A mans brain illuminates after licking toads

Many of the most powerful hallucinogenic psychedelics actually do not originate in a lab; rather, they originate in nature.

These substances evolved as defense mechanisms for plants and animals to fend off their predators. Toads in particular secrete one of these psychedelics when a potential predator alarms them.

Taking advantage of this, some people actually purposely scare these toads to extract their psychedelic compounds- sometimes by simply licking the toad!

Here we take a look at bufotenin abuse.

What is Bufotenin?

Bufotenin is a hallucinogenic serotonin analog that causes profound psychedelic effects in A woman places her tongue near a toad to lickthose who abuse it. Bufotenin’s chemical name is 5-OH-DMT, and it is structurally similar to LSD and psilocin. (1)

Bufotenin has been discovered in toad and frog skins, higher plants, mammals, and in the urine of schizophrenics. (2)

What are the effects of Bufotenin?

Bufotenin extracts are typically vaporized or insufflated, but may also be taken orally or injected. The effects when vaporized or insufflated usually come on extremely rapidly (within 30 seconds), peak around 15 minutes, and end within half an hour.

The following effects are commonly observed from the Bufotenin in toads (3):

  • Loss of physical coordination and control
  • Some visual hallucinations, such as shifting environment, bright colors, and patterns
  • Intense emotions, ranging from fear to euphoria
  • Perspective shift
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Time distortion
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea

So do people actually lick toads?

Certain toads do secrete compound known as bufotoxin when they are frightened. Bufotoxin is a poison that contains various chemicals depending on the species of toad.

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Common chemicals found in bufotoxin and their effects are (4):

  • Bufotenin – hallucinogen
  • Bufagin – a poison that has cardiovascular effects
  • Serotonin – which acts as a vasoconstrictor

While certain cultures have historically extracted bufotenin from toads for use, the act of licking toads is actually quite dangerous. This is due to the presence of bufagin and other poisons that bufotoxin contains.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/1032638/
  2. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Bufotenine#section=Names-and-Identifiers
  3. https://thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/5-meo-dmt/#effects
  4. https://www.britannica.com/science/bufotoxin