constituents of venoms of the genera Hyla, Leptodactylus, Rana and Bufo. Bufotenine is not psychedelic in reasonable doses (with larger doses there are dangerous physiological side effects), but the skin of one species, Bufo alvarius, contains 50-160 mg 5-MeO-DMT/g of skin (Daly & Witkop [1971]). It's the only Bufo species known to contain a hallucinogenic tryptamine (McKenna & Towers [1984]). Most [1984] gives instructions for collecting and drying the venom:

"Fresh venom can easily be collected without harm to the toad. Use a flat glass plate or any other smooth, nonporous surface at least 12-inches square. Hold the toad in front of the plate, which is fixed in a vertical position. In this manner, the venom can be collected on the glass plate, free of dirt and liquid released when the toad is handled.
"When you are ready to begin, hold the toad firmly with one hand and, with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, squeeze near the base of the gland until the venom squirts out of the pores and onto the glass plate. Use this method to systematically collect the venom from each of the toad's granular glands: those on the forearm, those on the tibia and femur of the hind leg, and, of course, the parotids on the neck. Each gland can be squeezed a second time for an additional yield of venom if you allow the toad a one-hour rest period. After this the glands are empty and require four to to six weeks for regeneration.
"The venom is viscous and milky-white in color when first squeezed from the glands. It begins to dry within minutes and acquires the color and texture of rubber cement. Scrape the venom from the glass plate, dry it thoroughly, and store it in an airtight container until you are ready to smoke it."

Davis and Weil [1992] smoked the venom and described what happened:

"In comparison to the pure compounds the toad venom appears longer lasting and, because one does not completely lose contact with reality, far more pleasant, even sensual. Shortly after inhalation I experienced warm flushing sensations, a sense of wonder and well-being, strong auditory hallucinations, which included an insect-cicada sound that ran across my mind and seemed to link my body to the earth. Though I was indoors, there was a sense of the feel of the earth, the dry desert soil passing through my fingers, the stars at midday, the scent of cactus and sage, the feel of dry leaves through hands. Strong visual hallucinations in orblike brilliance, diamond patterns that undulated across my visual field. The experience was in every sense pleasant, with no disturbing physical symptoms, no nausea, perhaps a slight sense of increased heart rate. Warm waves coursed up and down my body. The effects lasted only a few minutes but a pleasant afterglow continued for almost an hour."
(Wade Davis, personal observation, January 12, 1991)
"Profound alteration of consciousness within a few seconds of exhaling. I relax into a deep, peaceful interior awareness. There is nothing scary about the effects and no sense of toxicity. I try to describe my feelings but am unable to talk for the first five minutes and then only with some difficulty. This is a powerful psychoactive drug, one that I think would appeal to most people who like the effects of hallucinogens. For the next hour I feel slow and velvety, with a slight pressure in my head. No long-lasting effects to report."
(Andrew T. Weil, personal observation, January 12, 1991).

Other animals contain DMT such as the gorgonian Paramuricea chamaeleon (Cimino & De Stefano, [1978]).


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