In an episode of The Simpsons entitled Missionary: Impossible (S11/E15) Homer is sent to an island in the South Pacific, and one infamous scene shows him licking the backs of toads to get high (see clip below + for the English version click here). While humorous, Homer’s quick trip alludes to a real practice which uses the skin and poison of the Bufo alvarius toad as a means of experiencing a psychedelic visionary state.
Psychoactive toads excrete substances from the family of bufotoxins, which can contain 5-MeO-DMT, bufagins, bufalin, bufotalin, bufotenin, bufothionine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The term bufotoxin can also be used specifically to describe the conjugate of a bufagin with suberylargine. The skin and poison of Bufo alvarius, otherwise known as the Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad, contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, and due to these substances the skin or poison of the toads may produce psychoactive effects when ingested.
According to Wikipedia…
To obtain the psychoactive substances the toxin of psychoactive toads is commonly milked from the toad’s poison glands. The milking procedure does not harm the toad — it consists of stroking the animal under its chin to initiate the defensive poison response. Once the liquid toxin has been collected and dried, it can be used for its psychedelic effects. The toad takes about a month to refill its poison glands following the milking procedure, during which time the toad will not produce poison. Some vendors sell dried toad skins, even though it is possible to harvest the poison without harming the toad. The poison is often used for recreational purposes.
Rumors dating from the 1970s claimed that groups of hippies, some including 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 in order to obtain the psychoactive substance from them.
Albert Most, founder of the Church of the Toad of Light and a proponent of recreational use of Bufo alvarius poison, published a booklet titled Bufo alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert in 1983 which explained how to extract and smoke the secretions.
In 2015 the team from Vice Mexico went on a journey to the Sonora desert in search of the Bufo Alvarius with a guide named Octavio Rettig, “a doctor who has studied this toad for more than eight years and has brought the medicine – as he calls the substance – all over the world.”
What do you think about the idea of hallucinogenic toads? Would you try this? Share your thoughts and comments below!