The Sonoran Desert Toad


Bufo alvarius

Trip Reports

7-25-01 Tim:

Yesterday I tried a little, about the size of a paper match head. It was ok but not mind blowing like today's experience. 

Being overconfident, I put a dose about the size of 1 1/2 wood match head, in the vaporizer and fired it up. 

What happened next is beyond words. First, I felt as if I was becoming a toad. I could feel myself changing into one. The next thing I felt was an overwhelming desire for cool water. I ran upstairs, stripping off my clothes as I went. I jumped in the shower and turned it on cold. All the while feeling like I was going to die. Part of me was struggling to stay alive and part of me was trying to surrender peacefully. A few minutes later I found that I was starting to regain control over my body, and that my heart wasn't going to explode. 
I found the experience to be one of the most intense of my life. I feel that I was truly exposed to the toads spirit. It is as if all of the heat, fears & desires of the toad are imprinted into the venom and transferred to the user. 
Next time I will use a smaller dose and try not to panic. I feel that the toad spirit has a lot to teach. 

10-7-02 Tim recounts his experience:

Toad venom for me was also terrifying, but in a different way. The first time I did it I was on the safe side with the dose and didnít feel much. With this in mind, I way over did it the second time. It came on in a rush and kept getting stronger. I was actually inside the body of a toad just under the sand, feeling the world in a strange way. I started to feel dry and extremely thirsty. I had to get to the water. I was on fire. I ran up the stairs stripping my clothes as I jumped the steps. I hopped into the shower and turned the water on. Gasping for breath I began to see my skin as a yellowish color and goose bumps rising from my skin. I soon realized that the water was ice cold and I was freezing. I tried to adjust the water temp. but was just fumbling with the handle. Now I felt like I could hardly breath and jumped out of the shower, then back in. I looked in the mirror and saw the spirit of the toad blended with my body. It was as if the toad and I were one. Very strange. I had to consciously will myself to live. One breath at a time. I soon, about 5 min., felt better and was enjoying toad space. With a smile on my face, I kept repeating to myself, "youíre alive...youíre really still alive." I then began to laugh as a wave of brilliant colors and sounds swirled around. It was one of the most terrifying and rewarding experiences I have yet experienced. I would try it again only at a more enjoyable (lower) dose. 

With toad venom it was very physical. I felt like I was changing into a vampire, dying and being reborn in the body. This may sound crazy, but I still feel like there is a little toad spirit resting on my left shoulder, observing this life with me. 

When we take these substances we are signaling the Ďuniverseí that we are ready to see what there is to see, experience what there is to experience. But are we really ever ready to see and experience the all? Loneliness, fear, union, absolute beauty, absolute horror? What lessons are to be learned from these indescribable feelings that we sometimes come back with? 

Alex Grey

8-27-02 Calvin:

wirykuta (10:31:50 PM): what happened? with the toad? 
mowie1mowie (10:36:39 PM): well I gathered what I had and mixed it with the wet stuff I just mixed and placed with in the botton of a light bulb and placed it on the stove and heated it up..
wirykuta (10:34:01 PM): yes...
mowie1mowie (10:37:41 PM): Well I got alittle nervous and about 15 sec later it was smoken really good.. so I let it fill up and shut off the gas. Then i stuck the tube i had into the bulb and hit it hard...It was HARSH..
mowie1mowie (10:37:54 PM): but i held it in..
wirykuta (10:35:05 PM): yes...
mowie1mowie (10:38:56 PM): Well within the first 5 sec I held it and nothing really happend, I tried to hold it in and all of a sudden I felt like my throught was closing so i freaked and exhaled..
mowie1mowie (10:39:15 PM): and a big white plastic tasting cloud came out..
wirykuta (10:36:24 PM): oh yeah, i know...
wirykuta (10:36:29 PM): oh shit!
mowie1mowie (10:39:49 PM): I felt alittle shaky so i sat down about 10 sec in...
mowie1mowie (10:40:54 PM): and I felt light but my head felt like it had a preasure in it and you know when you sit in a quit room and you hear that ringing sound.. I Swear I heard that exact noise.. I knew something was going to happen!
wirykuta (10:37:53 PM): yes, yes...
mowie1mowie (10:41:29 PM): But, alll I had was some morphs of objects and a ringing in my ears..
mowie1mowie (10:41:39 PM): but it was quit a Buzz..
mowie1mowie (10:42:26 PM): I was expecting more, but I cant say im dissapointed.. OH and by morphs I mean a kind of bubbling of objects.. lasted about 3 min..
mowie1mowie (10:42:39 PM): Oh and i had a headach in the morning..
wirykuta (10:39:44 PM): damn, you went to the show but the curtain didn't fully arise...
mowie1mowie (10:43:52 PM): Im still happy I experianced it though!! 
mowie1mowie (10:44:02 PM): it was well worth the wait..!
wirykuta (10:41:34 PM): you didn't have enough for a good hit - with a proper dosage, the effects come on while you're still inhaling... then it's all you can do just to get the smoke out of your lungs...
mowie1mowie (10:44:49 PM): LoL, I came back down stairs into my room and thanked toad and gave him his crickets and watched him eat..
wirykuta (10:41:49 PM): well I'm glad you're not totally disappointed
mowie1mowie (10:44:58 PM): Oh no..
mowie1mowie (10:45:15 PM): not at all.. I got a glimps.. 
mowie1mowie (10:45:54 PM): It hit me extreamly fast.. I felt alittle weird afterwords.. things seemed off.. so
wirykuta (10:42:58 PM): ah it's probably just as well - the higher doses are frightening
mowie1mowie (10:46:19 PM): you know, thats how i looked at it..
mowie1mowie (10:46:44 PM): I experianced, im happy.. 
wirykuta (10:44:59 PM): at the higher doses, you don't even feel the effects in your throat or taste the nasty plastic - you just feel reality unraveling and wonder if your mind can hang on to it 
mowie1mowie (10:48:28 PM): Hmm. see that is what kinda scared me before hand..
mowie1mowie (10:48:59 PM): but i thought ive been through some rogh stuff so.. I was ready for it..
wirykuta (10:46:16 PM): you know it's weird, at the most basic level, all life is just energy and these substances give us a glimpse into that world
mowie1mowie (10:49:21 PM): I cant say i wasnt alittle dis but I still very much enjoyed it..
mowie1mowie (10:50:28 PM): I do truly beleive, that pyscidelics "bad spelling" show you many things a normal person my never experiance.. 
wirykuta (10:47:38 PM): oh absolutely


8-27-02 Jesse:

yeh so i'm finlly starting to love the smell of combusting venom. at first it made me sick but now i love it. so i haven't gotten a good pipe yet, i'v been doing the tin foil thing which really sucks. i dosed yesterday actually up by gold water lake in prescott. i was finding that the torch somtimes burns throught the foil so i made it like four layers thick. so i let my friend go first and it smoked slow. but he seemed good. so than i light mine. it didn't smoke right but i got a decent hit. after about five minutes i dosed again this time removing all but one piece of foil. i put another hit in without realize the fact that the first hit was not completely burnt. so i took a huge hit with just enough time to put the foil down. the bark on the trees started to kaildeoscope(i can't spell) then the trees started then the whole fucking land scape lost all construction and turned in to a swirling mulit dimensioned mess of energy. this happened it the fisrt 2 seconds. i then got real scared and tryed to fight for an minute or so. but the was no stopping of all these parrell universe tareing then spilling out into each other. pretty soon i began to rocket towards this hole in the middle of these colliding worlds. while all of this is happening im in complete terror. using all my strenght to fight it. at soom point i stopped taking notes. i'v yet found words that can even hint hat happen. i think there was a point when my body was reduce to its atom state, allowing fast and efficent time travel. anyway i did the hole " smack the time and space continuom in the face". my visuals began to swrill again turning into the tops of the ponderosa pines which i wa looking up at. the swirling became way more mind. then one of the trees brought me back into the earth. my head was right next to it, so imaging from all these fractels comes one tree which i follow the top down the truck into the ground. at this point i started laughing uncontrollable. i felt like i was just born. i couldn't help from peeing myself, because of the freedom this chidish state allowed. but i wan't to explore more with high doses. do you have anyway to prepare. or is the fear apart of it. i kind of think your body must be fooded with human emotions untill you sheld all of it. from hear comes the bliss. but i have to go back to class. i will write you my ideas on research in a few hours. do you have any similar stories or ones that you won;t like to share?


Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 00:03:37 EDT
Subject: OH MY GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me tell you of my fist REAL time on toad venom,
Well, shortly after receiving the package, I and my friend Eric filled the 
pipe with about a match heads worth of toad venom. We placed a flame to the 
bottom of the pipe and walla ALOT of white smoke appeared. I told him to 
inhale slowly while I held the pipe and the flame to the pipe. Shortly after 
exhaling the CLOUD of white sweet smoke, he started to freak alittle, I never 
seen him freak like this before. He told me of all the stuff that was 
happening (this greatly excited me)! As he came down he went into the best 
detail he could for me, describing morphing walls and a little ringing and 
tingling. He also described a feeling of EXTREME joy and could not stop 
smiling from ear to ear! As he was almost completely down, his joy increased. 
Now it was my turn.
I a more experienced triper or explorer wanted to go further, I loaded 
about that and a half if not twice what he had! I nerviously closed my eyes 
and calmed myself a bit and told myself the purpose for this voyage. I opened 
my eyes and Eric asked me if I was ready, I said yes. I then taped the 
powder so that it piled up inside the pipe as a small pile. And then I 
applied the flame to the bottom of the glass, then as the snap crackle pop 
came it filled extremely full with smoke, I inhaled ever last bit, ok not 
ever bit but it was ENOUGH! I couldn't ever exhale before getting slammed to 
my seat. I feel like time was freezing in place and my ears were up to load 
speakers playing an extremely loud ringing! As all this happened my dresser 
drawers started to shake and pulsate as the dog hairs on my pants morphed and 
changed into many figures (words now are not capable of describing what's 
happening in front of me!!). I start to freak a bit, and I have to make 
myself breath (this has happened before but never this intense, not ever 
close). I quickly calmed down when I realized what was going on and started 
to REALLY enjoy the experience. Eric asked if I was ok due to my extreme 
shaking which I have never experienced before! As I came down I felt like I 
was on a Ferris wheel, the up and down feeling ran through my body, 
pulsating. Although I had INTENSE Visuals, the body sensation was incredible. 
After thinking I was down I went and looked in the mirror, what a sight to be 
hold. My eyes were almost black. It was intense, I seen a man in the mirror 
iv never seen before, I asked myself questions, the after glow was intense. 
This was one of the best experiences I have ever had! 
We only have (a little less than ) 2 doses left, we will visit this place one 
more final time. We cannot wait, I do fear it (maybe more now) but I learned 
from it in ways no other substance ever has teached me. I truly do use 
psychedelics for spiritual learning, and this has taught me much, much more 
is needed to be learned, I cant thank mother earth or her creation the 
"teacher, toad" enough.

Alex Grey

Part two: This is your brain, this is your brain on toads
by Jane Musgrave

Steve James and a Colombian friend were trying to score some weed. When they couldnít, they decided to lick a toad.

"I threw up, got a headache and was real dizzy," the now 27-year-old Broward man says of his first and only attempt to use venom from the bufo marinus toad to achieve the ultimate high. "It wasnít the brightest thing to do. I donít know what possessed me to do it. I guess Iím happy Iím not dead."

Experts say James, who asked that his real name not be used, isnít just blowing smoke. Many other adventurous druggies have tried to use toad juice to get high with the same, sometimes far more life-threatening, results.

"People thought it was something you could get high with," says Dr. Richard Weisman, director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Miami. "Turned out it was something you could get dead with."

The same toxins that have sent many a toad-chasing dog to the great beyond can kill a human being. The only reason dogs die and humans donít is that, in most cases, humans have more sense than to put one of the ugliest animals on the planet in their mouths, or to sample the juice oozing from warts on its head. Also, because most humans are bigger than most pets, the poison generally makes humans sick as a dog rather than killing them.

Still, the rumor persists that the venom from the bufo toad is hallucinogenic. And, actually, it is.

But while Australians have come up with complex recipes that involve boiling, baking, buttering and bolstering the venom, even adventurous drug users say the health risks are too great for a buzz that isnít worth it.

Unfortunately for James and other brave, desperate or misinformed South Florida drug users, itís not the bufo marinus toad that provides a non-life-threatening high; itís the giant toadís western cousin, the bufo alvarius toad.

And despite the much-ballyhooed talk of toad licking, you donít slurp up the venom. Rather, you dry it and then smoke a very tiny bit - chips about the size of three match heads.

Unlike the marinus toad, the venom of the alvarius toad contains 5-MeO-DMT, a tryptamine that is one of the most powerful hallucinogens in nature. While the venom of the marinus contains 26 different chemical compounds, 5-MeO-DMT isnít one of them.

And perhaps itís just as well.

Leo Mercado, president of The Peyote Foundation in Kearny, Ariz., says the experience isnít a particularly pleasant one.

For one thing, it happens incredibly quickly. Within 30 seconds, it hits and itís over in about 15 minutes.

"Itís so shocking. You think ‘My God, is it supposed to kill me?í You think youíve ODíd. You think youíre going to die," he says of the initial rush.

Rather than producing strange and colorful images or pleasantly altered views of reality, the experience is intensely thought-twisting.

"Itís like being blasted out of your ego into a total cosmic perspective," Mercado says. "You lose your total sense of self. Itís like a ride through the emotional mind. Any garbage in your life, like if you feel bad for kicking the dog or doing someone wrong, it brings it right out and rubs your face in it."

Others have described it as "a rocket ship into the void."

Even those who claim to enjoy the experience donít make it sound inviting.

Consider this explanation offered by a Virginia woman via the Internet: "It tasted like model glue. I took a few really deep breaths and got it into my lungs. You feel it immediately creeping down your spine. Within in a minute, I was on the ground thrashing around. I had no control of my coordination and a total loss of muscle control. I couldnít speak or anything. It was great."

Such accolades aside, Mercado says he wouldnít recommend it, and because the experience is so intense even in alvarius-rich Arizona, few do it recreationally.

Still, he says, Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she filled the sacs of the alvarius with a mind-altering drug.

"You just milk the little glands and it dries right away. Itís so convenient," he says. "Itís just like, ‘Wow, this apparently was meant to be done.í Itís perfection in packaging."

And, some note that unlike growing marijuana or mushrooms or mixing chemicals in a tube, if you develop a fondness for toad juice, you also get a pet.

James says he loves reptiles, but heíll stick with pot.

"I donít want to do it ever again," he says.